Denis Haack and Ransom Fellowship

Denis & Margie Haack

Denis Haack is co-founder, with his best friend and wife Margie, of Ransom
. Ransom is an attempt to make sense of life in our global and
fast-paced world in light of the Story that is related in Scripture and centered
in the extraordinary life, teaching, death, resurrection and reign of Jesus of
Nazareth (find out more about it HERE). Denis is the editor of Critique, is writing a book on what Christian faithfulness looks like in a pluralistic culture, is a visiting instructor in practical theology at Covenant Seminary, and writes a blog A Glass Darkly.

I have met Denis Haack for the first time in Slovakia, at a meeting organised by CARE UK, where many former Francis Schaeffer disciples were present. Edith Schaeffer herself was present there.

We have seen there and had a hot debate around Babette’s Feast, an intriguing Danish movie. Denis argued that the movie is a Christianity friendly movie, while Herb Schlossberg (author of the book, Idols for destruction), another Schaeffer fan present at that event, argued that the movie was trying to subtly undermine the Gospel. I must confess I was much more convinced by the arguments presented by Denis.

I would like to encourage you to browse through these web sites by quoting a few paragraphs from a recent blog post on a theme that is much debated here, that of fundamentalism vs. relativism. here it is:

On the face of it, relativism is the foundation for a weak culture. In the case of western Europe and North America where the structural dynamics that underwrite relativism are most pervasive, all aspects of the dominant normative order are fragmented and the plausibility structures that frame any particular subculture are fragile. It is no wonder that in these societies one finds little by way of strongly held beliefs, values, ideals, practices, and rituals shared in common. Relativism itself, whether a philosophy or a working set of assumptions for the average person, has no ethical coherence and it provides no language or vision for a common future and therefore it offers few if any resources for collective action.

By contrast, fundamentalism asserts itself as a strong culture. However implausible, unattractive, or impractical it is to most people, fundamentalism (in its variety) is rooted in a strong epistemology and therefore, in a limited way, it operates with a strong ontology, coherent ethics, and clear teleology. It is true that against the ubiquity and force of the global economy and its torrential flows of information, entertainment, and technology, fundamentalism is institutionally weak. Yet the culture of fundamentalism provides a strong normative framework for collective action.

But even as a normative order, the various fundamentalisms are far weaker than they appear. The weakness of fundamentalism is betrayed by its essentially negational character, a character that takes form in its highly cultivated resentments. Read on…





Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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