Religious Liberty Under Siege?

Nov 10th, 2012 | By

One of the many precious liberties we enjoy as Americans is freedom of religion. Indeed, the First Amendment to the US Constitution reads, ?. . . Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . .? This Amendment guarantees that America will never have a state church and it also guarantees that the state will always protect the freedom of religious expression. It is the ?free exercise? clause that is so dear to us, especially to Christians. . . . [R]eligious freedom in our nation is coming under a sustained and rather relentless attack. What is the evidence for this claim? Matthew J. Franck, Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute, offers several poignant examples of this claim:

Evil: Its Challenge for the Christian

Oct 27th, 2012 | By

Of all the challenges Christians face in defending their faith, the existence of evil is one of the most formidable. We claim that God is good, yet there is suffering, pain and monstrous acts of barbarity. Add to that the existence of mass murderers, serial killers and the monotonous regularity of murder in our cities. Evil has a deep, penetrating darkness to it and, when it comes to personal motivation of those who do evil, there is an almost impenetrable wall that defies investigation

The Psalms and Science

Oct 13th, 2012 | By

Together with Psalm 1, Psalm 2 introduces the major themes of the book of Psalms, the hymnbook of ancient Israel. Psalm 1 teaches that the blessed human being is the one who enjoys the ?sumptuous meal? of God?s Word each day?and then meditates on it throughout the day. Psalm 2 helped the ancient Israelites to understand how they fit into God?s big picture. It is about worldview issues. Together, these two Psalms give focus to what is really important to God. . . Finally, Psalm 19 is the perfect introduction to thinking about science, for it argues for the complementarity of God?s two revelations?His world and His Word.

Religious and Political Liberty in 2012

Aug 11th, 2012 | By

The United States was founded on the principles of both religious and political liberty. These precious principles were enshrined in the Bill of Rights, especially the First Amendment. As a nation that has championed these rights throughout its history and indeed the world, in terms of protecting these rights, our nation is changing. Rights and personal liberties are now defined as personal autonomy, something never envisioned by our Founders. Permit me to offer several thoughts.

The American Culture and Boys

Jul 21st, 2012 | By

Not too long ago, many in the educational community ignored the evidence?but no longer: Boys are falling behind?catastrophically in many categories. That boys (and eventually men) are not keeping up with girls (and women) is not a positive culturally development. A number of years ago, the historian, Ann Douglas, wrote the important book, The Feminization of American Culture, which documented the developments that have ?feminized? our culture. Consider two important developments, both reflections of the cultural turmoil resulting from the confusion over sexual roles:


Jun 9th, 2012 | By

Occasionally on Issues in Perspective, I summarize, as an update, the situation in the Middle East, especially as it relates to Israel. With the so-called ?Arab Spring,? the continued threat of nuclear weapons in Iran, the growing carnage in Syria and the uncertainty of Egypt, with which Israel has a thirty-year-old treaty, Israel remains an oasis of democracy, stability and prosperity in the Middle East. In addition, God has an unconditional covenant relationship with the Jewish people and He promised to bring His people back to their land. I believe He is doing just that today. Therefore, it is quite important that we as Christians keep our eye on the Middle East, especially Israel. Several observations of recent developments that directly impact the Jewish people and the nation-state of Israel:

Is Biblical Christianity Viable?

Apr 21st, 2012 | By

Religion remains a powerful force in Western civilization, especially the United States. . . As I argued in a recent edition of Issues in Perspective, the God of many Americans, especially teens and emerging adults, is a moralistic therapeutic deistic God, not the God of the Bible. So, where does this leave us as a civilization? Is genuine, biblical Christianity viable in the United States?

A Moralistic, Therapeutic, Deistic God?

Apr 14th, 2012 | By

One of my favorite authors today is sociologist Christian Smith, who has authored a series of books that superbly analyze the culture of American teens and emerging adults (18-30 years of age). In his 2005 study, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, Smith summarizes the worldview of America?s teen culture. In this Perspective, I want to summarize Smith?s thesis.

The Hunger Games

Apr 7th, 2012 | By

If you have a young daughter or granddaughter, you have no doubt heard of The Hunger Games, the first of three novels written by Suzanne Collins. A remarkable best-seller that has enthralled young girls and boys, it is now a blockbuster movie, setting records for a just-released movie. It is an engaging and provocative story, filled with themes and underlying messages, not incompatible with biblical Christianity.

The Christian Worldview: Answers to Serious Challenges

Mar 31st, 2012 | By

As a Christian leader, I believe that only the Christian worldview provides answers to the challenges of our world. Let me use three examples in this edition of Issues in Perspective.