1. Time flies when a girl’s not blogging. Can’t tell you how Monday night catches me off guard these days. Ack! Read-along’s tomorrow!
2. This summer read-along thing’s not for pansies, is it?? Goodness gracious. It takes quite a bit of effort to stay on top of this. I am SO IMPRESSED with all of you!
3. My mind is in a million different places right now (Cambodia, for one, and also several locations that are more mental than physical/actual), so if I’m a little distracted…
Let’s jump in.
Um, Chapter 3 wasn’t my favorite. I hate that I was bored to death by all the Monkey Trial & Dayton details, but yeah. You are so welcome to share any thoughts you had on the trial, but I’m skipping right to p. 65, the last page of the chapter.
“These days,” Rachel writes, “most Christians, even conservative Christians, acknowledge that the Monkey Town approach of stubborn isolationism and anti-intellectualism is an outdated and ineffective strategy for expanding the kingdom.”
“To survive in a modern world, they needed to be more prepared to respond to its questions. They could no longer simply resist evolutionary theory, secular humanism, higher criticism, and other modernist threats; they had to learn to effectively engage them instead. So after years of opposing any concept of survival of the fittest, a funny thing happened to the evangelical community of Dayton and around the country: it evolved.”
Hold that thought. Because the very next chapter talks about “being prepared to respond to the world’s questions,”(i.e., Christian apologetics), but then Rachel starts wondering if that’s the best way to handle things.
“I grew increasingly uncomfortable with how verses were lifted from the Bible to support political positions like gun rights, strong national defense, capital punishment, and limited intervention in the free market. These seemed more like Republican values than biblical values to me.” (67)
Question #1: What do you think of that last quote? Unfair? Ring true?
“It was the first time I wondered if perhaps there is no such thing as one, single biblical worldview, if perhaps there are as many worldviews out there are there are people.” (68)
Question #2: How would you define “a biblical worldview?”
This next part has been on my mind and heart for a couple years now. The whole battle to “win back America for God” or whatever we call it. Where Christians can only watch FOX news and vote for whoever’s running against Obama. Where patriotism and Christianity are Siamese twins. Where modern-day racism is something black people are just making up to cause a ruckus. Where gays are to blame for everything that’s gone sour in our great nation.
“From keeping nativity scenes in public buildings to keeping ‘one nation under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, defending America from the perceived takeover of secular humanism became the purpose of the modern church.” (77)
Do we not have any higher purpose as the people of God, the body of Christ??
Like, oh, I don’t know, caring for the poor, rescuing the enslaved, doing justice, feeding the hungry, racial reconciliation…
If I sound exasperated, I am. Some of the stuff we waste our time on in this country when people are suffering and dying just makes me sick. (And as the Bible would suggest, it makes God sick too.)
Question #3: In the grand scheme of things, how much priority do you think Jesus would give “defending America” compared to loving the poor?
“Most worrisome, however, was how we criticized relativists for picking and choosing truth, while our own biblical approach required some selectivity of its own.” (80)
Question #4: Do we read/interpret/apply Scripture selectively? If your answer is no, are you sure? If yes, is this okay?
Here are all the questions in one place:
1. What do you think of that last quote (seem more like Republican values than biblical ones)? Unfair? Ring true?
2. How would you define “a biblical worldview?”
3. In the grand scheme of things, how much priority do you think Jesus would give “defending America” compared to loving the poor?
4. Do we read/interpret/apply Scripture selectively? If your answer is no, are you sure? If yes, is this okay?
Take it away, friends. Remember, be kind and respectful. So far so awesome!
*Next week’s reading assignment: Chapters 6, 7, & 8.