How Now Shall We Live? By Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

August 28, 2007

This is a MUST read for all Christians.  It is an incredibly powerful book that I highly recommend.  There is also a study guide for this book that I recommend as well.  This book examines the great spiritual battle today that is a cosmic struggle between competing worldviews.  The authors utilize true stories and compelling teaching to demonstrate the following:

– Expose false views and values of modern culture

– Live a more fulfilling life the way God created us to live

– Contend for the faith by understanding how nonbelievers think

– Build a society that reflects biblical principles

I ran across a review on amazon.com that I thought really did a great job of capturing the core of the book.  It is below.   

5 out of 5 Stars – The Way We See The World Can Change The World, June 21, 2006

“Centuries ago, when the Jews were in exile and despair, they cried out to God, “How should we then live?” The same question rings down through the ages. How shall we live today? Pearcey and Colson’s primary observation is that “the way we see the world can change the world.” (pg. 13) This is because our choices are shaped by what we believe is real and true, right and wrong, or good and beautiful. In short, our choices are shaped by what Pearcey and Colson call our “worldview.”Every worldview attempts to answer three basic questions: (1) Where did we come from and who are we? (2) What has gone wrong with the world? And (3) What can we do to fix it? According to Colson and Pearcey, the culture wars are not about extraneous issues like abortion or public education. Fundamentally, they are about worldviews–between competing secular and spiritual answers to those three basic questions.

The demise of objective truth, profoundly expressed in the halls of academia, also extends into the popular press and culture. The result has been a postmodern worldview which embraces relativism and reduces all ideas to social constructions shaped by class, gender, and ethnicity. Under this view, the world is just a power struggle for meaningless prizes. Their one absolute is that morality is not absolute. Other existing worldviews include “traditionalism,” found in many small towns filled with churches; and modernism, found among pragmatic social and business leaders interested in personal material gain, but less interested in philosophical questions and social issues. Against this backdrop, Christians are challenged to provide answers to those three basic questions in a compelling manner.

C. S. Lewis observed, “The Christian and the materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They both can’t be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.” Thus Colson and Pearcy observe that choices are not without consequences. The Christian worldview says we were created by God. Compelling evidence that life does not have a random origin can be found in the current arguments for intelligent design. Christianity claims that God created the universe with a material order and a moral order. If we live contrary to that order, we sin against God. Thus, what has gone wrong with the universe is human sin.

The way to redeem our culture is to help people realize which universe they’re living in. If it’s a materialist’s universe, then the answers don’t revolve around taking moral principles seriously. But if the real universe was made with a moral law (as Colson and Pearcey argue), then it stands to reason that the solutions to our problems begin with recognizing that fact, and taking steps to educate people in ways that will help them live lives that are not inimical to the way we were designed to live. This, Colson and Pearcey argue, is how we should live.”

For more information on Charles Colson visit his website at www.breakpoint.org and for more information on Nancy Pearcey visit her website at www.pearceyreport.com.

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True for You, But Not for Me: Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless By Dr. Paul Copan

August 28, 2007

 

This is a short book at 192 pages but it is very, very powerful.  Since reading it I have become a huge fan of Paul Copan’s work and am now reading his other books.  This book provides solid, logical, and well reasoned responses to defeat popular slogans that non-believers use to attack Christianity.  It is a must read for all Christians. 

Some of the topics included are the following: 

“That’s True for You, But Not for Me”

– “So Many People Disagree – Relativism Must Be True”

– “You’re Just Using Western Logic”

– “Christians Are Intolerant of Other Viewpoints!”

– “What Right Do You Have to Convert Others to Your Views?”

– “Your Values Are Right for You, But Not for Me”

– “Who Are You to Say Another Culture’s Values Are Wrong?”

– “You Have the Right to Choose Your Own Values”

– “We Act Morally Because of Biological Evolution or Social Conditioning”

– “To Be Good, We Don’t Need God”

– “Christianity Is Arrogant and Imperialistic”

– “If You Grew Up in India, You’d Be a Hindu”

– “Mahatma Gandhi Was a Saint If Ever There Was One”

– “You Can’t Trust the Gospels. They’re Unreliable”

– “Jesus’ Followers Fabricated the Stories and Sayings of Jesus”

– “Jesus Is Just Like Any Other Great Religious Leader”

– “People Claim JFK and Elvis Are Alive, Too!”

– “But Jesus Never Said, ‘I am God’”

– “If Jesus Is the Only Way to God, What About Those Who Have Never Heard of Him?”

– “It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe –as Long as You’re Sincere”

– “Who Needs Jesus? And How Are They Going to Find Out About Him?”

– “Why Can’t We Simply Give People the Gospel?” 

I highly recommend this book.  For more information on Dr. Copan visit his website at www.paulcopan.com.

 


CHRISTIANS CALLED INTOLERANT? STANDING FIRM IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST

July 21, 2007

“The universal religion of Western culture is now tolerance.  Its adherents have one stated precept: that all beliefs are valid, and they recognize just one sin: the belief in a singular truth.

To be tolerant, one must refrain from criticizing or judging another person’s beliefs or behaviors.  If a personal value impugns values that are more universally held, then it should remain unspoken.

It is no secret that those held most guilty of intolerance are evangelical Christians.  To believe that the Bible is the unadulterated Word of God – and to believe that this matters – is untenable among the proponents of tolerance.

Christians are labeled intolerant for one reason: Jesus.  The secularists cannot stand His fame, His name, or His claims. To suggest that there is only one way to find peace, and one way to eternal rest, flies in the face of universalism.

Since intolerance is equated with being uneducated, prejudiced, unfair, mean-spirited, hard-hearted, and bigoted, it is not surprising that Christians are some times tempted to be tolerant of sinful behaviors and beliefs.

But God hates sin.  He is perfect and He is righteous, and as such, He has clearly shown the difference between righteousness and sin in His Word.  There remains no acceptable sin in His eyes.  God sent His only Son to die to atone for our sins, providing abundant grace and the power to defeat our sin.

God expects that those who love Him will also hate sin.  He wants us to turn from our wicked ways and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.  This Good News includes the fact that we can have power over the things that entrap us.  So part of our message should be to proclaim freedom to those who cling to sin and the sorrow that it brings.

Yet while God hates sin, He loves sinners so much so that He sent His Son to save us.  Paul wrote, “Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6,8). Likewise, we are to love those who reject the absolutes of God’s Word, even if they rejects us.

To show our love and His, we must pray for those who are in error. We must speak the truth and be bold witnesses to the truth that we know. We must refuse to repay evil for evil. If we are maligned, slandered, or mistreated for standing strong for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must continue to stand in peace and refuse to seek retaliation.  Paul wrote, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is writtenL ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

When you are called ‘intolerant’ because of your faith, remember that the Gospel is for everyone – regardless of age, gender, nationality, culture or race.  The gift of the Gospel is a treasure of great worth – it is a promise of eternal life to all who believe.”

Dr. Michael Youssef

Leading The Way