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.

 


The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? By Dr. Voddie Baucham

August 28, 2007

This is an excellent introduction to understanding the culture/spiritual war that is raging in our society. 

The core message of this book is that we live in a post-modern/post-Christian culture that embraces all lifestyles and religions and rejects the idea of absolute truth.  Our faith is constantly challenged by a culture that uses words such as narrow-minded, intolerant, and bigoted to describe us. We must take a stand and challenge the culture instead of conforming to it.  We must use the unchanging truth of God’s Word to engage the culture for transformation.  As Dr. Baucham writes, “the unchanging truth of God’s Word still holds preeminence in relevance and answers to contemporary life issues” and “as followers of Christ, we must stand humbly but boldly in the marketplace of ideas and proclaim the truth to a culture void of everlasting answers”. 

Although the book is only 210 pages, Dr. Baucham covers a lot of ground and very effectively conveys his message in a simple, logical and relevant way.  This is a very important book for all Christians to read in order to begin to understand the dynamics of the culture war.  I highly recommend it.  For more information on Dr. Baucham visit his website at www.voddiebaucham.org.


What is Truth?

August 2, 2007

by Douglass Groothuis, Ph.D.

Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth, we shall never recognize it. — Blaise Pascal

Staring Truth in the Face

“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Jesus Christ made this statement after Pontius Pilate had interrogated him prior to the crucifixion (John 18:37, NIV). Pilate then famously replied, “What is truth?” and left the scene.

As philosopher Francis Bacon wrote in his essay “On Truth”:

“What is truth?” said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.

Although Jesus made no reply to Pilate, Christians affirm that Pilate was staring truth in the face, for Jesus had earlier said to his disciple Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

This historic exchange raises the perennial question of the very nature of truth itself. What does it mean for a statement to be true? Or, to put it another way: What does it take for a statement to achieve truthfulness?”

To read more click here.


Episcopal Priest Suspended Over Muslim-Christian Conflict

July 7, 2007

I am glad to see some action was finally taken against the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding for her completely outrageous statement recently in the Seattle Times that she is both a Christian and a Muslim.  Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Islam and Christianity knows that this is logically impossible.  This philosophy of religious relativism that has become so pervasive in our culture today is incredibly dangerous because it completely distorts the truth.  The truth as Dr. Emir Caner, Dean of  of The College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, states is that  “It is a logical impossibility for someone to be both a Muslim and Christian since they stand in direct opposition to each other on such crucial theological issues as the cross, resurrection, and salvation.” 

By Eric Young and Christian Post

“A priest who claimed last month to be both Muslim and Christian has been suspended for a year, according to reports.

The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, the Episcopalian who made headlines after she told the Seattle Times that she was ”100 percent” Muslim and Christian, must now take a year from her position at Seattle’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral after 23 years of priesthood.”

To read the full article click here.