All entries by this author

Systemic Challenges Beneath the Façade of American Prosperity

Feb 17th, 2018 | By

Over the last year or so, Americans have been on a spending binge. The stock market has reached record levels. (Although, as I am writing, it is falling precipitously, having lost 1300 points in three days.) And the US Congress, at the insistence of President Trump, passed a massive tax cut. America’s GDP is stable, unemployment is low and wages are slowly increasing. But all of this is a façade. One of the significant risks, with all this spending, the tax cuts and rising wages, is inflation, which is one of the reasons the stock market is falling. What I hope to address in this Perspective are the underlying systemic challenges facing America. They are serious and potentially very destabilizing. Let’s review some of these systemic issues:



Rethinking Pro-Life Arguments in the Abortion Debate

Feb 10th, 2018 | By

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision 45 years ago, the pro-life (or anti-abortion) side of the debate has focused on the ethical issue that the baby growing in its mother’s womb deserves to be protected as any other human being having rights under the US Constitution.  Increasingly sophisticated technology is changing the nature of the debate.  Indeed, Emma Green in a recent issue of The Atlantic has argued that “science is giving the pro-life movement a boost.”  In addition, columnist Michael Gerson suggests that the way the Court framed its 1973 decision created a tension between autonomy and inclusion, producing a conflict that “will only be managed, not settled.”  Let me explain both of these observations.



2 Peter 1:7-11

Feb 9th, 2018 | By

Peter continues his encouragement to believers: because we have already reached justification in God’s eyes, we are to carry ourselves with holiness & grace, and to love others. Through these actions, we will know Jesus better, as He conforms each of us to be more like Him.



Is the Two-State Model for Peace Between Israel and the Palestinian Authority Dead?

Feb 3rd, 2018 | By

Arguably, the most intractable Middle Eastern challenge is finding a way to settle the Israeli-Palestinian debate over land. Since Israel’s victorious 1967 War, it has controlled the West Bank and Old Jerusalem, and, since the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995, both the Palestinian Authority and the state of Israel have accepted the premise of and have been working towards what is called a “two-state” solution, where Israel would retain its sovereignty over much of the land it has held since 1967 but negotiate to create a Palestinian state out of the West Bank and Gaza strip. As 2017 ended and as 2018 has begun, there is speculation that the two-state solution is dead. Why?



2 Peter 1:5-6

Feb 2nd, 2018 | By

Because of what Christ has done for us, Peter reaffirms that we are called to act: Dr. Eckman discusses 7 responsibilities for a believer to supplement & grow their Faith.



What Do People Trust in This “Post-Truth” Era?

Jan 27th, 2018 | By

Late in year 2016, the Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as the 2016 international word of the year. The dictionary defined “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”



2 Peter 1:1-4

Jan 26th, 2018 | By

Peter’s writings at the beginning of his 2nd letter are a summary of how we should look at our lives:
God’s divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life & godliness through the knowledge of Him.



1 Peter 5:6-14

Jan 25th, 2018 | By

Peter reaffirms personal humility & dependence on God and His grace, even when He appears to be silent. This grows & tests our faith and builds our hope, that we can be more dependent on Him & become all that He wants us to be.



Liberty, Global Stability and Nationalism

Jan 20th, 2018 | By

The 20th century witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust and the rise of atheistic communism. That century changed the role of the United States in world affairs. Since the administration of George Washington, the US largely followed the doctrine of isolationism, which was forcefully articulated in the 1823 Monroe Doctrine. But it was Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter World War I and his subsequent 14 Points, which championed the principle of national self-determination and set the agenda for the 1919 Versailles Treaty, which challenged this isolationism. The US was going to “make the world safe for democracy.”



1 Peter 5:1-7

Jan 19th, 2018 | By

Peter gives particular directions, first to the elders, how to behave themselves towards their flock; then to the younger, to be obedient and humble, & to cast their care upon God.