City of Man (with Download of Foreword and Preface)

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I recently had the pleasure of editing City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner,  releasing October 1 from Moody Publishers.  In this volume, Gerson and Wehner draw on their experience as former White House staff, journalists, and commentators on religion (especially evangelicalism) to chart a new course for Christians to engage with politics in a post-Religious-Right era.

Rather than focusing on specific strategies for influencing legislation or electing politicians, the authors outline broad biblical principles that should inform believers as they engage the realm of politics—the “City of Man” in the words of Augustine.  Such principles include fighting for human rights, defending life, supporting the family and other character-shaping institutions, and engaging with political and ideological opponents in a civil and respectful manner.

What I most appreciate about City of Man is that it isn’t partisan in its approach, though both authors are well-known conservatives, but that it strives to present biblically and theologically sound first principles that apply to Christians of all political persuasions.  I believe the authors succeed, and I recommend this volume to any Christian looking for a deeper understanding of how the City of God relates to the City of Man.

You can download the foreword (by Timothy Keller) and preface in PDF format here.

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Scholarly Essays at the Biologos Foundation

The logo for the BioLogos Foundation
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A nice collection of papers here on the relationship between Christianity and evolution.  A few reflect a theistic evolutionary point of view, while others defend skepticism towards a Darwinian approach.  The titles that look especially interesting are

  • “Evangelicals, Creation, and Scripture: An Overview” by Mark Noll

In this paper, Mark Noll — University of Notre Dame historian and author of The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind — looks at 15 of the attitudes, assumptions and convictions considered the most influential in inciting anti-intellectual sentiment among evangelical Christians. He also traces the historical background of when these ideas became prominent and suggests how they still affect contested issues of science and religion.

  • “Barriers to Accepting the Possibility of Creation by Means of an Evolutionary Process: I. Concerns of the Typical Evangelical Theologian” by Bruce Waltke

In this white paper from the November BioLogos workshop, evangelical and renowned Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke looks at eleven barriers that prevent evangelical theologians from accepting evolution as a possible means for creation and what we these barriers tells us about the tensions between science and religion perceived by many evangelicals. Waltke’s work is based on a survey forwarded to presidents of the Fellowship of Evangelical Seminary Presidents and their faculty, asking them to identify the reasons that they do not personally accept evolutionary theory.

  • “Barriers to Accepting the Possibility of Creation by Means of an Evolutionary Process: II. Concerns of the Typical Parishoner” or “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople” by Tim Keller

In this paper, considers three main clusters of questions lay people raise when they learn of anyone teaching that biological evolution and biblical orthodoxy can be compatible. Keller offers some ideas on how to provide responses that take these concerns seriously.

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Short Review of Tim Keller’s new book “Counterfeit Gods”

by Publishers Weekly:

Timothy Keller. Dutton, $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-525-95136-0
Author of The Reason for God and senior pastor of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Keller asserts that the chaos of the global financial crisis offers a rare opportunity, as individuals and as a society, to discern the “glittering gods” that enslave us. “The only way to free ourselves from the destructive influence of counterfeit gods is to turn back to the true one,” writes Keller, mercilessly dissecting the things he believes keep men and women from acknowledging their sin and God’s love, grace and centrality.

Shadowed by the pastor’s austere Reformed vision of the depth and shape-shifting forms of human depravity, this sometimes bleak series of linked meditations weaves the spiritual journeys of biblical figures like the Old Testament soldier Naaman with insights from more modern figures, including 19th-century industrialist Andrew Carnegie, contemporary author Malcolm Gladwell and retired tennis star Chris Evert. A work of recession spirituality and cultural criticism, this volume will appeal to those who share Keller’s conviction that the journey away from idolatry and toward God can sometimes take a lifetime. (Oct. 20)


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