An Introduction to Luke- Pastor Bruce Sexton - 4-12-15

by Richard Rose 14. April 2015 13:24



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Sermons

Victory in the Garden - Pastor Bruce Sexton - 4-05-15

by Richard Rose 6. April 2015 09:37



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The Palm Sunday Path - Pastor Rick Rose - 3/29/2015

by Richard Rose 31. March 2015 12:37



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The Palm Sunday Path - Pastor Rick Rose - 3/29/2015

by Richard Rose 31. March 2015 12:17



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The Palm Sunday Path - Pastor Rick Rose - 3/29/2015

by Richard Rose 31. March 2015 12:09



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Forgive One Another - Pastor Bruce Sexton

by Richard Rose 22. March 2015 06:48



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Wash One Another's Feet 3-15-15

by Richard Rose 16. March 2015 15:01



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Consciousness

by Richard Rose 19. February 2013 04:33

Wet Gushy Stuff
Materialism Can't Explain Consciousness

Eric Metaxas
February 19, 2013

 

The “biggest mystery left to science” is the fact that you are listening to this broadcast. Well actually, it’s that you’re aware that you’re listening to this broadcast.

You see science can explain or at least believes it can explain a great many things. But consciousness has it stumped. We can describe the brain in ever-increasing detail. We have a pretty good idea about which parts of the brain control certain actions and even emotions.

But what about the so-called “mind/brain” distinction? It’s just as mysterious today as it was when philosopher Rene Descartes wrote, “I think, therefore I am” some four centuries ago.

This mystery and what to make of it was the subject of a recent public radio series entitled “Mind and Brain.”

The mystery lies in the fact that, as one guest put it, this “wet gushy stuff” with the “consistency of mashed potatoes” in our skulls is an integral part of “us”: of our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes, and desires.

As was clearly evident on the program, the culture we live in is, in large measure, shaped and governed by a materialist worldview. That worldview holds that the only “real” things are matter and energy and that everything we observe is the product of the interaction between matter and energy.

That “everything” includes our awareness that we are the ones doing the observing. But as the philosopher David Chalmers said, “materialism doesn’t have the resources to fully explain consciousness.”

Instead of acknowledging the inadequacy – or, as the program called it, “limits” – of the materialistic worldview, three of the program’s guests, militant atheists all, tried to play down the problem.

Daniel Dennett, author of “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” insisted that there was no mystery at all. When challenged by the host, he argued that, within 15 to 20 years, we would be able to “read” people’s dreams while they slept. Right.

When the host challenged that assertion, all that Dennett could say was “hang on to your hat.”

Richard Dawkins, who penned, among other things, “The God Delusion,” admitted that we may never solve the mystery of consciousness, but added “What on earth makes you think that religion will?”

And Sam Harris would not rule out the possibility that consciousness survived death. That’s right, one of the world’s most famous atheists allowed for the possibility of life after death. He just thinks that the “idea that the brain can die and a soul that still speaks English and recognizes Granny is going to float away into the afterlife” is “profoundly implausible.”

Well perhaps it is. But what is equally implausible is that the materialism that reduces consciousness to chemistry and electrical impulses can tell us anything worthwhile about the human condition.

As award-winning writer and Christian Marilynne Robinson explained in her book “Absence of Mind,” a “central tenet” of this materialistic worldview is “that we do not know our own minds, our own motives, our own desires.” Only “well-qualified others” know them.

Thus, materialistic neuroscience explains away “experience and testimony of the individual mind,” and substitutes a story that more neatly fits the materialist paradigm.

Except that it doesn’t fit. And people are noticing this, and are pushing back against junk neuroscience and even the worldview that produced it.

Which is a very good thing. I’m sure the wet gushy stuff inside your head would agree.



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John Stonestreet addresses the issue that change is coming to Chistians in America

by Richard Rose 11. January 2013 03:29

Has the Time Come?
Hobby Lobby and the HHS Mandate

John Stonestreet
January 11, 2013

Earlier this month, Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned arts-and-crafts retailer with 500 stores and 13,000 employees nationwide, announced that it would not comply with the HHS mandate.

By doing so, the company has subjected itself to fines that could amount to a staggering $1.3 million a day.

Chuck Colson warned that the day would come when Christians would have to choose between the dictates of their faith and obeying the government.

And he was right.

As we’ve previously described on Breakpoint, the HHS mandate forces employers to fully subsidize services for their employees that, for many, violate deeply held convictions. Although the media has chosen to focus exclusively on the contraception side of the mandate, under the regulations, employers must also provide coverage for sterilization and abortifacients, such as Plan B, the “morning-after pill,” and Ella, the so-called “week after pill.”

Paying for these abortion-inducing drugs is what Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family, object to. They’ve endeavored to run their business on Christian principles, including Sunday closures, treating employees fairly, and honoring the sanctity of life. Paying for abortifacients definitely violates those principles.

So they filed a lawsuit against HHS but, unlike plaintiffs in ten other cases, including other businesses, they were denied an injunction. While appealing the denial, they had to choose between complying with the law or refusing to comply and accepting the consequences. To their credit, they’ve chosen the latter.

But what do we need to know in light of this? Well, given the trajectory of our culture, the kind of choice the Green family was forced to make is inevitable for the rest of us too, regardless of who occupies the White House or controls Congress. This was spelled out in the Manhattan Declaration. When it spoke of the “decline in respect for religious values” in the law, it anticipated that non-compliance may be required of those of us who claim Christ.

For Hobby Lobby, that time has come. It may be the first Christian-run institution to choose non-compliance with the HHS mandate, but barring a change in the law, it won’t be the last. This weekend, we’re offering a full update on the issue on BreakPoint this Week. The show features Matt Bowman from the Alliance Defending Freedom and Emily Hardman of the Beckett Fund. Listen on radio, or by coming to BreakPoint.org and clicking on this commentary.

But let’s be clear: non-compliance won’t be limited to the HHS mandate. This is the post-Christian America that Francis Schaeffer, Chuck Colson and many others predicted. For many—not all, but many American Christians, this is new and unsettling territory. We’ve become used to a society that, while officially non-sectarian, paid homage to most of their beliefs and values, even if it didn’t always live by them.

As Alexis de Tocqueville put it, “Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”

This has made choosing between God and Caesar unnecessary, unless, as the struggles of the Civil Rights movement showed, you were African-American.

One of the consequences of this close identification was that, for many American Christians, our sense of identity was more shaped by our nation than by our place in the body of Christ. We conceived of ourselves as Christian Americans instead of American Christians.

Now this is in the process of changing. It’s challenging, even painful. And let me be clear: We’re not to give up on America by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve heard far too much despair from Christians since November, as if the Kingdom of God was dependent on the American ballot box.

We’re called to live faithfully and courageously today; to love our neighbor and our country. And the best way to do that is to remember that we first and foremost belong to Christ. And therein, and only therein, lies the hope that gives us the courage for the tough decisions ahead.


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Thoughts on World View from Eric Metaxas

by Richard Rose 8. January 2013 04:41

Not Sermons but Stories
Engaging in Culture the Right Way

Eric Metaxas
January 08, 2013

If you’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia, you know they are loaded with Christian themes and symbols. That’s why many assume that C. S. Lewis wrote them in order to send some kind of Christian message.

But Lewis himself insisted otherwise. The tales, he said, started as a series of pictures that came into his mind and set his imagination working. The result was not sermons, but stories—beautiful stories loved by believers and non-believers alike for decades.

There’s a lesson in here for all of us. Conservative Christians today often feel alienated from the larger society, and for good reason. The vast majority of the stories that permeate our culture are told by people whose worldview is diametrically opposed to ours. We can hardly watch a TV show or read a magazine without seeing ourselves portrayed as villains, and our cultural opponents held up as the epitome of righteousness.

And it’s not hard to see the political impact stories have on our fellow Americans. As National Review Online recently put it: “The fact is, it’s easier to sell a political narrative to America when it comports with the cultural narrative we see and hear every day.”

NRO’s solution was for cultural conservatives to start taking back the culture by telling and promoting stories of our own. They argue that we can’t “keep ignoring the importance of story.”

And that much is true. But we have to be careful that we understand what stories really are, and why people tell them.

Which brings us back to Lewis and Narnia. Remember that Lewis didn’t tell stories to push an agenda. His stories grew naturally out of his worldview, and because he was a gifted storyteller, they expressed that worldview beautifully.

As Alex Wainer explains in a recent article at BreakPoint.org, this is true of all the best-told stories. We may be tempted to think that secularist celebrities went into show business simply to indoctrinate the public; many of them certainly act like that.

But that is not the case. Wainer writes, “Entertainers often work from childhood to develop [their] talents, and go through years of arduous dues-paying . . . [and] rejection, working menial jobs while pursuing endless auditions and practicing their craft.”

For the most popular artists and entertainers today—just as it was for Lewis—their art grows naturally out of their worldview. It just so happens that today, we have far fewer C. S. Lewises and far more Jon Stewarts.

This is why conservative Christians need to be wary of engaging in cultural efforts just to push a message. As Wainer reminds us, “Jon Stewart knows comedy in his bones; he happens to be liberal . . . but he mainly wants to make people laugh. When conservatives start telling stories to express their ideology, they have missed the motive that will sustain them through the years of … setbacks common to anyone in the entertainment industry.” And audiences will know the difference—and stay away.

Christians produced great art and culture for centuries, and we can do it again. But there are no shortcuts. The church needs to teach its members a strong and consistent Christian worldview, and then support and encourage those with artistic gifts to pursue their calling.

Please, come to BreakPoint.org and read Alex Wainer’s article, “Creating a Conservative Counterculture: Harder than it sounds.”

Re-shaping the culture is a noble goal. But our first goal should be to be so soaked in the Christian faith and worldview that the stories we tell—and the lives we live—will naturally speak of the beauty, and goodness and love of Christ


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