• 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…

  • Christian Living,  Ethics,  New Testament

    Is it Wrong for the Christian to Drink Alcohol?

    To drink or not to drink? Yes, today I tread into dangerous waters by discussing the Christian and whether its okay to drink alcohol. First, a disclaimer. I grew up in the Midwest where it was culturally taboo to drink, smoke, or chew; or hang with girls that do! (As the saying goes). When I moved to California, people tended to emphasize Christian “liberty” more, and thus tended to exercise their liberty to drink wine or beer. This difference in atmosphere prompted me to examine the issue of drinking and the Christian’s responsibility. I wanted to share some of that fruit with you. There are some who approach the matter by saying, “Jesus approved of using wine so we can drink it” (cf. John 2:1-10); or they will say Paul encouraged Timothy to drink wine (1 Tim 5:23). Therefore, Christians are able to drink alcohol, simple as that! However, it…

  • Christian Living,  Ethics

    What does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage?

    Divorce is commonplace in our society. We are all impacted by divorce, either directly or indirectly. We either have family members who are divorced, or know people who are divorced. It is the way of our culture. But, what does the Bible say about marriage and divorce? The Bible unquestionably portrays marriage as a permanent covenant. God created the two sexes (Gen 1:27), and ordained the institution of marriage (Gen 2:18–25). In Gen 2:24, marriage is described by the terms “leaving” (עזב) and “holding fast” (דבק). These terms have specific application in covenantal contexts. The word for “holding fast” (דבק) implies a complete devotion and unshakable, permanent bond. Further, the marriage relationship results in a “one flesh” relationship between the husband and wife. Referring to this passage, Jesus notes, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:6).…

  • Christian Living,  Ethics

    Taxation is Theft

    The phrase, “Taxation is theft” has become a bit of a mantra for more and more Christians. This is partially due to the influence of the libertarian political philosophy in the Christian sphere. Libertarianism has received increasing support from Christians, partially due to the last political cycle and the efforts for increased governmental control in the United States. Although it would be helpful to discuss the philosophy of Libertarianism in general, in this post I am only interested in dealing with the subject of whether or not taxation is theft. Just to show that this is indeed a contemporary issue, consider some of the recent quotes on this issue: “The libertarian view of taxes is simply that taxes should not exist in the first place. There should be no tax code because taxation is theft and violates the non-aggression principle.” (Laurence Vance) “I have already said and illustrated this numerous…

  • Christian Living,  Church,  Ethics,  Hermeneutics

    Should Women Wear Head Coverings?

    If you walk into almost any church in North America this Sunday you will not see many (if any) women wearing a head covering. However, 1 Cor 11:2-16 seems to indicate that head coverings should be worn by women during the church service. To further complicate matters, one of the reasons given in 1 Cor 11 is because of God’s created order. If Paul is supporting head coverings from the created order, are we not obligated to continue this practice which all the churches of Paul’s time observed (1 Cor 11:16)? This is notoriously one of the most difficult passages to interpret. Some people claim that  because of the many exegetical difficulties, this passage should not be used for discussion on gender and roles. However, despite some of the contextual difficulties, I think the passage is clear enough to trace the overall argument and make an informed theological decision regarding…

  • Culture,  Ethics

    Biblical Thoughts on the Transgender Issue

    Over the last few months I have been following the cultural push for transgender equality. One of the biggest arguments for those arguing for transgender rights is that these individuals have the right to declare what gender they really are on the inside. However, is gender a choice, or is it something inherent to each individual’s identity? The Bible is clear on the matter. God created them male and female (Gen 1:26-28). God is intimately involved with the creation process of each individual (Ps 139:13-16). Hence, each human being is endowed by God with their gender, and they ought to accept it as part of the Creator-creature relationship. According to the Bible then, if a child is struggling with their sexual identity, they should not undergo some kind of sexual reassignment surgery. Rather, they should be patient and be allowed to continue to develop. Interestingly, on June 12th, Paul McHugh…

  • Christian Living,  Ethics,  Review

    Book Review: What is the Meaning of Sex?

    This weekend I decided to read a book which was recommended by Al Mohler and Russell Moore entitled, What is the Meaning of Sex, by Denny Burk, published by Crossway. I picked it up from the local library not really knowing much about Denny Burk. Denny Burk is a PhD graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and currently is a professor at Boyce College (the undergraduate program of SBTS). He is an associate pastor in Louisville, KY, and edits The Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. He also blogs at dennyburk.com. Burk divides the book into eight main sections, bordered by an introduction and conclusion. The outline of the chapters are as follows: Glorify God with Your Body Glorify God with Your Hermeneutic Glorify God with Your Marriage Glorify God with Your Conjugal Union Glorify God with Your Family Planning Glorify God with Your Gender Glorify God with Your Sexuality…