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Currently Browsing: Reviews
Nov
1

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview – Moreland & Craig

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview – Moreland & Craig Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by Dr. J. P. Moreland and Dr. William Lane Craig (two of the most respected leaders in Christian apologetics), is an epic work! Philosophy is a topic that most Christian avoid. They tend to do so for two primary reasons: They feel it is beyond their comprehension. They believe it to be bad. On the first point, that is often the case. Philosophers are known for taking difficult concepts, and making them even more difficult to understand. On the second, if we consider the etymology of the word, Philosophy, we will see that it is the combination of two Greek words: philo (meaning “love”) and sophia (meaning “wisdom”). We are commanded in Scripture to “love wisdom” (Prov. 4:6), so in that sense, we all should “do” philosophy. And I would contend, we do. We all grapple with the big questions of life: “What is reality? Who am I?, What is my purpose? What is right and wrong? What happens when I die?” These are philosophical questions. The question is not, “Should we do philosophy?” but rather “Is my approach to philosophy Biblical, or Humanistic?” This book covers (in the Introduction): “What is philosophy?” It also addresses the issue of argumentation and logic. It then addresses: Epistemology (the study of knowledge) Metaphysics (the study of being or reality — includes the study of ideas) Philosophy of Science (the study of the physical world and nature’s laws) Ethics (knowing what is right and wrong) Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology There are many sub-categories under each. The material is presented at a college level, and unless you are especially interested in this topic, this is not a book that you will choose to curl up with at night. But it is an amazing reference tool, and pastors, counselors, Christian leaders, and serious scholars will definitely want to add this resource to their study collection. Did I mention it is almost 700 pages?!! This is the most comprehensive book I have seen to-date on this important topic. This new second edition is case-bound and was released in October 2017, by InterVarsity Press. Review by Site Editor for ChristianWorldview.net: Israel Wayne...
Oct
5

Good & Angry — David Powlison (a book review)

Good & Angry — David Powlison (a book review) Good & Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining & Bitterness — by David Powlison (a review by Israel Wayne) As an author of a book on anger myself, I was intrigued to see David Powlison’s take on this important topic. I have read many books on anger, and have been impressed by very few of them. Many have created a victim status for those who express habitual anger. The goal seems to be that we need to excuse people from their harmful behavior, because they just can’t help what they do. These books may make someone feel better, in the short term, but the devastation of ruined relationships will continue. In the end, people who struggle with addictive anger patterns need hope that they can change and that life can better. Telling someone, “We all have hang-ups, so don’t stress about yours,” isn’t kind, or healing. It’s actually infinitely cruel, in the long run. I sometimes suspect that such authors end up promoting hopeless advice like: “Just forgive yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself,” because they have not found any true solutions in their own life. As a Christian, I am always hopeful that another Christian author will appeal to the only fixed reference point in the universe: The nature and character of God as He has expressed Himself in the Bible. My hopes are usually dashed. But not because most Christian authors don’t quote the Bible. They do. It’s just that they do so in a peripheral way. It’s almost like Jesus is a plug-in to a Humanistic worldview software program. The main solution is to either try harder (through your own human effort – which is a sure way to fail), or to abandon hope altogether. In “Good & Angry,” I was delightfully surprised to note that David Powlison appealed to the wisdom of God as THE final source of truth on the topic of overcoming anger. The book is not merely a litany of random Bible verses, however, instead it is thoughtful and practical in its application of God’s specific teaching on this matter. David does a good job in sorting out the difference between what we might call “righteous indignation,” and harmful human anger that destroys relationships and hurts people. He describes the root sources of anger, and provides Biblically-based solutions for breaking free from the anger habit. This book will on a very short list of books that I will recommend for those...
Mar
7

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Was Jesus a Socialist? I was asked to speak at a Christian conference in Ontario, Canada on the topic of “Biblical Economics.” The lecture was going along just fine until I mentioned that from a Biblical standpoint, the civil government was NOT to be involved in health care in any way. That’s when things got a bit hostile. People began yelling out objections in the middle of my presentation. We went back in forth for about five minutes in a kind of impromptu “open-forum” until I finally suggested we continue with the presentation and I’d stay after to answer questions. About 45 people crowded the stage afterward and in rapid succession endeavored to find any kind of defense whatsoever for my claim (that I had also made) that any form of Socialism (forced redistribution of wealth by the government), was immoral and contrary to Scripture. One lady exclaimed, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t support universal government-funded healthcare. Everyone in my church supports it. Our pastors all support it! Heck, Jesus was a Socialist!” I often hear this claim that Jesus and the Apostles (and the rest of the early church) were all Socialists who supported living in a kind of Egalitarian Utopia where no one had private property, everything was held in common and all things were totally shared and equal. Thankfully, one of the great Economic experts in our day and age, Lawrence Reed, the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, has debunked this myth in a new FREE e-book / audiobook entitled, Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?. I am very pleased to be able to share this resource with you, and I strongly encourage you to read it and share it with others. This would make a great family discussion with your children. Our goal at ChristianWorldview.net is to encourage you to think and live Biblically, and we are grateful for this excellent new tool to help us to “take every thought captive” as it relates to Economics and so-called, “Christian Socialism.” For more resources, please check out our Economics page.   Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
Sep
16

Caring for the Aged – A Christian Theology

Caring for the Aged – A Christian Theology One of the things I discuss frequently is the topic of Sphere Sovereignty. God has ordained various spheres of authority in society, and given duties, responsibilities and authority to each. These spheres, ordained by God, are forms of governance on the earth, to provide for the needs of people and to maintain cultural stability. Several of these spheres are: The individual, the family, the church, the corporation and the civil magistrate. Each one has its own domain, and should not endeavor to do the work of the other spheres. It is when we cross these important lines and neglect the faithful attendance to duty in one sphere, expecting a different sphere to cover for us, or when a sphere is encroached by force, that deterioration of the proper moral framework and order ensues. As Cornelius Van Til said, “The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.” Increasingly, many people, especially in the West, are becoming lazy and expecting the civil magistrate to handle the duties of every sphere. This leads ultimately to poverty and tyranny. One such sphere that has been abdicated to the civil government is health care, including the care of the aged. Charity (including healthcare, education, welfare, housing, etc.), Biblically speaking, is never the mandate of the civil magistrate. They are to bear the sword, to punish evildoers and protect the citizens (see: Romans 12 and 1 Peter 2). Instead, the role of caring for the aged, in Christian theology is placed first with the individual and the family. “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” (1 Timothy 5:4) “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) 1 Timothy 5 explains that the church will take up responsibility for “widows indeed” (women who meet very narrow and specific criteria), but except for those rare exceptions, the individual and the family are commanded to fulfill this duty. How Do We Care for the Aged and Dying? We are so far from the original order of things, that it feels like we are moving to another planet when we endeavor to take on responsibility for our lives that nearly everyone assumed just...
May
21

Common Core Standards — Building the Machine

Common Core Standards — Building the Machine Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been hearing the debate regarding “Common Core” standards being implemented in government schools. What is Common Core, and should you support or oppose it? As a parent, grandparent, or concerned citizen, you need to be informed on this issue, and act appropriately to this new sweeping change that is taking place in government education. If you want all of the information in one place, download this PDF Document. Here is a synopsis from www.CommonCoreTheMovie.com: The Common Core is the largest systemic reform of American public education in recent history. What started as a collaboration between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reevaluate and nationalize America’s education standards has become one of the most controversial—and yet, unheard of—issues in the American public. In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core, but according to a May 2013 Gallup Poll, 62% of Americans said they had never heard of the Common Core. Prominent groups and public figures have broken traditional party lines over the issue, leaving many wondering where they should stand. From this website www.hslda.org/commoncore: The Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”) are two sets of K–12 academic standards that outline what students are expected to learn in English language arts and mathematics each year from kindergarten through high school. The goal of this academic checklist is not the acquisition of child-oriented skills such as literacy, proficiency, or increased graduation rates, nor does it embrace the more lofty goal of pursuing truth, knowledge, and wisdom. Rather the Common Core seeks to achieve the utilitarian purpose of making students “college- and career- ready.”1 “College and career readiness” has never been defined by the authors of the standards, notes Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a member of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to sign off on the standards.2 The motivating force behind the Common Core is not the standards themselves, but the belief that a nationalized, uniform system is the best method of education. The Common Core was written by the National Governors Association (NGA)—an organization of governors, their head staff members, and policy makers—and the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO). The Common Core should be understood as the culmination of a movement that has simmered in America for the past decade to adopt consistent national academic standards and assessments and build bigger student databases. Today, 45 states are committed to the Common Core: two sets of mediocre...

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