Richard Dawkins, Lady Gaga, and the Bible - page1




Richard Dawkins, Lady Gaga, and the Bible: Why understanding these rival stories is important for our present time
by Trevin Wax, Managing editor of “The Gospel Project”, a gospel-centered small group curriculum for all ages.

BROADCAST TALKS presents ideas to cultivate Christ-like thinking and living. Each issue features a transcription of a talk presented at an event of The C. S. Lewis Institute. This event took place on October 29, 2015 at the Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter in Atlanta, GA.

ave you ever heard someone complain, “They are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good”? The popular saying pictures a believer whose head is “in the clouds,” isolated from the hustle and bustle and practical needs of everyday life. Most people who tout this phrase are downplaying the importance of eschatology. Eschatology refers to the doctrines about the “end times,” what will happen in the future. The saying suggests that looking too much to the future will undermine the effectiveness of our present obedience.

But this statement fails to do justice not only to Scripture, but also to church history—most notably, the accounts of Christian influence on society. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis countered this notion and made an opposing claim:

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.

I think Lewis was right. In fact, I would go further to say that failure to engage our world properly is the result of too little eschatology, not too much. Without a firm grounding in eschatology (i.e., the Christian understanding of the world and where it is going, not just the “end times”), Christians are left without the necessary tools to read the signs of our own times or navigate the darkness of the contemporary age. As cultural currents move faster and we see rapids and waterfalls ahead and wonder what the future holds, one question we must ask is this: what kind of discipleship is necessary to fortify the faith of believers so that we understand what time it is, rightly interpret our cultural moment, and see through its false and damaging views of history and the future? I believe the answer is, partly, in the rediscovery of eschatological discipleship—a type of spiritual formation that (1) seeks to instill wisdom regarding our contemporary setting and its rival conceptions of time and progress and (2) calls for contextualized obedience as a demonstration of the belief that the biblical account of the world’s past, present, and future is true. Only then will we have disciples who can articulate, defend, and live out their faith in Christ in a personal and public arena.

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