Skillful Productions Produces SoundCrawl

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Our specialties are Experience Design and Event Production, especially arts experiences. But along the way, we've picked up chops in a host of other fields as well. We're a comprehensive creative agency; we walk projects from inception to completion, and create in whichever mediums fit the project best.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Reading


I've finally gotten to do some reading. A few weeks ago I was at the NWYC on behalf of Standard Publishing, and managed to get through Timothy Keller's The Reason for God.

Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City.

The book is basically apologetic (it's not sorry for anything, it's answering skeptics questions about Christianity).

Keller does a masterful job of dealing the basic reasons people, but especially urban, holistic postmoderns reject Christianity (he does ministry in NYC, remember). In my own experience, the artists I have been trained alongside of for 7 years ask valid questions of the Christian worldview, they just struggle to see that those questions are far more universal than they realize.

Why is it that our Upright Christians campaign against porn, but not against poverty or injustice? Why is it that artists campaign for social justice, but live amoral lives?
Why should I take your view of social justice, while you reject my view of morality?

It's great stuff.

Keller's response to the ubiquitous "All religions are searching for the same truth like three blind men touching an elephant analogy: "This illustration backfires on its users. The story is told from the point of view of someone who is not blind. How could you know that each blind man only sees part of the elephant unless you claim to be able to see the whole elephant?"


His response to "All religions are equally false. They are the product of their respective cultures" : 'If the pluralist had been born in Morroco he probably wouldn't be a pluralist. Does it follow that ...his pluralistic beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief-producing process? (from A. Plantinga). You can't say, " All claims about religions are historically conditioned except the one I am making right now""

"Many say it is ethnocentric to claim that one religion is superior to others. Yet isn't that very statement ethnocentric? ... The claim that is is wrong to [claim your religion is superior] is deeply rooted in Western traditions of self-criticism and individualism. To charge others with the "sin" of ethnocentrism is really a way of saying "our culture's approach to other cultures is superior to yours"

Moments like these fill the book.

It is organized into two parts: Part 1: The Leap of Doubt, and Part 2: The Reasons for Faith. Each part is organized into chapters, Part 1's chapters are all organized around questions or statements like "There Can't Be Just One True Religion." Part 2's chapters are organized around statements like " The Knowledge of God."

I found the first part to be far more groundbreaking than the second, though the second guides the reader from questions to truth and explains the Christian worldview.

The second part doesn't do anything that Mere Christianity or Case for Christ doesn't, but it follows specifically in line with the metaphors, conclusions, explanations and tone of the first part. Pleanty of postmodern americans are far less interested in the proof of the gospel than they are in experiencing the Truth of the gospel. I found great, loving, caring, thoughtful and intelligent responses to the all the questions the big heart-vegan-neohippies ask but the meat-n-three-blue-shirt-khaki-pants-club doesn't have a pamphlet for.

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