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Why is Christianity Losing Influence in America?

Vishal Mangalwadi, author of The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, writes:

The branding or perception of Christianity as a religion of faith, disconnected with truth, is tragic given that the Judeo-Christian tradition is the only reason why any medieval, modern, or postmodern person talks about “Truth” that can be stated in rational words and propositions (creeds or equations). The secular academy and science acquired the truth-brand only because Secularism is a Protestant heresy. The university exists because the Church was committed to knowing and believing truth. Secularism didn’t create the university. It obtained that Christian institution because, liberal Protestantism surrendered to Rationalism and evangelicalism abandoned the life of the mind. That enabled Secularism to walk away with the brand Truth. The fact is that secular atheism and materialism leave no room for rational/propositional truth. That is why Secularism is dogmatic about relativism.

Read the whole thing. It’s quite long, but you’ll benefit even if you read  just one or two sections.

Christianity, the World’s Most Falsifiable Religion

Fantastic post by Michael Patton, author of Now That I’m a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus.  Patton writes:

The central claims of the Bible demand historic inquiry, as they are based on public events that can be historically verified. In contrast, the central claims of all other religions cannot be historically tested and, therefore, are beyond falsifiability or inquiry. They just have to be believed with blind faith.

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Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon

Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, authors of The Final Days of  Jesus, discuss five errors to drop from your Easter sermon:

1. Don’t say Jesus died when he was 33 years old.

2. Don’t explain the apparent absence of a lamb at the Last Supper by only saying Jesus is the ultimate Passover Lamb.

3. Don’t say the same crowds worshiped Jesus on Palm Sunday and then cried out for his crucifixion on Good Friday.

4. Don’t bypass the role of the women as witnesses of the resurrected Christ.

5. Don’t focus on the suffering of Jesus to the extent that you neglect the glory of the Cross in and through the Resurrection.

Read the whole thing.

Perman/Chediak Author Meet-Up at T4G

Matt PermanMy friend Matt Perman and I are hosting an informal author meet-up in the lobby of The Galt House at 10:00 PM on Tuesday night (4/8) of the Together for the Gospel conference. (Note: the lobby is in the first floor of the Suit Tower.) We will have some copies of our books to give away. Stop by for a chance to win, or increase your chances of winning by e-mailing a question in advance. We’ll do our best to answer as many questions as we can at the meet-up.

Matt Perman is the author of What’s Best Next and a former director of strategy at Desiring God. Here’s a nutshell description of our books:

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Key Questions Addressed in My Book

It occurred to me that it might be helpful–or at least different–to introduce Preparing Your Teens for College from the standpoint of key questions that I sought to address in the book.  Here are seven of them:

1. What are the key character traits teens need to be successful at a college (of any sort)?

2. How can we help our teens own the Christian faith for themselves?

3. How can we help our teens make wise relational decisions and avoid the subversive influences of the wrong crowd?

4. How can we help our teens learn sound principles of financial stewardship so that they don’t become trapped in consumer debt or excessive student loan debt?

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How To Prepare Your Teen for College

I’m grateful to Matt Smethurst of The Gospel Coalition for taking the time to interview me about Preparing Your Teens for College. Here’s one of our interactions:

How do today’s economic conditions make preparing our kids for college more crucial than ever before?

College is more expensive than ever. But with regard to future earnings prospects, it’s also more significant than ever. In June 2013, the unemployment rate for non-college grads was 7.6 percent, but for college grads it was about half of that (3.9 percent). You’ll see this pattern, in good times and bad, over the last few decades. And the “earnings premium”—the additional money that a college graduate earns relative to a non-college graduate—has been steadily increasing. In 1979, high school graduates were paid 77 percent of what college graduates made; today they make about 62 percent.

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Have You Ever Had a Pastoral Visit?

Great observations from Michael Horton on an old practice less common in our day.  An excerpt:

Pastors today aren’t as busy as Luther.  Yet Luther said that it was the pastor’s duty to teach the catechism to the people, and he did so.  He did it for the young people. And he taught them on personal visits.

This view of the pastor was carried over into Reformed practice also.  Right down to today, pastors and elders make it a point to visit every family in the congregation—at least once a year.

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Doug Phillips and Vision Forum: What Happened?

Doug Phillips speaks at the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.In a forthcoming cover story for World magazine, Jamie Dean explores the background of what appeared to many (myself included) to be the sudden resignation of Doug Phillips.

Dean writes that Phillips’ confession “didn’t include at least two significant details: The unmarried woman had been a member of his church, and Phillips had continued in his public ministry at VFM for at least eight months after he confessed to church leadership.”

Phillips’ October confession, Dean writes, “came the day after five men arrived at his San Antonio home to ask him about reports they heard concerning his indiscretions.”

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Amazon is Temporarily Sold Out, But CBD and Others Have It

Amazon is temporarily out of inventory, but CBD has it, as does WTS Books, and others (including me, see the various widgets running down the right sidebar).

This is a good problem to have!  If you’ve not yet done so, consider checking out the book’s home page (which has been shared more times in two months than the Thriving at College page was shared in three years), reading an excerpt, watching the promo video, or reading a guest post I wrote for Desiring God or Bible Gateway.

Millennials spend 18 hours/day interacting with media

That figure includes media multitasking (taking in more than one form of media at a time):

Read more.

Related: My Desiring God article on the importance of intellectual development early in life.

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