When Civil Servants Aren’t 

In the western world, Wikipedia suggest that the term “Civil Service” goes back to 1829 and the expansion of the British Empire — namely that the British government needed people with administrative and managerial skills to manage the resources, the production, and the commerce that took place in their various colonies. The basic principle behind… Read More

A Presumption of Innocence and a Sad Era in America

I will be the first to say that I love being an American — proud even, in a sense of the word. I am an Eagle Scout back from the mid ‘80s when the Boy Scouts were not willing to compromise their religious footing and spent years saluting the flag as a youth and as… Read More

5 Things You Need to Know about Going Deep

Back in High School, I was a competitive swimmer. No, I never broke any records, but was good enough to be on the team and consistent enough that the coach put me in relays and things like that. And so, during those years, I swam seemingly endless laps across the surface of the water of… Read More

The Scientific Method: A Christian Idea

“What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down?”  — Friedrich Nietzsche, The Madman (1882) In Nietzsche’s classic parable (one which… Read More

Christian Doctrine and the Paradox of Theseus’ Ship

There is an old thought experiment that dates back to the ancient Greeks that surrounds Theseus’ ship. As a youth, I grew up with the stories of Theseus, the six labors, his battle with the minotaur, and the various adventures that surrounded this Greek hero. In his writings, the Historian, Plutarch recorded that Theseus’ ship… Read More

What Must a Christian Believe?

One of the debates that circulates around Christian church circles has to do with what that core body of information happens to be to which all Christians must assent. There are many who would say that the Apostles’ Creed stands as the most basic test of the Christian faith. Yet, I think that we would… Read More

Are You Ready to Go to Church Tomorrow?

Okay, the pastor is just on one of his soapboxes, again. Sure, this is a soapbox…but if you are a Christian, it should be your soapbox as well. So, hear me out. You see, many people are simply satisfied that you are going to church in the first place — you remember that kind old… Read More

Easter, the Resurrection, and Worship

Folks that know me well, know that I don’t much like the choice of the word, “Easter,” that is used in English speaking and German speaking congregations. The term originates from the name of a pagan goddess of the woodlands and is just one more reminder of syncretism that is found in the Christian world.… Read More

Men without Ears

In 1943, C.S. Lewis published his short, apologetic work, The Abolition of Man, in which he tackles “The Green Book,” a new text being used in the British educational system, one that elevates observational science over the arts and moral norms. Lewis’ premise is ultimately that the educational system was producing “men without chests” —… Read More

On Christ’s One Sacrifice

I’ve not posted here of late as I have been finishing two books, one, on pastoral theology that is now out, and the other on the Atonement. Here is an excerpt on Hebrews 10:11-15. “And every priest stands daily serving and over and over again he brings sacrifices to offer which can never have the… Read More

An Open Letter to President Obama, Governor McCrory, and other Interested Parties: Bathrooms and the Strange Legacy of Sartre

Presuppositions govern our perspectives on life and until we recognize that, we tend toward intellectual dishonesty at best and our debates tend more toward sophism than truth. Once we recognize that, we can engage with much more humility in honest conversation…that is, if we are willing. Sadly, honest and civil conversation around politics and religion,… Read More

The Culture War: Win, Lose, or Rebuild?

In the battle of Gibeah (recorded in Judges 20), the armies of Israel drew the defenders of Gibeah out toward the highways and away from the city by a feigned retreat. As Israel fell back, appearing to route, the heart of Israel’s army lay in ambush around the city, thus defeating the city while the… Read More

Am I Missing Something?

Normally I try and stay out of the fray when it comes to the frenzy around popular scandals and sensationalistic stories. Maybe I should make more social commentaries than I do, but guess that I would rather immerse myself more deeply in God’s word and trust people to have a little common sense that can… Read More

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

It seems that these days people speak a lot about liberty, protecting their liberties, and how their liberties are being threatened by this legislation or that group of people. “We live in a free society!” people proclaim and use that status to excuse or protect all sorts of behaviors. When the government speaks of laws… Read More

Knowledge Without Understanding

It seems that we have an addiction to knowledge without an interest in understanding. We go to conferences and seminars but we return home and little ever changes. In the church, we hear sermon after sermon exhorting us to live this way or do that and, like a fad diet, we might try out a… Read More

The Problem of Thanksgiving for the Unbeliever

I suppose that I should make one qualification up front. And that is that I personally know a number of non-Christians who are very thankful people and who thoroughly enjoy the celebration of this American holiday. There can be no doubting the deep Christian roots of this event, but regardless of one’s faith (or lack… Read More

Bread and Circuses

Let me paint a picture for you of a culture where the Senate ruled over the people and the “commoners” had little say over what laws were enacted in the land. The culture that I am describing was one where many flocked to the cities of jobs, though they would only earn poverty level wages.… Read More

The Culture Wars

In Christian circles, we talk a lot about the culture wars and at least vaguely, I think, most people have some sense of what is meant by that. As we look around us, the western culture has grown more secular and less markedly “Christian” as a whole and the culture war is the crusade that… Read More

Friends

So what makes a friend a friend? And when I speak of friends, I am not thinking of those we might casually refer to in that way, but those with whom you have a close and enduring bond — a bond that is strengthened, not weakened by trials and difficulties and with whom love is… Read More

Cogito Ergo Sum

Descartes made his famous statement, “I think; therefore, I am,” to communicate what he held to be the most fundamental and irrefutable truth: his thought about whether or not he existed was proof that he did exist. He argued that everything else could be an illusion, but that this was the one principle that he… Read More

Playing Dominoes in Ukraine

I spent about half an hour the other day playing a game of two-on-two Dominoes with several of my Ukrainian students. The game was the basic game that I had played as a child, though it has been many years since I had played, and it was fairly easy to follow the progression even though… Read More

Turning the Model Around: Mentoring Evangelism

For about 5 years I have been teaching High School students how important it is to have a mentor and how to go about seeking someone to mentor them. We talk about setting goals, knowing what you would like to achieve, and about looking for a man or woman who has achieved those goals already… Read More

Horses, Power, and a Good Salesman

The term “horsepower” is one that is commonly used in our culture to refer to the power of one engine in comparison to another, but many are not familiar with the history of the term or the way in which it was originally decided upon. Essentially horsepower is a measurement of the amount of work… Read More