[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 015 – Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (Preferred Religion of Western Culture)

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Show Notes



Summary

  • On today’s show Landon discusses the preferred religion of Western Culture known as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, which sometimes goes by the name Christianity.  Then, he moves on to the conclusion of our 7-part study of Roman Catholicism.

(Click “Read More” for detailed show notes.)

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Breast Cancer is NOT Sexy, It’s Traumatic

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Content Warning
The content of this article is for consumption by a mature audience only.  It would be wise to avoid reading it with children present.  Further, if you are a Christian man who continues to struggle with the sin of lust, I would highly recommend you prayerfully consider reading and/or avoid this article until you have grown to the point where you have been delivered from the stranglehold of that sinful temptation.

Ephesians 5:4 [ESV] “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

As I was driving into work recently, I noticed a few bumper stickers along the way.  Considering that it’s currently Breast Cancer Awareness Month, fittingly most of these vehicle tags were in reference to that subject.  That sounds great, doesn’t it?  After all, what a worthy cause to support!  In fact, much of the corporate world has embraced the breast cancer awareness campaign, most notably in the sports world where players’ uniforms are adorned with varying degrees of pink accessories during the month of October.

All this is absolutely wonderful!  Cancer, in general, is a devastating disease that terrorizes people of all ages and races, shapes and sizes.  So if everything is hunky-dory what is the purpose of this article, right?  Sex.

In particular, the overly and overtly sexualized world in which we live.  It has reached a point now where sexual idolatry is ingrained in our society; it is absolutely unavoidable and it permeates every area of our culture.  As Genesis 3 recounts, we live in a fallen world and we should thusly expect to encounter debauchery, disease, and depraved minds.  However, in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would see a day where an utterly terrifying, tragic, and debilitating disease could be ripped from that context and placed into the “sexualized” norm of society.

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The Daily Discovery (December 19, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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How to Use the Back of a Napkin to Prove to a Jehovah’s Witness That Jesus Is God – “Years ago I read the following simple but effective illustration from Greg Koukl on how to use a napkin, a pen, and a Bible verse to show a Jehovah’s Witness that Scripture teaches (even in their own translation) that Jesus must be God. Greg, who is the president of Stand to Reason and the author of one of my favorite books on reasoning with unbelievers, kindly granted permission to reprint the explanation below. I hope you find it helpful.”

Please Don’t Give Them Porn for Christmas – “This Christmas a lot of children will receive porn from under the tree. It not what they wanted, and not what their parents intended for them to have. But they will get it anyway.  The first iPod, the first tablet, the first laptop—these are today’s coming of age rituals. We give our daughter her first iPod and she responds with joy. While we know there is lots of bad stuff out there on the Internet, we never imagine that she—our little girl—would ever want to see it or ever go anywhere she is likely to find it. We give our teen his first laptop, warn him about the responsibility that is now his, and send him on his way. We make a mental note to follow up in a couple of weeks, but are sure that he will do just fine. ‘He will talk to me if he has any questions or temptations, right?'”

Engaging Race Face to Face – “The American church is at a pivotal moment. It has been years since the issue of ethnic and racial tension has received the important attention and discussion it has in the last four months.”

How Exegesis Should Shape Our Apologetics When Engaging the Lost – “I had an individual who utilizes classic, Thomist apologetics offer some excellent challenges of my presuppositional position. His challenges help to distinguish between what I believe is a textually oriented apologetic methodology from the classic apologetics presented in the majority of popular books, at apologetic conferences, and on daily Christian radio programs.”

The State of Theology: Worshiping Alone – “It’s difficult to be a pastor in America these days. Five out of ten Americans think you don’t need the church. So do three out of ten Evangelical Protestants. As the The State of Theology survey also shows, the majority of Americans do not see their pastor’s sermons as carrying authority over them. You can find the full results of the survey at TheStateOfTheology.com. These few questions related to the local church, however, deserve a closer look and our significant attention.”

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The Daily Discovery (December 18, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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Calling Men to Meekness – “The English language is one of, if not the most, complicated languages in the world, but not because there is a word for every emotion or feeling. Our language tends to do an injustice to words derived from other ancient or historic languages. We suffer from this repercussion at various points in the Bible. Due to imperfect substitutionary words, translating from the original languages of Scripture into English sometimes costs us the full meaning of the Hebrew and Greek.”

In awe of the incarnation – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… John 1:14a  Let’s just stop and sit with this verse for a moment: ‘The Word became flesh.’  It’s so easy for us to lose our sense of awe at little things like this. To read a verse like John 1:14 and gloss over what it says. But we should never do this.  Ever.”

George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, You, and Me – “George Clooney loses sleep over bad reviews of his movies. Angelina Jolie is a ‘minimally talented spoiled brat.’  Tom Hanks checks into hotels as Johnny Madrid. You know by now, I’m sure, that a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace hacked Sony’s computers, obtained a massive amount of private and internal data, and released it to the public. The media has had a field day sorting through it, digging up the dirt, and sending it out to an eager public.”

Media Ignore Scientific Evidence in ‘Nobody is Born Gay’ Billboard Controversy – “It is one of the most controversial topics in today’s society. Are you born gay? Is there a genetic gene that determines one’s sexuality? The PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) organization has addressed this question of the “homosexuality gene” through a billboard campaign in Richmond, Virginia and controversy is brewing over the words ‘Nobody Is Born Gay.'”

The Eagles are Coming! The Eagles are Coming! – “J.R.R. Tolkien famously described the gospel story as a eucatastrophe–a good catastrophe, or, the joy of a happy ending coming out of seeming defeat. David Mathis has written a great piece on this point. In a similar vein, Jonathan Witt and Jay Richards explain Tolkien’s vision of good news in a sad world…”

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The Daily Discovery (December 17, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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Short Christmas Sermon: How Not to Find Jesus – “For our annual Christmas program, I was to bring a brief message. The program lasted well over an hour before my time came, and it was wonderful — piano, banjo, saxophone, flute, guitars; songs, recitals; little tiny kids and adults. Really great.”

Christmas Made Simpler – “This year our family is celebrating Christmas more simply. We are eagerly anticipating flying to Texas to be with my husband’s parents and siblings, leaving the week before Christmas.”

Saving the Little Drummer Boy – “If you had to ask me at age five what my favorite Bible story was, I’d have easily chosen the account of the Little Drummer Boy.  What’s not to love? A young, impoverished vagabond (no parents are mentioned) follows the Magi to a cozy stable, only to discover that he is the only one who arrives without a gift to bring—at least not one fit for a king. But wait, he has something just as valuable as gold and frankincense: he has his talent. With Mary’s nod of permission and jazz-loving livestock keeping time, he plays his little heart out to an appreciative baby Jesus who smiled at him… he and his drum.”

Christmas and the Things of Earth – “Creation. Incarnation.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). In the fullness of time, the Word became flesh (Galatians 4:4; John 1:14).  These passages, and the events they describe, aren’t just a part of the same Bible; they’re inextricably linked. They are woven together. God made a world. God made himself into a baby. God created us. God with us. These are two steps in one Great Dance.”

The Worst Heresy That Never Got Anyone Burned at the Stake – “According to John’s Gospel, on the evening of his crucifixion Jesus clearly articulated the single-most important quality by which his followers would be recognized: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love (agape) one another” (John 13:35). Or again: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:44). As the apostle Paul reminds us, even the best deeds and most impressive religious phenomenon and achievements are simply worthless religious noise (“clanging cymbals”) unless they are motivated by and express Jesus-looking love (1 Cor 13).”

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The Daily Discovery (December 16, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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I Don’t Believe in Atheists–Neither Does God – “Angry, audacious, asinine atheists profess loudly to all who will listen–even to those who won’t–that God does not exist. They are especially overbearing and offensive even obnoxious during the Christmas season. Atheists also do not believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Peter Pan but they do not try to convince others of their non-existence. However, I don’t believe in atheists and neither does God. The Bible clearly teaches that God loves the world and wants everyone to place faith in Him to guarantee forgiveness of sins and a place in Heaven. Atheists don’t exist because God will not permit it.”

Praise Him for everything! – “If you want to know Him, if you want to know His smile, if you want to know something about this living realization that God is your God and that He has loved you ‘with an everlasting love’ (Jer. 31:3), that you are His child and that He will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5)—if you want this living witness of the Spirit, this ultimate assurance that is given through the love shed abroad in our hearts, going upward and back to Him in praise, worship, adoration, and thanksgiving, then begin to praise God for what you have.”

The Reward of God’s Rebuke – “What might Zechariah and Elizabeth have talked about after their friends left the naming ceremony where Zechariah had miraculously regained his speech?  ‘So . . . are you going to tell me?’  Elizabeth was ready to burst. She had waited nearly a year to hear what had happened in the temple.  Zechariah was looking adoringly at the infant boy lying on his lap. ‘Baby John, there’s something you need to know about women. They always want thedetails!’  Zechariah glanced up playfully at his wife.”

Moroni From the Realms of Glory – “You’ve got to be careful what you share online. Over the weekend Facebook and Twitter were suddenly inundated with links to a new recording of the Christmas hymn ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’ mashed up with ‘Angels We Have Heard on High.’ It was recorded by The Piano Guys and features David Archuleta, a one-time runner up on American Idol. It is a creative recording that intersperses shots of the musicians with video taken to record the world’s largest nativity scene. The song is beautifully sung and the music is rich; it is no surprise that it quickly gained over one million views. Well and good, right? Well, except for one thing: Its purpose is to separate you from Jesus Christ.”

3 Ways to Figure Out What to Do, In Light of Who You Are – “In the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the importance of a leader who ”understands the times” biblically (here are Old Testament and New Testament examples). Today, I want to look at why it’s important to properly understand your own personal story within that overarching biblical narrative.  Knowing “what time it is” personally is essential for making wise decisions. Reggie McNeal has done a lot of work in this area. I’m going to lean on his book on spiritual leadership in order to focus on three elements we need to discern: personal life circumstances, personal gifting, and a sense of one’s calling.”

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The Daily Discovery (December 15, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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The “celibate gay Christian” movement: How should we think about it? – “Michelle Boorstein has a must-read piece in The Washington Post about the celibate gay Christian movement. It features Albert Mohler, Wesley Hill, and some others from the evangelical movement. The article begins with a discussion about Eve Tushnet, a celibate Roman Catholic lesbian.”

Franklin Graham: Islam is ‘A Religion of War’ – “The Reverend Franklin Graham now leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and has become an outspoken defender of the weak and criticizer of the powerful. He recently spoke with the London-based magazine, Christian Today, when he made some controversial statements (that we happen to agree with).”

If You Will Not Eat the Apples that Grow on Trees… – “Whatever else we know about Charles Spurgeon, and whatever else we honor and respect in him, what always stands out to me is his unshakable confidence in the Bible. I recently came across two short quotes, both of which stand as eloquent proof of his love of God’s Word, and both of which stand as a challenge to me to imitate him in this regard.”

Christmas Resources w/ A Message for Your Family and Friends – “Our ministry’s focus is upholding the authority of God’s Word and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, and our Christmas resources are no exception to this goal. Our online bookstore has some beautiful new Christmas-themed items that will help you celebrate our Savior’s birth with friends and family.”

The Church on the Fringes – “The church is a community of Christians living as the on-the-ground expression of the supremacy of Jesus by advancing his gospel in distance and depth. As the on-the-ground expression, and since gospel advance happens in distance, the local nature of the church is indispensable. The church is the place — the here and now — of Jesus’s new creation reign in an old creation world.”

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The Daily Discovery (December 13-14, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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10 Historical Myths About World Christianity - “As followers of Christ and adherents of the Bible, Christians are called to be a people of the truth. Thus, it is crucial that we seek to understand our tradition as accurately as possible. So consider these top ten historical myths about world Christianity.”

Is Politics Really Downstream from Culture? – “Greg Forster—whose Joy for the World: How Christianity Lost Its Cultural Influence and Can Begin Rebuilding It in Tim Keller and Collin Hansen’s Cultural Renewal series should be widely read—writes today about the UVA rape story and the problem of rape systems and rape cultures on college campuses.

Enjoy Jesus’s Favorite Meal – “In John chapter 4, Jesus and his disciples had stopped in the Samaritan town of Sychar for food. But the disciples weren’t aware that their idea of food was different than Jesus’s idea of food.”

Should We Take up an Offering during the Worship Service? – “It was likely the most surreal thing I’ve ever witnessed at a worship service. Not surprisingly it happened Sunday morning at the Orlando Convention Center. My esteemed father was scheduled to preach at this service in conjunction with the annual Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) convention. Back in those days, CBA was a huge deal, with more than 5,000 souls in attendance representing book and music publishers, authors, artists, and Christian bookstore owners. I don’t remember what big name sang the offertory, but it was a big name. “

Suffering: For God’s Glory and Your Good – “Suffering is inevitable.  We are constantly reminded by our friends, family, and media of that suffering. Believers are not exempt; every follower of Christ will experience some kind of trial or suffering.”

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The Daily Discovery (December 12, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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Romantic Love is Not Enough – “I love my wife. She’s a remarkable, godly, and wonderful woman. I am thrilled to be married to her and to have spent these last ten years growing together. To expect her to meet all of my relational needs, however, would be incredibly unfair to her. Romantic love is a wonderful gift from God, but all of our relational needs cannot be met in one relationship. We need more than romantic love to be happy.”

Church As the True Local – “God created the world to communicate his wonders. Everything around us can be traced back to this fundamental resolve. God has shown himself through his mighty acts in history, through his prophets who spoke and the Scripture he inspired, and then preeminently through his Son, Jesus the Messiah, who said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).”

Does the Bible teach that women can be deacons? – “The second point of the sermon focuses on verse 11 and deals with whether Paul intends for women to serve as deacons. This is a controversial question, and I obviously don’t treat it exhaustively in this sermon. Nevertheless, here’s where I came down.”

Five Things I’ve Learned from Kids with Autism – “Every weekend, I help host a group of children with special needs, including many children with autism, at an overnight respite center. When I’ve asked people what they learn from people with autism, even some very compassionate caregivers say things like, ‘Well, they’ve taught me to be patient’ or ‘that I can turn to God for strength to handle them.’ Those are good and real lessons, but they don’t answer the question. What do people with autism themselves teach us? Here are five things children with autism have shown me about the Christian life.”

Raise them in His Image, Not Yours – “What’s your most paradigm-shifting moment as a parent? In a new roundtable video, Jen Wilkin sits down with fellow moms Melissa Kruger and Kristie Anyabwile to discuss key lessons they’ve each learned over the years.  ‘Learning to let God parent me as I parent my kids has been an important lesson,’ explains Melissa Kruger, author of the forthcoming book Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood: An Eleven-Week Devotional Bible Study (WaterBrook, 2015). ‘In his providence God sometimes lets them inconvenience my plans so that he can grow me through his.'”

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The Daily Discovery (December 11, 2014)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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A Pretend Policy for Pretend Girl Athletes – “Do any of us really need one more lie from the ‘LGBT’ lobby? But that’s what the parents and families of Minnesota got in a recent vote about whether boys can join girls’ sports teams, use their restrooms and spend the night in their hotel rooms.  Never mind the underlying reality that boys are not girls, ever. The truth about the policy just passed in Minnesota is that it is not binding. No school in Minnesota needs to go along with the new guideline (that’s all it is) from the Minnesota State High School League, a board that oversees high school sports.”

From You Shall Come Forth… – “One of the most famous and important Old Testament messianic prophecies is also a Christmas text. It foretold that Christ would be born in Bethlehem: ‘But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days’ (Micah 5:2).”

God Will Not Share His Glory – “This is the fundamental commandment, the one that comes before all the others and lays the foundation for them. Before we learn anything else about what God demands, we need to know who he is, and who we are in relationship to him. ‘Now get this straight,’ God is saying, ‘I am the one and only God. And since I am the only God, I refuse to share my worship with anyone or anything else.'”

3 New Testament Examples of “Knowing What Time It Is” – “A couple weeks ago, I made the point that Christian leadership is never timeless. Instead, it is a timely application of God-given wisdom regarding specific decisions that must be made in particular moments in time.  Last week, we looked at several examples from the Old Testament of knowing “what time it is” biblically. Today, I’d like to follow up with some New Testament examples.”

Expositional Preaching – “Preaching is, in a number of ways, a bit like driving. In our early days we are conscious of the serious responsibility of making sure we do it well: lives are at stake. We are conscientious in sticking to the rules we have been taught.”

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