Featured Issues

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:



American Exceptionalism, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

Feb 25th, 2017 | By
iipi20170225

America is exceptional and unique. Its exceptionalism has a moral, an ethical, a spiritual and a political dimension to it. There really is no other nation quite like the US—and that is at the heart of its exceptionalism. Let me highlight a few of these distinctive aspects. The United States was birthed as a nation when two powerful forces came together in the 18th century—the desire for both political liberty and religious liberty.



Postmodern Perceptions of Biblical Christianity

Feb 18th, 2017 | By
iipi021817

The Postmodern, Post-Christian nature of Western Civilization reflects a change in how Postmodern people perceive biblical Christianity. For much of the late 20th century, genuine, biblical Christianity was regarded as irrelevant. In the early 21st century, it is regarded as bad for society. A recent study by the Barna Group, which is also reflected in David Kinnaman’s book, Good Faith, examines the perceptions of faith and Christianity in our Postmodern culture. The conclusion is that millions of adults now view biblical Christianity as extremist. Four short statements summarize Kinnaman’s research:



Should We Grow Transplantable Organs for People in Animals?

Feb 11th, 2017 | By
iipi021117

For the first time, biologists have succeeded in growing human stem cells in pig embryos, increasing the possibility that one day soon we may develop human organs in animals for later transplant. . . This means that the human-organ-growing pigs would be examples of chimeras—animals composed of two different genomes—a human and a pig. When the human stem cells are implanted into an early pig embryo, the result is an animal composed of mixed pig and human cells.



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.



Nationalism versus Globalism: Vladimir Putin as Hero?

Jan 28th, 2017 | By
iipi012817

Last week in Issues in Perspective (21 January 2017), I argued that the new ideological struggle in the world is between the forces of nationalism and the forces of globalism. This struggle explains Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump among other developments. This week I want to address the curious role that Vladimir Putin plays in this ongoing struggle between nationalism and globalism.



Globalism vs. Nationalism: The Ideological Struggle of the 21st Century

Jan 21st, 2017 | By
iipi012117

For much of the 20th century, ideological discussions and debates have centered on liberal versus conservative, left versus right. No longer. The ideological divide of the 21st century is emerging as globalism versus nationalism. Since the end of World War II, global integration and technological progress have fueled a new world order centered on free trade, open borders and interdependent economies. Goods, capital and people should be able to move freely across borders, which is actually the meaning of globalization. But Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal argues that globalism is a “mindset that globalization is natural and good, that global governance should expand as national sovereignty contracts.” The new nationalist surge has startled and shocked the advocates of globalism. This new nationalism is the vital center of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.