Dear CRI Partner:
Decades at the helm of an apologetics ministry will definitely season your perspective.
And if it doesn’t, you’re clearly in the wrong line of work.
But when you’ve been battered and bruised in thirty years of cognitive combat and spiritual warfare, it takes more than mere stamina to keep mounting the attack.
In my case, it’s more than my now well-shredded flak jacket that enables me to keep fighting.
Over the next few months, I’ll unpack some of these in more detail. But in case you’ve ever wondered, here’s a list of the things that keep me passionately in the fray.
That’s right. You.
You see, you’re one of the reasons why CRI exists. Not only because you’re serious about your faith but because you’re not about to yield to the intellectual or spiritual shallowness that engulfs our post-truth world or surrender to the social and cultural madness that seems to be mounting daily.
What’s more, you also want to be equipped to “fight the good fight” (1 Tim. 6:12). You know what’s at stake in the battles we fight. And it’s your faithful support that not only encourages me daily but also helps to keep all of us at CRI in the trenches year after year. The simple truth is that without partners like you, our supply lines would quickly wither and our front lines would quickly crumble.
Given the uncivil war in which we now find ourselves, work at CRI is never just a job. If you didn’t have a clear sense of calling to CRI’s mission — the very reason why we are here — you likely wouldn’t last long. But for those who grasp the enormous consequences that hinge on the battles we fight, there’s no place we’d rather be than in the trenches.
In fact, every testimony we receive that confirms that our work is bearing fruit causes us to redouble our effort to equip multitudes of Christians “to think and live Christianly.”
Although I’ll address different aspects of our vision in more detail over the next several months, our vision in a nutshell is to see “millions of equipped Christians transforming our world.”
And what does it mean to be “equipped”? While this is also something I’ll unpack in more detail over the next few months, let me emphasize one critical ingredient now.
First and foremost, “equipped” means the ability to think Christianly, and that entails the enormous task of restoring the lost Christian mind.
Harry Blamires, a friend and mentee of C. S. Lewis, once wrote:
“The bland assumption that the Church’s life will continue to be fruitful so long as we go on praying and cultivating our souls, irrespective of whether we trouble to think and talk Christianly, and therefore theologically, about anything we or others may do or say, may turn out to have dire results.”
The truth is, we are now seeing those dire results all around us everywhere we turn.
Lamenting that “the Christian mind has succumbed to the secular drift with a degree of weakness unmatched in Christian history,” Blamires also presciently penned,
“If Christians cannot communicate as thinking beings, they are reduced to encountering one another only at the shallow level of gossip and small talk. Hence the peculiarly modern problem — the loneliness of the thinking Christian.”
While our first priority remains spiritual and cultural renaissance in the West through restoring the Christian mind, we cannot afford to overlook the tremendous growth and vitality of the faith in the Global South. Here it is widely recognized that vast swaths of the church are a mile wide and an inch deep, with the prosperity gospel, cults, and aberrant teaching preying upon biblical and theological ignorance.
And unless sound teaching and solid resources enable them to drive their roots deeper into the nourishing and strengthening soil of God’s Word, they will remain “tumbleweed Christians,” blown about by the slightest breezes of doctrinal error.
That’s why our Going Global digital and social media initiatives continue to reach millions around the planet who historically have been beyond the reach of North American radio.
A Time of Transition
There can be no doubt that our world is in the midst of momentous transitions, and in few arenas is this more apparent than media. Millions of Americans raised in a comparatively simple era of radio and black-and-white TV are now overwhelmed with the avalanche of media platforms and channels unimaginable a few short decades ago.
What’s more, a global technological revolution has succeeded
in making a vast array of audio, video, and print content
instantly accessible to hundreds of millions of smartphone users.
To reach and engage this global audience numbering in the hundreds of millions, CRI is now adapting a wide variety of rich, practical worldview and apologetics content for “on demand” access through radically new communications channels (Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Spreaker, Stitcher, etc.).
In future letters, I’ll update you on the global scope of the outreaches you help to make possible, and I’ll share how a new breed of cults is far more dangerous than historic cults have ever been.
In the meantime, our task of equipping you and others with quality resources continues unabated. And this month we’re mixing things up with a fantastic DVD titled C. S. Lewis on Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert, featuring Max McLean. We’re adding to this one of Lewis’s classics, The Weight of Glory, and for those who like deeper dives into great apologetic arguments, we’re including C. S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason by Victor Reppert.
For all that your partnership means as we strive to restore the Christian mind and its influence to its rightful place in our world, I’m forever grateful.
Because Life and Truth matter…