Culture & Wordview

Is Abortion “God’s Work?”

May 27th, 2017 | By
iipi20170527

In a recent editorial in the New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof gave focus to Dr. Willie Parker, who operates an abortion clinic. Parker has written his autobiography, entitled Life’s Work, in which he claims, “I believe that as an abortion provider, I am doing God’s work. I am protecting women’s rights, their human right to decide their futures for themselves, and to live their lives as they see fit.” Dr. Parker is an African-American Christian and an OB-GYN doctor who practices medicine in the South. Both Parker’s memoir and Kristof’s editorial make two claims: That only recently have evangelical Christians come to oppose abortion and that historically Christianity has not opposed abortion. Are these claims true?



Handling Guilt, Identity and Sin in a Secularized Culture

May 13th, 2017 | By
iipi20170513

One of my favorite writers today is David Brooks, and his recent book, The Road to Character, has challenged me in many ways. In a related essay, among the many points Brooks makes is that “religious frameworks no longer organize public debate . . . We have words and emotional instincts about what feels right and wrong, but no settled criteria to help us think, argue and decide.”



The Pernicious Results of a Secularized Culture

Apr 22nd, 2017 | By
iipi20170422

The familiar term “secularism” is often used today to define the ideology of western civilization, for it refers to the absence of any binding theistic authority or belief. Theologian Albert Mohler further defines its companion, “secularization,” as “a concept and a sociological process whereby societies become less theistic and they become more modern. Secular societies therefore drift toward conditions where there is little if any theistic belief and the rejection of any binding authority at all.”



Identity Politics as Theology: The Case of Princeton and Pastor Tim Keller

Apr 8th, 2017 | By
iipi040817

Princeton Theological Seminary has a rich heritage, often intertwined with the history of the United States. Founded about 1726 by William Tennent (then known as the Log College), it contributed to providing a real need for colonial Presbyterianism—college-educated ministers. In colonial America, most prospective pastors needed to study in Europe and then return to the colonies to serve. Over the next several decades of the 18th century, numerous connections developed between the Log College and the founding of the College of New Jersey, later known as Princeton University (and Seminary). . . But the Princeton of history is not the Princeton of today.



Thinking Biblically about The Shack: The Movie (and the Book)

Mar 25th, 2017 | By
iipi032417

The movie, The Shack, has just been released in American theaters and is generating a similar level of discussion among Christians as did the book by the same title, which was published in 2010. William Young is a compelling, imaginative writer and the movie seeks to capture on film the same imaginative presentation of tragedy and God’s involvement and answer to such tragedy.



“Dignicide:” Can Euthanasia Ever Be Dignified?

Mar 18th, 2017 | By
iipi031817

The debate over the ethics of euthanasia within western civilization has taken a new turn. In London, a musical in the British theater scene has received rave reviews over the last year or so. It is “Assisted Suicide: The Musical,” created by Liz Carr, who suffers from a genetic disorder that prevents her from extending her muscles, among other impairments. That “Assisted Suicide: The Musical” is being received so well (often to standing ovations) is puzzling, for western civilization is embracing assisted suicide with a passion.



Evangelicals, a Free Press and Donald Trump

Mar 11th, 2017 | By
iip031117

Among the various voting blocs in the United States, 81% of Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump for president in 2016. There were undoubtedly many reasons for this unbridled allegiance to a man who, in terms of character, honesty and lifestyle, only a few years ago would never have earned their vote. But his opponent was Hillary Clinton and most evangelicals viewed her as a worse choice. In my reading and in my conversations with evangelical Christians, the consensus among evangelicals seems to be that God has given us a political “savior” who will lead America back to its roots. He will bring about an America that is great economically, culturally and spiritually.



Living with Contradiction: Peter Singer and the Value of a Human Life

Mar 4th, 2017 | By
iipi030317

For many years, ethicist Peter Singer served as Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. Author of many books, including his important Animal Liberation, Singer has championed ideas that are now cherished and central to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization. He lives a frugal lifestyle and does not eat meat, fish or wear leather. Arguably controversial and provocative, Singer has advocated among many other things the following:



The Triumph of Secularism: It Is Now “Impossible to Believe”

Feb 4th, 2017 | By
iipi020417

According to a 2015 Pew survey, 36% of those born between 1990 and 1996 in the US are religiously unaffiliated. Further, church attendance is collapsing among young people—only 27% of millennials attend religious services regularly. With the triumph of a secular worldview, American Christianity is in crisis. The Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the digital revolution have all combined to produce a diluted, superficial, shallow Christianity. For many, the Modern and now the Postmodern nature of culture have made God not only irrelevant but no longer necessary.



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

Dec 31st, 2016 | By
iipi123116

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?