End of the Month Links: June 2017

At least my TV loves me… right?

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

How Objective Beauty Fuels a Culture

Dr. Reynolds makes the case that this a proper belief in the existence of objective beauty fuels a culture and voluntary love will die as we lose our belief in objective beauty. [the whole lecture is at the end of the article as a video]

Excerpt: “When we believe in objectivity, we are free from the beholders…. If subjectivity is the only reality when it comes to beauty, and a girl goes to school and everyone says, “You’re fat and unattractive,” and she picks up magazine after magazine, and there’s not one woman of color in it, not one woman with her body shape, not one woman her mother’s age, then beauty being “in the eye of the beholder” is not liberating; it is the ultimate tyranny because the only reality is what those guys in high school say in judgment about you…. The reality becomes, ultimately, what a few people tell us…”

Love Needs an Education

Greg of Stand to Reason offers thoughts on what true, biblical love is versus the kind of love that simply makes people feel good.

 

Once upon a Time: The Enduring Appeal of Fairy Tales

The fairy tale is alive and strong in the world today. This is a very good thing and should give us hope. Stories are what Christ used to preach Truth, and stories teach us much more that mere propositions do.

Excerpt: “We respond so powerfully to fairy tales, Tolkien says, precisely because they resonate with truth at a level much deeper than we realize: “The Gospels contain a fairystory, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairystories.” Here is what C. S. Lewis called “myth made fact”: as Tolkien puts it, “This story has entered History and the primary world….The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. […] When we respond imaginatively to the happy ending of a fairy tale, we are, possibly without even realizing it, responding to the gospel, which has the same joy as that evoked in a fairy tale: “But,” Tolkien tells us, “this story is supreme; and it is true.” The happy ending of the fairy tale gives us, as Tolkien shows us, a foretaste of the Good News. For we are all Cinderella: the gospel is the story of the Prince who rescues us from the ashes and brings us to his wedding feast.”

7 Reasons Why the Medieval Sensibility Tends to Be More Biblically Grounded Than the Modern Aesthetic

Worldview matters, and the Aesthetics have been under attack from since the separation of Truth, Beauty, and the Just from it.

Excerpt: “As the Enlightenment progressed, education moved farther away from teaching the Liberal Arts (Trivium and Quadrivium). This change in emphasis skewed perspectives, ideologies, theology, culture, and the arts into new directions and trajectories that continue to inform how society thinks. In addition, the change in aesthetics from the medieval period to a modern sensibility reflects broader changes in how we view the cosmos and what we think about divine order..”

Children of the ‘80s Never Fear: Video Games Did Not Ruin Your Life

Some good news! and if this is true then the fear mongering of other things do not mean the end of the world.

Excerpt: “There is a particularly American tradition of becoming enthralled with new technologies of communication, identifying their promise of future prosperity and renewed community. It is matched by a related American tradition of freaking out about the same objects, which are also figured as threats to life as we know it”?

Changeover

Beware where we place our heart, we could love for the wrong reasons with consequences.

#LoveWins

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This Essay first appeared on August 2015 on https://apologers.wordpress.com/

 

Recently an unprecedented event happened, the ruling court of the land made a recent ruling as it comes to marriage. Now, there are others more qualified than me to address this in both the philosophical perspective and the law perspective (see [1] [2] in the endnotes), but to me, the most interesting thing about the whole Supreme Court Ruling is the narrative that followed. I do not mean a narrative in a negative way but only in the way that a worldview has revealed itself and come into the open. This worldview is succinctly summed up in the twitter hashtag #LoveWins. Now given the timing of this hashtag, I can assume that the message being given here is that the love between two people (of whatever context) is now acceptable and that love conquers all – like it does in all the movies and stories we like as a culture. (more…)

All You Need is ‘LUB’! No, We Need True Love

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C.S. Lewis once stated that anything taken to the level of God become a demon. What he meant by this is that even a virtue can become a deadly vice if it becomes a idol. In the past decade there has been one virtue that culturally has become Godlike in its worship. The culture calls this emotion ‘love’ but because this new vice is not really what love it we for the sake of argument and this article call it ‘Lub’. This concept of Lub vs. love has been addressed before here already and will be addressed again in the future, but let’s dig deeper for right now. What is Love and how it that different from ‘Lub’?  (more…)

Repost – Dare to be Dull

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People protesting the most recent democratic election

The time has come for a modest proposal. Everyone everywhere is told to have a ’cause’ or something they must rail against or for. At the same time we are also told to keep out religious views private. While this is contrary viewpoints, it is not to the world – who does not see that everyone has worldviews, some of which are based in reality. What is this modest proposal that can change the world: Enjoy the gift of appearing dull and enjoy the pleasure of being ‘bored’. (more…)

End of the Month Links: May

Silly TV, thinking is for other people

Here are 6 of one or half-dozen of another posts I have found around the web (or are sent to me) that I have found interesting, funny, insightful, or thoughtful:

The Hottest Thing at Church Is Not Your Pastor or Worship Leader

This is good news! Despite a new wave of buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.

Excerpt: “The Gallup survey found that people in the pews care far more about what’s being preached than who’s preaching it. Only half of Protestants (53%) and Americans overall (54%) said they attend because of “dynamic religious leaders who are interesting and inspiring.” Even so-called seeker sensitive churches have discovered that theological depth appeals to lapsed Christians and non-believers. Last year, Ed Stetzer cited several examples of congregations (such as Oklahoma megachurch Life.Church) that shifted toward more rigorous teaching once they noticed interest from the unchurched: “In other words, those for whom sermons were being dumbed down aren’t dumb. They are interested in the truth or else they’d be out golfing.””

Beware of Broken Wolves

Being authentic may be a very dangerous disguise for heresy.

Excerpt: “These are the false teachers who use their own authenticity, pain, and brokenness to attract believers who are also suffering and broken—and then using their “brokenness” to lead the sheep to turn away from God’s Word and embrace sin. They blend into the flock because Christians are not—and should not be—suspicious of broken people. They appear “in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves”

Ten Questions Christians Should Ask of Their Entertainment

I am so very tired of answering people’s questions on why X is bad for they to play or watch. As if discernment has a large burden of proof. Instead follow the advice of this article to ask is X good.

Excerpt: “Discerning media consumption needs more than a litmus test of saying we shouldn’t watch excessive violence and sexuality (which is true). We need to understand the complex and often subtle effects of media on our lives.

Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians

Just what do those people who say they are Christian (but who the majority do not attend church or have a Christian worldview) actually believe? Looks like a whole bunch of junk.

Excerpt: “In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, Christians are more aware of (and influenced by) disparate views than ever. But just how much have other worldviews crept into Christians’ perspectives? Barna’s research shows that only 17 percent of Christians who consider their faith important and attend church regularly actually have a biblical worldview1. So, if Christians are open to nonbiblical perspectives, what are they believing?

The Outraged Are Always Right

As Christians we need to avoid living in our own private bubble echo chamber. Don’t just be outranged to get attention like the world does. Instead be as Jesus said “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”

Excerpt: “Polarization has become weaponized. Nobody wants to hear from people they disagree with. If I don’t like your Facebook posts, I’ll unfriend you. If I don’t like your column, I’ll boycott the paper until they fire you. I want to hear from good people who think and talk and live like me. That’s polarization. And polarization meets weaponization because many in our culture are willing to use whatever they have, whatever they can leverage, to make this polarization work for them–whether money, friends, jobs, hobbies, even sports. There are lots and lots of folks willing to blow up their lives to make sure there’s no presence of the people and ideas they hate.”

Afternoon Class

I’ve been there, yikes!

Repost – Apologetics and Green Eggs and Ham

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I constantly argue that the main opponent against Christianity is not militant atheists (even though they are the loudest) but those who do not care. How do we get those people to care – we put a stone it their shoe as Stand to Reason would put it. In order to do that we need to be alert for a thoughtful conversation/question, to keep asking, and using different approaches – much like the hero in Dr. Seuss’s classic Green Eggs and Ham. To remind us of that strategy below is a parody of that story: (more…)