Christianity… A Hard Sell

I just recently finished up listening to Kevin DeYoung’s sermon series on the book of Leviticus. KDY is the senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, and therefore an unashamed Spartan fan.

He preached through Leviticus from February to July of last year, but because the church makes all his sermons available online (for free!), one can listen to them at one’s leisure. Go here for the whole Leviticus series.

Leviticus? What’s in there but the moldy trappings of a now defunct bloody sacrificial system? Not to mention, a bunch of regulations that frankly seem irrelevant to us who don’t live in an agrarian society and outdated sexual mores that are beneath our “enlightened” 21st Century selves?

While I can devote an entire series of posts of all the things KDY uncovered in the 18-part series, I will try to sift through the largesse.

In Sermon 4 (“Sin Offerings”), he expands on sin, no, not the TV station formerly known as the Spanish International Network (currently known as Univision).

Rather to the our constantly missing the mark of God’s law. Something which all human beings (save for One) are born into, act out and puts us at enmity with God.

Sin, as KDY points out, is an “objective category”. That is, it’s not relative to our whims and fancy, as he put it, “God’s values ARE whether we value them or not”. Because we are born at enmity with God we don’t like to hear about sin, especially our sin though we all feel more comfortable pointing out the sins (real or perceived) of others.

KDY rightfully asserts that he abhor hearing about sin and because of that he says,

Christianity will always be a hard sell. Real Christianity. Because it confronts head-on our love of autonomy. ‘I want to be the reference point… I want my feelings, my desires to be affirmed… It want to be the center of the universe… I want you to exist to make me happy… God exists to make me happy… I am the moral reference point, everything else is decided right or wrong based on what it does to me and how I like it… If there is a God surely He exists to meet my needs and affirm my beliefs.’

Sin is not simply being untrue to yourself no matter how many times the Disney movies tell you that it is

Indeed…

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Spirituality according to Mohler

Started reading Albert Mohler’s book Culture Shift and it’s typical Mohler: brilliant, concise and thought-provoking.

While there has been plenty of quotable content so far, his description of “spirituality” is noteworthy, not to mention spot-on.

Spirituality as understood by a vast majority of people is as generic as these:

While Mohler’s take on spirituality might be better suited for the Quotable tab above, it was too good a quote to bury it up there.

So without further ado, here are Dr. Mohler’s words on spirituality:

Spirituality is what is left when authentic Christianity is evacuated from the public square. It is the refuge of the faithless seeking the trappings of faith without the demands of revealed truth.

Spirituality affirms us in our self-centeredness and soothingly tells us that all is well. Authentic faith in Christ calls us out of ourselves, points us to the Cross, and summons us to follow Christ.

Se7en Years in Tibet: The Aftermath

Currently reading selections from James W. Sire’s seminal work, “The Universe Next Door”. At the end of the chapter in which he lays out the pantheistic worldview, Sire describes the trek of the Westerner who goes East to “search for meaning and significance”,

Many, of course, drop out along the way, try to take a shortcut to Nirvana through drugs, or cop out, come home and take over their family’s corporation, reentering the West and leaving the East behind with little more than a beard left to show for it (That gets trimmed before the first board meeting and removed before the second.)

Who says academicians are humorless people? For a pre-board meeting example of what Sire might be talking about, see below:

Putting Words in St. Francis of Assisi’s Mouth

I’ve heard the following quote (attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi) used by many Christians,

Preach the Gospel at all times. Where necessary, use words.

It sounds very profound and seems to make a whole lot of sense. It seems to convey the message, “Don’t shove the Bible down people’s throats”. A message all too readily accepted by the modern and definitely the postmodern mind.

Evangelist Ray Comfort wrote the following article, “Saint Francis . . . A Sissy?”, in which he suggests that words are very important in evangelism and that St. Francis didn’t say what it attributed to him.

A sample,

The next time I heard of [St. Francis] was when I heard that he said “Preach the Gospel at all times. Where necessary, use words.” That statement upset me beyond words, because it was a philosophy that I knew sounded deeply spiritual . . . to those who were spiritually shallow. It made as much sense as “Feed starving children. Where necessary, use food.”

(H/T: Tony)