A Post-Christian World

Below are some reflections on something I have been working on and thinking through. I would be interested in what you think.

_______________________________________

It is difficult to define the post-Christian world in one sentence or paragraph, or even in one book. One of the main reasons for this difficulty is because a trait of the post-Christian world is relativism. Relativism is a belief that all points of view are equally valid because all points of view are relative to the individuals experiences. There is no such thing as absolute truth because all truth is subject to context and culture. As a result, facts cannot be trusted because what is factual today can be falsified tomorrow. Morality is also relative and open to individual choice and interpretation.

Closely connected to relativism is the idea referred to as deconstruction. Starting in the world of literary criticism, deconstruction is a belief that no single meaning of a text is possible. Moving away from literary criticism, deconstruction involves critically evaluating why any belief is believed and why what anyone says is to be taken at face value. Deconstruction goes beyond questioning everything to questioning the possible meanings of everything. The goal of deconstruction is not to destroy meaning and belief but to point out hidden assumptions and contradictions that affect our ability to truly understand. Continue reading

Advertisements

Balance the Extremes

First of all let me say  I am proud to be an American….sing with me, “where at least I know I’m free. And I want forget the men who died and gave that right to me; and so I’ll stand up”….never mind.

One of the hallmarks of most Americans is that we tend to go to extremes. We lack balance. When we do something we do it full speed ahead. We give 100+%. We shoot first and ask questions later. This is both are greatest strength and biggest weakness.

We learn extremism early in life. Here are some popular value statements in our culture that show our lack of balance.

“If you are not first your last.”

“He who dies with the most toys wins.”

“Fake it until you make it.”

“Go for the gusto.”

“Shoot for the stars.”

“You only live once.” Continue reading

The Christian Bookstore

Have you walked through a Christian Bookstore lately?

Early in my ministry I was a regular at Christians Bookstores. Not hardly a week went by when I did not visit one of the several located in my city. Looking back, the amount of money I spent building up my library was mind-blowing. As a result I had a pretty comprehensive and impressive “Pastor’s Study.” I was  such a good customer at one of the leading Christian Bookstore chains that they gave me my own personal account. I could walk into any of their national stores and get what I wanted and get billed later; and I got at 10% discount to boot!

I loved Christian Bookstores.

When I moved to Arkansas there was a small Christian Bookstore in my town, but the really good ones where an hour away. It was during that time that I started purchasing books through the mail, having them shipped directly to my house was really convenient. Not long after that, I started shopping on-line. For the past year and a half I have had a Kindle. It has been over a year since I actually purchased a real book.

I have not been inside a Christian Bookstore in quite some time.

Yesterday I was looking for a specific item that required me to go to a Christian Bookstore. Continue reading

Chick-fil-a Cartoons

Ok. I admit; I like political cartoons. Below are some of the better ones — pro & con — surrounding the Chick-fil-a controversy. Let me know which one you like the best.

Enjoy

The above is my favorite one. It reminds me of a Seinfield episode.

I think the above cartoon is just ok. Continue reading

Chick-Fil-A & the Presidential Elections

I don’t consider myself a political expert but I do think I am a pretty good judge of people and social fads and trends. However, I do admit my understanding is clouded by my worldview and my limited surroundings based on living in the south.

My limited observations have caused me to conclude that Pres. Obama will win re-election in November. Mainly because the Republicans could not have chosen a weaker candidate than Mitt Romney. For the first time this election season, however, I am starting to think I could be wrong. Pres. Obama could very well lose. It has nothing to do with Mitt Romney and everything to do with Chick-Fil-A. Pres. Obama may be brought down, not by an elephant, but by a bunch of cows who can’t spell.

Wednesday, August 1st was declared Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day by Gov. Mike Huckabee. The idea came about out of response to the over the top criticism Dan Cathy received from the LGBT community and a couple of liberal mayors because Mr. Cathy said he supports the biblical definition of marriage. Continue reading

The Lesson of Joe Paterno

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1)

Few things in life are more important than being a person of integrity. It can take years to build a good name, but only a moment for it to be ruined. This is the harsh reality of Coach Joe Paterno and the scandal at Penn State University.

JoePa coached the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years (1966-2011). Before taking over as head coach, he served as an assistant coach from 1950 until 1966. All told, Paterno coached at Penn State for 61 years. Not once during his entire tenure as head coach, was his program cited for any NCAA violation. For 6 decades JoePa built a good name for himself, his staff, and his university. He was known as a class act, a disciplinarian, and a generous person. He and his wife donated millions of dollars back to the school Penn State be used in non-athletic endeavors. JoePa coached 5 undefeated teams, won 2 national championships (1982 & 1986), and 24 bowl games. At the end of his career he was the winningest division 1 football coach in history with a total of 409 victories. JoePa represented class, and integrity. He had a good name. Continue reading

A Sheltered (and now) Shattered Life

I lived a pretty sheltered life growing up. It wasn’t Maybery RFD, but it was quiet and peaceful. I never worried about being a victim of a crime.

I think my first experience in the “real world” came after my sophomore year in college. I spent that summer (1986) working as an intern in a church outside of Miami, FL. There was a Christian college in Miami that I wanted to visit. People in the church told me to make sure I could get to and from the school before dark, to go during a weekday, not weekend, and in the neighborhood surrounding the college, to never allow my vehicle to get blocked in at a traffic light or stop sign. People told me, “Always make sure you leave yourself a way to get out of danger.” The college was in a rough neighborhood. My trip to that school was quite an adventure!

After my experience in Miami, I returned to my sheltered life…until September 11, 2001. On that day, my sheltered life was forever shattered. For me, nothing has been the same since that day. I never go to a sporting event, mall, or any large gathering without thinking about the possibility of an act of violence or terrorist attack. Several years ago, for 6 months, I drove back and forth from Nashville to Little Rock. Every time I went over the Mississippi River on I-40 into Arkansas (or back into Tennessee), I looked up to make sure no planes were about to fly into the bridge. Continue reading