George H.W. Bush: President As Servant Leader

Dec 15th, 2018 | By

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-2018) died on Friday evening, 30 November 2018. He had a form of Parkinson’s disease that forced him to use a wheelchair or motorized scooter in recent years. He served as president from 1989 to 1993, capping a career of more than 40 years of public service. A decorated Navy pilot (compiling 126 carrier landings and 58 missions) who was shot down in the Pacific in 1944, he was the last of the World War II generation to serve as president. President Bush was a skilled negotiator and diplomat and, as president, helped end the Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a careful handling of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the liberation of Eastern Europe. James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State, said of President Bush: “[He] was the best one term president the country has ever had, and one of the most underrated presidents of all time. I think history is going to treat him well.”



Gene-Editing And Genetically Altered Babies

Dec 8th, 2018 | By

Science has always struggled with the scientific (technological) imperative: Just because science can do something does not mean it must do it. That imperative is now being tested by the gene editing technique known as CRISPR. For several years now, several scientists have warned of the day when the gene editing technique CRISPR would be used to create a genetically altered human being. Among other things, their concern was that that CRISPR would be misused to alter everything from eye color to IQ. For this reason many nations have banned CRISPR and any procedure that deliberately alters the genes of a human embryo.



China vs. America And The New World Order

Dec 1st, 2018 | By

The world order put together by the United States after World War II is unraveling. In the Middle East, nation states are disappearing, replaced by ancient tribalism and clan loyalties rooted deep in the region’s history. The benefits of open borders with lower tariffs and growing international trade are being challenged by a narrow nationalism, a dangerous isolationism and a short-sighted introversion. All aspects of the old order (e.g., the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, NATO and the European Union) are under siege with little or no public trust in that order. Because this old order was built on globalization, free trade and a commitment to democracy, the democracy part of the foundation is producing an unexpected tension between the leaders of the world and those being led. Upheaval, chaos, disorder and dysfunction now characterize our world. There is no better evidence of this unraveling than the relationship between China and the United States.



“We Gather Together”: A Thanksgiving Hymn In Historical Perspective

Nov 24th, 2018 | By

This is Thanksgiving weekend and it is appropriate in this edition of Issues in Perspective, to focus on Thanksgiving.  To that end, I want to concentrate on the Thanksgiving hymn, “We Gather Together.”  Melanie Kirkpatrick of the Wall Street Journal offers an instructive history about this traditional hymn.  The hymn, “We Gather Together” (“Wilt heden
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Vladimir Putin And The Orthodox Church: Using Faith To Serve The State

Nov 17th, 2018 | By

Vladimir Putin often repeats the claim that Russia and Ukraine are “one people.” Yet, his annexation of Crimea in 2014 and his subsequent “little war” in eastern Ukraine have pushed Orthodox religious folks in Ukraine farther away from his dream. What is his dream? Namely, to portray his government as a reincarnation of the old czarist empire where the Russian Orthodox Church served the interests of the Russian czar. Church and state were inextricably linked in czarist Russia. The Kremlin used the church as an instrument of its old imperial control. Putin has the same vision for Russia in 2018. But the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not buying into Putin’s dream.



The Definition Of Citizenship: A Legitimate Controversy In 2018?

Nov 10th, 2018 | By

What is a citizen? When the Founders of this Republic wrote the Constitution during the summer of 1787, they did not include a definition of citizenship in the Constitution. During the early decades of the history of the American Republic, various laws were passed that heightened the ambiguity of what does citizenship mean and what are the requirements for citizenship?



Where Is American Civilization Going? The Challenge For The Church

Nov 3rd, 2018 | By

Globally speaking, the church is at a significant crossroads right now. The geographical epicenter of our faith is shifting from its centuries-old epicenter in the northern hemisphere (e.g., Western Europe, the United States, Canada) to the southern hemisphere (e.g., Latin America, Africa, South Asia), where it continues to grow at astonishing rates. In his book The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South, Phillip Jenkins argues that 60% of the world’s population of Christians right now live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By 2050, we’ll see these numbers shift even further; estimates indicated that there will be approximately 3 billion Christians in the world, 75% of whom will live in the Global South.



The Loneliness Epidemic In Our “Connected” World

Oct 27th, 2018 | By

British historian, Fay Bound Alberti, co-founder of the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary University of London, writes that, “By the 21st century, loneliness has become ubiquitous. Commentators call it ‘an epidemic’, a condition akin to ‘leprosy’, and a ‘silent plague’ of civilization. In 2018, the United Kingdom went so far as to appoint a Minister for Loneliness. Yet loneliness is not a universal condition; nor is it a purely visceral, internal experience. It is less a single emotion and more a complex cluster of feelings, composed of anger, grief, fear, anxiety, sadness and shame. It also has social and political dimensions, shifting through time according to ideas about the self, God and the natural world.”



The Subtle Threat Posed By The Growing National Debt

Oct 20th, 2018 | By

The significant tax cut passed by the Republican-controlled Congress last year is a source of pride and joy for the Republican Party and especially for President Trump. The Republican Congress is now seeking to make these tax cuts permanent



Vladimir Putin’s Growing Footprint In The Middle East

Oct 13th, 2018 | By

Few have noticed what I believe to be one of the more momentous developments of 2018—the growing Russian footprint in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin has a major naval base in Syria, at least two airbases and a diplomatic clout with many Middle Eastern governments not seen since the days of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.