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Tag: Idolatry

Cut Flower Future

  The fractures we now see in our society Wolfhart Pannenberg predicted thirty years ago as he announced that “Western society will not survive the entire emancipation of the self.” Godless secularism provides no integrative center for a society and no rationale whatsoever for self-denial in the service of a higher good. Unhinged from the transcendent God, all that remains to rule is unbridled self-interest. What a fairy tale it is to think that we all can bow to that Molech and somehow magically an orderly and prosperous society will result. Such a people lack the basic equipment necessary for freedom and responsible citizenship. You cannot even get a healthy family that way. We have become what Elton Trueblood called…

Woo the Strumpet

Those who would save the Church through popularity with the world “woo an aging and decayed strumpet.” (Donne) The status of the world’s religions is an important consideration and we dare not make light of it, but it comes down to this: the only salvation that the Church knows is salvation in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any other is suicide. There is “no other name…” (Acts 4:12) Of the status before God of those who, through no fault of their own, have never had the opportunity to hear but have lived up to the best that they know, we remain agnostic. Those who would join salvation in Christ with other salvations construct an evil peace by joining together…

Solomon’s Concession

I watched part of a documentary last night, until my stomach turned, on Bronislaw Malinowski, one of the founders of Cultural Anthropology. The discussion of his book The Sexual Life of Savages, reminded me of my Cultural Anthropology professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. His favorite dismissal term was “puritanical”. No reasons need trouble us wherever that term was applied. He claimed to want discussion, so every time he used that putdown word, I raised my hand to take umbrage. After all, surely the Puritans deserved a “value neutral” ethnography as well, but that would mean letting go of a pet hypocrisy in the Social Sciences. He got tired of seeing my hand, but carried on unphased otherwise.…

From Many to the One

One thing Paul did not say as he gazed at the the variety of gods honored in Athens:”Isn’t religious diversity wonderful!” Growth in wisdom means unlearning what’s not so.

Departed Glory

The most potent enemy of the gospel is not aggressive atheism, but calm, cool, deliberate counterfeits. Honest atheism might at least awaken us to God’s absence. Counterfeit gospels lull us to sleep with false security as they apply spiritual Novocain to the pain of God’s voice shouting at us. It’s a bad physician that only prescribes pain killers. One of the most frightening passages in scripture is when God withdraws his presence from the temple and only Ezekiel sees (Ezek. 10-11). There was no absence of spirituality. In every corner of the temple the people practiced a different idolatry, never rejecting God outright, just crowding him out of his dwelling place. They were dead before they died when God became…