Saturday, October 18, 2003
As October rolls on towards its inevitable end, evangelicam and fundamentalist churches are putting up their "Hell-O-Ween" haunted houses again. These are the ones that show various types of sinners paying for their lives of sin. I hang my head i nshame when I see the billboards and flyers appear.
The world is celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Pope John Paul II, and it appears more and more clearly that he won't have many more anniversaries to celebrate. This Holy Father will go down in church (and secular) history as a great man who accomplished great things. He will be listed -- alongside Reagan, Thatcher, and Gorbachev -- as one of the critical figures in bringing down the evil that was world Comunism. He is a beloved figure, and I -- a faithful Protestant -- am grateful for God's hand upon this man, am praying for him daily, and will mourn him when he is called home.
Friday, October 10, 2003
According to philosopher Daniel Dennett, that is. His article in the New York Times reported that leading atheists have taken to calling themselves "brights," with the clear implication that those of us who believe in a power beyond ourselves are not so bright. Author Dinesh D'Souza does a fine job rebutting this in a recent Wall Street Journal column. D'Souza references the works of Burke and Kant in his critique of Dennettm ending with this sentence: "The atheist foolishly presumes that reason is in principle capable of figuring out all that there is, while the theist at least knows that htere is a reality great than, and beyond, that which our senses and our minds can ever apprehend." Absolutely.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Bad news in the Christian merchandise industry . . . I use that phrase sardonically, have no fear. But the sad news is this: following the $24 box office that the Veggie-Tales movie "Jonah" raked in just last year, the production company (Big Idea Productions) has declared bankruptcy. Following the model of many secular companies, BIP took their success and parlayed it into expansion, growing much too big way too fast. The most telling quote came from CEO Phil Vischer, who said, "When things were going so well, I thought God was wanting us to expand . . . Now I think it was more me having all these ideas." I must confess that I have no sympathy for this incredible juvenille theology. Mainstream evangelicalism has successfully put down the "prosperity doctrine" as far as actual money goes, but the concept is still there in the notion that if we please God, He will bring us success in our ventures on our terms. I just do not get that. Mr. Vischer and his company is just the latest of a long string of people coming to grips with that faulty paradigm.