Archive for August 2016

The Danger of Liberty As Personal Autonomy

Aug 27th, 2016 | By

One of the most precious terms of the American Republic is liberty. The founding documents of this Republic are anchored in the articulation and defense of individual liberty. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson argued as a “self-evident truth” that we are “endowed by our Creator” with certain “inalienable rights” and among those are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Bill of Rights (actually the Constitution’s first Ten Amendments) articulate and guarantee a set of rights each citizen enjoys. “Liberty” is indeed a precious and unique dimension of this Republic. But, in 1992, Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the famous Casey abortion ruling, posited a re-definition of human liberty: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” That re-definition is quite extraordinary. . .



Genesis 24:34-25:26

Aug 26th, 2016 | By

God leads Isaac to his wife; The death of Abraham, & the birth of Jacob & Esau.



The Global Economy and the Reorientation of Politics

Aug 20th, 2016 | By

For the advanced nations within this global economy, economic growth has been weaker for longer than it has been in the lifetime of most people alive today. Although the American economy is growing at a faster pace than others, it is still lagging and taking much longer to recover from the 2008 Great Recession than many anticipated. . . These new realities are hitting the citizens of western civilization particularly hard and creating a degree of tension and dissatisfaction not seen for decades. To a degree, these new realities are behind the Trump (and Sanders) phenomenon in America, the Brexit vote in Europe, and the growth of nationalist parties in other nations of Western Europe. Is there a reorientation of politics occurring in western civilization?



Genesis 24:1-34

Aug 19th, 2016 | By

Genesis 24 demonstrates the loving kindness & providence of God, as He leads Isaac’s search for a wife.



Vladimir Putin: A New “Cold War?”

Aug 13th, 2016 | By

An interesting dimension of the current US presidential campaign is Vladimir Putin. The nation he leads is in economic and financial freefall. In many ways it is a third-world nation, with deep problems including significant corruption, pervasive bureaucratic inefficiencies and inept financial managers. Yet, it is an intensely nationalistic nation, with a resurgent Russian Orthodox Church and a determination to be recognized as a world power. Despite its shortcomings, it remains a nuclear power, with a capable military evidencing cutting edge military technology.



Genesis 22:15-23:20

Aug 11th, 2016 | By

Abraham was obedient to God’s test of faith, and the Lord confirmed His blessings & promises. In time, Sarah dies and Abraham purchases land for her burial in Canaan, the promised land.



Christian Priorities in a Dysfunctional Culture

Aug 6th, 2016 | By

In Matthew 5:13-16, the Lord Jesus issued a series of shocking declarations about His disciples: After his discourse on the Beatitudes (5:1-12), he announced, “You are the salt of the earth . . . the light of the world . . . a city set on a hill [that] cannot be hidden.” These metaphors used by Christ are rather striking, for they reject any sense of a group of secret, silent, secluded disciples. A city resting on top of a mountain (as most cities of the ancient world did), cannot be hidden. It is unabashedly conspicuous, visible and can be seen by everyone. Light is impossible to hide; it penetrates even the smallest crack or crevice. And salt, whether as a seasoning that adds flavor or as a preservative that prevents decay (the likely meaning in the ancient world), is unique and distinguishable. Jesus’ disciples are distinct in the way they live their lives; they are genuine and exceptional. Why?



Genesis 21:18-22:15

Aug 4th, 2016 | By

God tests Abraham’s faith, demonstrating how the Lord blesses those who obediently surrender everything to Him.