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Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Language Problems Tax Issues

In Apologetics on December 14, 2010 at 6:36 am

By Cal Thomas

 

12/14/2010

 

Even Rosetta Stone, the language-learning software that promises individuals they’ll soon “dream in French,” would be hard-pressed to translate the language of Washington. The etymology surrounding the tax debate would stymie someone with a Ph.D. in linguistics.

 

Just following the numbers, not to mention the assertions, is enough to produce blank stares of incomprehension. There is a debate about whether the estate tax should jump from zero to 35 percent, or 55 percent. Some liberal congressional Democrats claim they won’t consider voting for the “compromise” unless it is 55 percent. As The Wall Street Journal noted last weekend, the estate tax was 55 percent in 2001, with a $675,000 exemption. In 2009, the top rate was 45 percent with a $3.5 million exemption. This year it has been zero percent with no exemption.

 

Republicans and Democrats have attached new spending for pork projects in the tax rate compromise bill. Pork IS the universal language of Congress.

 

This is fiscal irresponsibility. The reason America has a debt approaching $14 trillion is that government will not live within the means provided to it by people who earn the money.

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) exposed the motives of liberals about progressive taxation. During a mini-filibuster against the deal struck by President Obama and the congressional Republican leadership, Sanders said it is “greedy” to oppose a hike in the tax rates. “Greed is like an addiction,” he said, comparing it to heroin and nicotine. Sanders wondered how anyone could be proud to call himself a “multimillionaire?” One might ask how any U.S. senator could be proud to call himself a socialist? Besides, what business is it of government how much anyone legally earns?

 

According to Sanders’ reasoning, if people resist turning over increasing amounts of their paychecks to government, they are greedy. The left is obsessed with punishing the successful, but even if billionaires and multi-millionaires were taxed at a 100 percent rate, it wouldn’t get close to eliminating the debt. Cutting spending would.

 

What word might best characterize a government that so misspends our money? Unconstitutional? Irresponsible? Outrageous?

 

The class warfare game played by the Left leads nowhere. It is foreign to the Constitution and to our history. Every poor person would like the opportunity to become rich, or at least better off. Liberty and opportunity, not government, offer that chance if right choices are made and one develops a moral center.

 

The Left’s real concern is that too many people might become independent of government and have less “need” of politicians. Most politicians won’t let that happen unless forced to do so by the voters. The November election was a step in the right direction.

 

President Obama’s latest manipulation of language is his shameless theft of a Republican idea. Last Friday, according to the Washington Post and an official of the administration, President Barack Obama “directed his economic team to begin analyzing options for overhauling the U.S. tax code as part of an effort to trim the long-term deficit.”

 

“The idea is simplifying the system, hopefully lowering rates, broadening the base,” the president told NPR News.

 

Wait, I thought the lowered Bush tax rates were a threat to the country?

 

The tax code has become complicated because Congress uses it to reward or punish companies or causes, which it favors, or opposes, depending upon which way the political wind blows. A simpler, more equitable code with lower rates would benefit taxpayers; the treasury would see tax receipts increase because more people would be paying taxes; there would be more capital available to the private sector for production of goods and services; and businesses could hire more people, who would become taxpayers.

 

Congressional Republicans should scuttle the deal offered by the president and await reinforcements, arriving next month. They might then get a better deal. And maybe, just maybe, the new members will speak a language the public understands.

 

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, “Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America”.

 

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Score One for Judeo-Christian Culture

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Sin, Trinity on December 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

By John Bennett

12/12/2010

 

Multiculturalism creates a neurotic and dishonest society. This is seen very plainly during the Christmas season. Those of us who celebrate Christmas are told that we must rip the very core of this season out, and replace it with a phony, soulless thing called “Holiday” or “Winter.” This is dishonest because nobody celebrates winter. “Holiday” is a shallow term to describe Christmas; the term abuses language to impose a false meaning on a reality that most of us cherish.

 

“Holiday” and “Winter” are weasel words used by cultural appeasers who are too ashamed of their own culture to say what everybody knows to be true. That is, that most of us are celebrating Christmas. Maintaining Christmas is part of preserving the culture that gave us almost everything that we have worth keeping. The whole name-changing charade is neurotic because it forces people to pretend that our majority culture is not what it actually is.

 

Now, the madness of the Christmas season is upon us- not the madness of shopping centers, but the madness of toxic tolerance. It’s happening already in Philadelphia, where a shopping plaza was transformed from “Christmas Village” to “Holiday Village.”

 

Sensitive people will respond that concerns about church-state separation could come in to play. But there is not the remotest trace of such a concern to be found in the initial Philadelphia decision. The reported rationale offered by the city manager was that “This is not about taking Christmas out of the holiday. It’s about being more inclusive.” He also said that the decision was not based on political correctness, but on “common sense.”

 

Just follow the logic of his statement. We want to be inclusive, which means embrace diversity. Therefore we are going to express disapproval for the majority culture that made this nation great, which is what attracted those diverse people in the first instance. Yes, it was largely immigrants of Christian denominations who built this country, and if one does not like that fact then they are free to find another place whose history doesn’t offend them. Next, as the city manager’s logic goes, in place of the majority culture we will substitute a contrived, nebulous thing called “Holiday” or “Winter” which means nothing to anybody.

 

Ultimately, the Philadelphia Mayor urged “Christmas” to be placed back on the sign. But consider the conflict that played out there, as it does in many cities, every year: For fear of mildly offending a few unreasonable people who don’t like to see or hear the word Christmas, we have chosen instead to completely outrage many people who celebrate Christmas as part of our nation’s majority culture.

 

Some people call it the “war on Christmas” but this phenomenon is best described as part of something larger that harms us year round: toxic tolerance. Toxic tolerance has been described as “the imperative never to offend anyone, no matter how evil, duplicitous, or exploitative they might be.” Tolerance is supposed to be something that makes society better off by placing consideration of others before one’s own narrow views. Liberals treat tolerance as an absolute value. Along with “embracing diversity,” tolerance is one of the only values liberals will allow- or should I say tolerate.

 

Make no mistake about it, those who rip Christmas out of public life are duplicitous and exploitative, no matter what they claim their victim status to be, and no matter how noble their motives. It is duplicitous to attack the majority culture under the pretense of tolerance, when the outcome of the ostensible tolerance is to be intolerant of the majority culture. It is exploitative to use privileged victim status to enforce personal preferences at the expense of a profoundly important cultural and, yes, religious observance. There are few things more self-centered than using privileged victim status to erase part of the culture one finds themselves in. If Westerners went to non-western nations and tried this ungrateful, petty behavior, they would be rightly condemned or worse, depending on the locale.

 

We invite hypocrisy as well- not just garden variety hypocrisy, but the type of fundamental hypocrisy that makes a sham of our self-respect and attacks our national identity. In particular, we can’t have any mention of Christ at Christmastime in public, government places, but your tax money will be used to degrade and insult Christ.

 

Witness the Smithsonian’s display, this close to Christmas, of ant-covered Jesus art. The federally funded Smithsonian featured an art film showing a bloody plastic crucifix with ants crawling on the face and body. That’s what they think of our majority culture. Ant-covered Jesus went along with Ellen DeGeneres man-handling her own breasts, and naked brothers kissing- neither part of a Christmas display, as far as one can tell. The people who despise the majority culture are forcing taxpayers to fund their contempt for our society. This is sheer dishonesty and exploitation.

 

At root, this toxic tolerance and holiday madness is produced by blending multicultural appeasement with a thoughtless liberal notion of equality- not equality brought about by merit or based on majority norms, but equality brought about by government coercion, leveling, and betraying the majority culture. We are told, particularly in educational settings, that all cultures are equal- without any proof or justification. On top of the absurd premise of equality, liberals add legal or social coercion.

 

If a fraction of the public doesn’t celebrate Christmas, we’ll offend the majority by eliminating references to their cultural observance. Thus stores and communities take “Christ” and “Christmas” out of the season, as in Philadelphia.

 

Likewise, if certain groups can’t perform academically at a high standard, we’ll destroy the high standard. Thus a high school in affluent Evanston, Illinois is considering eliminating an honors course because the class had too many whites and not enough minorities.

 

And if certain groups are more likely to commit terrorism, we’ll avoid offending those groups, pretend that everyone is an equal risk, and obscenely offend all groups. Thus, TSA searches a wheelchair-bound nun.

 

Every place where multiculturalists make the rules, the people who work hard are having their interests undermined, and the majority culture has to let itself be muzzled. Make things worse for successful people in order to compensate for those who aren’t. That will make everyone strive to do better. Erode the majority culture to make minorities feel more welcome. That will increase social harmony.

 

We in America, and in the West as a whole, need to stop apologizing for our culture. We –or more accurately those who came before us- have created something great, and that is why people leave their non-Christian nations to come here and to other Western nations. How dare anyone say they have a right to the benefits of our society while at the same time attacking the root of our culture?

 

The norm needs to be reinforced: At Christmas time, we are celebrating the birth of the historical figure who gave rise to our culture, Jesus Christ. We who celebrate Christmas should be vocal in saying that we are offended when Christmas is ripped out of public life. Those who do not celebrate can bloody well not celebrate. It is selfish and insulting to demand that the majority alter something sacred, simply for the convenience or comfort of an unreasonable minority.

 

If the liberal mayor of Philadelphia can be pressured to change course, just about anyone can. The first battle in the War on Christmas has been won by Judeo-Christian culture. No one has an excuse for sitting out. We need to take our culture back and take our country back. That is one resolution that we can achieve before the New Year.

 

John Bennett

John Bennett is a former Army officer and a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in the American Thinker and the Chicago Tribune, among others.

 

The National Portrait Gallery and the Nature of ‘Gay Pride’

In Apologetics on December 9, 2010 at 7:36 am

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DECEMBER 9, 2010
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The National Portrait Gallery and the Nature of ‘Gay Pride’

By Michael Medved

12/8/2010

The raging controversy over an exhibition of “gay art” at the taxpayer-funded National Portrait Gallery raises an uncomfortable but unavoidable question: must all celebrations of homosexual history and identity feature disturbing and pornographic content?

The show in question, “Hide and Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” has drawn criticism from Republican congressional leaders for the inclusion of a video called “A Fire in My Belly” that includes imagery of Christ on the cross with ants crawling over and into his bloody wounds. Though museum officials agreed to remove this one outrageous item, other works in the display featured transvestitism, fetishism, sado-masochism, photographs of AIDS-ravaged corpses, full frontal male nudity, and other elements not readily associated with a national shrine in the nation’s capital best known for its displays of iconic portraits of American presidents.

While defenders of the “Hide and Seek” show describe all critics of the chosen art as bigoted and homophobic, the exhibit itself makes a crucial and revealing point about the essential nature of gay “pride”. Controversy surrounding the display has centered on the handful of outrageous items that deliberately cross boundaries of taste and decency, while most of the featured art has drawn no objection or unfavorable comment.

The exhibition, for instance, features handsome photographic portraits of celebrated gay figures from American history (including poet Walt Whitman and ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein); universally admired paintings by Thomas Eakins and George Bellows of athletic young men displaying their well-muscled bodies; Georgia O’Keefe haunting renditions of horns and antlers; Marsden Hartley’s emotionally charged collage paintings, and other worthy items that might appear in any major gallery in the country. The richness of this material, in fact, makes it all the more perplexing that the curators for this much-publicized holiday season show should feel the need to include items like the (now removed) ant-crawling Jesus; a photograph of two nude, muscular brothers engaging in an erotic kiss; an S & M gay couple in black leather fetish gear, complete with bullwhips; or an assemblage that mixed the ashes of a suicidal AIDS victim with nail polish to create the impression of “Charles Devouring Himself.” Another photograph features the hideously grotesque dead body of yet another AIDS victim, staring accusingly at the camera, grotesquely laid out on garish pillows and blankets, surrounded by “his favorite things,” including “his TV remote control and his cigarettes.”

In other words, the “Hide and Seek” Exhibit actually confirms the idea that any comprehensive consideration of “gay art” must give pride of place to sexually charged, sadistic, voyeuristic, nightmarish, and self-destructive themes. Visitors to the National Portrait Gallery, might wander from historic paintings of statesmen, inventors, writers and popular heroes of the last 200 years, to the museum’s first show honoring homosexual history would immediately discover a huge graphically realistic painting (by the controversial Larry Rivers) of a male hustler flaunting his genitals, or photos of bearded, bare-chested body-builders in chains.

In the midst of the current same-sex marriage debate, gay right advocates insist that homosexual and heterosexual couples are virtually indistinguishable, and that same sex desire constitutes as normal and positive a force in our society as the attraction between males and females. “Hide and Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” powerfully and definitively rebuts that notion.

Had the museum assembled a series of art works to highlight heterosexual “desire” there might have been a few erotic works showing strippers or courtesans, but it’s hard to imagine all the dark visions of sadism, domination and death currently featured at the National Portrait Gallery.

By the same token, Gay Pride parades around the country always celebrate bizarre displays of black leather, cross-dressing, fetishism, semi-nude dancing, masochism, and lurid costumes. While leaders of the homosexual community frequently stress family values, middle class stability, and gay identity as no more peculiar than any ethnic affirmation, that community’s big public festivals convey a very different message.

By the same token, the selection of art works in the ambitious exhibition at the august, publicly funded National Portrait Gallery should offend gay activists who seek to mainstream homosexual identity just as much as it outrages cultural conservatives. Those activists want to convey the idea that gay history and culture count as comparably substantive, decent, wholesome, constructive and admirable as the background and values of any other subgroup in America. Unfortunately, current art show in the nation’s capital serves to undermine rather than to reinforce that claim.

Michael Medved

Michael Medved’s daily syndicated radio talk show reaches one of the largest national audiences every weekday between 3 and 6 PM, Eastern Time. Michael Medved is the author of eleven books, including the bestsellers What Really Happened to the Class of ’65?, Hollywood vs. America, Right TurnsThe Ten Big Lies About America and 5 Big Lies About American Business

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Atheists’ billboard calls Christmas a myth – KansasCity.com

In Apologetics on December 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Atheists’ billboard calls Christmas a myth – KansasCity.com.

 

 

Drivers approaching the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey this holiday season are the targets of an advertisement that its sponsors describe as a strike against Christmas.

A billboard scheduled to be displayed near the entrance to the tunnel into Manhattan through the holidays shows a silhouetted manger scene with the message, “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON.”

The $20,000 campaign, sponsored by a national organization called American Atheists, is timed to preempt annual accusations that liberal groups are waging war on Christmas by asking church adherents to question their holiday traditions, American Atheists president David Silverman said.

“If the religious right wants a war on Christmas, this is what they’re going to get,” he said. “If they want a war on Christmas, we’re going to make sure they know what one looks like.”

The campaign is one of several atheist media blitzes scheduled this holiday season.

It joins a $200,000 national television, newspaper and magazine advertising campaign sponsored by the American Humanist Association and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation meant to challenge biblical morality and fundamentalist Christianity.

Those ads juxtapose passages from religious texts — selected because they appear to advocate “fear, hatred and intolerance” — with quotations from humanist scholars that promote “love, equality, peace, freedom and reason,” according to a news release.

The campaigns come on the heels of studies reporting that rising numbers of Americans identify themselves as non-religious — 15 percent in 2008 compared with 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the Trinity College American Religious Identification Survey.

The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life reported in April, however, that of the 5 percent of its survey respondents who said they do not believe in God or a universal spirit, only 24 percent identified themselves as atheists.

Silverman said his group interprets such numbers as a sign the country is on the verge of explosive growth in secularism.

Many potential secularists live in the New York-New Jersey area, Silverman said. The Lincoln Tunnel billboard, one of several the organization plans in the next year, was placed where generally affluent and highly educated commuters will have plenty of time to think about it as they inch their way through one of the most chronically clogged roadways in the region.

The message is meant to address people Silverman described as closet atheists: those who attend religious services during the holidays without believing in them.

“Stay home,” Silverman said. “Don’t give the church money. Don’t give the church power. Tell the truth to your friends and families.”

Newark Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said that he is aware of the billboard — his son passed it recently — and that he isn’t impressed.

He added that the archdiocese declined an offer to buy a rival billboard, saying it has more constructive ways to spend its money. The message of Christmas is too resilient to be threatened by a sign, Goodness said.

“We’re looking at well over 2,000 years of this message being part of humanity,” he said. “One message on a



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/03/2495023/atheists-billboard-calls-christmas.html#ixzz17T2SrLLo

Merry Christmas is it against the Law?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on December 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Seems every Christmas season we hear about those who want to eliminate Christ from Christmas. Hiding behind the disguise of offense and tolerance we are told that Christmas and the Christian celebration is offensive and intolerable. We are being told to wish everyone “Happy Holidays” for the benefit of those who do not celebrate Christmas. Religious displays of the Nativity are being outlawed from public view and this is done under the disguise of governmental approval of religion. I would suspect most of us sit back and marvel at the stupidity and ridiculous behavior of those opposed to something as very basic to our culture as Americans, founded upon the inalienable rights afforded by our Creator. The language of the founding fathers was very explicit in naming the Judeo Christian God as our Creator. The same language of our founding fathers prevented government from appointing state religions and also intended the freedom and free exercise of religion. The language of today’s modern court system in denying such basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution as the free exercise of religion seems in total contradiction of the Constitution.

What kind of response should churches and Christians offer to those who consistently oppose the Christian message and most especially Christmas itself?

How can we oppose those who oppose us and maintain our command “to love our neighbor as ourselves” and “to love our enemies” in the tradition of Christianity?

The founding of our country and the very concept of religious freedom were taken from Holy Scripture and weaved into the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. How do we separate being responsible followers of Christ and proud patriotic Americans?

Far too often we have allowed the joining of Christianity and patriotism to the detriment of Christianity. As a follower of Christ I am responsible for my citizenship in his kingdom. As an American I am taught to be patriotic and law-abiding following the Constitution and its directives. If we make the mistake most often seen in our society we confuse being a good American qualifying us as a good Christian. In being a Christian my citizenship in the kingdom of God is obtained by surrendering my life to Jesus Christ. Being born in America automatically makes me a citizen though not necessarily patriotic. I learned patriotism from those who love our country and the freedoms we enjoy. I become a Christian because I had failed to follow God’s law and repented allowing Jesus to be my sovereign God. In a society like America we have determined to allow other beliefs and even non believers to enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship. As Christians in America we have been careful to make sure through the Constitution to allow those who have different beliefs to coexist together. It seems those who have benefited from the freedoms designated by the founding fathers are the very ones who are opposed to those same freedoms when they disagree with the message. Speaking as an American citizen I support and defend the rights of those to express their disagreement with my point of view. I support the concept of free speech even speech that I am opposed to! The real question comes into view where is their support of my free speech when it is offensive to them? Typically in our society we form a consensus of accepted and unaccepted behavior and it is enforced to our system of laws. Since the founding of our country the accepted behavior for Christmas celebration until recently has been displaying religious symbols in the public square for viewing purposes. For those who did not celebrate this religious occasion or believed in it they typically tolerated it because of the freedoms that were guaranteed in the Constitution. Also those who disagree typically with the celebration did not participate but would find it offensive to stop those who do from celebrating. The thinking was if I tolerate this behavior they will tolerate my behavior. The truly sad part of this commentary is the loss of true tolerance. Until recently tolerance was seen as putting up with something I personally disagree with. The mitigating factor that moved tolerance to intolerance was violation of our basic constitutional principles. At some point some behaviors become as heinous as to be intolerable that would typically included racism, fascism, communism, and socialism. These behaviors circumvent the basic constitutional rights we as a self-governing people have established to protect our culture and our society. As a Christian I have made the decision before it becomes illegal in the public square to be public about my faith! I’m making a statement about my faith not to be reactionary or inflammatory but obedient to the faith as I understand it. Those who claim Christ in the public square must also understand that if it becomes illegal we will become lawbreakers and suffer the consequence for that behavior. Jesus never promised to keep us from the consequence of the expression of our faith and more importantly warned us of the impending persecution that awaits us. God has prescribed through his word that we follow the laws of the land, those laws prescribe punishment for social disobedience. As an American citizen I will oppose those who limit my freedom of religion and expression thereof. As a Christian I will temper my arguments to be obedient to Christ yet I will disagree with those who oppose my Christian faith. We’re told the gospel is an offense to those who don’t believe we are also not to add offense to it. There is a fine line in defending our freedom and protecting our faith. Our faith and obedience to Jesus the Christ should always supersede, overrule and determine our response. Remember we are promised in Scripture if we live according to the principles Christ demanded from us, when we are accused there should be a lack of evidence to condemn us in regards to the faith.

Being an American in today’s society is truly a difficult task, being loyal, being patriotic, and being a productive law-abiding citizen is passé. Compounding the difficulty is the issue of Christianity; remember if America fails Christianity didn’t! If this experiment in self governance fails I believe it is because we compromised the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers asked for God’s blessing on our nation and rightly so. As a Christian I know that God will not bless disobedience. Once again God does not fail if America does, but America failed God if it falls.

As the close of 2010 nears, Merry Christmas may God bless and keep you!

 

World View Matters what’s yours?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on December 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

FIRST-PERSON: The glory of God & the life of the mind

By R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Dec 2, 2010

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–To be human is to think, and to think is to operate within a worldview. Every individual operates out of a basic set of convictions about reality, truth, meaning and how the world works. As thinking creatures, we create, perceive, absorb and base our thinking upon certain intellectual assumptions that, in essence, allow the world to make sense to us.

 

There is nothing distinctively Christian about having a worldview. The very process of intellectual activity requires some framework, and no idea is independent of prior assumptions. As human beings, we can hardly begin each moment of intellectual activity without dependence upon assumptions that are, in essence, pre-philosophical. This is true for all human beings, regardless of the actual content and shape of their worldviews.

 

The great challenge for the Christian is to craft a worldview that is distinctively Christian in its shape, substance and structure. This is no easy task, especially in an intellectually complex world that is marked by an incredible diversity of worldviews and ideologies.

 

In this generation, a growing number of Christians understand the responsibility for developing a Christian worldview. Nevertheless, for many of these Christians, the development of a Christian worldview is reduced to certain principles of conviction that are assumed to lead to certain pragmatic conclusions and practical applications. There is no shortage of seminars, books, courses and curricula directed toward the development of the Christian worldview. There is good reason to be thankful for this recovery of interest in developing a Christian worldview, but there is an even greater need to advance toward a more comprehensive understanding of the Christian worldview that finds its beginning and end in the glory of God.

 

Christianity recognizes and affirms the importance of the intellect. The life of the mind is understood to be a central issue of Christian discipleship. The Christian is not only to live in obedience to Christ, but is also to serve Christ through the development of a distinctively Christian mind.

 

All too many Christians ignore the intellectual component of discipleship. This tragic reality betrays a misunderstanding of the Gospel, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ requires cognitive understanding. In other words, there is a knowledge that is central to the Christian faith. As the Apostle Paul makes clear in Romans 10, faith comes by hearing, and that faith is established upon truth claims that are nonnegotiable and necessary for salvation.

 

Christian faithfulness requires the development of the believer’s intellectual capacities in order that we may understand the Christian faith, develop habits of Christian thought, form intuitions that are based upon biblical truth, and live in faithfulness to all that Christ teaches. This is no easy task, to be sure. Just as Christian discipleship requires growth and development, intellectual faithfulness requires a lifetime of devoted study, consecrated thinking, and analytical reflection.

 

As Anselm of Canterbury, a leading Christian theologian of the 11th century, classically affirmed, the Christian task is well defined as “faith seeking understanding.” In other words, the Christian faith honors intellectual responsibility and the life of the mind. The faith that justifies sinners is a faith that requires a certain knowledge and then leads to a responsibility to advance in knowledge and understanding in order to move “from milk to meat” in terms of intellectual substance.

 

All this is necessary in order that the disciple would grow in grace and in understanding, but it is also necessary in order that Christians will grow in intellectual discernment. This intellectual discernment is a necessary component of the Christian’s responsibility to know the truth, to love what is true, to discern the difference between truth and error, and to defend the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.”

 

The Christian affirmation of the life of the mind has produced schools, colleges, universities, seminaries and a host of other centers of intellectual activity. The rise of the university can be traced directly to the intellectual vigor of medieval Christianity. Christianity honors the life of the mind and has made literacy a central issue of the church’s concern. Christianity is a religion of the Book — the Bible — and it is a faith that takes the tasks of reading and writing with profound seriousness.

 

In the end, Christianity honors the life of the mind, not because it celebrates the power of human intellect, but because Christ himself instructed Christians to love God with heart, soul and mind.

 

The fact that God would command that we love Him with our minds indicates in a most profound and unmistakable sense that our Creator has made us to know Him in order that we would love Him and to seek His glory above all else. Understood in this light, our intellectual capacity and the discipleship of the mind are to culminate in the development of a Christian worldview that begins and ends in the glory of the self-revealing God of the Bible.

–30–

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This column first appeared at AlbertMohler.com.

 

 

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