October 11, 2020

Politicians take God’s name in vain when they employ it for personal benefit. The same holds true for the rest of us. The third commandment makes clear that God does not take divine name-dropping lightly: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7; ESV). The bitter and tragic irony is that even as Moses was up on the mountain to receive the tablets… Read more

October 9, 2020

As we approach the U.S. Presidential election, I am reflecting on qualities of leadership that President Lincoln modeled. The basis for my reflections result from my reading of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestselling Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, winner of the Lincoln Prize. One of the qualities that Goodwin highlights is Lincoln’s magnanimity of spirit. She notes how one of Lincoln’s chief political rivals who became one of his best friends and allies as Lincoln’s Secretary of… Read more

September 27, 2020

Why did Moses ask God to provide his name at the burning bush scene (See Exodus 3), and what did/does God’s personal name mean? We will address each question in turn, beginning with “Why?” This is the second post in a three-part series on how we approach naming in contemporary culture and God’s name in view of Scripture. Refer here for the first post in this series titled “Don’t Name Drop for Fifteen Minutes of Fame.” Someone’s personal name in… Read more

September 25, 2020

We live in a fame-drenched society. People love to bask in the aura of celebrities and acquire what Andy Warhol called fifteen minutes of fame. In 1968, Warhol proclaimed: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.”[1] Warhol was trying to convey that celebrity status is a fleeting phenomenon and dependent on a fickle media. Warhol’s “superstar” cast, which followed him everywhere, was a group of no name people with whom Warhol associated to make them famous. He… Read more

September 19, 2020

In “Conspiracy Theories: In Pursuit of Truth,” I claimed that New Testament Christianity may have been a conspiracy theory movement. I made that claim based on a certain definition of “conspiracy theory.” To repeat that definition, political scientist Joseph E. Uscinski, an expert on the subject matter, defines conspiracy theories in a video recorded interview as follows: A conspiracy theory…is a[n] accusatory perception in which a small group of powerful people are working in secret for their own benefit against… Read more

September 18, 2020

Different attempts have been made to define and reflect upon “deep state”. Here are a few titles: “What Is the Deep State?”; “The Deep State Is Real?”; “Deconstructing the Deep State”; “President Trump’s Allies Keep Talking About the ‘Deep State.’ What’s That?”; and “Here’s the Memo that Blew Up the NSC.” Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines “Deep State,” while also providing some examples: An alleged secret network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services… Read more

September 13, 2020

Loved ones and friends from across the States have reached out and asked how we are doing in the face of all the social tension in Portland. They have also raised concerns amid the fires raging in Oregon, Washington, and California. Add to that the ongoing alarm over COVID, which knows no geographical or ideological boundaries. And don’t forget the upcoming November elections that affect us all. There are so many raging fires and disasters to put out across our… Read more

September 11, 2020

Today we remember 9/11 in the United States. Nineteen years ago today, two planes smashed into the Twin Towers in New York, and another plane crashed into the Pentagon. I remember those images vividly. Over and over, they played on the television screen. They still play in my head. Along with a multitude of Americans, I live with a sense of pain today. Now how might these images be playing in my psyche as an American Christian? How has the… Read more

September 6, 2020

Conspiracy theories come in all sizes and shapes and fall across the ideological and cultural spectrum. A conspiracy theory may be true or false, even though we typically assume “conspiracy theories” are just plain false (Refer here to an article detailing “5 US national security-related conspiracy theories that turned out to be true”). Now, no one I know or have come across wants to be called a conspiracy theorist, as it is generally considered a derogatory label. It can be… Read more

August 23, 2020

There’s a lot in the news these days on conspiracy theories. My colleague John W. Morehead and I have been reflecting upon conspiracy theories, too. In fact, we are doing a series of posts here at my blog column on the subject. If we step back and look at the sweep of American history, we may be surprised to know that there has often been a predilection for such theorizing. It’s in the tap water or in the ‘Covid’ air—just like… Read more




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