The Assurance of Things Hoped For

The Christian is assured of the future. He does not have to concern himself with eschatological speculations. The “times and epochs” are God’s business (Acts 1:7). They are set by His sovereign will. There is no need to speculate on what is next on God’s prophetic timetable or despair and capitulate to evil when considering present circumstances. For whatever the future holds, we know that God hol [...]

Everyone is Religious

A letter to the editor that appeared in the August 18, 2006 issue of USA Today begins with, “I don’t care how any god stands on abortion, as I don’t believe in any god.” The strident confession was in response to the article “Where does God stand on abortion?” that appeared in the August 14th issue. In an attempt to distance herself from faith, she must adopt another faith. “I don’t believe in any [...]

Jesus Enters the Belly of the Beast and Tames It

Jesus entered the world of the Roman political beast and its surrogates. Herod immediately seeks out “the Child to destroy Him” (Matt. 2:13). The local Roman occupation forces saw Jesus as a potential threat and had Him put to death. Many of the Jewish leaders, who should have known better (John 1:11; 3:10), chose a “notorious prisoner” and bastard (bar+abbas= “son of a father”: Matt. 27:21) and c [...]

Kingdom Missionary Academies

Each year our church holds a Missions Conference. A few years ago, a missionary from West Africa gave a stirring account of how a school had been built to educate the young people and prepare adults for indigenous missionary work. The parents saw the schools as a means to a better life for their children. So while the parents spent the day working to stay alive, their children would spend a few ho [...]

The Gospel is Social and Personal

Many German Christians adopted a sideline strategy similar to the one advocated by James L. Evans, and Adolf Hitler took advantage of it. Martin Niemöller, however, reacted strongly against passivity on the part of the clergy or the people: “We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of the authorities than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’ [...]

Why It's Wrong for the Church to be on the Sidelines

There are some Christians who take themselves out of the battle over worldviews. They believe the Bible teaches that Christians should stay above the fray of social involvement. I’ve dealt with this and many other similar arguments in Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths.[1] James L. Evans, pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church, writes in an editorial that appeared in the religion section of The Decatur D [...]

Is Bestiality Next for the Episcopal Church USA?

Today’s entertainment, political, media, and religionist propagandists have, in the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “defined deviancy down” so that what was morally shocking twenty years ago is acceptable, or at least tolerated, behavior today. Robert Bork, no stranger to moral degradation, having been “Borked” on national television and entered the dictionary as a verb, explains the phenomenon: [...]

Uncovering the Foundation

Archimedes (287–212 B.C.), the Greek mathematician and physicist who yelled “Eureka!” as he ran naked from his bathtub at the discovery of the principle of displacement (Archimedes’ Principle), once boasted that given the proper lever, and given a place to stand, he could “move the earth.” But upon what would Archimedes stand to accomplish such a feat? Certainly not on the earth itself. Archimedes [...]

What I Learned While Living With a One-Legged Man

Sgt. Peter Damon, 33, a U.S. war veteran who lost both arms in Iraq, is suing Oscar-winning director Michael Moore for $85 million, saying television clips were used without his permission in the anti-war documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” and gave a false impression that he opposed the war. I wish him well in his suit. Damon reminds me of Harold Russell’s character in the 1946 movie The Best Years of [...]

Are There Limits to Religious Toleration?

Nearly every social commentator appeals to the conservative Christian community to be tolerant of other religious traditions. After all, we live in a religiously pluralistic society. The assumption is that religion is a benign choice, little different from picking one car model over another. Therefore all religious traditions should be tolerated and accepted as valid expressions of faith. Of cours [...]

Losing Hope

Many who advocate keeping drugs illegal maintain that poverty and environmental conditions (e.g., neighborhood, quality of schools, intact family, etc.) often “force” people to make bad decisions. One comes away with the impression that only the poor and uneducated take drugs. But we know that this is not the case. People with fine educations and lots of money indulge in drug taking. “Ecstasy” is [...]

Man is Man's God

Now that The Da Vinci Code has had its opening weekend and the Bible is still intact, God is sovereign, and Jesus is Lord and Savior, it’s time to get back to business. The Da Vinci Code is a symptom of a greater problem. Worldviews are seen as vehicles for cultural transformation. Many in the entertainment field, for example, believe that they are the nation’s conscience and the only true guiding [...]

Judge Not! Impossible!

I received the following email from Diana: “The Bible tells us not to judge one another and yet here you are judging those who live differently than you. You may not live the way they do but this does not mean that you have to hate them for it, nor does it mean that you should hate them for it. Before you spew your narrow minded, hateful opinions I would ask you to listen to the other side. [...]

There is Such a Thing as Evil

The world seems morally directionless. Dr. Robert Foote of Cornell, in his testimony before the federal Ethics Advisory Board on in vitro fertilization, opened with the following statement: “In some of this research, I am reminded of a story where the pilot came on and said, ‘This is your captain speaking. We are flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet and the speed of 700 miles an hour. We have some [...]

A Man After God's Own Heart

By the time the United States entered World War I, Theodore Roosevelt was a private citizen. Though no longer president, the nation continued to look to him for advice and wisdom. In 1917, when American troops were preparing to sail across the Atlantic for the battlefields of Europe, the New York Bible Society asked Roosevelt to inscribe a message in the pocket New Testament that each soldier woul [...]

True and False Dualisms

Nikita Khrushchev described a period in the Soviet Union’s history when petty theft was a problem, especially in the government-owned plants. Guards were placed at the factory entrances to scrutinize the laborers as they entered and departed. At the Leningrad timberworks, one of the guards spotted Pyotr Petrovich leaving the yard with a wheelbarrow filled with a bulky sack. With the notice of thie [...]

It's More than Just the Facts

“The story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” So began the prologue to the popular television series “Dragnet” (1952–1959), starring Jack Webb as Joe Friday who often used the phrase “All we want are the facts, ma’am” when questioning women in the course of a police investigation. But are the facts always enough when dealing with issues related to [...]

The Assault on God and the Bible

Anti-Christians are out in force. Richard Dawkins says that teaching religion to children is a form of child abuse.[1] The video “The God Who Was Not There” is making the rounds on the Internet. Iraq-war combat veteran Paul Hackett, who is running for the U.S. Senate from Ohio, describes religious conservatives as not “a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of other religious nuts ar [...]

Maker of Heaven and Earth

The opening line of the Apostles’ Creed tells us that God is the “Maker of Heaven and Earth,” of a creation that Scripture describes as being “very good” (Gen. 1:31) even in its fallen state and condition: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude” (1 Tim. 4:4). The Bible makes a distinction between God and the world. God did not make t [...]

The Persecution of the Christian Churches

Worldviews are comprehensive. No cultural stone is left unthrown in the battle against competing ideologies. Secularists who write their screeds against Christians who engage in politics have history on their side, and it’s not a very good history. Under Nazism, churches were “confined as far as possible to the performance of narrowly religious functions, and even within this narrow sphere were su [...]