Monday, June 24, 2024

Anonymous Asks (308)

“In a theocracy such as the Christian Nationalist movement would like to see established, what would be the most biblical way to treat people with non-Christian religious beliefs?”

I’m never a huge fan of hypotheticals, and this is a big one. Notwithstanding the efforts of our postmillennialist friends, I believe the next (pseudo-) theocracy we’re going to see on this planet will be global beast-worship, to be followed shortly by the glorious millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus, who will not require my advice about how to administer justice.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Argumentum ad Mimema

Richard Dawkins coined the term “meme” in 1976’s The Selfish Gene to describe an idea that spreads by means of imitation from person to person, often carrying symbolic meaning representing a phenomenon or theme. He nicked the word from the Greek mīmēma, meaning “imitated thing”.

Most of us know what’s happened to the “meme” concept since.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (23)

In April of this year, the US House of Representatives passed a bill called The Antisemitism Awareness Act. If signed into law, the act would make it illegal to say the Jews killed Christ, as the Bible plainly and repeatedly states. The bill gives examples of online statements that would now be classified as hate speech and violations of the law, including “using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis”.

If it’s anti-Semitic to say the Jews killed Christ, then the apostle Peter, a Jew himself, was a flaming anti-Semite.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: No-Fault Separation

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: I’ve got something on my mind this morning, Tom.

I was reading this article. Now, this is an old and still-debated topic, and I don’t deny that the author probably has some good points. But what struck me about this article were several things.

The author asks why it is that people leave a church, and then he goes on to suggest three reasons. In order, they are: (a) our subculture (by which he actually seems to mean the larger, secular culture of consumerism); (b) expectations (and he emphasizes in particular the tendency to forget that the church is a “family”); and (c) the “fatal assumption” … that newer is better (which, by some sort of path, “leads the average church goer to hold the opinion that it is better to be served than to serve”).

Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Sign From God

“He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Jesus Christ was a sign from God.

What is a sign? It is something that is not what it seems to be, but looked at correctly, points beyond the surface appearance to something else.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

War and Theology

Wars are complicated things. They rarely have a single cause and often have many.

The Russo-Ukrainian conflict currently winding down (we hope) has layers of potential causes, and peeling them back one by one will take you places citizens of NATO-aligned countries probably don’t want to go. Let’s just say that the superficial explanation offered by the Western media — “Putin is evil!” as the be-all and end-all — is minimally consistent with the available evidence. We need a deeper dive into the historical relationship between Russia and the Ukraine, not to mention a plausible accounting for the last decade’s worth of US interference in the region and the White House’s ongoing self-destructive stage management of the war, before we content ourselves with facile, politically motivated casus belli.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Semi-Random Musings (35)

From the department of “It’s All Been Done Before”, my ongoing trek through the last several thousand years of humanity’s follies continues with the first volume of the Cambridge Medieval History, which takes us from Constantine through the twelfth century.

Constantine is most notable for “converting” and subsequently making Christianity the official religion of the then-declining Roman Empire. This act led to a few moral reforms for those who lived at that time. (The newly empowered state religion frowned, for instance, on the cruelties of the Roman amphitheatre, crucifixion and the widespread practice of exposing unwanted infants, especially girls.)

It also compromised the church in ways we are still dealing with today.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Anonymous Asks (307)

“Why are there so many atheists in the world?”

The impression that the world is full of atheists is actually quite false. It has several causes, not least the vocal efforts of a small minority of “true unbelievers” to keep their hobbyhorse in the public eye and to blame religion for every feature of the world they dislike. The high profile of men like Stephen Fry, Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins leaves many with the impression their beliefs are scientific and their numbers statistically significant. That is simply wrong.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

All These Kingdoms

“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end.”

Years of repeatedly reading scripture have convinced me there is no misspeaking in it, no poorly chosen words or phrases. None. Everything God says through his servants is exactly right all the time. When something revealed by the Holy Spirit seems incomprehensible to us, the answer is always to wait, pray and investigate further as intellect and opportunity permit. The problem is not what God wrote; it is that we are misunderstanding him in some way.

In the end, it will all make sense.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (22)

Four times in the book of Revelation the Lord Jesus or God identifies himself as “the Alpha and the Omega”: the beginning and the end or the first and the last, depending on your translation. This is not a title men have given him but a name by which he chooses to make himself known. It’s a reminder of the truth boldly stated numerous times throughout the New Testament (and probably not well understood prior to that time) that the Word was in the beginning with God and nothing at all was made without his participation.

The Son was personally active in the beginning, and he will be personally active again in the end. The title means more, of course, but that is certainly one implication.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: Disconnected?

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: Tom, let’s talk about elders, particularly in their shepherding (the meaning of “pastoral”, as you know) relationship to their congregations.

I’ve observed a consistent phenomenon: churches are usually required by law to have some sort of general annual business meeting (AGM). At that meeting there are always some members of the congregation who are unhappy with something that has been decided on their behalf. It may be something small, or something quite big.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Between Museum and Megachurch

I’ve been to a few churches lately. And I’ve got some questions. Maybe you do too.

Two weeks ago I visited a tiny congregation. Everything about them — the building, the furniture and the people — was redolent of a past generation.

Not near past. Long past.

The Museum Model

This was no “blast from the ’60s”, unless you meant the 1860s. True, there had been some updates. The carpet was relatively recent, the chairs (formerly wooden butt-punishers) had been replaced with modern, padded units, and the walls had been given a coat of fresh, white paint to brighten up the former cream-to-caramel tones of the main room. The formerly-towering platform had been supplanted by a more understated, low one, with a decorous little stand replacing the older-style, bulging pulpit. Even the ancient light fixtures had some of those new soft-white bulbs.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Inbox: The Existence of Angels

One of the more gratifying aspects of writing and editing a blog over a decade or more is the occasional recent comment on an ancient post. That a post from March 2014 is still drawing the odd pair of eyes ten years on is testimony to both the goodness of the Lord and the short-term durability of the expression of internet opinions — at least so long as somebody continues to ante up the annual fees for ownership of your domain.

In this case, a reader weighs in on the existence of angels, a controversy that goes all the way back to the disagreements between Pharisees and Sadducees in the time of Christ.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Getting More Strategic

From the department of “maybe I’m the crazy one”, I keep seeing Christians making statements like this all over the internet:

“As your children get older and develop a robust faith and worldview, they will become more resistant to being influenced by LGBT ideology. It might be more strategic to wait until the children are older before agreeing to invite same-sex couples over to the home.”

Might? Might?

Monday, June 10, 2024

Anonymous Asks (306)

“Is it really possible to be overly righteous or too wise?”

New Christians may be inclined to exclaim, “Of course not!” How could one have too much of a good thing? But those who have read the complete works of King Solomon may find the wording of this question familiar. He speaks of both.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Not So Irrelevant

The subject of the first few chapters of 1 Corinthians is Paul’s concern about divisions in the church. It takes him only nine verses of introduction to jump right into it, and because it is the first of many different church-related exhortations in his letter, we may reasonably infer that the apostle viewed the matter as very significant.

The fact that the churches down through the centuries have pretty much entirely failed to process the lesson he was teaching and put it into practice in no way diminishes the importance of what Paul said or the clarity and intensity with which he wrote about it. Expressing the unity of the body of Christ in every possible way on every possible occasion is a mark of mature Christian faith. More, please!

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (21)

You will not find the expression “day of the Lord” in the Old Testament prior to the books of the prophets. Joel turns the phrase more frequently than anyone else, but Isaiah also uses it, as do Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Malachi and, of course, the prophet we are currently studying, where it appears exactly once, introducing the final chapter.

Naturally, that’s not all the Bible has to say about the day of the Lord. Not by a long shot.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: Evolving Christianity

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Billions of blue, blistering barnacles ...

Erik Jones asks the question “Was Christianity Designed to Evolve?

Tom: Now, Jones is Church of God, the Sabbath-keeping sect out of Texas that originated with Herbert Armstrong, so we’re certainly not going to find ourselves in agreement with their particular emphasis on law-keeping and Jewish holy days, a hint of which bleeds into Jones’ article.

We will also be unsurprised to find Jones’ answer to his own question is a resounding ‘No’.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Three Reasons to Get Going

“Jesus said … ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life’.”

Ah, these little sayings that sometimes escape our notice.

I don’t know about you, but I always find it very exciting, and yet also not a little embarrassing, when I come to realize a verse I’ve known all my life has waaaay more to it than I ever realized.

This is one of those verses. Let’s break it down.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Idealism and Realism

A couple of blog posts and a recent sermon have me thinking again about the idea of perfection in the Christian life.

Sinless perfectionism is a minor heresy in the Christian community — not minor in the sense that it is an unimportant error, but minor in the sense that far too many of us can see the inherent impossibility of such a pursuit to be deceived into believing Christ-like impeccability can be attained in this life. Accordingly, the doctrine’s ardent proselytizers are few.

If you go around asking “Which one of you convicts me of sin?” long enough, somebody is bound to step up.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Faith Lost Pointlessly

It always saddens me to hear stories of young men and women from Christian homes who have gone off to university and purportedly “lost their faith”. The all-too-common phenomenon strongly suggests two things: (1) it wasn’t much of a faith; and (2) the students who truly abandoned the faith over intellectual difficulties placed more trust and confidence in their secular professors, textbooks and the mythical gods of Science and History than in the Bibles they had been reading their entire lives.

We can’t do much about the first problem.

Monday, June 03, 2024

Anonymous Asks (305)

“Does the Bible predict an EMP attack?”

Early on a Friday in mid-April this year, Israel allegedly attempted a missile strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. News services documented multiple explosions, and some reported a successful strike. The Iranians claimed their high tech air defenses had done the job for which they were designed, and that whatever the Israelis had launched in their direction had been summarily shot down. End of story, for now at least.

The comparatively small scale of the attack prompted internet speculation about an EMP.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Flirting or Fleeing

Blog & Mablog is currently playing host to a back and forth on the subject of concupiscence, commonly known as illicit desire, the occupation with that which is intrinsically sinful. I link only to the most recent two instalments, which are beginning to skew a tad too technical for me. When a debate veers into Reformed tradition, “internal” and “external” temptation, sin vs. sinfulness, justification, sanctification, Augustine, John Owen and Ed Shaw’s book on same-sex attraction (reviewed here), Christians with little interest in theological minutiae eventually glaze over.

I plead guilty to being among them.

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (20)

In chapter 11, Zechariah is either living out an object lesson in real time or else telling a parable in which he is a character. By no means is his illustration a simple, obvious analogy, and commentators are all over the place in trying to parse out its intended meaning. The parable concerns two shepherds and a flock doomed to slaughter, and it’s chock full of symbols, familiar and unfamiliar. If we can’t unpack it to everyone’s satisfaction, at least we can make a few sensible suggestions consistent with other prophetic scriptures, and eliminate the more absurd possibilities sometimes offered.

The parable spans Israel’s history, starting in the distant past and ending in the future.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: Rules of Combat

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Okay, I’ve got one for you, Tom.

I was having a discussion with a Christian academic over Calvinism. He leans toward it, though in a rather unorthodox way, and I … don’t. Here’s his perspective on the fact that doctrinal disagreements exist:

“I’ve been blessed by teaching and worshiping in schools and churches which take no stand on the [controversial] divide, all my life. I have become convinced that agreement on this will never be reached. As a Calvinist, I posit that this is the way God wants it. It is apparently best for the church and the world that there be both [sides], but that we find ways to love one another and to work together, without suppressing our different biblical understandings.”

Immanuel Can: Is it like that, Tom? Is an I’m-okay-you’re-okay attitude the way to deal with major doctrinal controversies in the local church?

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Inbox: Was Christ Actually ‘Good’?

I’m going to share with you a short exchange I had with a couple of philosophers, because it was interesting to me, and helped me think through a few things more carefully. The issue it raises might be something you’ve thought about as well.

A short aside: for the most part, I have reproduced my partners’ conversation mostly verbatim. I’ve only altered a couple of punctuation glitches, and made a couple of small line changes in my response. I’ve also inserted a few lines after-the-fact to help you track and to make it work as an article. But the substance is pretty much exactly as it really happened.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (30)

Refunds generated by charitable donations documented on tax returns have always been a source of disagreement between believers. The churches I attended growing up were so determined to do their giving on the sly that they practiced something informally referred to as the “brethren handshake”, in which a little envelope full of cash was passed from hand to hand under cover of the traditional greeting.

It wasn’t as hard to detect as they thought, but you have to give them points for trying.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Law and Perfection

Would you like to live under the Law of Moses? Think about that for a while. A surprising number today would not. Some may even be Christians.

I have great admiration for the Old Testament law, more and more so as the years pass and the defects in the ever-changing modern legal systems under which we live in the West become increasingly apparent. Compared to the long-term effects of any modern or historic system, God’s law always comes out ahead.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Anonymous Asks (304)

“Are some words better than others when describing people who are not Christians?

I recently had a fellow believer give me a thirty-second lecture about my use of the word “unsaved”. He was technically correct in the sense that, of all the English translations currently available, that word appears only in The Amplified Bible. To the extent that I was using an extra-biblical term, he had a point, though I’m not sure his preference was better in all contexts.

But some words are indeed better than others. Let us consider …

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Higher Learning

I drove past a local college campus the other day. Out of the blue, the thought hit me that I’m at a point in my life where I will never be obliged to walk the halls of an institution of higher learning again. I was hit with a wave of relief. That was an excellent feeling.

It’s not that I dislike the learning process. Not at all. I’m constantly seeking out information about this, that and the other. I just never liked doing it in a classroom.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (19)

Israel has a problem today, and it’s not a new one. It’s a leadership problem.

I’m not talking about Mr. Netanyahu specifically, though there are many who object to his policies and those of all his predecessors going back to David Ben-Gurion in 1949, when Israel became a nation again for the first time in 1900 years. All politicians take a certain amount of flak from the critics. That’s normal. Some are objectively better than others, but all have their limitations.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: Get Happy

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Shocked at the plethora of mental health issues she discovered among her students while eating with them daily, Yale University professor Laurie Santos developed a popular new course about the nature of happiness which Yale now offers free online.

Tom: Santos says it’s not bigger houses or better spouses that make human beings happy. It’s little things like “making a social connection, or taking time for gratitude, or taking time to be in the present moment”. What do you think, IC: might she be on to something there?

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Inbox: What’s Right with It?

In response to an earlier post on Christian moral issues in our weekly Too Hot to Handle post, David B. writes:

“I am always reminded of a question from a youth group speaker of years gone by when he said, ‘The question you should be asking isn’t what’s wrong with it, as in how close to the edge can I get, but what’s right with it and does it bring me closer to the Lord.’

Do you feel that’s a fair question, or does it just set you up for someone to say, ‘Well, you could make that argument about anything you choose to do or not’?”

Hmmm. A very good question, Dave.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

That Wacky Old Testament (16)

Fewer Western women today are interested in marriage than ever before.

Becoming sexually active between the ages of 15 and 19 is considered “normative”. One UK study fixed the “ideal” number of sexual partners for a woman to have before “settling down” at twelve, usually through high school, university and the early career years. By age 30 or so, many women have lived through enough bad relationships to sour on the idea of long-term commitment. Even among those who still want to be married, few have cultivated the habits of faithfulness necessary for marital success. Many prize autonomy above almost all else.

Among millennial women, interest in marriage is the lowest ever measured.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Deconstructing Romans 9

A recent letter to another Christian blog writer referenced this bleak little video, in which a young woman who formerly professed faith in Christ shares with her audience why she no longer calls herself a believer. In her video, she quotes and attempts to dissect five passages of scripture that she says “caused me to lose my faith”.

“Losing her faith” also inspired her to start her own YouTube channel debunking it, which currently has 76 videos mostly devoted to “deconstructing” scripture. Jezebel Vibes has over 54,000 subscribers. Naturally, this self-styled “Jezebel” has monetized her apostasy. Viewers are invited to buy one of her deconstructionist T-shirts to share their non-faith with the world.

Hey, it’s YouTube. Why wouldn’t you?

Monday, May 20, 2024

Anonymous Asks (303)

“What does it mean to be spiritually dead?”

Let’s start with the fact that scripture doesn’t use the phrase “spiritually dead”. Not once. Spiritual death is a concept we’ve derived from the word of God, but it is not the language of the Bible. First, then, we need to figure out what “spiritually” means as the Bible uses it.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

A Game of Determinist Chess

“How can a loving God allow [fill in the blank]?”

There may be questions Christians are more likely to hear from unbelievers than the various permutations of the above, but I can’t think of one at the moment. The query may be a defiant attack on the character of God or the honest expression of perplexity by a genuine seeker. Either way, the answers that satisfy you or me rarely settle the matter for those who do not know Christ.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (18)

Earlier this week, I quoted from Israel’s rather bloodthirsty-sounding Finance Minister, who gave a much-panned speech calling for the total annihilation of the Palestinian cities of the Gaza Strip, in which he also referred to aspiring to destroy Hezbollah “with God’s help” and send a message to the enemies of Israel.

Those of us who have read the prophetic scriptures know Israel cannot count on God’s help apart from first coming to genuine national repentance for their rejection of Messiah, so Mr. Smotrich may be presuming just a little. Terrible things must happen both in Israel and to Israel to bring them to the point of desperation and cause them to cry out to the Messiah they crucified.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: A Methodist to Their Madness

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The Cottage Grove location of Minnesota’s Grove United Methodist Church, 30 years old this year, is closing for renovations. But it’s not the building that’s being renovated ... it’s the congregation.

Small, initially financially unstable and told by their denomination that they did not warrant a pastor’s salary, the church first merged with a larger Woodbury church in 2008, then switched to lay ministry a few years ago, and has settled in to a comfortable routine with somewhere between 25 and 35 regular worshipers. That’s not good enough for the Woodbury leadership, who have hired a church-starting specialist with $250,000 from the Methodist’s regional Annual Conference, and are planning to “reset” the Cottage Grove location to appeal to a younger audience — in the name of Christ, of course — and preferably without the thirty members currently meeting there.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Merged into the Mob

It’s kind of breathtaking watching the news these days, isn’t it? So much mass craziness in such a little time!

Of course, there’s the hysteria surrounding COVID-19. First, we were told it was all a racist plot, then that it was an international pandemic, then that we were all going to die, then that we all had to wear masks ... or not ... and then go back to work and school ... then not ... that there will be a cure ... then that all cures are poisons ... that the economy is collapsing ... then that it must collapse, so we can all stay safe.

Who do you believe? Which side do you choose? What do you support? What do you do?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Break Out the Dynamite

In a post last November, I agreed with Australian pastor Matt Littlefield that Israel currently has no divine mandate for the reconquest of Gaza, much as many evangelicals would like them to. We disagree, however, about whether God is at work in the current situation. Matt calls the IDF’s efforts to root Hamas out of Gaza “a work of the flesh seeking to fulfil the things of God, rather than a work of God to fulfil prophecy”. In response, I went back to the Old Testament to demonstrate that those statements are not mutually exclusive.

Even the actions of exceptionally wicked men may be both at the same time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Going Home

I had a dream this morning. I was walking down a small-town sidewalk when a middle-aged man carrying a big, well-thumbed soft-cover Bible passed me by. He stopped suddenly and spoke to me, and I turned around to hear what he might have to say. He had a twinkle in his eye and an appealing manner about him, and my usual instinctive reluctance to engage in such situations instantly fled. He asked me a question I can’t completely recall, but it was something about the Father’s house. He wanted to know what I thought about it. I began to try to put my ideas into words, and realized nothing coherent was coming out of my mouth.

I started and stopped three different times, then gave up.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Anonymous Asks (302)

“How should parents who are divorcing/separating deal with child custody issues?”

How does one do a bad thing in the best possible way? This the dilemma for divorcing Christians. Finding the will of God in one area of your life when you are already rejecting the revealed will of God in another area is always going to be a losing battle. The Lord never intended Christians to divorce, and his word does not provide a great deal of direct guidance to those in the process of demonstrating they don’t want it.

The best we can do is derive some general principles from scripture about behavior patterns that are always good, and leave it at that.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Of Foals and Fools

As I noted in yesterday’s Mining the Minors instalment, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each penned an account of the triumphal entry. As usual with gospel accounts of the same events, these are complementary, not contradictory, much as any honest eyewitness accounts invariably reflect the personality, preoccupations, purposes and intended audience of the storyteller.

Bart Ehrman, Bible scholar and self-acknowledged unbeliever, would desperately like the accounts to contradict even if they don’t.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Mining the Minors: Zechariah (17)

Sometimes, apart from supernatural intervention, prophetic fulfillment is inexplicable; things happen that couldn’t possibly have happened without the hand of God. Other prophecies attain fulfillment by simple acts of human will.

Take, for example, a virgin conceiving and bearing a son. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and the power of the Most High overshadowed her. God did what was otherwise impossible. That was a supernatural fulfillment of Isaiah.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: Days of Programs Past

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: The Young People’s group in my local church seems defunct. It wasn’t lack of leadership — they had a stellar, unselfish, thoughtful leader, who had had great success in the past, most recently with a large and active cohort that had just moved on to college / university / career plans. But when the older class graduated, nobody came in to fill the ranks. It seems that the new generation of early-teens were involved with other things: sports, computers, other programs. Not only that, when asked, their parents seemed to see no particular reason their kids ought to be meeting with other Christian kids for spiritual or social activities. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a generation of parents that isn’t totally convinced that getting their kids involved with other Christian young people is very important to their development.

So that’s new.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Who’s Holding the Scales?

I have to admit I’m appalled by the debates flying around the Internet these days. More and more, they seem like merely the propaganda of angry factions, not the rational pronouncements of people who think things through.

And the sanctimony ... oh, the sanctimony! Every faction sees its perspective as not merely just, but as the only side a reasonable, compassionate, fair-minded, informed, civilized or decent person could ever be on.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

What We Bring to the Table

Everyone has needs. The man who says he doesn’t isn’t without need, he’s without self-awareness, or perhaps just unwilling to be honest. With respect to need, the only important difference between Christians and unbelievers is that, in coming to Christ, believers acknowledge their neediness and seek to have it addressed. Unbelievers don’t.

That makes us weak, some say. Let’s grant them that. Why not?

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Fighting Dead Dragons

Just last year, seminary professor and author Owen Strachan published a book entitled The War on Men: Why Society Hates Them and Why We Need Them, praised as “a gospel-salve for a sick and dying culture” and “a compelling biblical and rational case for the recovery of and respect for a biblical view of manhood”.

As one tag line puts it, “If you are tired of feminized men, this book is for you.”

Monday, May 06, 2024

Anonymous Asks (301)

“What causes church splits?”

Let’s start with this proposition: God is gracious, and may continue to bless the efforts of his people even when they make mistakes, often in spite of them. But I think we can safely say the Lord is never behind factionalism. Even Martin Luther worked to reform Roman Catholicism from within for fifteen years before settling for the alternative.

In short, there is no such thing as a good church split. Some other outcome is always preferable, and something irreplaceable is lost in every fracture of a local testimony.