Robert White Says the Answer for Canada Is Biblical Literacy

I normally write about Christ for Christians in America because I am American and thus I know more about the state of faith here than I do about faith in any other country.  When I see article like this, however, I can recognize the similarity of our situations – at least with Canada.

If Christians really want to stanch society’s flow to the secular, I’d suggest they start reading the Bible again. And not, as Hiemstra writes, to “read in the meaning they assume lies under the text” but to “(engage) the text itself.”

As the old Sunday school song goes: “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me/I’ll stand alone on the Word of God/The B-I-B-L-E.”

(2 min read; 495 words)

Finding firm footing in biblical literacy by Robert White.

(If you want help with your biblical literacy, here’s my podcast on the subject.)

WR008 – Week in Review – for the week ending May 30, 2014

(This podcast is currently only available either through a browser, as you’re viewing it now, or through the “Mike Gantt” app, which is a free download in the iOS and Android app stores.)

Hi, I’m Mike Gantt and this is my week in review for the week ending Friday, May 30, 2014.  The purpose of this podcast is to review all that I have published in the previous week through my blogs, my podcasts, other social media such as Twitter, and even my comments on the blogs of other people.

Hebrews 2:1 says that “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” That is, there’s a tendency to forget what we’ve learned unless we review it. And in several places in the Gospels, including Matthew 13:12, Jesus said, “Whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” Thus, reviewing what we’ve learned not only helps us to retain it, it’s also the way we learn new things from God. “Out of the old comes something new, and out of both come all things true – at least when it comes to the things of God.”  Let’s therefore now go over the things we’ve heard in the last week and see how much we have retained, how much we can retain, and how much more we’re able to gain.

Segment 1: Review of A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom for the week (begins at  01:15)

Segment 2: Review of A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom for the week (begins at 29:26 )

Segment 3: Review of Reference Shelf for the Kingdom of God, Current Events in Light of the Kingdom of God, and Twitter for the week (begins at 51:56)

Here’s the blog post on which I commented.  (Sometimes there are so many comments that they don’t show up on the first page; therefore, you may have to poke around to find my exchange.)

Total time elapsed 1:15:39

 

A Young Man Divided Against Himself and Shamed for the Wrong Reasons

I do not know how to explain the violent acts of Elliott Rodger which occurred in Isla Vista, California last Friday.  That is, I cannot identify all of the relevant facts, nor parse all the contributing causes, much less prescribe the means by which we may prevent any recurrence of such events.  I know there are some who are sure that greater gun control is the answer, though I’m not sure how that would have helped those that Rodger stabbed with a knife and wanted to run down with his automobile.

There are, however, two factors which stand out to me – which I doubt the news media will consider important.  First, there is the divorce of his parents.  Note this sentence from the first article linked below:

Mr. Rodger was, from a young age, emotionally disturbed, particularly since the divorce of his parents when he was in first grade, family friends said. 

In my lifetime, American society has made divorce much easier to achieve and much more socially acceptable.  I don’t see how these new social mores have helped Mr. Rodger or his parents.

Second, this young man gave sexual frustration as the reason for his rage.  Again, from the first article linked below:

He spoke of the women who rejected him, the happiness he saw around him, and his life as a virgin at the age of 22.

Rodger himself explained his frustration with virginity in this way:

“For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires. All because girls have never been attracted to me. In those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness.  “I do not know why you girls aren’t attracted to me,” he said, “But I will punish you all for it.”

Although Rodger was 22 when he “exacted his revenge,” he had made the decision that it was an appropriate course of action for him when he was 19.

In truth, Mr. Rodger had been planning his “Day of Retribution,” as he called it in that manifesto, for three years, from the summer day that he moved into a small apartment with two roommates, the first time he lived away from home. 

I did not read that Rodger was frustrated because he was not married.  Rather, he was frustrated that he wasn’t having sex.  Where could he have gotten the expectation that he should be having sex as an unmarried teenager?  We have no farther to look than today’s society – what is called “pop culture.”

A culture that believes there is such as thing as “no-fault divorce,” revising the legal code to support it, and that believes it is better to teach the young to practice “protected sex” rather than to teach them to confine sexual activity to marriage is going to produce a great many troubled children and adults.  Not all of these victims will act with the rage than animated Elliott Rodger, but that won’t exonerate society for the harm it has done by its slavish pursuit of personal autonomy and pleasure.

Divorce divided the young Rodger against himself and complicated whatever other problems he may have had.  And his sense that society regarded him as a “loser” for not having partaken in sexual activity soon after the onset of puberty further complicated his life.  I wonder how many people who champion popular cultural values will notice these as contributing factors.

Parents’ Nightmare: Futile Race to Stop Killings (New York Times)

Video Rant, Then Deadly Rampage in California Town (New York Times)

(HT: Albert Mohler Briefing)

A Society That Supresses the Truth

I continue to be amazed at the degree to which society suppresses facts that don’t support its lusts (Romans 1:18).

In this recent recording from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute (recorded in Lansing, Michigan May 19, 2014 at a meeting of Catholic Charities’ Board members), she brings to light social studies which reveal the empirical reality of negative consequences associated with contraception, remarriage, and out-of-wedlock cohabitation.

Dr. Morse also points out the falsity and vacuity of the following commonly-accepted ideas:

  • Sex is for recreation and is not inextricably bound up in the idea of producing children.
  • We can remove the gender requirement from marriage without negative consequence.
  • Marriage should be about the feelings of adults rather than the needs of children.

Dr. Morse’s teaching is consistent with the Bible, but she makes her claims based on social science research.  Thus there is plenty of reason here for unbelievers to give attention to her findings.

WR007 – Week in Review – for the week ending May 23, 2014

(This podcast is currently only available either through a browser, as you’re viewing it now, or through the “Mike Gantt” app, which is a free download in the iOS and Android app stores.)

Hi, I’m Mike Gantt and this is the week in review for the week ending Friday, May 23, 2014. The purpose of this podcast is to review all that I have published in the previous week through my blogs, my podcasts, and other social media such as Twitter.

Hebrews 2:1 says that “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” That is, there’s a tendency to forget what we’ve learned unless we review it. And in several places in the Gospels, including Matthew 13:12, Jesus said, “Whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” Thus, reviewing what we’ve learned not only helps us to retain it, it’s also the way we learn new things from God. “Out of the old comes something new, and out of both come all things true – at least when it comes to the things of God.”  Let’s therefore now go over the things we’ve heard in the last week and see how much we have retained, how much we can retain, and how much more we’re able to gain.

Segment 1: Review of A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom and My Podcasts for the week (begins at 01:12 )

Segment 2: Review of A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom for the week (begins at 28:34)

Segment 3: Review of Reference Shelf for the Kingdom of God, Current Events in Light of the Kingdom of God, Twitter, and other blogs for the week (begins at 46:47)

Total time elapsed 1:00:06

Twitter Interaction with Steve Wilkinson About Christian Youth

https://twitter.com/mdgantt/status/469750093743022080

If you click here, you can follow the full conversation I’ve had with Steve about his post about what’s happening with Christian youth.  [April 15, 2016 note:  Because each social media platform requires a certain amount of attention “overhead,” I deactivated my Twitter account as part of reducing clutter in my work life.   Therefore, the link to the Twitter exchange that was here doesn’t work anymore.]

What’s Happening to Christian Youth per Steve Wilkinson at TilledSoil.org

This post is chock-full of important data regarding how children grow up in the faith…or away from it.  The post summarizes a 55-minute podcast which is well worth hearing if the subject matter of the post interests you.

Since the health of the organized church is irrelevant to a focus on spiritual issues, you have to look past the former in the post and podcast in order to appreciate the latter – but I don’t think you’ll find that difficult to do.

The real point here is how to raise our children to be children of God.

(8 min read; 1,955 words)

TilledSoil.org Church in crisis: a message every Christian needs to hear » TilledSoil.org.