Denouncing Deconstruction

Deconstruction is not a Christian practice. Truth comes from divine revelation. It is received, it is not constructed. Theology is not the practice of constructing truth, it is the practice of applying true revelation to every area of life.

Some applied theology has taken centuries for a culture to change the way it thinks to accurately apply the truth. We have seen this in how Christian societies have shifted from people who persecute heretics to a people who enumerate civil law to protect freedom of religion. Read more

How to Judge an Article

With the advent of on-line social media, articles compete for our click. The desire for ad revenue garnered by the views, hits, and clicks upon the article and its corresponding advertisements dictates the content. Much of what passes as journalism is simply an enticement for your click rather than your mind. Headlines scream for your attention. Questions beg your consideration, but only long enough to acquire the requisite click.Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com

Upon clicking you may find a list, a series of pictures, a short video, or what barely passes for a short article. These get liked, tagged, shared, and tweeted ad nauseam. Seldom do the articles get judged, much less researched. In an effort to promote journalistic integrity, I’ve provided a list of ways to judge an article before liking, sharing, or tweeting. For the purposes of this article, I am limiting the subject to news articles rather than those deemed entertainment.

  1. Read the entire article. If its contents are valuable enough to like or share, they were first worth reading.
  1. Don’t get fooled by headlines. Did the article live up to its headline? Many times the headlines are dishonest eye catching advertisements. If we are not careful, we will believe the headline regardless of the contents of the article and share it on the merit of the headline alone. If the headline reads Science Proves Cats Love Swimming and the article is of a story of one cat owned by one scientist who likes to swim in the pool it did not pass this test. Most articles can be disregarded by this one test.
  1. Did the article prove its thesis? A thesis is the main point the article is designed to convey. Is the author telling you what to believe about a social issue, or is the author providing plenty of supporting details so that you have all the information necessary to decide if his opinion is merited? Just because you already agree with the premise does not mean that the writer provided sufficient supporting evidence.

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For the Love of Books

Some people rescue cats and dogs, I rescue books. I’m a book rescuer. I’ve treasure hunted for special finds in Thrift Stores for many years. Over the years, I have observed the mistreatment of books in these establishments. They are tossed in large bins or baskets before being placed on the display shelves. They sit huddled, one atop of another, this way and that, with pages bending and bindings straining. I’ve watched thrift store clerks rearrange the books on a shelf by slamming them into a grocery cart before they reload them on a different shelf. I’ve also seen what happens at the end of the line when the unsold books go to the clearance warehouse and then the trash. Oh the misery of watching books cast away as worthless paper.

booksI have always enjoyed finding books for my own collection at thrift store prices. Some years ago, I began buying books I already own that I deem excellent reads. I rescue these poor books from their thrift store prisons and save them for readers who want them. When I am discussing a particular book or author with a friend and they express interest in the book, I search my give away collection to find the book its new home.

I fulfill several purposes in this arrangement. First, I enjoy the treasure hunt. Second, I enjoy saving readers the retail price by Read more

Never Read Alone

I aim to never read alone. I find that I draw so much more from a book when I read with the collective voices of other authors who have addressed the particular subject. I bounce the words I read off the thoughts I’ve gleaned before from these illustrious voices. I look for where they fit in the conversation. Often I find the voice I am reading to provide a missing element of the conversation. Sometimes it broadness the conversation to include new avenues the subject has yet to reach in my studies. Still, at other times, it narrows the conversation into intricate detail that is the needle and thread weaving the knowledge more securely to the big picture. There are also those writers whose handling of the subject seems to have missed the conversation altogether and yet the other voices come in to play in rebuttal.

My favorite authors to read with are G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Alister McGrath, and a great many others that have joined the conversation over the years. My bookshelves are bulging with their many voices. They span the spectrum of subjects. To name a few consider: John Locke, Charles Dickens, Niccolo Machiavelli, J.R.R Tolkein, Malcolm Muggeridge, Adam Smith, Henry David Thoreau, or newer voices like Ravi Zacharias, Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, and Danny Silk. All of these have something to contribute to the big questions of life and the more Read more