Green Leaf Press Quarterly Newsletter, January, 2009
We have the responsibility and opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. The ministry of Green Leaf Press is to offer books that will help people to understand Christianity, and will help them articulate that faith.
The most important matter for every human being is his or her relationship with God. Nothing else matters until that issue is recognized. Not to give it top priority is to engage in folly. Everyone of us is moving toward that day when we will die (or when Jesus comes triumphantly to Earth) and find ourselves either in the eternal presence of our God and Savior or judged by him and eternally excluded from his presence. However successful or recognized a person may be—to live this life without its end in view is foolish and ultimately tragic.
The Christian community finds itself engaged in a contest with an antagonistic secular atheism. Atheists and agnostics comprise perhaps seven percent of the population in the United States—but the percent of the population that thinks with a secular point of view is much larger than that Much of the media and a substantial proportion of the established universities are thoroughly secular. And there are many people who think of themselves as Christians, but their worldview is not Christian; it is secular. That is, God is not a part of the picture. Many think about their lives, their ambitions, the world we live in without any meaningful recognition of God. Most secularists neither care nor understand the Christian’s concern about abortion, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that we are to be free from greed—that it is good to intentionally limit the extent of our desires.
Perhaps the most severe gap between a Christian worldview and a secular world- view has to do with anthropology; our understanding of the basic nature of human beings. That there is pervasive evil in the world is painfully evident, although some may choose to give it another name than evil. For example, some Darwinists (not all) push the idea of evolution to the extent that human free will is eliminated; fatalism is either reluctantly or even gladly accepted. If we are simply the product of our biological heritage, there is no place for sin or evil. In the view of Darwinistic evolution, what we call sin is a manifestation of our animal nature In fact, Dr. William Provine, a prominent biologist at Cornell University, suggested that it is wrong to put any person in prison, since those we consider to be criminals are only doing what their animal nature dictates! J. Budziszewski quotes Provine, "No purposive principles exist in nature...No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life."1 I think that a variety of this thinking informs much of the sex education taught in our schools.
Many of the people, in the world in which we live, have a serious theological problem, because they are unsure what cause to attribute to human misbehavior. And because they do not understand the cause—they do not understand the true solution. The Bible portrays human beings as suffering from a sinful nature; that everyone has a propensity to sin. Those who care recognize that the problem of rebellion against God is severe.
But the secular perspective is to deny that reality. Karl Marx saw the effects of sin, but he attributed them to the private ownership of property. Do away with the private ownership of property and people will generously provide for one another. Some may shrug their shoulders and say, "well it is just a bad idea." The problem is that Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, and other Communist leaders slaughtered 100 million of their own citizens, not in warfare, but to maintain political control in the name of such an idea.
The problem of sin should be evident in our personal struggles to do what is right. And consider human behavior
+how many times do we hear of mothers killing their own children?
+Fathers who kill entire families because they are unhappy
+the ever present threats of robbery and violence
+the pirates in Somalia
+the total corruption of governments in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Sudan, and North Korea—to name a few
+Germany and the Holocaust
+the drug traffickers making a mockery of Mexican justice
+the meanness, cruelty, selfishness, and rudeness of people
+the incessant wars engaged in by the human race
How long of a list do we need?
Other explanations are offered. Some of them may ameliorate the symptoms, but do not get at the underlying cause:
+Psychiatry+Avoid eating the wrong food
+Improve economic policies and regulations
+Heredity/DNA offer an explanation (or an excuse!)
+Legislative enactments (We surely need some of them, but how many laws are on the books of our nation, states, counties, and cities?)
We understand that the problem of sin is so great—that the only means of forgiveness is through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Sin means that measured by God’s standards we all fall woefully short. We need to be considerate, polite, and thoughtful when speaking with others. But we also need to be forthcoming. We need to speak the truth—not dodge the issue. Green Leaf Press seeks to strengthen people in their awareness of the issues and in the proper authority and solutions that God gives to us. Life is too important for us to remain silent.
Foster H. Shannon, President
II Timothy 2:24,25, "And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth,"
1Uncommon Dissent, William A Dembski, Editor, page 100.
Green Leaf Press, Inc., P.O. Box 880, Alhambra, CA 91802-0880 Phone: (626) 281-7221 FAX:323-221-4334
Board of Directors:Robert Curtis, Jean Haserot, Eric Hoey, Al Soo Hoo, Bibiana Soo Hoo, Dean Rowley, Foster Shannon, Janis Shannon, Darrel Sager, Jim Stockl, John Van Genderen, Matthew Welde
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