God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Monday, November 18, 2019

Why Do Christians Tend to Align With "Conservative" Economics?

Introduction

A while back, I saw an intriguing question on social media from a person who is in the middle of a worldview transition. This person is concerned about why so many Christians follow conservative economic theories and not more liberal ones. As I have thought about the question more and more, I have noticed not just a viable answer but also an apologetic opportunity in addressing this concern. Here is the question in the questioner's own words and how I would respond:

Monday, November 11, 2019

45 Quotes About Relativism vs.Truth

1. "When it comes to truth, the outcome affects not only individuals but nations and even civilizations. What starts looking like a small abstract issue ends with titanic, public consequences for all who love freedom and justice."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Quote from "Time for Truth" by Os Guinness- "When it comes to truth, the outcome affects not only individuals but nations and even civilizations. What starts looking like a small abstract issue ends with titanic, public consequences for all who love freedom and justice."


2. "Although someone's beliefs and assumptions may not be true and do not describe reality, they will still drive their behavior. So if someone doesn't believe in truth, count on him to lie. If someone says there are no objective facts, expect her to be careless with facts to further her own interests. If someone explains everything by referring to evolution and the 'selfish gene,' be sure that at some point he will be extremely selfish on behalf of the fitness of his own survival."

3. "Our challenge today is not to lament, protest, or simply talk about the crisis of truth in one of a hundred ways. Rather, it is to do something about it by becoming people of truth and learning to live free."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

4. "Far from being a naive and reactionary notion, truth is one of the simplest, most precious gifts without which we would not be able to handle reality or negotiate life."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

5. "When nothing can be judged except judgment itself-- 'judgmentalism'--the barriers between the unthinkable, acceptable, and doable collapse entirely. And then, since life goes on and the sky doesn't fall, people draw the conclusion that the original concern was unfounded. Lighten up, the newly amoral say as they skip forward blithely, complicit in their own corruption."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

6. "If truth is truth, then differences make a difference -- not just between truth and lies but between intimacy and alienation in relationships, between harmony and conflict in neighborhoods, between efficiency and incompetence in business, between reliability and fraud in science and journalism, between trust and suspicion in leadership, between freedom and tyranny in government, and even between life and death."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

7. "While we all may have a sense of what is evil and what is good under the philosophy of cultural tolerance, evil and good can only be relative ideals. Without an objective truth—a set of universal moral values—good and evil are defined by the individual, community, or society. Therefore we have no moral basis by which to judge another person, community, or nation for what they do or don't do."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

Quote from "The Beauty of Intolerance" by Josh and Sean McDowell- "While we all may have a sense of what is evil and what is good under the philosophy of cultural tolerance, evil and good can only be relative ideals. Without an objective truth—a set of universal moral values—good and evil are defined by the individual, community, or society. Therefore we have no moral basis by which to judge another person, community, or nation for what they do or don't do."


8. "Right up to the end of the nineteenth century, the most important course in an American student's college career was moral philosophy, or what we today call ethics."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

9. "Much of today's focus is on 'prevention ethics' rather than on principled ethics. It is more concerned with 'not being caught' (or sued or exposed in the press) than with doing right."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

10. "What is seen as important are issues related to corporations, schools, courts, governments, and the treatment of the environment-- not the individual's virtue and responsibility that underlie these secondary issues."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

11. "The current ethics is often taught with a shallow view of human nature and an even more superficial view of evil in human society."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

12. "The emphasis now is on surface, not depth; on possibilities, not equalities; on glamour, not convictions; on what can be altered endlessly; not achieved for good; and on what can be bought and won, not gained by education and formation."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

13. "The present preoccupation with ethics in elite intellectual centers has an element of absurdity because they have no moral content left to teach. The fruit of the Western universities in the last two hundred years has been to destroy the possibility of any moral knowledge on which to pursue moral formation."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

14. "If truth is contingent upon the society in which we live...there is nothing intuitive or universally or absolutely true about freedom from torture or freedom from slavery; our society just happens to have come up with these values over time."
- Stephen McAndrewWhy It Doesn't Matter What YOU Believe If Its Not True

15. "If moral truths do not exist as a foundation for law, then law itself becomes merely a system of raw political power accountable to no one."
- Scott KlusendorfThe Case for Life

16. "Just as iron filings are drawn to the strongest magnet, so minds weakened by a loss of truth are drawn to the most powerful positions."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

17. "What happens when we succeed in cutting away truth-claims to expose the web of power games only to find we have less power than the players we face? If truth is dead, right and wrong are neither, and all that remains is the will to power, then the conclusion is simple: Might makes right. Logic is only a power conspiracy. Victory goes to the strong, and the weak go to the wall."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Quote from "Time for Truth" by Os Guinness- "What happens when we succeed in cutting away truth-claims to expose the web of power games only to find we have less power than the players we face? If truth is dead, right and wrong are neither, and all that remains is the will to power, then the conclusion is simple: Might makes right. Logic is only a power conspiracy. Victory goes to the strong, and the weak go to the wall."


18. "Just as the Greeks entered Troy concealed in the hollow wooden statue of a horse, so post-modernism is providing the cover for all sorts of ideas and practices to enter American life--ideas that on their own would have difficulty gaining entrance."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

19 "Short of total isolation, the American society you live in today is going to influence how your children make moral choices in one way or another. Stop and think about it. What are the voices of society telling your children about the choices they are about to make? What is the central theme that today's culture emphasizes over and over again? If you were to reduce it to a single sentence, it might look like this: You have the right to choose for yourself what is right for you and what is wrong for you--and no one should judge that choice."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

20. "When nothing can be judged except judgment itself— 'judgmentalism'—the barriers between the unthinkable, acceptable, and doable collapse entirely.
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

21. "If everything is endlessly open to question and change, then everything is permitted, nothing is forbidden, and literally nothing is unthinkable."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

22. "Applying to the skeptics the skepticism they apply to others [pushes] them out toward the negative consequences of their own beliefs."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

23. "While all beliefs appear consistent to those who believe them, they always have one of two problems. They are either constricting or contradictory. In the first case the beliefs are more consistent but are incomplete in the sense that they are too small for the fullness of life...And in the second case the beliefs are more comprehensive but are inconsistent—which in the worst cases makes them self-refuting- a problem Chesterton calls 'the suicide of thought.'"
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

24. "Inevitably, moral choices based on our own moral compass will often be wrong choices. And wrong moral choices can result in consequences ranging from minor disappointments to major disasters emotionally, relationally, physically, and spiritually."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

25. "Truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

26. "It is that truth, like meaning as a whole, is not for to us to create but for us to discover. Each of us may be small, our lives short, and our influence puny. But if truth is there—objective, absolute, independent of minds that know it— then we may count on it."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Quote from "Time for Truth" by Os Guinness- "It is that truth, like meaning as a whole, is not for to us to create but for us to discover. Each of us may be small, our lives short, and our influence puny. But if truth is there—objective, absolute, independent of minds that know it— then we may count on it."


27. "In order to discover truth it is necessary to coldly dissect and examine all of our prejudices and inherent biases to ensure we receive unbiased answers. This takes effort. It is always easier to simply accept the ideas presented to us than to question the status quo."
- Stephen McAndrewWhy It Doesn't Matter What YOU Believe If Its Not True

28. "While we all may have a sense of what is evil and what is good under the philosophy of cultural tolerance, evil and good can only be relative ideals. Without an objective truth—a set of universal moral values—good and evil are defined by the individual, community, or society. Therefore we have no moral basis by which to judge another person, community, or nation for what they do or don't do."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

29 "We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but this doesn't mean each of us has our own truths. Our beliefs describe the way we think the world is. Truth describes the objective state of the world regardless of how we take it to be. Beliefs can be relative, but truth cannot. So when we consider the nature of truth—that it is an objective description of reality—it makes no sense to say that something is true for you and not for me."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

Quote from "The Beauty of Intolerance" by Josh and Sean McDowell- "We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but this doesn't mean each of us has our own truths. Our beliefs describe the way we think the world is. Truth describes the objective state of the world regardless of how we take it to be. Beliefs can be relative, but truth cannot. So when we consider the nature of truth—that it is an objective description of reality—it makes no sense to say that something is true for you and not for me."


30. "Without truth, a belief may be only speculation plus sincerity."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

31. "While we all may have a sense of what is evil and what is good under the philosophy of cultural tolerance, evil and good can only be relative ideals. Without an objective truth—a set of universal moral values—good and evil are defined by the individual, community, or society. Therefore we have no moral basis by which to judge another person, community, or nation for what they do or don't do."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

32. "It is often said that to have a fulfilling life, three essentials are required: a clear sense of personal identity, a deep sense of faith and meaning, and a strong sense of purpose and mission."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

33. "For those who find themselves without faith in God and who conclude that the world they desire does not fit with the world they discover, life is fundamentally deaf to their aspirations."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

34. "For all the fragile precariousness of our human existence on our tiny earth in the vastness of space, we may throw the whole weight of our existence on God, including our truth-seeking desires, because he is wholly true."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

35. "Those who put their faith in God do so for all sorts of good reasons, but the very best reason is that they are finally, utterly, and incontrovertibly convinced that the faith which they put their confidence in is true."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

36. "All truth is God's truth and is true everywhere, for everyone, under all conditions. Truth is true in the sense that it is objective and independent of the mind of any human knower. Being true, it cannot contradict itself."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

37. "The beauty of intolerance is its opposition to wrong and evil in the world—in alignment with God's righteous and perfect standard of justice, equality, human rights, and caring for others. Intolerance of evil is not mean-spirited and condemnatory; it is actually the only way to be loving and caring."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

Quote from "The Beauty of Intolerance" by Josh and Sean McDowell- "The beauty of intolerance is its opposition to wrong and evil in the world—in alignment with God's righteous and perfect standard of justice, equality, human rights, and caring for others. Intolerance of evil is not mean-spirited and condemnatory; it is actually the only way to be loving and caring."


38. "What is more beautiful than God's intolerance expressed in his moral outrage toward the tragedies of poverty, racism, sexual abuse, slavery, AIDS, bigotry, and other such evils?"
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

39. "Human beings are truth-seekers by nature, and truth persuades by the forces of its own reality."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

40. "It is impossible to experience love without being truthful, and it is impossible to discover truth without loving it."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

41. "Truth is our best friend, and it is an inseparable part of what real love is. While cultural tolerance may disguise itself as caring, understanding, and loving, it lacks the moral authority of an authentic love that looks out for the best interest of others. That is another quality of authentic, real love—it is always other-focused."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

42. "As human beings we are by nature truth-seekers; as fallen human beings we are also by nature truth-twisters. And a proper account of truth in the human project must do justice to both."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

43. "Conforming our desires to the truth is harder in the short term but easier in the long. We give up our need for control and submit to truth outside us which, if we were wrong about truth before, requires repentance rather than rationalization. We have to face up to reality rather than trying to fit reality into our schemes. But the long-term outcome is freedom because...truth is freedom and we are engaging with reality at it truly is."
- Os GuinnessTime For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Quote from "Time for Truth" by Os Guinness- "Conforming our desires to the truth is harder in the short term but easier in the long. We give up our need for control and submit to truth outside us which, if we were wrong about truth before, requires repentance rather than rationalization. We have to face up to reality rather than trying to fit reality into our schemes. But the long-term outcome is freedom because...truth is freedom and we are engaging with reality at it truly is."


44. "What distinguishes God's unconditional acceptance from that of our culture is authentic love. His love is intended to make the security, happiness, and welfare of another as important as his own. It is other-focused, not performance-focused. God knows the real truth about us—that we were created in his image—and that truth allows him to separate the person from performance. God unconditionally values us for who we are without always approving of what we do, because he separates the value of the person from the acts of the person."
- Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, The Beauty of Intolerance

45. "The Christian faith is not true because it works; it works because it is true. It is not true because we experience it; we experience it—deeply and gloriously—because it is true. It is not simply 'true for us'; it is true for any who seek in order to find."

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All these quotes can be found in the following books by the cited authors:

Monday, October 21, 2019

Book Review: Time For Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Introduction

"Time for Truth: Living Free In A World of Lies, Hype, and Spin" by Os Guinness has been on my reading list for several years now. It is a relatively short book, so I popped it in my bag to read during downtime on a trip to see family. By the time I had made it through the first chapter, I wished that I had made time to read it sooner!

In today's cultural and political climate that seems to twist and spin reality to fit certain narratives, it is vital that people be able to distinguish between truth from falsehood. The history of the East demonstrates the implications of denying truth as an accurate reflection of reality. In "Time for Truth" sociologist Os Guiness takes the reader through the philosophies and events that led to the fall of the East and compares them to current philosophies and events in the West. He warns that if the West continues on its current trajectory, it is headed for a similar collapse.

As usual, this review will take the form of a chapter-by-chapter summary and conclude with my thoughts and recommendation.