November 5, 2018

  As we get ready for election day tomorrow–which we will discuss then–we all know that America has become politically polarized.  Furthermore, it seems that everything is getting politicized (entertainment, education, technology, religion).  It turns out, even our shopping is political.  Liberals and conservatives buy products, they prefer different brands. Politico studied brand research and reported its findings in Do You Eat Republican Cheese?:  The Two Americas, a Snapshot in Brands. Some of the preferences are obvious.  Liberals watch CNN; conservatives… Read more

November 2, 2018

The growing number of “Nones,” those who profess no religion, makes many observers assume that America is becoming secularized–materialistic people living in a material world, above us only sky.  But a Pew Research study shows that, to the extent traditional religions like Christianity are fading, they are being replaced by a more primitive, animistic religion as taught by the New Age Movement. In fact, one reason that traditional religions like Christianity may be fading is that they too are being… Read more

November 1, 2018

  Have you noticed when talking to non-Christians that often what they object to is what you object to yourself?  That their objections to the faith are often based on complete misconceptions about what Christianity is and what it teaches?  There is so much confusion about Christianity–including on the part of Christians–that the first task for an apologist or teacher is simply to clarify.  That is, to clear away the confusions.  Once the two of you attain clarity about what… Read more

October 31, 2018

The Church is discredited:  plagued by corruption, including sex scandals.  Trusting human leaders whose failures disillusion their followers.  The Church is seen as pre-occupied with politics.  The Gospel of Christ’s justification of sinners is buried under elaborate schemes of works-righteousness.  The Word of God is marginalized and misused.  That was the Church of 1517, in sore need of Reformation.  Increasingly, this also describes the Church of 2018, which is also in need of Reformation.  Today, not just the Catholic church… Read more

October 30, 2018

Josh Harris launched the “courtship movement” with his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  Instead of the drama and sexual temptations of dating, Harris recommended that Christian young adults find someone to marry in  a different way, including by getting the families involved. Harris’s advice has influenced a whole generation of Christian young people, many of whom got married following his advice.  But now Harris has formally recanted his book, which will soon be withdrawn from publication. Here is an excerpt… Read more

October 29, 2018

Over the last few days, someone sends pipe bombs to virtually every prominent Democrat and Trump critic.  A gunman in Pittsburgh walks into a synagogue during a Sabbath service, yelled “All Jews must die!” and kills 11 worshippers.  A man in suburban Louisville on Wednesday tried to get into a black church but found it locked, so he went to a nearby grocery store and killed a man and a woman because of their race. When news of the 14 pipe… Read more

October 26, 2018

When I was in Houston last week, my brother and I also visited the Rothko Chapel. We found it very emblematic of contemporary spirituality. Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was an abstract artist who was commissioned by Houston art collectors John and Dominique de Menil to create a “meditative space” employing his paintings.  The Rothko Chapel was completed in 1971, a year after the artist committed suicide. Described by its website as “a sacred space” open to all, for all faiths and all religions, the chapel… Read more

October 25, 2018

Last week I was in Houston.  While my wife was on an accreditation visit for the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Eduction, I visited my brother .  We continued my BBQ pilgrimage (new favorite:  Corkscrew, with brisket so tender you could eat it with a spoon).  We also went to the Bob Dylan concert at Sugarland. This was about the fifth or sixth time I’ve heard the Nobel Prize winner.  He was in remarkably good voice for a 77-year-old.  He sounded more like his… Read more

October 24, 2018

In 2015, the mayor of Atlanta fired the city’s much-decorated fire chief Kelvin Cochran.  Why?  Because the African-American firefighter had written a Bible Study in which he said that homosexuality is sinful. Chief Cochran sued the city for wrongful termination.  The case has dragged on for years, but now the city has offered a settlement, including a payment to the 30-year-veteran of $1.2 million. Even at the time, investigators agreed that the Chief had never discriminated against anyone.  They were punishing… Read more

October 23, 2018

When I was teaching, I longed to find a good anthology of classic Christian poetry.  One now exists:  The Soul in Paraphrase:  A Treasure of Classic Devotional Poems. The collection was put together by the dean of Christianity and literature scholars, Dr. Leland Ryken, who also offers the right amount of help to open up these masterpieces for contemporary readers.  Here is what I said about the anthology when I was asked to write a blurb for the project: “Some of… Read more

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