Archive for December 2016

The State of Civilization’s Foundation: Marriage and the Family (2016)

Dec 31st, 2016 | By

American civilization and the broader western civilization have embraced a radical re-definition of marriage and family. This is beyond the culture’s accommodation to same-sex marriage. For example, the approval of unwed parenthood is now at 61%; the approval of divorce at 71%; and the approval of premarital sex at 53%. Rather shockingly, support for plural matrimony (i.e., polygamy) has risen from 7% to 16%. The logic of this change is obvious: Given the accommodation to same-sex marriage, on what ethical and legal basis is American civilization going to deny the right of citizens who wish to have multiple partners in a marriage?



The Christmas Story: Belief or Nostalgia?

Dec 24th, 2016 | By

“I believe; I believe. It’s silly, but I believe.” These familiar words were spoken by young Susan Walker in the popular Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Today, her words accurately reflect how faith is commonly portrayed—a blind leap in the dark; believing for no reason at all. The shepherds, the wise men, the Bethlehem star, the babe in the manger make us feel warm, comfortable and happy, but whether it is all true or not is irrelevant. But what if it is true—all of it? What if the angels, the virgin birth, the Incarnation are true? What difference would it make?



“Post-Truth”: The 2016 Word of the Year

Dec 17th, 2016 | By

Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year. The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Oxford dictionary’s editors noted a roughly 2,000% increase in the usage of “post-truth” over 2015, especially with far more frequency in news articles and on social media in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The choice of “post-truth” is actually rather astonishing as a word choice, but, in light of the 2016 presidential campaign where “truth” was not a term one would use to describe either candidate’s campaign, it makes sense: Intentional lies and misrepresentation of facts were the norm.



Is the Electoral College Still Necessary?

Dec 10th, 2016 | By

The 2016 presidential election is history and the difference between the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won by over two million votes, and the electoral vote, which Donald Trump won decisively, is disturbing to some. Because this is the second time in recent history where the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote, many argue that we should abolish the Electoral College and simply adopt the standard that the one who wins the popular vote (presumably a majority requirement) is the president . . . Should we abolish the Electoral College as an antiquated, 18th century innovation of our Founders?



Genesis 44:1-46:34

Dec 9th, 2016 | By

Joseph’s final test of his brothers’ hearts, revealing his true identity to them, then sending for the entire family to come to Egypt: Joseph demonstrates how sound theology produces Godly results.



Metaphors for America’s Cultural Divide: “Hamilton” and the University

Dec 3rd, 2016 | By

The 2016 presidential campaign just does not seem to end. The cultural divide that this campaign accentuated keeps raising its ugly head. Although the voting data now becoming available does not permit quite this simplicity, the national media often painted the recent election as a binary one: rich vs. poor, rural vs. urban, white vs. people of color, and the male working class vs. everyone else. Despite what many evangelicals argued, this election was about far more than abortion, same-sex marriage or transgender bathrooms. This election was about the changing identity of America as a Republic founded on the principles of equality, virtue and community (see the first few paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence).



Genesis 42:15-43:44

Dec 2nd, 2016 | By

Joseph encounters his brothers, and challenges them with a series of tests to learn their motives & see if their hearts have been changed.