Archive for the ‘gospel and society’ Category

The Gospel would reverse Western moral decay and save our civilisation

May 10, 2013

Far more significant than economics and demography are problems of moral decline, cultural suicide, and political disunity in the West. Oft-pointed-to manifestations of moral decline include:

  1. increases in antisocial behavior, such as crime, drug use, and violence generally;
  2. family decay, including increased rates of divorce, illegitimacy, teen-age pregnancy, and single-parent families;
  3. at least in the United States, a decline in “social capital,” that is, membership in voluntary associations and the interpersonal trust associated with such membership;
  4. general weakening of the “work ethic,” and the rise of a cult of personal indulgence;
  5. decreasing commitment to learning and intellectual activity, manifested in the United States in lower levels of scholastic achievement.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Samuel P. Huntington. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996, p.304

Do we not see all these characteristics in Britain and throughout the West?

 

An atheist calls Christians to evangelise

April 11, 2013

 I think the Christian Churches should begin dawa (proselytizing) exactly as Islam does. You need to compete, because you can be a powerful tool to reverse Islamization…

Aayan Hirsi Ali, Nomad, Simon & Schuster, 2010, p.238

And she doesn’t mean cosy interfaith chats:

The Christian leaders now wasting precious time and resources on a futile exercise of interfaith dialogue with the self-appointed leaders of Islam should redirect their efforts to converting as many Muslims as possible to Christianity, introducing them to a God who rejects Holy War and who has sent his son to die for all sinners out of love for mankind…The churches should do all in their power to win this battle for the souls of humans in search of a compassionate God, who now find that a fierce Allah is closer to hand.

ibid. p.247, 251

 

The Power of God’s Word

May 16, 2011

One of the most dramatic examples of the Bible’s divine ability to transform men and women involved the famous mutiny on the “Bounty.” Following their rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh, nine mutineers, along with the Tahatian men and women who accompanied them, found their way to Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific only two miles long and a mile wide. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive–John Adams. Eleven women and 23 children made up the rest of the Island’s population. So far this is the familiar story made famous in the book and motion picture. But the rest of the story is even more remarkable. About this time, Adams came across the “Bounty’s” Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the divine power of God’s Word reached into the heart of that hardened murderer on a tiny volcanic speck in the vast Pacific Ocean–and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Today, with a population of slightly less than 100, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian.

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main

October 20, 2009

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

John Donne, Meditation XVII, English clergyman & poet (1572 – 1631)

The policemen tell me that the public houses are nearly empty, the streets are quiet and swearing is rarely heared. Even old quarrels were ended begun by the Penrhyn quarry strike

October 3, 2009

In Bethseda, December 20th 1904, one minister said, The policemen tell me that the public houses are nearly empty, the streets are quiet and swearing is rarely heared. Even old quarrels were ended begun by the Penrhyn quarry strike.

David Lloyd George, in extolling the effects of the (Welsh) revival (1904-5), compared it to a tornado sweeping over the country and bringing in its train far-reaching national and social changes.

E.Evans, Welsh Revival of 1904, pp.110, 114, 115

Bookshops complained of the inadequacy of their supply of Bibles. The coal miners were transformed by the sound of praise in the place of blasphemous oaths. The public houses were empty of rowdy customers and the homes were full of joy and singing. The pit ponies wouldn’t respond to the miners’ commands so accustomed were they to the orders being associated with blasphemous oaths.

ibid., p.105

What Would a Cultural Relativist Do?

September 10, 2009

When Wesleyan missionaries arrived in Fiji in 1835 they found a society “in which infanticide, human sacrifice and cannibalism were endemic”…in 1868 out of a population of 120,000 almost 106,000 were reported to be in regular attendance at public worship.

Brain Stanley, Bible and the Flag, Apollos, 1990, p.112

Presumably this ‘cultural imperialism’ was a terrible thing and the natives should have been left to engage in their ‘infanticide, human sacrifice and cannibalism’

What Would a Cultural Relativist Do? Time to make a few WWCRD bracelets?

(it is an illusion) that indigenous cultures prior to the missionary impact were in a condition of static perfection. This mythical view is itself a peculiarly arrogant form of cultural imperialism, founded on the notion that non-Western societies knew nothing of change or innovation until brought into contact with the modernizing West. On the contrary, almost all cultures exist in a state of perpetual flux, and represent an amalgam of diverse and often contradictory influences. The choice confronting  indigenous cultures has not ben between change and no change, but between a number of possible directions of change, som evidently more beneficial than others.

ibid., pp.170-171

Benefits of the gospel to South Africans

September 10, 2009

… the Church was as concerned with this world as the next: I saw that virtually all of the achievements of Africans seemed to have come about through the missionary work of the church. The mission schools trained the clerks, the interpreters and the policemen, who once represented the height of African aspirations.

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, pp.22-23 reflecting on his life as a young man before moving to J’Burg and political involvement

The Missionary Legacy

September 10, 2009

Christian missions in India are routinely dismissed in contemporary Indian scholarship as simply an adjunct to colonialism. But, in fact, they were the soil from which both modern Hindu reform movements and Indian nationalism sprang. Most of the Indian intellectual and political leadership of the late C.19th and early C.20th emerged from Christian schools and colleges. Gandhi may have claimed to have been nurtured in the spiritual atmosphere of the Bhagavad Gita, but it was not from this text that he derived his philosophyThe deepest influences on Gandhi came from the “renouncer” traditions of Jainism and the New Testament, particularly the Sermon on the Mount as mediated through the works of Tolstoy. Christians in India have long been in the forefront of movements for the
emancipation of women, with missionary societies from Britain and the United States often giving the lead where the colonial government was hesitant to tread for fear of upsetting local sensibilities….  Some of the finest medical hospitals and training schools in India owe their existence to Christian missions. For many years the entire nursing profession was filled with Anglo-Indians and Indian Christians, as other communities regarded nursing as menial work fit only for uneducated girls and widows.  It has been estimated that, as late as the beginning of the Second World War, 90% of all the nurses in the country, male and female, were Christians, and that about 80% of these had been trained in mission hospitals.

Harold Netland, Encountering religious pluralism:The challenge to Christian faith, 2001 and Vinoth Ramachandra, Faiths in Conflict?, IVP, 1999, pp.78-79

Benefits of the gospel

September 10, 2009

…in the histories of Asia and Africa over the past 200 years, it is Christian medical missionaries who have frequently been the pioneers of rural health care systems, medical education for women, and other under-privileged groups, and the development of special medical techniques (for instance, reconstructive surgery for lepers) which 3rd world conditions required.

Vinoth Ramachandra, Recovery of Missions, p.57

The benefits of the gospel to China

September 10, 2009

During the 1894 China Japan war over Korea 200 severly wounded Chinese came to the CIM hospital in Chefoo (Yantai, Shandong) from Weihai. Arthur Douthwaite carried out emergency operations on 163 men altogether. At the end of the war a Chinese general came to the hospital, accompanied by a brass band and a unit of soldiers. He erected a gold-embossed inscription expressing the thanks of the Chinese army. When he heard that stone was needed to build a new school at Chefoo he arrnaged for it to be provided from an army quarry and transported by soldiers.

Roger Steer, Hudson Taylor, OMF, 1990, pp.339-340

Also, CIM missionaries John Jones and Hudson Taylor helped opium addicts break their addiction. ibid., pp.144, 156