The Abolition of Man (1943) by C.S. Lewis
Kairos Podcast Review on Books & Culture
Reviewer: David B.C. Tan
Discussant: Micheal Lim
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Book Review: The Abolition of Man
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In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis sets out to persuade his audience of the importance and relevance of universal values such as courage and honor in contemporary society. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments.” (C.S. Lewis)
By it [right sentiments] Lewis means “emotions conform[ing] to Reason.” As he explains it, “The heart never takes the place of the head: but it can, and should, obey it…For Lewis the ability to have right sentiments is what separates humans from animals…The failure to nurture right sentiments ultimately results in the abolition of man, Lewis contends, because modern education produces “what may be called Men without Chests.” (Enc. Britannica)
In Lewis’s template, “the head rules the belly through the chest”—the chest is the mediator between our animal urges and minds and is the mechanism for training and tempering the belly. Without the chest, our disordered loves run wild. (J. Kohm)
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The Bible and Homosexuality
Outline of Talk
A. Getting the Facts Right
– possible causes of homosexuality and homosexual life-style.
– Can homosexual change?
– What the bible says about homosexual practice.
B. Relevant Biblical Texts
– Matt. 19:1-6 – God’s creation order of heterosexual marriage.
– Gen. 19:4-8; Jude 7 – Judgment on Sodom.
– Lev. 18:22; Lev. 20:13 – Homosexual practice as an abomination to the Lord.
– 1 Sam. 18 – Were David and Jonathan in a homosexual relationship?
– Rom. 1 – Homosexual practice is “contrary to nature” or disordered desire.
– 1 Cor. 6:9-10. Homosexual practice, along with other sexual sins condemned..
1. Sexual complementarity is good.
2. Marriage is good.
3. Sex is good – Sacramental reminder of the joys of first love.
4. Family Reproduction is good. Learning to love and give.
D. Final Challenge
– Fulfilment in Christ beyond sex.
– We seek humbly to share the wholeness found in God’s grace that brings liberation and substantial healing to our brokenness.
Nashville Statement (2017): A Coalition For Biblical Sexuality
I. Augustine: Putting Pagan* Learning to Right Use
CHAP. 40. Whatever has been rightly said by the heathen, we must appropriate to our uses
60. Moreover, if those who are called philosophers, and especially the Platonists, have said aught that is true and in harmony with our faith, we are not only not to shrink from it, but to claim it for our own use from those who have unlawful possession of it. For, as the Egyptians had not only the idols and heavy burdens which the people of Israel hated and fled from, but also vessels and ornaments of gold and silver, and garments, which the same people when going out of Egypt appropriated to themselves, designing them for a better use, not doing this on their own authority, but by the command of God, the Egyptians themselves, in their ignorance, providing them with things which they themselves were not making a good use of [Exod. 3:21, 22; 12:35, 36]; in the same way all branches of heathen learning have not only false and superstitious fancies and heavy burdens of unnecessary toil, which every one of us, when going out under the leadership of Christ from the fellowship of the heathen, ought to abhor and avoid; but they contain also liberal instruction which is better adapted to the use of the truth, and some most excellent precepts of morality; and some truths in regard even to the worship of the One God are found among them. Continue reading “Christian Annexation and Transformation of Pagan Learning: From Augustine and Boethius to John Calvin”
The “Sokal Affair” (1996) was an expose pulled off by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University when he submitted for publication, a grand-sounding spoof article “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” He claimed in the article that postmodern science based on theories by Jacques Lacan and Iris Irigaray demonstrates that quantum gravity within the framework of reality as a social and linguistic construct and its multidimensional manifolds topological space, transgresses the concept of objective truth and thus provides “powerful intellectual support for the progressive project, understood in its broadest sense: transgressing of boundaries, the breaking down of barriers. the radical democratization of all aspects of social, economic, political, and cultural life.”* The article was accepted and published by the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (Duke University Press) in 1996. The publication of a spoof article laced spurious physics by an established journal became a scandal. It also confirmed that much of postmodern theories is just academic nonsense or in the words of Sokal, “intellectual impostures.” Continue reading “Exposing Academic Nonsense and Intellectual Impostures”
Welcome to the New Internet Order under the regime of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple–The Four Horsemen?
Look at frightening power wielded by these Four Horsemen as they gang up to destroy a new kid on the block – Parler! They can even cut off the media platform of a sitting President with impunity? The issue is not Trump (elected Presidents come and go, but the dignity of the President Office is at stake). Put in perspective, our concern is not American politics, but the awesome power of the Four Horsemen. At the moment they are going after Conservatives (Christians and others), one day they will be coming for you – surely WhatsApp users will agree? Continue reading “Can These be the Four Horsemen? Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple?”
As the conversations continue, Camus begins to read the Bible, sometimes he confesses not to have done before. In fact he does not even own one; so Mumma gets one for him, and Camus starts with Genesis. This raises the issue whether the Bible is to be taken literally, especially the story of Adam and Eve. When Mumma interprets it as a parable of the origin of the conscience, in short, a tale putting the origin of evil in the attempt of human beings to make themselves gods, Camus find the story to ring true.
While Mumma’s answers are broadly speaking neo-orthodox, not quite those of an evangelical would likely give, the theology is traditional at heart, and it is in line with Camus’ own understanding of human nature.
Source: Camus the Christian? A pastor describes how the great existentialist atheist asked him late in life, Do you perform baptisms?
by James W. Sire 23 Oct 2000
Often times we find God in our distinctive ways, some intellectually, some emotionally, some through insights of wisdom, some through hard lessons of life and some even find God in ‘silly’ ways. Conversely, maybe it is more accurate to say that God reaches out to us wherever we are and touches us where it matters most. He will then take us further on from there.
** This is a Retro post taken from my Facebook (4 April 2020) which will be closed in due time.
I posted in Facebook some of Tim Challies’ observations in his review of Scott David Allen’ s book, Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice (Credo House Pub., 2020).
Social Justice Redefined:
Scott David Allen notes the contemporary redefinition of “justice”: “Deconstructing traditional systems and structures deemed to be oppressive, and redistributing power and resources from oppressors to their victims in the pursuit of equality of outcome.” It is obsessed with power, privilege, oppression, and victimization; it uses pragmatic tactics to cow dissenters into submission; it fixates on identity markers such as class, race, gender, and sexual orientation; it is openly hostile to Judeo-Christian religion; it is militant against the natural family and traditional sexuality; and it focuses on the redistribution of wealth and power by means of a powerful state apparatus…
Scott Allen Contrasts this New Definition with Biblical Justice:
Conformity to God’s moral standard as revealed in the Ten Commandments and the Royal Law: “love your neighbor as yourself.” [Its two components are:]
Communitive Justice: living in right relationship with God and others; giving people their due as image-bearers of God.
Distributive Justice: impartially rendering judgment, righting wrongs, and meting out punishment for lawbreaking. Reserved for God and God-ordained authorities including parents in the home, elders in the church, teachers in the school, and civil authorities in the state. Continue reading “Biblical Justice and Black Lives Matter. Review and Comments”
Virtue signaling in solidarity with “social justice warriors” is becoming popular among Christian social activists. “Wokeness” is sweeping across mainline denominations and some conservative seminaries. Even the Southern Baptist Convention (historically the bulwark of theological conservatism) is experiencing division as some of its influential leaders eagerly join the bandwagon.
We are puzzled when highly intelligent and idealistic people are caught up in the ideological madness of crowds currently sweeping across the USA. We are troubled by incidents when some social activists who started their mission with righteous ideals end up becoming self-righteous and judgmental towards people who don’t share their avant-garde views. Continue reading “How I Left the Social Justice Cult”
The Humanist UK website describes a “humanist” as someone who (1) trusts the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic), (2) makes ethical decisions based on reason, empathy and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals, and (3) believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.
Presumably, this description would be accepted as a representative view by contemporary humanism movements. This view of humanism rejects supernaturalism and reduces human beings to materialistic objects without souls which would be antithetical to Christian beliefs. On the other hand, Christianity affirms virtues like empathy and concern for human beings and the importance of realizing meaning and happiness in this life. Continue reading “Christian Humanism”