Monthly Archives: August 2013

Rhetoric That Still Matters: “I Have a Dream”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech—50 years ago today.


 

I still get emotional reading this speech. This is how you start a revolution. This is rhetoric that still matters.


C.S. Lewis: Christian Champion … or Contrarian?

C.S. Lewis.  Died on the same day as President John F. Kennedy and author Alduous Huxley.

C.S. Lewis. Died on the very same day that President John F. Kennedy was shot.  The author of Brave New World,  Aldous Huxley, died on that day as well:  November 22, 1963 (Wikipedia image, photo by Arthur Strong, 1947)

In 2013, we remember the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. Though his death back then was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I would argue that at least for followers of Jesus, C.S. Lewis has had a far more profound and lasting influence than even JFK…. but how well did he do as a theologian?

Lewis was clearly the most popular Christian apologist of the 20th century. His works have been cited as a major factor in the conversions to faith of numerous prominent Christians, ranging from the scientist and U.S. National Institutes of Health director, Francis Collins, to the British atheist and molecular biologist turned theologian, Alister McGrath. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia books remain bestsellers among children’s fiction, several of the books having been portrayed in big-budget, major motion pictures. He was a member of the Inklings, a group of Oxford scholars that included such literary luminaries as J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit, and (indirectly) Dorothy Sayers, the inspiring visionary of the classical Christian education movement. Lewis’ classic introduction to Christian faith, Mere Christianity, is also the slogan for a major Christian magazine, Touchstone, and his writings form part of the “canon” of many homeschooling curriculums.

For any Christian living in the past fifty years or more, Lewis has been big stuff. However, where does Lewis stand now in the mind of 21st century Christianity? Oddly enough, his legacy is somewhat controversial among some Christians.
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Embarrassing Witnesses

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Matthew 10:16 (ESV)

One the greatest joys we have in producing this blog is sharing material from authors, pastors, thinkers, and theologians who are insightful and effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.  Whether you read these posts as a committed Christian or a scathing skeptic, we appeal to your intellect “with gentleness and respect,” as prescribed in 1 Peter 3:15.

We try to keep things positive, partly because so much of the negative passion that comes out in contemporary writing is self-defeating, but mostly because of the love that is modeled for us by Jesus Christ. We have produced lists of resources, people, and tools that—in addition to the material shared in individual posts—can help you discover the veracity of the Scriptures.

But…much as we would like never to write an unkind word, Jesus also modeled (in fact commanded) discernment.

There are people who make being a disciple of Jesus Christ much more difficult than it should be for the rest of us.  Some have large media outlets (even universities) behind them.  Some have presidential-sized egos and ambitions.  Some, quite frankly, are weirdoes and snake oil salesmen.  Some have been caught perpetrating scams.  Some have been investigated by the U.S. Senate for their overseas dealings or their accumulation of personal wealth while operating under the guise of tax-exempt ministries.  The common thread is a thirst for affluence, power, or attention (and strangely enough, an appetite for expensive jets). Continue reading


Egypt: Coptic Christianity

Members of an historic Christian community in Egypt find themselves persecuted in the midst of political and economic turmoil.   How should Christians at large throughout the world pray for them?

The international media highlights the conflict between the secular elite and Islamic fundamentalists in Egypt.  But what about Egypt’s historic Christian community, the Copts?  How should believers around the world pray for them?

Since the Arab Spring of 2011, Egypt has been a focal point of political renewal … and unrest. Much of the conflict in Egypt is between a secular minded ruling class and a resurgence of fundamentalist Islam. What will take shape in Egypt? A Westernized secular democracy? A return to a traditional Islamic state?

What many do not realize is that there is another group of people in Egypt often caught in the middle: the Coptic Christians.  It is a situation where many other Christians, like me, here in America, find it difficult to comprehend.
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Grace & Truth (& Distractions)

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:16-17 (NIV84)

Being a blogger is a lot like being a fisherman—lines in the water all over the place, always fishing for material to share.  I learn a lot.

One of the places I like to go fishing is in podcasts, listening to the likes of William Lane Craig, the scholars at Reasons To BelieveAndy Stanley, and Dick Woodward while commuting.  But this summer I agreed to read straight through the Old Testament, and that meant weeks of listening to the reading of all 39 books.  No podcasts—just reading through the Bible (an essential prerequisite for personal discipleship).

Finally, I reached the end of Malachi and the next day it was time for something new.  I really missed the podcasts, so I pulled out my iPhone and ran through some favorite podcast libraries, settling almost randomly on an Andy Stanley sermon entitled, “When Gracie Met Truthy.”  It’s a really powerful message on what it means to be a ‘Christian’, and I couldn’t wait to share it here on Veracity.

So here you go.  Click on the image below, then click on the video that appears and listen to some very fine homiletics.

When Gracie Met Truthy

Sometimes Less Is More

But…when I sat down to link everything up for this post, a simple Google search produced a lot more than I bargained for.  It turns out this is THE controversial sermon Andy Stanley preached on August 15th, 2012.  You know, the one where he made an illustration about a messy situation involving homosexuality and adultery.  The rocks started flying in the blogosphere, and even some big names weighed in on the attack. Continue reading


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