Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #30.
I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Today’s passage of Scripture is Acts 16:29-31 which reads: “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Today’s quote is from Wernher von Braun. He said: “My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”
Our topic for today is titled “Cultural Apologetics, Part 2” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”
CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO CULTURE
Much of the Christian stance in relation to culture has been formulated by the models given by Helmut Richard Niebuhr. Niebuhr’s work Christ and Culture provided a schematic for the different ways in which believers relate to culture. For instance, “Christ against culture” Christians always stand in opposition to whatever trends were popular. “Christ of culture” churches often follow the cultural trends and dilute their message for the purpose of being accepted. The other forms, “Christ above culture,” “Christ in paradox,” and the “Christ transformer of culture” have become the standard methods to describe Christianity and the world around it.
In the most recent century, most evangelicals spoke of culture only from a “Christ against culture” perspective. Churches would often protest movies, music, and art which were perceived as ungodly. To be sure, much of what is seen as artistic expression in our modern culture is (at best) vain and useless and often blasphemous. In response, when Christians did reference art and aesthetics, it was in a pejorative manner.
However, the seminal work of Francis Schaeffer gradually impacted evangelical Christianity. In 1955 Francis and Edith Schaeffer founded a community in the Swiss Alps at Huemoz, which they called L’Abri (luh-bree). L’Abri (luh-bree) (which means “shelter”) became a gathering place where intellectuals, seekers, skeptics, and cynics could discuss the themes and stories of the day. Schaeffer, using a form of cultural apologetics, would draw them to Christian truth regarding issues of the day. Modern equivalents to Schaeffer’s method include those who speak to a broader community or to a secular community in editorials or books to attempt to give a voice to Christian truth regarding issues of the day.
The different forms of cultural apologetics are as varied as culture itself. C. S. Lewis wrote book reviews of decidedly secular works and evaluated them based on the quest for truth. Other cultural apologetics have written music reviews and movie reviews, specifically discussing the central philosophies these forms of entertainment seem to be embracing.
Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.
Today, dear friend, we will continue reading “Book 1, Chapter 4” of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:
Note —In order to keep this section short enough when it was given on the air, I mentioned only the Materialist view and the Religious view. But to be complete I ought to mention the In between view called Life-Force philosophy, or Creative Evolution, or Emergent Evolution. The wittiest expositions of it come in the works of Bernard Shaw, but the most profound ones in those of Bergson. People who hold this view say that the small variations by which life on this planet “evolved” from the lowest forms to Man were not due to chance but to the “striving” or “purposiveness” of a Life-Force.
When people say this we must ask them whether by Life-Force they mean something with a mind or not. If they do, then “a mind bringing life into existence and leading it to perfection” is really a God, and their view is thus identical with the Religious. If they do not, then what is the sense in saying that something without a mind “strives” or has “purposes”? This seems to me fatal to their view. One reason why many people find Creative Evolution so attractive is that it gives one much of the emotional comfort of believing in God and none of the less pleasant consequences.
When you are feeling fit and the sun is shining and you do not want to believe that the whole universe is a mere mechanical dance of atoms, it is nice to be able to think of this great mysterious Force rolling on through the centuries and carrying you on its crest. If, on the other hand, you want to do something rather shabby, the Life-Force, being only a blind force, with no morals and no mind, will never interfere with you like that troublesome God we learned about when we were children. The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none of the cost. Is the Life-Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has yet seen?
Lord willing, we will begin reading “Book 1, Chapter 5” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.
Let’s Pray —
Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.
May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.