A Consequential Faith

A bitter dispute has engulfed Cosmology, the scientific study of the universe. The universe, baffling the scientists, gives every indication of having been planned. In particular, looking at life on earth, it appears that the world in which we live was made for us. To make sense of these apparent facts, some scientists have embraced the “anthropic principle.” This theory holds that life in general, and human beings in particular, are more than accidental byproducts of time and chance. The anthropic principle puts forward that the universe is designed with us in mind. Keeping God Out This line of thinking … Continue reading A Consequential Faith

Innovation Without Compromise

In his book Bowling Alone, Harvard professor Robert Putnam notes the increasing division of American culture between “two groups — the devoutly observant and the entirely unchurched” (p. 75). This social trend has great importance for anyone seeking to share the gospel. Earlier generations enjoyed a ready pool of prospective converts, individuals with some measure of faith who had not reached a point of commitment to any particular religion. People today, however, tend to be either completely irreligious or have already made a commitment to a particular religious group. This change in our culture renders old methods of evangelism less … Continue reading Innovation Without Compromise

Selective Obedience: The Real Legalism

How can I know I am saved? In answer to this question, some have looked to themselves, seeking to earn or deserve salvation. This is legalism, and it is wrong. Salvation is by the grace of God. As we sing in the old hymn: “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.” There is nothing I can add to the work done for me by Christ. As the apostle wrote: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that … Continue reading Selective Obedience: The Real Legalism

A Great Man

Peter Robinson, in his recent book “How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life”, highlights Reagan’s character as an influence on those around the President, thus defining public policy during his administration. A speech writer for President Reagan, Robinson gives an insider’s perspective on Reagan’s achievements. Interestingly, he credits Reagan’s religious faith with the President’s ability to forgive faults in other people. This attitude enabled Reagan to mobilize a diverse and talented team to achieve great things. A Practice of Humility For Christians, it is hardly surprising that faith produces a forgiving attitude. “Remembering what God has done for us, in forgiving … Continue reading A Great Man

The Language of Ashdod

Nehemiah, in the course of his work of restoration, noted that the men of Judah had married Philistine women and the offspring of this union spoke “the language of Ashdod.” (Nehemiah 13:23ff) Over the years, this expression has become a proverb. To “speak the language of Ashdod” is to betray mixed influences. Joined to the World Just as the men of Judah mixed themselves with foreign women, the denominations around us have, in varying degrees, mixed the Christian message with the ways of the world. An evidence of this mixture is the continuing shift away from the biblical view concerning … Continue reading The Language of Ashdod

Heavenly Sunlight

Once we received a flyer promoting a youth event at a nearby congregation. While some of the speakers were unfamiliar, nothing seemed wrong. Later, however, a friend called to ask if I had seen the unedited flyer. It turned out the unfamiliar speakers were from denominational churches, and identified as such by handouts circulated in-house at the host congregation. When I called to ask why we received an edited version, the preacher who mailed out the flyer was blunt in his reason. He knew if they fully identified the speakers, our congregation would not promote the event. The Whole Truth … Continue reading Heavenly Sunlight

A Time for War

It was bound to happen; only a matter of months since Islamic terrorists violated our nation’s security, and yet an anti-war movement is growing. Since the 1960s, our nation’s media elite has worn a disdain for American institutions, and especially a contempt for the American military, as a badge of honor. These opinion leaders were temporarily silenced by the nation’s outrage at the World Trade Center attack, but have steadily and stealthfully attempted to undermine the national resolve to seek justice through military action. When There Is No Peace Is war ever desirable? In one sense, no Christian needs to … Continue reading A Time for War

The Great Divide

Catholics and Protestants historically divided over doctrinal issues – the worship of Mary, for example. A recent trend, however, attempts to blur the distinctions between the Catholic and the Protestant religions. The brushing aside of doctrinal differences is an outgrowth of a mindset which downplays truth and accentuates experience. Much of the current aberration in American religion is a result of ignoring the truth of what one believes (the content of faith) and focusing on the experience of faith itself (how one feels). Idols of Emotion This same error is tearing apart the Churches of Christ as confidence in experience … Continue reading The Great Divide

Thirty Years of Killing

It has been thirty years now; thirty years of unrestrained killing, thirty years since abortion became lawful throughout the United States. Faithful Christians should consider three points in evaluating the enormity of this situation: 1. God Champions the Helpless The Lord reveals Himself in Scripture as an advocate of the weak and oppressed; the champion of innocent victims. The application of this truth to the abortion debate is obvious. Whatever injustices and inequities exist in life, the unborn child is not to blame and has no means to protect himself or herself from the violence of abortion. 2. Responsible Actions … Continue reading Thirty Years of Killing

Reality Check

“It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World” has remained one of my favorite movies. Picking up on a dying man’s last words, a madcap group of strangers compete against each other in a wild race for stolen treasure buried under “a big W.” Each member of the all-star cast throws himself into the great comic roles with ecstasy. The viewer hardly realizes the movie’s epic length because of the fast paced gags that punctuate the storyline. But what if you were trapped in that sort of world — a world where real dialogue could never exist because every meaning is … Continue reading Reality Check