By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1989
George Gallup, America’s most highly respected pollster, has recently coauthored a book with Jim Castelli, The People’s Religion: American Faith in the 90s, published this month by Macmillan. Excerpts from an interview in Christianity Today reveal some interesting trends which will significantly affect our nation in the coming decade.
“Over the last 54 years of scientific polling, religion in America has been remarkably stable, both in terms of beliefs and practices. It is interesting that as the level of education has increased in this country, religious beliefs did not decline. Karl Marx’s prediction that more education would produce a weaker attachment to religion simply has not come about.
“The central problem today is that people are not solidly grounded in their faith, and therefore vulnerable to hedonism, materialism, and new spiritual movements which glorify self. We have in our country a geographic literacy problem. We have a scientific literacy problem. But more seriously, I feel, we have a faith literacy problem. That has to be faced,” said Gallup.
“On the plus side, religion has profoundly affected our society in terms of volunteerism. We did a big study for the independent sector and found that churches give more money than foundations or businesses do. The church is the biggest supporter of the volunteer effort, in terms of manpower and money, but also in terms of energizing society.
“In the 1990s, alcohol and drug abuse has to be very high on the list of priorities for the church because it affects the family and it affects everything. And it’s a crisis situation. The sex-related issues are going to be among the most important issues facing all churches in the foreseeable future. Abortion, AIDS, premarital sex, homosexuality, all those things are going to be at the vortex of the problems confronting all churches.
“Also, you could hardly find a more basic problem in our society than youth unemployment, which is very high among minority groups and in the major cities. That problem leads to low self-esteem, which contributes to alcohol and drug abuse, which leads to crime and lawlessness. Until as a society we meet the joblessness problem head-on, we’re just storing up a lot of problems for ourselves in the ’90s and beyond.
“But these are the kinds of things that don’t have to be left up to chance. I tend to be optimistic because I think there are a lot of obvious things that churches can and will do to make a profound difference in society in the years ahead. There is nothing mysterious about it. Also, as Christians, we often forget to pray for things. But God is accessible, and will help us in our efforts, whatever they are. “
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
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