A Christian response to the deconstruction of the West.

I have been trying to wrap my mind around the increasing geopolitical tensions that stand before us. My goal is to step out of the specific issues and work to understand the driving forces that perpetuate them. I suspect the riots, racial tension, hatred of government and even distrust in industry and education are the fruit of something much greater at work. My objective is to bring clarity to this. What makes us postmodern? How should the church respond?

This is the idea framework I will be building future blogs, sermons and ministries out of. Again, it is a work in progress. I am making more public what I often do privately. I would love feedback and continual insight from those that enjoy this.

The objective of this paper is to bring definition to the social and civil realities that face the Christian church as she ministers to the American Midwest young adult. This is not exhaustive. It is an attempt to look at what I believe is the prime tension, postmodernism. In this work I will take a brief look at the history of ideas, social structures, embodied social evidence for my hypothesis, and the broader cultural forces that drive the Midwestern, postmodern young adult. I will end by examining the book of Acts as a plausible answer. I will propose how a look at our Christian history can bring clarity to our future ministry. 

Defining terms as I will use them:

Modernity: An era described in the humanities and social sciences that is the result of the renaissance or the age of reason. The prime idea by those that adhere to the “modern” way of thinking is that the sciences and the scientific method will solve humanity’s problems. They are known to reject religion as antiquated and irrelevant at best and detrimental to human progress at worst.

Postmodernity: An era that is still forming itself. It is a reaction to the frustrations and disappointments of modernity’s perceived failures.  It hinges much of its functional ethic on the residue of Christianity and the civil disruption strategies of Marx and Nietzsche. At this point in its development its more reactionary than evolutionary. See below. 

Religion: A set of believed and practiced values that is seen as supremely important by its adherents. Religious people will evangelize, give their wealth to, emotionally follow and even sacrifice themselves to the ethic and structures they believe to be supremely important. 

Defining Society:

In Bishop Robert Barron’s lecture, Philosophers Who Shaped 2020[1], he lays out the idea roadmap that fosters the civil disruptions we see today. In chronological order, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Foucault subsequently build on each other’s ideas to create a new way to view society. Marx’s famous book the Das Capitao puts forth the idea that likely originated from Feuerbach.[2] He believes we as humans tend to create extremes of what we experience in the world around us. For example, if we can know things, humans naturally assume there must be an all-knowing. If there is power, there must be an all-powerful. From this train of human thought Marx believed that we invented a fantasy world to encapsulate these ultimate ideas we now call religion. Hence his famous phrase, “Religion is the opium of the people.”[3] Not so much the joy of the people but the sum of their way of thinking. He believed that this does something to us negatively. It creates a world that we can never be satisfied in and works to give us, from his perspective, a false hope. The trajectory of Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre and Foucault is an ever sharpening of the point which is meant to do away with this social structure that they believed poisoned humanity. This is the prime idea they play out in many ways throughout their works. Their goal, which is primarily explained by Marx and Nietzsche, is to disrupt society until it must restart. This is done is by fostering friction leading to a revolution. To these men the goal isn’t to continue the progression of this socioeconomic world but to devastate it. To recreate a new “perspectivism” where groups can build whatever they want with subjective right and wrong and no ultimate to hold them back or give false hope. They wanted to erase objective morality and force society to start over.[4] Nietzsche was incredibly effective at reaching the masses with these ideas because of his eloquent aphoristic style of writing. These little disruptive bites of thought[5] are woven all through culture. You find the residue of Nietzsche in much pop culture literature even today. The leaders of the Modern era used the destructive idea tools of Marx and Nietzsche to remove religion and attack existing social structures. Modernity and its authors offered a new clear promise. Modernity promised that science, technology, and civil progress along with individual rights could unite humanity and fix many of our civil and social problems instead of religion and the old guard of civil structures. In other words, bring it all down and rebuild with the scientific method and individual equality.

As we fast forward to our age, we see something new developing. Pluckrose and Lindsay in their work, Cynical Theories, define our current societal upheaval as postmodern. The postmodern person’s summary of thought is that the promises of modernity didn’t fully work. We still feel empty (see below). We see this ever-present attitude even in the rise of dystopian stories in the creative arts.[6] Modernity has failed to deliver in ways that satisfy the masses. So, we find the postmodern person feeling desperate and dejected, left with empty promises and no clear future. The book Cynical Theories says it so well:

Postmodern thinkers reacted to modernism by denying the foundations of some aspects of Modern thought, while claiming that other aspects of Modern thinking didn’t go far enough. In particular, they rejected the underlying modernist desire for authenticity, unifying narratives, universalism, and progress, achieved primarily through scientific knowledge and technology. At the same time, they took the modernists’ relatively measured, if pessimistic, skepticism of tradition, religion, and Enlightenment-era certainty—along with their reliance on self-consciousness, nihilism, and ironic forms of critique—to extremes. Postmodernism raised such radical doubts about the structure of thought and society that it is ultimately a form of cynicism. Postmodernism is also a reaction to and rejection of modernity, meaning “the profound cultural transformation which saw the rise of representative democracy, the age of science, the supersedence of reason over superstition, and the establishment of individual liberties to live according to one’s values.” Although postmodernism openly rejects the possibility of the foundations that have built modernity, it has nevertheless had a profound impact on the thinking, culture, and politics of those societies that modernity built.[7]

A large portion of the postmodern populous is not merely moving forward from modernity, they are vehemently rejecting and trying to dismantle it. Postmodernity is “cynicism” embodied. Functionally the postmodern person is attacking the modern world with the same idea tools used to destroy the worldview before it. From the postmodern person’s perspective, modernity has failed, and just like their predecessors they want to start over again. 

The progressive left has aligned itself not with Modernity but with postmodernism, which rejects objective truth as a fantasy dreamed up by naive and/or arrogantly bigoted Enlightenment thinkers who underestimated the collateral consequences of Modernity’s progress.[8]

Postmodern Theory and liberalism do not merely exist in tension: they are almost directly at odds with one another. Liberalism sees knowledge as something we can learn about reality, more or less objectively; Theory sees knowledge as completely created by humans—stories we tell ourselves, largely in the unwitting service of maintaining our own social standing, privilege, and power.[9]

            The evidence is clear. Postmodernity isn’t really a forward step for humanity as much as it is an attempt to erase our past, again. It is an attempt to “start over.” It is a destruction, not a creation. Therefore, we see the very idea tools of Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche reemerging, albeit with new language and reformed axioms. We are yet again in an age of destruction, an age of erasing. 

Looking at society’s structures:

All humans are religious, even while many claim not to be. Subverting Global Myths challenges our global perspectives of personal rights, religion and even society. One group’s altruistic endeavor or national right can quickly become another group’s terrorist attack. The author even takes aim at the media for working to pin global violence on religion when in fact, as he supports below, atheistic administrations are extremely guilty of “religious” violence too. Arguably, even more so. There is no such thing as non-religious. 

Even the most “secular” of states worships such surrogate gods as “national security,” “market forces,” “technological imperatives,” “economic growth” and “patriotism.” The biblical term for such prostration before human creations is idolatry, and the propensity to idolatry is endemic in all human individuals and societies. Idols not only blind us to ultimate realities, but they exact a heavy price. They demand human sacrifices and, as we have learned painfully in recent years, wreak havoc on the nonhuman world.[1]

We are brought to a very important question: What is the superstructure that makes our civil actions right to us? The author continues by showing that we in the West are heavily influenced by part of Christian morality while rejecting its meta narrative. Even those who can understandably be critical of how Christianity and religion have been applied to society agree that Christian ethic is in American DNA.[10] The postmodern person wants moral law with no moral law giver. In essence the postmodern person wants morals with no divine moral compass. The postmodern person will evangelize their faith all while claiming there is no objective faith that needs to be adhered to. The reality is Christianity isn’t merely a set of subjective morals to adhere to. Its weight is in the belief in a supreme God, believing in divine guidance, believing in our origin from a divine mind that is intentional and personal. The postmodern person misses that religion’s power (especially Christianity) is in believing in a heavenly destination where all will be made right. The power of religion (again, especially Christianity) is believing that its morals are not subjective and that they transcend human preference. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23 [11] There is weight in real belief. Moreover, many of the morals in scripture require one to walk in humility and may even require selflessness, possibly unto death. What drives us to practice charity at great personal cost? Knowing this life is not the end and the faithful will be rewarded. 

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” [12]

            Since modern man has partially embraced Christian morals without heaven’s hope, we find them “held captive by fear and death” and an insatiable need to define right and wrong based on their own pseudo “Christian” definitions of justice. 

In the absence of biblical hope, which is grounded neither in futurology nor in romantic (man-made) utopias but in the promises of God, entire societies are held captive to the merchants of fear and death. [13]

            Our current structures are both Christian and antichristian. Many of our movements from abortion clinics to the LGBTQ agenda have a desire for justice and individual rights that originate in Christian morality and yet reject other parts of Christianity. This lack of objective truth and hope also makes a type of religious zealot. One that will hurt anyone, give fully of themselves and demand adherents all while saying moral right and wrong is subjective. Look for the cognitive dissonance. The voices that demand the poor single pregnant teenager undergo an abortion to help with the mother’s hardships has the residue of Christianity. Yet, they lose the total picture of a Christian ethic by aborting the baby. Unlike the postmodern subjective ethic, Christians can look at people, even their own, who don’t take care of the mother well and call both the abandonment of the mother and the abortion sin. The postmodern subjective ethic is creating a cognitive dissonance and it is the fundamental tension much of the culture lives in. It doesn’t work. By rejecting an objective law giver and a hope that a good God will make all things right they are devolving into “religious” tribal extremists. We are not progressing; we are devolving into tribalism. 

Ramachandra also details what a right Judeo-Christian tradition looks like and how it offers a unique emphasis on human rights and civil harmony. An objective ethic beyond human preferences is necessary and it is what makes Christianity, when rightly applied, incredibly effective at civil charity. This requires not only the charity of Jesus in this life but the hope of heaven for the next. [14] I will address this divine therapeutic more below. 

The embodied evidence we see in culture: 

            Outside of recognizing society’s philosophies we also can know a culture’s foundational belief by the evolution of their practiced holidays and accepted art. In the subsequent section any prolific reader will quickly note that many of the mentioned Christian activities aren’t Christian in their origin. I agree, and that idea alone deserves a critical eye through multiple lenses far beyond this paper. The way Christianity redeems practices rather than makes new ones is very important to note. In a sense, Christianity isn’t a cultural practice but a shaper of cultural practices. Christ took the cross, a torture device from ancient Rome, and made it into an emblem of love and redemption. This modality of redemption is prevalent where Christianity is practiced well and many of the practices we now believe to be Christian are a redeemed practice from another culture. For the sake of brevity, I will intentionally leave out this important history and merely report on what currently is practiced broadly in the American Midwest.  

            The United States has 12 permanent federal holidays according to the Congressional Research Service R41990:

The United States has established by law the following 12 permanent federal holidays, listed in the order they appear in the calendar: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Inauguration Day (every four years following a presidential election), George Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Although frequently called public or national holidays, these celebrations are only legally applicable to federal employees and the District of Columbia, as the states individually decide their own legal holidays.[15]

            The above report also gives the history to each of these holidays. The heart of a country is seen in its nationally recognized celebrations. On June 28, 1870 the observance of these holidays was put into law: New Year’s day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

            On June 28, 1870, the first federal holidays were established for federal employees in the District of Columbia. Apparently drafted in response to a memorial drafted by local “bankers and business men,” the June 28 act provided that New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day, and “any day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States as a day of public fasting or thanksgiving [were] to be holidays within the District [of Columbia].” This legislation was drafted “to correspond with similar laws of States around the District,” and “in every State of the Union.”[16]

This, along with many other examples, show how deeply aspects of Christianity were woven into the fabric of the United States. The evolution of new holidays like Martin Luther King Day and Juneteenth also speak to a fundamental Christian ethic. From the celebration of Christmas to the newer holidays like the aforementioned ones, there is no doubt the ideas and ethic of Christianity are in us by evidence of our celebrations. We are a country in trajectory of giving equal rights to all humanity. 

Galatians 3:25-29

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. [17]

We should acknowledge Christianity was prevalent in the United States while sinful things like human trafficking, slavery or the oppression of women existed, but it’s equally clear that a Christian ethic has worked like a therapeutic to eliminate them. This journey is evident by our history of holidays alone and shows the effectiveness of Christianity. 

            We are even working to give value rights to those the Christian would see as sinful. We look to the heroes of today that will possibly shape the celebrations of the future. Today we have people like Ellen DeGeneres,[18] an outspoken homosexual who is also a syndicated television talk show star. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple technologies and arguably one of the most successful executives ever, who is also a well-known proponent of homosexuality.[19] Even people like Colin Kaepernick, a professional athlete who started the movement of refusing to stand during the singing of the National Anthem to be a disruption that brought attention to minorities.[20] As you expand the circle of cultural heroes to include the creative arts we see Black Panther (note Killmonger was also made to be given sympathy), Black Widow and the new Amazon.com’s version of Cinderella. They celebrate minorities, women, and even transexual people. The Christian ethic values human life, all life, even the lives of those who are from other nations and socioeconomic status. Christians even value the life of those who aren’t Christian. I point this out only to show the cultural progression. Ironically, the postmodern person who rejects Christianity enjoys the freedoms they now have because of a Christian prime rubric that highly values all people. Ironically, as the postmodern person rejects Christianity, they will lose the ethic that set them free. We already can see it. We don’t have Christian tolerance for all anymore; we have tribalism emerging that requires no obligation to tolerate those who believe differently. Where does this lead?

Culture’s Force and Movement:

Even now, as postmodern ideas work to dismiss not only religion but modernity, we are finding people not joining together but delineating into this tribalism. This is noticed by not only Christians but relatively secular groups too. A broadly read pop culture magazine called The Atlantic offers an interesting article in which Shadi Hamid makes this problem clear. 

But if secularists hoped that declining religiosity would make for more rational politics, drained of faith’s inflaming passions, they are likely disappointed. As Christianity’s hold, in particular, has weakened, ideological intensity and fragmentation have risen. American faith, it turns out, is as fervent as ever; it’s just that what was once religious belief has now been channeled into political belief. Political debates over what America is supposed to mean have taken on the character of theological disputations. This is what religion without religion looks like.[21]

The Atlantic continues this thought by noting the emerging tribalism that is happening in our country. To the postmodern, the belief is religion, the empty promises of modernity and current societal structures are what keep us divided and cause most of the suffering. Yet as they begin to tear them to the ground something is emerging, they don’t entirely know what to do with. It is the new tribalism.

When we think of tribalism, we tend to focus on the primal pull of race, religion, or ethnicity. But partisan political loyalties can become tribal too. When they do, they can be as destructive as any other allegiance. The Founders understood this. In 1780, John Adams wrote that the “greatest political evil” to be feared under a democratic constitution was the emergence of “two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” George Washington, in his farewell address, described the “spirit of party” as democracy’s “worst enemy.” It “agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

The causes of America’s resurgent tribalism are many. They include seismic demographic change, which has led to predictions that whites will lose their majority status within a few decades; declining social mobility and a growing class divide; and media that reward expressions of outrage. All of this has contributed to a climate in which every group in America—minorities and whites; conservatives and liberals; the working class and elites—feels under attack, pitted against the others not just for jobs and spoils, but for the right to define the nation’s identity. In these conditions, democracy devolves into a zero-sum competition, one in which parties succeed by stoking voters’ fears and appealing to their ugliest us-versus-them instincts.[22]

The evidence is damning. By the works of western philosophical thought, cultural practices of the current day and by the emerging heroes we celebrate, we find ourselves in a postmodern world, a disappointed world that feels as if it was given false promises. A world that has cognitive dissonance with a deep desire for charity and selflessness to be practiced but no hope of a heaven, a time where all will be rewarded and made right.

Our culture demands charity while stealing away power. They scream over others to be heard, they flip cars, pillage stores and burn buildings while demanding a fair and just society. Most notably, they like parts of our Christian morality, their own salvific history, but reject its divine origin and culmination. In this confusion there is a rising group of people who just want to start over. So, they do as noted above. They turn to the ideas of Marx and Nietzsche again. Not as a hope to believe in but an idea weapon to destroy culture yet again. We need to stop seeing postmodern people as the problem but the product of something The Age of Reason started, and Modernity culminated. The postmodern person is not the sickness but the symptom. They are not our enemy; they are the culmination of us. 

A lesson from the Trinity:

Seeing this through the lens of the Trinity also creates a level of understanding. Dr. Aaron Perry made the case that manmade social constructs operating at their best are to mirror the Trinitarian God. Each of the three branches of the Trinity represent an important attribute that is required for a healthy community to function. The first of the branches is truth, representing the Father. It is the prime compass for understanding what is real and good. Truth is not something humans create; it is something we acknowledge and submit to. The second branch is embodiment, representing Jesus the Son. It is the truth personified perfectly. Knowing truth and embodying it are both required for community to be practiced well. The third of the branches is the ethos, representing the Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian family is the original and perfect rubric for community. This includes everything from families to societies. The way this perfect family interacts theologians call Perichoresis[23], or perfect relating. As David Guretzki stated in his lecture at the Wesley Symposium, Satan’s war on societies has always been centered on the enemy attacking the Trinitarian family model. He will attack submission to an objective truth, the Father. The enemy will attack the agreed upon proper embodiment of truth, Jesus Christ. He will even attack a community’s ethos, the Spirit.  When this falls so will a society.[24] Guretzki goes on to say that “God is working to redeem all things. In the eschaton right order will rightly facilitate human experience.”[25] In other words, the perfect human experience is humanity fully embracing Perichoresis as the model for living. Perfect human families and societies are humans fully embracing the Trinitarian family. 

A lesson from Acts:

            We are not the first to face a decaying disillusioned culture full of prejudice. The Book of Acts is the story of God’s people in a culture that looks very similar to ours. Tribal, disenfranchised, angry, vengeful, and full of a twisted, poisoned version of religion. As Christianity began to emerge in this cacophony of cultures, Christians themselves faced rejection and persecution. Listen to Baker’s Encyclopedia of the Bible describe the cultural bed of Acts.

Persecution against the church in Jerusalem (8:1–3) under Saul’s auspices led to dispersion of Jerusalem Christians into the surrounding regions of Judea and Samaria to the north. Philip’s mission into Samaria is of particular significance because of a longstanding bitterness and animosity between Jews and Samaritans, going back to very early times (see the words of a Samaritan woman to Jesus: “for Jews have no dealings with Samaritans,” Jn 4:9). The Jews regarded Samaritans as racial and religious half-breeds;[26]

I believe we can develop a plan for the future by learning from our past. First, we begin with prayer. We pray for a divine outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Unlike most of all the notable sources above, we are Christian in the sense that we believe God is very real, Jesus truly lived and He really did die and rise again. We believe in the power of prayer and believe in heaven. We are secure and the best part of us can never be stolen away. We believe God will make all things right in the end. So, we begin with fervent grounded prayer. We pray that there would be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in us and through us to these people. Pray their confusion and disillusionment would be a doorway to hear an ancient and glorious hope, Jesus.

            Acts 2:1-4 

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. [27]

Next, we proclaim. We move, like a child learning to walk, with one step being prayer and the next being proclamation. We take every opportunity we can to tell of the good news of Jesus, what He has done and what He is doing today. We invite people to join. Always proclaiming. Always inviting. 

            Acts 2:14-21

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17    ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” [28]

            Like a child learning to walk, we are going somewhere, our eyes are set on a destination, our Father. We, in our adolescence and imperfection, toddle through society and do good while focusing on Jesus. We reach out to the sick, we lift up the broken hearted, we pray for the sick to be healed, we gather the lonely and we show the world what the heart and family of God looks like. 

Acts 5:12-16

12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. [29]

The state of this world shows how discouraged the postmodern person is. In us is a desire for life to be “fairer, freer, and less cruel,”[30] yet every time the postmodern person does this for one group another suffers. Again, postmodernity isn’t a forward step from modernity but heart-breaking realization that man only makes messes. The problem is in us. We need saved from an indwelling sin. The foremost thinkers, even secular ones as noted above, are already realizing that true equity isn’t possible, and I fear what will come next. To use a pop culture metaphor, we are beginning to see that a Capital City (Hunger Games) can only exist if the other districts decay. As this reality hits the masses the people will war over who gets to be “The Capital.” My prayer is that some will see this and become exceedingly hungry for a real divine charitable love. To those few we must make Christ clear! Just like in Acts. We cannot run from this brokenness but align even closer with Christ, the perfect embodiment of Truth, and take the Trinitarian culture back into the world. As Dr. Walter Kim would say, “There is a movable middle,”[31] a group of people that have not rejected Christ and long for a glorious family. Their hearts are warmed to the Gospel, but they have yet to be called into it. Our objective is to pursue, call and disciple these people. Our goal is to teach them the way of Perichoresis, the way of the Trinity, the way of our eternal home.

Resources:

  1. Barron, Robert. “Ideas Have Consequences: The Philosophers Who SHAPED 2020.” YouTube. YouTube, September 18, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KQcm0Mi5To&t=9s
  2. Colin Kaepernick. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Kaepernick
  3. “Congressional Research Service R41990.” Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices, July 1, 2021. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/R41990.pdf.
  4. Ellen DeGeneres. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_DeGeneres
  5. Guretzki, David. Lead 725 Transformational Leadership Symposium at Wesley Seminary. September 21, 2021
  6. Hamid, Shadi. “America without God.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, March 11, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/america-politics-religion/618072/. 
  7. Haselby, Sam. “Perspective | What Politicians Mean When They Say the United States Was Founded as a Christian Nation.” The Washington Post. WP Company, April 1, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/07/04/what-politicians-mean-when-they-say-america-was-founded-as-a-christian-nation/. 
  8. Manfred T. Brauch, “Acts of the Apostles, Book of The,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 20.
  9. Kim, Walter. Lead 725 Transformational Leadership Symposium at Wesley Seminary. September 24, 2021
  10. Perry, Aaron. Lead 725 Transformational Leadership Symposium at Wesley Seminary. September 20, 2021
  11. Pluckrose, Helen; Lindsay, James A.. Cynical Theories . Pitchstone Publishing. Kindle Edition.  
  12. Ramachandra, (p. 13). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
  13. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016
  14. Tim Cook. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook
  15. Popular dystopian pop culture stories: Nineteen Eight-Four by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Brave New World by Aldus Huxley, Blindness by Jose Saramago, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Stand by Stephen King, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 

[1] Barron, Robert. “Ideas Have Consequences: The Philosophers Who SHAPED 2020.” YouTube. YouTube, September 18, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KQcm0Mi5To&t=9s. 

[2] Barron, Robert. 4:01

[3] Barron, Robert. 6:05

[4] Barron Robert. 16:31

[5] Barron, Robert. 13:24

[6] See a list of popular dystopian stories in the Reference section. 

[7] Pluckrose, Helen; Lindsay, James A.. Cynical Theories . Pitchstone Publishing. Kindle Edition.

[8] Pluckrose, Lindsay, Kindle Edition. Locaton 88

[9] Pluckrose, Lindsay, Kindle Edition. Location 3954

[10] Sam Haselby, “Perspective | What Politicians Mean When They Say the United States Was Founded as a Christian Nation,” The Washington Post (WP Company, April 1, 2019), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/07/04/what-politicians-mean-when-they-say-america-was-founded-as-a-christian-nation/.

[11] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 6:23.

[12] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 5:1–14.

[13] Ramachandra, Vinoth. Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping Our World (p. 10). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

[14] Ramachandra, (p. 13). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

[15] “Congressional Research Service R41990.” Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices, July 1, 2021. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/R41990.pdf. 

[16] Congressional Research Service, pg. 1,2 

[17] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ga 3:25–29.

[18] Ellen DeGeneres. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_DeGeneres

[19] Tim Cook. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook

[20] Colin Kaepernick. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Kaepernick

[21] Hamid, Shadi. “America without God.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, March 11, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/america-politics-religion/618072/. 

[22] Chua, Amy; Rubenfeld, Jed. “The Threat of tribalism” https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/the-threat-of-tribalism/568342/

[23] Perry, Aaron. Lead 725 Transformational Leadership Symposium at Wesley Seminary. September 20, 2021

[24] Guretzki, David. Lead 725 Transformational Leadership Symposium at Wesley Seminary. September 21, 2021

[25] Guretzki, David. 

[26] Manfred T. Brauch, “Acts of the Apostles, Book of The,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 20.

[27] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ac 2:1–4.

[28] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ac 2:14–21.

[29] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ac 5:12–16.

[30] Pluckrose, Helen; Lindsay, James A.. Cynical Theories . Pitchstone Publishing. Kindle Edition.  

[31] Kim, Walter. Lead 725 Transformational Leadership Symposium at Wesley Seminary. September 24, 2021

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Mike & Leslie Colaw

Husband, father, pastor. I work here www.encountertrinity.com. Wrestle through ideas here www.luke117.com. I don't have all the answers, but I love the journey searching for them!

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