Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Fake News" & "Fake Theology" Part 2

In the last post, I recommended a book by Abdu Murray Saving Truth:  Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-TruthWorld, that Pastor Tony Mansinho had sent to me.  Murray’s first chapter really struck me in the fact that just as “fake news” has played a major role in shifting a lot of public thinking even though it isn’t true, “fake theology” has enormous eternal consequences due to its lack of truth as well.  There was another matter brought up in Murray’s chapter “Confusion and the Church:  Seductions of a Post-Truth Mindset” when he described that almost immediately after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage another article got widespread dissemination throughout social media.  The article claimed a lawsuit was pending that would outlaw the Bible as hate-speech in the US.  Murray said that when he started reading and digging into the story, he described that it only took about three minutes to get to the root of the details and discover that this was an error that was being passed around as the truth.  The short of it was the case had been immediately dismissed because it had no basis in the law.  Murray put it in the category of an “alarmist” untrue story that had kernels of truth which it went far and wide on social media.  It is doubtful that very few really got to the truth of the matter.  He noted that this kind of thing makes Christianity look bad especially when we know that Jesus is the very core of all truth (John 14:6) and yet we who should be following him aren’t very careful and discerning about what we teach, preach, speak, or share with others.  Murray wrote that this creates a culture of confusion in the church. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

"Fake News" & "Fake Theology"

I have no idea how I managed to get into the good graces of Pastor Tony Mansinho who pastors Calvary Apostolic Church in Pittsburgh, PA.  In about a five-month period, he has sent me more than 50 books that have been of excellent quality and not just fillers for a bookshelf.  He has also shared several pics of his personal library and it is composed of a wide range theological works that I am confident would be stimulating to any pastor-theologian.  One of the books that he sent me was by Abdu Murray, Saving Truth:  Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-TruthWorld, published by Zondervan.  I was not familiar with this author but once I started reading, the compelling nature of it did not allow it to be easily put down.  As I read, highlighted and made marginal notes, my mind began to run down the proverbial rabbit trail. 

Murray spends time developing and proving the fact that the American church has lost its ability to think critically which in turn has greatly affected her ability to discern.  Furthermore, we are not only living in a post-modern generation but a post-truth world.  “Post-truth” was the 2016 Word of the Year which was selected by Oxford Dictionaries.  It means “relating or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”  Murray notes that this word actually had its origin in 1992 but by 2016 the usage of this word had ballooned 2000 percent.  He then made the connection to the last presidential election in 2016 and how that “fake news” ramped up a very emotionally charged run for the White House that resulted in what very few thought could happen.  The facts were dismissed for the sake of the personal agendas touted by politicians and their party affiliations.  Murry points out that this is the spirit of the age.  It has created a horrible atmosphere for our country that I do not recall ever having been present.    

A Prayer Pouring Out of Psalm 119

--> I am presently preaching through the stanzas of Psalm 119 and it has been a spiritually enriching exercise.   Toda...