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Mar
11

Accomodation or Confrontation?

Accomodation or Confrontation? I recently watched, once again, a video presentation of Dr. Francis Schaeffer‘s last public meeting before he died in 1984. I was stunned, again, by the precision of his insights into his era, and ours. Dr. Schaeffer’s last two books, The Great Evangelical Disaster and A Christian Manifesto, were nothing short of prophetic. As he approached his death, after fifty years of his ministry, he observed that Evangelicalism over that time could be summarized primarily by one term: Accommodation. There is a syncretism, a relativism within the Western church that accepts and capitulates to the trends of the secular society around it. Dr. Schaeffer had pointed out in his previous book, The God Who Is There, that the true, confessing Church is the last holdout against despair in any given culture. The gospel has a restraining influence on a culture, like a dam holding back the flood of secularism. When worldliness and accommodation have infiltrated the church, a culture has gone as low as it can go morally. Dr. Schaeffer summarized the evangelical situation in 1984 by saying, “The grossest form of worldliness is conforming to the form of worldliness that exists in it’s own generation. If that is true, then we must say that Evangelicalism is as worldly as it can possibly be!” What Should We Then Do? The solution given at that time was that young evangelicals (and old ones) should rise up and confront the worldly church with the truth of God’s Word. (John 17:3, 2 Thess. 3:14-15) More than trying to change the culture, Dr. Schaeffer said the more immediate task at hand was to seek reformation within the church. After Schaeffer’s death, there was an increase in young Christian leaders who really understood the importance of, as Schaeffer would say, “The lordship of Jesus Christ over the totality of life.” Many, if not most, of the ministries that are really making an impact in our world today were inspired, to a great extent, by the message of Francis Schaeffer. In our day, we see passing on of many of the older leaders in the Christian world. In recent memory we’ve seen the home-goings of leaders like Adrian Rogers, Charles Colson, Jerry Falwell, Elisabeth Elliot, D. James Kennedy, and others. Who will take the baton in the next generation and carry the truth of the gospel without compromise? Truth is, by definition, exclusive. To claim that something is true, the antithesis of it must be, according to the Law of...
Jun
24

“Values?” or “Morals?” Which is it?

“Values?” or “Morals?” Which is it? Ravi Zacharias has pointed out, and it is interesting to note, that it was Friedrich Nietzsche, the avowed Atheist and God-hater, who is responsible for the cultural shift in using the term “Values” instead of “Morals.” We hear about about “Family Values” or “Voter Values.” Really though, a “Value” is simply something that is important to us…what we “value.” Values are personal and subjective (like what flavor of ice cream we prefer). A moral, on the other hand, implies a Moral Law, and that implies a Moral Law-Giver (i.e. God). Morals are transcendent and timeless. They are truths that are true for all people, in all place, at all times. They impose themselves on others. Thus it is vogue to speak of “Values,” but not of “Morals,” in our day and age. To understand how Neitzsche and other important atheists were able to cause a shift in our vocabulary, and our view of God, ethics and politics, get a copy of Ravi’s excellent book, The Real Face of Atheism. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net....
May
30

Total Truth — by Nancy Pearcey (A Review)

Total Truth By Nancy Pearcey Copyright 1999 Crossway Books ISBN: 0-8423-1808-9 ISBN: 978-1-59644-336-5 (Audio Book) This book is the follow up to the bestselling book that Nancy wrote with Charles Colson entitled, “How Now Shall We Live?“. Total Truth is a kind of magnum opus for Nancy Pearcey who has spent many years writing essays on the topics of Science and Philosophy. Total Truth sets out to answer the following question, “Does Christianity have a legitimate role to play in the public realm of politics, business, law and education?” She delves into the notion of the Sacred/Secular Dichotomy, which relegates civic matters to the secular sphere and religious matters to the private sphere of personal experience. This split has created a whole generation of schizophrenic Christians who try to balance their personal religious “faith” which includes church on Sunday and prayers at meals, with the entire rest of their life (which is largely dominated by anti-Christian philosophies and practices). The goal of this book is integrity and cohesiveness in our worldview. Nancy provides a wonderful historical background to the ideas she discusses, giving strong evidence from reason, scripture and historical evidence that the Christian faith cannot be contained to merely a private, personal expression. It must work its way into every area of life. If you like Chuck Colson or Francis Schaeffer (she was a student at L’Abri in Switzerland as a teenager), you are going to really enjoy and benefit from this book. As a final note, Nancy proves beyond any doubt that women can be power-house intellectuals. Thanks Nancy for such a great book. On a scale of 1-5, I’d give this a 4.0 overall. 574...
May
20

How Did the Church Disconnect from Truth? — Francis Schaeffer

How Did the Church Disconnect from Truth? — Francis Schaeffer Dr. Francis Schaeffer, a brilliant Christian philosopher who died in 1984, gives great insight to the Postmodern crisis we are experiencing within the church today. He explains how Thomas Aquinas opened the door for an Epistemological compromise between the Bible as an authority on one hand and Aristotelian philosophy being an equal viewpoint on the other hand. This mixture, known as Syncretism,  led to Christians questioning whether the Bible was needed at all. This is something we are struggling with in our day. Is the Bible merely “a” source of truth, or is it “the” authoritative source for all moral truth? Is the Bible “a” truth (i.e. Relative Truth), or are there real absolutes that relate to all of life and reality? If you have never read Dr. Shaeffer’s works, you need to rediscover this man’s amazing contribution to the Christian community. It may change your life, as it did mine nearly 20 years ago. Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker and is the Director of Family Renewal,...
May
4

Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church – Dr. D.A. Carson (Review)

Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (Understanding a Movement and Its Implications) By D.A. Carson For a number of years now (since about 1995), I have been studying postmodernism (a sociological cultural shift that has influenced Western thought and behavior since the 1950s-1960s), and I have known the it was just a matter of time before postmodernity made its way down through philosophy, to the Arts, to general culture, and eventually entrenched itself within the Church (any serious Francis Schaeffer student will quickly recognize his “line of despair”). The Death of Truth, by Dennis McCallum (general editor, www.xenos.org) and Postmodern Times by WORLD Magazine columnist, Gene Edward Veith, published by Crossway Books, are good primers for the larger context of postmodernism. A mistake that I have seen made in some Emerging Church critiques is that some people see “emergents” as simply being a new trend or movement within church life. I think that totally misses the point. That viewpoint causes people to casually brush aside the emergents’ concerns as being arbitrarily provocative, almost as though emergents were merely trying to “get a rise” out of the older, traditional church folk. To truly understand the movement, you have to understand the postmodern culture in which Gen-X’ers and Millennials have been immersed since their birth. Particularly for young adults who were educated in the governmental school system, they have absorbed so much postmodern influence that their very epistemological consciousness (the very way they think and process information) is postmodern. The grid through which they receive information and make decisions is postmodern, not Modern, nor Biblical. Reading books by George Barna or even books like The Last Christian Generation by Josh McDowell can help readers understand the results of this phenomenon. In a nutshell, Postmodernism is not a movement, it is an anti-movement; a reaction against Modernism. In the same way, the Emergent Church movement is a reaction against the influences of Modernity in the culture and theology of the traditional American church. The critiques and criticisms the Emergents make of American church culture are often correct, although their solutions then towards Relativism, Universalism and Skepticism. This issue is really immense, so instead of explaining what the Emerging Church movement is, I highly recommend this informative, balanced and well-reasoned view of this controversial issue. Dr. Carson is an amazing thinker who really tries to present a fair analysis of both sides of the debate. I know I’m putting myself in a box,...

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