Friday, April 24, 2009

Reports on the State of the American Church and Apologetics

Presently, in the United States, new reports are being published weekly about the state of the church and the religious beliefs of U.S. citizens. Two representative articles presented polarizing pictures of the results of what happens as we co-mingle error and truth. First is the decline of the overall number of reported believers and active participants in the church. The second article proclaimed the rise of Calvinism and the growth of Reformed communities driven by men like Tim Keller, John Piper, Mark Driscoll and others as one of the top 3 influences in the world in the 21st century. This polarization juxtaposes the difference between those who continue to stand firm with the fathers of the faith over against a whole host of other major camps that have bought into serious false presuppositions, which include: many mainline evangelicals, neo-evangelicals, radicals, liberals, roman catholics, neo-orthodox, Christian mystics, Christian spiritists, and so on. Each of the major groups compromise on at least one core aspect of Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone) or Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone Be Glory). In each of these camps that have compromised core presuppositions, their power to engage and challenge non-Christian groups has been neutralized. They no longer offer adequate defenses against attacks from secular humanists, other religions, universalists, cults, rationalists, or other groups.

Perhaps the most pervasive type of attack encountered in the public domain today is from Secular Humanism, which is a non-theistic philosophy that promotes humanity as the measure of all things and sees man as the Supreme Being in our universe. Secular humanism also promotes materialism, by accepting only knowledge based on human reasoning and hard evidence, never on faith or that which is beyond human sensory perception. Their chief pre-suppositions include a belief that historical and scientific progress is in conflict with religion and that organized religion leads to de-culturization. Essentially, they are atheists who are appear to agree with certain Christian beliefs that emphasize such things as combating bigotry, hatred and discrimination, but in reality oppose the Bible, and Christian stances on conservative moral issues.

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