"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20 ESV)
"Here [Paul] is saying that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man speak the same truth that the Bible gives in greater detail. That this God exists and that he has not been silent but has spoken to people in the Bible and through Christ was the basis for the return to a more fully biblical Christianity in the days of the Reformers. It was a message of the possibility that people could return to God on the basis of the death of Christ alone. But with it came many other realities, including form and freedom in the culture and society built on that more biblical Christianity. The freedom brought forth was titanic, and yet, with the forms given in the Scripture, the freedoms did not lead to chaos. And it is this which can give us hope for the future. It is either this or an imposed order." ~ Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live (Crossway, 1976), pp 253-54.
There is a continued timeliness of this book by Schaeffer, and a need to read or reread especially chapters 12 and 13. Along with other works, such as The Abolition of Man (C. S. Lewis), Christianity and Culture (T. S. Eliot), and The Christian Mind (Harry Blamires), Schaeffer highlights the danger of materialist or pragmatic approaches to governing societies. "Sociological law" replacing a transcendent moral law as a basis for societal values ultimately results in a totalitarian society (whether of right-wing or left-wing variety), since people will choose order over chaos. Lex Rex (the law is king) becomes Rex Lex (the king is law). Schaeffer: "If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute." (p. 224) And the result is "an imposed order."
I recently listened to an excellent audiobook version of this. Photo above is from a recent walk along the Huckleberry Trail.
Basics 2019. Watch or listen to the messages by Alistair Begg, Rico Tice, and Andy Gemmill. Worship being led by Matt Boswell [above]. You can livestream or watch the videos later. Very good.
Blind spots. "Productivity and busyness offer a fading light that keep us distracted from the darkness of our own hearts." (Samantha Couick)
Sermon feedback. A group of pastors were asked what kind of things really, genuinely encouraged them in their work. One key to encouraging them is by giving specific feedback on the sermon.
Russell Moore launches new YouTube channel to address current issues.
More books. Here are some notable Kindle deals:
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter.
Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards's Vision of Living in Between, by Stephen Nichols.
The Freedom of the Will, by Jonathan Edwards.
Quote. "I am a Christian. He who answers thus has declared everything at once-his country, profession, family; the believer belongs to no city on earth but to the heavenly Jerusalem." (John Chrysostom)