“But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.” – Ecclesiastes 12:12 NLT
Almost every time I walk into a book store, I am amazed at the plethora of books. In fact, this verse is one of my favorites that I reference to the person helping me find a particular book. Usually when I say, “The Bible says…” They become straight-faced with a definite edge and apprehension about what’s coming next. When I finish the verse they generally smile and agree with me. The only time they don’t smile is when I visit the book stores in Cannon Beach, Oregon or Seattle, Washington! So much for the ‘new tolerance.’
“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” – Daniel 12:4 NASB
Daniel is predicting that at the “end of time” knowledge will be on the rise. Why? For an organism to survive, the rate of learning must be equal to or greater than the rate of change happening around it. With the rate of change escalating in these end-time days, we must learn faster, learn better, and learn more. Clearly our world is changing and at a rapid rate and it does seem to me that the secular worldview is gaining strength and accelerating at an increased rate!
In the words of futurist John Naisbitt, “Learning how to learn is the most precious thing we have in life.”
After being in ministry for 45+ years I would also say, “learning how to unlearn is actually primary, and learning how to learn is secondary.” But one way or another, we must do both!
In my attempts to learn and unlearn I have increased my reading both by studying the Scriptures and by reading other books across a variety of disciplines.
Expanding on the list from my last article, here are more of my favorite books with a few summary statements that I gleaned from each of them:
Total Truth, Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, by Nancy Pearcey. I probably have referenced the concepts in this book more than any other book in the past 15 years. The major take-away from her writing is that “Truth” (the whole body of teaching in the Bible and what is absolute Truth for all society) has implications and applications in all of life.
The present lie in our culture is that Truth is divided—illustrated by an imagery a two-story building: In the lower story are science and reason, which are considered “public truth”, binding on everyone.
In the upper story are non-cognitive experiences, which is the locus (the focal point) of personal meaning. This is the realm of private truth, where we hear people say, “That may be true for you but it’s not true for me.” The upper story is where we find religion, especially Christianity, the arts, personal preferences, the new tolerance, morality without absolutes, unrestricted sexual lifestyles, and other things considered “sacred.”
The lower story is considered the secular and public realm. Here science is placed where evolution is deemed an irrefutable fact. In addition, politics, economics, the world of academia, businesses, and the broader market place ideas.
This divided concept of Truth is the primary factor
in the cultural captivity of the gospel!
The two-story grid functions as a gatekeeper that defines what is to be taken seriously as ‘genuine knowledge,’ and what can be dismissed as mere wish-fulfillment. The secular pundits insist that Christians simply stay in their churches, Bible Studies, and biblical retreats and not enter the public arena to address any so-called ‘objective ideologies’ in the lower story.
As the late Christopher Reeves stated at a debate at Yale University over embryonic stem cell research,
“When matters of public policy are debated, no religions should have a seat at the table.”
Pearcey provides a templet to understand all worldviews and to discern the meanings of these by asking and answering three crucial questions:
- Creation —where did it all begin?
- Fall—what went wrong?
- Redemption—how can it be made right?
The men in my groups are becoming true discerners of the false ideologies that are permeating our society. We must prepare the next generation!
9, 10, 11
Born in India, D’Souza came to the United States as an exchange student at the age of 17 and graduated Phi Beta Kapa from Dartmouth College. He has made a prominent career as a writer, scholar, public intellectual and filmmaker.
D’Souza has aided me in un-learning certain portions of what I thought to be America’s political history. For example, generally when we hear revisionist history it says:
- The American South as a whole wanted slavery, but the actual history is it was the Southern and Northern Democrats who wanted to keep slavery. We usually associate America in general when pointing to these wrongs, but a more accurate history is that the Democratic Party has been responsible.
- Presidents James Van Buren, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson were past progressive presidents who had ties to Mussolini who was the original fascist. Most people would be shocked to hear such truth.
D’Souza has been the catalyst for me to gain a more complete understanding of fascism, Nazism, socialism, progressive democratic history, and how the Left’s ideology and has influenced America. He also sheds light on Marxist movements like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, The Nation of Islam, and the Democratic plantation (which is alive and well … especially in the ghettos across America.)
The Democratic party has supported individuals like Margret Sanger who believed in Eugenics, (the systematic taking of lives, especially black people and those she deemed unfit for society), in order to preserve healthy population levels.
Margret Sanger’s goal was to control population growth by Sterilization to eliminate the people who were considered unfit, feeble-minded, or criminal. This is straight out of the Nazi handbook! Of course the State, or the Federal Government, would be the deciding authority as to who is ultimately, “unfit.”
Sanger founded Planned Parenthood and, at present time, black children are the most commonly murdered in the womb today. Tragic. She is having her wishes granted even though she has passed from this life.
By the way, our third grandson will be studying Sanger and Planned Parenthood for six weeks at Lake Oswego High School. Do you think it’s important for us as believers to enter the conversation?
D’Souza also has provided for me an understanding of a new concept called, “the urban plantation” which is a socially acceptable replacement for the old plantations of the South. These urban plantations are the inner-city ghettos occupied by mostly blacks, but also the Mexicans, in barrios, and Native Americans on reservations that have been created and funded by the democratic party for many years.
D’souza has been a motivation for me to understand what is taking place in America politically, sociologically, and spiritually. If you simply listen to one-sided information from the Media, Accademia and Hollywood you will be inundated with misinformation at the best, and lies at the worst.
While I am presently reading McManus latest book, The Last Arrow, I am reminded of how impactful this author has been in my Christian walk.
Of all of his books the first two mentioned above have simply been revolutionary for me. He gave me an understanding of concepts that have shaped me profoundly in the last 11 years.
Here are some of the powerful truths I have learned from him:
- The definition and application of ethos,
- Movements of the Holy Spirit,
- What it means to live out our dangerous faith,
- The drive for security and safety at the expense of taking risks
- It is one thing to win individuals to Christ it is another to win a culture to Christ.
- Apostolic Leadership that fosters causal churches, not casual churches. Most churches pride themselves on being care-centers rather than being bases of operation to transform societies.
The word disciple comes from the Greek word mathetes. The root word carries the idea of, “the mental effort needed to think something through.” So, by definition, a disciple is someone who never stops learning.
Faith is not mindless.
Faith is mindful.
Half-minded is no better than halfhearted.
One fourth of the Great Commandment involves the mind. And loving God with all your mind includes the right brain and the left brain!
As you read, I am praying for all of us what the Apostle Paul desired for the Ephesians…
“and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,” – Ephesians 4:23 NASB