Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Most Manipulative Time of the Year

By Rick Pearcey

"The joyous Christmas season has become increasingly secular, religious, and fragmented, helping make the most wonderful time of the year perhaps also the most manipulative. We celebrate, and that is good, even healing. And given the hectic pace of life in America, there is much to admire in our ability to rise to the occasion of Christmas festivity every December.

"But on a deeper level, the awe and cheer that attend a Holy Night and a Christmas Day seem more than ever to rest upon cultural understandings weak and eroding. Consider how fact today is alienated from meaning, “faith” from life, spirit from matter, and wonder from the real things of life in a searching, troubled world. The optimism of a new beginning in a New Year fades when we lose touch with secure points of reference by which to measure hope and find comfort in progress. Power elites employ malleable symbols of religion and politics to manipulate money and masses towards results that overturn the original content of words and action rooted in history.

"There is a remedy for this, and it is found in the humane and concrete realities of the events that started it all some 2,000 years ago. . ."

For more, please see my "Christmas Spirit in the Dirt Means Good News for New Year," at The Pearcey Report.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (archives).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Groothuis Reviews "Crazy for God" at The Pearcey Report

By Rick Pearcey

"Those of us deeply touched by the life and writings of Francis and Edith Schaeffer may be interested in Crazy for God, a memoir by their son and youngest child, Frank (formerly Franky), who is now in his mid-fifties," writes Douglas Groothuis in a review of the new book. Groothuis is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary.

"Given my interest in all things Schaeffer," Groothuis continues, "I found the book in turn fascinating and infuriating. I first learned of it by reading a cynical and sneering review in The Nation, a secular leftwing publication. The reviewer took the book to be a repudiation of evangelical faith, the Christian Right, and an expose of the hypocrisy of many Christian leaders, most notably, Francis and Edith Schaeffer.

"That review outraged me, but also piqued my curiosity. What had become of Franky Schaeffer, the producer of two significant film series featuring the ideas of his father -- How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? -- and a man whose own books I had read in the early 1980s? Could Frank offer some insights into the life of his family and about the evangelical world he left behind?"

To see how Groothuis answers these questions, read the entire review of Crazy for God here.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (archives).