• Apologetics,  Culture,  Ethics

    Trump, Biden, and the Christian Vote

    I had intended to stay out of the foray of political postings. However, I have been compelled to write on the issue because I have seen some very poor reasoning among my Christian friends, and I have been asked by a few people to share my thoughts. So, even though it is an area where bitter disagreement is prone to exist, I have become convinced that it is very necessary to think through these issues as an exercise in Christian discernment. Two Reasons Not to Vote for Trump Trump is not a Christian. Some people might disagree on that, but if vulgar and pompous speech is an indication of character, it seems unlikely to me that Trump has submitted to the Lord. As such, it should come as no surprise that Trump does not act like a Christian. Further, he does not prize certain character traits which Christians prize. Does…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Scripture

    A Christian Critique of Personal Experience

    Personal experience is currently regarded as the primary means of knowledge and truth in our culture. Whether it is the current issues of racism or LGBT rights, or it is something like biblical interpretation; personal experience is regularly elevated as the controlling determiner of truth. Take for example the following claims of experience: “Systemic racism must exist because I have experienced it.” “You cannot judge a transgender individual because you don’t have his experience. You don’t know what it’s like for him.” “I have had the experience of speaking in tongues; therefore, Scripture has to be interpreted to allow for speaking in tongues.” Now at the outset, I freely acknowledge the value of personal experience. Scripture clearly expects wisdom to be possessed by the mature because of their many days of experience (Job 12:12). Also, many of the Psalms are based on a response to personal experience. Further, our personal…

  • Church,  Culture,  Ethics

    Resources for George Floyd, Social Justice, and Racism

    Given the current events, I wanted to post some links to help people stay informed on how to think through such events biblically. The circumstances we see around us are fruits of seeds planted years ago with the rise of Social Justice and other worldly philosophies. Thankfully there are brothers and sisters in Christ who have done some excellent thinking on these issues and we are in their debt. Here are some of my favorite resources on these issues.  Resources on George Floyd and Current Events “George Floyd and the Gospel” – The Just Thinking Podcast gives an excellent response to the current events, the death of George Floyd, protests, and the riots. If you only listen to one thing, I would recommend this. Race, Justice and the Gospel: BBC Q&A with Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker – George Lawson interviews Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker on current events and…

  • Christian Living,  Culture

    Six Coronavirus Opportunities for the Christian

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had quite a global impact. Schools are closing, social distancing is encouraged, churches canceled, etc. There have been quite a few helpful blog posts on COVID-19 from a Christian perspective. For example Miguel Núñez posted an explanation of the coronavirus, and my friend Gunner posted some Christian reflections on the COVID-19 crisis. I even found a helpful post about Spurgeon’s advice during the cholera outbreak of 1854. Because of the significance of the coronavirus and its life-altering nature, I want to offer six opportunities that the Christian has during this season of life. Coronavirus provides an opportunity to witness and be a testimony. Many people are quite fearful for their lives during this coronavirus epidemic. Many of their hopes and dreams have been taken away from them. This is a fantastic opportunity to share the message of the gospel and the hope to be found in Jesus!…

  • Church,  Culture,  Old Testament

    Joy to the World! (Singing a “Non-Christmas Song” at Christmas)

    Music is such a big part of Christmas. There is always a little extra energy come Christmas time, due in part to the old Christmas songs that we sing. A classic example of those Christmas songs is Joy to the World. Joy to the World is one of Christianity’s most beloved Christmas songs. It is one of those songs that almost everyone can sing along with (even if they are not a Christian). Written by Isaac Watts, Joy to the World is based on Psalm 98 and was first published in 1719 in a collection entitled The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied to the Christian State and Worship. Although I don’t normally blog about songs, given the fact many of us will be singing Joy to the World this Christmas season, I thought I would point out the biblical connections. The biblical…

  • Culture,  Theology

    A Brief History of Prisons and Their Failure

    On a recent episode of The Briefing, Al Mohler discussed New York’s plan to spend $9 billion on building new prisons. Mohler included a brief discussion of the history of prisons which inspired me to do a little more research on the issue. Throughout most of human history, prisons were meant to be a temporary arrangement. Prisons in the ancient world were a place where a suspect was to be held while waiting for his case to be heard. For example, Leviticus 24:10-12 mentions the imprisonment of an individual until the verdict had been reached, and the judgment was then administered (cf. Num 15:32-36). Similarly, in ancient Mesopotamian practice, a suspect was often held in the temple until his trial. This pattern is continued in the New Testament era where prisoners were either held until their case was clarified (Acts 5:17-25; 16:23-24), or debtors were kept while they or their…

  • Church,  Culture

    A Biblical View of Gender and Why it Matters

    LGBT and gender issues continue to be on the cultural forefront. Each day the headlines bring us arguments for gender-neutral bathrooms, news about transgender athletes, or a doctor who loses his job because he holds to a biblical view of gender. The biblical view of gender is antiquated according to some, labeled as outdated, non-essential, and a relic of a bygone patriarchal era. In a secular worldview, gender has no value and the differences must be minimized. Despite obvious physical differences between men and women, these distinctions are minimized or ignored. According to the secular worldview, if someone wants to behave with masculine or feminine gender characteristics that is their choice. For many today, gender is a social construct and not related to anything inherent in either sex. Sadly, many churches are embracing a secular worldview and rejecting the biblical view of gender. It is rather common for Christians to…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics

    What is Racism According to the Bible?

    Accusations of racism and racist behavior are commonplace in the news today. Many view racism as on the rise in America. Poll data from Gallup indicates that at least some Americans view race relations between whites and blacks at a current low point over a 20 year span. Because racism is a subject prevalent in the public eye, we need to discuss what racism actually is (biblically speaking), and how Christians should think about it. First, let’s talk about how the culture defines racism. According to Merrian-Webster, racism is defined as follows: 1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles 2b: a political or social system founded on racism 3: racial prejudice or discrimination…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics

    7 Potential Social Media Snares for the Christian

    There are many reasons to believe that social media is here to stay. Social media provides an incredible opportunity to connect with family and friends, or to keep an eye on the news, sports, and weather. It is estimated that this year, 2.82 billion people will be involved on 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 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 and encourage one another. There are…

  • Culture,  Ethics,  Theology

    Socialism and the Bible

    Socialism is becoming popular in the United States, especially among the younger generations. One poll noted that 61% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 thought positively of socialism. Another poll said that 43% of Americans thought some form of socialism would be a good thing for the United States. The popularity of socialism in the United States is due in part to the political popularity of politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but it is also clear that many young people embrace socialism without really understanding what socialism is. Socialism is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” Although there are different variants of socialism, the governmental control over production and distribution is the common denominator in most cases. Thus, the heart of socialism is the…