Politics has become self-expression.  Concepts are not either true or false, but pure or impure.  People want to transform society into an extension of the self.  Everything has become political.  Universities have become sanctuaries of archaic religion. So says political scientist Mark Lilla in The Once and Future Liberal:  After Identity Politics.  His book attempts to explain what has happened to liberalism, a once vital and dominating American political ideology, that has devolved into almost the opposite of what it once was. … Read more

The Gospel reading for last Sunday was about Jesus cleansing the Temple.  The sermon we heard here in Australia reminded us that Jesus continues to cleanse temples, overturning the tables and driving out the money changers in the Temple that is the church and the Temple that is the believer. We attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church, a large confessional congregation with three services (ours was packed) in downtown Adelaide.  Pastor Pfeiffer preached on this text: 14 In the temple he found those… Read more

A major study of how information spreads online has found that information that is false is shared more often than information that is true.  It also found that the strongest emotion attached to the false news being shared was “surprise.”  These findings tie in to other research that found that negative news is more likely to be shared than positive news. MIT researcher Soroush Vosoughi and colleagues studied 126,000 “rumor cascades” on Twitter, between 2006 and 2017, spread by some… Read more

Christianity Today’s online Christian History feature has a special section on Martin Luther this month.  It includes articles on Luther’s specific contributions to music by Concordia Theological Seminary professor Paul Grime and Loyola musicologist Colin Holman. In his article Luther:  The Musician, Holman gives this great quotation from Luther, one that I wasn’t familiar with: Looking at music itself, you will find that from the beginning of the world it has been instilled and implanted in all creatures, individually and collectively…. Read more

Three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that the government could not force company owners with a religious objection to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees.  Since then, liberals have spun the narrative that Christians are using religious liberty lawsuits to thwart “women’s health” (a.k.a., abortion and contraception) programs and anti-discrimination statutes, thus imposing their religion on the public square.  But this hasn’t happened at all. Rachel Busick and Luke Goodrich have studied the religious liberty… Read more

To understand today’s leftists–including why they shut down free speech on university campuses–you need to understand “intersectionality.”  And to understand “intersectionality,” you need to see it as a religion. As a worldview, intersectionality understands all things in terms of identity politics.  Specifically, the patterns of oppression based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  (Also social class, physical disability, mental disability, etc.)  White male heterosexuals enjoy “privilege” over people of other races, women, gays, and the transgendered.  One person… Read more

After getting married, the next step for most couples is having children.  Now that we have same-sex marriage, there is the impulse for same-sex parenting.  But natural law still holds for reproduction, so two married men who want to be parents must find a woman who will bear a child for them.  Thus we are seeing a huge increase in the use of surrogate mothers. Most states do not permit compensation for surrogate mothers beyond medical expenses.  The reasoning is that… Read more

The conventional wisdom among liberal theologians and higher critics of the Bible is that the deity of Christ was a concept that grew up out of a long oral tradition that gradually elevated the historical Jesus, culminating in the Council of Nicaea, which defined the doctrine in 325 A.D.  But there are references to the deity of Christ long before Nicaea. A mosaic table, apparently used for Holy Communion in a house church at Tel Megiddo (a.k.a. Armageddon), is going on display… Read more

Ronald Reagan promoted a “supply-side economy,” focusing on increasing the supply of goods and services, thereby bringing prices down and increasing prosperity.  Donald Trump is promoting what could be called a “demand-side economy,” cutting supply while increasing demand, thereby increasing wages and raising prices. Here is what conservative economics columnist Robert Samuelson says of this classic liberal tactic: We tried this in the ’60s and ’70s, and it failed abysmally. It led to double-digit inflation, frequent recessions and public demoralization. No… Read more

In the current debates over gun ownership and self-defense, we would do well to consider how the doctrine of vocation applies. On the most basic level, according to Romans 13, we are not to impose justice by taking personal “revenge.”  Rather, God protects us and punishes evildoers through the agency of authorities whom He has called to “bear the sword.”  In today’s terms, that would include police officers, our military, and other lawful officers. A well-ordered society is not going… Read more

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