Discerning Culture

/Discerning Culture
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Level-Headed Posts on Gordon College and the New McCarthyism

 
After my screed last week, calmer and more knowledgeable voices have spoken to this issue. It is an issue that should concern every Christian. Our country was founded on separation of powers and religious liberty. Those two principles are under assault. My own state, Rhode Island, allowed many religions (Baptists, Jews, Quakers) to practice their religion freely in the early days of our country. That pluralism is under assault.

Here are a few of the calmer and scarier articles:

Learn the facts – Gordon College provides a facts page.

Mind the Gap  – I dont like the title but the articulate editor of the Gordon Student Newspaper writes a level-headed article in support of Gordon’s position.

Where we’ve come from – And where we are going. Overview of the […]

Discerning Culture|

Gordon College and the New McCarthyism

You may be aware that Gordon College is making national news. This small, liberal arts college in New England is located in sleepy Wenham, MA. It is not an indoctrinating place at all. In fact, its byline for years past was “freedom within a framework of faith” – emphasis on freedom. For many years, it has been a stronghold for theistic evolution. Hardly the home base of fundies. (Full disclosure: my wife is an alumna and I have a child as a student.)

But now it has crossed the PC bullies and finds itself in their crosshairs. Why? Because it has the audacity to keep living by the Judeo-Christian convictions it was founded on.

The heretical conviction is this: if you want to be a part of […]

Modern Day Parenting Problems

My daughter, who has nannied and babysat for families from New England to Florida, pointed me to this article by a British nanny. She observes five reasons for worry with modern day parenting of little ones. These are good for Christian parents to see because we are influenced by the culture we live in. My comments are in italics afterwards.

Her five are:

1. A fear of our children.
“I have what I think of as “the sippy cup test,” wherein I will observe a parent getting her toddler a cup of milk in the morning. If the child says, “I want the pink sippy cup, not the blue!” yet the mum has already poured the milk into the blue sippy cup, I watch carefully to see how […]

The Truth About Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby is in the news today. It has been called the most important case of our day. But even Fox News headlines gets it wrong. It is not about this company providing contraception. It is about the government forcing a company owned by Christians to provide abortive contraception.

You can read the facts here and here.

How did we ever get to this point? Let us disciple our children in the understanding of religious liberty and prepare them to stand with courage in the public square. And “Speak Truth to Power.”

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Some Help Interpreting Themes from the Movie Frozen

For some reason there were technical issues with the Facebook and RSS feed. I am reposting this. Sorry for the trouble.

I haven’t seen the movie Frozen. Nor do I plan to. My children are past that age. But I recently came across this article which helps pick out some themes that are worth discussing.

Some key paragraphs:

None of our children have magical freezing powers. But the power of narrative is that we relate our experience to the heroine’s. Children, particularly as they grow through adolescence and into their teenage years, will be aware of things inside them that don’t fit the expectations of everyone around them — including moral standards of God taught to them by others. The solution will not be found on the plane […]

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Boring and Unglamorous, but Effective Ways to Help the Truly Poor

Dr. Jay Richards shares 10 hard, boring, unglamorous ways to really help the poor. If you have a child who wants to help the poor and is entranced with sugar-coated, large government liberalism, this video is required. It is rather long but worth the watch. (HT:BTW – which does a better job of expanding on the points below.)

The introduction itself is quite helpful.

His ten points are:
1. You must have the rule of law.
2. Limit the jurisdiction of government.
3. Implement good systems of property.
4. Encourage economic freedom.
5. Encourage strong mediating institutions between government and the individual.
6. Encourage belief in a purposeful universe.
7. Encourage the right cultural beliefs – like a willingness to save and delay gratification.
8. Make sure there is a proper understanding of wealth- for […]

Spurgeon on Idlers (Untried & Critical)

“Idlers may indulge in a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weaknesses. If you seek humility, try hard work; if you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus.”

In my words, stop being a movie critic and actually make a movie. Before you go criticizing the bride of Christ, try attempting some great thing for Jesus. Then come back and see me.

7 Ways You Can Read More… Books

Like David Murray, I too find myself reading more pabulum and less books. His suggestions are excellent. But for 2014, I am taking some other actions. Here are my steps. Want to join me?

1. Use the empty shelf challenge. This novel concept by Jon Acuff creates an empty space that demands to be filled. And when I read something, it goes in there. I have done the same thing for my Kindle. The emptiness cries out to me. As it is filled, I begin to be encouraged.

2. Use the full shelf challenge. Where will the books come from that fill that shelf? I have books laying around the house that I have not read. When I look at them, a little guilty thought, “I should […]

A Response to the History Channel’s Series on Bible Secrets Revealed

If it is Christmas or Easter, some media is out there actively debunking traditional Christianity and looking for “secrets.” In the past, it was Time and Newsweek. But as they have become irrelevant, now The History Channel takes up the torch and evidently just gave us, Bible Secrets Revealed.

Time for the saints to learn their history of the NT. Dr. Michael Kruger is the President of the Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte and a Professor of New Testament. He responds in three parts.

Part One examines a few of their wrong assumptions and overreaches to begin their series.

Part Two debunks their wrong assumptions about the Egyptian Exodus and Crusades.

Part Three shoots holes in their misunderstanding of how the canon of the NT came to be.

If you […]

Harming Themselves to Their Own Shame

Are they not harming themselves, to their own shame? Jeremiah 7:19

Are unbelievers victims of sin and satan? Or are they rebels following their own selfish way? The Bible teaches both.  Jeremiah 7:19 says they harm themselves, but that harm comes from their own shameful activities and attitudes. How eloquently stated!

On the one hand, unbelievers who sin do harm themselves. Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have bad consequences. By believing untruths about God and the way the world works. many unbelievers have brought harm upon themselves. God is not mocked, a man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:7). Men and women have an enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus offers rest to any who are weary of satan’s buffetings.

On the […]