Monday, November 30, 2009, 9:43 PM
A few weeks ago an editor from the Christian Science Monitor emailed to ask if I would consider writing an opinion piece on the doctrine of justification. This sounded unusual to say the least. First of all, why was he asking me? (Because a friend of mine passed along my name I found out). Second, why do they want an article on justification? I’m not sure exactly where they were coming from, but the editor I worked with was very knowledgeable about the Piper-Wright debate and very interested in helping CSM readers understand why the doctrine matters (he was also very kind and professional).
With the broohaha over the Manhattan Declaration it bears repeating what I hope is obvious from this article: I believe the doctrine of justification crucial for the church and, actually, for the world too. It is also worth pointing out that it is possible to write for a mainstream publication from an explicitly evangelical perspective. I imagine some magazines and papers might balk at an opinion piece that is too Christian, but in my experience when someone wants your opinion they want your opinion, no matter what it is, as long as you aren’t completely rude about it.
The piece is titled: “The Protestant debate over justification: Here I stand.” The subtitle pretty much sums up the gist: “Ignorance about how we get right with God has weakened the church. We must reassert that we’re saved by faith alone.”
Here’s my conclusion:
Much of the impotence of American churches is tied to a profound ignorance and apathy about justification. Our people live in a fog of guilt. Or just as bad, they think being a better person is all God requires. Even a cursory look at church history in the past few hundred years shows that the church is at its best and most vibrant when justification through faith alone is heard from her pulpits and clearly articulated by her most prominent spokesmen.
After so much time and so many controversies, there are still plenty of Protestants – be they Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Anglican, or Pentecostal – who still believe justification is the doctrine on which the church stands or falls. I guess I’m one of them.
You can read the whole thing here.
Monday, November 30, 2009, 5:30 PM
Really — where did they go?
It used to be wrong to gamble. It violated the Christian work ethic.
It used to be that a church would not accept gambling winnings as an offering. I wonder how many wink at it today.
Heavy alcohol consumption is not blogged about. I wonder if it is preached about any more.
Same with fornication. Now it’s just dating with benefits. Or totally ignored. Can’t let the offering and attendance levels drop, after all.
Benefits: It’s the new fornication.
Divorce? No sin there. Nothing to talk about.
Is there any longer a definition of worldly that can be contrasted with holiness, then be given a working application?
Though we certainly do not need to go so far as double separation, perhaps we would do well to practice some level of separation from sin.
Monday, November 30, 2009, 1:57 PM
I know a little boy who has developed some bad habits by reading funny books his father got him without thinking about the consequences of said little boy emulating the behavior of the main character.
We don’t need to go into who the boy is or who his father is. Let’s just say I have a friend!
I would very much like to buy this little boy some books featuring characters who are admirable and who would be great for him to emulate. Any good recommendations?
Monday, November 30, 2009, 12:36 PM
My friend Stanley Carlson-Thies was for a long time associated with the Center for Public Justice in Annapolis, Maryland, and served in the Bush White House in 2001-2 in the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Now he is leading the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRFA), whose mandate is “to safeguard the religious identity and faith-shaped standards and services of faith-based organizations, enabling them to make their distinctive and best contributions to the common good.” Given that religious freedom is often interpreted in a narrowly individualistic manner in North America, especially by the courts, Carlson-Thies’ efforts are welcome and definitely deserving of support.
In today’s eNews for Faith-Based Organizations from IRFA, Carlson-Thies corrects a factual error in the December issue of this journal: Inaccurate Bad News.
Under the heading “A Demand for Freedom” in the current issue of First Things, editor Joseph Bottum surveys a long list of negative religious freedom incidents and trends and calls upon people of faith to resist. It is a disheartening, though instructive, list. But it includes an error. Bottum says, “The president allows a diminished form of funding for faith-based institutions to continue, but only if these religious organizations stop hiring on the basis of their religion.” No such new restriction on religious hiring has been imposed by this administration. The equal treatment faith-based rules crafted during the Clinton and Bush administrations remain intact.
It is always welcome news to discover that things are not as bad as we had thought. Let us hope and pray that the news remains good.
Monday, November 30, 2009, 11:34 AM
In an extended discussion on a matter of practical Christian ethics, it is my contention that the Christian ethic provides the best defense of the poor and needy in society. While separating from the abusive approach of today’s semi-Marxists, the Christian is able to work for the best value in society. And, as a dispensationalist, I can speak to and even promote legislation that proves beneficial to society — all the while avoiding the church-state entanglements. With that as a framework, I can promote these values, even to the theocracy-paranoid, supported by this principle:
The equality of Christianity is ontological. The equality of secularism and liberalism is nothing more than a functional egalitarianism. It proved itself inadequate against the injustice of slavery. I would submit, with history as evidence, that liberalism, though capable of justice, is not sufficient to establish permanent justice.
If Christianity promotes ontological equality among all people, then a Christian view of “social justice” is significantly different from the current secular iterations that we face today. Among these wrongs are the death movement (abortion, infanticide, euthanasia), the welfare movement (creating near-permanent economic class distinctions), and the gambling movement.
Progressives currently give broad-based support to the system. Though not all dems and libs support gambling, by and large the movement has party support. In Ohio, for instance, Governor Stickland gained support from dems and reps in the legislature to bypass the state constitution and implement slots. The N. Y. Times reports on the situation in the south, this going back to 1998:
A red-bearded Bubba, outfitted in a baseball cap and a Georgia Bulldogs T-shirt, grins devilishly from behind the counter of his convenience store and explains to South Carolina voters why it is that ”here in Georgia, we looooove David Beasley.”
”The Georgia lottery tickets y’all buy pay for computers in every one of our classrooms,” the man explains in a new television advertisement produced by the South Carolina Democratic Party. ”Thank goodness your Governor, David Beasley, won’t let y’all have a lottery.”
Across Georgia’s western border, meanwhile, Democratic campaign advertisements in Alabama are also extolling Georgia’s lottery. ”Since 1993, Georgia’s lottery has sent 300,000 high school graduates to college,” says the narrator in an advertisement for Don Siegelman, Alabama’s Democratic nominee for governor. ”Don Siegelman is fighting for a lottery right here in Alabama.”
The lottery provides tools for political advantage. But it also creates social problems, and milks the very poor that it pretends to help. In England, for instance …
Basically, in line with lotteries in other countries, in Britain the poorest social groups spend much higher relative amounts, making it highly regressive, which is significant when we come to look at the services that the lottery is starting to pay for.
It is the same in the US
‘‘All you need is a dollar and a dream’’ is a catchy advertisement for the New York State Lottery that is typical of how lotteries are marketed. In the current paper, we ask why that dream seems to be particularly attractive to people with low incomes. Research on state lotteries finds that low-income individuals spend a higher percentage of their income on lottery tickets than do wealthier individuals (Brinner & Clotfelter, 1975; Clotfelter & Cook, 1987, 1989; Livernois, 1987; Spiro, 1974; Suits, 1977), a pattern highlighted by the statistic that households with an income of less than $10 000 spend, on average, approximately 3% of their income on the lottery (Clotfelter, Cook, Edell, & Moore, 1999). Some studies even find higher absolute demand for lottery tickets among low-income populations (Clotfelter et al., 1999; Hansen, Miyazaki, & Sprott, 2000; Hansen, 1995).
Even without attacking the issue of gambling addiction and household fiscal damage as a result of spending hard-earned money on such a wasteful venture, the simple fact that today’s support for lotteries. It is not a simple Dem v Rep issue, but more often a Con v Lib issue, with more liberals giving support to the lottery, and so its results.
This is a social injustice to which we should speak. It is a wrong against the poor. It is corporate welfare to the gambling industry. It is a political tool to maintain unnecessarily expanded state governments. It damages the lives of those who think they might win. Someday, somehow.
Monday, November 30, 2009, 10:00 AM
Today I kicked off a devotional commentary series through the song “O Holy Night” over at The A-Team Blog. I’m not sure if it really fits with Evangel or not, but I’ll cross-post the first few entries here to see how it goes.
“O Holy Night” is one of those traditional “Christmas” songs that I play all year round because it’s about so much more than a mere holiday. Almost every line of the song has something to do with the gospel. So I’ve broken up the three verses of the song into a twelve post series, making this post the first of thirteen. They’ll be posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday ending with Christmas.
The original “O Holy Night” was composed in French in 1847 by Adolphe Adam. He used the words from a French poem called “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau. It was translated into English 1855 and in 1906 became the first piece of music known to be broadcast on the radio.
Wikipedia lists two English versions on the carol, along with the original French and a more direct translation. I’ll be going through the first version since this is the one I’m most familiar with. Here’s the blog schedule:
Nov 30 (M)- Introduction to O Holy Night
Dec 2 (W)- The Stars Are Brightly Shining
Dec 4 (F)- Long Lay the World in Sin
Dec 7 (M)- Yonder Breaks A New and Glorious Morn
Dec 9 (W)- Fall On Your Knees!
Dec 11 (F)- Led By the Light of Faith
Dec 14 (M)- Here Come the Wise Men
Dec 16 (W)- Born To Be Our Friend
Dec 18 (F)- Behold Your King!
Dec 21 (M)- His Law Is Love
Dec 23 (W)- The Slave Is Our Brother
Dec 24 (Th)- Let All Within Us Praise His Holy Name
Dec 25 (F)- Christ Is the Lord!
Lastly, I thought it would be good to link to some of the performances of the song that are available. Interestingly, I couldn’t find anyone who sings the second verse. Some only sing the first verse and repeat it. Some change the last lines and simply sing noel. What strikes me is that many of the performers are not Christians (to my knowledge), yet they are proclaiming the good news. I wonder if any of them have given serious thought to the words they sing.
Seven Day Jesus ***my favorite rendition
Monday, November 30, 2009, 3:50 AM
Advent is here.
Advent is the time the church prepares for the coming of King Jesus at the Christ Mass. (more…)
Sunday, November 29, 2009, 11:25 PM
Heckuva post, Brownie!
Seriously, I’m glad you read the book so I don’t have to.
I am with you in thinking that Sarah Palin is an amazing political talent. That woman can deliver a speech as well as anybody out there. Personally, I thought her speeches were better and more powerful than Mr. Obama’s.
But I do fear that she lacks the necessary fire in the belly to wonkify herself.
I remember a speaker at the Philadelphia Society putting his finger on the greatness of Reagan and the duplicability of it. He read. He studied. He knew relevant facts. Combine those things with political talent and you can go very far.
We are still waiting for her to show that kind of determination. I’m rooting for her. I hope she will do it.
Sunday, November 29, 2009, 10:47 PM
This summer I had a class in theology which I sometimes discussed. This class was part of the “late vocations” program offered by in our area by the OCA. Currently, I’m taking the second of these classes, and true to form the reading/work load has been somewhat larger than expected. We’re taking a “great books” approach to the Old Testament, and in our 8 week class … reading and discussing the entire Old Testament …. and for the technically minded, using the Codex Alexandrinus for our canon … which means that the books we read are somewhat extended from the standard Protestant even Catholic set of books. In the below, I’m going to explore a question/point raised in class which I would like to explore in more detail.
Throughout the Old Testament, but certainly notable in Judges through Kings IV (the Orthodox church uses the Septuagint as its basis for the Old Testament, Samuel I and II and Kings I & II become Kings I-IV) there is constant influence from external polytheistic religions. There is not just military conquest and battle back and forth between nations being portrayed, but we find priests contending and confronting those following other gods and abandoning those of other religions. There is a marked contrast between how, for example, Elijah deals with the priests of Baal (Kings III 18) and how today we confront those who believe differently in this modern age. (more…)
Sunday, November 29, 2009, 8:52 PM
It’s stupid to even entertain the question. But every time I see it posed, it isn’t for getting people to focus on issues instead of remaining blind devotees to political parties. Intentional or not, it often serves as a way to distract people from important issues that do deserve our attention. “How can we come together as a nation instead of remaining so divided?” The unspoken fallacy occurs when it is stated that Jesus was neither a democrat or a republican. Are we really suppose to believe he wouldn’t have had a view on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, or gay marriage? When the highest moral value of a culture is unity at the expense of principle, there is no real unity and we can wonder if principles ever existed in the first place.
So when people in the pews hear their church leaders espouse this same ideal, that we should be cautious about political partisanship (generously stated), I’m not convinced the people are sophisticated enough to know that they aren’t being (or shouldn’t be) told to abandon positions on issues that are thought out and held up against the light of scripture. I know that many in the church are ill-equipped to think theologically about their personal lives, let alone matters that face our entire culture. So I have to wonder if this lack of distinction between public issues and politics in general even matters if the church is unable to think theologically, if its members are just starting to develop a Christian worldview.
Could the above reflections have any relationship to the fact that of the millions of evangelicals in the U.S., less than of us 200,000 have signed on to the Manhattan Declaration? And many of the signers are likely Roman Catholic.
Sunday, November 29, 2009, 7:51 PM
The most recent issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) includes a submission by Greg Goswell entitled “The Order of the Books in the Greek Old Testament.” When I first looked at it, it seemed pretty dry. But sometimes appearances can fool the observer. He says:
This survey supports the supposition that where a biblical book is placed relative to other books in the library of Scripture has hermeneutical implications for the reader who seeks to make sense of a text. Indeed, when the same book is placed in alternative positions (e.g. Daniel) in different canonical arrangements (Hebrew versus Greek), his fact may assist the reader to notice features of that book that are normally obscured or underplayed, and so assist in refining interpretation.
Reading the article made me wonder – does the old arrangement reflect God’s providential while our newer arrangements reflect something eschatological? Might we see God’s intervention into human affairs better in providence than particular event? It’s an article to read and from which to gather some new insights.
Saturday, November 28, 2009, 2:29 PM
This was a bad and unhelpful book.
It was not bad because it was simple. Goldwater (or his ghost) used fewer pages in Conscience of a Conservative and said more. It was not bad because it was autobiographical. Though I don’t like his politics, President Obama confessed more and said it better in Dreams from My Father. If you don’t believe that this book is bad, then read (really do!) Ronald Reagan’s autobiography Where’s the Rest of Me? Ronald Reagan showed more substance in his delightful book written mostly about his time as an actor than Palin shows in her four hundred pages. (more…)
Saturday, November 28, 2009, 1:01 AM
So I was reading John Mark Reynolds’ live-blog of Sarah Palin’s new memoir, and I’m sure he’s right about the whole thing. The only conservative writers I can stand for more than 900 words once a week in a column are William F. Buckley and P.J. O’Rourke — and since one’s a dead Catholic and the other is a lush, feel free to let the next round of condemnations begin. But at least they cite sources and really do know what the heck they are talking about — either because one has made these mistakes himself, or because the other is looking down on us plebians from the Mount Olympus of his towering intellect and our little mortal follies are somewhat amusing to him.
Rather than try to assess that, listen to this:
Friday, November 27, 2009, 3:06 PM
Introduction to the Project:
(This is a completed live blog. I have decided not to correct most typographical errors or “fix” it. Some was done as late as 3 AM as I finished the book, but I felt the authenticity of the moment generally better than a smoothed out version.)
I have defended Sarah Palin on numerous occasions against critics. I thought some conservatives turned on her too soon and that her executive experience outweighed any negatives known about her. I certainly did not think flubbing some interviews made her unfit to be a chief executive.
If one were to support a pol based on their enemies, no conservative Christian would vote for anyone other than Palin. The fact that Sarah Palin has a womb has apparently caused some critics such as Andrew Sullivan to lose their minds. (more…)
Thursday, November 26, 2009, 9:30 PM
Hopefully I’m not too late to join the Thanksgiving chorus and I can throw in a quick message of gratitude for my local church. About this time last year I was wrestling with some difficult issues relating to problems at my church. I loved the people there and much of what went on there, but after much prayer, counsel, and consideration, I decided I needed to leave.
By God’s grace I wasn’t in that awkward place of seeking a new church home for very long. Evangel’s own Fred Sanders was preaching at his church, Grace EV Free in La Mirada, CA, and I decided to go support my friend while checking out the church. Thankfully, I never had to look at any other church.
Grace EV Free is a place of deep fellowship, discipleship and worship. Looking over the past year as I’ve attended and become involved in a Grace Group (small group) there have been so many blessings through Grace that I can’t begin to count them. Every elder serves with strong humility that flows throughout the congregation as we grow in understanding of the gospel and what it means for our lives. In the coming months I’ll be stepping into a formal role to serve the body of Christ at Grace, so I’ll no doubt have much more to be thankful next year. But even now I have so much to be thankful for through Grace that it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, Father, for such a beautiful manifestation of your Son’s bride.
PS- Grace just released a new Christmas album called “So Much Joy” that’s fairly awesome. Listen to it at www.SongsofGrace.org.
Thursday, November 26, 2009, 10:03 AM
I had to write a book to get into Christianity Today. Matthew Lee Anderson got in for his awesome blogging! Pick up the December 2009 CT for a full page profile on young Mr. Anderson.
I’m particularly pleased to see the magazine take notice of his outstanding work in HBU’s journal of Christian thought, The City. You can read his big The City article here.
Thursday, November 26, 2009, 12:31 AM
This is a topic I’ve been reflecting on for awhile now, so while I know it doesn’t fit ideally with the current Thanksgiving motif, I didn’t want to squander these thoughts.
I don’t often navigate in the world of worship ministry, so I have no idea if or to what extent this has been a topic of discussion. However, I am not so sheltered that I am unaware of the debates over contemporary vs. traditional music/worship services. Ok, so by now you’re wondering where I am going…here it is. (more…)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 9:34 PM
He was Post-Evangelical before Post-Evangelical was cool.
The kids love him.
Visit his web site here.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 7:54 PM
As Christians, we are a people who live in a present that is shaped definitively by the past and the future. The meaning of our present, of our contemporary lives and relationships, is fixed, but not yet revealed. We take shape only in relationship to the eternal, which Boethius famously defined as the “simultaneously whole and perfect possession of everlasting life.”
But this “everlasting life” that structures our lives’ meaning is not an abstract formula, but a concrete reality that took shape–and will take shape–in the historical presence of the man Jesus. As Christians in more liturgical orders proclaim in the “Mystery of Faith:”
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
It is this eternal that shapes the temporal, this history and future that defines the present. And as the people of God, this history is by extension and invitation our history. As we proclaim the mystery of faith, we affirm that by his graciousness we are able to identify with him and accept the meaning of his life as the meaning of our own. As the Apostle puts it, “It has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but when we see him, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
This Thanksgiving, then, I am thankful for my history. I am thankful for my parents, for their instruction in the faith and for introducing me to A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, and Andrew Murray. I am thankful for Biola, for John Mark and Torrey Honors, and the role they played in expanding my historical understanding of the Church and its role on earth. And I am most thankful for my all-too-brief history with my lovely wife.
But all these things are inevitably ordered, are structured, around that definitive and final history that is the history of Jesus Christ. And as such, I am most grateful that he has shared his “eternal life” with us, making all that we do in his name now and always.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 6:45 PM
Google analytics have shown that you are, in fact, the only person pathetic or lonely enough to be reading this blog on a holiday. You have escaped family and friends to read a blog on Evangelicals and the culture.
I am the recently appointed Obama administration czar in charge of, well, czars.
We had been wondering how to contact you until we noticed your strange habit of sitting alone at your lap top when you could be contacting other incarnate souls at parties or social events.
This was good news for us.
I would like to inform you that you are the heir to the Imperial throne of Russia and that we here at the Office of the Czar for Czars have in our possession several millions in monies deposited by the Imperial family in a San Francisco bank.
All you need to do to collect is respond to this post. If you do not respond within the day, we will be forced to use your inheritance for a Cash for Conquerors program.
We would far rather give the money to you than to some petty dictator who has happened to win a war.
Again congratulations on being not just lonely and socially inept, but now rich, lonely, and socially inept.
Office of Czar of Czars
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 6:23 PM
Every town has the annoying messenger of cheer.
This is the lady, it is almost always a lady, who will come to you with your broken arm and point out that you could have broken both your arms. If your town is unlucky enough to experience this lady in her born-again form, then she will remind you that “all things work together for good” as you try to itch the scratch under your cast. (more…)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 5:37 PM
I saw a disturbing play last weekend. It was disturbing because it spoke the truth about the condition of man. Extinction is the story of two men who, for a decade since their friendship began in college, have met annually in Atlantic City to revel in all the drugs, gambling, and women the city has to offer. This year, however, things have changed. For the first man, an awareness of the inevitability of death causes him to grasp even more desperately at all the world has to offer while he still can; he knows of nothing greater to grasp for. And though the second man’s eyes have been opened to the fleeting nature of the pleasures of sin, and he has taken steps to create new, real, lasting life for himself, we see in his story the destructive power of past sins to reach into a man’s future, destroy any goodness it finds there, and drag him back by his own lusts.
The play told the truth. The ugliness of sin was neither hidden nor glorified, and the excuses made by the characters to justify their actions looked weak and pathetic. The emptiness of their previously wasted lives was made plain, and this, one of them lamented. The play spoke the truth about the slavery of sin. But it was not the whole truth. For that was where the play ended, without any hope of freedom in sight. The men were not capable of really escaping–sin was too powerful. The end.
And this is where the story would end for all of us were it not for God snatching us out of that living death, opening our eyes to His glory, revealing Himself to us, giving us new life. Like the men in the play, we were helpless and could not escape on our own, but God stepped in and changed everything. “Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”
I thank God for the reminder of the slavery I’ve been rescued from, for the reminder of my desperate helplessness and need for Him, and for the reminder that there’s a whole world of people in slavery out there–people whose stories end in hopelessness because they don’t know about the One who conquered sin so that we could be free and have true life with Him. And they will never know about this hope unless we tell them. Their pain and need ought to drive everything we do.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank you for this gift I did not deserve, God. Thank you, thank you.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 5:37 PM
When I was a kid comics were not comix and only a Goober read them when he was grown up. They had yet to become the graphic novels taken seriously by any student of pop culture. (more…)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 4:44 PM
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for blood. It’s one of the most powerful metaphors in any language, and it is the substance by which we measure our humanity.
Blood can mean death, of course. With loss of blood goes our life. Blood is the mark of violence, whether it is brought to bear through force or poisoned through more subtle forms of malice.
But blood also means life. The Scriptures tell us that “the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life” (Lev. 17:14, ESV). The death that comes with blood loss is chased away by new blood. Blood unites all the undulating parts and sinews of our bodies, making our disparate members whole.
Blood means family — those who live in different bodies but share with us the same blood. The association brought by blood can and will bring joy, pain, loyalty, betrayal, happiness, suffering, and love. Blood bonds us in ways which on this earth we will never fully comprehend, and can never fully escape even if we tried.
Ultimately, blood means grace. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Without death, there is no life. Christ displayed the full picture of the meaning of blood. The violence that shed his blood resulted in his death, but it is by his blood that we find life. It is by Christ’s blood that I can call others “brother” and “sister,” while our genetics have little in common.
So this year, as we gather together in the presence of blood that is familial, foreign, violent, and life-giving, let us thank him who covered us with his own.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 4:14 PM
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I posted the letter to the Financial Times where a college professor from India decried monotheism and declared the benevolent goodness of polytheism and its modern ally, secularism. The letter struck me as provocative and worth mentioning in its own right.
But now I think I see a connection.
Polytheism, of course, was the norm in the Roman Empire. The Empire managed its many gods by united everyone in a common worship of the emperor. Worship as many gods as you like as long as you also worship the apotheosis of the state.
Secularism is, indeed, like polytheism in this sense. Have whatever religious sensibility you like as long as you recognize that your ultimate allegiance is to the secular state which is representative of the real world. Don’t ever let your religion get between you and the state. Keep it private. Keep it in hobby status.
Score one for the man from India.
When it comes to this issue, I unapologetically encourage you to read The End of Secularism. The more Christians (especially those of a pietistic bent who like to privatize their faith) who read it and understand it, the better equipped we will be to confront the creeping return of the rainbow assortment of gods frolicking beneath the banner of a state happy to tolerate them because they don’t count for much in the end.