Friday, June 17, 2011

An Eschatological Abstention

Though over the last year I have consciously tried to make blogging a regular habit... it seems the only habit I've constructed is one of excusing my lack of blogging. It's not a skill I am proud of, but it's a new skill I have acquired none the less.

I was in the middle of a discussion of Francis Kik's book "An Eschatology of Victory" before my most recent hiatus. The daunting task of defending my attraction to postmillenialism in a blog shared with Piper-born premillenialists does not stir up an enthusiasm to get on here and blog... so I figure I'll ease my way back in to the habit with a less inflammatory return.

Collission is a documentary that follows Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens on a book tour. The Pastor/Scholar and renowned atheist co-authored a book entitled: "Is Christianity Good for the World?" The book title reveals the nature of the book and both authors take opposing sides in the argument. The book tour was really a debate tour as the two squared off in pubs, schools and lecture halls across America.

I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in Christian Apologetics, or anyone who simply enjoys hearing a great communicator and intelligent individual do a wonderful job at defending faith in a postmodern world.

Something Hitchens said that really stuck with me was that he and Doug Wilson couldn't be further apart in their beliefs. I know that seems obvious, but his exact words were: "We could not be on further ends of the spectrum in terms of what we believe about life. We are in opposition, at odds and there is no adequate bridge that can connect us".

I thought that was an interesting choice of words for a couple of reasons.

Number one, alot of Christians try to water down biblical truth in order to make it more compatible with a secular worldview... we try to word things in such a way that we are then able to conclude with, "you see, we aren't all that different." Hitchens knows this is not true however, he understands that the bible teaches a worldview radically contrary to his own understanding of life, how we should live and how the universe works.

Furthermore, the wording of he uses of the non-existence of a "connecting bridge" just cries out for the gospel. Jesus is that bridge. Someone can't cross the bridge on their own; they need the free, saving grace of God in order to embrace Christ. Wilson states this in the video: "I believe in the defenses of the Christian faith, but ultimately the logic of and evidence for Christianity are not why I am a Christian-- I am a Christian because grace is a free gift of God."

This ties in with something Wilson says later when he uses a brilliant analogy of being in prison.

In response to Hitchens challenge that Truth (capital T) cannot be known (an entirely uninteresting and unoriginal postmodern sentiment), Wilson responds, "If I was in prison and chained to the wall it is utterly impossible for me to reach out and touch the jailers nose --- but that doesn't restrict him from reaching out to touch mine. My limitations are not God's limitations."

He says that in reference to God's ability to reveal truth to us. Hitchens says that if we are not open-minded we will not evolve intellectually as a species. But "an open mind", says Wilson
, "has the same purpose as an open mouth, it's meant to close on something."

Yes we need an open mind, but it's meant to close on certain things, on certain truths. We hear that from non-Christians all the time, "you need to be more open minded" -- well, Why? Open mindedness is only valuable if it closes on truth -- the virtue is not in keeping a perpetually open mind, the virtue is in using an open mind to close it on God's Truth.

The video is amazing and I recommend it. I used it with much success in my youth ministry and it is definitely a resource I will keep close at hand.

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