The Shifting World Order In 2023

Oct 14th, 2023 | By

With the 1945 victory in World War II, the United States began to construct an entirely new world order based on freedom of movement, global trade and a monetary system rooted in the American dollar. The implementation of that order produced the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and other entities. Today, that order is coming apart and its effects are widespread and potentially destabilizing.

The Loss Of Trust In American Civilization: An Existential Crisis

Oct 7th, 2023 | By

Gerard Baker of the Wall Street Journal makes this astute observation: “At the heart of America’s political and cultural turmoil is a crisis of trust. In the space of a generation, the people’s confidence in their leaders and their most important institutions to do the right thing has collapsed. The federal government, big business, the media, education, science and medicine, technology, religious institutions, law enforcement and others have seen a precipitous decline. As public faith in the performance, credibility and integrity of these institutions has collapsed, so too has mutual trust—the social glue that holds the country together. Americans have become suspicious of one another, distrusting their fellow citizens as much as they distrust foreign adversaries.”

Moral Formation In American Civilization

Sep 30th, 2023 | By

Anyone who is intellectually honest can only reach the conclusion that American civilization, morally and ethically, manifests a depravity and decadence that permeates almost everything. There is polarization, anger and bitterness. There is confusion, dysfunction and moral chaos. There is loneliness, isolation and seclusion fostered and enhanced by the social media phenomenon so pervasive within our civilization. Public education is adrift in terms of curriculum, the absence of discipline and the depressing results of the basic requirements of life—reading and math skills. Columnist David Brooks laments all of this in a recent essay declaring that American civilization now lacks a reliable vehicle for what he calls “moral formation.” In this Perspective, I want to quote extensively from this essay and then offer a conclusion sourced in Scripture.

Evidence Of Cultural Decadence: The Case Against Cultural Accommodation

Sep 23rd, 2023 | By

One of my favorite columnists is Ross Douthat, who writes for the New York Times. Douthat is a devout Roman Catholic and has written extensively on his faith and the Church. I do not always agree with some of his theological conclusions, but I am usually challenged by his insights. Recently, he wrote on the theological and cultural divisions within his Church—between the “liberal Catholic” and the more conservative Catholic on certain cultural issues. The typical “liberal Catholic” is pushing for greater accommodation of the Church to the broader culture. Among other things, they argue, this is a necessary step for the Church to remain relevant in this postmodern world.

The National Debt And The Imminent Fiscal Crisis

Sep 16th, 2023 | By

As columnist George Will so eloquently puts it: “This nation is slouching into the most predictable fiscal crisis in its history.” On 1 August 2023, Fitch Ratings lowered the credit rating of the United States one notch to AA+ from a perfect AAA. The firm, citing a “deterioration in governance” along with America’s mounting debt load, suggested that “it could be a long time before that decision [i]s reversed.” This credit rating change is similar to the drop to AA+ in 2011 by S&P Global, which has kept its rating there. There is a profound lack of willingness to compromise and reasonably discuss the national debt on the part of both political parties.

Rule Of Law And An Independent Judiciary

Sep 9th, 2023 | By

When our Founders wrote the Constitution in the summer of 1787, they structured this democratic-republic around a three-part federal government—an executive, a legislature and an independent judiciary. This separation of powers was to provide a built-in set of checks and balances to guarantee that no one individual or group of individuals would amass too much power. From the Marbury v. Madison opinion in 1803 by Chief Justice John Marshal, the judiciary has the authority of judicial review. It is the role of the judiciary to interpret the Constitution of the United States. To that end, the judiciary has the authority to review executive and legislative actions to determine whether those actions are constitutional or not.

Israel And The West Bank: A Biblical And Historical Perspective

Sep 2nd, 2023 | By

The state of Israel captured the West Bank of the Jordan River from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War. Historically and biblically in terms of Israel’s history, this area is known as Judea and Samaria. It is part of the land God promised to Abraham by covenant (Genesis 12:1-7; 15:18, etc.). Since 1967, Israel has been slowly planting Jewish settlements on the West Bank, but this has accelerated and intensified under the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The expansion of these settlements runs counter to the so-called “two-state” solution, which refers to the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The Quest For Power In Evangelical Politics

Aug 26th, 2023 | By

If you ask the typical evangelical Christian in America the question, “do you believe that humans are basically good or bad,” most would affirm that humans are basically bad or what Scripture calls sinners. We are born sinners and that is why we need the salvation that Jesus offers. He died a substitutionary death and was resurrected, conquering sin, Satan and death. He is our only hope and our only deliverance from the ravages of sin. It is difficult to trust humans as a result.

The Rise Of Artificial Superintelligence: The Need To Defend Humanity

Aug 19th, 2023 | By

In a recent essay in The Atlantic, executive editor Adrienne LaFrance wrote: Imagine an internet infrastructure “with programs that communicate with a veneer of authority on any subject, with the ability to generate sophisticated, original text, audio, and video, and the power to mimic individuals in a manner so convincing that people will not know what is real. These self-teaching AI models are being designed to become better at what they do with every single interaction.”

The National Report Card On Public Education

Aug 12th, 2023 | By

As a reward to the teacher unions of the United States, who strongly supporting his run for the presidency, Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education, a Cabinet level Department with a large bureaucracy, in 1979. Today that Department funnels billions of tax dollars to elementary, secondary and college institutions throughout the United States. Especially for the public elementary and secondary schools, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that this Department and the tax dollars spent have not produced a good return on investment. Arguably, most intellectually honest educators admit that the American system of public education is in need of thoroughgoing reform. But both Democrats and Republicans have blind spots when it comes to educational reform: Those on the left generally ignore bad public schools, pander to unions and protect underperforming teachers. Those on the right tend to stress private schools over public, ignoring the plight of children caught in public schools with no other option.