Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christian Thinking
Let us Think About Thinking
Pastor Stephen Feinstein

Hi. My name is Stephen Feinstein and this is my Christian blog. I took a long break from blogging soon after I got started. As many of you know, this blog was created for a debate. Back in 2012, I was approached by an atheist challenging me to a debate with Russell Glasser of the atheist TV show, The Atheist Experience. Glasser suggested that we debate in the blogosphere and so that is why I created this blog. 


After the debate, I had a lot going on, as I still do, and so I took a break.Well, I have been on break long enough. In that time, much has happened in church and state, as well as in culture and entertainment. I figure that as a pastor, I have a duty to keep current on the issues. For those who read the debate, I want to assure you that this blog will not be one-dimensional. What I mean is that it will not be a blog on Christian apologetics. I believe my previous defense of the faith speaks for itself. The atheist worldview has no real legs to stand on. If you have not read that debate and would like to, look up the previous posts on this blog.

But that is all water under the bridge. It is important to move on. Much has hit the news lately. Courts have restricted the religious liberty of business owners and their ability to follow their conscience. For example, on December 6th, Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer ruled that the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, CO cannot refuse service to a gay couple based on his religious convictions. In November, a federal court in Albuquerque ruled similarly against Christian wedding photographers. Scenarios such as these are becoming more common in what many have dubbed the culture war.

Well, there has always been a culture war from the beginning of creation to the present time. The people of the world have always opposed God and His people. Sometimes it is more pronounced and obvious, as it is today, and at other times it has been more subtle. The sooner Christians realize this, the better. Sadly, many who claim to be Christians have been lost to the culture war. Their values are not derived from God’s Word, the Bible, but instead have been absorbed from a liberal public education system, a highly immoral entertainment industry, and a left-wing media.

Christians need to guard their minds. They need to be seasoned thinkers that are grounded in the Bible, users of sound logic, and graspers of basic knowledge across most disciplines of study. As fallen thinkers search for a GUT (grand unifying theory), Christians realize that the GUT has always existed and has always been known. The God of the Bible is the GUT, and so much more. I sought to make this clear to Mr. Glasser, but he danced around it. That is fine. A well reasoned Christian is difficult for unbelievers to deal with since they lack a GUT to unify their fallen ideas into a cohesive non-contradictory unit that explains all data. Their only option is to dance.

Well, as I said, this is not an apologetics blog, though it may be useful to that end. This blog is the heart of a Christian pastor for the sheep of the one true God, and the One and Only Savior Jesus Christ. And as a pastor, I see that one of the greatest dangers to the sheep is themselves. When Christians are unintentional in their thinking, haphazard in their reasoning, and lazy in the acquisition of knowledge, they are vulnerable to both false doctrine and uselessness for the Kingdom of God. So this blog then is for Christians. My theme for most of 2014 will be one of “thinking.” Christians need to start thinking about thinking.

Christians need to be intentional about thinking. Christians should reason from a Christian worldview on all matters. Unbelievers reason from their fallen presuppositions, causing them to interpret all things in a way that opposes God and His people. Sadly, we have allowed them to claim ownership over philosophy, art, science, culture, music, etc. As Christians, we should have distinctively Christian thoughts and opinions on all of these matters. None of these are neutral. They are either captive to Christ or they are in opposition to Him (2 Cor 10:3-5).

To this end, there is a valuable resource out there for Christians to read. The five volume complete works of Francis Schaeffer are completely dedicated to the idea of Christians developing a distinctive Christian worldview and to interact with the surrounding culture in an intelligent and useful way.

My plan is to summarize one chapter per day from his books to help achieve this goal. Obviously this excludes weekends and holidays. The intent is to make his work accessible to those who would normally not read it. There will be some new vocabulary to come along with it, but it will not be difficult. As I summarize what he wrote for the church between the 1960s and 1980s, I will tie it to matters of the present time. What he wrote is far more relevant for our own day than it ever was for his. I hope that many Christians will be blessed by following along. In less than a year, all five volumes should be covered. Anyone following along should walk away with a much better understanding of all disciplines of study, and at the same time they will see these disciplines unified by the Christian worldview.

There may be times that I get preachy. After all, I am a pastor. I love the Lord’s flock, especially the flock that He has placed under my care (Sovereign Way Christian Church). As a preacher of God’s Word, I understand that right thinking is ultimately what leads to right actions. Right thinking and right actions put together leads to right feelings. With that being said, the foundation must be laid within our thoughts. So let us gird up the loins of our mind (1 Peter 1:13) and be sober-minded so that we can think about thinking. The first chapter will be summarized tomorrow. God bless.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Pastor Steve. Sounds like this blog is for me. Thinking and being challenged regarding my beliefs is something I enjoy and always grow in faith from. At times I get lazy about thinking, but I always think about thinking. I will make every attempt to keep with your blogs. Thanks again.

    January 1, 2014 at 1:07 PM