The Negative World is the Internet
Think Theology
by Andrew Wilson
21h ago
Aaron Renn's concept of the "negative world" has never sat right with me, although that may just be because I'm not American. If you're new to it, the idea is that there have been three stages in secularisation: the positive world (up to 1994), where society at large has a positive view of Christianity; the neutral world (1994-2014), where Christianity is neither privileged nor disfavoured; and the negative world (2014-present), where being a Christian is a clear social negative, especially among elites. No doubt some of my scepticism comes from my own experience, in which Christianity was de ..read more
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1994 and All That, 30 Years On
Think Theology
by Matthew Hosier
4d ago
Ten years ago I wrote an essay reflecting on the events of twenty years before that: the ‘Toronto Blessing’, or ‘Present move of the Spirit’ of 1994. And here we are, ten years on from that essay and thirty years from 1994. (I appreciate there will be many readers of this blog too young to have any idea of what I am talking about!) In that previous essay I raised questions as to the extent that our spiritual experiences are conditioned by the culture in which we live. To what extent were the phenomena of 1994 a reflection of wider cultural currents of the time? Ten years on from those questio ..read more
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Body Matters in Genesis
Think Theology
by Andrew Bunt
1w ago
Your body matters. That’s something I expect most readers of Think already know. There has been a surge of interest in the theology of the body in recent years, and for good reason: the prominence of various body-related topics in contemporary western culture has highlighted the need for us to think more deeply about bodies and what it means to be human. Many of us will have reflected on the goodness of our bodies; that as the creation of a good creator they can speak to us both about how we should live (ethics) and who we are (identity). And that they are core to what it means to be human, n ..read more
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Releasing Artists To Renew Culture: A new course to help you engage with the arts
Think Theology
by Think Team
1w ago
This is a guest post from Jonny Mellor A few years ago, the American pastor and theologian Tim Keller wrote, The Church needs artists because without art we cannot reach the world. That’s quite a bold statement and a bit of a curveball for most of us. Art is a strange thing. Most people have an intuition that it is somehow important but almost nobody can articulate why! In fact, it’s quite hard to even define what art is. So, for most of us, art is regarded as rather peripheral and extravagant. The cherry, or at the most the icing, but certainly not the cake! So, why would a sensible fellow ..read more
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What Is Christian Nationalism?
Think Theology
by Matthew Hosier
2w ago
As US electoral politics rumbles on in its current ugly form, one issue of significance is 'Christian Nationalism'. This, like its equal and opposite 'woke', is a term frequently used but not always properly understood. The team I serve on that gives a lead to the Advance movement of churches, asked Bryan Hart, from One Harbor Church in North Carolina, to write a paper for us exploring the subject. Bryan has done an outstanding job and while this paper was written primarily for the benefit of our movement it deserves wider circulation. For those in the States the subject has immediate and obv ..read more
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Nihilism Without Nihilists
Think Theology
by Andrew Wilson
3w ago
"The first thing one must know about nihilism as a philosophical and cultural reality," says James Davison Hunter in Democracy and Solidarity, "is that it is not one thing. Rather, it is a cluster of themes that follow from the 'death of God' - or, more accurately, the death of all 'god-terms' - that for most of human history established within the cosmology and culture of societies certain ultimate, transcendent, and universal conceptions of truth, value and purpose." He lists them as follows: 1) Epistemological failure: the recognition that there are now no objective, knowable truths; that ..read more
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Why Identity Politics Flourishes in Late Modern Society
Think Theology
by Andrew Wilson
3w ago
"Identity groups are, in effect, compensatory," explains James Davison Hunter in his fascinating (if somewhat depressing) book Democracy and Solidarity. In the context of the late modern society that Hunter is describing, such groups represent - “a means to power and influence in a world that has rendered average citizens powerless of the conditions of their existence, - an assertion of distinctiveness in a world that tends to flatten or level all meaningful differences, - the possibility for meaningful belief and purpose in a world that denies ultimate meaning and renders most beliefs a matt ..read more
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Pursuing the Presence of God
Think Theology
by Matthew Hosier
1M ago
Last week I was in Houston for the Advance global conference. A highlight of the teaching was this session by Tope Koleoso on pursuing the presence of God. It is really wonderful. All the other sessions are available here ..read more
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Where Is the Greatness of God?
Think Theology
by Andrew Bunt
1M ago
What has been the most spiritually nourishing thing you’ve done in recent years?  For me, it would be reading and thinking more deeply about the doctrine of God. I’ve been really struck by how delving deeper into the doctrine of God has deepened my relationship with him in ways I didn’t expect. A big theme I’ve been thinking about has been the greatness and otherness of God. It’s so easy for us to slip into thinking that God is basically just a better version of us. We forget that he is a fundamentally different kind of being; he’s not just a better version of us, but the most perfect ve ..read more
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Joshua, Judgment, Genocide and Justice
Think Theology
by Andrew Wilson
1M ago
Gavin Ortlund has a superb YouTube video here on the conquest of Canaan. One of our strongest moral intuitions, he begins, is that killing innocent children is always morally wrong. So how can we accept the goodness of a God who commands Israel to kill (among others) innocent children? His answer is in two main sections, and is a wonderful example of how to approach questions like this carefully and thoughtfully ..read more
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