The Danger Of Promoting New Converts As Superstars

Nov 12th, 2022 | By

Since the 1960s and the emerging “Jesus Movement,” evangelical Christians have frequently elevated new converts to a position of near superstardom. My wife and I remember well the elevation of B.J. Thomas in the late 1970s. In his book, The Family Roe, Joshua Prager tells the tragic story of Norma McCorvey (aka the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade fame). McCorvey, an alcoholic, a chronic drug abuser, a lesbian, but also a mother, apparently converted to Christianity and became a “star convert,” paraded before crowds and the media. But her struggle with enslaving sinful habits demonstrated the messiness that goes with sin. She tried to live up to evangelical expectations, but rarely succeeded. She is a monument to the folly of elevating a new convert too quickly.

Men And Boys In Crisis: What Do We Do?

Nov 5th, 2022 | By

Years ago, G.K. Chesterton wrote, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing; they then become capable of believing in anything.” There is no better characterization of the state of Western Civilization than Chesterton’s acerbic observation. In a culture where we gather in comfortable silos of thinking and the ideology of that silo prevails over everything, truth is no longer important. The obvious, common sense conclusions are ignored and what the Bible calls foolishness reigns supreme.

The Danger And Spiritual Impoverishment Of Christian Nationalism

Oct 29th, 2022 | By

John F. Kennedy, a war hero running in his first congressional campaign, delivered a speech on 4 July 1946, at Faneuil Hall in Boston. It included a haunting meditation on the American soul: “A nation’s character, like that of an individual, is elusive,” Kennedy said. “It is produced partly by things we have done and partly by what has been done to us. It is the result of physical factors, intellectual factors, spiritual factors. . . . In peace, as in war, we will survive or fail according to its measure.” JFK was speaking of the national character.

The Decline Of Christianity In America

Oct 15th, 2022 | By

The anecdotal evidence for Christianity’s decline in America is not difficult to discern. Broadly speaking, we see it in the decline in church attendance. We see it in the millennial generation’s lack of commitment to institutions such as the church. We see it in the decline and closing of many Christian Bible colleges and liberal arts colleges. And we see it in the divisiveness in many churches produced by the COVID pandemic and the poisonous nature of politics seeping into church life. However, a new study just released by the Pew Research Center confirms some of our suppositions and observations.

The Surging Practice Of Cremation

Aug 27th, 2022 | By

In the 21st century, one of the major developments within American Christianity is the growing practice of cremation. Melissa Morgan Kelley of Christianity Today observes that “Surging cremation rates are upending traditional practices around death, as more people opt out of traditional church funerals and some skip communal experiences of grief altogether.” Historically, burning the body was associated with pagan practices and was often rejected by the Christian church.

Thinking Biblically About The Standard Model Of The Universe

Aug 20th, 2022 | By

The photographs NASA has posted from the James Webb Space Telescope, orbiting 1 million miles above the earth, are amazing. As I viewed them and read the details about each photo, I thought of Psalm 19 where David announces, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world . . . .” [ESV]

The Postmodern Progressive War On The Body

Aug 13th, 2022 | By

Over the years, one of the major arguments I have presented on Issues in Perspective is the Postmodern world’s passionate pursuit of personal autonomy. The term “autonomy” comes from two Greek words, “self” and “law.” In other words, autonomy is the pursuit of “self-law;” humans are a law unto themselves, or as the refrain from the end of the book of Judges puts it, “Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes.” This pursuit of autonomy rejects universal ethical standards and most forms of authority.

Cultural Madness In America, 2022

Jul 30th, 2022 | By

American culture in 2022 bears every evidence of a madness that defies reason and common sense. Quite frankly, it manifests an utter foolishness. As Chuck Colson used to declare, what was once unthinkable becomes debatable and gradually becomes acceptable. Such foolishness and madness reflects the downward spiral of evil explained by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:18-32. Consider these three examples of cultural madness.

Thinking Biblically About Cruelty And Evil

Jul 16th, 2022 | By

We are living in an age awash in cruelty—not only with abuse scandals, but also with political barbarism and the horrific atrocities in Ukraine. But perhaps the most disheartening are the mass shootings we have witnessed these past few months: The vicious, racially motivated slaughter in Buffalo (10 killed and 3 wounded by a white gunman, an adherent to the pernicious racist conspiracy theory) and the unimaginable heartbreak in Uvalde, Texas—19 Robb Elementary children and 2 teachers: “Children having their tomorrows taken away.”

What Is Happening To The Church?

Jun 18th, 2022 | By

Samuel Goh, lecturer of Old Testament at Brisbane Theological Seminary in Australia, has recently written of the “social reality” of American evangelicalism: A polarization that is paralyzing the evangelical church. Consider some of his observations