Worldview Bulletin: Christian Thinking

Deception lurks in the unknown, or so we tell ourselves. Often what we do to guard against deception is precisely what opens the door to it. We want to stay in our current comfortable level of knowledge. If we explore beyond it, if we journey to the edge of what we know, we cannot be assured that that book, that speaker, that preacher, that journalist is not going to draw us into a snare of deception.

The Bible is safe. Perhaps we will only read that. We can eschew all other books and stay in the safety of only reading the Word. If we hear controversy surrounds an author, we steer clear. We wouldn’t want to get deceived. Is that not how the thinking goes?

However, we cannot grow staying cloistered in what we believe is the totality of safe truth. Maybe we have been unknowingly nursing bondage. What if someone has the truth that unlocks us from our entrapment?

If we had a modern-day Martin Luther, a reformer compelling us to see differently, would we want to shun him or her or grow in that greater truth despite becoming a rebel?

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Worldview Bulletin: Learning Discernment

I write often about the discipleship required to know truth in every sphere of society. I am usually speaking of learning truth through reading, listening to lectures or podcasts, learning in training events, classrooms, conferences, and small groups. But there is another level to learning truth and it involves learning to recognize its presence or its absence through spiritual discernment.

Recognizing truth or the lack thereof in this manner requires having your senses trained. I remember a conversation with a good friend one day. He was warning me about articles from a certain “news” source for they lacked truth and often good sense. I remember bursting out a bunch of questions. What are your sources for this? Did you research these articles and find out their information is wrong? Where can I find a good source that disqualifies this website as a source of truth? He did not have the answers to my questions. I was poised to dismiss his claims. He told me it was obvious to him that the site lacked credibility. It took me sometime before I could understand this. The website was saying things my circles validated as true. These were not questioned. I did not choose to dismiss him out of hand, because I knew him to be a wise friend. However, I had not yet gained understanding.

Once I learned to see from my spirit, to discern, I recalled this conversation and realized just how obvious I recognize malarkey even when others think it credible. Malarkey always has just enough of truth mixed in to make it believable. The spiritual discernment of truth heightens the natural senses as well to recognize where truth is lacking. The lack of spiritual discernment decreases the ability to see truth in the natural or to recognize where it is missing.

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Worldview Bulletin: Defusing Polarization

Modern evangelical conservatism is creating a surge in liberalism. Unlike many headlines, my provocative statement is not an overstatement device simply intended to garner your attention. Though I hope I have your attention, because this is a very important observation for which I have great hope in seeing this trend reversed. In fact, my thoughts are often arrested trying to solve the puzzle of this all-too-common occurrence.

While a great deal more thought is required, I will share the insight I have thus far. Some I have shared before because it is ever present on my mind. My writing returns to it again and again as of late.

Avoid the Extremes

The more extreme our perspectives become the more nuance is discarded. When our worldview reduces to the party line it becomes combative of the other party to an extent that any common ground is lost. We stand on opposite sides with a large gulf separating us leaving no room for interchange. We create the false idea that we cannot come to any agreement together. Polarized thinking requires that we label any idea that takes any step towards the other party as joining the other party. I am not advocating a middle of the road merging of two extremes – but a return to thoughtful argumentation which requires exploration and understanding of the worldviews we do not hold as our own.

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TRUTH DECAY: Inside Christianity

When truth is lost error grows exponentially in many different directions. We are watching the consequences of the loss of truth playing out in our nation. As a result, powerful people and businesses compete to control information as if it is a commodity of consumerism.

Information alone does not create knowledge – that requires wisdom to take accurate information of real facts and produce knowledge of what is true. Careful investigations take time, discipline, dedication, and integrity. Instant tweets, pictures, and videos from a variety of vantage points all dumped into social media do not produce knowledge. It takes more work to arrive at truth. We would do well to remember that when combing through all the instant information looking to make sense of it.

I understand in a world where we do not trust the professional journalists and investigators that we would want to look for alternative sources of information. But sometimes those who try to fill in the gap are simply not equipped to handle the burden of suddenly becoming an expert in investigative research and reporting.  

In these trying times it is imperative to practice patience, pausing before believing the latest meme claiming to have the real truth which fits neatly on a digital square. What is true would fill more than a book and still we would have unanswered questions. We can have partial information instantly, but truth takes time. Knowledge requires patience.

Reactionary Theology

Another loss of truth is in theology. There is a great deal of reactionary theology going on today. We witness the ugly results of one theological extreme and we pull hard the other way to avoid being like the ones we critique only to fall into the ditch on the other side. Case in point, I hear people react to extremism in support of the President with a denouncing of what gets termed “Christian nationalism” or “white nationalism.” As I have written before, at length, nationalism has no color. However, the very concept of nationhood comes from Judeo-Protestant theology. We cannot eschew nationalism without embracing a non-biblical theology destructive to modern nations.

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What does it mean to be Christian?

Generally, we classify a Christian as one who has surrendered his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Such a one is a born again believer designated as “saved.” In contrast, the unsaved are deemed not Christian.

Being Christian is more than a saved soul. Jesus is not only truth for your soul, but for every area of life. A person can give his life to Jesus and still not be Christian even though he has become a Christian. Discipleship is required for a new Christian to become Christian in thought and praxis.

An unbeliever can be Christian in Read more

Diminishing Distinctions

When we see truth in a non-Christian worldview, we see what it adopted from what is real, what is true, what is Christian. We did not need to go to that worldview to find it, for it is already present in what God has revealed as true. They borrowed from truth, not the other way around. We notice it only because we know what truth looks like as the Holy Spirit and Scriptures are our tutor. However, when we borrow what is not Christian, what is not true, from a foreign worldview we borrow that which belongs the prince of lies. We borrow that which deceives, binds, destroys, Read more

The Ten Commandments Matter

Are the Ten Commandments relevant today? Many are arguing that they are not. They argue that Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the replacement for the words written in stone. The new covenant replaced the old, making the old of no relevance in our lives today. The problem is we have siloed the law into the narrow package of individual salvation and righteousness. Since the law does not make us righteous, we think the law is of no consequence.

The Ten Commandments hang in court rooms across our nation for a reason. If the Ten Commandments are not relevant today, then why should someone be tried for murder? Read more

Truth Has Borders

I’ve heard it said that heaven has no borders. This is not true. Heaven has borders because truth has borders. Heaven is distinct from that which is not heaven. There are things that heaven keeps out – sickness, death, sin, darkness. These things do not exist in heaven. The Kingdom has borders. There are things that are Kingdom and there is that which is not Kingdom. Jesus has borders. He is distinctly the Son of God, The Savior, The Light of the World. He is Truth. He is the Way. He is the Life. There is no darkness in Him. There are no lies in Him. He is the Son of God. He is not the Daughter of God. Other ways do not blend to become His Way. He is the only WAY to the Father, and no one comes to the Father but by Him.

Even though God fills all – He is not all. Read more

A New Reformation

Christian culture is shifting in a myriad of ways to embrace the idea that the Gospel is bigger than personal salvation. We are beginning to see that its scale encompasses institutions, cities, and nations.

We are not talking about The Church swallowing up these spheres, but that God cares about nations. His truth is not confined to how we do church and how we live our individual lives but expands to how nations function. We are not looking to create, or at least we ought not be looking to create, another Christendom, but an expansion of the Kingdom into all spheres of society. There is a difference. Read more

Facts in Context of Truth

The Christian worldview is the best home for facts. The idea that one can have “just the facts” with no framework to judge them except “objective” human common sense is the worldview of naturalism. It is not Christian. We must get away from the idea that there is a neutral worldview. Truth runs deeper than mere facts. It involves interpreting the data within the framework of what is good and true. It is not imposing a cultural idea on the facts, it is receiving true truth from God’s written revelation.

As Christians we infuse God’s meaning on the conception of a child, calling the child a baby. Scientific investigation cannot provide that designation without operating through a Christian worldview Read more