Month: February 2021

Are We Worshiping the Idols of Modernism?

Why do we fight about Creation? Why do we avoid secular music? Why do we hesitate to talk about Jesus at work? Why is Jesus passive in Communion?

It’s often because we are heavily influenced by the Modern worldview.   So much so that we see reality from, not only a Christian perspective, but a Modern one as well.

Modernism might be in our church!

Modernism has gotten into the Western Church and has shaped how we think about God, how we read the Bible and how we worship. It’s a big deal and we need to understand it.

 

Willful Destruction of Poetry!

I was teaching away and as often happens, I needed to quickly pull up something on the computer to make a point, or give an example of something for the edification of my students.  I needed to project Robert Frost’s “Nature’s First Green is Gold.”  I just typed the first few words into to search bar and hit enter.

I immediately notices the images that the search brought up.

I couldn’t believe what I saw!

Compare that travesty to this:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
                                                                     Robert Frost

When he wrote it, Robert Frost composed a poem.  He didn’t write a paragraph.  And if he were to write a paragraph, you can be sure he wouldn’t have justified, both right and left.

You don’t get poetry?

Well, this re-presenting of Frost’s original, is analogous to any of the following: (you choose)

  • Putting the front of a Volkswagon Bug on a Rolls-Royce
  • Mixing a can on Sprite with a glass  of Espetacle del Montsant 2017 because it’s not sweet enough
  • Ordering Lobster with a side of Kraft Dinner
  • Listening to your Aunt Edna doing Kareoke–Bonnie Tyler’s “Turn Around” (with your High School PE teacher doing the second voice)
  • Adding a cheesy chorus to Amazing Grace–with a mixed metaphor to boot

Suffice it to say that everything in a poem contributes to its meaning.   In this violent restructuring of the poem, the rhyme is lost.  The correspondence of the alliteration in lines 2 and lines 7 is lost, as is the correlation between “Nature” and “Nothing”–the first words of the first and last lines.  Not to mention the first words of each line (“Nature’s . . . Her . . . Her . . . But . . . So . . . Then . . . So . . . So . . . Nothing”).

And what’s the deal with the background picture?  Grand mountainous cliffs that have grass on them!?  That might be a poem, but it ain’t this poem!  Sure it’s green.  Big deal.  It’s the green of the second leaf in line 5.  This poem is about the “first green,” a green so fleeting it needed a profound poem to hint at its beauty and significance and value and fragility.  You can’t capture that by slapping a green mountain on the background.  If a picture was possible, Frost wouldn’t have needed to write the poem!

As Bugs Bunny would say: “What a maroon.”

And you shouldn’t do this to Bible verses either!

Worldview and the Idols We Worship: Dumb as the Ancient Israelites

Christians want to have a Christian worldview, but we are actually just like the ancient Israelites–we worship idols. No matter how much we want to live a life around what the Bible teaches, we fall into idolatry. We get our idols from our culture, and we also make up our own idols for worship in the Church.

Our worldviews can often be hiding idolatries, which are hiding in our closets with our cheap shirts and even in the soup over at grandma’s house. It’s a good thing we are saved by Grace, because we’d never make it otherwise.

I thought I saw reality the way it was. I thought I was viewing the world as a Christian should. But I came to realize that I was looking at the world through some very thick and tinted lenses that I didn’t even know were there. This began a bit of a quest to sort out my worldview.

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