January 7, 2004
“I can’t honestly remember the first time I bet on baseball.” Pete Rose may not remember when he began his gambling on baseball, but he knows full well where it has led him–to a lifetime ban from the sport he once hoped to personify. Now, “Charlie Hustle” is trying to hustle his way into the baseball Hall of Fame.
January 6, 2004
Democratic front-runner Howard Dean is talking a lot about Christianity and religion these days. Or, at least he’s talking about something he thinks is Christianity. He says he will have to talk this way to reach southerners. He had better hope they’re not listening closely.
January 5, 2004
What can explain the fact that millions of Americans–grown-up Americans–have flocked to see a movie version of what its own author called a fairy tale? The Return of the King remains at the top spot in box office sales, and this third and final entry in The Lord of the Rings trilogy deserves top billing.
January 2, 2004
The coming of the New Year demands that the events of 2003 be put into some form of perspective. Even at this close range, certain developments of the past year stand out in terms of historic significance. Here’s my take on the ten most significant news stories of the past year. Of course, each of these requires both a backward and a forward look as events continue to unfold.
December 31, 2003
The tragic reality of bishops and other Christian leaders denying biblical truth is no longer a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, certain examples stand out as glaring proof that the theological left is growing loonier by the day.
December 30, 2003
Right up to the present, the most tasteful and appropriate response to the Michael Jackson controversy has been to ignore it altogether. This freakish morality tale has seemed to be more fitting for the tabloids than for serious moral consideration. Nevertheless, millions of Americans and others around the world are captivated by this macabre mess even as the brute reality of criminal charges now formalizes the controversy.
December 29, 2003
Throughout the centuries, Christians have faced the vexing question: How are we to live as Christians in the midst of a secular culture? This question reaches to the heart of Christian discipleship and the meaning of the Gospel–and challenges the church of the twenty-first century no less than the earliest disciples.
December 22, 2003
The annual Festival of the Incarnation, what we commonly know as Christmas, comes to the commercial world as a windfall, but it comes to the Church as a summons. Substituting the truth of God for a lie, the secular world cannot but confuse the manger with Santa’s sleigh, or the shepherds with elves. We should not be surprised by the commercialization of Christmas–it is the natural reflex of a fallen world in unbelief.
December 19, 2003
Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth? This question would perplex the vast majority of Christians throughout the centuries, but modern denials of biblical truth make the question tragically significant. Of all biblical doctrines, the doctrine of Christ’s virginal conception has often been the specific target of modern denial and attack.
December 18, 2003
Will Christmas be pushed into the catacombs? A new round of animosity toward Christmas is further proof that the political correctness police are busily at work. Furthermore, we are witnessing the re-paganizaton of Christmas. One of the great achievements of Europe’s Christian culture was the transformation of various pagan winter festivals into a celebration of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. In a stunning reversal of history, secular antagonism and New Age spiritualities threaten to recapture Christmas for paganism.
December 17, 2003
The twentieth century was the greatest century of human invention. The scale of technological and scientific development produced during that hundred years staggers the imagination and defies adequate analysis–even in the present. The century saw the development of antibiotics, the widespread application of electricity, the harnessing of the power of the atom, the development of the transistor and the microprocessor, and the electronic revolution. The commercial development of the automobile and the widespread use of the internal combustion engine led to a revolution in human mobility that literally changed the shape of American life.
December 16, 2003
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.