Featured Issues

Iran, Russia and the United States: The New Middle East

Aug 12th, 2017 | By
iipi20170811

The civil war in Syria is entering a new phase, one fraught with significant implications for the Middle East, for Israel and for the United States. In the words of columnist Charles Krauthammer, “The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.” ISIS is disappearing as an independent, organized state within the Middle East. Its threat as a terrorist organization remains viable, but the caliphate declared by Baghdadi is dead!



How Americans Disagree in 2017

Aug 5th, 2017 | By
iipi20170805

In mid-June, James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., armed with a rifle, opened fire on a group of Republican members of Congress practicing for a baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia. Four victims were transferred to the hospital with gunshot injuries: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a Capitol Police officer. Another congressman and a second police officer also suffered minor injuries. In statements on social media and letters to a local newspaper, Hodgkinson expressed fervent opposition to the Republican Party and called for higher taxes on the rich. He also volunteered for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. He was not a communist or an extremist member of some paramilitary group. He was an ordinary Midwestern Democrat who detested what was happening in his life and to his nation.



Thinking Biblically about Charlie Gard

Jul 29th, 2017 | By
iipi20147047247

The case of 11-month old Charlie Gard of the United Kingdom has been heart-wrenching. It also raises a number of profound ethical questions. Charlie was born with a pair of genetic mutations that depleted his body of mitochondria, the minute structures that produce energy molecules that the body’s cells need to live. As a result, he has suffered — according to the hospital — “catastrophic and irreversible brain damage.” He cannot breathe, he essentially cannot move, and he cannot hear. He has been kept alive by life support systems. His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have pinned their hopes on an experimental treatment called nucleoside therapy.



What to do about North Korea?

Jul 22nd, 2017 | By
iipi20170722

North Korea recently launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, a vivid demonstration of its potential nuclear reach. The missile traveled only 580 miles, but in doing so it traveled 1,700 miles into space and re-entered the atmosphere before crashing into the Sea of Japan. If you flatten this out, such a missile could reach Alaska. This frightening reality means that North Korea is on the verge of reaching a capability to attack the homeland of the United States with nuclear missiles.



The Coming Dystopia: Technology and Human Obsolescence

Jul 15th, 2017 | By
iipi071517

This summer I have read two books which present an overview of humanity that is both enlightening and shocking. Written by Yuval Noah Harari, whose Ph.D. is from Oxford and who now teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the books have profoundly affected me: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2015) and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2017). Harari combines insights from genetics, anthropology, cultural studies, as well as social and epistemological history in his two books. In his first book Harari argues for three broad “revolutions” in the history of humankind: . . . Harari’s second book looks to the future and Harari sees basically a dystopian future, which is what I am most interested in for this Perspective.



In Vitro Gametogenesis: A New Revolution in Reproductive Technology?

Jul 8th, 2017 | By
iipi20170706

The newest development in reproductive technology promises to be far more controversial than in vitro fertilization (IVF), which accounts for about 70,000, or almost 2%, of the babies born in the US each year. [Indeed, more than 6.5 million babies have been born worldwide through IVF and related procedures.] According to Tamar Lewin reporting on this new development, “Within a decade or two, researchers say, scientists will likely be able to create a baby from human skin cells that have been coaxed to grow into eggs and sperm and used to create embryos to implant in a womb. The process, in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, so far has been used only in mice. But stem cell biologists say it is only a matter of time before it could be used in human reproduction—opening up mind-boggling possibilities.” What are some of these possibilities?



Ben Sasse’s Solution to the Emerging Adult Crisis in America

Jul 1st, 2017 | By
iipi20170701

Nebraska Senator, Ben Sasse, has written an enjoyable and important book entitled, The Vanishing American Adult. His book addresses what Jeffrey Arnett calls the “emerging adult” phenomenon in our culture. Because of technology and affluence, Sasse sees the nature of this “crisis” as centered in the “digital world” and its “polarizing effect, its tendency to favor emotion over reason, and because citizen engagement in a republic requires reasoned debate, critical thinking, the thoughtful contesting of ideas, and individuals willing to stand up for what they believe, even when challenged,” this crisis is serious. With the emerging adult, adolescence is perpetual and this reality threatens our republic and our freedom in a way not seen before.



Does Sin Affect the Human Ability to Think Clearly?

Jun 24th, 2017 | By
iipi20170622

In 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, the Apostle Paul makes an astonishing argument about the Holy Spirit’s role in enabling the Christian to think, reason and embrace truth. He contrasts the “wisdom” of the world with the “wisdom” of God. God’s wisdom is revealed, and human wisdom without God leads to foolishness and the defiant rejection of God’s wisdom. But when we have the Holy Spirit, this changes. Paul utilizes a logical argument:



The Six-Day War: 50 Years Later

Jun 17th, 2017 | By
iip20170617

The 50th anniversary of the famous Six-Day War of 1967 is upon us. With it are coming the normal cries and accusations against Israel for its “occupation” of Palestinian land. For much of the world, Israel remains a nation unforgiven for its occupation and its refusal to seriously negotiate with the Palestinians. The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement against Israel is popular on American college campuses, if nowhere else. . . Let’s do a quick review of what actually happened 50 years ago and in the subsequent decades:



Is Donald Trump “Our Dream President?”

Jun 10th, 2017 | By
iipi20170610

President Trump delivered the Commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia this year. This is the institution founded by Jerry Falwell, founder also of the Moral Majority and other organizations in the late 20th century. Falwell epitomized the attempt by evangelicals to influence the direction of Republican Party politics in 1980s and 1990s. In many ways, he also symbolized what became known as the “Religious Right” in those decades. His son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., is now Liberty University’s president. In introducing President Trump a few weeks ago, the young Falwell called him “our dream president.”