Jun 15, 2008

A resurgence of God

While waiting in the customer lounge for my brakes to be fixed last month, I found myself staring at the April 2nd, 2007 issue of Time Magazine. There on the cover was this headline: Why We Should Teach The Bible In Public School.

The seven-page article did a pretty fair job of describing how there is a renewed interest in teaching The Bible in American classrooms.   The article stated that at first blush, this concept seems to fly in the face of the constitution.   In 1963, the Supreme Court ruling Abingdon Township School District v. Schempp removed prayer and God from the classroom. Yet it appears many parents and schools wish the Bible to be taught.   They believe "...the Bible so pervades Western culture that it's hard to call anyone educated who hasn't at least given thought to its key passages"   Another University religion professor said that the climate in the United States has changed and religion has "...rushed back to the public square"

I saw this first-hand while we lived in St. Louis.   My daughter, Kyrie, took a class, "Bible as Literature" at the local public high school.   The class didn't advocate for religion, but did describe the Bible's role in shaping the culture.   I went to high school in the '80's and we never would have dreamed of having the Bible taught in a classroom.

But apparently God is becoming popular again.   I recently attended a conference with Dan Kimball, author of "They like Jesus but not the church" as a keynote speaker.   He too described how Jesus has been resurrected in American culture. He showed a picture of Pamela Anderson and Ashton Kutcher both sporting T-shirts emblazoned with "Jesus is my Homeboy!..

But apparently this is not all good news.   Kimble said that the Jesus this world likes is some sort of self-help Guru.   Jesus is cool, but his followers aren't. And now we will have a whole new generation of kids who may be very Biblically-literate and yet still don't understand the significance of Jesus' life and death.

I wonder if all this "God talk" may actually hinder the discussion about the true Jesus.   For Jesus isn't a great guru or the latest fashion statement but so much more.   He is the one mediator between God and people and the only hope for all of us.

Blessings,
Pastor David Hook