Monday, February 23, 2009

Peter Jones

Yesterday at church Dr. Peter Jones, founder and director of truthXchange, preached in the morning and gave a lecture with Q&A in the evening. My wife and I also had the pleasure of dining with him at Pannullo's Italian Restaurant in Winter Park the night before (try the lobster stuffed ravioli - it's great!).

Dr. Jones is a renaissance man. He has several degrees, speaks several languages, has written scores of books and articles, planted a church, has taught in two seminaries, plays jazz piano, sings, plays golf, etc. He and his wife (the former Rebecca Clowney) reared seven children. As a teenager growing up in Liverpool, England, Jones was a friend of John Lennon, played music with him, and even had a chance to join the Quarrymen, but his mom said no. If it hadn't been for her you might know the Beatles as John, Paul, Ringo and Peter instead of John, Paul, Ringo and George.

Last evening's lecture was the highlight for me. Jones titled his lecture "The Five Points of Paganism." You can hear it (as well as the morning sermon) here. It was an excellent analysis of the cultural revolution that started in the 1960s and continues today. Basically Jones contrasted the two competing worldviews of monism and theism, showing the bankruptcy of the former and the beauty and rationality of the latter.

In response to this cultural revolution, I appreciated Jones's statement that God is not calling Christians to nostalgically "reclaim America," as advocated by some in evangelicalism. Nor are we to go around bashing people we disagree with. But neither should we compromise and be silent. As individuals and as churches, Christians are called to bear witness to the truth with love and clarity. Jones said if we are faithful to our calling we will suffer.

His was a realistic, even pessimistic, description of where we are headed as a culture if we continue to worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator. Thankfully, God is King and his purposes will not be frustrated by a culture in rebellion against him.

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