Profound Concerns About Evangelicalism In 2022

Feb 5th, 2022 | By

The two major political parties in the US have always exhibited partisanship; that is the nature of politics. But, the political culture of America in early 2022 is meaner and more dysfunctional than at any other point in American history, save the last few years of the 1850s right before the Civil War. For example, The Economist’s John Prideaux writes that “Partisans really loathe each other: 40% reckon the other side are ‘downright evil,’ 60% that they are ‘a threat to the United States.’ Lilliana Mason of Johns Hopkins has written persuasively about the rise of what she calls ‘lethal partisanship’ in the electorate. Yet those views are often based on a caricature of what the other side is really like. Some enthusiastic Republicans think that Democrats are a bunch of socialist snowflakes who hate America. Some committed Democrats believe that Republicans are crypto-fascist racists who hate science. The vast majority of Democrats and Republicans are neither America-hating socialists nor crypto-fascist bigots. So why are such views, which feed the worst kind of partisanship, so widespread?

Individualism, The Pursuit Of Autonomy And The Church

Jan 29th, 2022 | By

Since we are in the early weeks of 2022, it is important for us who name Christ’s name, to remind ourselves of the priorities of our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. To that end, let’s give focus to the church, the most important institution God created for the proclamation and living out of His rescue plan for lost humanity. At conversion we are placed into the body of Christ, the church, which, among other things, is the family of God. “I” becomes “we” and it is in the local church where we begin to live out this family name. We are now free in Christ; the bondage to sin has been broken and selfishness, self-centeredness and self-indulgence are replaced with an other-centered love for people. We are willing to surrender our rights and liberties in Christ for the common good—for our families, for our local church and for our communities. How does the church relate to key biblical concepts?

The Post-War International Order And 21st-Century Nationalism

Jan 22nd, 2022 | By

The 20th century witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust and the rise of atheistic communism. That century changed the role of the United States in world affairs. Since the administration of George Washington, the US largely followed the doctrine of isolationism, which was forcefully articulated in the 1823 Monroe Doctrine. But it was Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter World War I and his subsequent 14 Points, which championed the principle of national self-determination and set the agenda for the 1919 Versailles Treaty, which challenged this isolationism. The US was going to “make the world safe for democracy.”

The Role Of The United States In The World Order?

Jan 15th, 2022 | By

The Economist commented in early December that “Unfortunately, America is tiring of its role as guarantor of the liberal order. The giant has not exactly fallen asleep again, but its resolve is faltering and its enemies are testing it. Vladimir Putin is massing troops on the border with Ukraine and could soon invade. China is buzzing Taiwan’s airspace with fighter jets, using mock-ups of American aircraft-carriers for target practice and trying out hypersonic weapons. Iran has taken such a maximalist stance at nuclear talks that many observers expect them to collapse. Thus, two autocratic powers threaten to seize land currently under democratic control, and a third threatens to violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty by building a nuclear bomb. How far would America go to prevent such reckless acts?”

The End Of Abortion In America?

Jan 8th, 2022 | By

In early December, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which could result in the Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The normal procedure for the Court is to hold a preliminary vote on the decision, after which the Chief Justice, John Roberts, assigns a member of the majority to write the decision, which is then reviewed and amended by the Court; a decision no doubt will be handed down in late June 2022. At this point, it is uncertain what that decision might be. Permit me this opportunity to review the history of abortion since 1973 and then analyze the possible scenarios of what might occur in June.

Evaluating COVID’s Impact Through 2021

Jan 1st, 2022 | By

Russell Moore, Christianity Today’s chair of theology, recently wrote that “Many have referred to the past couple of years as an ‘apocalypse.’ Some use the word just to mean ‘akin to a dystopian movie.’ But others, mostly Christians, have pointed to the word’s actual meaning—an unveiling. We have seen awful things uncovered. People we thought were prophets and pastors turned out to be predators. Thousands of our neighbors died gasping for air, while others screamed at one another about whether to wear masks or get vaccines. Churches and denominations and even families split in a way we never would have imagined a decade ago.” COVID and how to respond to it has divided families, churches and neighbors. Its effect has been pernicious and incredibly disruptive. On top of everything else, COVID has further divided an already polarized nation.

Christmas: Themes Of Hallelujah And Worship

Dec 25th, 2021 | By

Sometime during the 2021 Christmas season, you have no doubt heard the reverberating words from George Friderich Handel’s imposing oratorio, Messiah. Written in just twenty-four days in 1741, Messiah has three distinct sections: part one, the “Christmas Story;” part two, “The Redemption Story”; and part three, “The Resurrection and Future Reign of Christ on Heaven and Earth.” Initially, Handel’s oratorio was performed more during the Easter holiday, but gradually it became associated with Christmas, such that today it is almost always performed sometime in December by community, church and college choirs throughout the nation.

Identity And Indoctrination: “Wokeness” In American Civilization

Dec 18th, 2021 | By

The Bible affirms the value and worth of human life in all of its diversity. The Bible provides no basis for favoring or discriminating against any group of people on the basis of their backgrounds; rather, the Bible views all human beings as worthy of honor and respect, because all are created in the image of God. In God’s eyes, there is an essential unity of all human beings. Ephesians 3:1-10 makes clear that God’s purpose is for His church to become living examples of racial unity and harmony, welcoming and including people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds in full and equal fellowship in the body of Christ.

The New Normal In The Culture Of Death: Assisted Dying

Dec 11th, 2021 | By

The Economist, a conservative British publication (in the historic British “liberal” tradition of Edmund Burke and Walter Bagehot), first made the case for assisted dying in 2015. It argued that freedom should include the right to choose the manner and timing of one’s own death, while also cautioning that the practice should be carefully monitored and regulated to avoid abuses.

American Public Education: An Institution In Crisis

Dec 4th, 2021 | By

The Northwest Ordinance of 1785 and the subsequent Land Ordinance organized the territory the United States gained by the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. Among other things, these acts organized the territories into townships and set aside one section in each township for a public school. In the early decades of the new republic called the United States, it was understood that public schools would be a cooperative effort between the parents, the church and the school itself. Indeed, in these early decades well into the 19th century, schools were often held in the churches.