Category Archives: Culture
In the past few months I’ve been in the midst of a job transition which has taken up most of my free time so I haven’t been able to post recently. But I think this remarkable video taken last week at the dedication of a new meeting hall for a local church will make up for it. Listen to Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the nationally syndicated “Bible Answer Man” radio program and president of the Christian Research Institute, speak about Watchman Nee and his “wasting” his life for the Lord Jesus (Matt. 26:8). According to Hank, perhaps the two greatest minds to have ever come out of China are Confucius and Watchman Nee.
This past weekend I happened across an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which contained excerpts from Alain de Botton’s newest book, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believers Guide to the Uses of Religion. The title of the op-ed was changed to read “Religion for Everyone”, probably because the editors felt it would attract a broader audience. While I have not read the book (it publishes in the US in March), the extra-long op-ed piece — presumably inclusive of the “choicest” portions of the book — grants enough of a basis for this response.
De Botton’s goal is quite simple: “to reclaim our sense of community…without having to build upon a religious foundation”. To this end, he chooses idealized religious customs and considers how to clone them for society-at-large. This has been done before, of course (see: Socialism). Read the rest of this entry
If you read my previous review of a recent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, then you know that what really interested me was the influence the Moravian Brethren had upon Bonhoeffer and his conception of the church and even what we may call the church life. In this post I look at a biography of the seminal figure behind the Moravian Brethren (outside of Christ, naturally): Count Nikolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf. This will be the second of what I anticipate to be a trilogy of reviews related to the German/Moravian contribution toward the organic church life — that elusive, harmonious, authentic, and transformative living of believers described in the early scenes of the church in Acts 2 and still sought after today in the closing chapters of church history. Read the rest of this entry
Each holiday season I always enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal‘s annual republishing of an op-ed piece entitled In Hoc Anno Domini, which has run continually since 1949 (if the link is dead, just Google the title above). It’s refreshing to see America’s largest newspaper by circulation (2x that of The New York Times) steadfastly and unashamedly publish something related to Christ and His gospel.
But each time I read it, I have to ask myself, what gospel is being announced here? Is it the gospel of Jesus Christ, or is it adopting the language of Christ to herald a different gospel? Read the rest of this entry
No, I have not preached the gospel to Steve Jobs and I don’t know know anyone personally who did, although I trust that somewhere along his course in life someone at someplace at sometime announced Christ to him. Whether he received Christ in his heart is unknown to me, and it is not my job to speculate here.
But since his passing I have occasionally thought to myself, How would one preach the gospel to someone like Steve Jobs?
This consideration has coincided with my campus ministry’s year-long exploration into “The Life and Letters of the Apostle Paul“. This past week we were on the topic of Paul’s visit to Athens in Acts 17:14-34. It’s a famously rich portion which gives insight into how the apostle Paul preached the gospel to the secular intellectuals of his time. Three insights which freshly stand out to me are the following: Read the rest of this entry
My parents strictly prohibited my siblings and I from celebrating Halloween based on their understanding of the Bible and the pagan roots of Halloween. While my parents’ position was largely due to scriptural factors, it was also part cultural — as first generation immigrants from Taiwan, they could scarcely understand the American fascination with this “holiday”. Thus, understandably, they were dismissive of our naive interest in Halloween and their new homeland’s cultural devotion to it. Eventually we learned more about Halloween’s origins and fully endorsed our parents’ position. Today there are plenty of Christian teachers and apologists who can speak persuasively on this subject, like this guy on YouTube. Read the rest of this entry