In the 1950s the Conservative Intellectual Movement was trying to get its legs and define what it was they, as a group, believed and make those beliefs known in the public arena. To this group:
…politics was important and time was running out. It was not enough to proclaim their ideals and anathematize the forces of darkness. The defense of Western civilization required that their ideas be implemented, and the war could not be fought solely in academic journals or in National Review. Sooner of later the conservative intellectual movement, if it wanted to succeed, would have to shape political forces and prevail in the political marketplace. It would have to do more than stand athwart history, yelling “Stop.” (1)
.John Dewey and other Social Darwinists in the 1930s regarded the educational system as the way to bring about social change and set about the task of changing culture. By the 1960s most of the educators, attorneys, doctors, politicians, and Supreme Court Justices and many ministers had been trained in that system. Realistically John Dewey and his followers were every bit as anti-intellectual as the fundamentalists they so loved to attack. For nearly 30 years now their primary concern was changing society not reading, writing and arithmetic. The fruit of their labor began manifesting itself in the 1960s under Chief Justice Earl Warren.
In 1961 the Supreme Court referred to secular humanism as a religion. Continue reading …
Maslow’s doctrine of “peak experience” as the way to evaluate truth was becoming as much a part of the church as it was the culture in general. The high walls of denominational separation which had served to protect fundamental doctrines of the faith weren’t taken down to a reasonable height where the various denominations could work together in a variety of areas but rather would be functionally obliterated with the advent of the “Renewal Movement” and knowing truth through the “peak experience” of, and “my story about” the “Holy Spirit” in 1960. Vinson Synan gives a brief history of the birth and growth of Pentecostalism and he outlines a three step process of which:
The final phase was the penetration of Pentecostalism into the mainline Protestant and Catholic churches as “charismatic renewal” movements… 1
This phase proved to be enormously effective in its influence: Continue reading …
Over the last three weeks Jonathon Miles and Ben Dyer have discussed “Gay Rites – Debating the Moral Question.” It is helpful to realize that we can challenge the thinking of others, and indeed ours, in a generally courteous fashion and make our case on an issue. First century believers lived in a culture that valued these sorts of exchanged. It is something we need to recapture in this largely post-modern culture. In trying to address the marginalization of the church we are returning to our series on the history of the Culture Driven Church this week.
As 1960 dawned, Abraham Maslow’s views had become largely mainstream in psychology, culture and increasingly so in the church as well. Self-esteem, hierarchy of need and peak experiences would take slightly different manifestations inside and outside the church but they would become the guiding principles for how we understand ourselves and for Christians, how we understand and interpret Scripture. AIDS (Acquired Ignorance of the Doctrines of Scripture) would continue, pretty much unchecked until they would reach an epidemic proportion in the future.
In 1960 Carl Rogers was completing a book that would outline his views on self-actualization which would become a best seller and award him celebrity status in the growing human potential movement.
Rogers outlined a process of self-exploration by which the individual strips away the “false fronts” that he has used to present himself to the world and becomes “the self which one truly is.” Anticipating the day when non-fiction would be dominated by personal narratives, he began with a chapter entitled, “This Is Me..” The remainder of the volume equated “personhood” with the discovery of one’s inner, presocialized “me.” The search for truth, Rogers wrote, must begin and end with identifying one’s true feelings. “Neither the Bible nor the prophets – neither Freud nor research – neither the revelations of God nor man – can take precedence over my own direct experience.”1
Human centeredness and personal experience had Continue reading …
Here is part III of our report from the front lines of the Gay Marriage Debate narrated by my good friend Ben Dyer. Ben is a graduate of Talbot Theological Seminary. He is currently a philosophy graduate student at Bowling Green State University.
Jacob takes the podium for his five minute closing statement, and he does something odd. He doesn’t attack the revised argument directly, but instead appeals to the audience’s intuitions about the value of happiness. Don’t we think it’s a good thing when people get what they want and no one else is hurt? He passionately enjoins the audience to reject our negative case on the basis of consent and inclusiveness. How can we pass negative judgments on people’s happiness? Consent covers all where no harm is done.
I start my own closing statement by pointing out that Jacob’s appealed to people’s emotions, and that’s not an adequate response to our arguments.
Here is part II of our report from the front lines of the Gay Marriage Debate narrated by my good friend Ben Dyer. Ben is a graduate of Talbot Theological Seminary. He is currently a philosophy graduate student at Bowling Green State University.
This is a teaching moment,” Jacob begins. He points out that our argument has a serious fallacy—denying the antecedent. The least technical version of this is that if you have an “if…then” condition, it’s fallacious to deny the stuff that comes after the “then” by first denying the conditions for it in the “if.” For example, statements like, “if it is raining, then the grass will be wet,” let you deny that it’s raining if you know that the grass is not wet. But if you deny that the grass is wet because it is not raining, well, you can see the problem right? The “if” clause only indicates a sufficient condition—there could be other reasons why the grass is wet.
Our initial argument denied a compound “if…then” statement:
If straight unions should be endorsed by recognizing them as marriage and