Shane is an Iowa native, a follower of Jesus, a husband to Cheryl for 19 years, and a father of three teenagers. Shane and his family live in the Des Moines, IA area having moved back almost 10 years ago after living out of state for awhile in Illinois, Florida, Ohio and Indiana. Shane is […]
The “Ten Items of Interest” (originally 20 items) is a feature I did at Caffeinated Thoughts. I thought due to the eclectic nature of my “items of interests posts” it would be better to have them here sans politics – I have other outlets for that. I’m going to attempt to make this a weekly thing.
4. What is the right thing in parenting children? Via Doug Wilson
The fundamental right thing is to see the relationships rightly, to understand what is going on. What is your relationship to God, and how can you mimic that in your relationship with your children? Therefore be imitators of God, Paul says, as dearly loved children (Eph. 5:1). We are to be children to God, and this will help us understand how our children are to be children to us. We are to learn the nature of all our authoritative relationships by imitation.
I am not the judge of whether someone is a Christian or not. I am not the judge of whether someone has true faith or not. But why does this mean that I can’t make informed judgments about a person’s status?
Rarely would someone call foul if I believed someone was not a Christian when they themselves confessed that they weren’t a Christian. After all, if someone claims to be an atheist, since there is an element of embarrassment to this confession, then it is very easy to take them at their word. However, my belief that they are not a Christian does not judge them to be so, it just makes a judgment that their confession is probably true.
Religious pluralism has not only made us more aware of other beliefs, which is good, so that we’re explicit about what we believe and why, it has made us more vulnerable to the belief that religion is really about morality. It’s about being nice. It’s about being good. It’s about loving each other. It’s not really about the intervention of God in human history, assuming our flesh, dying on the cross, and being raised the third day for our justification, His return in judgment, and a real Heaven and a real Hell. To the extent that we’ve already turned religion into morality—something we do rather than something that God has done for us—to that extent, religious pluralism will mean, not only that there are lots of people of different religions we must respect and to whom we have to witness, but rather that there are all of these wonderful people who have their sources of morality just as we do, and we need to realize that there are different paths to God. Increasingly that’s where we’re going with a lot of pastors, telling believers that Jesus is the best way of pursuing community and self-sacrifice, but not the One who was sacrificed for our sins and raised for our justification.
About the Author: Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm. Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings. He has also served as an interim pastor and is a sought after speaker and pulpit fill-in. Shane has been married to his wife Cheryl since 1993 and they have three kids. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA. You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +. More from this author.