This and That

Post-Christian America: Gullible, Intolerant, and Superstitious – Here’s the core problem. In the United States we’re replacing an organized, systematic theology with basically nothing. Sure, there’s the moralistic therapeutic deism of the modern “spiritual” American, but its “God wants me to be happy” ethos isn’t quite up to the challenge of dealing with real life. So, we search and search, and in the immortal worlds of the philosopher Aaron Tippin, we learn the hard way that “you gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything” — and “anything” can include indigo auras or the “vibration of a thought.” – David French

How Living Counter-Culturally Can Lead to Your Kids’ Resentment of Christianity – When the message our kids hear is an ongoing stream of don’ts without meaningful explanation—don’t listen to this music, don’t visit these sites, don’t use this social media platform, don’t subscribe to this magazine, don’t join this political movement—they’ll start to wonder if our level of concern about the world is warranted. And meaningful explanation requires demonstrating how the problems actually relate to the Christian worldview. Simply telling our kids that a movie has violence and they shouldn’t watch it, for example, is hardly a meaningful explanation. Why is that a problem for Christians? How can that affect us spiritually? Where should we draw the line? These kinds of questions should regularly be discussed. – Natasha Crain

A Brief History of the Altar Call – By the mid-20th century, altar calls had become a staple of evangelical and Baptist life in America, especially in the South. Many evangelical and Reformed-leaning churches in recent years have stopped doing altar calls, for a variety of reasons. Critics of altar calls have pointed out that they have no strong biblical basis, and that they were part of the “New Measures” introduced by Charles Finney in the later stages of the Second Great Awakening. – Thomas S. Kidd

Calling, Burdens and Being Crushed by Facebook – I scroll through my feed and read about people’s lives. Their broken down, tear-strewn, fractured lives. Cancer diagnoses and flooded houses and political angst and racism. News of police brutality and retaliatory strikes. GoFundMe campaigns for people in dire situations and a lot of people who just want to vent.  It’s like eating a big bowl of depression soup.  By the time I log off, I feel like I’ve watched the world’s worst movie – a tragedy interspersed with random, non-sequitur moments of comedy. – Stephen Altrogge


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