This page has moved to a new address.

Think Christianly

Think Christianly: August 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ross Douthat of the New York Times Corrects Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker About Francis Schaeffer

I was encouraged to come across this post by Ross Douthat (New York Times) setting some of the record straight on the swirling controversy about Michele Bachmann and Dominionism Paranoia stirred up by Ryan Lizza's article in the New Yorker (who apparently told his fact-checker to take the day off). Here is an excerpt:

"Schaeffer’s major contribution to American public life wasn’t any sort of sinister “dominionist” master plan, but rather a much more defensible blueprint for Christian political action: He argued that Christian values were under assault in contemporary American life, that the idea of secular “neutrality” was something of a sham, and that believers had an obligation to be 1) engaged with the culture rather than bunkered against it, and 2) engaged politically on issues (abortion, especially) where fundamental moral truths were at stake. One can dislike this blueprint and disagree with its premises, but its perspective on American politics is no more illiberal than the perspective of, say, the civil rights movement. And the fact that Schaeffer influenced a prominent evangelical politician like Bachmann isn’t nearly as surprising, strange or scary as Lizza’s piece often makes it sound."

Joe Carter of First Things offers "A Journalism Lesson for the New Yorker"

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Does the Bible Encourage Blind Faith? - Jonathan Morrow (Video)

The short answer is no. In this video I talk more about why. Sincerity is not enough. A person's faith is only as good as the object in which its placed. Moreover, thinking is very important in the Christian life. Paul makes that abundantly clear: “Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults” (1 Cor. 14:20).

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Evolution is all over the news, so how should Christians think about evolution?

From Rick Perry to Richard Dawkins...evolution is quite the conversation piece! Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion about what the main issue really is. In this video I suggest how Christians should think about evolution after carefully defining our terms:

How Should Christians Think About Evolution? - Jonathan Morrow from Think Christianly on Vimeo.

Other helpful stuff:

Excellent book: God and Evolution edited by Jay Richards

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Compelling Evidence For Intelligent Design...

I highly recommend this truly remarkable documentary exploring the breathtaking beauty and design of butterflies. Here is the video preview and product description of Metamorphosis (available on Blue Ray and DVD):
"Throughout history butterflies have fascinated artists and philosophers, scientists and schoolchildren with their profound mystery and beauty. In Metamorphosis you will explore their remarkable world as few ever have before. Spectacular photography, computer animation and magnetic resonance imaging open once hidden doors to every stage of a butterfly's life-cycle. From an egg the size of a pinhead to a magnificent flying insect. It is a transformation so incredible biologists have called it "butterfly magic." The superbly engineered body of a butterfly is magnified hundreds of times to reveal compound eyes made of thousands of individual lenses, wings covered with microscopic solar panels that warm the insect's muscles for flight, and navigational systems that unerringly guide Monarch butterflies on their annual migration from Canada to Mexico. How did these extraordinary creatures come into being? Are they the products of a blind, undirected process? Or, were they designed by an intelligence that transcends the material world? Filmed in the rain forests of Ecuador, Mexico's Trans-Volcanic mountain range, and leading research centers, Metamorphosis is an unforgettable documentary filled with the joys of discovery and wonder."


Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Is Christianity True, False, or Other?

One of my favorite writers is Nancy Pearcey because she has a way of capturing the essence of big ideas in clear writing. In Total Truth she correctly observes that "When Christians are willing to reduce religion to noncognitive categories, unconnected to questions of truth or evidence, then we have already lost the battle." Please reread that last sentence.

You see, if Christianity does not rise to the level of being true or false then it has been removed completely from the cognitive realm. If something can't be false, then it can't be true either. And rational investigation or justification fly out the window too. If we in the American church don't get this and teach it to the next generation, then Christians will be increasingly marginalized in a secular culture. But worse still, this unbiblical notion will sap us of our confidence to live as if Christianity were actually true because confidence and knowledge go hand and hand. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Everyone answers the question of God and every answer matters

Mortimer Adler wisely observed that “More consequences for thought and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question. They follow for those who regard the question as answerable only by faith or only by reason, and even for those who insist upon suspending judgment entirely.”

The question of God is no mere ivory tower proposition! It works its way down into all the crevices of thought and life. The evidence for God, contrary to what you may have heard, is actually quite strong. Have you ever rationally considered it? Do your students have more than just a "blind faith and love Jesus" approach to the Christian life? It is critical that we understand that faith in God is a reasonable position to hold and help the next generation come to understand this. The stakes are way too high.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chuck Colson On Seeing Sin through Cinema and the New Movie "The Help"

Chuck Colson on the new movie The Help:

"Sometimes we Christians don't see the sin right in front of our faces; our culture, upbringing, or personal attitudes seem to block it. And that's where the arts can help us -- whether the sin is deep in the past, or very much in the present.

Last week a film opened that beautifully illustrates my point. It's called The Help, and it’s based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett. The story is set in the early 1960s, in Jackson, Mississippi, when the fight for civil rights was gaining international attention. The film tells the story of a young, socially prominent white girl named Skeeter who's just graduated from college. Skeeter wants to be a writer, and comes up with a dangerous idea: To secretly interview the black maids who raise the white children of Jackson, Mississippi, and find out how they really feel about their employers.

Their answers are a revelation. Skeeter's eyes are opened to the irony of white employers who depend on their maids to raise their children -- and yet won't allow them to use the same bathrooms. If a piece of silver goes missing, a maid can be blamed, based on no evidence whatsoever, and arrested. When a maid named Yule May asks her employer for a loan to help her sons attend college, she's....(more)"

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moral neutrality and relativism are not how you build a good society says UK Prime Minister

Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to address the “moral collapse” that led to widespread looting and violence across English cities last week; "moral neutrality, this relativism – it’s not going to cut it anymore." He further adds, “politicians shying away from speaking the truth about behavior, about morality” has “actually helped to cause the social problems we see around us....We have been too unwilling for too long to talk about what is right and what is wrong. We have too often avoided saying what needs to be said – about everything from marriage to welfare to common courtesy.” That is both well said and refreshing to hear. (read the rest of this article)

As I see it, here's the bottom line: A society cannot long survive if they elevate personal autonomy and freedom above virtue and personal responsibility; including the United States of America. True freedom is not doing whatever you want, but doing that which is good.

For more reasons why moral relativism is a really bad idea, see chapter 7 in my book Welcome to College.

For more information on the excellent Doing the Right Thing six part DVD (Chuck Colson, Robert George, Britt Hume, etc.) and Church Simulcast on September 24th click here.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bart Ehrman and Darrell Bock Debate the Authorship of the Early Writings of the New Testament on Unbelievable (Audio)

"Skeptical Bible scholar Bart Ehrman's latest book "Forged" claims that many of the writings of the New Testament are falsely attributed to apostles such as Peter and Paul. He claims that they were not written by them and that a deliberate deception was taking place. Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary responds, saying that the case for forgery is not as conclusive as Bart claims. They examine the evidence for whether 1 and 2 Peter were written by Peter as well as letters attributed to Paul such as Ephesians and 2 Thessolonians." (Unbelievable Radio)

Listen here

Also, see The Ehrman Project for videos and articles.

An important review of Forged by Dr. Kruger, click here.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Should pastors be concerned with apologetics?

Should pastors be concerned with apologetics? Absolutely! Aside from being thoroughly biblical (1 Pet. 3:15; Jude 3; 2 Cor. 10:3-5), it provides great confident to everyday Christians. Here is what one of Evangelicalism's most eminent theologians has to say:
“I think the pastor does play a very critical role here. And, apologetics is not simply about reaching outside the church and helping people realize why Christianity makes so much sense. There are many people inside church congregations who are wrestling with apologetic questions; who come to faith but haven’t had all of their questions answered. I think the pastor, the preacher, needs to realize if they want their people to be good and minister to the faith, apologists and evangelists, they’ve got to be equipped. They’ve got to be reassured about their faith. They’ve got to be helped to be able to explain it and defend it in the secular marketplace. Now maybe many pastors and preachers say, ‘You know, I couldn’t do this.’ In which case, you need to bring somebody in who can. But there’s a real need for the local church to see this kind of ministry as a priority in our present cultural situation.”- Alister McGrath

(H/T Apologetics 315)

Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Want to love your neighbor today? Then stand against false tolerance

We live in an interesting, ever-changing, and challenging day. As Christians, learning to navigate such a reality can be very confusing and intimidating. In one of Jesus’ central teachings, he commands us to love our neighbor (cf. Mark 12:31). And while we can and should often do this by meeting physical needs, there is another vital, but often overlooked, application of this passage. We need to stand up for the possibility of truth. We need to protect the endangered species of honest disagreement concerning the nature of reality. Today a not so subtle battle is raging from newspapers columns to college classrooms concerning the nature of tolerance. There are 2 competing definitions:
  • False Tolerance: We can make no judgments at all about the truth of others’ beliefs.
  • True Tolerance: We allow others the freedom to hold beliefs which we judge to be false.
If we cannot tell our neighbors or ourselves the truth about reality, then we cannot really love them. Because love involves seeking another’s highest good, and goodness is anchored in reality (after all, the truth sets us free). We must fight the false tolerance that seeks to intellectually bully our culture into agreeing that every viewpoint (especially when it comes to religion and morality) is equally valid. We must speak up in love for the possibility of truth. Loving our neighbor requires this.

Labels: , , , ,