“Legalization of any practice, and then its normalization through numbers, need never mean a revaluation of what we know to be wrong because God says so, simply because the majority opinion now holds it to be right. Ten million ignorant assertions, even when magnified and accelerated in a hundred million tweets and ‘likes,’ still never add up to truth or wisdom, or what is right and good.”
Ken Myers (Host & Producer of Mars Hill Audio Journal) on Evangelical preoccupation with informality:
“C.S. Lewis said one of the distinctive aspects of the modern mind is the assumption that newer things are always better. We’ve become preoccupied with things we don’t have, rather than the nurturing and stewarding the things we do have.
“My favorite example of this is the shift since the 1970s toward informality in public. People used to wear coats and ties to go to a baseball game, and now they wear a ball cap at church. We’ve moved away from formality toward informality in almost every area—language, dance, food, worship, music—and I’m convinced that it’s largely a symptom of a suspicion of authority. You don’t want to submit to a set of standards and proprieties that you didn’t freely choose yourself. So if the move toward informality expresses a widespread suspicion of authority, then why would that be a good, up-to-the-minute trend to endorse?”
Herman J. Selderhuis is director of Refo500. Herman received his training at the Theological University in Apeldoorn (Netherlands) where he teaches since 1997 as Professor of Church History and Church Polity, after he served as pastor in two congregations for 10 years. He earned his doctorate with a dissertation on “Marriage and Divorce in the Thought of Martin Bucer.” He is (co)-author of various books and President of the International Calvin Congress and Research Curator of the John A Lasco Library (Emden, Germany).
2017 will mark the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Castle Church, the event that would eventually lead to what we now know as the Protestant Reformation. In anticipation of this very significant anniversary, churches, seminaries, colleges, and many other organizations have begun the process of examining the events leading up to and flowing out from the reformations of that time, and a great deal of those organizations have joined together to form Refo500, which describes itself as “the international platform for knowledge, expertise, ideas, products and events, specializing in the 500 year legacy of the Reformation.”
If you haven’t read Ann Coulter’s vitriolic article attacking Dr. Kent Brantly and Carolyn Writebol, do so here.
Sadly there seem to be many Christians who are still confused about allowing Ebola infected patients who are American citizens and Christian missionaries to come back home to the United States for treatment. It is amazing to me that the loudest voices condemning the return of these two missionaries to America are conservative voices.
Shock journalism is nothing new to Ann Coulter. But let’s be clear about what she is saying in this latest article.
1) She’s saying we should only take the gospel to Hollywood elites and New York City media types because if you win one of them to Christ, they can influence thousands of others. This is contrary to our biblical mandate to take the gospel to the world. Jesus focused on “the least of these” – person to person – one on one – and never wasted his time trying to convince the influencers. The gospel isn’t spread by influencing influencers. And besides, the gospel never was intended to generate a mass response: “Narrow is the way, and strait is the gate that leads to life, and FEW there be that find it.”
2) Ann is saying that Dr. Brantly had narcissistic motives for going to Liberia instead of to a poor county in Texas because he wanted to be a hero. In reality Dr. Brantly was doing precisely what Jesus commands us to do, calling us to risk our health and even our lives to take the gospel to people who have incurable diseases because if they die without Him they will go to hell for eternity. For Ann to impugn Dr. Brantly’s motives in this way is for her to say she knows his heart, which only God knows.
3) Ann makes a false choice out of serving Jesus at home and serving Jesus abroad. The church is doing both. Not all American Christians are serving overseas. In fact, TOO FEW are. Yet faithful Christians are reaching the least of these at home every day. Christians aren’t abandoning America by serving the least of these overseas. It’s not a matter of choosing one over the other. The church in America is faithfully doing both.
Ann’s arguments in her article are misinformed and frankly hateful. Every follower of Jesus Christ should be outraged that a prominent conservative columnist who professes to be a Christian would write such nonsense.
Pope Francis recently issued an Apostolic Exhortation in which he sharply criticized market capitalism. In this 10 minute video, Rev. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids explains what an Apostolic Exhortation is and responds to the Pope with some sharp questions of his own.
ACTON INSTITUTE POWER BLOG: Rev. Robert Sirico Comments on the Economic Views of Pope Francis