EULESS, Texas (BP)–Seemingly every week, catalogs from academic and theological book publishers come across my desk from around the world. One of the things I have noticed about these catalogs is the wide scope and diversity represented in them. I’ve observed, for example, books that tout accounts of homosexuality in the Scriptures or books that celebrate homoerotic theology. I can’t help but shake my head at the way that these perspectives twist the truths of God’s Word to invent skewed perspectives.
But it should not come as much of a surprise to me, I suppose. After all, the trends I see in the academic and theological catalogs mirror the trends evident in popular culture, and this culture represents the battleground on which we fight the values war.
What is this “values war?” It is a battle that pits Christian values against the onslaught of opposing values. Many times, these opposing values crop up in our culture through a myriad of ideas, some of which I will list here: tolerance, “if it feels good do it” mentality, abandoning the traditional family, relativism, selfishness, greed and a lack of character and integrity. We don’t have to look very far to see evidence of these attitudes in our culture: corporate scandal, same-sex marriages and families, “tolerance” and relativism as cultural by-words, rampant sexual promiscuity (and therefore rampant STDs), etc.
You see, our culture influences you, me, our children, our neighbors and our friends. This culture in many ways embraces tolerance and equity while abandoning truth and morality.
Is there any hope that we can win the values war? Are we held captive in our culture? The Bible tells us that we are “more than conquerors” or “super-conquerors” through Christ Jesus. God’s Word also teaches us that in it we find direction, moral truth and practical guidance. My friends, the Scriptures are our lifeline to discerning truth, defending the faith and winning the values war.
We cannot presume that we will know how to stand in the battle if we do not read the Bible. We cannot presume that we will know how to raise our children if we do not read the Bible. We cannot presume to know how to be a good husband, wife, neighbor, friend, church member, employer, employee or citizen if we do not read the Bible.
It’s important that I read those academic and theological catalogues so that I can actively engage the theological world. It’s important that I know what’s going on in our culture and our world. It’s important for us to be both informed and engaged in what is going on in the world around us.
But more important than reading the latest book, magazine or article, seeing the latest movie, TV show or play, it is essential that we read the Bible. In it is our direction for life. In it is the plan to raise our kids and to be a better spouse. In it is the guidance we need to become a better employee, employer, neighbor and friend.
My friends, in the Bible are the truths that will help us win the values war.
For more of Dr. Thomas’ resources, visit LifePoints at www.firstonthe.net.