Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Forty-nine Propositions or Imperatives

[I make a list of statements or imperatives every year to summarize my class, Christian Ethics and Modern Culture. Here is the list for summer of 2007. These are not arguments, but pithy and provocative points to ponder. The arguments were given in the class. I do give some Scripture references and book citations, though.]

(Danger: this document has not been edited by my wife, editor extraordinaire)

1. Get serious—about God, your soul, your neighbor, your culture, and the world (missions) Avoid trivia. Time is short. See Matthew 6:33.

2. Exegete your soul; exegete the Word; exegete the world. Never stop. Never slacken.

3. Beware of worldliness in all is forms. See Luke 16:15; 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 12:1-2. Worldliness makes godliness seem strange and vice seem normal and appropriate (David Wells). Worldliness may produce great gains for merely human religion, but not for biblical ministry.

4. Don’t let the measure of your ministry extend past the measure of your character. That is, never sacrifice godliness for “effectiveness” or “relevance.”

5. Do not fear misery if it leads to sanctity. See Matthew 5:4; James 4:1-10.

6. Learn to lament—over oneself, over others, over one’s culture, and over the church. Do so with emotional honesty and with biblical hope, based on objective truth revealed in Scripture. See Psalm 88; Ecclesiastes 7:1-5; Romans 8:18-26.

7. In your lamentation, be open to repentance (Matthew 4:17). Do not fear teaching and preaching about repentance. All the prophets preached it, including Jesus. Repentance is “the first word of the gospel.” Without repentance, there is no gospel and no Christian existence. Without it, there is no hope for the church or the culture.

8. Remember that you are always a solider in a spiritual war (Acts 13:1-12; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-9). Demons are real; they don’t like you; you must resist them and their leader and submit to God alone (James 4). On this, see Mark Bubeck, Overcoming the Adversary (Moody); Gary Kinnaman, Overcoming The Dominion of Darkness.

9. The biblical concept of truth is that a true statement corresponds with or matches objective reality. While human knowing is corrupted by sin, knowledge of the things that matters most—divine and human—is possible, desirable, and pertinent.

10. Philosophy is not the enemy of Christianity. To the contrary, the Kingdom of God needs women and men who are philosophically trained and passionate about God and God’s Kingdom. See Acts 17:16-34.

11. Anti-intellectualism is a cruel pox on the face of evangelicalism. It must be removed through teaching, preaching, praying, writing, and living in a way that the truth is rationally and passionately presented.

12. Apologetics is vital to the life of the church and the work of the Kingdom. Never lose your concern for this area of Christian learning. See Isaiah 1:18; Jude 3; Acts 17:16-34; 1 Peter 3:15-17; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

13. Postmodernism as a philosophy has nothing good to offer the church. Anything true it may affirm can be found in other more intellectually respectable philosophical systems. See Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay (IVP, 2000).

14. Postmodernity, as a set of cultural conditions, needs to be taken very seriously with respect to Christian living and mission. Understand its defining features. Do not be bewitched by its allure. Critically use it to advance objective truth for a lost world. For example, consider writing a blog that advances Christian truth in a thoughtful and shrewd manner. See Matthew 10:16.

15. Expose the fact/value dichotomy wherever it corrupts thought—in the culture, the church, and your own soul. Christianity is true, rational, knowable, and pertinent. It must not be banished to a subjective netherworld of personal faith, spirituality, and values that “work for me.”

16. Develop a deeply biblical worldview and teach this to others. See Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 12:1-2. The categories of creation, fall, and redemption are felicitous in this regard. See Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth (Crossway, 2004).

17. The Intelligent Design movement is thrusting a wedge between empirical science and philosophical materialism such that the evidence for design in nature may emerge apart from dogmatic and a priori restrictions. Learn about, teach about, and support this movement. See William Dembski, The Design Revolution (IVP, 2004).

18. Understand and reflect upon the inherent weaknesses of American evangelicalism: its populism, its celebrity orientation, its fear of tradition, creeds, and confessions, its anti-intellectualism, its too often mindless embrace of technology and popular culture.

19. Understand and reflect upon the inherent strengths of American evangelicalism: its emphasis on conversion, its desire to win as many to Christ as possible, its entrepreneurialism, and its respect for the Bible.

20. Learn from the historic creeds, confessions, and catechisms of the Protestant Tradition. These can be found in The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible.

21. Learn how God is using people from other cultures (both within your nation and beyond it) to advance his Kingdom. This helps one evaluate one’s own life, culture, and ministry. I have received invaluable insights from my African friends in this regard. See Phillip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, revised ed. (Oxford, 2007 ); The New Face of Christianity (Oxford, 2006)

22. The Ten Commandments summarize God’s law for believer and unbeliever. They are pertinent for all of life. Study them, teach them, and preach them in connection with “the whole counsel of God,” particularly the Sermon on the Mount.

23. Guard your heart carefully with respect to all sin, particularly sins related to money, sex, and power—the three that bring down the Christian leaders most often.

24. Make room for sabbatarian (Sunday) rest in your life. Otherwise, you will run on fumes and eventually burn out, taking yourself and likely many others down with you.

25. A well-integrated biblical system of ethics involves deontology, virtue, and consequences, as seen in the ethics of Jesus. See Douglas Groothuis, On Jesus (Wadsworth, 2003). This is in an indispensable part of a Christian worldview.

26. Christian leaders should research and develop cogent perspectives on pressing social issues such as abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, reproductive technologies, sexual ethics, war and peace, capital punishment, materialism, and the gender debates. This requires a sound knowledge of both facts and principles.

27. God evaluates us and our culture by how we have treated the last, the least, and the lost. See Matthew 25:31-46. This especially concerns the unborn, the infirm, the poor, the homeless, and the aged. They must be supported and protected through law, politics, the church, and culture at large.

28. The murder of Terri Schiavo in 2005 was a momentous event in American culture and ethics. Remember it; lament it; oppose the mentality that generated it.

29. The gender debate is critical in the church. Develop a biblical and logical view on the matter. Try to be civil with those with whom you disagree. See 1 Corinthians 13.

30. If you think that God equally gifts women in leadership, but does not let them exercise these gifts equally with men in the home and the church, then let that haunt you.

31. The pivotal traditionalist construct, “Equal in being; unequal in role,” is logically contradictory. Therefore, no theology of gender may be built on this faulty foundation. See Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Good News for Women (Baker, 1997) and her chapter in Discovering Biblical Equality (IVP, 2004).

32. “Create silence."—Soren Kierkegaard. Do not try to out-shout or out-entertain the world. Create truth zones, places where knowledge of God and the soul become possible.
33. Turn off as many televisions as possible. TV-B-Gone is helpful in this regard.

34. Dethrone the television from its centrality in the home. Put it in a less conspicuous place or banish it entirely.

35. Try to adjust your sensorium to receiving, treasuring, and presenting the truths that matter most. This means paying careful attention to one’s use of electronic media.

36. Periodically fast from food and entertainment in order to sharpen your spiritual discernment and to engage in constructive spiritual warfare.

37. Jazz is a wonderful art form, despite its lack of popularity today. There are spiritual and moral lessons to be learned from the history and practice of jazz, despite the carnality of many of its luminaries.

38. John Coltrane was the greatest saxophonist of all time. Sonny Rollins is a close second.

39. Kenny G is a crock. His success is evidence of a fallen world.

40. Preaching is “truth through personality”—Phillip Brooks—as is all of ministry.

41. If you preach, get serious about it. “Study until you are full. Think until you are clear. Pray until you are hot.”—Unknown African American preacher.

42. When you preach, do not let the sensibilities of postmodernity set the tone for your preaching. That is, resist the image-orientation; resist entertainment; resist silliness; resist the simplistic. See John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching.

43. When you preach, do not be tied to the clock. Preach the text as the Holy Spirit leads.

44. When you preach, emphasis the truth of Scripture for the glory of God. Don’t waste words. Keep your ego out of it. Use humor carefully and sparingly. See A.W. Tozer’s classic essay, “The Use and Abuse of Humor.”

45. When you preach, preach before “the audit of Eternity” (Kierkegaard), “the audience of One” (Os Guinness).

46. Make reading a high priority in your life and ministry. Recommend good books to people whenever possible—and from the pulpit (in your message and in the sermon notes). If you don’t read, you should not lead.

47. Beware of trendy books, Christian bestsellers, and “methodologies” that reek of social science efficiency. See Os Guinness, Dining with the Devil (Baker, 1993) and Prophetic Untimeliness (Baker, 2003).

48. Read classics and contemporary authors who are serious, rich, and deep. Consider these classical authors: Augustine, Athanasius, Calvin, Luther, Jonathan Edwards, the Puritans as a whole, Pascal, Kierkegaard (but not his religious epistemology). Great Christian writers of the 20th century include: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, Carl F. H. Henry, Walter Martin, and Francis Schaeffer. Several contemporary writers of note are: Os Guinness (read all of his books), Eugene Peterson, James Sire, David Wells, D.A. Carson, and John Piper (but not his views on gender).

49. Don’t use contextualization as a pretext for materialism.

23 comments:

Sam said...

Great post, lots to chew through here.

Anonymous said...

very edifying. Thanks for taking the time to put this up.

ryan

Anonymous said...

Interesting! I appreciate your passion and energy. The following thoughts come from a conservative evangelical/fundamentalist academic; we share the same basic worldview and calling.

1. Never slacken. What does this mean? Re: exegeting the word, you do know that you are required to know (in detail) all the biblical and cognate languages just to start. A PhD in Biblical Studies at a good school will get you started. I doubt that everyone should make that their goal. In fact, I wouldn't even suggest that preachers even undertake such a task, and I daresay that none of the authors you cited make any real attempts at proper exegesis. Have I heard a sermon with solid exegesis? Maybe, but I can’t remember. I prefer a sermon rooted in culture, psychology, and philosophy.

2. "The biblical concept of a true statement." I fear that you have the assumption that there is this monolithic concept of what constitutes a truth statement in the Bible. Consider, for example, the Tower of Babel. According to airtight chronological data (e.g. evidence of writing from Mesopotamian and Egyptian) there were different writing systems prior to the alleged event. The story, however, is designed to ring true, yet it did not happen just so. Unless your concept of "biblical concept of a true statement" allows for intentional misleading, I suggest you nuance your statement. Things are sticky and prickly when it comes to determining biblical truth statements. The more prudent option, I think, would be to remove the biblical aspect from erecting a tower of foundationalism. The Bible is not necessary to defend such a proposition and it only complicates matters.

3. Anti-intellectualism. It depends on how one defines the term. I would say that many of the current authors your suggested advocate a form of anti-intellectualism, and to stay within that small circle of extremely conservative evangelicalism is also anti-intellectual, in my opinion. But that's my opinion.

4. Use different apologetics citations. Isaiah 1:18 has nothing to do with the subject and read the passage in Peter within its literary context. There’s no need to use Bible verses to show that defending and articulating the Christian faith is important. It’s vital to every system of belief.

5. I'm curious about what constitutes a biblical worldview? I hope rape, incest, murder, adultery, (need I continue) isn't on the list. One thing I pray for regularly is "to not have a biblical marriage." I hope you pray the same.

6. Only very few of the creeds can be found in that study Bible. Don't you think people should be conversant with other denominations, too? Like Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy?

7. I'm encouraged to see that you quoted P. Jenkins rather than something like P. Johnstone. Some people feel so convinced in American evangelicalism/fundamentalism that they don't count some of more bizarre Pentecostal movements in Africa as Christianity. (Oddly, those are the people who've never been to Africa and write out of dogmatic ignorance).

8. The Ten Commandments, seriously? You believe your wife is property? Interesting. By the way, there are two different scribal traditions about the Ten Commandments, depending on how the Hebrew is accented. Please don't say the Ten Commandments in the NIV.

9. I appreciate how you appealed to pragmatism rather than to some odd scripture for taking a day of rest. Well done!

10. I appreciate number 27. Very incisive.

11. I appreciate your take on the gender debate. Far too often, Christians feel compelled to take these texts literally (save the passage about how women are saved in Timothy). It seems better just to keep them irrelevant and to say they are only for the early church. Wise move.

12. I appreciate your emphasis on silence and reflection. The monks have a lot of wisdom. But I would hasten to add two points: 1) my time on the internet and almost all literature found in a Christian bookstore is simply pointless and 2) I make no such attempt at abstaining from the internet (reading blogs) or from watching TV. Let's embrace our hypocrisy.

13. I'm troubled by your book recs. I would say that the list is too myopic and self-affirming. Further, I hardly doubt that C. S. Lewis, Sayers, or Chesterton would champion people like W. Martin. They were wary of fundamentalism. The great contemporary Christian theologians occupy the best academic chairs (surprise, surprise)--Hauerwas, Volf, Neville, etc... The get the attention at AAR meetings and they have lots of gifted students begging to study under them.

I appreciate your no-holds barred approach, but I think that some of your thoughts need to be tempered. That is to say that they aren't perfect. Neither are mine. Each of your propositions contains a dialogue that'll never be ironed out--they'll always be a work in progress. Your thoughts are forcing me to reassess my worldview, I hope mine are somewhat helpful.

Bill said...

Very thought provoking post . . . I will "chew" on these for while. And also, it is obvious that you didn't let your wife edit before publishing--just read the disclaimer!!

(Danger: this document has not be edited by my wife, editor extraordinaire)

I believe the "be" should have been "been" :-)

John Stockwell said...

DG wrote, in part:
...
11. Anti-intellectualism is a cruel pox on the face of evangelicalism. It must be removed through teaching, preaching, praying, writing, and living in a way that the truth is rationally and passionately presented.

...
13. Postmodernism as a philosophy has nothing good to offer the church. Anything true it may affirm can be found in other more intellectually respectable philosophical systems. See Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay (IVP, 2000).

...17. The Intelligent Design movement is thrusting a wedge between empirical science and philosophical materialism such that the evidence for design in nature may emerge apart from dogmatic and a priori restrictions. Learn about, teach about, and support this movement. See William Dembski, The Design Revolution (IVP, 2004).


These three are in contradiction.

Starting with the last one. Dr. Groothuis' statement that ID is supposed to "drive a wedge between empirical science and philosophical materialism" is false. There is a complete lack of empirical science in the ID movement.

Indeed, ID is composed entirely of ad hoc rules that are totally unsupported by empirical evidence. Yet, proponents of ID demand a free pass for thier ideas into the world of science. Such a free pass would be the destruction of the epistemological structure that we call "science" in favor of the old time method of "solving" problems by merely proposing ad hoc hypotheses.

In this sense, ID is the very flower of postmodern intellectual relativism. Indeed, postmoderism has little to offer anybody, except spindoctoring politicos, such as those at the Discovery Institute. (As with traditional creationism, intelligent design creationism is patently anti-intellectual.)

It is more likely that ID will become a Wedge that is driven between well-meaning lay people and the cash in their wallets. (Do you ever wonder who supports the Discovery Institute? When will they notice that they are not getting anything for their money??)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed these aphorisms and hope you write more in the future. Thank you and God Bless...RM

Fletcher said...

Stockwell, I am at work and don't have the time (nor do I think it's worth my time given your historical posts) to present an arsenal of arguments against your post.

I just want to say, in all honesty, that your post is ridiculous and a waste of time to read. You say the same things over and over again, and you ignore the arguments for ID because they don't match your definition of what science must be.

Hypothetically: If ID is true, how would you go about finding out?

Since you live in the Denver area, I would love to see you and Dr. G publicly debate intelligent design, although I doubt Doug would want to waste his time. Last time he debated ID in public Eller came absent of real arguments and only used ad hominem and smart alecky attacks. He really embarrassed his cause.

Anonymous said...

"I would say that many of the current authors your suggested advocate a form of anti-intellectualism, and to stay within that small circle of extremely conservative evangelicalism is also anti-intellectual, in my opinion."

You know, it's kind of funny. Whenever someone accuses me of anti-intellectualism for reading conservative evangelical books, such as J P Moreland, or William Lane Craig, etc, the person in question has not read any of them nor knows what other books I have read.

Also, what authors do you intend to include? CS Lewis advocates reading books of all time spans, Chesterton engages in intellectuals of all stripes during his time, etc. . .
- Ben Z

Anonymous said...

I've read most of J. P. Moreland's and several of W. L. Craig's books. You're probably correct that most people who lob that accusation are ignorant of their works. I welcome your wry sense of humor.
Lewis and Chesterton were robust in their interests. I would start reading the books that they read. (One could take liberty with some medieval literature. For example, Trolius and Cressida; I read it on Lewis' rec., but I found it boring.) In other words, I would start with the well-recognized canon of western literature and expand from there. Getting a feel for what the great thinkers are saying firsthand is infinitely more important than reading a secondary (and in many cases, a tertiary) summary. I’d hope that Moreland, Craig, Lewis, and Chesterton don’t have the audacity to recommend themselves above Homer, Dante, Milton, Kant, et al.
As for contemporary authors, I mentioned some theologians who I think deserve the most attention. But in general, read broadly and widely across all fields. The more clever thinkers are not too difficult to find, though one might be guided in the correct direction by reading publications with serious, critical reviews: NY Review, Atlantic, etc... I'm glad that you enjoy reading and I appreciate your interaction with some of my thoughts. That is the deepest form of gratitude to a hack (i.e. me) hiding under the guise of anonymity. You can find me at 21 Grub Street.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Mr. Stockwell wants to divert every post to ID. Then he fires off insults. I won't take the bait any more.

Paul D. Adams said...

Re: 12. "Apologetics is vital to the life of the church and the work of the Kingdom."

I agree with the latter but if the former is true (corresponds to an actual state of affairs), where IS apologetics in the church? David Wells, Mark Noll, Os Guinness, J. P. Moreland, among others, have written voluminously on the lack of critical thinking (a necessary prerequisite to any apologetic enterprise) in the church. Their works strongly suggests that apologetics is not (actually) vital to the church. Show me a church where apologetics is vital to the life of the church and I'll show you a church that has few in numbers.

Statement 12. may be true de jure, but sadly not true de facto.

Abu Daoud said...

Kneel when you take communion.

MICKY said...

SAVED BY GRACE
About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 2004, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages . God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].
PEACE BE WITH YOU
MICKY

Kevin Winters said...

I'm surprised that "Dr." Walter Martin and "serious, rich, and deep" are found in the same sentence. His work is about as shoddy as you can get in the subject of world religions and I have yet to find any serious scholar outside the so-called "counter-cult" club that takes him seriously or gives him any level of academic praise.

righteousness first said...

To Kevin Winters: I quote Groothius, PhD. "wants to divert every post... Then he fires off insults. I won't take the bait any more."

All conservatives respect W. Martin--does that mean we lack credability in the academic sphere?

Kevin Winters said...

rf,

No, merely that they are sorely lacking in discernment on this matter. Please show me even one non-counter-cult scholar (conservative or liberal) in religious studies who takes "Dr." Walter Martin's "scholarship" seriously.

Kevin Winters said...

For those who are interested, I just did a search for "Walter Martin," "Walter R. Martin," and "Kingdom of the Cults" in JSTOR, ProQuest Religion, and the EBSCO Religion and Philosophy Collection and didn't find a single reference to Martin's work in any non-Christian journal with the exception of Thomas Johnsen's not-too complimentary appriasal (in one paragraph) of Martin's work on Manuscript Controversy in _The New England Quarterly_. So, please, show me where his work is taken seriously.

righteousness first said...

Kevin:

Thanks for "sharpening" us. First off, I would say that its a bit of a false diachotomy between a counter-cult evangelist and a religious studies professor.

If that's true, I'd say groothuis would certainly be a scholar indebted to Martin's research in terms of method. Other people (all with doctorates), like A. Gomes, K. Hovind, H. Hanagraaf, and J. MacArthur use his research, too.

If that's not true, sometimes the best test is by copies sold. More people read W. Martin than liberal scholars like M. Volf, K. Barth, and P. Tillach. Sometimes that's more important than some liberal academy who doesn't take staunchly conservative theology seriously. After all, we are not part of the same discussion as liberals--nor do we want to be. I guess it's a matter of worldview, then.

Kevin Winters said...

rf,

You are not fulfilling my criteria: Groothuis is most certainly among the counter-cult crowd; that's where he began his work and continues it to this day. In fact, everyone you've mentioned is in-house for the counter-cult industry. And how many people have read his book? So what! How many people have read _The Secret_ or the _Dhammapadda_? That demonstrates nothing.

With the above, I set up the "false dichotomy" for a reason: because no one without an axe to grind with the so-called "cults" takes the "scholarship" of this man who has an illegitimate PhD seriously. I searched through three very well known and extensive journal databases and of the half dozen references that came up, only one was from a non-Evangelical and that wasn't very approving of one aspect of his research. Surely a man who has done such incredible and impecable research in religious studies would get more than a single non-complimentary paragraph by a non-in-house scholar.

Let me also say that I could give examples from many other in-house influential books that are referenced by in-house scholars with PhDs, but which you probably wouldn't find impressive. This demonstrates nothing except for the popularity of the author. Martin was supposed to have done to-notch work in religious studies and comparative religions, yet the *absolute* lack of *any* recognition from non-counter-cult scholars would seem to demonstrate otherwise.

righteousness first said...

Kevin:

I think I understand what you're saying. You're say that counter-cult evangelism doesn't fall into the realm of theology and religious studies because people do not take Martin et al seriously. Is this what you mean?

Do you think it's possible, however, that Martin is ignored because liberal elites because they ignore fundamentalism, and it's more of a worldview issue?

I think that maybe fundamentalism and "scholarship" are on two different planes. We first left their churches, seminaries, schools, and organizations to create our own, so it's no surprise that we aren't dialogue partners even though we promulagate top-notch scholarship. Maybe the diachotomy lies between "Conservative Evangelical (or fundamentalist) scholarship and liberal 'elite' scholarship" and the two should be kept separate? I don't know, it sounds like you've done a lot more thinking on the topic than me.

Kevin Winters said...

That may be an option, but I'm very skeptical. William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland have gotten a lot of recognition. Even Groothuis has gotten more recognition than Walter Martin despite the extant of the latter's work (presentations, books, etc.). I honestly think it is the shoddy scholarship done by most (if not all) so-called counter-cultists. This is not to say that Buddhism, Hinduish, Mormonism, etc. can't be criticized or are beyond reproach, but merely that these writers do not have even a decent grasp of these religions and thus are incapable of providing a decent critique. Then we have Evangelicals who gleefully take up their understanding (because it's "for Jesus"?), thinking that they *are* providing "top-notch scholarship" when they are really providing shoddy work.

righteousness first said...

Kevin:

So you're saying that the counter-cultists generally don't have a grasp of material.

I guess I can see where you're coming from because I was taught that it was imperative to read Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic to read the Bible, and maybe some of these scholars don't read the languages that these texts were written in (Hindi, Chinese, Morman (?), etc...).

I noticed that you were doubtful of the "Dr." in Martin. I looked him up on the internet and it looks like he bought his degree. He sounds like a real charleton, and I'm surprised Groothuis aligns himself with such dishonest hucksters.

Kevin Winters said...

That would be my contention. But just to make the reasons for my point clearer, it is not merely that I find Martin's scholarship shoddy, but I think that including him in a list with C.S. Lewis is an affront to Lewis; they aren't even in the same category. So it is not an issue of Martin being "conservative," but that he doesn't deserve to be listed among those Groothuis gives (and given Schaeffer's poor explication of Heidegger, his scholarship *may* be put into question too...but that's only one small part of his work and other aspects may be better).