Showing posts with label Christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christianity. Show all posts

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Youth Problems Part 2: Life in Suspended Animation

I grew up a Trekkie.

You remember that word? It was a nerd word. A “trekkie” was a person who loved the television show Star Trek. My daily ritual was to get home and plop myself down in front of the telly and catch whatever rerun was on that day. I think I saw most episodes of the original show a half dozen times or more.

I remember one episode called Space Seed, in which the crew of the Starship Enterprise discovers a ship loaded with sleeping men and women. They’re all in what’s called suspended animation: alive, but asleep and on life support, so that they can endure a lengthy trip through space. The crew revives one named Khan, and he turns out to be a kind of wild superman they’re unable to control. He’s more than a little agitated that he and his people have become the rejects of planet Earth.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Youth Problems Part 1: Double Jeopardy

“I wouldn’t want to be a teenager today!”

I hear that a lot. And I suppose there’s something to it. It’s not easy going through those vulnerable transitional years today.

But then it’s never been.

It’s a really unnatural stage of life. Today, we may take it for granted; but we are losing touch with just how irregular, how unhealthy and how bizarre it really is. That’s because most of us were raised through a socialization process — including urban economic life, mass schooling, post-secondary training, late induction into adulthood, and so on — that took it for granted. We are out of touch with just how developmentally weird it really is.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Authentic Me

I’m not wading into the moral train wreck that is the Bruce Jenner situation. There are some things about which the less said the better. But I am interested in the language that has come out over and over again in regard to it. I note the recurrence of a theme that bears serious consideration for a Christian.

It’s the idea of authenticity. In the parlance of the world, it’s supposed to explain or excuse a very great deal. It is generally taken for granted that to be “authentic” is an absolute moral duty — in fact, it might be the only universal moral duty that the liberal left actually recognizes. And somehow Jenner has achieved this highest value by his recent act of selecting to go half woman.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Anonymous Asks (188)

“Are you more likely to trust politicians who claim to be Christian?”

Some people are reluctant to claim to be Christians. Jordan Peterson has dodged the question for years, sometimes more adroitly than others, for reasons he explained in a recent video clip: “Who would have the audacity to claim that they believed in God if they examined the way they lived? Who would dare say that? To have the audacity to claim that means that you live it out fully, and that’s an unbearable task, in some sense.”

Monday, November 15, 2021

Anonymous Asks (171)

“Is the United States a Christian nation?”

I have commented before that the word “Christian” makes a poor adjective. It doesn’t tell you much that is useful. I have seen lies, error and heresy on sale in “Christian” bookstores, false believers in “Christian” youth groups, and atheists playing “Christian” rock.

Christianity is just not something you can ascribe to groups, especially groups as large as a nation. One becomes a Christian by trusting Jesus Christ for salvation and recognizing him as Lord. Groups can do all kinds of things an individual can’t, but only individuals can be saved.

So what is really being asked here? Here are a few possibilities:

Thursday, March 18, 2021

If There Were No Christians

Nag, Nag, Nag …

My friend WiC has been after me for some time to publish a list of the things Christians have achieved for modern, Western society and for the world in general. I think he has the idea that it would be handy for many of us to have easy access to such a list. And I have stalled as long as I can. Lest he wear me out with his insistent asking, I am now capitulating to his request. I trust his conviction that many of you will find it helpful will prove true.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Universal Human Rights: The Christian Legacy

Okay, let me say it right away:

There is only one reason we have human rights: God.

And it was a Christian who first discovered this and explained it to the world.


Now, you might ask yourself this: if this is true, why was I not told? Why didn’t my teachers in high school, my instructors at college or my professors in my undergraduate explain this? Or if it’s true, then why is not every Christian trumpeting the fact from the rooftops?

The answer’s simple: Christians don’t know it, and other people don’t want to hear it.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Youth Problems Part 2: Life in Suspended Animation

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Youth Problems Part 1: Double Jeopardy

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Are the Critics Right?

Christianity has been called a crutch, an opiate, a panacea and “wish-fulfillment”. The prevailing theory among its detractors is that we are fragile flowers who can’t cope with life and surround ourselves with comforting platitudes to escape having to face up to harsh realities like “We are all alone in the universe”, “Nobody loves me”, “There is no such thing as justice” and “Death is the end of everything”.

Additionally, we are often told people cling to Christianity because they can’t think for themselves and need to be told what to do.

These are arguments that may initially appear to hold water.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Authentic Me

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Is Christianity a Religion?

Depends on your definition, doesn’t it.

As a unit of language, the word ‘religion’ has acquired so many nuances that it is almost useless. Everyone has his or her own idea of what religion means, but they often differ drastically from one another. It has become one of those words that just doesn’t really communicate much anymore.

If I ask, “Are you religious?” and you say “Yes”, I have actually discovered very little indeed about what you believe.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

If There Were No Christians

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Universal Human Rights: The Christian Legacy

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Life in Suspended Animation

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Double Jeopardy

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Authentic Me

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

If There Were No Christians

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Be Careful What You Outgrow

John Pavlovitz has decided he’s outgrown American Christianity.

I am not losing my mind.
I’m not losing my faith.
I’m not failing or falling or backsliding.
I have simply outgrown American Christianity.

Okay. Well then.

To a certain extent I can sympathize with the sentiment, though perhaps the word “outgrown” might not be the one I’d reach for first.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Walking in Lockstep

Some people feel the inability of Christians to agree is a fatal flaw in our faith. The fact that believers understand the word of God differently and apply it differently is, to them, evidence that there is something wrong with the scripture itself, or that Christians are deluded about it, or that perhaps God does not really exist at all.

On the contrary, I believe it is evidence of precisely the opposite. It is exactly what we ought to expect.

To Kendall Hobbs, the inability of Christians to agree about either the will of God or the content of scripture and how it ought to be applied constitutes a valid reason to abandon Christianity. So he did.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Recommend-a-blog (11)

For a regular newsletter, this is grim stuff, no getting around it. It’s not light Sunday afternoon reading before tea.

Which, given the subject matter, is probably what we should expect.

Professing Christians throughout Asia and the Middle East are dying for their faith daily and the Gatestone Institute has the details, if you want them. Many, perhaps most, are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Quote of the Day (6)

“The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love,” said the psalmist.

It may be argued that in a fallen creation the “steadfast love” of God that fills the earth is easier to recognize at some moments than at others. But contrast that with a materialistic universe, where genuine love is absent by definition.

Someone got Catholic novelist John C. Wright going on the subject of the atheistic vs. the theistic worldview and their respective implications, in particular for the possibility of love as opposed to mere sentimentalism.

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Immature Christian

I don’t know a lot about modern Judaism, orthodox or otherwise. But I was intrigued by this opinion piece in The Jerusalem Post. Of all the things that might tick Jews off about Christians, the one that particularly sticks in the craw of writer Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks is that we’re ... well ... immature.

Now let’s face it, almost nobody in this century or the last much likes the idea of a religion that claims a monopoly on truth. But the one completely untenable, utterly illogical position to be taken is that all religions are therefore simultaneously true, or even contain substantial truth. The Law of Non-Contradiction declares that contradictory statements cannot be true in the same sense at the same time, and contradictory statements about the nature of God are no exception. Some ideas about God, the universe and morality are simply more accurate (and therefore more truthful) than others.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Authentic Me

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One of These Things …

… is NOT like the other.

Christianity. Feminism. Not an easy fit.

That’s not just my take; it’s the view of both Christians and feminists.

Cognitive dissonance” is a term used to describe the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. Normally, those who really understand third-wave feminism and genuinely grasp Christianity ought to experience mental stress trying to reconcile the two. At bare minimum a healthy dollop of discomfort is in order. Don’t take my word for it or dwell too much on what feminism may have meant in previous generations. Go look at what it means now and tell me if, when each is rightly understood, the  ideological common ground between the two systems is anything but microscopic.

Of course, if you don’t realize your beliefs are incompatible, no dissonance occurs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Universal Human Rights: The Christian Legacy

The most current version of this post is available here.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

No Equivalency Here

After all his trash-talking of Christianity over the years, it’s unusual to see Bill Maher have a moment or two of unexpected lucidity on the Charlie Rose show:

*     *     *     *     *

Bill Maher: There are illiberal beliefs that are held by vast numbers of Muslim people.

Charlie Rose: A vast number of Christians too.

BM: No, no. That’s not true. Not true. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second-class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ, you should get killed for it.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Christianity and Racism

A more current version of this post is available here.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Is Christianity a Religion?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Atheism and Logic

I’ve read numerous books on the subject of whether the Christian faith is “reasonable”.  Most of these were consumed as a young adult, when the question seemed more urgent and I was considerably less equipped to argue it.

While some books were better than others and all made some valid points (most if not all of which are now lost in the sands of time), I do not recall many staking out the intellectual Christian position as aggressively as John C. Wright does in his latest “Wright Perspective” column.

By aggressive, I don’t mean nasty or mean-spirited. But, Lewis and Chesterton aside, the more modern books seemed primarily concerned with mounting a satisfactory intellectual defence of Christianity from accusations of unreasonability, illogic and incoherence. They were, if not on the ropes sucking air, perhaps a little over-occupied with avoiding the knockout punch.

Wright, on the other hand, comes out swinging and keeps moving forward.