Two stories caught my attention this week as I was contemplating all things theological. Having a newborn will do that to you. My son is ten days old and is already giving his mother fits playing the only power card in his 7 pound existence. He refuses to breastfeed. He cries because he’s hungry and in a fit of stubbornness normally reserved for Cold War negotiations, he refuses to latch on. It’s difficult to remember that his cute face and adorable smile (or is it gas?) shares with the rest of the human race the same depraved nature. My son is warped. Left on his own, he will be self-centered, foolish, and vicious. No amount of practice, guidance or teaching, will ensure he doesn’t become this way. I hear the echoes of the garden and the curse in my son’s cries. This is the state of us all: warped and incapable of making ourselves right.
I have been hard at work finalizing the workshops for the next EMNR Conference titled APOLOGETICS IN MISSIONS: THE LANGUAGE OF HOPE . One of the workshop titles is “Syncretism – Historic Bad Marriages and Emerging Recurrences” and the description is:
The mixing and matching of truth with pagan false teachings is a time dishonored tradition within the People of God as seen in both Old and New Testaments. This seminar will look at other “bad marriages” that have plagued the church and how this problem is endemic in the Emerging/Emergent church’s new postmodern paradigm.
Ben Stein’s new film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed will be released in February. Ben Stein seems an unlikely candidate for this film in some ways. He doesn’t repudiate Darwin and indicates that Darwinism has some value but Darwinism can’t explain everything. It seems that Ben may have signed on to make the prevailing scientific and political bigotry more publicly known. “Expelled” has already generated a fair amount of controversy as can be seen in the September 27, 2007 New York Times article “Scientists Feel Miscast in Film On Life’s Origin” and numerous blogs. The Times demonstrates its lack of journalistic neutrality on this issue as we read:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth. And while individual scientists may embrace religious faith, the scientific enterprise looks to nature to answer questions about nature.
For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, and they are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. Their land has also been filled with silver and gold and there is no end to their treasures; their land has also been filled with horses and there is no end to their chariots.
As I read these words from Isaiah 2:6-7 a week or so ago I was struck by the similarities between Israel of Isaiah’s day and the church of today. Both were prosperous in material things and both turned to “influences from the east.” Is there a link between material abundance and toying with idolatrous practice? Perhaps. Continue reading …