September 2, 2016

SOURCE: This answer will necessarily connect itself to the broader issue of the declining place of Christianity in American life — a subject of evergreen interest, it would seem, especially among Christians. In recent years we have seen Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,Joseph Bottum’s An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, and George Marsden’s The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief.  The lack of... Read more

August 15, 2016

The new offering from director Mel Gibson and screenwriter Randall Wallace: HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded... Read more

August 4, 2016

My previous post was from May of this year. Now, only two months later, the NIH plans to lift the ban on funding for the “controversial experiments that create animal embryos that are partly human.” Though experts have raised serious ethical  concerns over this project, government monies are positioned to fund it. I hope to have some theological reflection on this later, but for now my initial gut reaction echoes what a friend of mine said to me after reading... Read more

August 4, 2016

Perhaps what is most disturbing about this new scientific development, even more so than the seemingly blatant ethical transgression, is the rhetoric of Ross. He rejects the notion that their work in some way empowers them to play God, and then, in an odd clinical way describes their work as simply creating new technology.  It is in this way that we desecrate the sacred, in this case it is life itself. We devalue it, reducing it to mere technology. Roger... Read more

July 31, 2016

I recently attended a sophisticated party. Beautifully adorned women, smartly dressed men. I sat and observed the wonder of human interaction. How we dip and pirouette in and out of conversations with sighs, laughs, and head curtsies. Then I observed one elegant woman sit upon the out-of-the-way leather couch, off to herself, pull out her iPhone, and flip through, whatever. Astounding, I thought. We, the sophisticated, turning from the real, to the virtual. Then I thought how most of these beautiful... Read more

July 29, 2016

People spend fifty minutes a day on Facebook. And, Facebook wants more.  Our society now spends more time on Facebook and watching television programs (2.8 hours a day) than any other leisure activity. Consider: The typical person reads 19 minutes a day. We exercise 17 minutes a day. Attend social activities four minutes a day. We now attend to Facebook nearly as long as we spend time eating and drinking: 1.07 hours per day. And what about YouTube? We average 17 minutes on... Read more

July 15, 2016

I refuse to let despair cut into me. I’m not made of just muck and mud. I’m made of the breath of God. And his Holy Spirit courses through me. You and me, we’re eternal; “no mere mortals.” The last twelve days gouged us. All of us. And from every side I’m yelled out, told what I should do, what I should say, how I should feel on the other side of national and international tragedy. Well, I’m tired of... Read more

July 4, 2016

There seems to be so much discussion these days on whether or not Christians should show patriotism. My friend Michael Wear goes into some of the complexities of this discussion over on Q Ideas. His piece is definitely worth checking out. Scot McKnight has also tossed out some questions for pastors and congregants worth discussing. I personally find John Piper’s discussion of the topic to be thoughtful, helpful, and worth discussing. Piper also uses C.S. Lewis’s notion of storge from The... Read more

July 3, 2016

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God.” Deuteronomy 29:29 If you have lost your sense of mystery, then do what you must to retrieve it. Mystery emerges in the most simple of places. Most often it manifests itself in reaction to the beauty and goodness encountered in our everyday life—through feelings of awe and wonder, events that elicit thanksgiving. The late German theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote: All things can be considered in two ways: as fact and as mystery. Simple people,... Read more

June 30, 2016

We were not meant to live sedentary lives. We were made to move. I think too often Christians marginalize fitness. Piety takes center stage. I’ve not beef with piety. But I do think we should get away from an either/or mentality when it comes to our physical fitness. After all, our bodies are temples. We should treat them as such. During my quiet years of research in England, I found it vital to keep moving: walks, mountain bike rides, hikes,... Read more

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