The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Author: Gary DeMar

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Dark Matter

The March 8, 2008 issue of New Scientist magazine published articles on “dark matter” and “dark energy.”[1] We’re told that 22 percent of the cosmos “seems to be made of invisible dark matter, whose extra gravity helps to bind stars together in galaxies, and galaxies together in clusters.” Seems quite scientific, doesn’t it, although it […]

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

This eerie classic sci-fi drama is based on a Jack Finney story that first appeared in Colliers Magazine in 1954. The short story met with such success that it was rendered into a novel the following year under the title The Body Snatchers, which is on TCM tonight at 9:30 PM (3/31). In 1956, the […]

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Opening Up Gary’s Email Vault

From time to time, I’m going to open up my email box to readers. It’s too bad that I’m not a comedian. There is some great material here. The first one is from a King-James-only advocate. I asked him what a person should do if he or she does not understand English. Is a translation […]

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Aliens as Cosmic Saviors

On Saturday, my wife and I went to see Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage, which is a strange mix of UFOlogy, panspermia, the destruction of Earth by fire (2 Pet. 3:10), the Edenic Tree of Life, and determinism vs. randomness. Cage’s character, John Koestler, is giving a lecture to his astrophysics’ class at M.I.T. when he presents the conundrum of determinism vs. randomness.1 When the class asks him what he believes, he picks randomness. “There is no grand meaning, there is no purpose.” He ends the session with “I think s**t just happens.” The perfect summary of an atheist’s worldview.

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Retiring the Gods from Politics

Recently I have received a number of emails from atheists. This isn’t unusual since American Vision publishes a number of books refuting common atheist arguments, and I’ve written a few articles on the subject as well. American Vision has published four books refuting three top-dog atheists: Letter from a Christian Citizen, Return of the Village Atheist, God Is, and The Deluded Atheist.

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Screening of Collision in Dallas

For a few months now I have been working with a group of producers in the development of the film Collision: Is Christianity Good for the World (Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson). This is one of the most unique debate presentations I have ever seen. While I have participated in traditional talking-head debates, I found the approach taken by award winning music video director Darren Doane in Collision to be so compelling that it might end up changing the way debates are produced. On March 20 and 21, Collision was shown to a group of Christians and atheists at the Christian Book Expo held in Dallas, Texas.

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Not Willing to Go Far Enough

There is no doubt that Francis A. Schaeffer broadened the appeal for biblical world-and-life view Christianity with his popular writing style and activist philosophy. Schaeffer’s popularity was extensive enough that he was recognized by the secular media as the “Guru of Fundamentalism.” Schaeffer filled the intellectual gap that resided in much of fundamentalism. In a sense, he carried on the tradition of his early mentor, J. Gresham Machen. Prior to 1968, little was known of Francis Schaeffer. He had isolated himself from American evangelicalism by ministering to the roaming discards of society who were trekking through Europe hoping to find answers to life’s most perplexing problems.

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Old Calvinism is Now the New Calvinism

“Calvinism is back,” so says David Van Biema in the March 22, 2009 issue of Time magazine. Calvinism is listed as one of “10 ideas changing the world Right now.” It’s third on the list. When most people hear the word “Calvinism,” they bite down only on the gristle of predestination and then spit out the whole piece of meat. There is much more to Calvinism that is obscured by the misapplied aversion to particular redemption. As a student at Reformed Theological Seminary in the 1970s, I was taught that certain cultural applications flowed from a consistent application of Calvinism. Calvinism is synonymous with a comprehensive biblical world-and-life view. Simply put, I was told that the Bible applies to every area of life. To be a Calvinist is to make biblical application to issues beyond personal salvation (Heb. 5:11-14).

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Legalizing Slavery in America

The world is in a mess, and Christians know it. Too many of us believe that we have not been called to change the world. What if centuries ago Christians had taken a similar position? What would the world be like today? John Newton (1725-1807) was an infamous slave trader. The church knows him best as the author of such well-known hymns as “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.” Even while Newton was a Christian, he was also a captain of a slave ship. “Newton penned the beloved hymn ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds in a Believer’s Ear’ during the leisure time afforded by a voyage from Africa to the West Indies.”1 Keep in mind the often repeated claim that Christians are not called to change the world. Following this line of logic, Newton could have remained a slave trader and a good Christian.

In time, however, Newton confessed “shame” for “the misery and mischief to which [he had], formerly, been [an] accessory.” He eventually denounced his former occupation with the publication of Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade (1788), “a stinging attack upon slavery that makes scenes from Alex Haley’s Roots seem mild by comparison.”2 Newton believed, prior to his denunciation of the slave trade, that he could be a good Christian and do nothing to fix social evils. “By 1788 Newton considered it ‘criminal’ to remain silent and not inveigh with evangelical fervor against the entire slave system. This conviction did not arise automatically upon his conversion, but from ethical deliberations that [William] Wilberforce set in motion.”3

England’s abolition movement was almost entirely led by the evangelical wing of the church. At the pleading of Lady Middleton and Bishop Porteus, James Ramsay wrote a long Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies (1784). Ramsay was “convinced that men will not respond to lessons of eternal redemption from those who enslave them on earth, or about heaven when kept in hell. . . . He proposed steps to total Emancipation, and suggested that free labour would yield more profit to plantation owners.”4

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The Collision of Worldviews

You may have read that “the latest American Religious Identification Survey shows that the number of those who believe in no religion at all has almost doubled in the last 18 years, rising from 8 percent to 15 percent since 1990.” Then there’s the article that appeared on the Christian Science Monitor site by Michael Spencer about a coming “evangelical collapse.” Spencer opens the article with these dire conclusions:

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Are You a Schizophrenic Christian?

Worldview conferences are springing up all over. This is a good thing. We’ve moved from Immanuel Kant’s philosophically formulated Weltanschauung to James Orr’s “view of the world” to Abraham Kuyper’s “life-system” to the Dutch Reformed “World-and-Life-View” to simply Worldview. For this, Christians should be thankful. The gospel, the “good news,” is about the full view of the kingdom, both in its comprehensive (the Bible speaks about everything) and personal applications (individual Christians should apply the Bible to every area of life).

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Where the Logic of Unbelief Leads

R.C. Sproul writes that “God’s existence is the chief element in constructing any worldview. To deny this chief premise is to set one’s sails for the island of nihilism. This is the darkest continent of the darkened mind – the ultimate paradise of the fool.” Arguing with people who have set sail “for the island of nihilism” is a frightening ordeal. By pushing them to be consistent with their underlying presuppositions, the philosophical nihilists have become moral nihilists.

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The American Vision