How To Really Change American Culture
In poll after poll, the vast majority of Americans profess to adhere to some form of Christianity. But, despite having such a huge majority, the influence of Christianity on society is practically nonexistent. Conversely, those who identify as gay constitute less than 5% of the population, but are enormously influential in shaping culture. Why?
In a little more than five minutes, William Lane Craig answers this question when he interacts with James Davison Hunter’s book To Change the World. It is worth listening to if you haven’t heard it before:
Winning lots of people to Christ will not change American culture, even though soul-winning is an enormously important thing to do. The only way to change the culture is to change those institutions that are the dominant sources of influence in society, especially the universities.
The project God has called me to is to address a foundational assumption that pervades our universities: the assumption that rock solid science demonstrates we are the product of evolutionary processes. It would take volumes of books to convey how foundational and necessary human evolutionary theory is in supporting the secular worldview of university faculties.
Remove the foundation, and the secular worldview loses a lot of credibility. To make a Star Wars analogy: If secularism can be compared to the death star, then human evolutionary theory is its thermal exhaust port. It is way, way weaker than anyone seems to realize.
Attacking that foundation (or trying to shoot a proton torpedo into that port) is exactly what I’m called to do with this project. But I'm attacking it from a theologically neutral perspective. I'm not arguing against on the basis of anything the Bible says. I'm merely making a logical and scientific case that this theory is not only unjustified. It is false. (So we certainly shouldn't accommodate it into our theology.) That is what is unique about my project.
And, despite COVID-19 and how absolutely strange 2020 has been, I’ve continued to make progress in my research and writing. Moreover, I now have a full semester of PhD work under my belt.
This semester I took metaphysics, analytic philosophy, and a course on teaching philosophy. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’m happy to report I was able to find research topics in each of these areas that will contribute toward my dissertation and the books I am writing.
I also have a Teaching Assistantship that requires me to teach one undergraduate class each semester. This semester, I was an assistant teacher for a class called “Communicating Moral Issues.” It is an interdisciplinary course (with 20 students) that teaches people how to think about moral controversies while, at the same time, teaching them how to do public speaking. Thus, it involves both philosophical discussion and students giving lots of speeches.
I taught the class once per week. Because so much of the history of philosophy is based on Christian thinkers (like Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine), I quickly realized that I could squeeze in lots of Christian apologetics into my lectures.
I did this over and over again, finding ways to promote a Christian worldview within the framework of the topics we covered each week. And then, to top things off, a couple of Christian students were always talking about Jesus and giving their testimonies in their speeches (and during classroom discussion). One Christian girl in the class, every time she gave a speech, found a way to squeeze the gospel into her speech. Hence, I would do the teaching then she would do the preaching! I think this was providential because it was clear that the vast majority of these students were extremely secular and had never been exposed to an intellectually robust presentation of Christianity.
The kids’ school year began with e-learning. Up until November, they were doing all of their schooling at home, due to COVID-19. Their school tried face-to-face learning in November and December, but that is being put back on hold for now.
As those of you who are parents know, trying to have a normal routine with your kids constantly at home is extremely difficult, not to mention the emotional reality of needing a break from the responsibility of meeting their needs, and this is in addition to helping them with their schoolwork. Moreover, all of that screen-time is not exactly desirable. Hopefully, things will get back to normal in the next few months.
Stephanie is still going strong in her job, working remotely for Reconciled, which is based in Burlington, VT. And she is about to start her second (and last) year of her MBA program. To call her busy is a bit of an understatement.
I continue to have conversations with Derek, Haroon, and my buddy Winston (in Vermont). Please keep them in your prayers. I see God working in each of their lives and continue to pray that the light will break through for all three of them.
For some much needed supplemental income I've written a lot of posts for the blog of the Historical Bible Society. (In fact, if you've ever wondered how to think biblically about UFOs and alien abductions, you might want to check out the latest series of articles I wrote on the topic.)
Unfortunately, my blog writing job is coming to end. (I've written so many articles for them that it might be another year before they get them all published!) I know that we have asked some of you to consider giving large gifts in the past, and you've not been able to. But we would now like to ask you to please consider signing up to be a monthly supporter at a SMALL dollar amount. Even $10 or $20 per month is extremely helpful to us on our current budget. Will you please pray about doing so? To sign up for monthly giving, just click on the donate now button, and you will see how to set up recurring giving.
Finally, we wish you all the very best of CHRISTmases. May the love of our Savior be very clear to you this holiday season!