Articles

The Dark Side Of The Reformation

Posted: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

An Article by Dr. Jefrey Breshears

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The Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland

(Excerpt from the introduction)

….However, there was another, darker side of the Reformation era that is often overlooked. The century- and-a-quarter between 1525-1650 was an exceedingly turbulent period in Europe and Britain as numerous bloody and destructive wars raged between Catholics and Protestants – all fought, of course, in the name of the Prince of Peace. For while the Reformation sparked a great deal of intense religious zeal, it also ignited a firestorm of religious bigotry and persecution that generated an unprecedented degree of social and political chaos that shattered the fragile unity of European civilization. Along with positive developments such as the breakup of the Roman Catholic religious monopoly, the emergence of fresh new religious movements that brought spiritual renewal to millions, the reevaluation of antiquated political dogmas such as “royal absolutism” and the “divine right of kings,” and the eventual acceptance of religious tolerance, the excesses of the Reformation inadvertently produced a secular reaction that contributed to the rise of religious skepticism and humanistic rationalism throughout Europe and Britain.

Click to read the full 31-page PDF article

 

Countercultural Christianity and Spiritual Warfare

Posted: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

by Jefrey D. Breshears

Normal Christianity

In the late 1930s the Chinese church leader, Watchman Nee, wrote The Normal Christian Life, a book that was based on lectures he gave in 1938-39 but which was not published until 1957. In his book Nee argued that a “normal” Christian is a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled believer who lives a life of total commitment. In that sense, a “normal” Christian is not the average Christian. Rather, “normal” denotes what should be – in contrast to the abnormal (or subnormal) spiritual lives that characterize many professing Christians.

My thesis is that “normal” Christianity is innately radical and countercultural. I do not mean “radical” in the most common use of the term – i.e., extreme, irrational or reckless – but “radical” (Latin: radix) in the original etymological sense of being connected to the root part (or the life source) of a system. In the case of the Christian faith, this means sharing organically in the life of Jesus Christ, and being attuned and animated by his values and priorities. This connotes a spiritual connection with Jesus rather than merely an institutional identification with the Christian religion. And when I contend that normative Christianity should be countercultural, I mean to the extent that we cultivate a worldview and a lifestyle in keeping with the values, beliefs and behavior of the Kingdom of God, and which contrast sharply to those of our world.

Read the full PDF article here…

A Contemplative Response To the Culture War

Posted: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

by Jefrey D. Breshears

Throughout most of the 20th century American Christians essentially forfeited the culture war through a lethal combination of blissful ignorance, apathy, lethargy, cowardice, misplaced priorities, and the myriad distractions of life. As a result, the consequences are apparent today as we witness the erosion of Christian influence in virtually every area of contemporary life from law and politics to business, education, the media, public civility, private morality, the arts and entertainment, and lifestyles in general.

Regardless of the outcome of the next election, Christians will find that the tide of secularism and cultural liberalism will continue to swamp our society, erode our moral and ethical standards, and pollute our social institutions. As Bob Dylan sang in the Sixties, “The times they are a-changin’,” but the kind of changes that politicians are promising for the future should give Christians and other social conservatives more cause for concern than celebration.

Read the full PDF article here…

How Neo-Marxists Changed American Popular Music… and Culture

Posted: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

by Jefrey D. Breshears

Two Paths to the Bottom

In their book, How Now Shall We Live?, authors Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey contrast the dystopian predictions of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) with those of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Both forecast a bleak future for human society, but they differed on how that society would be managed and manipulated by the ruling elite.

Orwell feared a brutal totalitarian-style system in which Big Brother controlled all aspects of people’s lives through intimidation and coercion, whereas Huxley envisioned a society that had been so compromised and corrupted by narcissism, materialism and hedonism that the people had voluntarily surrendered their freedoms for a life of ease, security and immediate gratification. While Orwell warned of an oppressive regime that controlled the media and utilized propaganda to spread lies and suppress the truth, Huxley depicted a self- absorbed, complacent and entertainment-obsessed society in which no one cared about the truth.

Read the full PDF article here…

What’s Wrong With Socialism?

Posted: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

by Jefrey D. Breshears

Socialism has never been so popular in America as it is presently. This is largely attributable to the effects of decades of left-wing propaganda channeled through our education system, the mainstream media and popular culture. Some critiques of capitalism are certainly justifiable, especially as they relate to the kind of crony corporate capitalism that exerts such power and influence in our political system. But the question is whether state-controlled socialism is the solution to the challenges of our day.

Many young adults (“millennials”) have been indoctrinated to believe that socialism is more compatible with the ideals of “equality” and “social justice” than is a free enterprise system in which individuals generally succeed or fail on the bases of their own initiative and resources. Individual responsibility has always seemed “unfair” to those who haven’t developed the necessary skills and/or character to compete in a society that is free and open to all, and for decades opportunistic politicians have promoted this victimhood mentality and cleverly exploited it for their own political advantage.

Read the full PDF article here…

Was the 2012 Election America’s Adrianople?

Posted: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

by Jefrey D. Breshears

Americas-Adrianople-thumbWas the re-election of Barack Obama in 2012 America’s Adrianople – the watershed event that decisively determined America’s demise as the most prosperous and powerful nation in human history? Given the fact that America has also been a unique nation in terms of its influence on world culture and civilization, its collapse portends ominous consequences not only for the American people but for the rest of humanity.

Read the full PDF article here

 

The Culture War and the Two Americas

Posted: Thursday, October 27th, 2016

by Jefrey D. Breshears

In the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton’s advisors sensed that despite all the issues that might impact the election – whether foreign, domestic, or personal – the overriding concern was the economy. They were so convinced of this that they adopted a kind of campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid,” and maintained a sharp focus and a clear message that eventually proved a winning formula.

Based on the results of the 2008 election, the economy is apparently still the main priority for most Americans most of the time. Evidently, what matters most is money – despite all the other issues regarding contrasting political ideologies, constitutional theories, foreign policies, social programs, personal and public morality, and various personality factors.

Economics, tax policies, deficit spending and the national debt are always significant, and their importance should never be minimized. Indeed, practically-speaking, economics a foundational pillar of any civilization. But informed Christians understand that there are issues that transcend economics, and that the priority should always be the moral and ethical condition of our culture. In the civic realm, our concern should never be to impose specifically-Christian beliefs and practices on mainstream society but to promote universal values, based on the principles of natural (moral) law, that cultivate a civil and decent public square for the general welfare and common good of all.

Read the full 12-page article here…

October 2016 Edition of “The Areopagus Update”

Posted: Friday, October 14th, 2016

Our bimonthly newsletter “The Areopagus Update” is now available for October 2016!

The Most Important Election of our Lifetime

areopagus-update-oct-2016-thumbIn just a few weeks our nation will select a man or woman who will become the 45th president of the United States of America. Whomever we elect will take the helm of a nation that has grown increasingly hostile and intolerant of the very foundation and principles upon which it was so nobly founded – the Christian faith and Biblical values.

That’s why I believe this election is the most significant since Abraham Lincoln was chosen to guide a divided country through a bloody and protracted civil war.

Click here to read the full PDF Newsletter for free

“The Areopagus Update” for Aug/Sept 2016

Posted: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The Upcoming Presidential Election: What’s At Stake

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Only the most ignorant, naive, or hopelessly partisan Americans would consider either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be an ideal candidate for president of the United States. Both are seriously flawed in terms of their character and their temperament. So why support either one of them? Very simply, there are several factors to consider.

Read the full PDF newsletter here…

Godless Universe: An Interview with Physicist Sean Carroll and a Response from The Areopagus by Bruce Phillips

Posted: Friday, June 3rd, 2016

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From the article…

It is time to face reality, California Institute of Technology theoretical physicist Sean Carroll says: There is just no such thing as God, or ghosts, or human souls that reside outside of the body. Everything in existence belongs to the natural world and is accessible to science, he argues. In his new book “The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself,” out this week from Dutton, Carroll describes a guiding philosophy along these lines that he calls poetic naturalism. It excludes a supernatural or spiritual realm but still allows plenty of room for life to have a purpose…

The Original Interview:

Housed at Scientific American

A PDF transcription of the original interview

The Response from Bruce Phillips:

PDF Document