5/06/2009

Post-Christian America

Al Mohler’s blog recently linked to an article by Stephen Prothero titled “Post-Christian? Not even close.”

Reminds me of a quote from a book I read a few weeks back:

…Is skepticism or faith on the ascendency in the world today? The answer is Yes. The enemies are both right. Skepticism, fear, and anger toward traditional religion are growing in power and influence. But at the same time, robust, orthodox belief in the traditional faiths is growing as well…

…each side should accept that both religious belief and skepticism are on the rise. Ahtiest Sam Harris and Religious Right leader Pat Robertson shouls each admit the fact that his particular tribe is strong and increasing in influence. This would eliminate the self-talk that is rampant in each camp, namely that it will soon be extinct, overrun by the opposition. Nothing like that is imminently possible. If we stopped saying such things to ourselves it might make everyone more civil and generous toward opposing views.

(The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, Timothy
Keller, New York: Dutton, 2008, pp. ix, xvi.)

5/03/2009

H1N1 and the Church

Ligonier Ministries has a wonderful entry by Greg Bailey on John Calvin’s response to the plague.

Here’s a quote referenced in the post:


During Calvin's ministry, Geneva was terrorized by the plague on five occasions. During the first outbreak, in 1542, Calvin personally led visitations into
plague-infected homes. Knowing that this effort likely carried a death sentence,
the city fathers intervened to stop him because of their conviction that his
leadership was indispensable. The pastors continued this heroic effort under Calvin's guidance, and they recounted the joy of multiple conversions. Many pastors lost their lives in this cause. Unknown to many, Calvin privately continued his own pastoral care in Geneva and other cities where the plague raged. Calvin's pastoral heart, already evidenced by the provision of hospitals for both citizens and immigrants, was further revealed as he collected the necessary resources to establish a separate hospital for plague victims. When believers died, he preached poignant funeral homilies with passion and personal concern. (John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Discipleship, ed. Burk Parsons [Lake Mary, Fla.: Reformation Trust, 2008], 65)


We will wait and see what the virus has in store for us, but we may have the chance to practice some of the same principles in view of the recent H1N1 outbreak. Let’s hope not.

Prayer for healing for those suffering is in order as well.

[For any of the atheists who monitor this blog, this is not antithetical to Christian Faith. In fact, the battle against disease using scientific methods can arguably be attributed to Christians. See here, here and here for a start.]

A. N. Wilson on Belief

The recent return of A. N. Wilson to the faith has prompted much discussion (see here, here, here and here). Here is a quote I appreciate:

"My belief has come about in large measure because of the lives and examples of people I have known - not the famous, not saints, but friends and relations who have lived, and faced death, in the light of the Resurrection story, or in the quiet acceptance that they have a future after they die." – A. N. Wilson

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