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Tebow’s Mea “Culpo”

It is actually embarrassing what makes for “Christian” headlines these days. And, if you’ve been reading the news you’ve probably noticed that Tim Tebow is once again breaking those headlines. Personally, I’ve always been a little confused why he became such a media sensation. His ability to be marketed as a Christian quarterback quickly won him the admiration of many in the Christian community. It leaves me wondering if throwing a good game absolves one from breaking the Lord’s Day. This time he’s making the news for his heroic commitment to abstinence and the resulting breakup with his beauty queen girlfriend, Olivia Culpo. Apparently, it’s commendable to some to put yourself into a morally compromising situation and when you come out of it to be hailed as a champion of Christianity. Again, I don’t get it.

Now, before the accusations of friendly-fire get launched in my direction let me say that I can only imagine the press and pressure Tim Tebow lives with. He is not, however, a helpless victim of the media. This is the cost of his quest for fame and fortune. What he is, at least in part, he is through his own fault. I can also understand […]

Western Myths About Pluralism:The Real Basis of Civil Rights

“On the 30th of April, 1999, during the Nato bombing of Serbia, Vaclev Havel, Czech president/philosopher, addressed both houses of the Canadian Parliament.  And in his speech Havel shared his conviction that the greatest political challenge of the 21st century would be to get all the nation states of the world to recognize limits on their national sovereignty; that all states need to submit to the rule of international law, based on the concept of universal human rights.  At the conclusion of Havel’s speech, he said these words, ‘I have often asked myself why human beings have any rights at all.  I always come to the conclusion that human rights, human freedoms and human dignity have their deepest roots somewhere outside the perceptible world.  These values make sense only in the perspective of the infinite and the eternal.  Allow me to conclude my remarks on the state and its likely role in the future with the assertion that while the state is a human creation, human beings are the creation of God.’”

Thus begins Mr. Ramachandra’s well articulated and provocative lecture given back in 2002 at Berkeley.  If you are a fan of Ravi Zacharius and enjoy his style of speaking, […]

What is a Nation? Why does it Matter?

Those interested in the Syrian refugee immigration situation, the role of civil government, and the Protestant concept of nations will be fascinated by this presentation by Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi of India. When Christian thinkers in the East labor to articulate what their nations should be and become, they force Westerners to look more objectively at their own views of God and the world than they otherwise would.

Dr. Mangalwadi was introduced to me by an Indian brother in ministry who loves to find original thinkers in his native culture. Mangalwadi is one such original thinker. Christianity Today has dubbed him “India’s foremost Christian Intellectual.” He has profoundly influenced Indian Christian thought over the last four decades as a Christian philosopher as a teacher and author of more than a dozen books. This disciple of Francis Schaeffer boldly asserts many unpopular truths in the public square. Some have said it is remarkable that he is still alive given his boldness to speak against Hinduism in South Asia.

In this video, Mangalwadi spoke last year to an audience assembled by the Asia Biblical Theological Seminary and Delhi Bible Fellowship in New Delhi, India.  In the first half of the lecture, he postulates that the […]

In Appreciation of C.S. Lewis

Yesterday was the fifty-second anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. Though his death was eclipsed by the assassination of John F. Kennedy on the same day, his legacy has endured. While half a century has passed, in the minds of many he remains one of the most successful and influential Christian thinkers of the twentieth century. Personally, I am very thankful for the man and his writings. That may sound strange to some. After all, I have my differences. I’m Presbyterian and he was Anglican. I’m a Calvinist, he wasn’t. I think Christ’s atonement is central, in his impatience he was ambiguous. I believe in the full authority of the Bible, he did not. But despite these and other differences—which are significant—his writings have had a profound effect on me.

C.S. Lewis taught me that Christianity doesn’t have to be mindless. I grew up in the heart of broad-evangelicalism. It was the kind, you might say, that didn’t encourage serious reflection and thought. To put it candidly it was a fairly brainless Christianity. That changed when I first encountered the mind of Lewis in Mere Christianity. Though I’ve moved beyond that book in many ways, it was there I first […]

Browse Worthy: Immigration

Jared pointed out some good reading about refugees yesterday. As the ISIS attacks and immigration issues call the church to exercise great wisdom, several other articles listed below are quite helpful as well.

GenRef Gent Rutledge Etheridge shared some wisdom on Facebook yesterday that we would all do well to heed. Practicing being “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” will be especially important in these difficult and complex days ahead.

Sad to see so many oversimplifications, stereotypes and straw men at play in Facebook posts regarding the Syrian refugee crisis. Especially sad to see all of the above among Christians, all sides seeming to imply that to disagree with their simplistically stated opinion is to deny the generous gospel of Jesus. Perhaps it’d be best, especially in this medium, to acknowledge the extraordinary complexity of the situation (What are the government’s responsibilities in tandem with or in distinction from the church’s responsibilities in these matters? How do we apply the positive implications of the sixth commandment while being willing to die for the sake of the gospel? In proclaiming and living out the gospel, how are we in this situation to apply practically Jesus’s admonition to be wise […]

Sow Only One Seed in the Vineyard

You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together. You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself. If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin…’” -Deuteronomy 22:9-14

When you read the above laws prohibiting sowing two types of seeds in the vineyard or yoking an ox and donkey together, what kind of law do you consider them to be? The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) gives three categories for the law – moral, judicial, & ceremonial. Yet sometimes sticking laws in these categories is not always as easy as it might first appear, and the wisdom that is to come from meditating on them and seeing them in context can be lost in the process (see Psalm […]

Browse Worthy: Cute, Laughing Monsters

The eleventh video of Planned Parenthood doctors discussing abortions and preserving body parts for maximum profit is below. The ladies in the video speak so casually of partially birthing the premature babies so they can keep the heads intact in order to retrieve the whole brain.

Though I know references to Hitler are too common in our day by those wishing to demonize others, still while watching this video I could not help but think of an article I had read last week called “Hitler at Home.” The pictures show the Fuehrer with his mistress Eva Braun as they appear in family-like scenes in tastefully decorated rooms or with their pet dogs. The pictures can both humanize them and numb us to the atrocities they were committing at the time.

Pretty faces, jokes, and smiles cannot cover over monstrous hearts and hands dripping with blood.

The Case for Animal Suffering (Or Why I Want Fat Chickens)

I’ve been a little slow digesting the latest episodes of Point of Inquiry, so my interaction here is going to require us to consider something that was recorded in August. By internet standards, I might as well be returning to the dark ages. That was so yesterday. Nevertheless, the issue is a hot one, and so for that reason, I suppose I can be forgiven.

The issue is animal suffering. But not just any old animal suffering. It is the kind that occurs in factory farms.

Now if you give our dear secularists a listen, you’ll quickly come to see that they care a lot about chickens. Tears aren’t shed or anything like that. But they do express deep concern. And in the case of Paul Shapiro, he has put his money where his mouth is. He’s been a serious advocate of animal rights, seeking to establish more humane animal laws.

Fair enough.

But then again, really? I mean , we’re talking about chickens, right? And we’re talking about chickens in a godless world (their worldview (and by “their” I mean the predominant view of the podcast and its listeners)).

Let’s think about this for a moment.

I like big, fat, juicy chickens. The bigger the […]

Reaching a Boiling Point

What do the Planned Parenthood videos, two mothers on the campaign trail, and an obscure Old Testament law have in common?

The videos from the Center for Medical Progress have roused government officials, political candidates, and the media. They can no longer obfuscate their positions like they once did. Sure, they can try to do so, but the attempts now ring hollow. The difference between those who believe that harvesting unborn baby body parts from abortion is evil and those who do not is becoming quite clear.

Look at the two mothers running for president for instance.

Carly Fiorina has spoken clearly on this matter. Though technically a stepmother, Fiorina helped raise the two children from her second marriage as her own. During her run for California senator in 2009, which she eventually lost to Barbara Boxer, Fiorina had two personal crises. She battled breast cancer, suffering through a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. In the midst of this serious health matter, her eldest daughter tragically took her life. During this awful time, she testifies that she turned back to the Lord. Her rediscovered faith appears to help fuel her passion on the issue of abortion as seen in the second presidential debate:

Despite the media’s attempts to derail her, she […]

Of Rome And Popes And Humility

Pope Francis has landed and, if the media circus is an indication, it’s a pretty big deal. Historically I can understand the significance of his visit. He’s only the fourth Pope to come to the United States—the first being Pope Paul VI in 1965. For the first time in congressional history the Bishop of Rome addressed both houses of Congress. And since over seventy-million people in America are more or less devoted to the Holy See, his voice on social concerns from the unborn, to immigration, and family values isn’t completely irrelevant. Despite the pomp and pageantry maybe it’s a good day to be reminded why we’re Protestant.

One of the things that has captured the attention of the world is Pope Francis’s humble approach to the papacy. From the moment he was inaugurated he refused the papal car and rode on the bus with his fellow bishops. Everyone was amazed when he took time to pay his hotel bill. He even chose to forgo the Apostolic Palace as a place of residence and prefers the more modest St. Martha’s Guesthouse. Just this week he turned down an invitation to lunch with Washington’s elite to serve and dine with the homeless. […]