Showing posts from April, 2011

An international thief for president?

All right, I am now officially nervous about a Donald Trump presidential campaign. Actually, "nervous" might be too mild a description. "Frightened" is perhaps more accurate. I'll be scared to death if it looks like he might possibly win. Why the fear, you ask? The reasons are many. But here's one that ought to scare everyone:  he is a thief at heart. Let me explain. The power of eminent domain is a power the government has to appropriate private property for public use provided the owner is compensated according to the market value of the property. The power is mentioned - and limited - in the Fifth Amendment. By "public use" we should understand use by the government in carrying out its duties as enumerated by the Constitution. But in recent years, as we have moved further and further from the original meaning and intent of our founding documents, eminent domain has been used to transfer private property from one private citizen to another

What portions of the OT Law are still binding?

I have heard you say before that God requires us to keep the commandments of the Old Testament. But does he expect us to keep all of them? If not, what commandments are we supposed to keep, and what commandments are no longer necessary, and how do we know the difference? This is a very good question. Let’s begin making our way toward an answer by suggesting a basic rule of thumb for properly applying the Old Testament today, which is this: We should assume that whatever God once required of his people is still required unless he has altered the requirement in some way. In other words, our operating assumption ought to be one of continuity between the Old and New Testaments. Everything God required of his people in the Old Testament should be assumed to have an ongoing obligation for us today unless the New Testament teaches us otherwise. This is implied in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount when he says: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to ab

Judge not?

When Jesus says, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” does he mean that we are never to find fault with other people’s behavior or try to correct them? No, he doesn’t mean this at all; but it doesn’t stop people from quoting the verse in a such a way as to imply that we must never say one thing is better than another morally—one behavior versus another; one lifestyle versus another; one culture or civilization versus another; or one religion versus another. To make judgments of this sort, we are told, violates Jesus’ command. And it’s ill-mannered, to boot. When our opponents quote this verse, they think it is sufficient to put a stop to the debate. They think they have used the one unanswerable argument against us. But there are a couple of ironies here. In the first place, if the verse means what our opponents say it means—that we shouldn’t make any moral judgments whatsoever—then their quoting the verse is self-defeating. Those who use the verse in an attempt to put a stop to

Is the national debt a moral problem

As Christians we’re concerned about the moral issues of the day, but shouldn’t we also think about the national debt as a moral issue? You’re exactly right. We have done well for several years to recognize that we simply cannot be silent concerning the great moral issues of the day, whether it’s abortion, which is by far the greatest moral issue of our time, or the redefining of marriage so as to include same-sex couples, or any one of a number of other issues that we have rightly understood to be at their root moral in nature. What we have been slow to realize is that the national debt is also a moral issue. Most people think of it as merely an economic or political issue. But it is at its very core, a moral issue. The U.S. national debt now stands at over 14 ¼ trillion dollars. We can’t even properly conceive of how much money that is. But let me try to give you at least a little perspective. God created the world about six thousand years ago. How much money do you suppose on

What's new about the New Testament?

Good question! But before I answer it, let’s be clear about what is not new: We do not have a new God. We do not have a new standard of righteousness. We do not have a new way of salvation. We do not have a new God. This should be so obvious that it need not be mentioned. But I do mention it because many people seem to think that God has changed from the OT to the NT. They think in the OT he was all law, condemnation, and judgment; and that in the NT he is all love and grace and mercy. Not so. We have the same God, who is, on the one hand, both holy and just; and on the other, both gracious and merciful. This hasn’t changed. He eternally is what he is. We have the same God, and he holds us to the same standard of righteousness, which is revealed in his Law. How could it be otherwise? The Law is a reflection of his own righteousness. How could he ever depart from it? His standard is the same in both Testaments. Likewise, we have the same way of salvation. In both the OT and NT men