This is a fascinating article about the underpinning and foundation of China’s surveillance and social credit system and the systems engineering theories and methodologies that brought it about. I find it particularly interesting the author specifies the use of “carrots” (means of pleasure, getting at the desires and loves of the populace) and “sticks” (means of coercion, inflicting punishments on the populace for stepping out of line) to essentially control the masses. This has roots (though not one for one) in some things Aldous Huxley said in a lecture at Berkeley in the 1960’s about “scientific dictatorships” of the future. It’s worth listening to:
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“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:7 ESV)
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (Acts 2:38-39 ESV)
Classic Dave, preaching on Romans 4 and justification …
This episode of the radio program in the UK called Unbelievable with Justin Brierley is a discussion between James White and Brian McLaren on the Emerging Church and postmodernism. It aired in 2011 and I just now got around to listening to it. Good stuff. They both outline their positions very clearly and respectfully. Worth the listen:
I’ll be posting audio and video from the Together for the Gospel Conference as it becomes available.
A couple of years ago, a series of articles came out claiming the influence of the Reformation is mostly over for Protestantism. When looking at mainline Protestantism and mainstream evangelicalism, we certainly can draw a conclusion that this would appear to be the case. Carl Trueman addresses this issue on the Janet Mefferd Show from 2010.
Trueman also speaks to the issue of social justice and evangelicalism making that a primary drum beat, instead of the Person and work of Christ. The danger and concern is that social justice issues, as important as they are, may replace the central teaching and preaching of the Gospel, which is the primary function of the church.
I’m also including a later interview with Trueman by Mefferd on the Reformation’s influence.
The Lure of Rome (MP3) – Westminster Seminary California
This was a great discussion on why so many evangelicals are leaving their respective churches for Rome. It also explains the perils of not understanding what they are leaving their churches for. Highly recommended! They cover a ton of ground.
In addition, I once read or heard (can’t remember) a person saying they converted to Catholicism because they were “tired of worshiping God under a basketball goal.” Obviously not a good theological reason to convert for sure, but they have a point which I can appreciate. Obviously we must worship God in spirit and in truth for sure. But I do fail to understand what moves many evangelical churches to make their sanctuary and churches as dull as possible. Anyway, enjoy!