Randy Lewis was a senior Vice President at Walgreens in the USA. Walgreens is the American equivalent of Boots the Chemist and has over 8000 shops and employs 176,000 people. It has a turnover of $76 billion.
A guest post from Bruce Gulland (@BruceGulland) of Reach Beyond (@ReachBeyondUK).
You may recall Ali Burnett's thought-provoking piece Beyond the Bunny just before Easter, about using radio advertising to help get a Christian message across. And you may remember that lovely rabbit pic!
Bob Goudzwaard, a Dutch Christian economist, wrote a brilliant, short book Idols of our Time back in the 1980s. It really is a superb resource for any thinking Christian.
He begins the book with these words:
We live in a world possessed and we know it.
Let's focus for a moment upon a key idea – ideology. Ideology is the way in which idolatry affects people today and this includes the soldiers and supporters of IS.
A key text for understanding idolatry in the New Testament is a passage in the book of Romans.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator.
Romans 1:25, NIV
Here we should notice that idolatry does not merely refer to the worship of idols and images in the sense of the giant bull statue in 'Molech' worship.
In the light of the recent gruesome activities of the Islamic State (IS) it is timely to re-examine biblical teaching about idolatry and connect this to ideologies, secularism and IS. In this first post we will look at idolatry in the Old Testament.
Idol worship is something which no follower of Jesus wants. Christians know deep down that serving idols violates God's covenant (Exodus 20:1-3).
So how did ancient people worship their idols?
Why is talking about faith often awkward and filled with clichés? Why do our conversations about faith rarely grip people and intrigue them?
Mark Roques has spent his life tackling this issue and is convinced that our evangelism can be transformed if we 'do an Apostle Paul' and learn to understand and engage with the beliefs that shape our world.
In this course Mark will move us step by step through the world of religious and secular beliefs, equipping us to talk about the Christian faith in a way that is both engaging and insightful.
Films seduce and indoctrinate us in the same way as soap operas, but there is greater variety and the opportunity to discern the difference between the real and unreal worlds. Consider this sequence of films:
Soap operas (soaps for short) are radio or television drama series following people's daily lives. They were so named because they were first sponsored in the US in the 1930s by soap manufacturers.
In the UK, of course, I mean Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Doctors, and the Australian-produced Neighbours and Home and Away. And of course the longest-running one of them all, The Archers (on Radio 4 since 1950). Nowadays people can also readily access soaps from other countries, especially, of course, the USA.
We live in an age when the Western world is dominated by secularist worldviews, secularist big stories. The dominant secularist big stories are those of materialism in both senses of that key word: that physical nature is all there is, and that enjoying material possessions is all that matters. However, for this blog post, the precise characteristics of secularist big stories do not matter; it is enough if two points can be accepted.