July 31, 2007

Conscious Efforts to Mentor Professional Women

A great interview appeared recently on CT's website. Bonnie Wurzbacher is a Coca Cola VP and a professing Christian. The subtitle of this interview is "Where are All the Women Leaders?" Go here to read the full article.

I'm thrilled to see professional career women coming out and discussing their faith, but even moreso, challenging us with the fact that there are women entering into professions and few mentors to guide them. Everything matters to God, and women entering the workforce are as much in need of mentors as are women who choose to remain at home and raise families. Almost every time I speak somewhere, I find myself asking, where are the young women? I'm not sure how well traditional women's ministry is ministering to young women......I think we're in the midst of a paradigm shift. What do you think?

July 30, 2007

Van Til on the Basis of Constitutional Government

Henry R. Van Til, not Cornelius.....Cornelius was Henry's uncle. I've been reading (and rereading) Henry's book The Calvinistic Concept of Culture. If you haven't read it, get it. But first, take a look at this:
Augustine rejects the idea that a universal law of nature, which is binding upon all intelligent beings, is the basis of constitutional government. Since man is a sinner, the true basis of the state is the character of its citizens as regenerated sons of God, who embrace the sovereignty of God over their being, whereby they are made willing servants in the external realization of his will, by obeying governments. Consequently, the bearers of authority must know themselves to be bound by the law of God, and the ideal is that they should be pious Christians themselves. 'It is here that the safety of an admirable state resides; for a society can neither be ideally founded nor maintained unless upon the basis and by the bond of faith and strong concord, when the object of love is universal good which in its highest and truest character is God Himself, and when men love one another with complete sincerity in Him, and the ground of their love for one another is the love of Him from whose eyes they cannot conceal the spirit of their love.'
Ok, maybe wishful thinking and entirely untenable, but I can only embrace this perspective. What strikes me about this is Henry Van Til's statment that "...the true basis of the state is the character of its citizens as regenerated sons of God..." If this is true, and I believe that it is, then the ills that exist in our society today are not because of anything our political leadership has done to make it so, rather our political landscape is a reflection of the the character of our citizens. Even in typing this, I'm reminded of a conversation Nancy Pearcey had with a political figure that she makes mention of in Total Truth. In essence, if you want to shape culture, it doesn't happen from Washington D.C. because what happens there is only a reflection of society. I haven't got the book in front of me, so hopefully my memory serves me right.

July 27, 2007

Dorothy Sayers Speaks

I just love to read and re-read anything by Dorothy Sayers. Take this in from "Creed or Chaos?"

"If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something htat is not Christ and is nothing like Him? We do Him singularly little honor by watering down His personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ. It is the dogma that is the drama-not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death- but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that a man might be glad to believe."

"You Can't Run God Out of the Public Square"

Presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback distances himself from those who say government and religion should have close ties.

“I want to have a nation where you can say ‘In God We Trust.’ You can’t run God out of the public square,” he said. “But I think it would be bad for us to have a theocracy. I think it would be bad for government. I think it would be bad for religion.”

In that very small statement, I think Brownback says something so much bigger. It is impossible, untenable, to believe that any worldview can be run out of the public square, let alone the Christian worldview. But his statement does beg the question, what are Christians wanting to achieve as they work to participate and make residence in the public square? Are we seeking a theocracy? (I personally don't think so.) Are we trying to change behaviors? Hearts?

Having a nation where we can say "In God We Trust" means having a nation where the gospel is making a difference in the lives of individuals. But as equal members of society (other members of many differing worldviews) we have a responsibility to issues of social justice including addressing the wrongs committed against others. This means engaging the legislative process to ban such things as exploitation of the poor, women, and children, protecting the unborn and those who are in vulnerable stages of health, helping the widows and single parents, etc. Christians must continue to address these issues and work with mechanisms that are in place within a society to help address these issues. As such, Christianity should have never left the public square, and if Christianity is not a welcomed member of the public square today, there is little hope for those who are in need because little reason is provided by other worldviews to even care about those who are in need.

July 12, 2007

God: A Captive of Religion?

I know how odd that sounds, I'm still working through it myself. Why wouldn't the notion of God rest in the religious realm? According to syndicated writer Robert Koehler, God needs to be released "from the captivity of religion...so that we secularists can dance and celebrate what we have wrought. I speak of the God at the edge of language, the God that blesses all loving human endeavor-the God within, the life force, humanity's collective conscience, the diverse, flawed, manmade Gods of all religions..." You can read the article here.

Koehler describes himself neither as a believer or unbeliever; to introduce a more interesting term, he prefers to call himself a trans-believer. This is someone he describes as more than tolerant of diversity, but rather someone who relishes it. For him, salvation does not rest in the power of a transcendent higher authority, salvation is when everyone in the world has a full appreciation, a genuine embrace of everyone's views of ultimate reality. And for this world to exist, Koehler states that "we need a world where church is separate from state." He actually believes that the "public side of the wall' protects the interests of the private sector.

I grow weary of the constant berating of evangelicalism because of it's commitment to absolutes and its desire to transform culture. Secularists like Koehler have been working hard for a long time to "release God" by embracing every possible view of a higher power that exists, obviously seeking to transform culture as well. He views this ecumenism as the highest value of a free society, I call it his right to believe whatever he wants. But popular editorial writing will not muster the critique of basic logic....developing dogma to undo dogma just doesn't make much sense. Secularism is trying to win what seems to be a turf war on values (and the ability to account for them)....and I'm just not sure that the whining is an ample defense for their worldview.