Archive for the ‘Society & Culture’ category

Check Out This Post on God and the Newtown Massacre

December 19, 2012

As far as I am concerned Jeff Weddle hit this one out of the park: School Shootings and School Prayer.

I do pray for the safety of my wife and daughters multiple times a week but I don’t pretend that God is some kind of genie in a bottle.

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A Good Post Worth Reading

October 25, 2012

I am still here even though I haven’t posted much for the last month. For those of you who still check out my blog from time to time I thought I would link to a good article on the Christian Watershed blog written by J. Matthan Brown. Mr Brown has been writing a series of articles about the proper way for Christians to transform the increasingly pagan/heathen/worldly American culture. I think he is spot on with his post “Transforming Our Culture From the Bottom Up (Part Two)” and I invite you all to read it.

A Recommended Article on the Lack of Christian Thought

July 29, 2012

Thanks to Alex at The Pedestrian Christian blog I have spent several hours over the last two days reading articles at Paul’s Passing Thoughts blog. There is one article in particular at Paul’s Passing Thoughts that has caused me to think very hard about how Christians interact with the fallen world around us (I suspect that Paul Dohse, the author, would be happy to hear that).

Before I provide a link to the article I want to give you a little background as to why this is important to me. I grew up in Colorado and all of my family still live there. When a monster commits an act like the recent movie theater massacre it always bothers me but when it happens at “home” my stress level increases dramatically. Add to this the Columbine shootings of fifteen years ago and President Reagan’s would be assassin being from Colorado and it seems like Colorado has had more than its “fair share” of wackos.

What is going on here and how should a Christian engage others on such issues? Paul Dohse has a thought provoking article on the topic which I recommend. Even if the movie massacre doesn’t hit home to you there will be, sooner or later, some incident that will. You will be best served if you start thinking about it now so you will be prepared. Here is a quote from “Recent Movie Theater Massacre Further Reveals Christian Sloth” which I recommend highly:

And the reason is Christian sloth, primarily in the area of THINKING. American Christianity has become a flock of lazy thinkers. We like our Christianity easy, and mindless, and are willing to endure the misery that comes with it. Sound bites, clichés, and truisms long ago replaced Christ’s exhortation to seek with all of our heart, soul, and mind. In the recent TANC conference on Gospel Discernment and Spiritual Tyranny, John Immel got it right: “thinking is hard” and “ideas are hard” and Christians are up to neither. This is why we prefer things that are EASY. Thinking is hard. And the Colorado massacre reveals such.

I am not going to cite specific examples, but the Christian articles going viral on the internet are the ones offering the pat answers and borrowing sound bites from the world; for example, calling the massacre a “senseless act.” No it wasn’t. The act was masterfully planned. When the goal of the individual is considered, the act makes perfect sense and again, was very well planned. Like the world, Christians continue to call such well-planned actions “senseless”—because that’s easy and we don’t have to make sense of it—that’s hard.

The Bible, Government, and American Politics 2012 Edition

May 18, 2012

I have been interested in politics since I was in my early teens. I really have no idea why that is and, as I grow older, I have come to believe that it is a waste of my time and a distraction from what is truly important in life. Voting is a responsibility that I have always taken seriously and probably always will but I do not think that politics is a solution to any of life’s problems. That is particularly true for Christians.

In March the Chafer Theological Seminary held its 2012 Pastors’ Conference the topic of which was “The Role of the Christian in the National Entity” (the videos can be found here and the papers presented here). I ordered the conference DVDs and am currentlyworking my way through them. What really comes through to me when viewing these presentations is how much at odds the biblical viewpoint of government is from the viewpoint now prevalent in the United States (this was not always the case).

What I am going to do today is comment on a trend that I have noticed in mainstream “conservative” political thought and then provide an extended quote from Charles Clough’s paper from the Pastors’ Conference. You should notice that there is a huge difference in worldview here. In fact that difference should almost stand up and slap you in the chops. It’s that big.

Before I go on I want to be up front and mention that I am comparing the Biblical view to what is considered “conservative” political thought in the United States today. I have come to the realization that my “conservative” worldview (I am labeled as a “social conservative”) has nothing to do with pretty much any other variety of modern American “conservative.” I no longer expect that any conservative group or political party in the United States will desire the membership of my kind of conservative. I don’t think that many other likeminded Christians have realized this yet but they should be getting the point over the next year or so.

I should probably point out that I use an example from a self described libertarian below. Libertarian thought and philosophy is becoming much more mainstream in so-called conservative circles and many Christians are being lured into it. I think that is a mistake. (more…)

Dissembling on Biblical Inspiration

September 16, 2011

In the last five or six years I have made a lot of acquaintances on the internet. Some of these I agree with on things theological but most I don’t. Of course this is to be expected and I try to roll with the punches. However, I have had several interactions with one of these acquaintances over the last two months that has disturbed me. I am going to write about some of that interaction while trying to apply the concept of unconditional love (agapaō), which I have been writing about lately, toward a fellow member of the Body of Christ.

I first met Jeremy Meyers online at his Till He Comes blog when he was still employed by the Grace Evangelical Society (GES). He was a soon-to-be graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and appeared to have a solidly dispensational understanding of scripture and all things theological. That began to change and after a while he posted an article on his blog which got him fired from the GES. After that he appeared to go through a difficult period in his life and by the time it was all said and done his theology changed a lot. He now seems to have a lot more in common with Emergent Church theologians like Brian McLaren than with L.S. Chafer.

That saddens me but that is Jeremy’s decision not mine. What does bother me is the large series of posts he has been writing on Biblical inerrancy (link here to see search results for his blog that contain the word “inerrancy”). I am going to provide links to several of these articles and state what he didn’t: the case for inerrancy is a lot stronger than he claims. In fact he knows that to be the case because of his theological training. (more…)

Mike Huckabee, Politics, and Christianity

December 2, 2009

One of the things I like about having my own blog is that I can get on my soapbox anytime I feel like it. Of course there is a chance that I will come to disagree with what I write sometime in the future (I always reserve the right to change my mind).

One of the big news stories this week is about four Washington state police officers that were murdered this past weekend. The murderer (I suppose I can call him a murderer since he is dead and there will never be a trial making it “official”) was Maurice Clemmons who had a long jail sentence at least partially commuted by then Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (this happened around ten years ago). While I will be up front and say that I have never trusted Mike Huckabee, I also want to say that this post is not really about former Governor Huckabee but about the divisions I am seeing between Christians because of this situation. (more…)

Do Nations Owe God Anything?: An Example

November 23, 2009

When I posted my short article “Do Nations Owe God Anything?” on Friday I wasn’t expecting to have an example of what I was discussing show up come Monday morning. At The Reformed Pastor blog, David Fischler quotes from the Manhattan  Declaration, which is an ecumenical statement released by 125 Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant evangelical leaders which speaks to some of the hot button moral issues of today. His post also quotes from a response to the ecumenical statement by Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU).

While I will not personally take part in any ecumenical organizations or statements, I do find the Manhattan Declaration to be interesting. A lot of the rationale in the declaration is in line with what I have written about in the Divine Institutions. I particularly agreed with this quote from the declaration:

Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Immunity from religious coercion is the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.

The response from the Rev. Barry Lynn of the AU is bothersome.:

Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “This declaration is certain to be deeply divisive. These religious leaders want to see their doctrines imposed by force of law, and that goes against everything America stands for.

As I said in my earlier post, every law and regulation is a moral statement. To seek laws that force Roman Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or pastors to perform same sex marriages is evil (yes, it is e-v-i-l).

It is always strange to me that those that accuse “right wing” Christians of being doctrinnaire have a lot of non-negotiable doctrines themselves.

UPDATE

It appears that the Manhattan Declaration is stirring up a lot of folks on the internet. Tom Gilson at his Thinking Chritian blog is having quite the debate. He makes some good points in his “The Basis for Moral Realism” post.

UPDATE II

I am seeing other conversations regarding what nations owe God. Bob Godwin at his One Cʘsmos blog has been reading what sounds like and interesting book titled “We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future” by Matthew Spalding. The founding fathers of the United States had a very solid hold of what nations were allowed to do before God. This quote really caught my eye:

It is no coincidence whatsoever that the left must eradicate any trace of religion in order to eliminate the principle barrier (along with the sanctity of private property and the family, and the chrome to back them up) to the intrusive and acquisitive reach of the state.

For to affirm God is to sharply limit the state; indeed, it is to affirm that the state and its laws have no legitimacy to the extent that they contravene the transpolitical Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God (as the Declaration expresses it). We have no obligation to obey laws that are fundamentally immoral.

I recommend reading the whole thing here.


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