• 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,  Ethics

    The Bible and Pets: a Theology of Animals

    Americans love pets! It is reported that 67% of American households own a pet (the top pets being dogs). The amount of money Americans spend on their pets grows each year, increasing over 50% between 2013 and 2018. That means people spent $87 billion dollars on their pets in 2018! To put these numbers in perspective, in 2018 couples spent $845 on average per year on pets! Over 10 years (an average life span of a dog), that would mean spending $8,450 on one animal! Given the value that people put on their pets, it comes as no surprise that many hold to a viewpoint that pets are inherently equal to human beings. Although pets should be important to us, if we follow the cultural line of thinking we risk elevating pets to an unbiblical place. I think it is important for all Christians to be taught the differences between…

  • Ethics,  Review

    Book Review: Understanding Transgender Identities

    I know I am not the only one who has had a heightened interest in assessing the cultural revolution over the last 10 years. Over that short time, the culture has moved from a negative view of the sexual revolution to a full embrace. And today, although the cultural battle is essentially over, the battle of defining sexuality continues to rage in the church. Case in point, one of the most important conversations today is the issue of transgenderism. To help with this conversation, Baker Academic has published a four-views book (2019). James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy have edited the book which is entitled, Understanding Transgender Identities. Beilby is professor of systematic and philosophical theology at Bethel University. Eddy is professor of biblical and theological studies also at Bethel University. They have co-edited six multiview volumes together, and this is the latest one. There are five contributing authors…

  • 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…

  • Apologetics,  Ethics,  Theology

    The Connection between Evolution and Transgenderism

    If one were to turn back the clock 15 or 20 years, the words transgender or transgenderism would not have much (if any) meaning to most people. The push for the cultural acceptance of transgenderism is a relatively recent phenomenon. However, if we think through the secular worldview, which is based in evolution, transgenderism is a consistent outworking of that worldview. The Bible teaches the that the Creator created the entire universe and everything in it in 6 days (Genesis 1). The Bible also teaches that the Creator has ultimate authority over the universe and governs it as He sees fit. Every creature within creation must ultimately submit to the Creator’s law governing that creation. In contrast, the worldview of evolution emphasizes the absence of any design or Creator who gives law and direction. In this worldview, life originated through random chance, and continues to evolve through the principle of…

  • Christian Living,  Ethics

    The Bible and Guilt: Should you Feel Guilty?

    According to the Bible, guilt is objective. Just because you feel guilty does not mean you have actually experienced guilt. On the other hand, just because you don’t feel guilty does not mean you have no guilt! Guilt is not an emotion, it is an objective status. You have probably heard people say things like, “Don’t you feel guilty?” Or, “I don’t feel guilty about that.” What they are actually talking about is what the Bible describes as the conscience. The conscience and guilt are related, but they are two separate concepts. The conscience is supposed to tell you when you have guilt, but sometimes feeling guilty can be confused with actual guilt. This is why it is important for the Bible to form our definitions. The Essence of Guilt The main word used to describe guilt in the Old Testament is asham (אשׁם). Within the Old Testament guilt (אשׁם)…

  • Ethics,  Old Testament

    What Does the Image of God Mean?

    Both men and women are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and are created with physical and spiritual components of their humanity. This is why human life is sacred and protected (Gen 9:5-6). This is in contrast to the rest of creation. Only humanity has the privilege and honor of being created in the image of God. Hence humanity’s value is infinitely more than animals or plants. But what does it actually mean to be made in the image of God? We can list at least five different views on what it might mean to be made in the image of God. The image of God describes natural qualities within man which liken him to God. The image of God is mental or spiritual qualities shared with the Creator. The image of God refers to physical resemblance with God. The image of God refers to the capacity 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…

  • 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…

  • Christian Living,  Church,  Culture,  Ethics

    Slavery Reparations and the Christian

    Slavery reparations are all the rage right now. This week there was a House hearing on reparations, and there were a variety of celebrity testimonies, including Danny Glover and Burgess Owens arguing for or against reparations. This conversation has really ignited over the last year. When the culture takes aim at a topic, the Christian needs to be equipped to think through the issues from a biblical worldview. On the issue of whether slavery reparations are to be implemented, I think there are a couple issues to consider. First, slavery reparations would be a logistical nightmare. Although the issue is often painted as blacks needing to receive reparations and whites needing to pay reparations, that is a gross oversimplification. If the actual issue is slavery, one needs to consider the numerous black slaveholders. Should their black descendants be required to pay reparations? According to one black brother, he can actually…