August 4, 2006
A new and unprecedented right is now the central focus of legal, procedural, and cultural concern in many corridors–a supposed right not to be offended. The cultural momentum behind this purported “right” is growing fast, and the logic of this movement has taken hold in many universities, legal circles, and interest groups.
August 2, 2006
“What does it mean to be 13, back stage adults, watching on tiptoe, waiting to go onstage?” That question sent TIME Magazine and a team of its reporters into an extended investigation of the lives of America’s youngest teenagers–contemporary 13-year-olds. The magazine’s report will at times shock, inform, and interest America’s parents and all others concerned with the nation’s young.
July 31, 2006
Michael V. Fox doesn’t believe that faith-based scholarship of the Bible is possible–and he wants to see such scholars marginalized in the larger world of scholarship. In an essay posted at the Web site for the Society of Biblical Literature [SBL], Fox argues, “In my view, faith-based study has no place in academic scholarship, whether the object of study is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or Homer. Faith-based study is a different realm of intellectual activity that can dip into Bible scholarship for its own purposes, but cannot contribute to it.”
July 28, 2006
Not only does authentic worship begin with a true vision of the living God, but second, authentic worship leads to a confession of sin, both individual and corporate. We see it directly in this passage: “And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.” What did Isaiah do? He said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah was “undone,” when he had seen the true and living God, when he saw God in his holiness.
July 26, 2006
Where shall we turn for instruction on how we ought to worship? There is only one place we can turn, and that is to the Word of God. The norm of our worship must be the Word of God–this Word that He has spoken. As we turn to this Word, we do see a pattern of worship, a pattern that is replicated throughout the fabric of Scripture from beginning to the end.
July 24, 2006
Surveying the literature on worship currently being published, and listening to the conversations currently taking place among the churches, one can quickly discern that worship is now one of the most controversial issues in the local congregation. As a matter of fact, many current book titles in the evangelical world suggest that what the church faces today is “worship warfare.” The very combination of the words “worship” and “war” should lead us to very sincere and sober biblical reflection. What is worship? And what does God desire that we should do in worship?
July 21, 2006
America has been embroiled in a seemingly endless debate over the
issue of abortion for four decades now, but the most fascinating
dispute on this issue may now be among those who consider themselves,
in one way or another, advocates of abortion rights.
July 19, 2006
Daniel C. Dennett is at it again. In his new book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Dennett applies his radical vision of Darwinism to belief in God, and the entire question of faith and belief. As you might expect, Dennett doesn’t think much of belief in God.
July 17, 2006
Traumatic world events and nagging questions of belief sometimes cause Christians to be troubled in spirit and to question their assurance of faith. In every generation, believers have struggled with the question of assurance in salvation. As always, the church confronts this issue as both a pressing theological question and as an urgent pastoral concern. Answering these questions anew, we are reminded once again that all doctrine is practical and that the great biblical truths of the Christian faith are meant not only for our intellectual acceptance, but for our spiritual health.
July 14, 2006
The postmodern age is a very strange time to proclaim and defend the Christian faith. In an age when the reality of truth itself is denied, the church finds itself faced with several distinct challenges. In Acts 17:16-34, we find Paul standing at the very center of apologetic ministry in the first century. As we considered yesterday, a Christian apologetic begins in a provoked spirit, is focused on Gospel proclamation, and assumes a context of spiritual confusion.
July 12, 2006
The church is faced in the postmodern age by several distinct apologetic challenges. Internally, the church must defend the faith against ignorance, against compromise, against doctrinal apathy, and against denial. The church now suffers from a breathtaking deficit of doctrinal instruction and biblical truth. In some churches, the great truths of the Christian faith are unknown, and in others, these truths are left dormant and untaught. Beyond this, the very real dangers of doctrinal corrosion and heresy threaten.
July 10, 2006
Christians today are called to serve the cause of Christ at one of the crucial turning points in human history. This is a very strange time to proclaim and defend the Christian faith. Evangelism is difficult in an age when most persons think their most basic problems are rooted in a lack of self-esteem, and when personal choice is the all-determining reality of the marketplace. In the same way, the task of apologetics is complicated by the postmodern condition. How does one defend the faith to persons unwilling to make any judgment concerning truth?