What I Read Online – 05/01/2012 (a.m.)

01 May
    • If you and I are at all willing to humbly and honestly look at our lives, we will be forced to conclude that we are flawed human beings. And yet we don’t have to beat ourselves up. We don’t have to work to minimize or deny our failures. We don’t have to be defensive when our weaknesses are revealed. We don’t have to rewrite our histories to make ourselves look better than we actually were. We don’t have to be paralyzed by remorse and regret. We don’t have to distract ourselves with busyness or drug ourselves with substances.
    • True, the film explores issues of political control and social manipulation. But my observation is that few young people, and not many adults, view the film for philosophical enlightenment. It is the thrill of the killing fields, identifying with a beautiful young winner in an adult world, and the ideal of gaining present satisfaction that attracts and delights. “Kill, take, have: and think of others if it helps your survival,” is its message.


      Any community – our community – that finds such trivialising of childhood and human dignity entertaining is very, very lost.

    • Morality without God is a distorting construction
    • Protest and doing right are not the same thing
    • Wealth does not mean happiness
    • When is killing people valid?
    • The immorality of survival
    • “What good is it for a man (or a beautiful teenager) to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Righteousness and eternity are essential frames-of-reference for today, and we abuse our children if we leave them with any other message.
    • Huxley also foresaw a disturbing partnership between the state and capitalism but didn’t anticipate how little need for government collusion sophisticated marketers would need to reorder society. In “Brave New World,” the state has suppressed all simple sports because they don’t require lots of expensive equipment to keep the economy humming. Instead, it relentlessly hypes complicated tech-y activities such as “electromagnetic golf.” A couple of generations ago, kids might have bought one baseball glove and one bat that would last for years. Today they instead spend hundreds of dollars on Xbox 360s and games that quickly become boring and demand to be replaced with upgraded versions.
    • Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression.


      But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.


      What Orwell feared were those who would ban books.


      What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

    • Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.


      . . . Huxley, not Orwell, was right.

    • Here is my question: could it be that the indifference to and ignorance of the basic elements of the Christian faith are themselves functions of a widespread belief that these things are not important?  And if they are not deemed important by Christians, then we must ask ourselves why they are not deemed important.  Could it be because the church and her preachers and teachers are not stressing the reasons why these things, these basic elements of faith are important — that human beings are dead in sin, possess no righteousness in themselves and live in imminent danger of falling into the hands of a God who is a consuming fire? 
    • This weekend I was re-reading the first volume of Iain Murray’s biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  I was struck by the chapter on his preaching at Sandfields in his early ministry.  One of the hallmarks of this was the emphasis he placed on the holiness of God and the sinfulness of human beings.   The results were stunning: many were converted and, most significantly, many took a serious interest in serious theology (and remember, these were not well-to-do or bookish people but among the poorest and least educated members of society
    • People who know a little theology sometimes offer another excuse. “Well, pastor, as a sinner you say my will is in bondage, and if I am not predestinated to salvation, then it is impossible that I could ever believe the Gospel. So how can you expect me to receive Christ?” Well, now, let’s think about that for a moment. Because we all start out as unbelievers, no one in this world knows that he is not among God’s elect. So for all you know, you may be predestined to salvation after all. And this I know: if you will go to Christ in prayer, and tell him of your inability, and beg him sincerely and earnestly and incessantly to have mercy on a wretched, hopeless sinner like you, and to give you spiritual life, with the gifts of faith and repentance, which you could never have otherwise, he will hear and answer you. But if you persistently refuse his overtures of mercy toward you until you die or he returns, it will only be because you hate God and love death, and your damnation will be just. Your fancy theological excuses will only torment you when you finally open your eyes in hell.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 01/05/2012 in Current Issues


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