Center for Cultural Leadership

Posts from the “Church” Category

Our Political Supply-and-Demand Problem

Posted on February 5, 2013

Barack Obama was re-elected. He’s basically a soft-core Marxist. His radical views didn’t sneak up on and outwit an unsuspecting populace; unlike in 2008, they knew what they were voting for. They knew he’d bulldozed his nationalized (= socialist) health care plan into law without a single Republican vote.  (So much for bipartisanship.) He didn’t win in a landslide, but he did garner a lion’s share of votes. Mitt Romney (despite his obvious weaknesses) didn’t run a bad campaign. A slight majority of voters simply prefer Obama.  This means, among other things, that we have a cultural problem, not so much a political problem. Obama is a political Santa Claus, and we now have an entire generation of chimney-riveted voters who blithely support social…

Cultic Characteristics

Posted on July 3, 2012

These days, you may find yourself labeled a cultist simply because you believe the Bible or affirm historic Christianity, so far has modern Christendom come from its own history.   However, even within the broad bounds of orthodox Christianity, certain individuals, churches and ministries manifest cultic characteristics. I’ll mention several of those characteristics.  Isolation First, there is isolation. Because cultists believe that they alone possess the truth and that all others are wrong, they work hard to sequester their disciples from any outside “contaminating” influence. This is a fundamental distinction between the catholic (universal) church and all sectarians. This isolation can be accomplished in several ways. Often, it’s as simple as geographical isolation — going to a rural location so that folks are not…

Crusading Christianity

Posted on April 15, 2012

Passion for Catholicity In recent years I’ve tried to make a chief feature of my ministry catholicity, specifically, orthodox Christians working together for wholesale reformation.  Culture-reclaiming Christians committed to Biblical authority, the apostolic Gospel, and historic orthodoxy should not allow their secondary differences to divide them.  The stakes are too high; our culture is too decadent for us Biblical Christians to wallow in nit-picking sectarianism and divert ourselves from the collective task to press the Lordship of Christ in all of life.  Catholicity for cultural change is a cornerstone of Biblical faith. Tenacity for Truth But culture-avoiding sectarianism is not the only danger confronting us.  We now encounter a massive defection — there is perhaps no better expression for it — from Biblical Faith…

The Empirical Heretics

Posted on April 14, 2012

G. C. Berkouwer has riveted attention on the dangers of the empirical heretic, by which he denotes that false teacher who, while in conformity to the creeds of the church, propagates doctrine (or advocates actions) that diminish the proclamation of the Gospel (The Church, in Studies in Dogmatics [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976], 381). Operating safely within the confines of the creeds and confessions (he’s no Arian, by Jove!), the empirical heretic undermines the church and, if unchecked, vanquishes its mission. Examples in the contemporary church abound.  To wit: The health and wealth Gospel, according to which Jesus saves us to make us rich, fat, happy and sassy.  If we’re not exhibiting exuberant health and material abundance, our faith is lacking. The fact that few…

Hatred for History

Posted on March 28, 2012

For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear, some new thing (Acts 17:21) . . . they soon forgot . . . (Psalm 106:13) Richard Weaver said in Ideas Have Consequences: “It has been well said that the chief trouble with the contemporary generation is that it has not read the minutes of the last meeting. Most modern people appear to resent the past and seek to deny its substance for either of two reasons: (1) it confuses them, or (2) it inhibits them. If it confuses them, they have not thought enough about it; if it inhibits them, we should look with a curious eye upon whatever schemes they…

Prophetic Preaching or Expository Preaching?

Posted on March 23, 2012

Over the past thirty years or so, there has been a big emphasis on “expository” or “expositional” preaching. This is the practice of preaching straight through the Bible (or a portion of it) sequentially, exegeting a particular portion and expounding it. This surely is an acceptable way to preach, and it has a long history. For instance, Chrysostom in the ancient church preached this way. Advocates of this sort of preaching, however, often criticize those who do not preach this way. Anything but their way is considered substandard or even not preaching at all. But this is hardly the case. In the Bible itself, there are not unambiguous examples of this type of preaching. In the Old Testament, Ezra stood up publicly and read…