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January 23, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Your money will not make you happy

The fourth chapter of “This is our time” is entitled Shopping for Happiness. In this chapter, Wax sets his sights on the American Dream and the goal that many of us have in our society to accumulate more money and stuff until we have everything we need and have reached a place of comfort and security. He argues that the longing for stability and comfort, where we can rest and enjoy the fruit of our labor, is a good longing. But the lie our culture is feeding us is that the goal of life is to accumulate more money and possessions, and that financial aspiration is a good primary driving force for our actions and choices. ...Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture Tags: Discipleship, Money

January 10, 2017 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

In Christian Smith’s 2006 book “Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Eyes of American Teenagers,” the author coined the phrase Moralistic Therapeutic Deism to summarize the religious beliefs of the majority of teenagers in America. As Smith puts it, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of five core beliefs: 1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth 2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. 3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about one’s self. 4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem. 5. Good people go to heaven when they die. I can’t help but read that list and wonder why this spot-on description of religion in America must only describe teenagers...Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture Tags: American Culture, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

August 2, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Pokemon Go and the discipline of silence

I’ve been leading a book study this summer through Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, a classic book on the central spiritual practices of the Christian faith: prayer, meditation, fasting, confession, worship, etc. This past week, one of the chapters we read was on the discipline of solitude, sometimes known as the discipline of silence. This practice is essentially about listening: having an inward attentiveness to God, even in the midst of noise and confusion. Which naturally makes me think about Pokemon Go....Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture Tags: Discipleship, Pokemon Go

November 17, 2015 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Who is really in charge of your life?

I was reading an article on (the online home of The Atlantic magazine) the other day entitled “Hating Queerness Without Hating the Queer” by Emma Green. The author was writing about what the relationship between LGBT supporters and religiously conservative Americans might look like now that gay marriage is legal and the transgender movement is moving forward. I found the article to be very interesting and respectful in its tone, but there was one section in particular that made me think. Here are Green’s words, discussing the viewpoint of Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:...Keep Reading

Posted in: Culture Tags: Culture, Relativism