Featured Issues

Google, Corporate Diversity and Gender Difference Confusion in 2017

Sep 2nd, 2017 | By

In early August, James Damore, a software engineer at the Silicon Valley giant Google, was fired by Google chief executive, Sundar Pichai, for violating Google’s code of conduct, specifically his perpetuation of “harmful gender stereotypes” in the workplace. Although 80% of Google’s tech employees are male, Google prides itself in its commitment to diversity, inclusion and openness, yet demands ideological conformity within its company. The irony of the Damore case is therefore striking.



The President as Moral Leader of the Nation

Aug 26th, 2017 | By

We are living in a complicated, rather frightening age. Columnist David Brooks calls it “an age of anxiety.” Changing demographic and technological disruption have produced a society where “people live with bewildering freedom, without institutions to trust, unattached to compelling religions and sources of meaning, uncertain about their own lives.” For many this anxiety is producing a fear of the future and many will do anything to escape this fear, which is generating an “age of fanaticism.” This combination of anxiety and fanaticism is occurring at a time when the United States seems hopelessly divided.



The Church as an Advocate of Justice

Aug 19th, 2017 | By

That God is a God of justice is a given. One of my favorite Minor Prophets is Amos, who rails against the injustice of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. His rebukes are scathing, some of which could certainly apply to the North American church today. But the Bible makes clear that God’s perfect justice is always balanced by His grace, mercy and compassion. That, of course, is why He sent Jesus: To die a substitutionary death and thereby satisfy the righteous, just demands of a perfect, holy and righteous God. The Bible also makes clear that we, who have received the free gift of salvation by grace through faith, are to exhibit justice, grace, mercy and compassion to the world. Put another way, the church of Jesus Christ is to manifest justice, grace, mercy and compassion to this broken world.



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

Aug 12th, 2017 | By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.