For Your Edification (5.7.12)

For Your Edification is a weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life.  Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.  

BIBLE

Scripture & Worldview.  Perhaps, you are aware that Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew have written a handful of helpful books on biblical theology, worldview, and missions.  But did you know that they have also put up a powerpoint presentation on line for your use in teaching through their material?  You can find Powerpoint for The Drama of Scripture and Living at the Crossroads.

Wednesday, I am starting one of two classes this summer, to help our church read the stories of Scripture in light of the Big Story, and I have adapted my notes from these slides.  Check them out and then pick up one of Goheen and Bartholomew’s books: The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story and Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Worldviews.

THEOLOGY

McDonald’s, Jonathan Edwards, and Holy Affections. LifeWay VP and co-author of Simple ChurchEric Geiger, provides a colorful explanation of true conversion.  If you want to understand what happens in the new birth, you should read this–unless you just ate McDonald’s.  Better yet, read Jonathan Edwards book Religious Affections, which Geiger references.  Edwards work  is, perhaps, the definitive work on helping to understand the acquisition and exercise of “tastebuds” for God.

Philosophy RapDr. Jim Orrick, a professor of literature and culture at Boyce College (and also a tenacious basketball player), provides a very humorous and educational “rap” on the nature of world views (Weltenschaungs).  The video quality is poor but the lyrics are outstanding.  Check it out:

FAMILY, LIFE & MINISTRY

Muscular Christianity.  Professor, theologian, and prolific author, Michael Horton, has written an insightful piece calling into question the “over-reaction” or some younger Reformed types and their obsession with Christian sports figures and the bravado necessary to be a masculine Christian.  The historical aspect of the piece is most helpful as it situates the current Tebowmania and Linsanity in the larger context of Muscular Christianity.

On this subject, here is a piece I wrote as a college senior entitled: “Muscular Christianity.”   It may be a little rough, but it helpfully traces the history of the engagement, disengagement, and re-engagement of Christianity and sports.

An Agenda for Recovering Christianity in America. Tim Keller reflects on Ross Douthat’s new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Hereticswhich outlines a number of causes for Christianity’s decline in the United States.  Some of these, Keller lists as

  • political polarization that has sucked churches into its vortex;
  • the sexual revolution that has undermined the plausibility of Christian faith and practice for an entire generation;
  • globalization that has made the exclusive claims of Christianity seem highly oppressive;
  • materialism and consumerism that undermines commitment to anything higher than the self; and
  • alienation of the cultural elites and culture-shaping institutions from Christianity.

Keller, a pastor in New York City, broadly affirms Douthat’s assessment, which includes three ways churches can respond to a post-postmodern society.  He summarizes Douthat’s three proposals, saying,

A church that could welcome them, he warns, would need three qualities. First, it would have to bepolitical without being partisan. That is, it would have to equip all its members to be culturally engaged through vocation and civic involvement without identifying corporately with one political party. Second, it would have to be confessional yet ecumenical. That is, the church would have to be fully orthodox within its theological and ecclesiastical tradition yet not narrow and harsh toward other kinds of Christians. It should be especially desirous of cooperation with non-Western Christian leaders and churches. Third, the church would not only have to preach the Word faithfully, but also be committed to beauty and sanctity, the arts, and human rights for all.

As always, Keller’s insights are worth listening to.  And from the sound of it so is Douthat’s Bad Religion.  For a review of the new book, see Collin Hansen’s TGC Review.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

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