Does the Bible Give President Trump the Authority to Take Out Another Nation’s Leader?

Last night, I read that Pastor Robert Jeffress claimed, “God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”  I wonder what Jesus would make of his claim, especially as he discounted the relevance of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in this context and treated Romans 13 as if it gives President Trump a free pass to take out another nation’s leader. According to The Washington Post, The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress… Read more

What Does Jesus Despise? Spiritual Pride Stands in the Way of a Good Answer.

We always think of Jesus loving people. But do we ever stop to wonder what he despises? Spiritual pride, hypocrisy, injustice. Years ago, I was engaged in a public debate at a secular university with a leader from another religion. Early on, he posed what he took to be a “conversation-stopper” question: “Do you think I’m going to hell?” Such answers are beyond my pay grade, so I responded in Lesslie Newbigin-esque fashion: “This much I can say by way of… Read more

Is Justice Like Swift Water?

Life is like swift water. It keeps passing by. What about justice? Does it pass by ephemerally like swift water? Perhaps you have also wondered about justice? Is it constantly in flux? Speaking of swift water, this is the meaning behind the name for Cle Elum in Kittitas County in Washington, where I stayed this past week. The Kittitas band of the Yakama tribe referred to the nearby Cle Elum River as “swift water” (Tle-el-Lum). While the clan lived and… Read more

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Black People?

The dominant culture tends to dominate the conversation on perceptions and questions about evil and suffering. That is not to say we don’t have some legitimate perceptions and questions. It’s just that there are other perceptions and questions that minority communities ask that are also very important. So, we need to ask ourselves and others: “What are we missing? What questions do we still need to ask? Who should we be asking?” In the context of addressing the problem of… Read more

What Words Would You Want Inscribed on Your Tombstone?

Years ago, when I was a resident member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, my family and I walked through Princeton Cemetery. Once referred to as the Westminster Abby of the United States, the Princeton Cemetery is the resting grounds for such luminaries as Jonathan Edwards, Aaron Burr, and Grover Cleveland. We (or should I say I) were looking for Edwards’ grave. Some of the tombstone inscriptions stood out to us. The most memorable one included… Read more

Little Creatures Mean a Lot to God. How Much Do They Mean to Us?

My wife shared with me, “Little creatures mean a lot to God.” The Bible confirms her intuition. Here’s what Psalm 84:3 says: “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God” (ESV). My wife was referring to animals. She could easily have been referring to people.[1] Scripture refers to people as sheep for whom God’s Suffering Servant gives his life (Isaiah 53:5-6). Jesus refers… Read more

If You Love God, Be Honest with God. Doubt Can Strengthen Faith.

Have you been led to think that if you love God, you won’t question God? I had been led to think just that. I’m not sure where it came from. Perhaps it was the ecclesial equivalent of department store messaging subliminally enticing me to buy faith, not doubt. However, I have since concluded that those who love God won’t hide their honest faith questions from God, but will be open about their doubts. When I was back in seminary, I… Read more

How Does America’s Foreign Policy Impact Gospel Witness? An Interview with Dr. Evan Hunter.

Dr. Evan Hunter (EH) is a theological educator collaborating with Christian movements across the globe. His experiences provide a unique and refreshing perspective on what gospel witness looks like beyond national boundaries. The following questions accompanied by Dr. Hunter’s answers will assist Christians who are passionate about the Great Commission and global theology in their missional endeavors (Refer to his bio at the close of this interview). Paul Louis Metzger (PLM): How foreign is Eastern, Middle-Eastern and Southern Christianity and… Read more

Are We Numb, Drowning in a Shallow Pool of Compassion and Empathy in Our Society?

You may have seen or read the news about the teenagers who videotaped and mocked a man as he drowned in Cocoa, Florida. All the teens had phones, but not one of them called for help to rescue the man (who was also disabled). The teens were not charged in the incident, since there is no law in Florida that requires people to aid a person in distress—not even to call someone to aid the person in distress. Cruel, heartless… Read more

How Does Race Influence Your Views of Faith, Science and Politics?

All too often, I hear people say they’re color blind. I’m not referring to a color vision deficiency, but to the claim that they’re not racist. Regardless of what you and I make of such claims, it has been argued that racial considerations shaped white and black Evangelicals’ views at the time of the Scopes Trial. It makes one wonder how often racial concerns shape people’s views on faith and science as well as politics in various other contexts, even today. Mary Beth… Read more

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