Category Archives: Character

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/

TRUSTING GOD IS LIKE TRUSTING YOUR MECHANIC

Esther Meek wrote a terrific book entitled, Learning to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People.  In it, she describes how finding a reliable mechanic helped her better understand how we use certain clues to determine whether God as known in Jesus Christ is who He claimed. 

More generally, how do we know what we know?  It is an important branch of philosophy called epistemology. Too many people, including plenty of Christians, don’t think about how and why they think the way they do.

I read Meek’s book several years back.  At the time, my experiences with mechanics was mixed.  Some were okay while others had clearly taken advantage of me.

Enter Joe Ruiz.  Joe’s shop is here in Austin.  Two friends I implicitly trust told me how Joe kept their cars running. Many times, Joe told Gil or Mike that they did not need all the other “recommended” stuff other mechanics had tried to sell them.  

My experience with Joe mimics what Gil and Mike have experienced.  Our car (with 210,000 miles) recently lurched forward from a stop. I figured the transmission was going since it is the original one.  I took it into Joe.  Joe told me the catalytic converter may be responsible.  He thoroughly checked out everything else including the transmission.  All looked good.  He recommended adding five gallons of high octane fuel which I did.

Our car is back running just fine.  Joe charged $107 for all the work.  I was dreading a large expense that would have been challenging on our budget.

Meek’s argument that we pick up clues to determine whether God is trustworthy is inspired by the great philosopher of science, Michael Polanyi.  I highly recommend it!

And if you live in the Austin area, I know a great car mechanic!

https://www.amazon.com/Longing-Know-Esther-Lightcap-Meek/dp/1587430606/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517415640&sr=1-2

CHRISTIANS OUTDO THE CULTURE…IN A BAD WAY!

“Evangelicals are not alone in shifting their view of the role moral character should play in choosing political leaders. Between 2011 and last year, the percentage of Americans who say politicians who commit immoral acts in their private lives can still behave ethically in public office jumped to 61 percent from 44 percent, according to a Public Religion Research Institute/Brookings poll. During the same period, the shift among evangelicals was even more dramatic, moving from to 72 percent from 30 percent, the survey found.”

The rest is here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-some-evangelicals-a-choice-between-moore-and-morality/2017/11/16/27a28a16-cadc-11e7-b0cf-7689a9f2d84e_story.html?utm_term=.8789af67fdb2

Michael Cromartie, R.I.P.

Michael Cromartie, R.I.P.

I met Mike about twenty years ago.  We were in the beginning stages of launching Two Cities Ministries.  We had a wonderful lunch over Chinese food at a quiet place in Washington, DC.  Mike was one of the most influential Christian leaders you’ve probably never heard of.  He was full of energy, loved people, and was a great raconteur. 

Plutarch said “small” things can reveal a man’s character.  One thing stands out for me.  Though Mike and I hardly knew each other he was always very quick to answer any question I sent him via email. 

Through his creativity and tenacity Mike was able to win the trust of journalists across a wide swath of religious and political perspectives, no small feat!