The Forum welcomed Jeanne Dennis, Dean Stinchfield and Sue Thielke each a Commissioned Centurion on Monday September 28, to discuss their ministries and outreach into the culture. We asked each to give a brief overview of their ministry and to probe how God has pursued and sustained them during the development of their faithfulness to Him.
By Robert Acuff|Published Date: September 28, 2009
As the Wilberforce Forum attempts to move to a weekly Monday format, we will be inviting Centurions to the Forum on the fourth Monday of each month to discuss teaching projects, application of their personal mission fields and discuss their personal reach into the culture by exhibiting a shining light for Christ through living out the Faith. This Monday (September 28 at 8 PM EST) we welcome Centurions Jeanne Dennis, Dean Stinchfield and Sue Thielke to the broadcast.
This past Monday evening (September 21) the Wilberforce Forum re-broadcast a program highlighting Celtic Christianity with T.M. Moore (Principal of the Fellowship of Ailbe and author of The Legacy of Patrick). We did this in view of our discussion with Chuck Colson focusing on Kingdom Movement. Why? Simple. It provides a glimpse of past renewals of the church by her faithful saints.
Just as relevant and prophetic as the day it was written, Chuck Colson’s Against the Night; Living in the New Dark Ages (1989, Vine Books) firmly identifies how the West arrived at its current destination; morally bankrupt. Colson prescribes actions that must be taken to recover a moral vision and the recovery of character. He further reinforces his position in The Movement (2009, Wilberforce Press) as he outlines the events leading to “this moment of greatest peril” for Western civilization; a crisis of character. Speaking on the Wilberforce Forum (September 14th) he described Western Liberal Democracy as a three legged stool (a description penned by Catholic priest and theologian Michael Novak). This analogy views each leg as a specific identity contributing to the support of the structure; political freedom, economic freedom, and moral restraint. Removing one leg (e.g. moral restraint) of the stool results in the collapse of the entire structure. He indicted, “Our stool has collapsed”.
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The institutions among us offer little solace in resolving the crisis of character. Education in general and higher education specifically, government and politics have done away with discernment and encouraged individualism (if it feels good, do it). Even the church has failed in its original mission of pursuing and preserving the Gospel of the Kingdom. Colson says “each has acquiesced to the culture surrounding them. All founded by Christian influence and absolutes that have shaped Western Civilization are now consciously rejected by the men and women who direct the flow of information and attitudes to popular culture: communicators, educators, entertainers, lawyers” and unfortunately many in the clergy.
Listen , 8:00 PM Eastern Monday, September 21
This will be a rebroadcast of T. M. Moore on Celtic Christianity.
The solution as discussed on the Forum, is the revitalization of the church through stronger teaching in biblical worldview and biblical orthodoxy. Moral imagination of the West as described by Colson in Against the Night, “values reason, recognizes truth and asserts that the world can be both understood and transformed through the careful constructed restraints of civilized behavior and institutions”. Further, “the moral imagination respects a moral law authored by God, calls people to duties beyond themselves and cherishes the past”. To this end the Wilberforce Project was envisioned and initiated as a unique resource for those seeking to learn a biblical world view and biblical orthodoxy and to think christianly. The Centurions as one ministry in partnership with other ministries (as described in The Movement) can reach into the culture by exhibiting a shining light for Christ through living out the Faith.
If you missed the September 14 broadcast, you can still listen to the program by visiting the Colson Center for Christian Worldview you may listen to it above. We encourage and welcome you to contact the Forum by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org for guests and topics for future programs.
By Robert Acuff|Published Date: September 09, 2009
“There is much to celebrate. Its technological and artistic achievements are awesome,” wrote Jacques Ellul in The Betrayal of the West (Continuum, 1978). “But the West is hardly placed to be the moral guardian of the world. Its own house is not in order.” If you are paying attention as you read any newspaper, magazine or listen to cable and network news programs, there is little doubt that America has lost its moral compass. The church seeking political solutions to the culture battles has seen Christianity become insignificant in every substantive debate influencing society and additionally has misplaced its Gospel of the Kingdom message.
Many attribute this decline in influence in every worldview sphere as a crisis of character. Men and women knowing right from wrong (Heb 8:10) have instead pursued pleasure, greed and their own desires; they have chosen to follow a false gospel known as “The Lie”, where God is a construct and man is the arbiter of truth. The Lie subverts everything in which it comes in contact. It is the reason Christianity in the West has been marginalized and secularism continues its advance as the religion of the age.
In this crisis, how does a society renew itself? Most would point to the church. But in its current state of flux, how does it recover and again become the meaningful transformation of culture; regaining its Kingdom purpose? How does it renew upright character in people if it too has succumbed to a false gospel? This sought after renewal has occurred many times before in Christian history and could again result in a renewed and strengthened church. But how? Join us on the Wilberforce Forum on Monday, September 14th as we welcome as our guest Chuck Colson. He will be addressing the current crisis we are facing and articulate its genesis. In addition, Chuck will address the issue of a new Kingdom Movement; a potential common commitment to the orthodoxy, recovery and defense of the Christian faith by ministry groups partnering to again further the Kingdom of the Gospel for the Glory of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to listen to this important edition of the Form and join the discussion.
If you would like to hear and participate in the discussion focusing on Kingdom Movement, we invite you to do so at the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (www.colsoncenter.org) and navigate to the Wilberforce Forum icon on Monday, September 14th beginning at 8 PM Eastern Time. You can access previous Forum programs at this new site as well. We encourage you to utilize the Forum as a site for online learning. Your comments as well as suggestions for speakers/topics for Christian Worldview discussion are encouraged (email@example.com).
By Robert Acuff|Published Date: September 07, 2009
You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands; you have put all things under his feet Psalm 8:6.
The duties of man in the care of God’s creation are quite clear in scripture and provide us with a direct responsibility. If we care for the creation as God intends, we bring to our biblical world view that of an environmentalist; however, I would caution us in the definition. It is not that of the environmentalism movement where the creation becomes our idol and we hold it above all rational thinking. It is by definition one that cares for the creation but also provides a proper prospective for our brother and sisters well-being when laws or policies are implemented to initiate the prevention of global warming based on man’s role in its cause. Environmentalism is no doubt a kingdom movement of its own; radical adjustment of facts, scientific data manipulation or just plain falsehoods to achieve a desired outcome with neglect or disregard of the possible consequences. Many Christians seem unsure of their responsibility in creation stewardship while others have “bought” into the position of the plethora of environmental groups accusing western capitalism as the cause and pointing to man as the culprit in the destruction of the planet.
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Based on reducing energy use, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the trading of carbon credits by the manufacturing sector, the Waxman-Markey Bill (American Clean Energy and Securities Act) passed by the US House of Representatives in June 2009, intend to reduce global warming and aid in the prevention of a global environmental catastrophe. I think we would all agree that Christians have a responsibility in preserving the earth and God’s creation, but do we recognize the impact of legislation? This past Monday on the Forum, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner founder of and the National Spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation (www.cornwallalliance.org), was our guest for the purpose of giving us a biblical worldview perspective on the environment. He focused on the legislation of “Cap and Trade” with ramifications on the poor among us, especially the Third World poor. We discussed the economic peril that would be placed on sectors that are imperative to man’s existence (e.g. agriculture, industry and commerce) if the current legislation is enacted as law. Further, impact on adequate healthcare and disease prevention was cited as a concern because of the potential to further cause a downward spiral into an economic catastrophe. As we celebrate the 250th year of William Wilberforce’s birthday let us utilize our biblical worldview as he did, in all its facets and spheres to formulate a response to those that would idolize the environment. Resources in addition to the Cornwall Alliance, which may be helpful in strengthening a biblical worldview, are the Copenhagen Consensus Center (www.copenhagencenter.com), The Heartland Institute (www.heartland.org), CO2 Science (www.co2science.org) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (www.nipccreport.org).
You may listen to the broadcast by clicking the play link above. We encourage you to utilize the Forum as a site for online learning. Your comments as well as suggestions for speakers/topics for Christian Worldview discussion are encouraged (firstname.lastname@example.org).