11 comments

  1. IT’s a very different book, but a friend of mine put together a ten to twelve week sunday school session built around “Reason for God”, and that was very well received. If he’s the “next C.S. Lewis” as Newsweek called him, I know where he stands on pipe tobacco and brandy……

  2. Very different book indeed.

    I think this topic should be one of the key centers of discussion in the I-15 Corridor.

  3. I havent’ read “Reason” , but I can readily see at least two ginormous lies in the cultlure at large that put it on my short list: 1) Christianity is against science/rationality
    2)Christianity is against progress and anything modern.

    As a sidebar: american spirituality does NOT seem to be slowing down, but going EAST and going GLOBAL, and in many ways going MYSTICAL……so it seems the long romance with science as GOD might be cooling….

  4. “As a sidebar: american spirituality does NOT seem to be slowing down, but going EAST and going GLOBAL, and in many ways going MYSTICAL……so it seems the long romance with science as GOD might be cooling….”

    Unfortunately, aside from the spirituality of the CHRISTIAN East, most of what germit refers to above reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ “materialist magician” in “The Screwtape Letters”. This is most clear in neo-pagan circles, whose gods and goddesses are usually explicited and openly identified as being but “symbols” and “projections” of deep pscyhological processes. It is also amenable with certain strains of Buddhism and other East Asian streams of thought. This is often labelled “non-theistic spirituality” and has nothing to do with communion with God, but is all about the exaltation of HUMAN spirit, the so-called “god within”.

  5. FrG: thanks for weighing in……and as I’m sure you’ve noticed….apologetics and outreach to this audience can be frustrating because boundaries, distinctions, and vocabulary get blurry in a nano-second….the neo-pagan gods, often cloaked in some kind of cheap psuedo-christianity (see neil donald walsh) criticize nothing (openly) and absorb everything…. everything is OK…everything fits and agrees…. when it’s “understood properly…..”

    truth just ain’t what it used to be…..for most folks

    let me know how you are doing in this walk through the post-modern fog……

    GERmIT

  6. Well, Germit, as the monk said when asked about the daily routine at the monastery: “We fall down and we get up. We fall down and we get up.”

    But God is good, and loves humanity, as weak and sinful as we are, as I am.

    Part of the problem here, I would say a large part of the problem, is that, at least since Anselm, salvation in Western Christianity has become more about being rescued from God’s wrath than being saved from sin, death, and Satan.

    The following represents a very traditional Byzantine Orthodox take on this:

    The River of Fire

  7. Greg, that is one thing I like about the author of The Prodigal God.

    In this famous parable in Luke 15, he does not overlook the heart issue of penal-substitutionary atonement.

  8. FrGreg: near as I can tell, protestants in general, and ev.’s in particular have gone from one crummy gospel:

    God your father is so mad at you ….just wait till HE gets home…….hey, wait, HE”S everywhere…..doh !!!!!

    to another:

    God is your best bud and wants all the BEST for you….God as some kind Bank-of -Blessing card……

    ev’s are STILL trying to get the gospel right, but there are some clear voices out there…

    and the catholic traditions DO have a much more holistic, hence healthier, view of salvation……but with NT Wright and co helping, I think we can catch up

  9. Hmmm . . . I don’t know how much N.T. Wright is helping on richly and fully defending the penal-substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.

  10. Germit, from what I can tell, having not read him, Wright is on to something. Another, earlier writer, the late Lutheran scholar Joachim Jeremias also argues, in his “Message of the New Testament,” that “justification” is not the primary motiff for conversion in the NT, nor even in Paul, but rather, “incorporation into Christ”. I think this is congruent with the Patristic witness.

    Todd, I have a heart question for you. Don’t answer now, but reflect on it for a while, okay? Why are you so invested in defending a notion that the Bible does not require, that does not appear (at least not systematically) until Anselm, and that really creates more problems than it solves?

    PSA is not the gospel; it is one way, one late way, of understanding the gospel.

  11. Todd: maybe I’m “mixing and matching” here a little because I’ve linked many of my thoughts and associations to evangelicals…..whatever or whomever that is LOL and N.T. maybe does exactly fit neatly in that category, but I’m at a loss to put him in any one category….

    I DO think that more and more ev’s are focusing on being saved TOWARD something , and not just FROM the penalty of sin, as real as that is….this seems to be the push from many of the emergents (I’m thinking Rob Bell in the NOOMA series here, tho he is NOT a spokesman for the ev’s , nor does he want to be) this saved FOR…instead on exclusively FROM seems to reflect some of the theosis themes from the eastern traditions; I , for one, see this as generally a positive, as long as a clear theology of hell and judgment don’t get trashed in the process…

    .am I asking too much ?? I am an underloved middle child……and a product of the ’80’s

    GERMIT

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