Posts Tagged With: interpreting the world

How Should we then Live? part 10: Final Choices

When this was filmed and released, it was 1977. As you watch this most important episode, think about how accurate Dr. Schaeffer was in his predictions about the future. Perhaps you may also find something he says to have been inaccurate–watch for that too, but all in all, I recommend you listen very carefully, receive the interpretation of the world which he gives, and allow your mind and heart to be shaped by the same Spirit who moved in Dr. Schaeffer. I believe if any of you have the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to blithely dismiss this dire warning, or for that matter, dismiss the hope which is held out towards the end of the episode.

I would call your attention to a very interesting detail in this video: out of the 10 episodes, it is the only one in which Dr. Schaeffer cracks a smile. Watch for it, and notice what it is that brings this smile to his face. We ought to be grateful for God’s grace given to this brother, and for his work in worldview, philosophy, and ethics. I have benefited greatly in studying his work– and this blog is in part a product of men like Dr. Schaeffer’s passion in this world.


Grace and peace in Jesus Christ!

Thanks for watching,


Previous episodes posted:

Roman Age 1

Middle Ages 2

Renaissance 3

Reformation 4

Revolutionary5, Scientific 6, Age of Non-Reason 7, Fragmentation 8, Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 9


Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

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.



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.


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

King Christ and The Lizard King – Interpreting the Artistic Power of The Doors pt2

After my first post about The Doors, I received some interesting feedback from an intelligent, well-educated Christian who said she would not have “wasted the ink” writing about Jim Morrison in light of his wickedness. This was no hipster kiddie shooting off her mouth – this lady was there in the late 60’s and followed The Doors in person. I respect her feelings and viewpoint, yet I wonder if as Christians we were to avoid mention or interpretation of people based on their lifestyles, how would we ever speak biblical truth into a lost and dying world? We must speak with clarity and conviction about sin, never making peace with the world, but we also must address the culture in a way that glorifies Christ as King and Sovereign… and how shall we do that if we do not understand and interpret what the culture is doing?

Jim Morrison and The Doors are a key icon of the cultural revolution in the west which has taken place over the past 50+ years. The allure of their artistic power captured the world from 1967-1971, but has also captured millions and millions of young people in each generation since then. Because I love Jesus more than anything, and because He commands me to make disciples of all the nations, I therefore live to make Him known – and in the world of the arts, Jesus is unfortunately quite unknown, not-praised, not-loved and cherished and obeyed and adored as He should be. Think of the irony and craziness! The KING of the universe, the great and greatest artist of them all, and the western world has largely dismissed Him as irrelevant, even a nuisance who gets in the way of true artistic freedom. Christians, hear me – we must be able to interpret the arts and speak biblical truth into this lost community of our neighbors.

Face to Face with Hijacked Beauty

How do we articulate the interpretation of ungodly beauty – or is any beauty ungodly?

We cannot tell people that there is no talent or lovliness in the works of The Doors, (or, for that matter, Jackson Pollack, Led Zepplin, or 1,000 other artists who didn’t love Christ): that would be absurd and would belie the God-given beauty detectors with which we were all born.

People who know and appreciate art and who know good music will laugh us off if we do not have a coherent, biblical answer to these questions. If we believe that the Bible is the best lens through which to interpret our cosmos, then we should fearlessly acknowledge the beauties in the arts.

Yet the question remains for me: if a work of art was not meant to glorify God (in the mind and heart of the artist), is it then forbidden to Christians? The Bible does not give us a clear prescriptive ideal in how to walk this out – we are instead bound by biblical principals of wisdom, love, holiness, etc.

Christ is King, and none other

In the final analysis of the matter, there are far too many people who go beyond recognizing the talents of the Lizard King and place a dead poet in the place of Christ Jesus. Jim Morrison contributed very little to the building up of western civilization, and did much to tear it down in his youthful ignorance. If he died without trusting Christ Jesus, which sadly is most likely the case, then his art will be swallowed up in judgment – and even old Jim will bow to Jesus on that final Day, confessing that all beauty is Copyright Jesus Christ, circa eternity.

For Christians, we acknowledge truly alluring beauties despite their fountain. We also glory in the ultimate reality that all good and all art is breathed into life by that First Mover and Cause, the Lord and King of the Cosmos, Jesus…

So if your conscience allows, go and listen to “Indian Summer”* by The Doors, and give thanks to God who graces even dark people with bright beauties.

Thanks for reading,


*My wife and I danced to this song at our wedding

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

Reading the Cosmos to Read the Bible to Read the Cosmos to Know Truth to Know God to Know Self

Let's begin at the beginning...

I want to be a good reader – don’t you? How does one learn to read? That depends on what it is we are reading. If you are learning to read words, you first figure out how to sound out the letters and then whole words, sentences and off you go, you’re a reader… but you’re not really reading until you understand what is being said.

We are bound to look for meaning in all we read and observe. Why do you think we see ponies, castles, and witches faces in the clouds as we lie on the soft summer grass? That brings me to the other type of reading. We learn to read the world. Hence, the interpretation of the cosmos. The object of my writing this for you is to awaken in us both a wonder and excitement to understand the world. Yet if we step back a little more, we have to ask why – why are we drawn to read the world? The answer is that we were made to do so. The Creator of the world has hard-wired us to wonder and search and seek for answers to where we came from and why we are here.

aaand begin here too...

The point of that wiring is to bring us to Him. Anyone in their right mind will conclude that there is God and that He is good. This is where we need to read the Word. We cannot read the world without reading the Word of God, yet we cannot read the Word without understanding the world and its literature – most importantly the Bible.

I admit I am riding the literary coattails of someone I consider to be a genius author and thinker, Pastor Douglas Wilson, who would readily admit he is riding the coattails of the many who thunk our thoughts before we were born.

Here is the post from which I am borrowing heavily for this post of mine. You will be entirely edified by reading it – Pastor Douglas Wilson, Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho is giving a book review about Mark Driscoll’s new marriage book “Real Marriage,” but the content is so rich and applicable for the life of our minds… you just gotta read it. And then maybe you’ll read the world with a bit more literacy.

I’ll leave it at this for now: Let’s be excited to know we can find eternally significant reality in Reading the Cosmos to Read the Bible to Read the Cosmos to Know Truth to Know God and Self.

I’m really thankful to know how to read. Are you?

Thanks for reading,

-Justin (looking into the clouds)

Reading God's world and Word = fullness of knowledge

Categories: Foundations of ItC blog, Meaning Woven into Nature, The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Blog at