Rice Broocks is the author of numerous books, including God's Not Dead, and more recently, The Human Right. In his latest work, he challenges people to see evangelism as a human rights issue, how showing tolerance is not more important than the truth of Christ and how we can survive living in a pluralistic culture. Voices connected with the author on the above issues and more.
Why is secularism considered a safe bet in culture?
Secularism is the attempt to build a "neutral", religion-free society. The values that a secular society utilizes to function however are rooted in a theistic worldview.
Why does secularism lack the foundation for human rights?
Our Declaration of Independence states that humans are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." If human rights are not grounded in a transendent moral authority then they can be taken away. Secularism offers only the impermanent opinions that are currently fashionable.
Can the Gospel survive in our pluralistic culture?
Christianity thrived in the first three centuries in the pluralistic world of the Roman Empire. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead produced a belief that the Gospel should be presented as public truth-not merely as a private, personal matter. The early disciples engaged the pagan world around them with the confidence that the truth of the message of Christ could stand up to scrutiny. Today, it's not the lack of faith in unbelievers that is the problem, it's the lack of faith in those that claim to be Christians.
You talk about how humanity has failed to correct the wrongs done through social justice and politics, what do we need to do as followers of Christ?
There are certain societies throughout history that have acted more justly than others. The issue I'm addressing is actually stopping corruption and injustice at its source-the human heart.
This is what happens when we preach the Gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Social change is the immediate result of a changed heart. Systems of justice, as well as political parties, are only as effective as the people who lead them.
What would say to those who are non-believers to that question?
I believe the central task we have as followers of Christ is to clearly explain the Gospel to unbelievers and back up our words with the actions and lifestyle that confirm its power and truth. The cry for true justice is being heard everywhere. This great need can only be met in Christ.
Society tends to speak its own truth, what is truth really?
Truth is the description of reality. It is God's greatest gift to humanity. God became a man in Jesus Christ and declared "I am the truth". He not only spoke words of truth but demonstrated what it looks like. The notion you can "speak your own truth" is logically absurd.
How can we witness to people about good when there is so much evil and division in the world?
The existence of evil doesn't demonstrate the absence of God from the world, but His absence from our lives. If we don't share the light with others then the darkness will prevail.
Why is evangelism a human rights issue?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true cure for evil and injustice. Christ offers every human forgiveness of his sins and a new heart, a spiritual rebirth. This is why it is "the human right" and deserves to be heard by everyone, everywhere.
Why do we replace speaking the truth with tolerance? Have we become numbed by this and complacency?
We do not have to choose between truth and tolerance. We are to speak the truth to others with gentleness and respect. Truth, by its very nature, is exclusive. By saying something is true, it logically follows that there is something false.
If telling others the truth is viewed as intolerant then society would cease to function. If we aren't certain that Christianity is true then we will be hesitant to engage others of different religions or beliefs. Complacency is rooted in confusion and uncertainty in regards to what is true.
The Bible has shaped us all along, can you tell us what you meant by this?
The Bible shaped the modern world. It tells us that the universe was the product of an intelligent, rational Creator. This belief gave birth to modern science. The Bible tells us we were made in the image of God and we are distinct from other animals.
This gave birth to the belief in human rights and human dignity. In light of this, we are called to love and care for others-regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status. Hospitals, orphanages, disaster relief and feeding the hungry are the result of the command to "love our neighbor as ourselves" .
The fact that there is a true moral authority in the universe means that good and evil are not illusions and that every person is accountable to God-even Kings, Rulers, Presidents and Prime Ministers.
What is the biggest challenge you see for our country and for civilization?
The Scripture reveals that we are in the midst of a cosmic struggle against the powers of darkness. With that said, every generation faces unique challenges. The list of threats and dangers facing us in the 21st century is indeed long and overwhelming.
Perhaps the greatest threat to our civilization is the growing depravity of mind that is described in Romans 1:28. When we fail to acknowledge and honor God our minds and hearts grow dark. The unthinkable atrocities committed in 20th century bear witness to this truth.
As followers of Christ, we must regain our confidence in the power of the Gospel and present its life-changing message to others. This can turn our greatest challenge into our greatest opportunity.