God has been abolished by the media pundits and other promoters of our new demythologized divinity. We continue to insist that change is progress, self-indulgence is freedom and novelty is originality. In these circumstances it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Western man has decided to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brings the walls of his own city tumbling down. Having convinced himself that he is too numerous, he labours with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer, thereby delivering himself the sooner into the hands of his enemies. At last, having educated himself into imbecility and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keels over, a weary, battered old brontosaurus, and becomes extinct.
— Leslie Fiedler, quoted in The End of Christendom by Malcolm Muggeridge, p. 20
Underlying the decline of civility (in our culture) is a loss of an ability to think carefully about what really matters most in life.
— J. P. Moreland, from Menace of Mindless Christianity at 2:06
Pop culture and all its technological distractions—movies, computer games, television, cell phones—sap your enthusiasm and make you yawn at the enduring things.
— Douglas Bond, from Stand Fast In the Way of Truth, p. 195
There is a great deal of wisdom in Marshall McLuhan’s observation that “the medium is the message.” The forms of our popular culture may well have a more significant effect on our perceptions than the content. This is why I do not believe that much would be improved if, all other things being equal, Christians could somehow take over all of the instruments of popular culture, even if they were very talented and orthodox Christians.
Rather than starting our own TV networks, movie production companies, or imitations of People, we would do much better to make the church a living example of alternatives to the methods and messages of popular culture.
— Kenneth Myers, from All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes, kindle location 205
We have got to recapture a vision for making culture through the local church.
— James Emery White, from A Mind for God, at 27:45
As a stirring historical model, consider Jonathan Edwards, the Congregational pastor, scholar, and leader of the First Great Awakening. He had a wife, Sarah, reared 11 children; and by the year 1900, the family had 1,400 descendants, among them 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers, 30 judges, 66 physicians, and 80 prominent public officials, including 3 governors, 3 senators, and a vice president of the United States.
— Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 326
True Christian faith rests on content. It is not a vague thing which takes the place of real understanding, nor is it the strength of belief which is of value. The true basis for faith is not the faith itself, but the work which Christ finished on the cross. My believing is not the basis for being saved—the basis is the work of Christ. Christian faith is turned outward to an objective person: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.’
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 133
While engaged in a ministry to high school students in Oklahoma, I once began a youth meeting with the following declaration: “This afternoon, I have a message from the Water Tower Monster. The Water Tower Monster is an awesome specter who lives beneath the water tower just outside of town beside Highway 59. His message is this: He wants everyone in town to believe in him. He says that if there are any unbelieving residents remaining at the end of one year, he will destroy the whole town. When you believe in him, you will experience an unmistakable shiver in your liver. The stronger your faith becomes, the more he will reinforce your faith through communication with your inner being. Are there any questions?” Continue reading
In the popular classic Christmas movie Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street, little Suzie Walker, played by Natalie Wood, is perplexed about how some of those around her are reacting to the enigmatic Santa Claus figured who has recently come into their lives. Her mother, Doris, played by Maureen O’Hara, tries to explain to her the need to have faith in Kris Kringle. Frustrated, little Suzie exclaims, “But that doesn’t make any sense, Mommy,” to which her mother responds, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells us not to.”
— Thomas Howe, from To Everyone An Answer, Francis Beckwith, William Craig, and J. P. Moreland, editors, p. 23