Telling the Truth

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Krishnan Guru-Murthy (Channel 4 on British television journalist) interviewing Peter Hitchens in Ways to Changethe World.

Guru-Murthy: What is the purpose of your writing?

Hitchens: Telling the truth is a purpose in itself. It’s a good thing in itself. It doesn’t need to have any other purpose.

Guru-Murthy: Do you want people to do something as a result?

Hitchens: I used to. But then I realised they weren’t going to, and that was a dead loss. So I thought what was the justification for me to continue to do what you do. And that’s what it is, its telling the truth . . .

Guru-Murthy: for its own sake

Hitchens: its worth it for its own sake. You don’t know what effect it might have. And also you become more interested in the long term, or indeed eternal effects of what you do and say, rather than immediate ones.

 

 


 

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Finding God’s Sovereignty Offensive

Finding God's Sovereignty Offensive

In my four decades of preaching, I had one sermon that provoked outrage. One of the four people offended by the sermon made the charge that I “cherry-picked” the thirty-seven or so bible references to push my cause.

The subject was the sovereignty of God. Continue reading

The Scandal of the Christian Mind

Class 8 FINAL

 

O U T T H I N K I N G   P A G A N S

“We live in the twilight of a great civilization,
amid the deepening decline of modern culture.
Our generation is lost to the truth of God . . .
For this loss it is paying dearly in a swift relapse to paganism.
The barbarians are coming.
Savages are stirring in the dust of a decadent civilization.”

Henry, Carl F. H. Twilight of a Great Civilization:
The Drift Toward Neo-Paganism, (Crossway Books, 1988)
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A story is told of a Sunday school teacher who asked her young class the question: “What is furry, brown, and eats nuts?” One little boy raised his hand and said: “I know the answer is Jesus but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me!”

The story may sound humorous, but it does raise some important questions about the vulnerability of our children in an age where the drift is against belief in God and how well our children are being prepared to live out their faith in a post-Christian society. It is a sad state of affairs when most children growing up in church think they know the answers so long as the answer is “God,” “The Bible,” or “Jesus”. Continue reading

Divine Goodness and Theodicy

Class 7 FINAL

 

T H E   P R O B L E M   O F   E V I L

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of “just” and “unjust”? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?  If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too – for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless -I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

 C.S. Lewis –  Mere Christianity
Harper San Francisco,
Zondervan Publishing House, 2001, pp. 38-39. Continue reading

Divine Cosmos, Sacred Earth

Class 6 FINAL

 

E A S T E R N   P A N T H E I S M

If someone were to ask me whether I believed in God, or saw God, or had a particular relationship with God, I would reply that I don’t separate God from my world in my thinking. I feel that God is everywhere. That’s why I never feel separated from God or feel that I must seek God any more than a fish in the ocean feels it must seek water. In a sense, God is the “ocean” in which we live.
– Robert Fulghum

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Definition:

The Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines pantheism as “the doctrine that God is not a personality, but that all laws, forces, manifestations, etc.  of the universe are God; the belief that God and the universe are one and the same.”

The term pantheism comes from two Greek words “pan” is the Greek word for “all” and theism is from the Greek word “theos” meaning “god.”

The religious belief or philosophical theory that God and the universe are identical (implying a denial of the personality and transcendence of God); the doctrine that God is everything and everything is God. (The Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989). Continue reading

Incredulity Toward Metanarratives

Class 5 FINAL

 

P O S T M O D E R N I S M

Of the several currents that have swept through
the American academy this century, few have been
more pervasive or more perplexing than
postmodernism. Indeed, part of what makes
postmodernism so perplexing is its very
pervasiveness. Included under its label are such
apparently disconnected phenomena as architectural
design by assemblage, the rise of identity politics,
self-referential gestures in cinema, multicultural
programs, the new discipline of cultural studies,
mixed-genre fiction, deconstructive readings of literary
texts, the genealogical critique of social institutions,
and the culture of Las Vegas–to name but a few.

Lilly Summer Seminar – Postmodernism and the Humanities

June 28-July 23, 1999

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Postmodernism comes in all shapes of expressions. What makes it hard to nail it neatly down is that as a philosophy, it is rather impervious to categories and distinctions. That said, it is notoriously a destructive mindset and the havoc it can wreck is beginning to show their ugly head. It’s devastating influences have penetrated almost every aspect of our lives. Continue reading