On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume discussed Tiger Woods’ recent difficulties, along with a brief mention of the golfer’s Buddhist faith. But Hume went on to say, “I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be…turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”
On this edition of the White Horse Inn the hosts celebrate their 20th year of broadcasting by reminiscing about the past, explaining how the hosts met, and by discussing the mission and goal of the program. They’ll also be listening to soundbites from across the decades, such as clips from the 1990 pilot broadcast, the controversial interview with Robert Schuller, and the famous “Dad Rod Christmas Special.” So join us as we celebrate our 20th anniversary!
One of our favorite blogs, mockingbirdnyc, has a series of posts on their favorite songs, movies, and television shows of 2009. Jeff Hual, a contributor to the blog, also posted his top seven videos of the year. Here are a few teasers. You’ll want to visit the blog to see the whole thing.
Number 7: Rick Warren on the “Gospel of Doing”…
Pastor Warren explaining to his congregation all of the things they have to “do” if they want to get to heaven.
Number 6: Bill Hybels on “Holy Motivation”…
Pastor Hybels explains how getting angry and then using that anger to fuel a fervor for social justice issues is a biblical concept (who knew!).
Number 5: Megachurch Sermon Trailers–In Search of Relevance…
Ah…smell the moralistic therapeutic deism. Obviously, if getting into heaven is about all this doing that we have to do (as Pastors Warren and Hybels have asserted), then the preacher had better get busy with giving us some practical things to be doing.
Number 2: You Were Born For This? (From the Author of “The Prayer of Jabez”)…
Of course, if the Prayer of Jabez had actually worked for everyone, we wouldn’t need a follow-up book about how to “live a life of predictable miracles”:
Do you know the difference between causation and correlation? It is sometimes difficult to tell the two concepts apart. It’s sort of chicken and the egg or chaos-theory butterfly stuff. I’m wondering about all of this again after the Christmas Eve story on MSNBC: Is the Bible a Good Investment Tool?
Causation would say, yes, if you follow the principles laid down in the Bible you will be successful (in finance, parenting, politics, Super Mario Brothers, whatever). Correlation says, no, while it shouldn’t surprise us that the Bible speaks truth to financial power, its effectiveness is limited by its purpose and the Bible’s purpose isn’t to set our financial house in order.
There’s no problem with asking how my new life in Christ should affect the way I make financial decisions, of course. But there is a significant problem with marketing the Bible as as part of an investor tool-kit. The one approach remembers that redemption and new creation are central to the Bible’s themes and God’s purposes. The other approach reduces the Bible to the kind of advice many of us get in our inboxes everyday from other financial gurus. What happens if “taking the Bible literally” when it comes to finances doesn’t pay off? It’s easy to unsubscribe The Motley Fool. It’s a little harder to return to Scripture as a source of truth and life after you’ve weighed it and found it wanting for your bank account.
Of course, we wouldn’t have this problem if we didn’t ask the Bible to speak to issues it doesn’t really care about. The irony is that by making the Bible say more than it does, we rob it of its real authority over our lives.
On this edition of the White Horse Inn, Michael Horton talks with Pulitzer Prize winning author Marilynne Robinson about many of the themes she explores in her writings, such as the affects of Darwinism on human self-reflection, the significance of the theology of John Calvin, and the complexity of grace. Dr. Robinson is the author of Home, Gilead, and The Death of Adam.
Christianity is the religion of a book, and this particular book contains a good deal of words to be read, reflected upon, and applied. But God’s word contains more than instructions on how we should all behave. Ultimately it points to a person, the Word of God made flesh, who descended from heaven in order to save the fallen race of mankind.
Artist: Sandra McCracken Song: “Lo The Storms of Life Are Breaking”
Have you given your $100 end of the year gift to White Horse Inn? If not, you haven’t yet heard the great bloopers and hilarious out-takes from long forgotten episodes of WHI! We’ve posted short clips from a few of them below. You’ll have to get our brand-new 20th Anniversary CD to hear them all!
WHI Dad Rod Christmas Special Introduction
Special Listener – Billy Graham
Celebrity voice impersonated
Special Listener – President Clinton
Celebrity voice impersonated
Out-take – “You have 25 minutes to go.”
Out-take – “It’s like a barrel full of suds…”
Out-take – “If we were talking about that…”
Spoof Commercial – “Dad Rod Cruise”
This is just the tip of the iceberg! We’ve also put the full-length (2 hour version) of the Robert Schuller interview, classic WHI episodes, and pdfs of related MR articles. There’s more than enough to keep you thinking, praying, and laughing through the New Year.
Give your $100 gift by December 31st and we’ll send you a copy of our 20th Anniversary CD. Thanks for standing with us; thanks for laughing with us!
In 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that, “preachers in America are continually coming down to earth. Indeed they find it difficult to take their eyes off it. The better to touch their hearers, they are forever pointing out how religious beliefs favor freedom and public order, and it is often difficult to be sure when listening to them whether the main object of religion is to procure eternal felicity in the next world or prosperity in this” (Democracy in America, 2.2.9).
This problem has continued to plague practitioners of religion in America since the time of de Tocqueville, right down to the present day emphasis on “the practical” over “the theological,” having Your Best Life Now, rather than focusing on the significance of what Jesus did way back then. However, CNN is running a report today that a Chicago area church has taken things in an entirely new direction. At The Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Illinois, they’ve decided to use the offering money to fund a weekly lottery. With game show music in the background, the pastor reads the winning number and the contestant, uh, sorry, congregant is awarded a cash prize. And by all accounts it appears to be bringing ‘em in. Since The Lighthouse Church began the lottery just over two months ago, they have nearly doubled in size. This may be the beginning of an entire new chapter in the history of the Church Growth movement.
Here’s the video from CNN: Lottery lures more to church
Todd Billings, professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary, recently wrote an article explaining the New Calvinism for Christian Century. Prof. Billing, featured in the March/April 2009 issue of Modern Reformation, argues that a significant danger to the theological recovery sought by the New Calvinists is the less than accurate and inadequate way of equating Reformed theology (with its ecclesiology, especially) with the so-called Five Points of Calvinism.
Different authors in different places (including this place) have made this argument and Prof. Billings provides another compelling voice for this important conversation.
Secularists have argued for many years that religion is an entirely private matter that should not inform public life and policy decisions. But what about secularism itself? Is it really a neutral position itself? On this edition of the White Horse Inn the hosts discuss these issues with Hunter Baker, author of The End of Secularism.