Three Special Forums This Fall



Dr. Rob Bowman

Executive Director, The Institute for Religious Research

Dr Rob Bowman

“Why The Reformation Happened,
and Why It Still Matters Today”


Rod Dreher

Author of the best-seller, “The Benedict Option”

Rod Dreher

How To Be a Christian
In a Society That No Longer Is


Ken Myers

Founder, host and producer of The Mars Hill Audio Journal

Ken Myers

“Repairing the Damage of Modern Culture”


Perimeter Church / 7:30 PM
$5 students / $10 adults / $15 per couple



The Areopagus Update – Aug/Sept 2017 Newsletter


“The Benedict Option” A Necessary Preface

by Jefrey D. Breshears

Our Areopagus Dinner & Dialogue series this summer focused on Rod Dreher’s new book, The Benedict Option. Dreher is a writer and senior editor at The American Conservative blogsite, and The Benedict Option is one of the most relevant and important Christian books in recent years. Not only has the book sparked considerable interest, but also considerable controversy. In the course of reading reviews and listening to comments over the past several months related to The Benedict Option, it occurred to me that some kind of Preface needed to precede any  thoughtful and focused discussion of the book.

In particular, there are three basic questions that should be addressed in order to clearly understand Dreher’s thesis and his seminal arguments. Unless there is a consensus agreement on these issues, any discussion and debate on the relative merits of the book are probably fruitless and futile. The following is a condensed version of my article, “The Benedict Option: A Necessary Preface” that I distributed to the class and is now posted on our website at

1. Is American culture getting better or worse? Since cultural deterioration is a fundamental assumption of Dreher’s book, this is an issue on which readers should be clear. For most traditional Christians, the answer to this question would appear to be an obvious “no-brainer.”  The massive expansion of the welfare state over the past 50 years along with dramatic increases in crime, drug abuse, civil unrest and disrespect for authority, pornography, sex trafficking, abortion, divorce, the illegitimate  birthrate, cohabitation, homosexuality, the pervasive promotion of moral decadence in mainstream entertainment, and declining standards in most every area of civic and cultural life should be sufficient to convince all but the most unobservant that America is in a perilous state.

click here to read the full PDF newsletter

The Benedict Option: A Necessary Preface

by Jefrey D. Breshears

In the course of reading reviews and listening to comments over the past couple of months regarding Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, it has occurred to me that some kind of Preface needs to precede any kind of thoughtful and focused discussion of the book. In particular, there are three basic questions that should to be addressed in order to clearly understand Dreher’s thesis and his seminal arguments. Unless there is a consensus agreement on these issues, any discussion and debate on the relative merits of the book are probably futile.

Read the full PDF article here

FALL SEMINARS 2017: The Reformation


Two new classes beginning in mid-August:
Wednesdays, Aug. 16 – Nov. 15
7:00-8:30 PM
Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Room 108
 — and —
Tuesdays, August 15 – Nov. 14
7:00-8:30 PM
Perimeter Church, The Ministry Center

There is no official textbook for this course.  For a list of recommended readings, see the course syllabus.

Supplemental Notes:
A complete set of detailed outline notes will be provided for this course.  A spiral-bound Study Guide of the course is available for $15.

Course Fee:
$60 / $100 per couple (not including the Study Guide).  No advance registration is necessary.

“The Reformation Era” is an in-depth, two-part series that focuses on the major people, issues and events associated with this momentous period in Christian history.

The Protestant Reformation was one of the most significant events in Christian history as well as one of the great transitional eras in Western civilization.  Protestant Christians look back at this period as a kind of Golden Age in which heroic figures such as Martin Luther, William Tyndale, John Calvin, Menno Simons and others emerged to challenge the Roman Catholic Church’s dominance over the religious, social and cultural life of Europe.  Understandably, Catholics view it differently.  For them, the Reformation ruptured the unity in the Body of Christ that had prevailed for more than a thousand years and led to the unfortunate fragmentation of Western Christianity into innumerable splinter groups.

With 2017 being the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, it will be discussed and debated extensively throughout the year.  In the course of our study we will address issues such as “Was the Reformation necessary?” and “What are the issues that continue to divide Catholic and non-Catholic Christians today?”  This seminar will provide you with the necessary knowledge to understand what issues were at stake and why the Reformation was essential.

“The Areopagus Update” Newsletter for May/June 2017


One of the most anticipated books in recent years was released a couple of weeks ago: Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (Sentinel Press, 2017). This is a book that some regard as the most important Christian book of the decade, if not in several decades. As sobering and unsettling as it is inspiring, The Benedict Option is a clarion call for Christians to awaken from their cultural slumber. According to Dreher, a Bible- centered Orthodox Christian traditionalist and an astute social critic, we are not losing the culture war in America. We lost. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that things will improve – barring some totally unprecedented revival that dramatically alters the spiritual, moral and cultural landscape of America. What this portends for the future are not only the greatest challenges that American Christians have ever faced, but great opportunities as well.

Click here to read the full PDF newsletter


A special Areopagus Forum with
Mike Shotwell
Author of
Immersed in Red: My Formative Years In a Marxist Household

Nearly 60 years ago the communist folk singer Pete Seeger wrote “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” one of the most popular songs of the 1960s. Over the past 25 years, since the fall of the USSR in 1989, many people wonder, “Where have all the Communists gone?” But unlike the old song lyrics, they certainly haven’t “gone to graveyards, every one.” In fact, although they have had to re-brand and re-package themselves as “progressives” and “democratic socialists,” they are alive and flourishing and more influential today than at any time in American history.

Although the Soviet Empire is a thing of the past, the Marxist influences in academia, our government, the media, popular culture, and even in many churches have only become more entrenched in recent decades.

As one who grew up in a hardcore Marxist household, Mike Shotwell knows just how insidious left-wing ideology is and how pervasive it is in contemporary American society and culture.

Cultural Marxism is the ideological foundation for “political correctness,” and as such it is essentially left-wing fascism – atheistic, anti-Christian, intolerant, and totalitarian in nature. It is also very much alive-and-well in America today.

Thursday, May 18
7:30 PM
Perimeter Church, Johns Creek
Fellowship Hall

$10 Suggested Donation

Ten Myths–and Ten Truths–About Atheism

The following is a collection of informal responses to an op-ed piece published by the atheist advocate Sam Harris in the LA Times on December 24, 2006 tat was sent to me by a lingtime friend with whome I had been out of touch for many years. When we reconnected, we foudn that we were on the opposite sides of most issues, although he doesn’t subscribe to all Harris’s points. We had exchanged several e-mails prior to his sending me this piece, so you catch us here in mid-flight. Some comments will be clearer when you know that my friend’s father was a very successful scientist. Hopefully, you will enjoy the “conversation”–and perhaps gain some new insights as well. — Bruce Phillips

Read the full PDF article here

The Salvation Process

Spiritual salvation is a two-phase process that begins with the spiritual phenomenon of conversion and continues through a life-long process of transformation (or “spiritual formation”) related to Christian discipleship.

Read the full PDF article here

Deconstructing “The DaVinci Code”

The Da Vinci Code is the kind of book that serious scholars tend to dismiss as unworthy of comment. If only it were true. Based on dubious scholarship and replete with factual errors, questionable assertions and crackpot conspiracy theories, the book is impressive for all the wrong reasons.

Read the full PDF article here

Christian and Eastern Spirituality: The Fundamental Differences

Today, many Christians are dissatisfied with mere religion and are searching for a deeper spirituality, a direct and intimate relationship with God. Unfortunately, many shy away from the discipline of meditation because they associate it with Eastern religions or New Age metaphysics.

In fact, meditation (or contemplative prayer) has always been an integral part of Christian spiritual formation. It is simply the listening phase of the internal dialogue with God. Through meditation we learn to relax our bodies and clear our minds of distractions in order to hear the subtle and quiet voice of God within us: “Be still and know that I am God” [Psalm 46:10].

Christian meditation differs from Eastern meditation in four basic ways: (1)Theology, or our fundamental beliefs about God; (2)Psychology, or understanding of human nature; (3)The Christocentric focus; and (4)The ultimate goal. The following briefly summarizes these fundamental differences.

Read the full PDF article here