Archive for August 2013

The Demise of Exodus International

Aug 31st, 2013 | By
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Recent polls now show that a majority of major Christian denominations, including Catholics, support legalized same-sex marriage. This is a tectonic shift: In 2004, 36% of Catholics and 34% of mainline Protestants supported legalizing gay marriage; today 57% and 55% of mainline Protestants do so. Among evangelical Protestants, the shift has been less dramatic—11% in 2004 to 24% today. Molly Bull in The Atlantic writes that “[This shift] is the fruit of an aggressive campaign by a determined gay-rights movement that realized, particularly in the wake of the 2004 elections, that you cannot win politically in America if you are arguing against religious faith.” Until recently, religion was on one side, while gay rights was on the other. Central to this strategy was the effort to redefine the issue.



Reflections on the New Atheism

Aug 24th, 2013 | By
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Many today speak of the “New Atheism,” which is best represented in the writings of the Four Horseman of the New Atheism—Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett and the late Christopher Hitchens. In many ways, they are not making any new arguments in their defense of atheism, but there is militancy about these individuals, especially Richard Dawkins. One of the more significant dimensions of this phenomenon is that former Christians, or at least emerging adults who came from Christian homes, are expressing an interest in atheism. To that end, Larry Alex Taunton of the Fixed Point Foundation endeavors to bridge the gap between Christians and atheists in a spirit of gentleness and mutual respect. (Taunton attended Grace University in the 1980s).



1 Corinthians 3:3-17

Aug 22nd, 2013 | By
Apostle Preaching

Dr. Eckman discusses Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians regarding their misunderstandings of the apostolic messengers of the time, and that serving the Lord means being accountable to Him & serving Him well, so that we may hear Him say “Well Done.”



Detroit: A Metaphor for America

Aug 17th, 2013 | By
Headquarters_of_GM_in_Detroit

Detroit is the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy. The Economist summarizes the details: Its long-term debt is estimated to be $18.2 billion ($27,000 per resident). Of this amount, about $9.2 billion is in unfunded retirement benefits. Since 2008 the city has spent about $100 million more each year than it has brought in. Attempts to solve these monumental challenges have been hampered by a feeble-economy, a shrinking population and rapidly increasing “legacy costs.” Property-tax revenues have declined by 20% since 2008; income tax revenues by 30% since 2002. Fifty years ago the city was rich: GM, Ford and Chrysler made nearly all the cars sold in America. Detroit’s population was 1.8 million people. Today, it is 700,000—many of those are poor and poorly educated (e.g., 82% have no more than a high school diploma).



1 Corinthians 2:6-3:2

Aug 15th, 2013 | By
HolySpiritDove

Dr Eckman discusses Paul’s teachings to the Corinthian people on the wisdom of God: how it is revealed to believers by His Holy Spirit, and why the matters of the Holy Spirit are not understood by the non-believer.



The Deconstruction of a Civilization: America, Language, and Human Sexuality

Aug 10th, 2013 | By
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It is obvious to everyone: Something is occurring in America right now. There is a sense that things are out of control. What had always seemed right is now called wrong. What had always been considered wrong is now considered right. Language that was once unacceptable for use in public is now common and accepted. Evidence of this cultural upheaval is in the language we use. Presbyterian minister John P. Sartelle writes: “We are witnessing the deconstruction of a civilization. Across our land, the major institutions that are foundational to any nation are in a downward spiral, whether we speak of education, government, business or the family. Isaiah and Jeremiah were observers of a similar deconstruction of their nation and wrote about it. One of the characteristics of that fall was the decline in the civility of everyday language.”



1 Corinthians 1:26-2:5

Aug 8th, 2013 | By
jesus with the poor

Dr Eckman continues the study of 1st Corinthians: Paul teaches more on the message of “Christ-crucified” & how it stands opposed to human wisdom.



Are You Suffering from “Present Shock”?

Aug 3rd, 2013 | By
present-shock

I just finished reading a book by media theorist Douglas Rushkoff entitled Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. It is a penetrating and thought-provoking book. [The title is an obvious play on the Alvin Toffler’s 1970 classic book, Future Shock.] To me, it captures quite brilliantly the unsettledness and disorientation that many feel as we begin the 21st century. It offers an analysis of our culture unlike any other I have read recently. Yet, with his analysis, Rushkoff offers few solutions and little comfort. So, in this Perspective, I seek to summarize the principal arguments of the book and add a biblical response to each major point, for I believe that God offers a cure to the “disease” called “Present Shock.”



1 Corinthians 1:10-25

Aug 1st, 2013 | By
1 Corinthians 1:10-25

Paul addresses the problem of division amongst the people in the Church at Corinth.