Archive for the 'theology' Category

Postmodernism just modernism on it’s head?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

An interesting quote from Christianity Today.

“For don’t we live in a postmodern culture in which appeals to such apologetic arguments are no longer effective?  Rational arguments of the truth of theism are no longer supposed to work.  Some Christians therefore advise that we should simply share our narrative and invite people to participate in it.

“This sort of thinking is guilty of disastrous misdiagnosis of contemporary culture.  The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth.   In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unlivable.  People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics.  But, of course, that’s not postmodernism!  That’s just old-line verificationism, which held that anything you can’t prove with your five senses is a matter of personal taste.  We live in a culture that remains deeply modernist.”

Craig, William Lane.  “God is not dead yet”, Christianity Today, July 2008, p. 26.

A new day

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

It’s been an early morning and I’ve been listening to two sermons from Andy Stanley in a CD series called “Starting Point – find you place in the story.” One sermon is on grace, the other on Spirit. Both are right where I’m at.

Growing up in a church background, I’ve heard terms such as “Spirit filled life”, and “law and grace”. In another day and age, with a society that still had a Christian memory, those terms were defined with now archaic (but true) language. People “got it”, and “lived it”. But, the old sermons are not being listened to by a present generation. The Christian classics are stored on shelves and not in this generations’ hearts. Words and their definitions have changed. So, we need to find a way to communicate with them truths about the Christian life that are timeless.

Perhaps its my age, recent life experience and a heart cry that I can’t drown out. In my journey and strugglings, I’m seeking to come closer to an understanding of “the deeper Christian life” that I can pass on to others in our “Post Christian Age”.

Right now I’m working my way on this “redefinition road” through sin, law and grace, and into ways to speak of the Spirit filled life. I’m understanding more fully what giving God control of my life is about. I’m trying to put into practice the concept that God is first and the good life is second. And if I have God, then all the rest is just additives!! As I study God’s words (the Scriptures) and I pay attention to His promptings (pay attention means more than just listening to His Spirit – doing comes in here!!), I’m changing.

And truth written in a person’s life is a primary point of speaking to this generation. Then all the books written, songs sung, videos created and truth expounded have impact!!

OK, so that’s a start for the day. Any thoughts??

BTW, if you need a first cup of coffee before you can figure out what I just wrote – drink up and come back – this blog entry will still be here!!

Indecency and harm based tests – a new morality??

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

I’m just reading through the latest Supreme court decision on allowing  “Keeping common bawdy-house – Indecency – Harm-based test – Group sex in club – Whether conduct constitutes criminal indecency – Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, ss. 197(1) “common bawdy-house”, 210(1).”

I am not surprised but still scared with a number of comments. 

One is that we have moved from the test for indecency based on community standards (a hard one to comprehend in the best of circumstances) to a matter of harm ( “by its nature the conduct at issue causes harm or presents a significant risk of harm to individuals or society in a way that undermines or threatens to undermine a value reflected in and thus formally endorsed through the Constitution or similar fundamental laws by (a) confronting members of the public with conduct that significantly interferes with their autonomy and liberty, (b) predisposing others to anti-social behaviour, or (c) physically or psychologically harming persons involved in the conduct.”  – from the preliminaries of the SCC decision).

We have moved from a normative standard to a constructed standard.  Now, these are interesting concepts to discuss (check out my theology blog for some thoughts on this area).  But what it comes down to is the fact that in a pluralistic society we are erasing religion from consideration.

Note the following statement:  (section 34/35) – 

34  The complexity of the guarantee of freedom of religion in this context requires further comment.  The claim that particular sexual conduct violates particular religious rules or values does not alone suffice to establish this element of the test.  The question is what values Canadian society has formally recognized.  Canadian society through its Constitution and similar fundamental laws does not formally recognize particular religious views, but rather the freedom to hold particular religious views.  This freedom does not endorse any particular religious view, but the right to hold a variety of diverse views.   

35   The requirement of formal endorsement ensures that people will not be convicted and imprisoned for transgressing the rules and beliefs of particular individuals or groups.  To incur the ultimate criminal sanction, they must have violated values which Canadian society as a whole has formally endorsed.

By the nature of the decision, the religion of Canada has become that which the constitution and other fundamental laws state is our concensus of the values and morals of our country.  If there ever was a time to recognize the place of the legislative bodies of our country, this is the time!

But, is there a higher law?  That is indeed the great question of the day – which begs the question of why we say that we are “under God.”  If we are under God we do not construct laws and constitutions based on cultural norms, but rather we seek to understand and interpret laws that are already established in who God is and the resulting implications thereof.

Tuesday, Tuesday!!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Well, I’m only waiting for a password!

Keep tuned for the “theology” blog!  Coming as soon as I can get my password working!

Velvet Elvis

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Reading a new book by Rob Bell called Velvet Elvis.  I’d put the link to amazon.com down, but I found it for really cheap at our local Christian Bookstore.  One of those, “We’ll print millions of copies, the first week will go for $20.00.  Next week its already old news – $10.00”.

Rob is a pastor in the States, with Old Testament studies under his belt.  He is the “star” of Nooma videos, a great set of short 10-12 minute clips on basic biblical principles.  So I expected this would be a good read.

And it is!  I’m into the third chapter.  He’s already covered the place of doctrine (what we believe and how flexible it should be) and hermeneutics (the matter of interpreting the Bible).  And never once mentioned that polysyllabic words.

He’s a great writer.  If you want an approach to the “emerging church”, here is a good explanation.  Of course, because emerging church is a new term no one really knows what it means.  The definition is still emerging.  Rob Bell’s approach will definitely give some good thoughts to chew on, from a biblical scholar who delights in context, the visual and the twist of a phrase.

Need some new bed time reading?  Have I got a deal for you!!

Around the table!

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Two pastors joined me for coffee this morning.  OK, so they had coffee and I had my tea.   We talked of fixing houses, prayer and fasting, cruises and Christ.

Someone once said fellowship is a discipline of the spirit.  I’m inclined to agree.  I have to put myself out.  Out where vulnerabiltiy, honesty and integrity are all tested.

At the same time, there is a benefit!  I need other people around the table with me.  Somehow others re-in-spire (put breath back into me).  And in a society where life can creep away from you faster than a prairie breeze, you sometimes need to catch a breath of fresh air from someone else!

In your dreams!!

Friday, October 7th, 2005

                                                         

So, in my dreams, I’m pretending I’m Bobby Fisher (former world chess champion!).

I start with some classic moves.  A pawn here, the knight, followed by a pawn.

The game goes on.  The dark side is advancing.  As I watch the black pieces converge, I’m confident!  I can win this.  I’ve got the best mind available to me.  I’ve got the best computer program as my backup.

No problem!

Well, only one.  The  game’s reason has been left off the board!  

I’m playing without a king. 

Season Premier

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

Last night we stumbled on the season premier of “Rodney”.

All about escaping hell.  The main character, Rodney, decides he should pave the way to heaven with good works.  The pastor is very human.  And the youth Bible study is a piece of comedy!

In the end, if you have been baptized, accepted Jesus as your saviour –  you are on the way.  Just keep doing good things.  As though a formula prayer and a splash of water really get to the heart of this “God” thing. 

And I guess that’s where I was disappointed!  If I understand life, it’s all about God, not all about  “escaping hell and getting heaven”  If you read Jesus, he makes it foremost that our primary need is to love God – first!

When is an atheist an atheist?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

“I’m an atheist.”

The newest fashionable philosophic stance!  But I’m not sure what people mean by it!

Used to be we had Madalyn O’Hair around to aggressively point out that atheism was not Christianity.  Then we had the university crowd who wanted freedom from teenage ideas of God.  But now?

Now we have the new atheists.  Of course, there are the agnostics.  Meaning they don’t know whether their is a God or not.  They take a neutral stance.  But, the new atheists would not like the term agnostic.

I hear some of the most spiritual people claim they are atheists.  Spiritual in that they believe in visions, yoga, coincidences, big bang theories and almost anything!  They seem to want to deny “God”, but accept anything that looks like God – as long as it is not called “God.” 

And so the new atheist says there isn’t a God.  And by saying it, dismisses God.  Then they look at phenomenon around them and create new linguistic categories that sound a lot like the old word “God.”

So, help me out.  When is an atheist an atheist?

Who cares about character?

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

Try some of these thoughts on for the living!  

  • I really believe that our society is headed for mayhem, destruction and worse.  “Values based” curriculum is short sighted.  What we need are revealed values – absolute values!  Unfortunately many have “absolutophobia” – the inability to admit that there is an absolute right and wrong!

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