Over the past decade it has been popular to distinguish between “cultural fundamentalism” and “historic fundamentalism.” Cultural fundamentalism is regarded by its critics as very, very bad. It consists of folksy/outdated traditionalism that has drifted from its quaint, innocuous origins and has entered a bitter, skeptical stage of life—complete with theological errors of a sort that typically attend aging, counter-cultural movements. Historic fundamentalism, which focuses more on basic theological issues, fares a little bit better, but only a very little bit. Critics puzzle over those who accept this label, marveling that anyone would risk associative guilt by lingering near those nasty cultural fundamentalists: “Why not get with the program,” they ask, “and become a conservative evangelical?”
The Internal Revenue Service continues to extend its already vast overreach, this time by agreeing to monitor church sermons as part of an agreement the government made on July 17 with the aggressively atheistic Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Thinking about some folks getting hammered recently, I was reminded of Nehemiah’s steadfast leadership in the face of much struggle and opposition. Nehemiah 6 records how he faced three serious challenges, yet remained focused on his purpose and ministry.
Human beings are profoundly religious—even when we do not know ourselves to be—and humans incessantly seek an object of worship.
The word paradigm is used literally as a grammatical term, but it can also be used metaphorically to refer to a shared set of basic assumptions. A paradigm shift occurs when a community rejects its old assumptions in favor of a new set. The perspective of the community changes and it sees the world differently than it did before.
Music had a didactic purpose too (so Col 3:16). This is interesting, because nearly all agree that propositional and prosaic forms of communication are more efficient and precise than non-propositional and poetic forms of communication—at least in the transmission of denotative meaning. So why music? Quite simply, because music adds a connotative and rhetorical dimension to communication that mere words cannot, or at least not efficiently.
The global warming debate would not be so heated if it were simply a question of science. Since one side blames mankind for the crisis, they demand immediate action to avoid imminent disaster. With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that science gets drowned out by politics.
Although we live in a day that focuses almost exclusively on the believer’s personal relationship with God, we cannot forget that every genuine believer has been saved and placed into the Body of Christ. It may seem radical, but I would like to suggest that service to God in the local assembly is every believer’s primary obligation in life. Clearly, we have other responsibilities entrusted to us by God (family, civic, vocational), but my contention is that the centrality of the local assembly in God’s program gives it the place of priority.