Blasted post-modern liberal education

End of the Month Links: July 2017

What I would give for sometime not Game of Thrones?

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:

Tolkien, Lewis, Disney? The Greatest Pre-Evangelists of Our Age

The stories that are told set the ground for worldview seeding.

Excerpt: “For all of the weariness we certainly feel from the worldly admixtures that fill these sorts of tales, where our efforts or our supposed innate goodness solves the problems of an imbalanced world—and the Disney franchises certainly are chief among these offenders—I was reminded that their breathtaking reach is a kind of pre-evangelism that we must mine for the sake of the Kingdom”

Entertainment and Worship

A warning not to be swayed by entertainment focused worship as those are an oxymoron of terms.

Excerpt: “One of the more dangerous drifts happening in our local churches today is within our corporate worship. In many churches there is a de-emphasis on the means of grace (Scripture, prayer, and the sacraments or ordinances), and a reliance on entertainment. Some try to balance the two in the name of reaching more people with the gospel, but there is an inescapable danger in overvaluing entertainment and implementing it in corporate worship.”

Students Love Answers More Than the Church Loves Answers

Speaking of entertainment, the youth at church hunger for answers and not mere experience. This is great news!

Excerpt: “Many of my youth pastor colleagues thought I was crazy to make “apologetics” the sole focus of my weekend meetings, but the students we prepared in this way were ready for life in the “real world”. I discovered something important: Students want the truth. Don’t let the pundits or cultural observers fool you into thinking students are more concerned about experience, entertainment or storytelling. Students want answers. In fact, I think young people want answers more than the Church knows or understands.

What Is a Worldview?

A good overview of what a Worldview is. This is a good basic primer on what every Christian needs to know as they confront the world.

Excerpt: “A person’s worldview represents his most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe he inhabits. It reflects how he would answer all the “big questions” of human existence: fundamental questions about who and what we are, where we came from, why we’re here, where (if anywhere) we’re headed, the meaning and purpose of life, the nature of the afterlife, and what counts as a good life here and now. Few people think through these issues in any depth, and fewer still have firm answers to such questions, but a person’s worldview will at least incline him toward certain kinds of answers and away from others.

Make Time To Be Bored

I wrote about this same idea here, but rest is one of those things that we see as a vice not a virtue.

Excerpt: “When we were children and teenagers, boredom seemed like a bad thing, because idle hands are the devil’s workshop, right? But boredom should not be confused with idleness. Idleness is laziness and indolence. It is refusing to do what needs to be done. But boredom is simple inactivity, a break from the hustle and bustle and busyness of life. Boredom is the pause between activities or the deliberate escape from activity altogether.”?

Top 10 Failed Doomsday Predictions

The end of the world is always being predicted, but we need to be careful as Christians to stop ending up with these false predictions. I have written about this before and we ought to learn our lesson and not be crazy as the world is with these.

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.

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!

End of the Month Links: April

Pass the Popcorn!

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:

Episode 034: The Ethics of Modern Board and Card Games

A very interesting podcast episode from The Christian Research Institute about Board Games

For more reading (that I have written/posted on) check out these posts: Are There Good Christian Board Games? and Hidden Role Board Games and False Teachers

4 Ways Satan Uses Christian Generosity for Evil

When we are generous we need to be very careful that we are doing good and not harm.

Excerpt: “Whether it’s small-town churches scrapping funds together through bake sales and car washes for a short-term mission trip, or large foundations funding building projects around the world, Christians want to see their money used for good. Yet too often their donations have an unintended effect.”

The Particular Temptations of Young Men

Guarding the hearts and minds of Young Men is critical to the church. There is pressure on them from all sides to perform; “Even Jesus had no accomplishments—at least none that history has recorded—until he was in his thirties.”

Excerpt: “Young men have it tough. In so many ways, this world seems to have been custom-crafted to take advantage of their weaknesses, their flaws, their immaturities. Solomon lamented this in his day, telling of the seductresses and prostitutes who laid in wait for young men. He told as well of the immaturity and ungodliness of young men that made them especially prone to sadly blunder or joyfully sprint into the traps and snares laid for them. Today he might write about ever-present amusements, the proliferation of porn, the rise of sexting, the sense of meaninglessness that so often pervades the minds and spirits of young men.”

Why our churches need more gray hair

On the other side of the age spectrum, we need more mature men in the church.

Excerpt: “Churches desperately need their older men to exemplify being sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Churches need an army of laymen who believe well, love well, and suffer well. And churches need them because these older men are the pace-setters for the rest of the church.”

Canada is harvesting the organs of euthanasia patients

Speaking of Older people, the day of the horror in ‘Logan’s Run’ is quickly approaching.

Excerpt: “In Ontario, the first province to report data, 26 people who died by lethal injection decided to donate tissue or organs since the Medical Aid in Dying Act (MAID) came into effect last June, according to the National Post. A total of 388 people have chosen to die by lethal injection in Ontario, over half of the 744 total Canadians who have been euthanized. Proponents of linking organ harvesting to euthanasia point to the shortage of organ transplants readily available and the lower cost associated with euthanasia than with end-of-life care.

Hyper Jump

Ever can’t think of a thing to say… this is worse.

End of the Month Links: March

Still politics! The election ended months ago

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:

What Tolkien Did So Well, What We Do So Poorly

When we neglect the past we do the opposite of the nobility Tolkien showed us.

Excerpt: “The characters in The Lord of the Rings know they are set within a wider drama that began ages prior and will continue ages hence. They are determined to act in ways that honor their forebears and leave a worthy example for their descendants. Their valor is motivated by their understanding that history has called them to this time, this place, and this set of circumstances. Their nobility is inseparable from their history. They speak and live as if every word of the mouth and every tap of the hammer will honor or dishonor those who have gone before and shame or bless those who will follow.

Is America’s Cult of Death and Free Sex on the Verge of Dying?

A good analysis of how science and truth are slowly wiping away any arguments left in the pocket of those who advocate cheap sex with no consequences.

Excerpt: “This is why the clerics of the cult are panicked, outraged, afraid. They dread seeing their god exposed to the harsh light of reality, its draperies of soothing rhetoric flung back to reveal a glaring, decaying creature of death. If the Supreme Court corrects, even partially, Roe v. Wade, access to abortion will become much less easy. That will require, at least among many younger men and women, greater sexual restraint. As they consider the consequences of their one-night mutual objectifications — babies — they will become not just more careful but more judicious in their conduct.

Christian Storytelling Should Be Both True and Beautiful

The Movie ‘The Shack’ came out recently. This older article is good because it reminds us that Christian storytelling ought to be true and not just emotional ear tickles. When we make true stories they also need to be beautiful.

Excerpt: “Art is indeed a powerful vehicle for expressing truth, but as Brian explains in the interview, when we use story merely as a tool to communicate a message, neglecting the beauty of the craft, we tend to end up with preachy propaganda.”

Sex, Lies, and Secularism

Just saying no does not work unless we teach a Christian worldview that gives reason for saying no.

Excerpt: “When even Christian young people are buying into the hookup culture, it’s clear that traditional ways of teaching biblical morality are no longer effective. “Just say no” is not enough. Young people don’t need simple rules; they need reasons to make sense of the rules. Which is to say, they need to be taught the worldview rationale for biblical morality. Otherwise it is possible for Christian young people to be sincere in their faith, yet thoroughly secular in their thoughts—and, consequently, in their behavior.”

Farewell, Jesus Junk? Christian Retail Finds a Deeper Purpose

I have mixed emotions about the closing of Family Christian Stores, but will not miss the inability to get the books I like while clambering over mints, toys, and Joel Osteen books.

Excerpt: “When America’s biggest Christian chain, Family Christian Stores, announced last month that it would be shutting its doors, a small number of Christian bookstore cynics brought up similar critiques over the shallower content its stores promoted alongside Bibles and Christian classics. The speculated silver lining: Did Family Christian’s closure mean consumers were turning away from the celebrity books, inspirational titles, and “Jesus junk”?

Lego Tape!

Repost – In Pursuit of Boredom

japan-train-phone

An interesting piece of research came across my attention the other day. It was research done studying when people are board by monitoring smart phone usage: http://pielot.org/pubs/Pielot2015-UbiComp-Boredom-Detection.pdf.

Here is an except from the introduction: (more…)

End of the Month Links: February

No matter what I watch, it is the same 3 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:

Why Our Storytelling Nature Provides Evidence for God

The theistic worldview as the best explanation for the stories we feel compelled to tell.

Excerpt: “The theistic worldview seems to provide a much more robust answer: the reason we are so committed to stories is because we live in a meaningful world, we are made in the image of a personal God, and we are part of a larger story written by the Author of life. The story of our individual lives matters because we are part of a grander, meaningful story.”

Myth and the Universal Longing

Why the commonalities between mythic stories does not invalidate the gospel message.

Excerpt: “This eternal human longing, unspecified down the long ages, was nevertheless expressed in a multitude of legends, myths, stories, poems, and parables as people poured out their longings to one another, all the time longing that one day in some way one would come who would gather up all the great stories and make them come true once and for all..”

Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

Feeling pious or following an emotional spiritual feeling is not the way to please God, in fact those can be idols taking us away from God.

Excerpt: “Spirituality and piety are not ends in themselves. In fact they are worthless unless they are means to a higher goal. The goal must go beyond spirituality to righteousness.

Why It’s So Hard to Resist Grieving on Social Media

There are always tragic events that happen in the world, why then do we feel that online solidarity helps those through the tragedy?

Excerpt: “More and more, we are looking to our screens for answers. Some say such convenience, such easy access to information and to people, deceives us into thinking that we can be part of the solution without lifting a finger. And while I do believe Americans in particular could use more political activism and involvement in real life, the lure of social media activism isn’t going away. Facebook and Twitter continue to entice us because they allow us to “tell it like it is” in real time. They feed our emotional hunger in an instant way that in-person outlets cannot..”

A Giant has Fallen — The Death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the Future of Constitutional Government

It is a sad day when the passing of any person happens and people rejoice over it. We need to mourn the passing and understand the legacy of what they left.

Excerpt: “Christians must also remember that Justice Scalia’s understanding of the proper reading of the Constitution as a text is directly relevant to the church’s proper reading of Scripture. The same liberal theorists who propose reading the Constitution as a “living” and “evolving” text also propose that the Bible be liberated from its actual text and from the intention of its authors. Ultimately, this approach to the Bible, common to theological liberalism, denies the authority of God as the ultimate author of the Scriptures. It is no accident that liberal theology and liberal theories of the constitution emerged together in American public life.”

Abortion Group Calls Doritos Ad Offensive

There were many Super bowl commercials that dealt with babies; from the chimera of puppy-monkey-baby, the Super bowl choir, and the Dorito ad. The later of which was criticized of “humanizing the fetus” which shows the way the pro-life cause can succeed.