Coffee Shop Theology

by Frank Moore

If our anchor isn't set in a solid rock theology, we'll be washed out to sea on the riptide of bogus beliefs.

We are bombarded with an information revolution. We access more information in less time than any generation in human history. Thousands of pages of information come to us on one computer disk. A keystroke or two on our computers gets us into the Internet, which provides access to information from around the world. Fax machines, e-mail, cellular phones, television, radio, magazines, cable, satellites, and other technologies make our world smaller and bring us closer together. As one of my friends compared it, "we're trying to drink out of a fire hydrant."

 The information in this book goes beyond facts and figures; it's ethics, philosophy, and theology all packaged in innocent bite sized (or byte-sized) portions.

 What is all this information doing to us? One serious consequence is rapidly changing cultural standards that encourage us to bargain away our beliefs. We now have a cafeteria line of beliefs. Modern society cherishes pluralism more each day. This approach welcomes all systems of thought as equally true, regardless of how unscriptural they may be or how strange they may sound. It says that none is better or worse. Absolute truth evaporates like the morning dew in this environment. Everyone's ideas claim validity as possible answers to our most pressing questions.

 Such so-called tolerance and acceptance create theological uncertainty, in which all answers are tentative, in which people will clap for any idea on a television talk show. Everything, especially sound doctrine based on Holy Scripture, is up for grabs these days. If you don't believe me, read the articles in recent newspapers or newsmagazines about the unprecedented success of outlandish cults. The stranger their beliefs, the quicker people line up and pay good money to join. Hollywood stars trip over one another to be deceived. Where can we find truth these days?

 One of the marks of Christianity, from the times of early church until now, is it's claim to God's truth. The Truth, not a truth. The Christian faith is not just a better idea equal to all other ideas. Christianity contends that God answers the most basic questions of human existence.

 Who am I?

 Where did I come from?

 Why am I here?

 What does my life mean?

 Where am I going?

 These questions finally relate to establishing an incredibly significant friendship with God. Christian believers through the ages have hungered to know Him better.

 Never has this quest for God been so widespread as it is now. My grandparents lived a full life and died without ever having come in contact practicing another world religion. That is no longer true. We come in contact with followers of non-Christian religions every time we step outside, listen to the radio, watch a television program, or read the newspaper. Even if we stay home and never turn on the radio or television, faithful followers of these religions will knock on our door, offering to instruct us in their ways. Their hospitality often rivals that of the welcome wagon.

 Another reason Christians must more thoroughly understand their faith is because contemporary values do not hold the answers to our deepest questions. Science and technology have promised more than they have been able to deliver. We are giving up on those empty promises, because their answers do not work in life's trenches. Thus, as people continue their search for meaning and significance, they seem more willing to hear what the Christian faith offers.

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