• Christian Living,  Culture,  Misc

    The Parable of the Rich Young Influencer

    I was recently made aware of a forgotten text that has recently been discovered. It turns out that Jesus did indeed speak to contemporary issues about social media. It has been called the Parable of the Rich Young Influencer. Here is the text in full: And behold, a Gen Z young man came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The Gen Z young man said to him, “All these I have…

  • Christian Living,  Culture

    Dying to Self in a ‘Me-First’ Culture: The Christian Counter-Narrative

    I work with young adults on a weekly basis, and I am deeply concerned for the younger generation within the church. The next generation is being trained by the culture to live according to feelings and desires. Now feelings and desires are not inconsequential, but the Christian worldview is so much more holistic and purposeful. While the non-Christian culture promotes personal happiness and fulfillment as the ultimate pursuit, the Christian worldview understands the purpose of life is to glorify God through dying to self. All around us the culture promotes a world where the most important question is, “How does this make me feel?” We are always being fed the lie that life is all about pursuit of ease and comfort. Difficulty is to be avoided at all costs. Comfort and security are to be pursued at all costs. Our personal happiness is preeminent. We are told that unless we…

  • Christian Living,  Culture

    7 Warnings about Social Media for the Christian

    There are many reasons to believe that social media is here to stay. Social media provides an unhindered opportunity to connect with family and friends, or to keep an eye on the news, sports, and weather. It is estimated that by the year 2027, 5.85 billion people will be using social media. Social media is immensely popular among the younger generation, with 16-24 year-olds spending over three hours a day on social media. The Blessing of Social Media The ubiquitous nature of social media necessitates that Christians think critically about both the pros and cons of using social media platforms, as well as the consequences of frequent use. Many of the benefits of using social media as a Christian are evident. We can reach some with the gospel that we would otherwise be unable to impact. Further, we can share helpful resources which promote Christlikeness. We can also mutually edify…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Theology

    Rethinking Political Anxiety: God isn’t Limited by Evil

    Election season 2024 is ramping up in the United States, and thus Christians will be faced with many occasions to be anxious about who will be in charge of the nation. This is certainly not a phenomenon limited to Americans. It is a very human reaction to worry about who is in charge. It is also a good desire to want a good, just, and wise ruler. But as Christians, it is important to remember that God doesn’t need a Christian in the White House to accomplish what He wants to do. Or to put it another way, God can just as easily direct through unbelievers as believers. Our Desire for Righteous Rulers We rightfully desire righteous rulers. In fact, Proverbs 29:2 says that when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice! It is easy to see how justice can be administered by those who hold to God’s righteous…

  • Culture,  New Testament,  Old Testament

    Slavery—Why Does the Bible Allow It?

    Why does the Bible allow slavery? At first glance this seems an irredeemable blemish to the goodness of the Bible’s message. Slavery is recognized as one of the great evils of our history. To many, this provides a significant reason for rejecting what the Bible teaches. Some balk at the belief that Christians can believe God revealed himself in a book which, not only does not condemn slavery, but actually allows it. How should we think about the fact that the Bible allows slavery? This is a challenging issue because our society brings with it cultural baggage which makes accurate interpretation of biblical texts on slavery difficult. Those of us who live in the Americas and Europe are familiar with the African slave trade, and this is the kind of slavery that we envision taking place in the Bible. But there are some key differences between the Bible’s picture of…

  • Apologetics,  Culture,  Theology

    The Straw Man Fallacy and the Christian (with Examples)

    I have been slowly writing a series of articles on logic and the Christian. Many Christians, like the larger culture around them, have become sloppy in their thinking. Logical fallacies abound, and it is important for Christians to spend time not just learning what to think, but even more importantly, learning how to think. As a reminder, a logical fallacy is a flaw or error in reasoning that weakens an argument, making it unreliable or invalid. The last fallacy we discussed was The Either-Or Fallacy and we observed how Christians often miscategorize issues as either-or when many issues are more complex than that. Today I want to discuss the all-too-famous (or perhaps infamous) straw man fallacy. The Straw Man Fallacy in Theological Discussion The straw man fallacy occurs when someone misrepresents or changes an opposing position to refute it more easily. The term “straw man” is derived from the idea…

  • Apologetics,  Culture,  Theology

    The Either-Or Fallacy and the Christian (with Examples)

    Logic is the systematic study of reasoning and inference—the process of drawing valid conclusions from given information or premises. Everyone gives lip service to logic’s importance. For example, any time someone appeals to “common sense” they are actually saying there is a logical thought process by which everyone should arrive at the same basic conclusion (i.e., common sense). Although most people acknowledge the importance of logical thinking, logic has fallen on hard times. Lazy thinking abounds. This is partly driven by advertising and social media culture, but also through lack of discipline and being driven by emotions. As Christians, God commands us to discipline our minds. We are to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor 10:5), and to set our minds on what is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy” (Phil 4:8). Controlling how the mind thinks is a crucial Christian discipline. Yet I’ve observed much sloppy…

  • Apologetics,  Culture,  Ethics

    How Can Same-Sex Relationships be Wrong?

    How can same-sex relationships be wrong if they don’t hurt anyone? Can’t we all just live and let live? This is a common objection to the biblical view that same-sex relationships are wrong. The argument is often stated this way: if two adults want to engage in a consensual same-sex relationship, if there is no harm done, why disallow them that freedom? The implication of this kind of argumentation is that if something is not harmful, it is good (or at least allowable). Although this is a common argument, it actually falters on multiple levels. The appeal to allow same-sex relationships since there is no harm done should be challenged for two significant reasons. First, the issue of harm is distinct from the question of morality. Whether something is right or wrong does not depend on whether it is harmful to other people or not. Just from a logical standpoint…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Old Testament,  Theology

    Swift Justice: The Biblical Importance of Timely Judgment

    In a previous existence, I held a job where I was responsible for upholding the principles of fairness and accountability. And by that, I mean I was a high school swim coach. I loved swimming, and I loved helping others feel pain through swimming. I enjoyed the job immensely, but early on, I learned a valuable lesson about the necessity of timely justice. From the outset, I was basically doomed. Although I had been a swimmer myself, I really didn’t have an appropriate appreciation for the theological depravity of man. So, I developed a system where if someone broke the rules, they would have to submit themselves to pushups as punishment after practice. Breaking the rules included goofing off, ignoring commands, and the like. Well, after about 3 days of trying to implement this system, I realized it was a complete and unmitigated disaster. What happened was all fairly predictable.…

  • Church,  Culture,  Hermeneutics,  Theology

    The Postmillennial Vendetta Against Dispensationalism

    Many postmillennialists spurn dispensationalism because they view dispensationalism as standing in the way of cultural reformation. As a case in point, here is a recent comment that up-and-coming postmillennialist, Joel Webbon, posted about the need for Christian involvement in artificial intelligence. Although the tweet was about Christians leading in innovation, Webbon somehow managed to work in his dislike for dispensationalism. If you are confused about Webbon’s logic, you are not alone. Many of the comments also indicated confusion as to why the defeat of dispensationalism was key to the success of Christian innovation. But Webbon is not alone in his reasoning. Others have blamed dispensationalism for the degeneration of culture. Andrew Sandlin has also promoted a similar anti-dispensationalism in a variety of comments. For example: This negativity toward dispensationalism among the postmillennial crowd is well-documented but little understood. Why do many postmillennialists have a vendetta against dispensationalism? Christian Reconstructionism as…