Wednesday, October 04, 2006

They're here! They're here!

Today they arrived. The man in blue garb driving the white truck with red and blue stripes dropped off a box from amazon.com just a couple of hours ago. I knew what was in it when I saw the "smilies" on the box.

It was my two copies of "Above All Earthly Pow'rs" by David F. Wells, which I reported on earlier here.

Upon opening the box, I was to find that the smilies on the box were merely mocking me and saying "Bet you can't make it through this!".

Well, I determinedly sat on our enclosed front porch with my three-day supply coffee mug and began to read. And I found that, while this is not going to be a casual read by any stretch of the imagination, if you just force yourself to re-read a portion or two occassionally (as things fly over your head) it is very engaging.

No pictures though. None. Nada. I looked. Believe me. Zippo.

I need to reread the section again later today after some of it soaks in from this morning. He presents some stats as follows:

One of the casualties of 9/11 appears to be God Himself. Before the attacks, 72% of Americans affirmed belief that God is omnipotent and in control. Afterwords, this dropped to 68%. Before the attack, 38% affirmed their belief in moral absolutes which are true for all times and places and non-circumstantial. That dropped to 22%

9/11 made the language of "evil" a verbal necessity but we just didn't know what to do with it culturally and conceptually.

9/11 brought into focus at least three things. 1) for all the talk of how America has changed, there remains "an uneasy sense" that things are actually little different -- we are still adrift just like other Western countries. 2) The global ambitions of radical Islam has drawn attention to and underlined our growing ethnic and religious complexity. 3) There is a lack of spiritual gravitas , particularly in evangelicalism. There is therefore nothing to match the magnitude of the evil shown on 9/11. Evangelicalism has become absorbed in the "arts and tricks of marketing". We simply aren't "...very serious anymore."

I've just roughly given you an account of the first four pages of the 12 page introduction.

I'll reread the intro later today (again after being able to digest what I've read the first time) and report back. I think I'll just add to this entry. Keep posted.

Meanwhile, I need to know something -- is there a cure for cranial stretch marks?

_________________
Later:

Read it again. And I think nailed it pretty well this morning. One thing I would add from the latter intro pages is tht he mentioned that we tend to fall into one erroneous camp or another -- either being assimilated in the name of "relevance" or being separate and unable to communicate at all.

For example, we failed with 9/11 because we weren't able to deal with the hard biblical issues involved in what happened. All the contemporary church could do was commiserate. We couldn't give a Scriptural interpretation of what was going on. That is how far off track we've gotten.

I've started reading the first chapter. That's maybe 35 pages. I'll comment later in a separate post. The reading is a bit less intense for now but I'm sure there will be some thick stuff in there. Wells is a good author.

Till then I'll be "highlighting the book, one line at a time".

2 comments:

Mel said...

Is that a picture of you from the 70's?

Tim Brown said...

No. I took that picture of myself (with a brand new digital capture board -- whoo hoo!) back in 1991. I was 37 then, and sophmore in college studying computer science.

That book I'm holding, by the way, is my "Dick and Jane" primer from first grade (1960-61). I still have both of them packed away somewhere. I'm still working on the second one.