A cornucopia of thought-provoking reading


I am working on some entries to wrap up last week's Republican National Convention, specifically to touch on some important stories that were overshadowed by the nightly speeches and pageantry of the event.

In the meantime, here are some reading assignments:

Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes a column almost daily, presented in blog form on the website of radio station WMCA. The conflict between the Christian worldview and other worldviews is at the heart of many of his columns. On his front page today:

  • A review of Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, a book that aims to explain what a worldview is, the distinctives of a Biblical worldview, and how so many Christians are able simultaneously to hold a secular worldview while affirming the tenets of the Christian faith.

  • A critique of The Teen Code, an eye-opening book by a teenager on parent-teen communications:

    The underlying message of the book is that parents can indeed parent their teenagers, so long as we parent them as they will allow themselves to be parented. Now, armed with advice from an adolescent expert, parents are told that we must just accept the fact that vast areas of our children's lives are off limits, and that we should treat our teenagers as autonomous individuals who happen to live in our homes and are doing their best to negotiate around our discipline and moralizing. America's parents owe a debt of gratitude to young Rhett Godfrey for his new book. The Teen Code serves as a prophetic warning and an all-too-accurate description of the teenage mind at work.

  • A critique of Bill Clinton's sermon at Riverside Church a week ago Sunday, in which he exposes a doctrine of "Biblical ambiguity" at the heart of Clinton's remarks -- the Bible can't be understood, so we don't have to worry about obeying its precepts. Mohler contrasts this with the traditional Christian view of Biblical perspicuity -- God made the Bible so that man could understand what God wants us to know about him and what he requires of us.

  • An essay titled "Oprah Winfrey: Agent of Moral Insanity", about a recent Oprah show promoting the notion of teenage transexualism.

Mohler's got several more essays showing that the left is actively and consciously engaged in a culture war -- the culture war is not the product of rampant right-wing fears but a real conflict over the control of cultural institutions.

And saving perhaps the best for last, an essay reminding Christians of our duty to be engaged in the political process, grounded in the distinction between Augustine's City of God and City of Man:

Thus, Christians bear important responsibilities in both cities. Even as we know that our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and even as we set our sights on the glory of the City of God, we must work for good, justice, and righteousness in the City of Man. We do so, not merely because we are commanded to love its citizens, but because we know that they are loved by the very God we serve.

From generation to generation, Christians often swing between two extremes, either ignoring the City of Man or considering it to be our main concern. A biblical balance establishes the fact that the City of Man is indeed passing, and chastens us from believing that the City of Man and its realities can ever be of ultimate importance. Yet, we also know that each of us is, by God's own design, a citizen--though temporarily--of the City of Man. When Jesus instructed that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, He pointed His followers to the City of Man and gave us a clear assignment. The only alternatives that remain are obedience and disobedience to this call.

Love of neighbor for the sake of loving God is a profound political philosophy that strikes a balance between the disobedience of political disengagement and the idolatry of politics as our main priority. As evangelical Christians, we must engage in political action, not because we believe the conceit that politics is ultimate, but because we must obey our Redeemer when He commanded that we must love our neighbor.

Go read it all, and add Al Mohler to your daily reading list.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 8, 2004 11:05 PM.

The Outsiders was the previous entry in this blog.

OGP-deja-vu is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]