Category: Christianity and Culture

Connecting the dots between unbelief and abortion

These types of considerations drive me to paint a different picture of the current situation in America on the subject of abortion than normally presented. What if aiming at passage of pro-life legislation is only a small component of the solution? What if aiming to persuade people to a pro-life position is aiming too low? What if in fact we Christians should be focusing on creating more Christians and retaining the ones we’ve got?

A Christian does not believe, like the atheist, that he is god. A Christian understands that he is the product of a Creator and that Creator has the right and privilege of defining right and wrong and defining ‘personhood.’ A Christian knows that he cannot dispense with another person because it is inconvenient to someone or to a nation. All this comes in automatically once one adopts the Christian worldview. Even Christians who vote pro-choice don’t generally approve of abortion, generally, and would like it reduced.

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Should Churches Adopt a No Child Left Behind Approach?

What I mean is this: we know that the Church in America is in decline by survey and personal experience, and we can suppose that this is because of ‘the way we are doing things’ but we can’t be sure what is producing strong Christians or weak Christians unless we have some sort of assessment.

Of course, you have to actually want to know, don’t you? If a 100 kids leave your congregation and 98 of them fall from the faith within 5 years and 90 never return that is something that I would want to know if I was the leader of a congregation. Then I would want to know what kind of framework those kids had when they left and how they received it. If I learned that my programs were actually setting them up to get smacked around like a pinata at college, I’d want to know.

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Literary Apologetics: Missionary Work in the Language of the Masses

America is increasingly a mission field in its own right. Just as missionaries have to learn the language of the natives before they can present the Gospel effectively, so too do we need to do the same in America. This does not mean (per some trends in apologetics today) adopting the ‘language’ and methodologies wholesale. For example, some aspects of post-modernism provide legitimate insights into the nature of reality. However, much of post-modernism needs to be rejected as rubbish. Nonetheless, if we want to communicate with a Pomo person, we have to be able to speak their language, presenting truth in their context, without necessarily accepting as truth that context.

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The Forgotten Doctrine: Love

Now, we Christians think we’re loving. This is because we have never opened up the Bible to perform any kind of deliberate study on the topic of Love. Oh sure, you can find theological treatise after treatise in all the denominations over things like Communion/The Lord’s Supper, baptism, Christian unity, worship, predestination, justification by faith, inerrancy, inspiration, on and on and on, but not on Love. These topics, though important, occupy a tiny fraction of the New Testament when compared with how often and how extensively the New Testament discusses Love. [More…]

Do you want to know why Christianity continues its decline in America? Ultimately, it is a failure to love as the New Testament models it.

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Study: Religion in Decline. What do we do about it?

I am just a lone voice out in the wilderness, on the front lines between belief and unbelief, a scout if you will. I am reporting to you generals that that situation is dire, and worse, you are currently sending troops to fight over hills that the Enemy has long abandoned. You continue to defend the Maginot Line while the Enemy blitzkriegs right around it. The only difference is that the French knew they had been flanked, while you continue to face the troops east. They’ll be in Paris before you know it and I am convinced many leaders of the church will be shocked: “What? Didn’t we send reinforcements to our line of fortresses? How can this be?”

In the face of this counsel I have been accused of all sorts of things- legalism, self-righteousness, hubris, and even heresy. Well my friends, the proof is in the pudding. Barna has been warning us about this for some time and as the article above illustrates, he isn’t the only one.

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Catholic Hospitals SHOULD close if FOCA is passed

Closing the hospitals would show that the RCC has some real backbone. It would be great if other Christian hospitals followed suit, though this is clearly less likely.

This may seem harsh but I think it would simply be strong medicine. Once swallowed, the medicine would do its work and FOCA would come under pressure. Additionally, Catholics in America would get the idea that their higher ups mean business. What with all the challenges the RCC has had in America (the priest scandal, the requirement in some states that the RCC adopt children to homosexual couples, the communing of American politicians who probably aren’t Christian at all, let alone Catholic (Kerry, Pelosi, etc), etc), that is a message that needs to be communicated. That is the opinion of someone who is not a Catholic so take it with a grain of salt, I guess.

Any way, the Obama administration is hell bent on promoting the most radical of pro-choice positions, and this is no time for any of us- Roman Catholics included and especially- to be considering compromise and half-measures… because that is precisely what Obama is counting on.

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Christianese and Shibboleths as Roadblocks to Faith and Brotherhood

Here is an excerpt of a blog entry I posted at the ChristianPost. It was probably a good time to poke the boys at Godisimaginary.com in the ribs, anyway. I know, cheap thrills.

In Judges 12, the Gileadites find a way to distinguish between friend and foe by compelling captured refugees to say the word ‘Shibboleth.’ Evidently, Ephraimites couldn’t pronounce it correctly, saying instead ‘Sibboleth.’ Those that said that latter were struck down while those who said the former were allowed to pass.

‘Shibboleths’ abound in society, including among Christians. Unfortunately, even among Christians, a Shibboleth isn’t simply a quick way to distinguish where a person stands in relation to you but is used in a manner akin to the Gileadite’s use, thankfully, of course, without the resulting slaughter.

In other words, Christianese is a Shibboleth in the ears of the nonBeliever. The moment you begin engaging in Christianese you are at risk of being dismissed or marginalized in the eyes of the person you are talking to.

The Internet is filled with skeptics and scoffers poking fun at various aspects of Christianity as though they were the substance of Christianity when in fact they are slogans and phrases that are more part and parcel of Christianese- how the things are communicated- rather than the actual substance of Christianity.

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