The Historical Apathy of the Modern Evangelical: The Case of Baptism

Modern Evangelicalism is a hybrid of Christian traditions that came out of the Reformation. When I became a Christian in college I had no idea this was the case because I was taught that Christianity, the real kind, was just me and the Bible. My relationship with Jesus mediated through the Bible was the very definition of Christianity. Little did I know that the Christianity I was living in college had historical antecedents. Unfortunately, history wan’t real important to the Christians who introduced me to the Faith. Such historical apathy is indicative of far too much of Evangelicalism today, as it is of general American culture.

Modern Evangelicals have far more in common with 19th century revivalist Christianity than their Reformation forebearers. The Second Great Awakening transformed much of Protestant Christianity from a confessional (a la Lutherans and Presbyterians) and sacramental faith, to an experiential and conversionist faith. George Marsden’s Fundamentalism and American Culture is an essential read for anyone wanting to understand why conservative Protestant Christianity (i.e. Evangelicalism) is the way it is today. You’ll find out that modern Evangelicals are historical fundamentalists. In other words, our faith today is more informed by the revivalist Christianity of the 19th and early 20th centuries, than the Reformation of the 16th.

How the Law of Non-Contradiction Proves Reza Aslan is Wrong

It wouldn’t be surprising if you haven’t heard of Reza Aslan, but he’s becoming increasingly famous among secular cultural elites because he confirms their bias against truth. Azlan is an Iranian-American author, public intellectual, religious studies scholar, producer, and television host, according to Google. But you’ll immediately know he’s suspect because he’s on CNN. His new documentary called Believer proves the point. CNN is always pushing an agenda, and whether it’s politics or religion, they always come down on the liberal side. The documentary fits comfortably in their worldview.

I learned about it from a John Stonestreet piece at Breakpoint. He captures Aslan’s basic assumption:

Quoting the Buddha, Aslan likens the religions of the world to different wells, which believers dig in order to drink the same water. In other words, all religions are equally true. All roads, so to speak, lead to Heaven, resurrection, enlightenment, Nirvana, or whatever else your endgame may be.

FX’s The Americans: Everyone Lives by Faith

The FX show The Americans is set in the Reagan era Cold War 80s. Two Soviet intelligence agents, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, pose as a married couple to spy on the American government. They didn’t know each other prior to meeting in America, and are tasked with living a completely normal suburban American life, helped along with their two kids who have no idea mom and dad are agents of America’s sworn enemy.

For those too young to remember life in a Cold War world, The Americans an excellent pop culture introduction to the time. For those old enough to remember, it’s a great nostalgia trip. And for those who like solid drama with a lot of moral ambiguity, there’s plenty of that too.

The reason I wanted to write something about the show isn’t to necessarily promote it, although for adults not squeamish about television portrayals of  sex and violence it’s well worth the time. Rather, I came across a piece at an online (generally liberal) publication called Vox that affirms one of the central tenants of my book about keeping your kids Christian: “The Americans has always been a show about faith.” Having watched the show over four seasons, it is about anything but “faith,” as most Americans would understand the term; i.e. it’s not about religion. A liberal version of Christianity is part of the show, but the show itself if focused on two communists who are atheists. When I read the piece I was pleasantly surprised by the case the author was making: Everyone lives by faith.

God To His Exiles, Strangers in a Strange Land – Do Not Decrease!

In my previous post I made the argument that, for Christians, having children is not an option. Just this morning I was reading Jeremiah and discovered God actually agrees with me! I’ll admit, though, that I did get the idea from him first.

The book of Jeremiah is a tough read. Knowing that it was written by what some have called “The Weeping Prophet” gives you some indication that it’s not for the faint of heart. The northern kingdom of Israel had already been conquered by the Assyrians, and now God was warning Judah, the southern Kingdom, that if they didn’t repent and change their ways, they too would suffer the same fate as their northern brethren. The Lord tells Jeremiah to warn his people that the Babylonians are coming, and that they must submit to King Nebuchadnezzar and allow themselves to be taken into exile. Do not, he seems to be saying, resist the Lord’s judgment and your lives will be spared.

Christians: Having Children Is Not an Option

No, I haven’t turned into a Catholic, but Catholic teaching regarding having children is something Evangelicals should embrace. I thought of this when I read a piece recently by John Stonestreet at Breakpoint: “Fur Babies:Pets, Children, and the Triumph of Autonomy.” I know for most Evangelicals, asserting that having children is not an option is “controversial.” But I would argue that it’s only controversial because we’ve too easily been influence by the culture of autonomy Stonestreet is talking about. The word means “freedom from external control or influence; independence.” In other words, our choice is the ultimate value. In the West, and especially for Americans, choice is as sacred a right as one can possess. Why would Christians, on the other hand, think having children is a choice? It certainly doesn’t come from Scripture.

10 Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize

Most Americans do not believe that the Bible gives us reliable history, let alone a divinely inspired authoritative history we can trust for the salvation of our souls. Most Christians do believe they can trust Scripture, but few know why. This is unfortunate because in the history of the Church there has never been so many solid, scholarly, easy to understand resources available for Christians to defend that trust.

One issue that is a popular target for skeptics of the New Testament is the idea of canon, which means “a collection or list of sacred books accepted as genuine.” Critics of the New Testament insist that what we find in our Bible was the result of a power play by early Church Fathers. What’s at stake is the authority of what we find in our Bible. The goal of skeptics who attack our canon is to undermine that authority by claiming it’s formation was no more than some Shakespearean tragedy.

Why It Is Important That You and Your Kids Have a Growing Vocabulary

Words mean things . . . This little phrase is one my kids have heard numerous times over the years, probably more than they’d like. And words are among the most profound things about human existence because they allow us to think and communicate.

The profundity of language is built into the nature of the Christian faith. In the first chapter of the first book of our Bible we read, “And God said,” nine times, all in the context of God creating “the heavens and the earth.” Think of the power of one single atom, from which can arise immense forces of destruction. You will maybe then have some sense of the power in the words, “And God said.” He created an entire universe filled with atoms!

The Importance of the Family Mirrored in the Trinity

Since the Enlightenment and the drive by Western cultural elites to make secularism the default plausibility structure of reality, the family has been under attack. It may not have appeared this way to the average mom and dad in the street until the 1960s, but many Western intellectuals have been trying to throw off the shackles (for such is how they see it) of the family for several hundred years. The successful effort to legally redefine marriage is only the latest in this long march. The family is a reflection of the very nature of God, and thus of immense importance; it’s not up for redefinition.

In Genesis 2 when God makes a “suitable helper” for Adam, he established the foundation for the family, but the Triune nature of God is the true basis on which the family exists. The essence of the Triune God is life-giving love, unlike the monism God of other religions. I was reminded anew of the beauty and logic of the Trinity recently as I thought about some who can’t or don’t accept it.

In December of 2015 a professor at Wheaton College, the well known Evangelical college in Illinois, made the claim that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The two religions venerate the Old Testament, but the Gods they worship couldn’t be more different. I also recently learned about a Christian sect called Apostolic Pentecostalism which rejects the Trinity. For them God is one, end of story. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are only different revelations of the one God, not three persons in one as understood since the first church Council of Nicea  in 325. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses also have the trappings of Christianity, but deny its core. While adherents of these religions think the Trinity is illogical, it actually makes total sense logically.

Clash Royale hack – for free Unlimited Gems

Everything you need to know an estimated Clash Royale

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Are Millennials The Most Narcissistic Generation Ever?

In my previous post I wrote about the word of the year, “post-truth,” and how the triumph of the subjective makes assertions of Christianity as true, or anything as true for that matter (outside of scientific claims), problematic for many of our neighbors. The cultural obsession with the self, reflected in various ism’s (relativism, scientism, skepticism, postmodernism), has lead to people believing that the self is the ultimate authority on everything it surveys. In such a cultural milieu it won’t surprise us that our latest adult generation in the West, those called millennials, are considered the most narcissistic generation ever.

The ancient myth of Narcissus is about a youth who spurned suitors, and then became so taken with the beauty of his image reflected in water that he dies (or kills himself) because he realizes he can never obtain the object of his desire, himself. Though ancient Greek and Roman pagans had no revealed knowledge (i.e., the Bible) of the fallen nature of man, it was clear to many of them that the obsession with the self was endemic to human nature and ultimately self-destructive.