Here is my most recent sermon at my local church, on the whole of Proverbs 8.
I’ll take the opportunity to remind you all that we now have various subscription options for the blog, which are more useful now that updates are less frequent, so you can get the updates sent to you rather than having to check all the time.
I have recently come across a nice apologetics website called Capturing Christianity. Their mission and methodology are quite similar to mine, though they are clearly a good deal more professional (since they actually get paid for it). They have produced some good content. Especially on their youtube channel, since as you are probably aware most apologetics on youtube is garbage. Worth checking out.
For anyone interested in Textual Criticism, Credo (quickly becoming a favourite around here) is selling Dan Wallace’s series on Textual Criticism for free for a limited time. I would recommend checking it out, if you missed it in the big everything is free sale a few weeks ago.
Another short post, since it’s Sunday and I’ve got church to do. All Credo audio courses are currently free, and many of them are quite valuable: https://www.credocourses.com/?goal=0_22ee63b739-1503433543-62185061&mc_cid=1503433543&mc_eid=99993fc94c
Some people have asked me to post recordings of sermons that I have preached at my local church. Despite being a young man, I have been given the privilege of preaching at a Sunday morning gathering four times. Here they are, in reverse chronological order.
This podcast from TGC is one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Explaining discipleship in the context of a biblical eschatology vs. three competing modern eschatologies of enlightenment, sexual revolution, and consumerism. The focus on eschatology was extremely interesting and perceptive. If you want to think about how the church can engage modern culture, this may be very useful.
Some of you may be familiar with the website Credo, if you’ve spoken to me on discord you will have heard of other free offers from them. Probably Gary Habermas’ course on the Resurrection.
Today they’re advertising that you can “purchase” all their courses for free, offer valid for a week. I recommend you do so, some of it is very useful for apologetics.
Their website seems to be having a bad day, I am having trouble getting in. But some people have managed, and we have a whole week to get in and buy them.
I am not affiliated with Credo in any way, I just think this is a good resource.
Ligonier Ministries recently had their 2018 West Coast Conference, this time the topic was Defending the Faith. I have not yet made my way through all the videos, but so far they are very valuable. Here is a link to each video, it doesn’t seem like Ligonier have put them into a playlist yet.
“A Theological Sickness Unto Death – Philip Rieff’s Prophetic Analysis of our Secular Age” is the title of a paper published in TGC’s Themelios journal. I have read Rieff’s My Life Among the Deathworks and am working my way through the related A Secular Age by Charles Taylor. For evangelists and apologists wondering what is going on in our culture, and wanting to survey the cultural landscape in order to better strategise our evangelism and apologetics, this article may be helpful.
In Rieff’s view, therapeutic ideology, rather than Communism, was the real revolution of the twentieth century. Compared to Freud, the neo-Marxists were cultural conservatives who still believed in the notion of authority and the idea of a cultural code. The proponents of Freudian therapeutics, on the other hand, would not countenance authoritative frameworks and normative moral codes. In a therapeutic culture, authority disappears. In place of theology and ethics, we are left with aesthetics and the social sciences. Thus, therapeutic culture was born. This tradeoff would turn out to be so destructive that Rieff would describe the United States and Western Europe (rather than the Soviet Union) as the epicenter of Western cultural deformation.
In contrast to the first and second world cultures whose social order is undergirded by a world beyond the visible and a moral authority beyond the self, third world cultures (contemporary Western cultures) sever the connection between sacred order and social order, limiting the “real” world to the visible and locating moral authority in the self. Similarly, whereas each of the first two worlds sought to construct identity vertically from above, our third world rejects the vertical in favor of constructing identity horizontally from below. Rieff knew the result of this rejection would be nihilism: “Where there is nothing sacred, there is nothing.
The construction of a fourth world will involve a recovery of sacred order and, by extension, recoveries of revelation and authority, and of transcendent meaning and morality. Recoveries such as this do not enact themselves; they await a people who will speak and act responsibly. This fourth world “people,” Rieff argues, must articulate and embody seemingly defunct notions of truth and virtue, a formidable task in our radically disenchanted and morally permissive third world culture. Nonetheless, in spite of the formidable challenges posed by third world order, there are already cracks in the foundations; although it once seemed liberating to fire God from his post and live without limits, the third world will soon realize that a world without boundaries is a frightening—not a freeing—place. Thus, a responsible people must arise to manifest the beauty of the “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not.”