Topic | Culture

Posts Categorized: Culture

Use Your Talents {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Big Problems In the course of a day, how many times do you make contact with the suffering of another living being? Really, if you counted them, how many would there be? It is 6:00 a.m. your radio alarm clicks on and reports that another suicide bomber took out twenty-three more people somewhere in the Middle East (one). Good morning. After mining the nighttime crusties from your eyes and brushing your teeth, you take a scroll through your social feeds. Your college friend just got back from India, a medical mission to the slums, and she brought back scads of. . .
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Basement Tape #176: God Bless America?

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AUDIO: God Bless America? (Basement Tapes #176)

Can God bless America today? Why do we as Americans think that God loves us above all others? Given where our country is, do we have hope for the future or should we be looking for God’s holy judgment to rain down upon us? Join us as we talk about Christianity, God, America and how God deals with the nations.

Profiling

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When I was born They looked at me and said What a good boy What a smart boy What a strong boy When you were born They looked at you and said What good girl What a smart girl What a pretty girl We’ve got these chains Hanging ‘round our necks People wanna strangle us with them Before we take our first breath Names, descriptions, categories, We are born with them, gifted or cursed with them, as we move into and through life. Parents, peers, teachers, drill sergeants, friends, and enemies all play Adam with our lives, for better and. . .
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Enjoying Things as They Are

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Here is a question for our modern world: Is it possible to enjoy something merely for what it is and not for its outcome or what good it serves? Or asked another way, are there some things that are enjoyable just because they are good and we need not explain why? More and more, our modern world answers this question “No.” Being happy and enjoying isn’t enough. The modern world not only needs a deeper purpose for value but we need that purpose explained to us. We want life broken down into working parts that make sense and if we. . .
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Grass Rooted Politics

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Fading Like Grass The years of our life are seventy or eighty if we have the strength. A president’s years are four or eight if he has the votes. A supreme court justice has served anywhere from one year to thirty-six years, half a lifetime at most. From the Apostle Peter’s perspective, all of our politicking is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. Our candidates wither, our parties fall, but something far more important remains and it is far more important precisely because it remains. Maybe you can complete the quote from 1 Peter 1:24-25,. . .
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Where’s the Meaning in Senseless Tragedy?

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Where's the Meaning in Senseless Tragedy?

Disturbing News Nothing remains certain. Politics, economics, and even going to a parade all share the same level of insecurity these days in the minds of people around the globe. Many are left wondering why the world is experiencing such unrest. Why does it seem like the world is unraveling? The answer, in one aspect, is incredibly simple: Everyone is a sinner and we live in a fallen world. But does that mean that there is no hope for having peace of mind? Are the only options to simply wring our hands or distract ourselves through amusement while the lunacy. . .
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Don’t Give Evil a High-Five

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Avoiding Approval of Evil Evil demands your approval and it does not rest until it finds your level of complacency. It utterly ignores your disavowals of members of the evil genus and continues to press for approval at the species level. Evil doesn’t mind your hatred of categories as long as you make allowances for instances; “I know you’re against abortion, but surely not in cases of rape, right?” Evil loves to empty words of their meaning. Evil keeps changing the subject. Evil constantly blurs the lines. Evil will quickly stoop to deception, as long as it can get you. . .
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Glorious (and Secret) Kingdom Work {Building Culture}

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Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father,. . .
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Don’t Be Too Nice {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Nice isn’t Everything If I were to ask you what are some desirable traits in a Christian woman, what would you say? Meek? Patient? Loving? Kind? Joyful? Submissive? These are all biblical words, but I’m afraid we often infuse them with mushy meaning they were never intended to carry. We have a tendency to amalgamate all the words descriptive of Christian character under the single moniker: nice. Now there’s a word that isn’t biblical. Jesus never said, “blessed are the nice.” God didn’t thunder from Sinai, “Thou shalt be nice.” We have adopted this idea, I suspect, because niceness has. . .
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How Important is This Election?

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Election Season The Presidential Campaign certainly is a lively one this time around. It appears that many evangelicals like Donald Trump for all the wrong reasons and dislike Hillary Clinton for all the right reasons which will lead to voting based on the one hand, pride, and on the other hand, fear and loathing. As we watch this present spectacle leading ultimately to fiasco, we should be reminded that Barrack Obama once signaled the “end-of-the-world” for many of us and, hey, we’re still here. Now we all wish that things were different and that all the candidates were so dedicated. . .
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Being Creators {Building Culture}

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A Blank Canvas Lindsay, my wife, has recently taken up painting as a hobby and, it turns out, she is quite good at it. After just a few efforts, she has produced art worthy of hanging in our home, or even yours. At this point she has been merely painting her interpretation of photos she likes. There has not been a move toward creating a wholly new image. But that will come. It is, after all, a human characteristic to want to express ourselves and create. Being made in the image of God—the first and ultimate Creator—we were made to. . .
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Constructing the Future

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In a recent Basement Tape called Desiring the Kingdom, the fellows talked about the relative recent decline in a belief in, or even knowledge of, the Kingdom of God. It used to be a guiding force in the church this idea that the territory that was subjugated to the will of God would, or should, increase outward. And so the church planted roots and staked out territory, and erected actual physical representations of those beliefs. Juxtaposed to the storefront worship centers of our day are the cathedrals of yesteryear. Having a hundred plus year building plan stands in stark contrast. . .
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Showing Hospitality to Strangers

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An Inhospitable Place I had a dream the other night. This isn’t a unique occurrence for me but my dreams usually tend to mirror my conscious fears—something disastrous happening to my children for example. This dream was different. I dreamed that I was in a strange city. I’ve traveled a lot around the country, so this would normally not mean much. However, this was a foreign city. More specifically, I am guessing that it was a city either in the middle east, north Africa, or the region known as Eurasia. It was predominantly Muslim, and non-English speaking. I knew nothing. . .
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Basement Tape #168: Desiring the Kingdom

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[Audio] Desiring the Kingdom (Basement Tapes #168)

What does it mean to pray “Thy Kingdom come” and live in this world like you mean it? The Bible is full of Kingdom language. Either we skip it, think it’s for another day or don’t assign it the primacy and importance in our lives that we ought. We’ve abandoned the Kingdom of Christ for the kingdom of Us but that doesn’t change the fact that Christ is King and we are His subjects and the good life is found only under His rule.

Basement Tape #167: Should Christians Resist Tyranny?

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[Audio] Should Christians Resist Tyranny? (Basement Tapes #167)

When a high-level of government acts unlawfully or outside its jurisdiction, how and when should Christians resist? Join Steve Murphy, Steven Warhurst, Erika Schanzenbach, and Eric Owens as they talk about Supreme Court rulings such as Obergefell v. Hodges (homosexual marriage) and Roe v. Wade (abortion) and how these types of rulings can be righteously resisted. They consider the doctrine of interposition and the doctrine of the lesser magistrates and how our understanding of these things could revolutionize how we think about and do politics.

Understanding the Life Context Where God Has Placed You

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Everyone Has a Life Context We don’t live our lives in a vacuum; God has us living in a certain place and time. Wherever you are, you live in a specific culture, you speak a certain language, and you are surrounded by a unique group of people, be it family, friends, or relative strangers. Also, you and the people you are surrounded by, live with certain cultural perceptions and legacies that frame how you understand the world around you. All of these factors make up your life context. To deny or ignore the life context that you live within sounds. . .
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What Would Culture Look Like if We Lived What We Believe?

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Geography & Culture It was an eye-opener as to the influence of geography on culture. I was a twenty year old college student on an eight week summer European holiday and our three bus caravan had just come through the cool and misty mountains of Austria. The contrast then into northern Italy was dramatic to say the least. From cool, green, and misty to hot, brown, and swarthy in just a few hours. Different languages, different buildings, different foods, different everything. Perhaps you’ve been to Italy too. Perhaps you’ve visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome and looked up at that. . .
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In Search of the Christmas Experience

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Holiday Pressure Over the last few years, there has been a growing pressure on families during the Christmas season much more than our parents felt. Our parents felt pressure during Christmas because they wanted us to have a joyful Christmas and to bless us with gifts they couldn’t the rest of the year. They wanted us to enjoy our gifts because it brings them joy to see their children happy. Right or wrong, this was their belief and their pressure, which brings me to the pressure that our current generation feels about Christmas and our lives in general. We have. . .
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Basement Tape #166: The Power of the Gospel

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[Audio] The Power of the Gospel (Basement Tapes #166)

When a society forgets the Good News, bad news lurks right around the corner. As we live under the pressure of an unrighteous culture pressing in, how can we maintain optimism about the power of the gospel in the world today? We can, and we should. Join they guys as they talk about the tremendous power of the gospel to transform ourselves and our world.

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