One of the things I've mentioned more than a few times — here on the blog as well as on the radio show — is that most Christians today don't really know what they believe beyond a generic, vanilla brand of faith which nearly every Christian can agree with. And now it appears the even Chuck Colson agrees with me ;~).
[The church] doesn't know what it believes, or doesn't believe what's it's been taught to believe. So if that's the case, we can't live it, and even more serious, we can't define it to the world. More importantly, the atheists (Hitchens, Lewontin, Dawkins, et al) and other non-theists end up defining Christianity (creating a caricature) for those who don't know any different–because we can't define it & defend it ourselves. ~ Chuck ColsonA few months ago, Colson released a book that addresses some these issues. I haven't read it yet, but plan to pick it up soon. The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters - by Chuck Colson & Harold Fickett
Here are a few excerpts from various reviews:
He writes: “Most professing Christians don’t know what they believe, and so can neither understand nor defend the Christian faith—much less live it” (p.9).
. . . to carry out the tasks we are given in the first chapters of Genesis, to bring a redeeming influence into a fallen culture. I call this the Cultural Commission…” (p.107). The task is difficult, hindered by postmodern influences on the younger generation. Young adults “resist direct presentations of the Christian faith and its ethical implications” resulting in Biblical illiteracy (p. 62). Stories and experiences appeal to them more than the Bible or doctrinal teachings. [However], Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
I was impressed and in concurrence with Mr. Colson that the foundations on which our faith is built are largely ignored or lightly touched upon within the Western Christian world; namely the U.S. and Europe. He identifies the historic foundations on which our faith is built and then brings a relevancy to them with his personal experiences and stories of contemporary figures.
The Faith defines faith as “more than a religion or even a relationship with Jesus; the faith is a complete view of the world and humankind’s place in it” (p.28).
Colson sticks to orthodoxy in his explanation of tenets and doctrines without the pluralistic overtones taken by many of today's religious leaders. Colson pulls no punches and takes no prisoners while explaining issues about Jesus and the Trinity. On occasion, he even takes on Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins who have attacked Christianity with an almost religious fervor and zeal. Colson doesn't stoop to their level; however, he avoids hate mongering and keeps a cool head while pointing out where their logic fails.
And as a very late follow-up to my post of June 17, titled You're Such a Flirt - Here's one of my favorite authors from World magazine, Andrée Seu (and more here), commenting on the issue of flirting: