On this edition of the White Horse Inn, we’re featuring a panel discussion on global evangelism, sponsored by the Lausanne Movement for World Evangelization. This conversation recently took place on the campus of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and features Skye Jethani, Michael Horton, Jim Belcher, Kay Warren, Jena Lee Nardella, Miles McPherson and Soong Chan Rah.
How bad is the rot in American Christianity? Is our heterodoxy, compromise, and worldliness a modern problem or does it perhaps go deeper, down into the DNA of a faith tradition formed more by revivalism than historic faith and practice? Over at Steadfast Lutherans, our friend and Modern Reformation contributor Mollie Z. Hemingway posted an article first published in the Lutheran magazine Witness back in 1916. The author of the article surveys a number of ministers and practices across the nation and asks, “Is this Christianity?” Here’s a sample:
The Episcopal Churchman, commenting upon the tendency towards sensationalism in the Reformed sects, later suggested that the streets may yet be brilliant with everchanging electric signs flashing forth, “The Congregationalistic Casino,” “The Baptist Hall of Joy.” “The Gospel Free Lunch and Picture Show.”
Leaving off comment about “Reformed sects,” it is interesting to note that the article wasn’t too far off. Casino Night has descended at First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana. Here’s Pastor Jack Schaap playing emcee to the congregation:
What is the nature of American spirituality, and how does it differ from classical Christian conceptions of God, revelation, and redemption? On this edition of White Horse Inn, Michael Horton walks through various popular views of American religion and contrasts them with the biblical gospel of free grace in Jesus Christ.
Having established in previous programs that the New Testament documents are the most reliable texts of ancient history, the hosts in this program discuss the way Jesus throughout these texts speaks of the Old Testament Scriptures. Are these a collection of myths and fables with helpful moral lessons? Is one interpretation just as good as the next? Since Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, his view of Scripture may be worth considering above all others (originally broadcast April 29, 2007).
All great books are difficult to master and according to classicist Mortimer Adler, the Bible is the most challenging of all the great books. This may in part explain why there are so many varying interpretations of this sacred book. But when we begin to see the scarlet thread of redemption running from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s central message becomes unmistakably clear.
Bonus Audio – Interview with Dr. Bergsma
As they continue to discuss the subject of proper biblical interpretation, the hosts on this edition of the program take a look at frequent errors in biblical interpretation. Mistakes include problems such as moralism, atomism, relativism, taking things out of context, and more. The White Horse Inn: know what you believe and why you believe it!
Bonus Audio – Interview with Dr. Bergsma
How should we interpret the Bible? Literally? Figuratively? Allegorically? On this edition of the program the hosts take up the subject of hermeneutics, or proper biblical interpretation. Throughout this program they argue that the Bible is not one book with a single interpretive rule, but rather is a library of numerous ancient texts which need to be interpreted according to the rules of their respective genres. In other words, poetry is not the same as history. That’s what’s on tap this week, at the White Horse Inn!
We recently featured a provocative interview with T. David Gordon about the problem of electronic distraction (Distracting Ourselves to Death, July 11, 2010) which is making thoughtful reading, sincere reflection and real concentration increasingly difficult. The program was inspired in part by two documentaries produced by Frontline, both of which are available free online:
We live in a world of constant distraction. Not only are we constantly being interrupted by cellphones, email, and text messages, but we’re also distracted from thinking and contemplation in a culture of constant entertainment. Joining the panel to discuss this topic is media ecologist, T. David Gordon, author of Why Johnny Can’t Preach: The Media Have Shaped The Messengers, and more recently, Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal.