I‘m often asked if apologetics, defending the reasonableness of the Christian faith, is really just a veiled form of rationalism. Rationalism is the view that reason is the supreme authority for knowing truth. I think this is an important question.
William Wilberforce was a British politician who devoted his life to ending slavery. There is a school named in his honor less than five miles from my house. It’s the first university to be owned and operated by African Americans in America.
How can you force the Gentiles to live as Jews? That’s the pointed question Paul asked Peter (Gal. 2). Peter was flirting with a double standard. He was willing to chow down on some bacon and pork chops when his Jewish brothers weren’t around. But if he caught word that some fellow Jews were dropping in, he would drop out. He wasn’t about to let them catch him at a Gentile barbecue.
Mark Zuckerberg, creator of the all consuming social media platform, Facebook, has had a status change. His profile originally described his religious belief as atheism. But his holiday message posted online signaled a worldview shift.
Morality plays were kind of a big deal in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. They were one of three main forms of plays in the Middle Ages. The other two forms, miracle plays and mystery plays, focused on biblical characters or saints. The morality play focused on a particular hero, an everyman, whose character was tested, but who exhibited strength and achieved redemption.
The basic story of Christmas, what Christians actually believe, is that God broke the barrier of time and space. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Christians believe God is the Author of time and space; the Maker of matter and energy. And they believe the Author has written himself into His story. This is the plot of Christmas.
In his book The Artist’s Way of Preaching, Charles Denison says, “Most people do not read poetry, but the preacher should!” I wholeheartedly agree. But I will go a step further, I think preachers should listen to poetry as well.
We’re not in Kansas any more,” Dorothy opined in the movie The Wizard of Oz. She didn’t realize she had landed in a new world, but she was quite certain about one thing: she wasn’t at home anymore. A lot of young people experience a similar feeling when leaving for college. One day they’re eating their mom’s homemade fried chicken and the next they’re living on a diet of Ramen noodles.
Mark Edmundson, University of Virginia professor, asks an important question in the title of his article If Everything is So Amazing, Why’s Nobody Happy? I’m reminded of the tweet heard ’round the world from comedian Jim Carrey in which he said, “I wish everyone could experience being rich and famous so they would see it isn’t the answer for anything.” Both professor and comedian seem perplexed that we could have so much and yet lead such empty lives.