A Review of Expository Apologetics by Voddie Baucham Jr.

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My Rating: 3/10

This book started out great! In the first 50 pages I kept writing, “I do that too!” Until his last year in college, the author had his sights on practicing law. That was also true of me! One of MY majors in college was Political Science. Cool connection. Voddie Baucham Jr.’s faith became real in college when a Campus Crusade campus minister shared the Gospel with him. In many ways the same is true of me. Once again I wrote, “that happened to me!” Additionally, in his Introduction Voddie Baucham Jr. explains a tendency he has when preaching to:

“Argue with myself during sermons. I would make a point, then immediately say something like, “I know what you’re thinking…” I would then express common objections to the proposition I had just made, then proceed to answer those objections.”

This is a form of what the author calls “expository apologetic preaching.” In the sidebar I wrote, “I do that too when I preach!” Later Baucham describes it as,

“I often…take on a persona of someone who disagrees with what I’m saying and then I answer that objection.”

Yup, been there…I do that a lot!

In the first two chapters I was loving this guy because his personal story was similar to mine. But it got boring quickly (hmm, I wonder what that says about me?) and by the fifth chapter this book didn’t have much for even me – someone whose personal life and preaching style is somewhat similar in at least some ways to the author. As I read the book it began to feel like page after page of justification for why the author is the way he is(!) and less practical help for how pastors, disciples and evangelists can be more expositionally apologetic in their own way via their own unique giftings. Bummer.

In describing his goal – Baucham Jr. makes clear he wants his approach to be received as “accessible and effective” but he doesn’t accomplish that goal. While many people think of apologetics as that professional, highly philosophical, formal process of defense aimed at the academy, Baucham Jr. is aiming at a different context. He wants to remind Christians that they can be apologists too, even if they aren’t professional, philosophical, formal, or academic. This book is meant for “those” people. I picked this book up because I agree with that sentiment!

But he doesn’t end up showing us how. He DOES say that everyone can become expositional apologists if they can learn but 3 simple things: How to be Biblical, how to be memorable, and how to be conversational. These goals are all well and good, but Baucham never gets to showing what that looks like for anyone besides himself.

Thus, the practical application section of the book (Chapters 5-9) were for me, just, “eh.” Almost nothing stuck out as worthwhile. It wasn’t horrible either I guess, it was just, “eh.” I don’t really know what to highlight. In these chapters there were just one too many personal stories of how the author is rather than examples of what we can do. I may be wrong, but this reader gets a hunch that the author is pretty impressed with himself and mostly just wants to talk about how others should be like him. This book is more autobiographical than it should be.

However, there were two reminders that were helpful for me:

  1. While the author loves the way HE preaches (eh…), he also loves Scripture and urges the reader time and time again throughout this book that Scripture is sufficient (!). I appreciate that. This is what Baucham Jr. means by “expository” apologetics. Our apologetic method should be simply expositing (exposing) Scripture. I like his clarification on page 56 where he says,

I frequently receive letters and e-mails that begin with, “I have a friend/parent/child who is extremely intelligent…” What follows is usually an impassioned plea for some kind of special apologetic methodology for the awesomely intelligent. It is as though we believe people who have studied science, philosophy, or mathematics stand on some lonely pedestal where not even the Holy Spirit can reach them.

Suddenly, we believe Hebrews 4:12 reads, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart…unless, of course, the person is really smart! 

This author believes Scripture is THE apologetic method for every audience, including even “extremely intelligent” people. This is a good word. A good reminder. This author is also not simplistic in his rendering of the concept of exposition. Baucham Jr. knows the solution isn’t to just always be ready to quote a Bible book, chapter or verse to someone every time we give an answer. Instead, to be “expository” is to know Scripture and be confident to share the story of Scripture whenever appropriate. Like Paul, we should “start with legitimate questions, answer the questions, and use Scripture to shape and support our answer” (70). This is a good reminder – one that is often missing in apologetic textbooks or manuals.

2. In discussing Romans 1:18-3:20 Baucham Jr. notes Paul says the human problem is not informational, it is that we have a sin problem. This is important and it affects our strategy. If a non-believer’s primary problem is informational – then as Christians we will try to give them more (or better) information. But if our core problem is that we are sinful, then our strategy will be prayer because we will realize people need a miracle of God before God’s Word will even make sense to them.

Baucham Jr. reminds us that Scripture shows man’s greatest need is not information, it is illumination. This is another good reminder: Information for information sake isn’t actually all that helpful. People don’t need facts, they need a good, heavenly Father. People don’t need funny stories, they need a Savior. People don’t need moralism, they need a Messiah. Ultimately, our prayer should be that God illuminates those we talk to. Without the work of the Holy spirit, any mere information will just fall to the ground.

I thought those two tidbits were great. Besides those, this book was pretty much a wash. I wish this book was better. I feel like Voddie Baucham Jr. needs a do-over. The author should keep the first four chapters, and then rewrite the last five chapters so that anyone who is by chance different in personality or gifting than the author can find out what expository apologetics can look like for them, too!

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Review of Tactics by Gregory Koukl

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My rating: 7/10

The author of this book is the founder and president of Stand to Reason which is a Christian Apologetics organization aimed at training Christians to think clearly and defend Christianity in an “intellectually fair, gracious, and incisive” way. Here Koukl offers us what he calls the “Ambassador Model” as a way of teaching us how to be diplomatic about our faith. Koukl believes if we want to represent Christ in the new millennium we need at least 3 skills:

  1. A basic knowledge of the central message of God’s kingdom and how to respond to the obstacles people have. In essence – an accurately informed mind. 
  2. Wisdom – so our message is clear and persuasive. In essence – an artful method. 
  3. Godly character – this can “make or break our mission.” Knowledge and wisdom are packaged in a person. If that person does not embody the virtues of God’s kingdom s/he will undermine it. In essence – an attractive manner.

Since he says almost every other book in the field of Christian Apologetics has to do with #1, Koukl wanted this book to be especially focused on #2. Wisdom and Method: How should we go about this task? As such, the proper genre categorization for this book is Christian Apologetic Methodology. While strategy involves the big picture or the large scale operation, tactics is all about “the art of arranging.” Tactics allow you to know how to arrange your resources in an artful way. In this case, Koukl’s resources are the Bible and especially the Christian worldview – the particulars are how to communicate that effectively to people who aren’t necessarily Christian. Koukl says this method should look like management, not manipulation. Control, not coercion. Finesse, not fight. A lot of people “on the street” so to speak have recommended this one to me so I picked it up to see what all the hubbub was about.

As far as method goes – I’d put this into an even more specific category if there were such a thing: Methods of Christian Apologetic Rhetoric. There must be at least a hundred times Koukl provides the following rubric:

If a non-Christian says A to you, you can respond by saying X, Y, or Z. 

I was surprised that I mostly appreciated it. While these sorts of books can tend towards over-simplifications or cookie-cutter equations for “winning the argument” this one doesn’t come off that way too often. It helps that Koukl has been doing this kind of work for over 30 years. Even though there weren’t a ton of helps in here for people who want to learn how to deeply evaluate the opinions of others, there was a LOT of practical help for identifying main ideas, locating fallacies, and recommending first steps for what to do when you are in the thick of a difficult conversation with someone who believes very differently than you. If I could add one more chapter to this book, I’d want it to be about how to know when its OK NOT to have the answer. Or when it’s more strategic to WITHHOLD the answer. Or when it’s better to just listen, and pray. Wisdom is needed here. Maybe in the revised edition?

I think a prime audience is many high school seniors who are nervous as they are preparing for college. I imagine reading this book could make a lot of them feel more confident and ready for the challenges. While I wish Koukl’s examples were more diverse in nature (at least 1/2 of all the examples revolve around what seem to be some of his pet issues – relativism, abortion, evolution, and sexuality) he does have a knack for quickly locating the “main thing” another person is saying and knowing what question to use as a follow up to keep the conversation going. Ah, if only we Christians knew how to keep the conversation (not the shouting) going… this is a special skill most of us should look to get better at.

While I agree it’s important to know “what to say next,” I do wish Koukl reminded us a few more times for good measure that faith conversations aren’t about winning. At all. In my own personal experiences, I don’t recall too many times seeing people come to Jesus as Christians were proving their intellectual superiorities. Unfortunately, this is what a lot of Christian apologetics feels like to non-believers. At this point, we Christians need to acknowledge that, and say it over and over again: This Christianity thing isn’t about winning at all. For us, it’s about becoming the “least of these.” Christianity is about showing you how good, and beautiful, and cool, and life-saving (etc.) Jesus is. In my mind, Christian apologetics is great even if all it does is that – it keeps the conversation going.

To be fair, Koukl does mention that sharing your faith should be more like “getting up to bat” than “hitting a home-run” but many of his examples hint otherwise. But on the other hand, I get it. Koukl knows most people find it difficult to be clever on command – so Koukl encourages us to do a little preparation ahead of time and we won’t be at a loss for words when it’s important we say something. How else are we to, as Scripture says:

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person”? (Colossians 4:6) 

There are surprisingly few other Christian apologetic books quite like this one. Many similar books sport similar-sounding titles but hardly any deliver as much practical, helpful, usable ideas for real-life conversations as this one. This book is chock-full of em. It’s street ready. For that, I’d give it a thumbs up and will recommend this to a few people I know.

(Exodus): The God who Makes himself Known

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I love this series. After each book I finish, I realize more deeply:

  1. How much of the story of Scripture I miss when I read Scripture only as a collection of “verses.”
  2. How meaningful every word of Scripture is as it contributes to the whole.
  3. How truly connected each word in each book is in furthering the greater story – the Gospel.

Reading this book was more of the same! My eyes were opened to the significance of whole swaths of Exodus I’ve never had much value for in the past. Just two examples to give you a taste:

In discussing the theological significance of the wilderness section (Exodus 15:22-18:27) Blackburn shows God was training Israel for their upcoming mission to make God’s character known to the world. He did this not only by providing for them with food but by providing their food in a particular way – one day at a time. In Exodus and in the rest of Scripture, one of the main reasons God’s people turn to idolatry is fear that comes through lack of trust. The wilderness section is where God is providing sustenance and teaching His people the lessons they need to learn in order to further God’s mission in the world. Without the wilderness section, we wouldn’t see as clearly that God is not only the one who delivers Israel, He is also the one who trains her for the struggles she will face in the future. The wilderness section propels the story of the Gospel in a very important way. I’ve never seen it quite like that until reading this book.

Blackburn does this again in Chapter Five when he discusses the tabernacle instructions in Exodus Chapters 25-31. For many, this section of Scripture can feel like nothing more than monotonous detail and “long-winded description.” But there is much more than that going on. We learn the tabernacle material is meant to communicate God’s holiness, God’s Kingship to Israel and God’s Kingship over the cosmos. We learn of the similarities between the tabernacle and Mount Sinai, and Eden, and the whole cosmos, showing God’s great consistency throughout the Old Testament in taking chaos and turning it into order. In each scenario we see God desires fellowship with His people and He desired to move with them to fulfill God’s goodness to the world. In these chapters we see “liberation with presence and historical event with ritual stability.” God’s microcosm’s within the earth show God’s macrocosmic effort to expand the boundaries of His order to include all nations. How beautiful.

This book doubled as a devotional for me. The author who is an Anglican Priest loves God and God’s Word. The author had previously prayed for a dissertation project that would help him know God better. What a prayer, right? Not only did God grant this prayer, God is now using that same project to help others see God more clearly – especially me.

I am so thankful for works of Biblical theology likes these. It inspires me to pay closer attention to the text, closer attention to the story, and ultimately, closer attention to God – who is of course, the Hero of it all.

 

Cross Vision by Gregory A. Boyd

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My rating: 2/10.

In this book Gregory A. Boyd all-dramatically-and-stuff offers a “revolutionary way to solve the Bible’s biggest dilemma” (Back Cover) I’ve never read Boyd before, but with endorsements from Brian D. McLaren and Rachel Held Evans I knew to expect at least some wacky exaggerated prescriptions no-one-Christian-community-could-ever-actually-adhere-to -whether-conservative-or-progressive. But that doesn’t stop me from reading them, so why should it stop me from reading Boyd? The vision of the book encapsulated in the subtitle, “How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence” was enough to draw me in.

Unfortunately, my initial expectations weren’t enough to curb my deep disappointment. In the end, I don’t think I can recommend this book to anyone I know. Not even to my more progressive friends who enjoy McLaren and Rachel much more than I do, especially as Boyd’s self-stated convictions about Scripture are so conservative-leaning. My central hesitations revolve around Boyd’s core beliefs about how to read Scripture which amounts to some sort of bizarre attempt at Biblical theology done backwards: Not starting from the Old Testament and going to the New but starting with the New Testament and looking back to the Old. I’ve seen this sort of thing done fairly well before so it’s not as if I’m against that strategy per-say, but Boyd is way, way, way out of his league here. And once one disagrees with Boyd’s hermeneutic method there isn’t much left in the book worth mentioning.

Boyd’s first three chapters are admittedly decent, especially Chapter 1. Titled, “The Elephant” Boyd begins by sketching an overview of many problematic violence passages in Scripture. I appreciate how he bravely and thoroughly highlights the main problematic passages and the tension we feel when we read them. He doesn’t try to resolve it with quick easy answers right away. In fact, he doesn’t defend it at all in the chapter – he only wants us to stare at it and acknowledge it, which I so appreciated. This felt like the right start because it was honest to what was actually in the text. Chapter two is another sort of Scriptural summary to show two things: Jesus is God and Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Again, I’m totally down with that. No real problems yet. Chapter three is fine in its attempts: It argues that Jesus is God is love. It’s not written well, but it’s fine in as much as it’s true. So, in the first three chapters Boyd is building the following argument: In Scripture we have all of the above all at the same time: violent passages about God; a God who is Jesus, and a God who is love. OK, fair enough, I thought… So far, so good. How should we deal with that? *Insert* my enthusiasm for finally learning the “revolutionary way to solve the Bible’s biggest dilemma“! Woo hoo.

Chapter 4 is where Boyd lays out his hermeneutic strategy for solving the dilemma and this is where the book veered way off and went downhill fast. Boyd argues we need to read Scripture with a “Cross-Informed Faith” (53) which means we should view all of Scripture from the vantage-point of the cross. “OK, I’m not outrageously uncomfortable with that,” I thought. But then Boyd says, “We should interpret the OT through the lens of the cross instead of restricting ourselves to the authors’ originally intended meaning.” In other words: don’t worry about what the Biblical author was actually trying to say, just think about how Boyd interprets the crucifixion, and then read THE REST OF SCRIPTURE through Boyd’s super-imposed interpretation, then you’ll be all set! Problem is, it’s not fair to read any book that way. Not Aesop’s Fables. Not Leo Tolstoy. Not Scripture. Besides that being somehow both un-Jewish and un-Christian at the same time, it’s also intensely idiosyncratic. Boyd tries to argue in chapter five that his view aligns with tradition by alluding to the progressive nature of truth – but it’s a laughable defense. I couldn’t even take it seriously.

Boyd believes that if we read Scripture with a “Cross-Informed Faith,” we will see that God, out of his love, “is humbly stooping to bear the sin of his people, thereby taking on an ugly appearance that reflects this sin.” So, we as readers must assess the ugly, violent, surface-appearances of God in Scripture to be reflections of our own fallen, culturally conditioned, ugly conceptions of God. The violent passages of Scripture attributed to God are not therefore actually FROM God, they just SEEM to be from God because the authors are confused. Boyd says, “fidelity to Christ compels me to see it not as an accurate depiction of something God actually did, but as a reflection of something God’s people at the time assumed God did.” (98) Yeahhhhh, if it were only that easy, but NO. Responsible reading should never amount to that (whether one is reading Scripture, Shakespeare, Salman Rushdie, or anyone else). That kind of reading is not fair. We should never read ANY book that way. A good starting resource for skeptics on this point would be Mortimer J. Adler’s now classic, How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading.

Besides the fact that Boyd’s hermeneutic inhabits the form of condescension C.S. Lewis would call “chronological snobbery” (Essentially, “Oh, those silly Old Testament peoples just didn’t know what they were talking about… but I (Greg Boyd!) do!…”), Boyd also encourages us to read God’s Word with a minimized horizon that narrows God as I read Scripture into aligning with my current ideas of morality and most importantly, intentionally subscribes God to my status-quo, postmodern conceptions of who I think a God SHOULD be. How is this an actual grappling with the text? This strikes me as simply an attempt to make God into my own post-modern-enlightened-preferred image (also by the way: white, male, middle class, etc.) allowing me to wave off any passages of Scripture that may make me feel unkept and might possibly challenge my way of thinking or my cultural biases. Thanks, but no thanks.

Boyd says, “God appears in twisted ways insofar as people’s hearts and minds are twisted” which is just so dumb. That is to assume that anytime God acts in Scripture in a way that Boyd wouldn’t expect or prefer, Boyd’s answer is that the author of Scripture must have been confused. What’s worse? Boyd actually does this with Scripture! When discussing all those hard-to-read passages by Moses, Boyd says we shouldn’t actually take them seriously  because Moses was “under a curse” (118). While Moses was a good dude, he was apparently also a confused little soldier. Hmmm, OK, so now I’m left having to pick between Moses and Greg Boyd? How is this a win-win for anyone? Somehow Boyd thinks he is solving our dilemma when he tells us that the violent passages of Scripture aren’t actually all that problematic because what is actually going on is that some ancient author is messed up. Later he makes the distinction which only makes it worse: Violent passages are “indirect” revelations while the passages we like are to be categorized as “direct” revelation. (152) What a joke.

I won’t keep going unless you want me to, because it’s all so, so dumb. There were a few helpful nuggets scattered throughout the debris but overall, this book is skewed and unhelpful. Lastly, this book somehow finds the perfect middle of being too researched and technical for most readers, and not academic enough for people who are informed. A perfect type of read for almost nobody! Apparently this book was taken from his longer 1492 page two-volume “more academic” work, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God. Judging from this one, that book isn’t worth a read either.

 

 

 

The Skeletons in God’s Closet

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I can’t remember for sure who I first heard it from, but I think it was Scott McKnight who somewhere recommended this book as the best book in its category. Whoever it was who said it, I’d like to second the opinion. As stated in the foreword, the author of this book has the mind of a theologian, the heart of a poet, and the hands of a missionary. These three gifts make him a very unique and profound voice to speak on these topics. The three topics of this book are:

  1. Hell
  2. Judgment
  3. Holy War

Joshua Ryan Butler spends about 100 pages on each “deep, dark doctrine we’d rather avoid.” In each case the author shows how the Gospel is so much better than the caricature we have in our minds. This is currently the ONLY book on the topic I know of that I’d feel comfortable reading entirely through with someone who was skeptical or curious about these topics. There were a few select pages I thought were theologically insufficient but overall this book is very well researched without feeling academic at all.

The author is able to show how unfamiliar (typically Ancient Near Eastern) concepts can not only be understood by us modern peoples, but can help make sense of some of our most important modern-day questions. Actually, at the end of the book he shows how our questions are Israel’s answers. Picturesque is a good word for his writing. Poetic is another one that fits. This book is very easy to read but is not watered-down. Astute analogies allow the reader to constantly contemporize the information. At the same time, the book feels personal. The author shares many examples from his own life, and you can tell his heart beats for God’s mission and he wants ours to as well.

I appreciate how at the end of each chapter Butler summarizes his arguments with the “key idea” – as seen below. It would be enough in some groups to just list the key ideas from each chapter and talk about them. They are that good.

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Since I’d be equally comfortable reading through this book with a Christian or an atheist or anyone in between, I wish the author had included discussion questions at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. His last chapter titled, “loose ends” is nice though, as he tries to anticipate questions that will come up and he answers each in turn.

This book far surpassed my expectations. This is now the FIRST book (besides the Bible, of course)  I’d turn to as a resource for someone who isn’t just throwing out a blanket accusation but really wants to understand some of the more difficult doctrines of Scripture. Highly recommended.

3 Apologetic Books Summarized in 3ish Paragraphs

Dialogical Apologetics: A Person-Centered Approach to Christian Defense. 1999:

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David K. Clark believes “apologetics has too long been disconnected from that multifaceted complex called Real Life.” Apologetics should not be abstracted from the dynamics of personal encounter so Clark sets out to show the importance in apologetic dialogue of developing the right attitudes, hearing the other, defusing emotions, exerting influence, and using evidence appropriately for the proper audience. This author is very skilled at definitions and concise answers in the style of analytic philosophy. For example, What is faith? What is reason? What is philosophy? What is science? What are words? How should our shared history of knowledge affect our apologetic dialogue? Etc. If you are interested in those topics – this book is for you. Clark’s explanations are second-to-none. My favorite chapters in this book were the first three. These chapters comprise a history of “faith” and “reason” (Ch. 1), a history of philosophy and epistemology (Ch.2), and a history of the philosophy of science (Ch.3) – each chapter about 25 pages in length. Some of the best summaries of these important developments I’ve ever come across. This book is written for the serious student. Good at articulating proper intellectual foundations, not as strong in developing practical techniques.

Humble Apologetics: Defending the Faith Today. 2002: 

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“Humble Apologetics” could more aptly be titled, “Why Christian apologists SHOULD be humble.” The author doesn’t actually get to the topic of humility directly until Chapter 9 or 10ish, or maybe 11. This book is more a prolegomena to understanding the cultural challenges than actually laying out what “humble apologetics” can look like in real life. Much of the book is dedicated to revealing the cultural obstacles to a proper apologetic and is very helpful in that regard. Especially prescient is Chapter 4 titled, “Consumerism.” Written in 2002, explicitly and abundantly true in 2017. For example, the author highlights four convictions of consumerism and then shows four ways this interferes with genuine Christian experience. Simply glossing the main points will highlight the overall helpfulness of a book like this as it shows what gets in the way of a properly humble approach:

The Convictions of Consumerism:

  1. In consumerism, the self considers itself to be sovereign and judge.
  2. What is good is what the market (of individual consumers) says is good.
  3. The self is the arbiter of what matters for that self
  4. Goods (note the pun) can be bought.

Consumerism and Religion:

  1. In consumerism, religion becomes a consumer good – at best.
  2. Religions themselves become segmented into items to be picked and picked over. An “a la carte” approach.
  3. Religion is selected, or even constructed, by the self and for the self. In consumerism, religion becomes both “do-it-yourself” and “do-it-for-yourself.”
  4. Religion is turned into an intensely personal matter.

Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness Respect and Truth. 2015: 

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This book is written very simply. Could be used as a group study as it includes questions for each chapter at the back. A good first resource for the lay person who wants to gain a general idea of what it means to be a Godly witness for Christ. The book is divided into four parts: Who You Are, What You Do, What You Know, and Where You Go. Each chapter is about 10 pages long and is written in large font. It sticks to giving a big-picture overview for how the average Jane can witness to others. If you have a friend who has low self esteem and is overwhelmed by the idea of talking to others about Jesus – this book may be helpful. It communicates a simple and valuable message, “Christian, you can do this!” (89)

Our Modern Pantheon of Idols

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On pages 104-105 in their book The Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World, John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle delineate five idols of our day.

The authors argue that the identity crises we see in our peers, family members, coworkers and the culture at large are partially a result of the fact that broadly, we have lost sight of what it means to be made in the image of God and thus what it looks like when our identity is in Christ.

It’s ironic, they say, that in our society we strive to champion and expand human rights without knowing what a human is. We fill our lives with entertainment, gadgets, experiences, activities and other distractions but we have no clear purpose in life. Without God to anchor us, we end up in confusion and crisis mode.

Of course, those of us who reject God don’t ever stop worshipping, we just worship at other altars. Humans are innate worshippers. It’s never a question of whether we worship. Rather, it’s always a question of who or what we worship. Stonestreet and Kunkle believe the modern pantheon of idols we currently love to bow down to includes the following:

  • Self: The first of the Ten Commandments is “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Today, we tend to believe we have no other gods before ME.
  • State: The apostle Paul wrote, “My God will supply every need” (Phil. 4:19). Today we increasingly look to the state to supply our needs and even many of our wants.
  • Sex: This very good gift of God, a means of expressing love and marital oneness, is for many life’s highest pursuit, an end in and of itself.
  • Science: The word of science (or, more accurately, of scientists) has replaced the Word of God as absolute truth. Rather than pointing us to the God who made the world, science makes us believe we can remake the world, and even ourselves, as we see fit.
  • Stuff: Blaise Pascal famously wrote of a God-shaped void we all have that only God can fill. Today, the constant barrage of commercials and marketing slogans proclaim that our void is stuff shaped. Yet the more we fill our lives with stuff, the less we’re satisfied.