How we think about what we are has far-reaching implications, including how we understand growth in Christ and our role in the world. Last week I discussed the dominant view prior to the Enlightenment, which I think got it right. This all changed beginning in the sixteenth century. A seismic shift occurred–out with Aristotle’s view and in again with Plato’s view. We see the results of this shift in many ways to this day.
Tag: History of Christianity
In the wake of the Enlightenment, we all struggle with a lack of connection to others. Not only has the broader culture become highly individualistic, but so has the church. The small group strategy is a main way to counter this tendency1. While promising, this strategy faces two significant challenges, which I have addressed in my last two posts: difficulty in building deep relationships (often because group members are connected only by geography) and a tendency to deteriorate into a superficial, subjective type of Bible study. I discussed how to address the first challenge two weeks ago; in this post I will propose ways to address the second challenge (though some may not be possible until COVID restrictions subside).
With the Enlightenment’s shift in thinking, we became much more individualistic. This shift has had some positive consequences but quite a few negative results, at both work and church. Last week I discussed one way the church attempts to respond to the loneliness and lack of community experienced by many in local congregations, and some ways we can do better. This week I’ll outline a second problem many small groups face, and the following week I will suggest some solutions.
The Enlightenment caused many shifts in our thinking. Last week, I discussed three ways it changed how we think about involvement in a local church. This week I begin discussing a fourth implication of this excessive individualism–the loss of community in our local churches. I also discuss one way this problem is being addressed via two models, one more effective than the other in my opinion.
The eleventh shift in thinking from the pre-modern to the modern era is from an emphasis on the group to an emphasis on the individual. Last week we saw some of the negative implications of this in our work lives. Has this shift from community to individual fared any better for the church?
Two potential internal conceptual problems remain for the Arminian understanding of salvation. If so, these are reasons to reconsider the strength of the other reasons I gave in favor of Arminianism. However, as I’ll argue today, at least the first of these remaining two objections turn out not to be an internal conceptual problem for Arminianism.
So far we’ve explored three external conceptual problems for the soft determinist/Calvinist view of freedom, and, thus the Calvinist view of election. Yet there are still two more external conceptual problems we must consider before drawing a final conclusion.