What of American evangelicalism? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
At this point, we’re going to start winding down. When it got to around this part, it seemed like Ray was just rambling, as if he needed to get some more material into his book and this is just filler. There was less and less to emphasize as I went through as most of it had been said before.
This chapter is about Jesus as the personal savior. This highlights a problem in the book. Ray consistently focuses on the gospel in America with some looks at Europe. If he went to a Middle Eastern nation or even a nation like China or Japan and saw Christians there, they would be vastly different. They don’t come with an individualistic mindset.
Which is really the problem with Christianity in the west today. It is not Christianity, but it is individualism. Keep in mind nowhere in this book does Ray argue that God does not exist. Nowhere does he argue that Jesus did not rise from the dead.
He starts off this story with a girl who grew up religious and later on came to be an atheist. It’s really amazing that even after they come out of their religious belief, these people still like to emphasize their personal testimony. You almost want to see if there will be an altar call at this point.
Much of the chapter shows that Ray really has a strong belief in what is practically a conspiracy theory. Pastors are apparently trained in methods of mass hypnosis with people and the worship service is laid out in such a way to get people to be susceptible to what they say. I must have somehow missed those lessons in Bible College and I suspect many of my fellow students did as well.
Ray also talks about anti-intellectualism in the churches, which is a problem. He talks about a doctor who said all he learned about his Christianity was in Sunday School and church and his Bible reading. No more is needed.
This is a dangerous idea to have. Recently, I encountered someone on Facebook who confessed to me that he always thought such reading was unnecessary because of Paul’s statements about the wisdom of men at the start of 1 Corinthians. Such a reading is quite wrong. It’s in chapter 15 that Paul quotes a pagan thinker showing he knew about such writings and in Acts 17 he quotes them as well.
If that is what Paul meant also, why should the Corinthian church have even read his letter? (They might not have considered it Scripture at this time.) Why do you even go to church at all? Do you need to hear what another man has to say if you have your Bible?
No. A Christian should care about what other Christians, past and present, had to say. We should care about church history, the formation of the Bible, concerns people have about the Bible, other religions and cults, our own theology, etc. Doubtless, not every Christian will specialize in such knowledge, but every Christian should have some basics in this area.
So I conclude again, and the next few entries will cover multiple chapters, that Ray himself hasn’t really done the study needed. For all his talk about anti-intellectualism, he doesn’t interact with intellectual people on the other side. He also when we have checked claims of his given claims that are just false such as misquotes of people. Could it be Ray is the real anti-intellectual here?
(And I affirm the virgin birth)