*Posted by Everett Berry. This piece originally appeared at All Things New.
Before I begin to offer my initial thoughts on this question, a little reminiscing is probably in order. I was born in Fort Worth, TX and was raised in an Independent Baptist church that was part of a larger Fundamental Baptist coalition.
Needless to say then, I grew up in an extremely conservative environment. So much so, my church and its denominational affiliates proudly embraced many of the typical labels indicative of the Baptist flavor of Fundamentalism such as King James Only-ism and Landmarkism. To be completely fair though, unlike many others who have stories to the contrary, my experience in this climate was not overwhelmingly negative. While it was true that I did occasionally encounter some forms of legalism and folk theology that are intrinsic to some Fundamentalist circles, I heartily confess that the people who personally invested in me were genuinely committed to the gospel, discipleship, evangelism, and holiness. Even today there are many people in Fundamentalist contexts who are my dear friends and brothers/sisters in the Lord. All in all then, the Fundamentalist ethos did not harm my spiritual pilgrimage. In many ways, it nurtured it. Continue reading →
The so-called “Fair Minimum Wage Act” (H.R. 1010 or S. 460) would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 over two years, and then progressively each year based on inflation (the consumer price index). Who could possibly be opposed to a law requiring employers to pay the nation’s poorest a little more? Those who care about the poor, that’s who.
Let’s keep the math simple for the sake of argument: If minimum wage goes from $7/hr. to $10/hr., a company with, say, a hundred minimum wage employees, would go from paying $700/hr. total to $1,000/hr. total. To avoid this expense increase, the company would be forced to cut its workforce by whatever equaled the $300/hr. difference. After the increase, this would amount to thirty employees. And who would be cut? Employees who are the least qualified or those who are least necessary to get the job done. The employer would then require those more skilled to pick up the slack. What a great idea! (Hint of sarcasm here.) Let’s help the most vulnerable by getting them fired! (Okay, call it “laid off” to sound less harsh.) Continue reading →
Here’s a summary of this week’s For Christ and Culture radio broadcasts!
Faith in the Scientific Method (Friday, June 7)
Barry responds to a listener’s email about a debate he had with atheist David Smalley, further clarifying the point that everyone must choose to believe something to be true: faith is necessary even for an atheist to rely on the scientific method.
Biblical Interpretation Within Evangelicalism (Monday, June 10)
Our favorite theologian returns for another discussion about the evangelical movement, this time broaching the subject of hermeneutics.
Our Story: Polycarp (Tuesday, June 11)
Barry introduces a new series with Bill Watson and Winston Hottman that surveys church history, acquainting us with other believers whose stories will inspire us as we seek to find our place in God’s story.
Worship (Wednesday, June 12)
A lively conversation about worship ensues when Winston Hottman brings up the topic with Barry and Bill Watson regarding different worship styles and atmospheres in church life.
Greater Expectations (Thursday, June 13)
Dr. David Henderson joins us to talk about our pursuit of dreams and how to deal with the reality of failed expectations.
Sometimes I feel like the Bible was written just for me. I know it’s crazy, but when its words speak to the very thing I’m facing at that particular moment, I can’t help it. There have even been times when, in desperation, I have opened its pages longing to hear from God… and I am not disappointed.
It wasn’t until I began to hang out with professional theologians that I discovered I was a “mystic.” I was reminded of my mysticism the other day standing in the foyer of a little Baptist church. My kids were in the sanctuary preparing for their piano recital and I was loitering in the sun-warmed foyer finishing my root beer and enjoying that distinctive, memory-inducing small Baptist Church aroma. Continue reading →
Here’s a summary of this week’s For Christ and Culture radio broadcasts!
Seven Men, Manhood, and Culture (Friday, May 31)
Criswell College President, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, interviews author Eric Metaxas about his new book, Seven Men, covering the inspiring lives of a U.S. President, a social reformer, a gold medalist, and a Pope, among others.
Acts 9: Part One (Monday, June 3)
Barry catches us up on the story of the early church as we head into Acts chapter 9, seeing God reaching out in grace to his followers as well as his enemies.
Acts 9: Part Two (Tuesday, June 4)
We return to Acts 9 and hear about both the reluctance and obedience of Ananias.
Acts 9: Part Three (Wednesday, June 5)
Barry continues talking through the story of the early church, reminding us that God intends to make the good news available to all people and will do so through his friends as well as his enemies.
Acts 9: Part Four (Thursday, June 6)
Barry finishes up Acts chapter 9, noticing that Luke shapes the stories to be more about the message (the good news) and less about the messenger.
*Book review by Michael Cooper. Michael serves as Assistant to the President at Criswell College where he is also studying Biblical Studies and Languages.
What is a man?
What makes a man great?
These are the two questions that Eric Metaxas poses in his new book, Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness. Metaxas believes we are living in a culture with a masculinity crisis. In the introduction he presents two common but false ideas about masculinity. The first is the idea that masculinity means being macho – a real man is big shot. The second is the image of manhood that emasculates men by downplaying or denying the differences between men and women. However, God’s idea of manhood is different. Metaxas states that God’s idea of masculinity finds its purpose in servant leadership, the model set forth by Jesus Christ. The book traces the lives of seven great men who embodied God’s idea of masculinity through the virtues of humility, courage, faithfulness, and servant leadership. The seven men are George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles Colson. Continue reading →
A while back, I was listening to a talk-radio program and the DJ (or TJ in this case) brought up the topic of “co-habitation.” While listening, it became clear that there were at least two defining aspects of “cohabitation:” (1) not-being-married and (2) sleeping-together. This didn’t surprise me because the dominant media culture has made it clear that premarital, and extramarital, and postmarital sex is the “always pardonable sin.” Or rather, in our current culture, the only thing sinful about extramarital sex is to talk about it in a derogatory way.
It also didn’t surprise me that everyone who called in to this Christian owned station with conservative programming was cohabiting or had tried it… even the radio host had tried it—twice. Christians regularly cohabitate in the movies—Bruce Almighty was living with his Christian girlfriend. And, just the other day, I read this statement in Entertainment Weekly: “She’s a driven type A and devout Christian who has no qualms about lying to her live-in boyfriend about the nature of her undercover assignments.” Notice that there is an implied problem with lying (she should have “qualms” about it), but the fact that she is a “devout Christian” and living with her boyfriend is just passed over as if there is no need for qualm or pardon. Continue reading →