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Archive for the ‘christian culture’ Category

Man Walking Deserted HIghway in Utah
Some word on Christian and politics.  Most Christians have the intuition that when it comes to political views we shouldn’t choose a position or support someone that’s extreme for extremists sake but I think we also should not be moderate for moderate sake alone either; sometimes moderates mean those who continually compromise on good principles so as to look middle of the road.  More harmful policies has been caused by so called “moderate policies.”  Picking a position merely because it’s in the middle of everything isn’t wise in other instances of life as the pictures demonstrate above so why do we do it when it comes to politics?  We must also not forget that there is a leftward drift in our society and really things that are “moderate” today was what was liberal yesterday.  Again I’m not advocating to be an extremists for the sake of being extreme:  I think we should look for those who have sound economic, national and foreign policies and debate the merit of those policies rather than irrelevant attacks and personal attacks that occur too much today for cheap media sound bites.  Ultimately for the Christian we must ask the question of what is Biblical.

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Francis-Schaeffer the man

Seems like there has been some new materials from Francis Schaeffer being uploaded on Youtube!

Francis Schaeffer has written a book called “A Christian Manifesto.”  Sadly I read it years ago and don’t remember much of it anymore.  Schaeffer has gone on a speaking tour under the same name and this particular talk was filmed at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (Formerly where D. James Kennedy preached at) in 1982.

Enjoy!

Thanks to Francis Schaeffer Studies for the head’s up!

 

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Purchase: Amazon

This is a good work on the biblical use of satire. As always, the author Doug Wilson delivers with wit, wisdom and humor along the way. As it is indicated throughout the book, this work was prompted as a defense against some who charge Doug Wilson and the contributors of Credenda/Agenda with sinning in their use of satire. The book begins by first defining satire, notably it’s four necessarily components (object of attack, vehicle, tone and norm) and making the distinction between Horatian and Juvenalian satire by it’s tone, the former being more subtle and the latter being more biting. Since those who use satire is often attacked as arrogant, this is the subject of Wilson’s second chapter in which he notes the two different standards the world and the Bible has in measuring humility and arrogance. One sees humility as focusing on self, while the other preaches Christ; one sees arrogance as believing you have the truth while the other see arrogance as an attack on God. This is followed by a biblical survey of the use of satire by Jesus, the Old Testament prophets and the Apostle Paul. After this survey, Wilson explores some of the reason why satire is needed and answer some anticipated objections. I thought his explanation of the reasons why American Evangelicalism is an appropriate target of satire when they are unbiblical is worth pondering carefully over. Towards the end of the book Wilson also add some caveat that satire ought to be used carefully and only during certain situations in particularly towards false spiritual leaders and fools. He also mentioned (which I’m glad he did say) that those who love to practice satire on their loved ones ought not to be encouraged to practice this and that such a person is being unbiblical. Overall a good book I recommend, and it should make Christians aware of not assuming Victorian prudish expectations to be the same thing as Christian ethics. I’ve highlighted and written all over my copy of this book as I was reading it–especially the principles given and the witty remarks and illustration. They get my mind fired up to adapt, discover and invent more witty sayings and illustration to make the point more forcibly for use in the pulpit and during evangelism and apologetics.

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I’ve enjoyed this book, it was a fun and informative read. Filled with practical advice for writers (maybe I think they are great because I’ve read very little on writing). I’ve enjoyed Doug Wilson’s other works so I had high hopes with this book to reveal the working of a great writer. Wilson had seven points in the book, which he then breaks down into seven smaller points in a format that he describes as “Seven Russian Dolls.” If you find that clever as I did, you would enjoy other witty sayings Wilson has throughout the book. Practical and helpful advice can also be gleamed throughout the book. I like his advice for writers to be readers, and to read widely. I’ve also enjoyed his encouragement for writers to have a book to take notes of what one reads, or witty phrases one might have thought of, so as to use it for it later. Another source of encouragement for me came from the robust theology that a Christian writer would enjoy from theology proper: Don’t feel that you would run out of good and better things to share if you do not hold back but give it your all: Our good God is infinite and is able to provide even more abundantly. I was very convicted about learning grammar for that has always been a major problem in all that I write. The reason why it was convicting was because communication is an act of love, and Wilson has a good point that we ought to be as clear as possible. Wilson is a masterful communicator and certainly readers will learn something about the art of writing. Even as I was reading this work, as a preacher a lot of what he says is helpful for speaking as well.  For the Christian apologist, this book might be helpful in being more conscious of making the deep contents of theology and apologetics more clear for those whom we serve.

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Kinism seems to be a big thing among some quarters of Reformed Theonomists or former Theonomists.  Kinism believes that marriage between different “race” is an unbiblical practice.

Brian Schwertley of Westminster Presbyterian Church located at Waupaca County, Wisconsin has done a four part series on this topic refuting Kinism.  Each audio is about an hour long.

Here are the audios:

PART I

PART II

PART III

PART IV

Thanks to Defective Bit over at Choosing Hats for the information.

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Purchase: Amazon

It is my opinion that practical application of apologetics in our contemporary setting would benefit from the use of illustrations and narratives alongside sharp analysis and reasoning, and that those on the fore-front of modeling this should be Presuppositionalists.  If the consistent presuppositionalists were to have Scriptures dictate one’s apologetic methodology (among other things that gives Presuppositionalism it’s distinctive) and how to do apologetics practically, Jesus’ use of narratives in His apologetic is a compelling example for Christians to do so as well (this point is made in one of the chapters in my ThM. thesis).  Furthermore, the worldview conscious apologist  would understand that the different components that make up a worldview is often tied together in the form of an overarching story, or a meta-narrative.  Here is where Robert E. Webber’s book, Who Gets to Narrate the World, is important, in which the author discusses the issue of contending for the Christian story in an age of rivals.  I believe one gets the most out of this book if they were to operate from the vantage point of Presuppositional apologetics as advocated by Cornelius Van Til (and Greg Bahnsen and John Frame).  At times throughout the book I felt there was a presuppositionalist’s flavor.  However, the book does not make any acknowledgement of Van Til.  Webber does mention a “presuppositionalist” of sort, the famous Francis Schaeffer, seventy three pages into the book, in which the author revealed how Schaeffer has influenced the author’s intellectual thought life, particularly with intellectual history and being conscious of “paradigms” (worldviews).  In seven chapters, Webber was able to summarize the Christian narrative,  examine historically how the Christian meta-narrative was able to emerge in a pagan Roman world to such an extent as even influencing the foundation of the Western world, how that narrative was lost in the West, and the need to narrate the Christian story in today’s post-Christian world.  I’ve enjoyed the summary of the intellectual history of the West found in this work.  The author had an interesting way of understanding humanists and rationalists that I found particularly helpful, deeming them as artists and scientists respectfully, and seeing humanists as dreamers and rationalists as those who saw the fulfillment of humanist’s dreams (79).  Of course, the realization of those dreams were not beautifully historically.  The author does a good job discussing how the early centuries of Christianity is much like our post-Christian era, a point that should make Christians have hope and confidence in God’s power to share the Christian narrative and live out the implications of that narrative before an unbelieving world.  In his analysis, Webber sees the threat today as coming from Christians accommodating the Christian story to the contemporary culture, and the current secularism which has sunken to a quagmire of relativism, consumerism, materialism and decadence.  On the other hand, there is the looming threat of Radical Islam with their tryannical absolutes.  The issue of Radical Islam is a big theme from beginning to end in the book, as he sees that Secular Humanism’s story is self-imploding while radical Islam’s absolutes would seem to be a serious competitor in narrating our world (one that would be oppressive).  This work is one that Europe should seriously read and consider.  The solution for the author is not political nor military, but for Christians to share the Christian narrative.  Webber does not stress so much of doing apologetics in the traditional sense of laying down evidences, proving God’s existence, etc., but find the importance of Christian narrative itself as an apologetic.  Readers might want to read pages 86-87 carefully, and he sounds very much like a Presuppositionalist here.  Despite the glowing review here I have of this work, there are some things Evangelical readers would be cautious about with what he has to say.  Webber is a lot more liturgical than the average Evangelical.  He’s also more ecumenical.  On page 117, we do see that he’s willing to see Roman Catholics as part of a different tradition but still within the fold enough “that we come together.”  On page 119 of the same book, the point was made again.  In closing this review, I still appreciate what Webber has to say in this book.  If I am correct, this book was the last work that the author published–shortly after it’s publication, he passed away after battling cancer.  It seems that his message in this work was serious enough for him that he broke away from writing in his usual area of historical theology of worship, which is what he’s known for.  I wonder if history will reveal that this book will be the work that will be his lasting legacy.

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Since this is election year, I thought this free short Kindle book for a limited time by Wayne Grudem might be a good work for readers to know about.

You can download it by clicking HERE.

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