Israel: The Good News And The Bad

Oct 30th, 2021 | By

My wife and I have found that the daily news is a ceaseless burden. The supreme optimist, Steven Pinker, observes that if you were “to read the news every day for a few decades it would be easy to miss the progress that had been made over that span.” Part of the explanation for this is the time period in question: good things usually happen incrementally, bad things (like natural disasters or murders) happen in shorter chunks of time. The “bad things” oddly, get more coverage.

Mark 10:46-11:33

Oct 29th, 2021 | By

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is followed by His cursing of the fig tree (a metaphor for Israel), cleansing the Temple complex and the challenge to HIs authority by the spiritual leadership.

The “Faith” Of Atheism

Oct 23rd, 2021 | By

In 1933 a group of thirty-four liberal US humanists drafted the “Humanist Manifesto I,” which for its time was a radical document. Committed to reason, science and democracy, the document rejected orthodox and dogmatic positions and argued for a “new statement of the means and purposes of religion.” [Paul Kurtz, ed., The Humanist Manifesto I and II, Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1973, p. 8] The Manifesto maintained that the universe is “self-existing and not created,” explained only by the evolutionary hypothesis. The Manifesto affirmed that the human race is the center of all things and that religion must be redefined in these terms. Finally, the Manifesto rejected capitalism and affirmed some kind of socialist order as the wave of the future.

Mark 10:23-45

Oct 22nd, 2021 | By

As Jesus predicts His future sufferings, His death and His resurrection, He teaches His disciples about “greatness” and about servant leadership.

America 2021: Resentment, Alienation, Endless Political Dysfunction

Oct 16th, 2021 | By

American civilization is in trouble. One troubling symptom is what sociologists are now calling “tribalism” within our civilization. In one sense, the state of our civilization resembles the period between 1850-1860, when the battle lines between the north and the south hardened, which ultimately produced the Civil War (1861-1865). But, the tribalism of 2021 is different. It is not about slavery and the direction of America—slave or free. It is much deeper.

American Higher Education And American Culture, 2021

Oct 9th, 2021 | By

Colonial America saw the founding of important institutions of higher education, all of which stressed preparing men for leadership in the colonies, especially spiritual leadership: Harvard (1636), Yale (1701), the College of William and Mary (1693), the College of New Jersey [later known as Princeton University] (1746), and the Academy of Philadelphia [later known as the University of Pennsylvania] (1755). As each developed a unique intellectual identity, each wrestled with Puritan theology or Anglican theology, as well as the 18th century Enlightenment, which by the 1740s was penetrating all facets of American intellectual life. Each produced the key leaders of the American movement towards independence from Great Britain (e.g., Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison). These educational institutions were centers of both Protestant Reformation thinking and Enlightenment thinking. The tension that arose between these two intellectual and theological revolutions shaped the development of America.

Mark 10:13-28

Oct 8th, 2021 | By

Jesus stresses child-like faith, while emphasizing how wealth can become as a god in our lives.

Abortion Update, 2021

Oct 2nd, 2021 | By

The Supreme Court decision in 1973, Roe v. Wade was a watershed in judicial history. The 7-2 decision established the right of a woman to abort her baby up to the point of viability, usually understood to be during the first trimester of the pregnancy. The Court also permitted other situations where an abortion could occur within the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. The result was that America had one of the most liberal abortion standards in the world. Abortion therefore has been at the center of the culture war battles since 1973. It is far from resolved and it has further polarized American culture.

Mark 9:42-10:9

Oct 1st, 2021 | By

Jesus issues a call to radical discipleship and to be His salt in a broken world.