The Rise of the Antitheist

Intellectuals have largely reacted to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 with a mixture of moral confusion and ideological denial. The root of this moral ambiguity, even in the face of undiluted terror and unquestionable evil, is a particularly dangerous form of moral relativism – relativism buttressed by intellectual prestige. Rejecting this moral relativism as both dangerous and intellectually bankrupt, Christopher Hitchens took many observers in the literary and political worlds by surprise when he became an ardent supporter of the “War on Terror” and declared himself the sworn enemy of any relativistic ideology that would confuse the evil of terrorism with the good of freedom. Nevertheless, the most interesting dimension of Christopher Hitchens’ thought is not the transformation of his political theory, but the contours of his radical atheism—which turns out to include one truth that is lost even on some Christians.

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America’s Vanishing Protestant Majority–What Does it Mean?

Writing in 1927, French observer Andre Siegfried described Protestantism as America’s “only national religion.” To miss this, Siegfried advised, is “to view the country from a false angle.” Now, less than a century later, a major research report provides proof that Protestantism no longer represents a clear majority of Americans. Researchers Tom W. Smith and Seokho Kim of the National Opinion Research Center [NORC] at the University of Chicago have released “The Vanishing Protestant Majority,” a report documenting the declining membership of Protestant churches in the nation.

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The God Who Names Himself

Calls for theological innovation and the employment of “theological imagination” are now routine among mainline Protestants and others prone to theological revisionism. Dismissive of doctrinal orthodoxy and biblical language as out of date, oppressive, patriarchal, and worse, the proponents of theological reformulation intend to restructure Christianity around an entirely new system of beliefs, playing with language even as they reinvent the faith.

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A Call for Courage on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

The fault lines of controversy in contemporary Christianity range across a vast terrain of issues, but none seems quite so volatile as the question of gender. As Christians have been thinking and rethinking these issues in recent years, a clear pattern of divergence has appeared. At stake in this debate is something more important than the question of gender, for this controversy reaches the deepest questions of Christian identity and biblical authority.

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Courage and Compassion on Homosexuality

The church’s engagement with the culture involves a host of issues, controversies, and decisions–but no issue defines our current cultural crisis as clearly as homosexuality. Some churches and denominations have capitulated to the demands of the homosexual rights movement, and now accept homosexuality as a fully valid lifestyle. Other denominations are tottering on the brink, and without a massive conservative resistance, they are almost certain to abandon biblical truth and bless what the Bible condemns. Within a few short years, a major dividing line has become evident–with those churches endorsing homosexuality on one side, and those stubbornly resisting the cultural tide on the other.

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The Southern Baptist Reformation–A First-Hand Account

The American denominational landscape has experienced significant shifts in recent times, but one major story stands out among them all–the massive redirection of the Southern Baptist Convention. America’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention was reshaped, reformed, and restructured over the last three decades, and at an incredibly high cost. Was it worth it?

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A New Exodus? Americans are Exiting Liberal Churches

“We have figured out your problem. You’re the only one here who believes in God.” That statement, addressed to a young seminarian, introduces Dave Shiflett’s new book, Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity. The book is an important contribution, and Shiflett offers compelling evidence that liberal Christianity is fast imploding upon itself.

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No-Fault Divorce–The End of Marriage?

By now, any observer with a modicum of moral insight is aware that marriage is an institution in crisis. Nevertheless, one of the most significant factors contributing to this crisis is often overlooked, and that one factor has led to the breakup of more marriages than any other–no-fault divorce. Today, Dr. Albert Mohler considers no-fault divorce laws and their effect on the institution of marriage.

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Gay Marriage: Are Some Conservatives Ready to Surrender?

Is the battle against same-sex marriage already lost? With homosexual marriage now legal in Massachusetts and with momentum toward legalization now spreading across the nation, homosexual advocates are increasingly confident that victory is in sight. Now, some conservatives are beginning to wonder if the gay activists might be right. Christopher Caldwell, writing in The Financial Times, notes the momentum of the gay rights movement as it achieved its great victory in Massachusetts. “In gaining full legal marriage rights in an important state, American gays have effected the quickest transition from pariah status to protected status in the history of civil rights movements.” Caldwell appears certain that same-sex marriage is now an established social reality. Today, Dr. Mohler asks if some conservatives have already admitted defeat.

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Rampage and Relativism—A New Corruption of Masculinity

In the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s violent novel, Fight Club, character Tyler Durden points to his generation of young men as the “middle children of history.” Played by actor Brad Pitt, Durden represents the absolute collapse of masculinity into raw violence. This character joins his friends in seeking personal release and ecstasy through violent fights that send the participants regularly to the emergency room. In a haunting comment, Durden remarks: “We are a generation of men raised by women.” Is this our future?

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Can Democracy Survive Polygamy?

Observing the landscape of America’s contentious debate over marriage, scholar Stanley Kurtz of the Hudson Institute, remarks, “It has become necessary to offer a case against polygamy.” That such a claim would appear so utterly reasonable in our times is a clear sign that marriage is in big trouble. That trouble is not, for the most part, localized on the issue of polygamy, but the question of polygamy hangs over current controversies concerning same-sex marriage and the legal status of marriage as a social institution. In today’s Commentary, Dr. Mohler considers Kurtz’s new article in the current edition of the Weekly Standard.

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Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

The U. S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of insanity-defense laws across the nation. The case, Clark v. Arizona, has to do with a defendant, Eric Michael Clark, who at age seventeen killed an Arizona police officer, supposedly thinking that he was shooting a space alien. Clark’s attorneys argue that they should have been allowed to enter into evidence proof that Clark had been insane at the time of the murder. Their argument for a constitutional right to an insanity defense will put the Court on the record on one of the law’s most controversial issues. Today, Dr. Albert Mohler goes on the record on the same issue.

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Two Rival Religions?

On November 3, 1921, J. Gresham Machen presented an address entitled, “Liberalism or Christianity?” In that famous address, later expanded into the book, Christianity & Liberalism, Machen argued that evangelical Christianity and its liberal rival were, in effect, two very different religions. Howard P. Kainz, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Marquette University, offers a similar argument–warning that it is now modern secular liberalism which poses as the great rival to orthodox Christianity.

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Humans in the Zoo–A Perfect Parable of Confusion

“There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens.” Zoologist Desmond Morris launched something of a revolution with those words and the book in which they are found, The Naked Ape. Today, Dr. Mohler makes the case that human beings are far from being just another animal.

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A Christian Response to “The Da Vinci Code”: What’s the Attraction?

The movie industry estimates that Ron Howard’s film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code pulled in over 77 million dollars in its opening weekend. Despite dozens of critical reviews released last week, and despite well-documented and obvious flaws in the story’s logic and history, Americans saw the film in record-breaking numbers. Now why would so many persons be drawn to this story? Read Dr. Mohler’s answer in today’s commentary.

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A Christian Response to “The DaVinci Code”: What’s the Problem?

Since its release in 2003, forty million hardback copies of The Da Vinci Code have sold. Six million paperback copies also are now in circulation, and this weekend, a major Hollywood movie will be released. In both the book and the movie, the central character is one who does not actually appear in either, and that is Jesus Christ. Because of that, many of our friends and neighbors are going to be talking about who Jesus is and why He came. Many of our neighbors are going to be seeing, perhaps for the first time, an explanation about who Jesus is and why He matters, and our great concern is that the entire story presented in this movie is a lie.

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A Christian Vision of Marriage and Family

“For the first time in its history, Western civilization is confronted with the need to define the meaning of the terms ‘marriage’ and ‘family.'” So states author Andreas J. Kostenberger who, with the assistance of David W. Jones has written God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation. Read Dr. Mohler’s review and commentary on the book today.

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Truth, Fiction, or Something in Between? The Meaning of Television

Media critic Neal Gabler has suggested that popular entertainment is turning the nation into a giant transcontinental soap opera. Individual citizens are creating “life movies” starring themselves, and the entertainment industry has become “a force so overwhelming that it has finally metastasized into life.” Today, Dr. Albert Mohler argues that television, in its attempts to portray the margins of society as (almost) normal, is fueling a moral revolution.

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Christian Morality and Test Tube Babies, Part Two

Controversy over issues of contraception, birth control, and reproductive technologies continues to build, even as new technologies and issues quickly appear. Questions of human reproduction inevitably define what it means to be human, and the moral issues which arise in connection with sex and reproduction are among the most divisive controversies of our time. By request, here is Part Two of Dr. Mohler’s analysis of in vitro fertilization technologies [IVF], based in a Christian worldview framework.

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Christian Morality and Test Tube Babies, Part One

Controversy over issues of contraception, birth control, and reproductive technologies continues to build, even as new technologies and issues quickly appear. Questions of human reproduction inevitably define what it means to be human, and the moral issues which arise in connection with sex and reproduction are among the most divisive controversies of our time. By request, here is Dr. Mohler's analysis of in vitro fertilization technologies [IVF], based in a Christian worldview framework. Part One appears today, and Part Two will appear Friday.

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