Easter morning in the Thistleton house always includes listening to this rendition of this song, originally performed on national TV at the CMA show:
We live in a post-Enlightenment age. What that means is that everything is colored, to one degree or another, by the over-rationalizing tendency of the Enlightenment. As James K.A. Smith would say, we have de-chanted the world … removed all sense of enchantment from life. Life is just one big math equation. Of course, we’re now in the midst of a post-modernism that rejects much of this, not in favor of biblical truth, but rather a hyper-individualism that has no fixed roots at all.
This is a short discussion that gets at this over-rationalization as it relates to worldview. The term ‘worldview’ and what it describes can be a glorious, biblical truth. And yet, it often has been used to describe an over-intellectualizing of the Christian faith … a faith that is only and all propositional truth … if we can just get it right in our heads, we’ll be OK.
On this Easter morning, the words of this ancient hymn praising Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are most appropriate.
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten”
by Aurelius C. Prudentius, 413, cento
Translated by John. M. Neale, 1818-1866
and Henry W. Baker, 1821-1977
1. Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.
A couple years ago, my wife and I were talking to our 5th and 6th children about how much the world had changed since our 1st and 2nd children graduated from MHA. Most of the change we discussed focused on the introduction of the smart phone and the ubiquitous social media that it fostered. Most of us think we use our phones … we are the masters and the phones are the tools. I would guess, though, that in many ways, the phones are the masters and we are the subjects being changed.
I haven’t read this book yet (just ordered it) but it looks very good and probably ought to be read by everyone reading this blog. Just as importantly, we need to help our children be able to think about things like this because there will only be more of this for them to deal with as they grow. If we don’t think harder about these kind of things, we will continue to be changed without ever knowing it’s taking place. And trust me, most, if not all, this change is not helping us cultivate a Christian mind or life.
You might be familiar with this quote attributed to Martin Luther
“If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”
This is actually not a quote from Luther but from a novel but it is generally believed to be something that he could’ve said. The article linked below reminded me of this quote. We need to use a good bit of discernment in the modern world as we don’t live in the direct world that Martin Luther lived in and thus, it takes care and wisdom to see the kind of things Toby Sumpter points out in this article. It’s difficult to swim against the tide, especially when that tide consists of those who are on your “team,” but we need to be willing to stand for the truth, even if others don’t see it.
There’s lots more that could be said here, especially about the biblical model of courtship which was much more family-centric than any kind of modern approach to dating … but this is very good. It’s also written by a Cincinnati native.
J.I. Packer on the importance of catechesis:
There is much to learn from this post given the times in which we live. We need to be like the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times and knew what to do.
If you study church history, you see that there have been periods of incline and decline from the time of Christ till today (really, even before Christ). Today, at least in the West, the church (& western culture generally) is clearly in a time of decline.
The book, God, Sex, and Human Flourishing, looks at one of the lightning rod issues of our day and one in which the church needs to be clear (but often is not). Harrison tells us how we got here but also what we need to do to begin the journey out of the current mess.
His emphasis of the better story of Scripture and our need to adorn the message is right up the alley of C&C education. We hope to proclaim this story, alongside churches and parents, and train students so that they have the tools to communicate it beautifully, without compromise, and in love.
Here’s a summary of the book:
A little Augustine for you: