Articles

Ten Myths–and Ten Truths–About Atheism

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

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

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The Salvation Process

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

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.

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Deconstructing “The DaVinci Code”

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

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.

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Christian and Eastern Spirituality: The Fundamental Differences

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

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.

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Building a Core Library: 50 Recommendations

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

The following books are recommended for Christians who want to build a systematic and substantive core library that includes some of the best Christian works in 7 key areas: (1)Biblical Studies; (2)Christian History; (3)Christian Apologetics; (4)Christian Spirituality; (5)Christian Life and Discipleship; (6)Church Life; and (7)Eschatology. All of these books are highly recommended, as is the sequence in which they are listed within each category. Also included are several reference books that are marked with an asterisk (*).

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The Origins of Cultural Marxism and Political Correctness (Part 2)

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

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The Frankfurt School, The Founding Agenda

In 1923 Felix Weil organized a week-long symposium, chaired by the aforementioned Georg Lukacs, in Frankfurt, Germany in which they laid out a vision for a Marxist think-tank and research center. Ironically, like Friedrich Engels (Karl Marx’s longtime collaborator and benefactor), Weil was the son of a wealthy capitalist, but he had converted to Marxism as a Ph.D. student while studying under the political philosopher Karl Korsch at the University of Frankfurt. Following the conference, Weil secured the financing to erect a building and fund the salaries for an institute that would have the academic status of a university. The original name for the center was the Institute for Marxism (Institut fur Marxismus), but for public relations purposes the directors decided to give it a more generic name, The Institute for Social Research (Institut fur Sozialforschung). Since then, the ISR has usually been known simply as “the Frankfurt School.”

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The Origins of Cultural Marxism and Political Correctness (Part 1)

Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

In his book on the American Civil Liberties Union, Alan Sears of the Alliance Defending Freedom writes that one of the great myths of the 20th century is that the ACLU started out as a good, patriotic, pro-liberty organization that unfortunately strayed off-course. The truth, however, is that when we look at its history the evidence shows something quite different. From the beginning, the ACLU had a subversive agenda: to undermine the foundations of traditional American culture through the manipulation and exploitation of our legal system.

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The Dark Side Of The Reformation

Posted: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

An Article by Dr. Jefrey Breshears

the-international-monument-to-the-reformation-geneva

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.

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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.

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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.

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