18 August 2009

The Truth Project

I have recently begun a "bible study" series with a group from my church. I put 'bible study' in quotes as this isn't a traditional bible study. In fact, we haven't opened our bible yet. Worthless, some would say? I can hear them now.

But it isn't worthless. In fact, this material is the best new material I've seen the evangelical community produce since Francis Schaeffer's work in the 60s and 70s. No, it isn't exegetical bible study, but rather a look at worldviews and what is happening in (Western) culture with the influx of post-modernism. Schaeffer provided answers for modernity and prophesied (accurately) the influence on the faith that post-modernism would have. This new study, called the Truth Project, looks at the decay of culture as a result of post-modern influences, and the answers we need to be salt and light in this relativistic culture.

The progenitor and teacher (I almost called him a 'discussion leader'...evidence of the influence of the emergent folks, I suppose) is Dr. Del Tackett. I've not run across Dr. Tackett's work in the past, and that is unfortunate. He is a lucid lecturer with a fantastic ability to make complex philosophical ideas manageable by average laypersons. His ability to do this rivals that of great teachers like R. C. Sproul and John Piper. In fact, Dr. Sproul makes a number of cameo appearances in the Truth Project to explain important philosophical concepts. As Dr. Sproul is one of my heroes of the faith, this only raises the value of the series in my opinion.

There are some eighty thousand folks who have gone through or are going through the Truth Project, on every continent except Antarctica and almost every nation of the world. If a group is available in your area, DO NOT PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY to participate in this life-changing study. It will show you just how much post-modernism and emergent thought has influenced you (it has me, and I'm not in any way socially progressive); it will strengthen your concepts within the Christian worldview; and it will energize you afresh for the task before the church- to take the gospel to a fallen culture and world.

To steal a line from a beer commercial, "It doesn't get any better than this."

10 August 2009

Why the Dems are Surprised at the Uprising

This time, it matters

Democrats in congress and the White House seem to be taken a bit off guard by the recent volume and intensity of the protests around the country, particularly at the congressional town hall meetings on so-called health care reform. As a conservative watching the dismantling of the free market system, one might be surprised at their apparent niavity. Don't be.

Remember, this type of reaction didn't happen the last time they were in power. When Bill Clinton finally admitted that not having sexual relations included having sexual relations, conservatives were upset, annoyed, disgusted, angered, and quite a few other descriptors, but they didn't rise up in peaceful rebellion like today. Why not? Well, simply, Clinton's actions didn't rise to the level of an uprising. (Whether or not they rose to the level of an impeachable offense we'll leave open for now.)

The time before that, when Jimmy Carter was in office, we did see the American farmers join forces in desperation and march on Washington as the American Agriculture movement, but farmers make up less than 4% of the population, and are easily ignored by the media, so most left-wingers at the time either didn't hear about those events at all, or if they did, found them amusing at best. (Lost in the shuffle was all these farmers in DC with their tractors when one of the worst blizzards in years hit...and like the good folks they are, spent a good bit of their time pulling people out of ditches and snow banks without compensation instead of protesting.)

The time before that, when LBJ was in power, things were certainly ugly, but you have to remember that was over 40 years ago, and many of the current liberal beaurocrats were only children then, or not even born yet. And even those that were teens or young adults remember that time as a protest against conservative causes, even though the war was being run by an ultra-liberal president and a democrat congress.

So it really is no surprise that the grab for power in recent days has elicited a strong response from the conservative people who make up the folks that keep this country running and drive its economy. And its also not a surprise that the leftists in power can't understand this rejection on a new level, given the safe working environment they've had in this country for the past 30 years or so by a friendly media and entrenched liberal federal beaurocracy.

It remains to be seen if the people affected most by this power grab will sustain their protests long and hard enough to have a significant effect on their congress-people. But the next five weeks are going to be interesting.

06 August 2009

The Pelagian Spirit

There was a very interesting exchange over on the challies.com blog the past few days. Tim Challies posted a blog entry about what the Bible teaches about the destination of infants (or pre-born persons) who die. Of course, the emotionalism almost immediately tried to overcome the scriptural approach to the issue. Many think this is a new issue, but in fact the Church has addressed this issue for a couple thousand years.

My comment was as follows-

It is proving to be true- “There’s a Pelagian spirit in all of us.”

Think about the crux of the tacit argument that, since babies have no moral ability (for right or wrong) it would be improper for God to do anything other than take them all to heaven. Have you forgotten that adults have no more moral ability to save themselves than do infants, or even pre-born (fetal) persons? It is God’s grace that saved us all, whether we were teens or octogenarians, children or still in the womb.

John MacArthur said this- “If infants were not sinful, if they were not morally corrupt, then they wouldn’t die. If they were born innocent or pure or morally neutral there would be no basis for their death.” So the Bible IS clear on that issue…that infants are inherently sinful (original sin, sin nature, whatever you want to call it). They ARE NOT morally neutral. Therefore, we can’t just jump to the conclusion they are all saved because it seems right to us that it be so.

What Tim has said is true. We should be willing to trust God in the salvation of the pre-born and the stillborn in the same way we trust God in our own salvation.

It still manages to surprise me how much the Pelagian spirit rears its head on emotional issues. But I suppose it shouldn't since that approach has been my own, on and off, for much of my life. Holding a consistent theological approach to life isn't easy to do when human pride interdicts itself, as it does in me often.

Much more thinking and reading to do on this topic. "The more you know, the less you know."