+ Christians Observing Ramadan [Boundless Line]
+ An Open Letter to Tim Tebow’s Fans [Christianity Today]
Dr. Joel Beeke was our featured guest on The Christian Worldview this past Saturday, October 3rd. Our topic was “What Makes Great Preachers Great?” as we took a look back at the common distinctives of the great preachers of the past who had immense influence on America.
After the show, Dr. Beeke offered our radio listeners a special discount of 50% off the cover price for Meet The Puritans. Be sure to take advantage of this great offer. Call 616-977-0599 and order your copy today! Be sure to mention The Christian Worldview in order to receive your discount.
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Guest: Dr. Joel Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Once upon a time in America, godly preachers shaped the worldview of the citizens of this country by preaching the Word of God “line upon line and precept upon precept.” No more. Now, the entertainment industry, the media, and the educational system, all with their humanistic, ungodly, unbiblical worldview, are the primary influencers of our society. Is it any wonder why evil is called good now and good called evil?
This Saturday in Hour 1 of The Christian Worldview, we’ll take a look back at the common distinctives of the great preachers of the past that had immense influence on America – from John Calvin and Martin Luther of the Reformation to the Puritan preachers of the 1600′s to George Whitefield and Read more
Guest: Bob DeWaay, author, The Emergent Church: Undefining Christianity
You have probably heard the old saying, “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!”
Well, there’s a whole new generation of professing Christians that would keel over at the “arrogance” and “certainty” of making such a statement … and some of them are most likely in your church.
Bob DeWaay, pastor of Twin Cities Fellowship Church and author of The Emergent Church: Undefining Christianity will join us in Hour 2 of The Christian Worldview this Saturday to discuss what post-modernism is and how it has infected both our culture and a large swath of the evangelical church. Interestingly, Pastor DeWaay says the errant eschatology of the Emergent Church has led to a place where Read more
After hearing in Hour 1 from Robert Knight, senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and author of Fighting for America’s Soul, we will take listener phone calls in Hour 2 on any of the issues discussed with Mr. Knight.
Whether it’s the right to life, same-sex marriage, the homosexual agenda in our culture, government’s war on private charity, the socialization of health care, you will have the opportunity to offer your feedback.
So be ready with an insightful comment as we devote all of Hour 2 to ”Listener Response to America’s New Civil War.”
Guest: Robert Knight, author, Fighting for America’s Soul
We were promised “change” and that is what we have received from the Obama Administration when they came into power in January 2009. Robert Knight, our guest in Hour 1 of The Christian Worldview this Saturday, writes on the back of his book, Fighting for America’s Soul, “What’s happening is nothing less than a mighty clash of worldviews, with secular collectivist forces now in the driver’s seat and hoping to enact as much of their agenda as possible, before Americans wake up in time to fight for their liberties.”
Knight will frame the raging debates over issues such as the right to life, marriage, health care, judges, military, globalism, and several other hot topics. Get informed about the battle and what you should think and do as a Christian by tuning into Hour 1 of The Christian Worldview.
John T. Elson’s most famous article for TIME magazine appeared over 40 years ago, and it largely defined his journalistic career. His April 8, 1966 cover story, “Is God Dead?,” became an icon of the rebellious and increasingly secular sixties.
Elson, who died September 7 at age 78, was the son of a reporter, and he knew a big story when he saw one. He worked on the TIME cover story for more than a year, interviewing theologians and religious leaders. When published, the story became a symbol of the tumultuous decade of the sixties. For the first time, TIME published the magazine cover without a photograph or drawing. The question, “Is God Dead?,” was all that mattered.
As William Grimes of The New York Times recounts,
The issue caused an uproar, equaled only by John Lennon’s offhand remark, published in a magazine for teenagers a few months later, that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. The “Is God Dead?” issue gave TIME its biggest newsstand sales in more than 20 years and elicited 3,500 letters to the editor, the most in history to that point. It remains a signpost of the 1960s, testimony to the wrenching social changes transforming the United States.
Elson’s report looked at the increasing secularization of the society. The decade of the 1960s saw the emergence of secularizing trends in intellectual life, the arts, and mass culture. And yet, Elson’s major focus was on the radical theologians of the decade. The so-called “Death of God Theologians” were garnering headlines and forging a new post-theistic theology.
As Elson reported:
Is God dead? The three words represent a summons to reflect on the meaning of existence. No longer is the question the taunting jest of skeptics for whom unbelief is the test of wisdom and for whom Nietzsche is the prophet who gave the right answer a century ago. Even within Christianity, now confidently renewing itself in spirit as well as form, a small band of radical theologians has seriously argued that the churches must accept the fact of God’s death, and get along without him. How does the issue differ from the age-old assertion that God does not and never did exist? Nietzsche’s thesis was that striving, self-centered man had killed God, and that settled that. The current death-of-God group believes that God is indeed absolutely dead, but proposes to carry on and write a theology without theos, without God. Less radical Christian thinkers hold that at the very least God in the image of man, God sitting in heaven, is dead, and—in the central task of religion today—they seek to imagine and define a God who can touch men’s emotions and engage men’s minds.
Elson got right to the point. The radical theologians, influenced by theologians such as Paul Tillich, rejected the existence of a God who would possess being, but affirmed what Tillich called the “ground of being.” The “theology without theos” Elson described became mainstream fare in liberal seminaries and divinity schools. Before long, leading “Death of God” figures such as Thomas J.J. Altizer, Paul Van Buren, and William Hamilton had become media celebrities and public intellectuals.
The radical theologians pressed their case that orthodox theology was based on an outdated understanding of God. God does not have to exist to be meaningful to human existence, they argued. He remains a potent symbol and source of meaning. God is still a useful concept, they insisted, but, in the words of Langdon Gilkey of the University of Chicago Divinity School, the believer “still needs to learn that talk of God is largely symbolic.”
Seen in retrospect, it is clear that the “Death of God” movement did not survive the 1960s. Within a few short years, much of the stridency of the secular tide had been repackaged into the more benign-appearing “spiritualities” of the postmodern age. Furthermore, many of the central concepts of the “Death of God” movement were simply absorbed into the increasingly secularized mainline Protestant world. Theological non-realism no longer holds the power to shock within liberal theological circles.
Looking back to the TIME cover story, what seems most remarkable now is what was absent from that report — the rise of a vigorous and fully orthodox alternative to liberal theology. Elson noted the continued presence of the “true believer,” but the believer appeared to be in a rather lonely position. Missing from the account was the rise of an energetic Evangelicalism. That story would produce a memorable cover story for Newsweek, exactly ten years later.
John T. Elson concluded his iconic cover story by wondering if the “contemporary Christian worry about God could be a necessary and healthy antidote to centuries in which faith was too confident and sure.” An antidote? Not hardly. But Elson’s essay about the death of God was a theological wake-up call that will be remembered long after his own death.
This past week, former President Jimmy Carter exemplified where America has come in its level of discourse by saying, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American,”
So, according to Jimmy Carter’s worldview, the majority of people who oppose President Obama’s policies are racists.
The accusations don’t stop at racism. If you oppose same-sex marriage, you are a “bigot” and a “hater” and want to return America to its pre-civil rights days. Read more
Guest: Mike Gendron, director, Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries
Works-righteousness. It is the unifying belief of all false religions that man can earn a better afterlife based on the good things he/she does on earth.
John MacArthur talked about it last Saturday on The Christian Worldview. He said, “The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes of this day, this age or any age are those who misrepresent the truth. Those who proclaim, or purvey false religion, a false Christ, a false Gospel and there are a myriad: certainly you can start with the cults, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons who have a false God, a false Christ, a false Gospel, a false everything. Read more
War clouds over Iran are building rapidly. On Friday night during the 9/11 National Town Hall Meeting, I explained that because Washington and the Western powers are doing nothing decisive to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, there is an increasingly likelihood that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will feel the need to matters into his own hands, and soon. Iran now has enough enriched uranium (that we know about) to build at least two nuclear weapons. If the Russians deliver and install the new S-300 state-of-the-art anti-aircraft missiles in Iran then the Israelis ability to decimate Iran nuclear facilities will be dramatically diminished. These are likely the issues Netanyahu discussed in the Kremlin last Monday. So, short of divine intervention and/or a dramatic turnabout in Western resolve and action, we may very well be looking at an Israeli preemptive strike in 2010.
In light of that assessment, I would draw to your attention a sobering and must-read column this morning by a Wall Street Journal editorial writer Bret Stephens. It’s entitled, “Obama Is Pushing Israel Toward War.”
- “Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along?
- “At July’s G-8 summit in Italy, Iran was given a September deadline to start negotiations over its nuclear programs. Last week, Iran gave its answer: No. Instead, what Tehran offered was a five-page document that was the diplomatic equivalent of a giant kiss-off. It begins by lamenting the ‘ungodly ways of thinking prevailing in global relations’ and proceeds to offer comprehensive talks on a variety of subjects: democracy, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, ‘respect for the rights of nations,’ and other areas where Iran is a paragon. Conspicuously absent from the document is any mention of Iran’s nuclear program, now at the so-called breakout point, which both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss Ali Khamenei insist is not up for discussion….
- “The longer the U.S. delays playing hardball with Iran, the sooner Israel is likely to strike. A report published today by the Bipartisan Policy Center, and signed by Democrat Chuck Robb, Republican Dan Coats, and retired Gen. Charles Ward, notes that by next year Iran will ‘be able to produce a weapon’s worth of highly enriched uranium . . . in less than two months.’ No less critical in determining Israel’s timetable is the anticipated delivery to Iran of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft batteries: Israel will almost certainly strike before those deliveries are made, no matter whether an Iranian bomb is two months or two years away.
- “Such a strike may well be in Israel’s best interests, though that depends entirely on whether the strike succeeds. It is certainly in America’s supreme interest that Iran not acquire a genuine nuclear capability, whether of the actual or break-out variety. That goes also for the Middle East generally, which doesn’t need the nuclear arms race an Iranian capability would inevitably provoke.
- “Then again, it is not in the U.S. interest that Israel be the instrument of Iran’s disarmament. For starters, its ability to do so is iffy: Israeli strategists are quietly putting it about that even a successful attack may have to be repeated a few years down the road as Iran reconstitutes its capacity. For another thing, Iran could respond to such a strike not only against Israel itself, but also U.S targets in Iraq and the Persian Gulf.”