Featured Issues

Gender Dysphoria and Teenage Vulnerability

Dec 9th, 2017 | By

Gender Dysphoria is generally explained as distress caused by a mismatch between felt and perceived gender identity—between the sex on the birth certificate and how one feels. The Williams Institute, a Los Angeles think-tank, estimates that 1.4 million Americans (0.06% of those aged 16-65) are transgender. According to The Economist, “young people say that gender matters less than it used to, which sits oddly with the spreading belief that gender dysphoria can be severe enough to justify the upheaval and risks of transitioning.” Furthermore, “gender identity” in 2017 has come to mean how people feel or present themselves, as distinct from biological sex or sexual orientation.



Evangelical Politics and the Loss of Moral Authority

Dec 2nd, 2017 | By

The clear teaching of the Bible is that all humans are sinners and in need of God’s grace. Historically in the United States, evangelical Christians have agreed with these propositions and have faithfully proclaimed the Gospel. Consistently, evangelicals have been known as people who oppose “worldliness,” the tendency to adopt and condone the world’s assumptions and its worldview. By its nature, the Gospel is countercultural and evangelicals have adopted that lifestyle and perspective. But as evangelical Christian, William S. Brewbaker III, law professor at the University of Alabama, has so eloquently concluded, “Today’s evangelicals have mostly abandoned those limitations, but we seem especially blind to other kinds of worldliness. Evangelical politicians fall prey to the allure of money, sex and power at the same rates as just about everyone else . . .”



The Brutal Legacy of 100 Years of Communism

Nov 25th, 2017 | By

On 7 November 1917 (25 October 1917 by the old Russian calendar) a group of ideological communists (called Bolsheviks) led an uprising that led to the Bolsheviks seizing power and establishing the first major communist government in history. During the years of the Soviet Union, this date was lavishly celebrated as The Great October Socialist Revolution. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of that totalitarian dictatorship, Russians have been confused about how to recognize this important date in their history. This year, 2017, one would expect there to be significant celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. But 7 November 2017 was merely recognized as “the revolution of 1917 in Russia.” No major celebrations or national events were scheduled.



The Enduring Importance of the Balfour Declaration

Nov 18th, 2017 | By

On 2 November 1917, a letter was delivered to the Jewish community of Great Britain by the British government committing His Majesties Government to the creation of a “national home” in Palestine for the Jewish people. This “declaration” changed the course of history. For that reason, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, attended a dinner in London on 2 November 2017 with Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, to celebrate the issuing of this letter 100 years ago. Lord Balfour, a descendant of the man who sent the letter, now called the Balfour Declaration, also attended. The Palestinians regard this Declaration as a “great betrayal” and Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Great Britain apologize for this Declaration, not celebrate it.



What Does It Mean to Be a Conservative in 2017?

Nov 11th, 2017 | By

Until quite recently, if someone mentioned “conservative” it was rather clear what that meant—generally a commitment to limited government, individual liberty, and free trade. In 2017 the meaning of “conservative” is no longer clear. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas recently wrote: “Last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, the American people elected as president someone with no high government experience—not a senator, not a congressman, not a governor, not a cabinet secretary, not a general. They did this, I believe, because they’ve lost faith in both the competence and the intentions of our governing class—of both parties! . . .”



Is Confucius the Answer to the Spiritual Void in Communist China?

Nov 4th, 2017 | By

Chinese President Xi Jinping is clearly the most powerful Chinese leader in 40 years. As I am writing this the Chinese Communist Party Congress is occurring and that body has enshrined President Xi and his writings into the Chinese Constitution. Only founder Mao Tse-tung had received such an honor. A major concern of President Xi, himself an ardent atheist, is the spiritual void caused by decades of official atheism along with China’s current headlong pursuit of wealth and prosperity.



The Cultural Disorder of America’s “Fantasy-Industrial-Complex”

Oct 28th, 2017 | By

Few would disagree that American civilization is at a point of confusion, chaos and dysfunction. We are a polarized nation where it is virtually impossible to have reasoned discussions, healthy debates or exercise civility. The family as the center of our civilization is clearly in crisis. Our national government is thoroughly dysfunctional and is more divided than it has been in generations. The threats to our national security are real and there is no consensus on how to handle these real threats. Even the broad American evangelical church’s view of God is what Christian sociologist Christian Smith calls Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. . . How did we get into this mess?



Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas and the Nature of Evil

Oct 21st, 2017 | By

On the night of 1 October 2017, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving 58 people dead and over 500 injured. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m., 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot, he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Why he did this is unclear.



The Legacy of Hugh Hefner

Oct 14th, 2017 | By

Over 3,000 years ago, King Solomon wrote poignantly about his life and about the purpose and meaning of life in general “under the sun.” His observations could be an appropriate epitaph for Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire:



Hezbollah: An Emerging Regional Power?

Oct 7th, 2017 | By

Hezbollah, a Lebanese militia founded in the 1980s, has been an ongoing nemesis for Israel on its northern border. It has fought brief conflicts with Israel (most recently in 2006) and has amassed an arsenal of rockets all aimed at Israeli cities and settlements. But over the last five years, Hezbollah has expanded its operations and is no longer merely a Lebanese militia; it has become a regional power of import in the Middle East. Perhaps more importantly, it has become one of the key instruments of Iran in building a powerful Shiite corridor from Iran to the Mediterranean.