Monthly Archives: August 2012

How Should we then Live? parts 5-9: Revolutionary Age through the Age of Personal Peace and Affluence

The Revolutionary Age. The Enlightenment had consequences:

The Scientific Age. A giant leap forward, but can sinful man handle this kind of power?

The Age of Non-reason. Modern man goes crazy with his own perceived greatness. A leap into the dark.

The Age of Fragmentation. Falling apart, culture going schizophrenic.

The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence. Leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone… even if you’re dying.

Previous videos

Part 1 The Roman Age

Part 2 Middle Ages

Part 3 The Renaissance

Part 4 The Reformation

If you haven’t watched any of these videos yet, you are truly missing out on a simple, clear, and powerful lesson in where we’ve come from and where we are going. Happy interpreting.
-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Should we then Live? part 4: The Reformation

Happy Interpreting–the Protestant Reformation by Francis Schaeffer.

Parts 1 here, 2 here, and 3 here.

 

-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

How Should we then Live? part 3: The Renaissance

Dr. Francis Schaeffer continues to guide us through the past in order to interpret the present and future of western civilization. Let’s take a walk through some of the highlights of the Renaissance to see if we can learn anything useful for our present day lives. I guarantee we can, if you’ll listen.

The other videos I’ve posted are available here:

Part 1: The Roman Age

Part 2: The Middle Ages

And today’s videos:

Part 1/2

 

Part 2/2

 

-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

How Should we then Live part 2: The Middle Ages

The supreme 20th century Interpreter of the cosmos, Dr. Schaeffer draws together a brief overview of western civilization to illustrate the leap from reason to non-reason, civilization to chaos, and faith to despair. Still absolutely relevant, over 35 years later.

Part 1, “The Roman Age” can be seen here.

Part 2: “The Middle Ages” highlights the departure of Christianity from organic, biblical roots and practice into institutionalized, political Christendom, as well as the general improvement of western life throughout medieval times.

-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Francis Schaeffer Video: How Should we then Live? part 1: The Roman Age

Dr. Francis Schaeffer (30 January 1912 – 15 May 1984) was a man of profound insight. He was the Interpreter of the Cosmos for the 20th century. He is an inspiration to me in my dim echo of his work as I attempt to interpret this world and universe. Please make yourself comfortable, get yourself a snack and a drink, and watch part 1, The Roman Age, of his still-relevant documentary “How Should we then Live?” I’ll be posting the rest of the series in the coming days.

No, really, watch it. Many blessings to you all in Christ Jesus.

-Justin

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

The World’s Most Famous Man Revealed!

Middle East: Almost beyond imagination, archaeologists have found reliable, verified, historically significant documents which were written by the very men who knew the world’s most famous man personally. He lived on earth almost 2,000 years ago, but yet the expansive library of ancient texts which together attest to the direct words of this man show us today that his words are unparalleled in importance among all other words ever written.

His words are unmatched in authority, majesty, and promise. To make things even more mind-blowing, archaeologists have also found even older texts from the centuries before he was ever born, showing hundreds of predictions about his nature, his birth, his life, his death, and even his resurrection from the dead. Statisticians estimate that the odds of one person being able to fulfill all of these predictions is approximately null… impossible, astronomical.1

In other words, the claims and realities surrounding this man’s being are impossible to ignore, refute, or overturn. All signs seem to point to the unavoidable conclusion: God became a Man and lived among us.

There’s only one issue left to tackle: people will do anything to avoid this conclusion. Are you avoiding it?

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (NASB).

————————————————————

1. Les Krantz, What the Odds Are (HarperPerennial, 1992).

Categories: The Message of the Bible, The Nature of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Said in One Breath: Hunger Games is Us

We are the Capitol people, we are the brightly decorated Romans, we are the euphoric bloodlusters… we love to see each other punished. What a shame.

 

Categories: One Breath, The Arts, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cosmic Cousin Mars

Curiosity captures its own shadow on Mars

 

With the recent successful landing of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, we earthlings have been treated to a new tasting of photos from the red planet, and they have been SOCOOL. Have you seen the 360° panorama here? Fantastic.

Driven to Explore and Discover

The Creator of the cosmos made it to be irresistible. We could no more stay out of the stars than a four year-old could stay out of finger paints and a 50’x50′ sheet of crisp white paper. Star Trek, baby.

I made you a blog-ollage of wild Mars photos. Look long, look with a child’s eyes. Allow a sense of wonder to fill you like high tide cleansing the jagged rocks. Don’t be bored at first glance: stare a little. Think a little. Gasp a little. We live in the wonderverse. Most of these photos were taken from our Mars Reconaissance satellite.

Be grateful to be alive in 2012. Galileo is so jealous.

Oh, and don’t mind my attempt at a poetic response 🙂

—————————————————————————-

Indians’ faces and ebony seas…

and lacy white whispers

 

 

 

 

 

…while these seem like trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Little red cousin

 

 

 

what do you hide?

 

 

 

 

 

 

with volcanoes so large we could fit cities inside…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild dust dream

 

 

You blow our minds.

pausing to ponder each one of your lines…

 

 

 

 

pausing to ponder, each of your signs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Your icy blue canyons and unearthly snow…

 

 

 

 

and martian glaciers hold a lily white pose.

In winds unfamiliar we watch your dust blow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Shatner and Stewart could not truly go…

 

 

but little red Rover and Curiosity show

 

 

and spark in our scientists new wonder aglow,

 

 

 

to find out if life elsewhere could grow.

 

 

 

Yet one thing in all of your beauty is not…

 

of queries an answer which cannot be wrought.

 

The ruby dust oracle – cosmic intrigue

 

 

 

Yet finding the origin, out of our league…

 

 

 

Careful silence.

 

 

 

No clues but to speak,

 

Of glorious majesty which thought of your deeps…

Of greatness beyond yours by infinite leaps…

                                                             Of wonder-led creation

                                                                                                      Eternally breathed.

—————————————————————–

Thanks for staring,

-Justin

Categories: Meaning Woven into Nature | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Enough on Christian Hypocrisy

For three months I’ve blogged about Christian hypocrisy, with so much more that could be said. I had only planned on writing on this for about a month, but the lazy, long summer has had me blogging only intermittently. Some of the topics, like the one on the Prosperity Heresy, gained a good number of readers and traffic, while certain other posts got almost no traffic, leaving me thinking I might as well have written about the amazing process of screen door manufacturing.

But for now I’m going to move on from this topic. I can summarize most or all of these posts by a single thesis statement: Christian hypocrisy is present in our world for the most part because most people called Christians have never been born again; yet because of the private, personal nature of regeneration and the difficulty in discerning such from the outside, their actions unfortunately still reflect on Christ and His Church. (I’ll take a quick break while you read that over).

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

When the gospel is changed or lost Christianity is perverted into a false religion, no better than Buddhism, Oprahism, or Islam. While still retaining the appearance and credibility of the truth, false Christianities do more damage to the honor and glory of Christ Jesus than almost anything else.

Almost, I say, because as much as I hate to admit it, the truly born-again, Spirit-filled believers in this world are also a part of the stumbling block of Christian hypocrisy – if not the worst. Yet when we mess up and play the hypocrite, we have a golden opportunity to make much of Christ crucified for our sin, buried, and risen on the third day for our justification. Who can bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies!

We cannot stop the false Christians in our world from defaming Christ with their actions and words, but for us who are truly His, we can use our own hypocrisy as opportunity to lift Him up high as the bearer of our shame, the friend of sinners, the forgiver of imbecilic rebels like us. Let’s not lose an opportunity to make much of Jesus Christ, cosmic King. With much more to say, I rest…

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

 

Categories: Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Of NASCAR and Nukes: What of Islam?

Americans, broadly speaking as a culture, tip-toe like chubby Athenians at the Old Country Buffet of news and philosophy. We fill our plates with some CNN, a bit of Fox News, a spoonful of Rush Limbaugh, NPR, and for dessert whatever the latest rage is on The New York Times best-seller list. We’re airport news-stand learners.

The once great pillars of intellectual and theological depth in our colleges and churches have been traded for “if it feels good do it” – just ask the average Vanderbilt University senior some basic questions about their world, or the average evangelical to articulate a Christian worldview.

Sex with every other person on campus? Yes, please! Detailed statistics on every member of the Boston Red Sox for the past 58 years? Oh my, yes! Critical thought and a mature understanding of society and life? Well, I do read Time at the doctor’s office… whenever NASCAR isn’t on the TV in the corner.

This ought not to be so for Americans – a once educated and formidable people.

Yet this ought not to be so for Christians, especially. We are entertained to death, and frankly, we have little patience to wade in above our ankles when it comes to the difficult work of analyzing and understanding our world and the doctrine of Scripture. It’s all too confusing and crazy – who can keep up with it all? Let’s keep things light!

I like Budweiser!

The Bachelorette!

Obamney!

Facing Koranic, Radical Islam

What does this general unwillingness (or inability) to think critically look like when we examine the relationship between the average American and the bogey-man of radical Islam? Ugly. It’s not a simple challenge.

On the one hand the left wing types generally give radical Islam something of a pass. They are too busy today in their own jihad against Christianity in the West to worry about their kids being beheaded tomorrow.

On the other hand, the right wing types many times would deal with the problem through neo-colonial shock and awe. We see too often the broad-brushing of the Middle East as “the bad guys” so that we can then send our overpriced firepower “over there” to keep us safe “over here.” This is pure Bull-oney, blind pragmatism, and a failed foreign policy, empirically – not to mention at best quasi-constitutional.

Yet Christ’s people ought not to make sense to this secular left-right paradigm. We ought not to be either coddling Islam as if it were an equally valid expression of culture, nor should we be trying to make friends and influence people through deadly drone strikes at Afghani wedding parties.

The Military Church

So what are we doing in evangelicalism? I remember a year or two after we invaded Iraq again, my church brought in a member of the Israeli Mossad pretending to be a Christian convert from Judaism. He preached for an hour about Israel’s special right to be protected by the United States, and very much praised the military, our President, and us churchlings for our unquestioning support of all things war+Israel. After all, we know that God is on our side, right?

I was mortified, but not because of him. Him I could explain. It was the atmosphere of “us vs. them” in the church which made me sick. An atmosphere which mimics the right-wingers on talk radio which barely disguise their most patriotic desire to see the Middle-East dealt with by nuclear glass parking-lot creation.

Out with the Great Commission and up with the conquest of the Muslims! I’m surprised there wasn’t an Army recruiter in the lobby afterwards.

And isn’t this the atmosphere in conservative evangelical churches throughout the land? We salute the new-Christ made in the image of Uncle Sam, and turn to catch a few hours of Sports Center.

What of the wars, though? America has bombed, subverted, toppled, and destroyed Muslim countries for 70 years now – how’s that going for us?

Most of us have also heard the frantic reports of Islam taking over western Europe by sheer breeding capacity. The average Muslim family in western Europe has an average of over 6 children, while the natives top out at about 1.8. Within 40-50 years at this rate, Europe will be a brown, Muslim continent.

I say good. What’s the matter with that? God will make His Church in the beautiful brown and olive people of Europe and dispose of the spoiled, death-loving whites. And what about it? We’ve squandered our heritage as a Christian culture (speaking of the west in general), and we’re dying out accordingly.

Meanwhile today, Muslim countries are the least evangelized in the world. We would much rather send our teenagers on a short-term missions trip to the Bahamas than lose their lives for Christ in Karachi.

So let me see… we will send Americans to Muslim lands as long as they are authorized to kill them to keep us safe over here, but when it comes to missionaries who are authorized to be killed for the sake of the elect, we can’t get volunteers. Well, I shouldn’t say no volunteers. Those who study the numbers report about 1 evangelical missionary for every 1,000,000 Muslims in the world.

Hypocrisy.

And it stems from an ignorance of Scripture. An ignorance of the Author of the Scripture and what He demands. An ignorance of Church history and all that has happened in the cause of Christ. An ignorance of how the world works. A messed-up, self-esteem centered public education system. An unwillingness to interpret the cosmos according to the lens of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected for the salvation of Muslims who might cut your head off.

The Biblical Church

…obeying the Lord Jesus Christ for 1,980+ years.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NKJV)

…making every effort in prayer, in fasting, in sacrifice to bring the gospel to our Muslim neighbors, not settling for simplistic “us vs. them” tribal mentalities. Not settling for MSNBC and Fox as our source of worldview. Not settling for church gatherings which look entirely like ourselves – but instead loving some ethnic flavor in the mix.

Let’s be different. Let’s be biblical. Let’s step out of political Christendom and into Christianity. Let’s love those wild sons of Ishmael and give them Christ. Let’s refuse to be understood by the left-right politics in America. Let’s love like Christ.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Comparative Religions, Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.