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The Lure of Sensuality

The Lure of Sensuality

Perhaps the most uncomfortable thing about Christianity is not that God exists, and not that God sent his Son to the earth. It’s not the miracles: did God really make the universe out of nothing? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? It’s not even that its ethical stance on sexuality feels behind the times.

The most uncomfortable thing about Christianity is unequivocally our call to not just believe in, but to grant God authority in our lives and live faithfully and righteously.

In 2 Peter 2, Peter admonishes the church to beware of those who are false teachers and prophets. He says, “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.” It’s interesting that he uses the word sensuality here. He doesn’t say, “And many will follow their false beliefs,” he says, “And many will follow their sensuality.”[i]

The result, not the cause, of our sensual desires is believing in false teaching.

The hook of false beliefs is rarely the beliefs themselves. Atheism, frankly, isn’t a very attractive belief system on its own merits. By its very definition, life contains no meaning: the brutal and blind hand of the natural world is all that is. It raises more questions than it solve: from the question of creation to the problem of evil to ethics. The hook of atheism is sensuality. If there is no God, there is no one you have to cede authority of your life to.

It’s why agnosticism is much more popular than atheism[ii] You get the same freedom and don’t have to swallow nearly as bitter a pill.

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.     Safety is Not the Antidote to Fear: A brief video by Gary Haugen that shakes our expectations of what God wants to do in the midst of our fears.

2.    Learning About the Wolves: Kevin DeYoung reflects on who are wolves in the church and how we should respond to them.

3.    How Our Churches Can Grow in Diversity: We have so far to go in this. I'm grateful for Greg Morse presenting not just the seriousness of the issue: "The father of lies devours minority souls, barring them from the gospel of grace and eternal life, simply by whispering, 'Christianity isn’t for you. Whites only.' When Christianity is whitewashed, when the church becomes associated with suburban country clubs, when our celebrated leaders and theologians throughout time have almost exclusively white faces... minority souls close their ears to the gospel and die in their sins." Morse also calls us forward. Among his admonitions he asks us to re-evaluate our stance on justice issues: " Social justice is not the gospel — but it is a result of the true gospel, and can be instrumental in directing souls to the true gospel." 

4.     Why the End of Marriage in Eternity is Good News: John Piper shares hard to believes news, " If the age to come is not only an improvement over the worst of this world, but over the best, then the end of marriage is spectacularly good news. Do you see this? Marriage in this age, at its best, offers some of life’s most intense pleasures, and sweetest intimacies. If you have ever tasted these, or have ever dreamed of tasting them, then you can feel the astonishing force of the promise that marriage will be no more because it was too weak to carry God’s best eternal pleasures."

5.     Match Made in Marrow: Radiolab is one of my favorite podcasts, it is also done from a secular scientific worldview that is atheistic in slant. I was shocked when they made the story of a man who came to faith in God because of his atheist bone marrow donor the centerpiece of their podcast last week. It is a fantastic listen.

6.       Penguins Don’t Belong in Antactica: Kellen Erskine is too funny: “Have you ever seen the way penguins walk? They walk the same way you would, if you were wearing cold, wet pants.”

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.       Time Lapse of the Earth: So stunning, this footage from the International Space Station looks fake. 

2.       Is the Attractional Church Dead? This is the first of a two part series by Jared Wilson that reflects on some of the reasons why the attractional model might have numbered days. In the second part he reflects on why it might not be over yet. " The attractional church has spent decades discipling its customers toward a more self-involved, individualized faith. They should not be surprised when this self-involved individualism gets fully embraced and people “peace out” showing up to church on the weekend."

3.       The News of the Attractional Church's Death is Greatly Exaggerated: Jared Wilson responds to himself with five reasons why the attractional church is not only alive, but is going to keep going strong. " We were never properly grounded, so we are easily led astray. Further, we’ve been accustomed to siding with the crowd and discipled according to a Christianity that apes the culture, so when preachers and teachers come along who are marrying Christianity with the culture’s views on sexuality, the fingers feel good on our ears."

4.       12 Principles for How to Deal with Christians Who Disagree with You: Wow, this is good. I'm going to come back to Andrew Naselli's chart here many times, I'm sure. Where have I disagreed like a heretic? Where have I disagreed in an unloving way? Where have I disagreed with a spirit of judgmentalism?

5.       What Happens to Babies? Dr. Tom Schreiner answers the very difficult question: "what happens to babies when they die?"