Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!
Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
7 “Christian” Rules that Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible by Jonathan Fisk
This is the third in a series of articles expounding on the quotes from the book 7 “Christian” Rules that Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible, by Jonathan Fisk. As you read the quotes, honestly think about the answers to the following questions: Does this “belief” remind you of anything (denomination, preacher, philosophy) in our world today? Have you ever had this “belief”?
“The Enlightenment: A cultural movement in eighteenth-century Europe and America that sought to improve society through the advancement of knowledge.” “Rationalism: The belief that contact with God can be found through the clarity of your observations or the consistency of your logic. Rationalism, then, is nothing more than the worship of your thoughts.” The idol of rationalism is your reason which suggests that you can find God in your mind.
The Enlightenment and Rationalism, in a sense, put Religion on the back burner with the idea that knowledge can be observed and trusted apart from religion and that religion was something that could not be proven but must be believed. The post-modern world put science back on the back burner with religion because even science, as we know, can be wrong.
When it comes to who can be trusted to tell the truth we might ask, “Have human beings ever been wrong?” and of course the answer is “Yes!” But we might also ask, “Has God ever been wrong?” and of course the answer is “Never!” Thus, when there is a question and a discrepancy of and answer between what God says and what man postulates, I will side with God and suggest that man reevaluate his answer until it falls in line with what God says.
This approach, that man is fallible and God is infallible works in all areas of life, from translating and interpreting Scripture to science and archeology. We all have the same “facts,” or “data,” how we interpret those “facts” and “data” flows from our understanding (presuppositions) and trust in the most logical and reasonable explanation.
Here again, as always we get it right when we are pointed back to the sure and certain source of salvation, the very Word of God.
“Modernism: The belief that the new economic, social, and political conditions ushered in by the Industrial Revolution made more “traditional” forms of art, literature, architecture, and faith increasingly outdated.” “Romanticism: A cultural movement that reacted against the Enlightenment by validating personal experience as a significant source of authority.” “Postmodernism: Rising in reaction to Modernism, the belief that reality is only apparent, a variety of evolved social constructions, always subject to change.” “Pragmatism: The belief that knowledge found by evaluating the consequences of actions can create more efficient or “intelligent” future actions.” “Prosperity: The belief that the way God feels about you is measured by how good your life is right now. Prosperity, then, is nothing more than worship of health, wealth, and wellness. Prosperities lie: you can find God in this world.” The idol of prosperity is material things and the thought that you can find God in the world.
History bears out the fact that one generation rebels and pushes back against the previous generation, thus Romanticism pushes back at Modernism and Post-moderism pushes back against Romanticism. Pragmatism mediates with the idea that what works is the best, thus we have less interest in tradition, doctrine (beliefs and teaching), core values and the like and instead we want to do what works, i.e., “Build it and they will come.” Using what works, whether or not it is grounded in our beliefs brings “success” as defined by the one defining success, so that the ultimate goal is “prosperity” which implies success.
God’s covenant with Abraham, although a covenant concerning the Promised land, was broken by His people, the Children of Israel, yet that was not the main thing or the most important thing in the covenant. The main thing in the covenant was the promise of a Savior who would earn forgiveness and lay claim to an eternal inheritance, an eternal land in heaven. Thus, earthly prosperity truly means nothing because “You can’t take it with you.”
Here again, as always we get it right when we are pointed back to the sure and certain source of salvation, the very Word of God through which the gifts and promises of God are distributed, including an eternal inheritance in heaven.