Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Spiritual Coffee: Safeguarding Church and Family Culture - Who Is David French? - Know Jonathan Edwards in 30 Minutes

Some evening fuel for thought, or a head start on your morning coffee time.
Prior roundups of current links for feeding the Christian mind under Spiritual Coffee.

Carl Trueman Adopts Rod Dreher's Benedict Option ("Eating Locusts Will Be (Benedict) Optional"),
Carl R. Trueman (First Things)
Rod Dreher has been known for the past two years for the idea of "the Benedict Option," which essentially argues that the Church at this cultural crossroads needs to focus on preserving Christian culture in our churches and families and communities rather than putting all our attention into trying to change the wider culture of the world. Dreher has observed that while we were trying to change the culture in society, we lost track of preserving the unique culture of the Church. Now we're in danger of losing that altogether in the next generations. I think Dreher is right, and the Church needs to hear this, so it's encouraging to see more theologians and scholars affirm this. The namesake for his idea comes from the Order of St. Benedict, and the fact that much of the learning and history and philosophy of the world was preserved through the Middle Ages by monks living in private Christian communities. Dreher doesn't advocate for monasticism itself, but he has some really good points about how we should learn from that concept and apply it to safeguarding Christian community and beliefs.

If you want to read more from Dreher on the Benedict Option, here and here are some good pieces to give you the overview. If you prefer video, then use this.
And if you really want to dig into all his historical and anecdotal examples, this is long but very thoroughly explained.

It's not the only thing the Church should focus on, but I think Dreher is spot on that we have failed to realize we aren't preserving a separate and unique culture and community in the Church. We've been so busy trying to shape the wider culture that we lost track of safeguarding and passing on a uniquely Christian culture in the Church, and largely failed to pass Christian faith and teaching in a coherent form on to the next generation. Moreover, we aren't on the offensive against culture now. We're on defense. We need to give great attention to preserving what is Christian in our lives and churches so it doesn't get pushed out by social pressure, because that's what is most likely to happen if we keep trying to wage a culture war the same way and don't re-examine what's happened to our churches.

Who Is David French? And Why Is He Running?, Denny Burk
This is worth reading not just because David French's third-party candidacy is intriguing, but much more because what Burk shares about French's past words and character is a tremendous demonstration of Christian character and faith put to the test under the harshest conditions. Bookmark this for raising your kids to be men and women who take courage in the Lord and honor Him with all their hearts.

Edwards on the Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God, Dane Ortlund (Equipping You in Grace -
Want to understand what makes Jonathan Edwards such an important Christian theologian, and how some of his remarkable ideas energize faith and the fruit of the spirit in Christian living? Dane Ortlund has got you covered in this podcast. Ortlund is the vice president of Bible publishing at Crossway, and author of several books including Edwards on the Christian Life.

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