Shout out to:
1. This Gospel Coalition blog post on lessons to learn from Alexis de Tocqueville. He travelled the US from 1831-1832 and wrote down his observations in his classic work, “Democracy in America.” As the author of this blog post notes, “We Americans have much to gain from a fresh reading of Tocqueville’s work in 2017. Church leaders have particular reasons for turning to Tocqueville for wisdom as they engage the culture with the gospel. His observations of “Jacksonian America” can offer wisdom for us as we navigate the complexities of our own world, and the challenges we face in our civil discourse.”
Here are the lessons listed and elaborated on in the post:
1. Tocqueville taught what public spirit is, how it can be cultivated, and how it preserves liberty.
2. Tocqueville observed that voluntary associations were the most important guard against tyranny.
3. Tocqueville understood that a people’s manners inform and shape the state’s laws.
4. Tocqueville saw that racial prejudice threatened to tear America apart.
2. This interview with Terry Heaton, a former producer of The 700 Club.
Heaton talks about how “the desire to put on a convincing ‘show’ for their audience meant eliding the truth in favor of a more marketable approach: casting only conventionally attractive and ‘successful’-looking Christians in their segments, exclusively focusing on the positive aspects of Christianity, and hinting that faith could bring temporal as well as spiritual rewards. In other words, the Bible became a ‘self-help manual’ advertised as something to be valued because of its impact on one’s own life, what Heaton now calls ‘the gospel of the self.’”
Reading something like can’t help but make one think of Galatians 1:8-9, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”