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Modern-day ‘Advancement’ compared to absolute truth in new Bush book

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Christian philosopher and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professor L. Russ Bush’s new book, “The Advancement,” examines flaws in the naturalistic perspective and points to Christ as the answer for an unbelieving world.

In the book, Bush describes the tenets of postmodern evolutionary thought and offers a Christian response. He exhorts believers to become informed on these issues, spurn compromise and defend their faith against the shift that has taken place in the predominant cultural paradigm.

“Intellectual leaders who guide the Christian community through these final days … must be able to discern the dangers of intellectual compromise,” Bush writes. “The church has greater spiritual power than all of her enemies combined, but compromise is her Achilles’ heel.”

Bush noted in an interview that some Christians “don’t understand what’s happened. The world around them is not like it was when they grew up, when there was more of a cultural consensus that Christianity was important truth. Now there’s more of a cultural consensus that it’s irrelevant and off to the side.”

Bush described “The Advancement” as the product of about 10 years of intermittent periods of work that was completed and released in 2003 because its relevancy is important for the early 21st century.

“The idea was to describe what happened at the end of the 20th century and where we are, but it’s to set a foundation for the future [as well],” Bush said. In the book, Bush uses the term “advancement” for the current era because he feels the currently employed term “postmodern” lacks descriptive content. In contrast, Bush said “advancement” is a good word to describe the popular worldview that the idea of absolute truth, in the midst of man’s wealth and progress, has been discarded as the antiquated view of another era.

However, Bush noted, those who believe that moral principles change along with technology are mistaken.

“They’ve missed the point that their heart and their moral nature [are] not changing like their computers [are] changing,” Bush elaborated. “The nature of sin, being lost, needing to repent and needing to have faith in Christ as the only way of salvation — those kind of things are still just as true today as they were in the first century or the Middle Ages or any other time.”

The God who is the same yesterday, today and forever is the solution to the problems of a world that stakes its hopes on shifting sand, Bush said.

“Stability rather than change is what we need, a true stability based on a foundation on which you can stand that doesn’t give way under your feet every time you turn around,” he said.

Armed with the information Bush presents in his book, what can a concerned believer do to have an impact on his world toward Christ and away from the lie of advancement?

Bush maintained the necessity of believers to share their faith and engage culture with the life-changing power of Christ, emphasizing those aspects of Christianity that make it truly an everlasting and eternal religion.

“Our response to these modern changes has been superficial,” Bush said. “They have to be told that we’re dealing here with the real truth about the universe and about human life. We’re talking about something that’s substantial. We’re talking about something that really does make a difference in your life.”

A display of genuine Christianity that exalts the unchanging character of God, he said, is essential to showing an unbelieving world that life’s answers are in Him.

“Authentic Christianity is the best antidote for a culture that is dying from the venom of advancement,” Bush writes in his book. “The modern world is full of good, but there are also within it some poisons — for all of these things and more, Christ is the answer.”

For Bush, this antidote can be easily summarized: “God does, in fact, exist and all this changing world is not changing Him.”

“The Advancement” has been published by Broadman & Holman, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    About the Author

  • Kyle Smith