Most Christians have non-Christian worldviews

vision-154854_640A new study from Barna has found that most “practicing Christians” in America–defined as those who attend church regularly and say that their faith is important to them–hold to non-Christian worldviews.  Or at least elements of those worldviews.  Only 17% look at the world through a predominantly Biblical perspective.

Here is the breakdown:

61% hold to some elements of “New Spirituality,” that is, to New Age, Eastern, or Neo-Pagan beliefs (such as all religions being one; the karmic view that if we do good we receive good, and vice versa).

54% have postmodernist views, that truth and morality are relative.  (Interestingly, the less educated hold to postmodernist ideas to a greater extent [31%] than the college educated [21%], despite the prominence of postmodernism in the university!)

36% hold to Marxist views, such as the evils of private property and the desirability of government control.

29% agree with secularism, on materialism and science.

Now the respondents had to agree with only one of several questions associated with each worldview, in order to count in that total.  So the extent of their indoctrination with these various worldviews isn’t completely clear.

After the jump, start reading the report and go to the site for more details of the study and what these different categories mean, with the questions asked. [Read more…]

Fact checking the fact checkers

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In this climate of “fake news,” professional fact checkers have risen to new prominence.  But an academic study of two of the most prominent media fact checkers has found that in one out of five times, the two come to opposite conclusions about whether something is true or a lie.

After the jump, an editorial discusses the study (linked at the end of this post), as well as other similar findings, including a column by Mark Hemingway (a member of an LCMS congregation).

Some will use this research for the postmodernist cause:  “See, there are no ‘facts.’  Bias is inevitable.  Objective truth is impossible to determine.  Truth is relative.  Truth is a political construction, etc.”

And those who think that way will feel justified in constructing more truths for a political cause. [Read more…]

Why science is sexist and racist

Researchers_in_laboratoryJoy Pullman at the Federalist writes about a doctoral dissertation that maintains that science is inherently sexist and racist.  In the study of STEM syllabi, the education graduate student draws this conclusion:

Initial exploration of the STEM syllabi in this study did not reveal overt references to gender, such as through the use of gendered pronouns. However, upon deeper review, language used in the syllabi reflects institutionalized STEM teaching practices and views about knowledge that are inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging, a view of teaching that promotes the idea of a passive student, and by promoting a chilly climate that marginalizes women. . . .

Instead of promoting the idea that knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change as it would in a more feminist view of knowledge, the syllabi reinforce the larger male-dominant view of knowledge as one that students acquire and use make [sic] the correct decision.

[Read more…]

Fake News 

fake-1903774_640Both sides of our political divide are accusing the other of spreading “fake news.”

Rev. Tim Pauls, writing for LCMS News & Information, says that of course making up facts and believing whatever we want to is going to be a problem in a culture that rejects objective truth.

He gives some striking examples and some insightful analysis from a Christian perspective.  He then gives some Biblical texts that address this issue and suggests how Christians can handle it. [Read more…]

The word of the year

OED2_volumesThe Oxford English Dictionary–that mammoth reference book that chronicles the history of every word in our language–has announced the word of the year for 2016:  post-truth.

Most commenters are relating the term to the lack of truth in today’s politics, particularly with candidates that the commenter opposes.  The implication is that they think being “post-truth” is a bad thing, that they would like objective truth to come back as a category for our time.

But “post-truth” is nothing more than what postmodernism has done to all objective truth, the notion that we can create what we want to be true by our subjective decisions, that we can create what is true for us.  Thus, strictly speaking,  transgenderism–the view that we can select our own gender identity apart from our objective bodies– is post-truth.  Gay marriage, with its assumption that we can re-create sexual morality and social institutions at will, is post-truth.  The notions that all religions are the same, that attempts at persuasion are nothing more than impositions of power, that my truth is just as valid as your truth, are post-truth.  No wonder that politicians act in the same way.  But those who don’t really believe in object truth might as well embrace the term. [Read more…]

A Lutheran take on exorcism and the demonic

We’ve blogged about a Lutheran exorcist.  A new book from Concordia Publishing House offers a theological framework on the reality of demonic activity, actual case studies of people afflicted by demons who were helped by Lutheran pastors, and practical guidelines on how these malign spirits can be cast out by means of the Word, the Sacraments, and prayer.

The book is entitled Afraid:  Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in America.  It’s by Dr. Robert H. Bennett, the Executive Director of the Luther Academy and an Adjunct Professor of Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Read my review after the jump. [Read more…]