Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Danger of the New Monism: Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 6

The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 1
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 2
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 3
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 4a
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 4b
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 4c
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 5a
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 5b
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 5c
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Part 6
The Danger of the New Monism:  Fidelity to Science, Infidelity to the Gospel - Complete Series

What follows is a series of posts regarding the New Monist movement which combines neuroscience with theology and argues that science has "proven" we have no soul.  The problem I have with such a suggestion isn't just the challenge it presents anthropologically, but soteriologically. How does denying the existence of our soul affect our understanding of the gospel? That's one of the questions I hope to answer.  This debate is another example of the challenge that science can present for Christian theology.

Conclusion

The point should be clear.  The gospel that results from this new definition of human nature is not the gospel of Scripture or of traditional Christianity. With little regard as to how monism affects our understanding of the cross, the atonement, the person and work of Christ, sin, and salvation, one must reject this new monistic movement as a movement driven more by science than by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What orthodox, dualistic believers need to do in response is not to change their theology to fit the supposed implications of neuroscience, but to fully and more completely articulate the gospel as revealed in Scripture. Rising conversations regarding holistic dualism is helpful and ought to increase as believers emphasize more than just life after death but also life before death. The gospel affects both. What the new monists are pushing and the direction they are heading will emphasize, almost exclusively, to this life here and now at the cost of the next. As a result, concepts like reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, and justification will become back-burner issues at best or openly rejected at worse.

Though the new monistic movement is still in its infancy, we can already determine where it will end up by adulthood. It is already undermining the gospel in its fidelity to science. It seems, then, that the battle many Christians have been fighting over the fidelity of the gospel against the rise of science is not limited to the debate over evolution but also includes over the implications of neuroscience. Already many well known theologians have abandoned ship in an attempt to be faithful to science rather than faithful to Scripture and the gospel.

All of this is not to suggest that we must choose either-or. If Scripture is inerrant then science will never contradict it. However, many have come to Scripture and orthodox theology with a lot of secular science as baggage and the new monist movement is really no different.

So in the end, though the new monists seek to be faithful to Scripture – so long as their reading of Scripture affirms the finding of science – they have abandoned the gospel in favor of a more popular message more acceptable to the culture it finds itself in.

All Around the Web - July 26, 2016

Canon and Culture - Gender, Marriage, Hell’s Gates, and Your Church Documents

Carl Trueman - Playing with Fire

The Gospel Coalition - How Self-Help Can Become Self-Hurt

Thom Rainer - Seven Ideas for Effective Church Guest Follow-Up

The Cripplegate - Back to the Early Church?

Christian Post - Thousands of Muslims Converting to Christianity in Bangladesh Despite Rising Persecution

CBMW - CBMW Announcement: Denny Burk Named CBMW President

SB Nation - After Duke-UNC and Kentucky-Louisville, what's the best rivalry in college basketball?


Monday, July 25, 2016

"For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn: A Review

At the most basic level, your man wants to be wanted. (93)

Men and women are different. Such a sentence was the equivalent of saying, "water is wet" or "heat is hot," but not anymore. Gender is fluid in postmodern, secular times. So much so "sex" and "gender" are no longer synonymous and the logos on restroom doors are increasingly meaningless. But regardless of popular trends in these confusing times, men and women are different.

While preparing for a sermon on the topic of marriage, I read the book For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn. It has been sitting quietly on my shelf ignored for years (it was given to me) and I finally decided to "pick up and read." I have read countless books on marriage and relationships, but I was particularly interested in seeing what this book, written by a woman, would say to other women about the needs of their husband. I must confess the book was better than I anticipated.

The content of the book is based off of a formal and informal survey done by the author of hundreds of married men in her pursuit to understand them. The author collected that information and in each chapter seeks to help women to better understand their husbands. A reoccurring theme is simply, "Ladies, your husband is different than you."

The author concludes that the husband needs certain things from his wife including: respect, affirmation, attractiveness, intimacy, and even romance.

On the surface, I will say that Feldhahn offers very little new here. As a pastor who has counseled countless engaged and married couples, I have recommended books with similar messages. If each spouse would better understand the needs and ways of the other and serve them (as modeled by Christ at the cross) their marriage would do well (see Ephesians 5). Feldhahn essentially does that here.

Yet what makes this book unique is its focus. As the title suggests, this book is for women about men. She seeks to turn on the proverbial light bulb for wives so that they may understand who their husbands are - weaknesses and all. As a husband I greatly appreciate this approach.

Though I could easily critic a number of things about the book, I ultimately want to praise in particular her chapter on respect, intimacy, and emphasis on our need to be affirmed by our wife. I also want to agree with her that men do not have an ego problem, we have a fear of inadequacy problem.

I conclude by reminding any wives who may be reading this to not underestimate your worth in your marriage. You are valuable and your husband needs you. If you are wanting to become an even better wife, this is a helpful book.

All Around the Web - July 25, 2016


Doug Wilson - Trump Contemplative 

Paul Tripp - The Conversation That Saved My Ministry


The Gospel Coalition - Is God the Father Like My Father?

Eric Metaxas - Unchurched, not Unreachable: Your Friends Are More Open than You Think

ERLC - Religious liberty trouble in California: An interview with the President of Biola Univerity

Thom Rainer - Eight Warning Signs of a Bully Church Member

Chuck Lawless - 10 Characteristics of the Best Bad Church Leaders I’ve Ever Known

The Blaze - Netflix Is Making New Episodes of ‘Making a Murderer’


Saturday, July 23, 2016

All Around the Web - July 23, 2016

Albert Mohler - Religious Liberty and the Right to be Christian

Doug Wilson - 7 Reasons for Cultural Optimism

The Wardrobe Door - Christians Must Embrace the Role of Villain

Joe Carter - Do Churches Contribute to Solving Social Problems?

John Stonesteet - Pokemon Go at the Holocaust Museum: Have We Finally Amused Ourselves to Death?

John Stonestreet - Abuse Isn't Entertainment

Denny Burk - Ross Douthat’s Lament for the GOP…Twitterized

EW - Nickelodeon cartoon Loud House to feature married gay couple


One of my favorite bands growing up was The Juliana Theory. After 11 years, they have released a previously unreleased B-side. You can listen to it below: