If you are of the opinion that things are going to only move from bad to worst until the rapture comes, your eyebrows may have been raised by the recent revivification of the pro-life initiative. Now, I can be just as pessimistic about it as you: it’s a shame that it has taken so long. Why did it take these videos before people started speaking out against abortion? Why did so many babies have to die before we started to gain any ground on this at all?
All of these points are valid and important, but it is equally as important to notice that something is actually happening. Planned Parenthood is losing funding, politicians are taking tangible action, and sin is being called out as sin. This business of Christians gaining ground on cultural issues wasn’t in any of the Left Behind books. Your defeatist view of the end times is being challenged by reality.
What I would love to do is encourage you to rethink your theology, study the Scriptures, and develop some Biblical optimism. But rethinking my own end times theology took a couple of years and I want you to act more quickly than that. There is a cultural war going on right now and I don’t care if you think you are predestined from eternity past to be on the losing side; I just want you to fight for King Jesus’ sake. • • • Read More • • •
Let me start by giving my credentials. I am a Linux/UNIX guy, which is the operating system that, last I checked, about 60% of internet servers run on. I’m not a Linux/UNIX expert, but I used Linux exclusively for about two years and I now run UNIX full time (okay, it’s a Mac). I also run my own Linux web server.
I’m by no means an “expert,” but I do suspect I know a bit more about these sorts of situations than your average Facebook commenter (no offense is intended to those who make comments on Facebook). Actually, my primary field of work is front end web development, so what I’m about to talk about is above my pay grade—but not by too much.
Planned Parenthood has accused an unnamed group of people who want babies to stop being murdered of something called a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on their servers. These allegations are being called into question by a number of conservatives. I’d like to explain the issue in a bit more detail, then offer my opinion. • • • Read More • • •
An argument that I often hear for why Christians should support same-sex mirage is that Jesus never spoke explicitly against homosexual acts or “marriage.” The argument essentially says that if homosexuality was such a big deal to God, shouldn’t He have addressed it when He came down to earth? Aren’t we supposed to look to Jesus to understand holiness? If the issue is important, why don’t we have record of Jesus speaking specifically to it?
The strength of this argument is so overwhelming that it has caused me to reconsider a great many things that Jesus never said anything about. Admittedly, this is an argument from silence, but has anyone ever definitively proven that arguments from silence don’t work? • • • Read More • • •
When I discuss the state of our country and our disregard for God’s Law with other believers, I often hear the phrase “America is not Israel!” The argument is essentially that God’s Law was given to Israel, not America. Since we’re not Israel, we are not held accountable to God’s Law as a standard for righteousness. Furthermore, we should not expect blessing or cursing for obedience or disobedience to God’s Law.
The first objection is one I will address briefly, since it’s not the topic of this post. God did indeed give one nation a Law. He called this Law perfect and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:7–9). He also said that under this Law, every transgression receives a just penalty (Hebrews 2:2). God did not give Israel the Law arbitrarily. He gave it to them because it was just (among other reasons). If you are going to say —for example—that capital punishment is inherently unjust for America, you need a place to stand. • • • Read More • • •
As I mentioned in my last post, Israel had rebelled against God by establishing centers and forms of worship that God had not prescribed. The Israelites were busy worshiping God with golden calves in Dan and Bethel, but that is not the place wherein they should have expected to hear God. He was to be found precisely where He said He would be found, in Jerusalem (Amos 1:2).
In chapter one verse two, Amos starts out by opposing false worship. Many people opposed Amos, especially as he preached in and around the false centers of worship. By condemning false worship at the outset, Amos is saying that those who do not worship God the way that He has prescribed cannot be speaking for God because they cannot possibly have heard from Him. You cannot hear the Lord at Dan or Bethel because He is not speaking there. He speaks from where He promised to be. • • • Read More • • •
Back when I was young(er) and foolish(er), I agreed to teach through the book of Amos in five weeks. This was extremely difficult for me, since it was my first time teaching prophecy and I needed to blitz through it at about two chapters per week. A year ago, when I was a little older and just as foolish, I taught an overview of the whole book in a forty-five minute lecture. This was just as difficult, if not more so.
Interestingly, each time I’ve taught on Amos, I was not the one who chose the book. God providentially, through the decisions of those around me, put me in the position of studying and teaching it. In this case, like all other cases, God’s providence was kind to me. What I learned in Amos seemed only somewhat relevant to our current culture when I first taught it (five years ago), but it seemed a lot more relevant this last year. Over the past couple of months, the things I learned in Amos keep jumping out at me as messages that both the church and our nation need to heed.
Since Amos has been helpful to me, and since few people take the time to read and study it, I’ve decided to take some time and blog through it. Some posts will cover more ground than others and I’m not sure how long it will take me to get through the whole book, but hopefully some of the content will prove as helpful to you as it has been to me. • • • Read More • • •
While I generally make some effort to avoid Facebook, the recent decision in favor of gay marriage has left me quite interested in what people have to say. Major historical events such as this one are very polarizing and I find it fascinating to read what, regrettably, will likely serve as source materials for future historians. #Historythroughhashtag
As I read, I have generally noted that while my more secular friends are quite excited about and pleased with this decision, Christians have generally been angry, sad, afraid, or some combination of the three. None of these emotions is surprising or even out of place. Anger at sin is something that Christians ought to feel (Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 8:13; Romans 12:9, etc.), despite the portrait we are often given of a hippie-Jesus with long, flowing locks who never gets angry. Sadness is also appropriate because, if we love people, we want what is best for them—which is not sexual slavery. • • • Read More • • •
This post has to accomplish quite a lot by way of background before I can get to the subject at hand, so please bear with me as I set the stage. The first and heaviest prop needed for this particular display is a less “American” and more Biblical understanding of morality and rights.
As I’m sure you’re aware, much of American morality comes down to a little something we call rights. The idea is that all people have them and that you shouldn’t make like a bull and trample them underfoot. In this sense, morality is essentially other-focused. Do whatever you’d like, but don’t squish anyone’s rights. This is the foundation upon which our culture builds most of its morality. • • • Read More • • •
I’ve been pretty busy over the last couple weeks, which explains the lack of content on this blog. Last week was Apple’s developer conference, though, so I wanted to publish a few quick thoughts on what they’re planning to do this year. First, I’ll list some things I’m excited about, then some things I’m not too thrilled with. • • • Read More • • •
The purpose of a blog, of course, is to communicate information. Because of this, I don’t believe that anyone should ever start a blog unless they have something worth writing about. Now, the apostle John once said that if he wrote about all the things that Jesus did, the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:5). We might say now that if we were to write all about all the things Jesus is doing in the lives of believers, the world wide web itself could not contain the blogs that would be written. • • • Read More • • •
This post is a continuation of my last post on apologetics, which should probably be read before this one. It has been a while since I wrote that post, which is both because I’ve been busy and because I wasn’t sure how to start this one. Finally, though, I decided I should start it by offending some atheists and making more than a few evangelicals uncomfortable. It can only get better from there, right? • • • Read More • • •
I’m rather excited because Chris and I had a bit of a kerfuffle in our most recent podcast episode. I’m not excited because I enjoy controversy, I’m just excited because I only rarely get to use the word “kerfuffle.” I’m going to try to use it at least once more in this blog post, so stay tuned. Before you read the rest of this, you might want to listen to the episode. I’ll try to summarize the issue, though, so that you don’t have to listen if you’ve got better things to do with your time.
Our disagreement centered around evangelism and specifically how to approach someone who is actively involved in the LGBTQ movement with the intent of sharing the Gospel. Chris’s approach was to speak well of the person’s actions and intents, but to then to explain how those actions are sinful and the Bible teaches us to do better. I disagreed with this approach, but before we move forward, I want to avoid a logical fallacy that often comes up here. • • • Read More • • •
The world is going to hell in a hand basket. The church isn’t doing her job and it’s only a matter of time before she’s altogether vanquished by the democrats, the Muslims, or perhaps even Fox News. That’s what many Christians will tell you if you ask them how humanity and the church are doing. Things are going from bad to worse quicker than you can say “Satan is alive and well on planet earth.”
Much of this comes from a low view of man’s moral condition, which is a good sort of view to have. We shouldn’t expect man to solve his own problems anymore than we should expect pigs to suddenly realize their repulsive reputation, bathe themselves, and start drinking tea with their little piggy pinkies extended. Man’s nature is hopelessly sinful. Biblically-oriented Christians recognize that. • • • Read More • • •
The fan certainly has been coming into contact with a lot of stuff regarding homosexuality and marriage lately. This is because, if I may understate the problem, sin is messy. Our laws have failed to reflect God’s laws for some time and so our politicians, having redefined “up” as “down” and vice versa, find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to reengineer all our helicopters and airplanes.
Christians who are genuinely trying to understand the true gravity of the situation are finding it very difficult to avoid getting turned all topsy-turvy. There are a lot of questions about specifically what should and should not be legal, as well as questions regarding what is and is not moral. This is especially the case for people who make money on weddings, but even some people running businesses that have nothing to do with marriage, say thrift stores, can become confused. Before we get started talking about those issues, we should briefly define the difference between things that are immoral and things that should be illegal. • • • Read More • • •
Let’s start by ignoring the $10,000 elephant in the room, shall we? Before we evaluate the most expensive Apple watches, we should start by asking why Apple is making a watch at all and if it’s a good idea. Only with that foundation will we be able to make sense out of their decision to make expensive watches. Actually, before we start talking about the Apple watch, let’s talk about watches in general. • • • Read More • • •