Category Archives: Christianity

IMAGINE AUGUSTINE AS YOUR PROFESSOR!

Some books are long, but relative to their length you don’t benefit much. Some books are short, but relative to their length you benefit greatly. Joseph Clair’s new book, On Education, Formation, Citizenship and the Lost Purpose of Learning fits in the latter category.  

In 120 pages Clair gives a crisp and thoughtful account of how higher education has lost its moral rudder. To make his case, Clair uses the always insightful and relevant, Bishop of Hippo: Augustine.

Instead of simply detailing the problem, Clair offers some suggestive and practical antidotes. I will mention just one as it is similar to something I’ve been thinking about. Clair mentions that teacher training ought to consider learning from “demanding vocations for inspiration and guidance—for example, Navy Seals, Jesuits, professional athletics—where a sense of identity and purpose provide a strong team spirit and where the results of a shared effort are judged on the basis of the whole community’s performance.”

There was one thing that made me reticent to recommend this book: the cost. That has now been rectified due to being out in a reasonable paperback.

 

SEX, THE POPE, AND ATHEISM

Image result for Richard Dawkins

From well-known atheist Richard Dawkins came this Feb. 11, 2013 tweet:

“I feel sorry for the Pope and all old Catholic priests. Imagine having a wasted life to look back on and no sex.”

What struck me is that sex must take on transcendence of a sort if you are an atheist/materialist.  There is not much left…

LAYING BLAME IN THE WRONG PLACE

I have observed the following on many occasions.

A son or daughter grows up in a Christ-professing home.  Sadly, the parents have not availed themselves of opportunities to grow in their own understanding of the Christian faith.  They can’t interact or answer any of the objections to Christianity that increasingly nag Johnny and Sally.

Johnny and Sally go off to college.  They abandon their Christian upbringing. 

The parents add to their sorrow with the misguided notion that their kiddo abandoned the faith due to “liberal professors.”

MAD AT GEORGE WILL?

My thoughts on Will’s piece are here:

George Will’s piece may be animated by unsavory motivations, but there is much we evangelicals ought to hear. We hate when our leaders are poked in the eye, especially by those outside our camp, but Will’s highlighting of Graham’s pragmatism and naivete are important to hear.

Graham was no Elmer Gantry to be sure, but he was more human and therefore flawed than many Christians want to admit.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/billy-graham-legacy-neither-prophet-nor-theologian/

WHY DO WE ALLOW IT?!

From Pastor Mike Woodruff:
Years ago, while traveling in troubled parts of Africa with Tim Dearborn – then a senior member of World Vision’s leadership team – I wondered why God allowed so much suffering. Dearborn reframed the question, asking why we allow it. He noted that if Christians gave ten percent of their income away, which he argued was a starting point, we could: 1) Wipe out extreme poverty; 2) Provide a 6thgrade education to everyone; 3) Provide clean water to everyone; and 4) Double every church budget and double every mission budget in the world and still have hundreds of billions of dollars left over. He argued back then that the question is not: when is God going to provide, or when are we going to be generous, but when are we going to be faithful and obedient? 
 
I called Tim last week to see if he wanted to update his thinking. He said the numbers still hold, and then observed that there were four things that got the Jews in trouble during the Old Testament era: 1) a failure to circumcise; 2) a failure to tithe; 3) a failure to keep the Sabbath; and 4) a failure to welcome the stranger. He argues that these were all issues of trust. In every situation they (we) were being asked to give something up something they did not want to give up. With circumcision – well, there is no desire to give up anything on that front. With the tithe, it’s money. With the Sabbath, it’s time, and with our home, it’s control / privacy. On all four fronts, obedience protects us from idolatry and helps us learn to trust God.