Archive for May 2011

The Sad Teaching of Harold Camping

May 28th, 2011 | By

It has been said that “the one thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” This equally applies to those who should learn from church history. Throughout the history of the church, leaders have attempted to be specific about certain historical developments and relate those events to biblical prophecy, specifically the return of Christ.

President Obama and Israel

May 28th, 2011 | By

In an extraordinary speech last Thursday, President Obama endorsed using the 1967 boundaries as the baseline for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He is the first American president to do so! [He also prodded Arab governments to carry out the democratic reforms their citizens have demanded in the so-called “Arab Spring.”] In the 1967 war, Israel’s victory over Egypt and other Arab neighbors expanded its control over territories in the West Bank and Gaza, over the Golan Heights and over East Jerusalem.

A College Major in Secularism?

May 21st, 2011 | By

Pitzer College, a small liberal arts college in Southern California, will inaugurate this fall a department in secular studies. Classes taught by professors from the other departments of the college will include, “God, Darwin and Design in America,” “Anxiety in the Age of Reason,” and “Bible as Literature.” This new department is based on the premise that studying nonbelief is as valid as studying belief. Among other things, this department will also study the growing waves of secularization in Western Europe and in Canada. The head of the department is Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist of religion, who describes himself as “culturally Jewish, but agnostic-atheist on questions of deep mystery.”

The New Middle East

May 21st, 2011 | By

With the death of Osama Bin Laden and what some are calling the “Arab Spring,” a new Middle East is emerging. Its parameters are far from clear but there are some discernible characteristics. Most of them are rather troublesome.

School Vouchers Do Work

May 21st, 2011 | By

The present administration in Washington is against school vouchers and even permitted the very popular and demonstrably effective voucher program in the District of Columbia to die. But Obama resurrected that program as a part of the deal he struck with the Republican Party over the 2011 budget. What evidence is there that vouchers serve students well and give parents a valid option for educating their children?

The Pernicious Nature of Gambling

May 14th, 2011 | By

Over the last twenty years, the growth of the gambling industry has been staggering. Increasingly, more and more states are legalizing all forms of gambling. It is on several Indian reservations and the respective states are now utterly dependent on revenue from some form of gambling. The gambling industry is a huge, worldwide business. According to The Economist, in 2009, the total revenue from gambling worldwide was $335 billion. That percentage total breaks down as follows…

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

May 14th, 2011 | By
Image: Frozen vials of human embryonic stem cells at the University of Michigan Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor

I am on the advisory board of The Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research (NCER), which opposes the derivation and use of stem cells from human embryos. Such derivation and use involves the direct destruction of a human being in its embryonic stage of development and treats such humans as mere physical objects that can be harvested for their parts. However, NCER supports and applauds the use of stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood or adult sources that do not involve the destruction of human life.

The Bin Laden Victory: Echoes of George W. Bush

May 14th, 2011 | By

President Barack Obama invited President Bush to join him as he traveled to “ground zero” in lower Manhattan last week. President Bush declined the offer. In issuing this invitation, perhaps President Obama recognized how much he truly owes to President Bush. In fact, one could probably argue that President Bush’s decisions right after 9/11 made the death of Bin Laden possible.

The Death of Osama Bin Laden

May 7th, 2011 | By

As I am writing this, the President of the United States just announced that Navy SEALS had killed Osama bin Laden, the head of al Qaeda. It will take some time before we know the ramifications of this momentous event but permit me a few preliminary observations…

A Middle East Update

May 7th, 2011 | By

I have a very dear friend who lives near Jerusalem. His name is Ronny Simon, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Defense Force, who serves as my guide when I lead my annual tours of Israel. He recently sent me a detailed email on his perspective about what is occurring in the Middle East today.