The Cultural Contradictions Of Enforced Orthodoxy

Feb 11th, 2023 | By

In last week’s Issues in Perspective, I quoted conservative author Rod Dreher: “. . . The conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent. This word order signifies harmony. There are two aspects or types of order: the inner order of the soul, and the outer order of the commonwealth. . . . The problem of order has been a principal concern of conservatives ever since conservative became a term of politics.” Our 21st century world has experienced the hideous consequences of the collapse of belief in a moral order.

Artificial Intelligence: A Potentially Ominous Technology

Jan 21st, 2023 | By

Years ago my son gave me an article from the journal Wired that envisioned the future of human technology, which will be organized around genetics, robotics and nanotechnology. The article was indeed prophetic for the 21st century. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a synthesis of both robotics and nanotechnology. It is a remarkable advance in human understanding and mastery of the world of technology. As a Christian, I can also view this advance as an example of God’s common grace, enabling humanity to exercise dominion over His world.

The Changing Face Of Protestant Christianity

Jan 7th, 2023 | By

One element of the mission of Issues in Perspective is to provide biblically-centered perspectives on cultural issues. Therefore, periodically I give emphasis to developments within Christianity. Recent census data demonstrate the significant changes occurring within Protestant Christianity. Daniel Sillman of Christianity Today provides a helpful summary of this data.

What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?

Dec 24th, 2022 | By

George Bailey is the hero of that sentimental movie classic associated with Christmas—Frank Capra’s 1946 “It’s A Wonderful Life.” George Bailey’s life was rather ordinary, but it was a life that fell frustratingly short of his ambitious dreams. Fateful decisions, piercing disappointments and the relentless threat of his nemesis, Mr. Potter, lead George to a moment of great despair: He is ready to jump off a bridge. But, through the intervention of an implausible angel named Clarence, George gets to see what his world would be like if he had never been born.

The Words We Speak: Evangelicals “Speak” To Our Culture

Dec 3rd, 2022 | By

James, the brother of Jesus, explains that “the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” Later in the same chapter he declares that “if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” [ESV]

Thanksgiving In Historical Perspective

Nov 26th, 2022 | By

When did the national day of Thanksgiving begin in the United States? After the United States had completed its Constitution in 1787 and the new Congress was in session, the Congress proposed that the Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution as the first 10 amendments. (The Bill of Rights was one of the conditions for ratification of the Constitution). Representative Elias Boudinot of New Jersey and Connecticut Congressman Roger Sherman proposed that President Washington declare a national day of Thanksgiving, with “one voice, in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them.”

Teachers And The Crisis In American Public Education

Nov 19th, 2022 | By

Most educators agree that public education in America is in crisis. This crisis is multi-faceted, but no matter how one examines this crisis, teachers are the most important facet of education. They spend the most time with America’s youth and their impact can be enormous.

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.