There is a rising trend of Modern Skepticism in today’s culture. It’s not an atheistic skepticism, post-modern skepticism, or even an apathetic skepticism; rather, it’s a form of philosophical skepticism. It’s a skepticism that believes in the existence of truth, and even pursues after truth. However, this new skepticism, while it searches for truth, claims it cannot be objectively known. This skepticism is starting to creep into the evangelical church. The most obvious modern evangelical skeptic is Pastor/Author Rob Bell.
Rob Bell will passionately search for truth; however, he won’t claim to have found it. Rob Bell will say, “How we respond to Christ is terribly important; but, how things play out is firmly in the realm of speculation”.
Read that sentence again. “Firmly in the realm of speculative thought”. The problem with this statement is that man is still stuck in Plato’s cave. All man can do is speculate at the shadows cast on the cave’s back wall. It denies the doctrine of Revelation. The idea that God has revealed certain things to Man through Scripture and that Man can come to know absolute Truth through the study of scripture. The Skeptic will merely view scripture as an intellectual stimulation, not as truth.
This is the same type of skeptic that St. Augustine fought against. As Christians, we should rejoice in the fact that God has revealed truth and knowledge to us, not cover it up with Skepticism.
Pride must be the most pervasive of sins. It can creep into the hearts of even the most religious and faithful of men. But how can we cope with it? How, as christians, are we to overcome this sin? The most obvious, short, and simple answer is Christ. Through Christ we can be set free from the bondage of pride. When we approach Christ with pride and self-righteousness, our sins and lowliness will be exposed. We must acknowledge that we are totally and completely unworthy to stand in the presence of God, let alone, experience his Grace and Mercy.
“When you feel yourself to be utterly unworthy, you have hit the truth” -Spurgeon
I love this quote by Spurgeon. I love that Spurgeon uses the phrase “…you have hit the truth”. He doesn’t say, “and you will see God”. While the latter might be true, Spurgeon’s says “You have hit THE TRUTH”. The one truth that man has is that we are totally fallen, utterly unworthy, and irredeemable. When man begins to understand and internalize this doctrine of total depravity, Christ and the Cross become more glorified, and man becomes humbled.
So, how should Christians fight Pride? With Truth.
So today I wrote my first guest post for Adam Smith over at Jackalope kid. Go check him out here! In the mean time, view my previous postings and signup below to win a free book below!
I’m giving away a free book! Those of you who know me or read this blog regularly know that I absolutely love Charles Spurgeon’s writings. He is a very convicting preacher who takes man’s eyes and directs them heavenward. With that thought in mind, I am giving away a new book We Shall See God. Its a devotional book compiled by Randy Alcorn “comprised of fifty of the most profound spiritual insights on eternity” from Charles Spurgeon. I just finished reading this book and I love it. To enter the book give away, enter your email address to subscribe to the blog and then share it on facebook or twitter. Once we hit 50 subscribers, I’ll randomly select a winner.
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So, I’ve seen this video float around on facebook for the past couple days and I just now got a chance to watch it. Its an amazing video regarding the current state of Education. Its about 11 minutes long, but its worth watching every minute of it. Take a look at it and let me know your thoughts!
I know country music is corny. There is no way around it. When most songs are about broken love, America, family, and chicken fried, odds are its going to be corny. But that’s part of the reason I love Country music! It tells stories, and stories capture your imagination. The stories of the love, pain, struggles, and pride that we all have and all go through. Country music takes everyday life and it romantizes it. When we stop to think about everyday life, it deserves to be romanticized. With the fast pace of life that we all have today, its important for us to hear and see the ideals that exists in the regular, mundane life.
Stop for a moment and think about your life. In my life today, I snapped at my wife, apologized, and we’re more in love than ever. If your a parent, odds are today you did at least one of the following:
Woke up early
worked to provide your family with shelter, food, and some of life’s simple pleasures (like a braves game)
took care of them
cleaned up after them
Sat in traffic thinking of when you get to be back home with your family
ate a decent meal
Begged for piece and quite
Had piece and quite and then realized you missed your family
So. What is more real than that? What is more authentic than the life communicated in a country song? In a time when 50% of marriages fail, what is more authentic than a song about a marriage that succeeds? Or what is more real than the pain that comes with a divorce and only seeing your children every other weekend? These are stories that are told through Country music. The life we live deserves to be romanticized by country music.
I stumbled upon this video while doing research on a new project I’m working on. Its a video by poet Ezekiel Azonwu called Almost Saved. I Love spoken word poetry and this is a great example. To me this poem has so much doctrine in it and the style of this poem drives the point home in a way that is very convicting. Watch it below and tell me your thoughts.
I don’t know very much about Sorjourn Music, or there church; however, they just came out with a new album entitled The Water and the Blood. The entire album is based on the hymns of Isaac Watts. What Sojourn Music does is take some of his most classic hymns, and sets them to a southern rock/folk/blue music. Its a really interesting idea that they have come up with and its produced some really good music. Watch the video below about the making of the album. To listen to the album go here. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the album; so feel free to comment below!
What does it mean to be a christian artist? What does it mean to know that you have a talent that has been given to you by God for a purpose? As Christian artists, we are given a bigger responsibility than those who do not follow God. We are tasked with representing the world as it truly is, not what how the world views it. We are called to proclaim Christ and HIS truth as it is written in scripture. That doesn’t mean Christian artists can only do passion plays, or paintings of the cross, or the whole gospel. What that means is that we must be intentional with our art. Those of you who know me or read this blog know that I think art, especially “christian art”, should always begin with intention. We must ask ourselves, “What am I trying to comunicate?” “Why am I inspired to tell this story?” We do not believe in the mythical muse, we believe inspiration comes from God and the knowledge of truth we have through him.
This is a holy and sacred story that we are called to depict in our art and in our lives, and in order to depict it as accurately and as beautiful as the story truly is, we must approach it with intentionality. The Christian artist would do well to remember what the loftiness of the story he is depicting, and who’s story he is telling.
Prescription Drug Abuse is the fastest growing drug problem facing our country right now. One has to ask, Why is this such a growing problem? and why does it seem to disproportionally affect minors. In 2009, the CDC reported that just over 20% of high school students (1 in 5) had taken a prescription drug without a prescription. What drives these students to abuse prescription drugs? While there is alot of data as to drug usage patterns, there is not alot of data detailing the reasons for drug use? So what do you think drives students to try drugs? Is it looking for fulfillment, bordom, peer-pressure, stupid parents, or is it something else? What do you think is the cause of this epidemic?
Those of you who know me know that I am probably the most conservative person you know in regards to economics. I believe that taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society; however, our current tax system not only overly burdens us in regards to the tax rate, but the tax structure. The Laffer Center estimates that in addition to the taxes we pay, there is a 30% compliance cost for companies and individuals to pay those taxes.
Arthur Laffer estimates that we spend $431 Billion just in complying with the tax code! What’s worse, is the overly complex tax system hurts lower income families! Those with lower incomes have less to spare and more deductions to try and qualify for. It seems to me that a lower rate across the board and a less complex system would benefit everybody. Imagine what would happen if there was an extra $431 Billion injected into the economy. Imagine what it means to a middle income family!
“A tax reform to a simple flat-rate tax with no deductions would significantly reduce the current complexity inherent in our progressive tax system, which is full of loopholes, exemptions and special interest carve-outs. Based on the estimates from our new study, if a static, revenue-neutral flat-tax reform were to reduce the tax complexity in half, the long-term growth in our economy would increase by around one-half of 1% per year.
Small increases in our annual economic growth rate make a big difference over time. The unemployment rate would decline and the pay for those jobs would increase faster as well.
To see what this means in practice, consider a family that made $40,000 in the year 2000. If their income grew by 3.2% per year, the average long-term GDP growth rate, their income by 2010 would be $53,110. Now imagine that the growth in the family’s income was not 3.2% but 3.72% (the impact from halving the costs of our current complex tax system). Under this higher growth scenario, the family’s annual income would have been $55,568 in 2010. The slight increase in the economic growth rate raises this family’s purchasing power by 4.6%.”
John Lane is a husband, teacher, and disciple. He works at Artios Academies where he is the director of development and is a contributing author to the Artios Home Companion Series curriculum
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A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.