Showing posts from 2018

Good News of Great Joy

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. — Luke 2:10  — More than anything else, our celebration of Christmas ought to be characterized by joy .  We should thank God that he doesn’t call us to be Stoics; i.e. , he doesn’t call us to stifle all feeling. There are Christians who seem to think that demonstrations of emotion are unspiritual, that spirituality is pure rationality .  But while emotional ism may be unspiritual, emotion per se is not.  The various ways in which God deals with us inevitably evoke different emotions (love, joy, fear, guilt, peace, etc.).  The natural emotional response to the message the angel brought the shepherds was joy .  “I bring good news of great joy.”   This is how we should receive the message, as well, the message of our Savior’s birth.  Even still.  Even after more than two-thousand years.  Of all the causes for joy (and there are many) none is greater than the joy of our salvation—the joy of knowing and being

Contending for the Faith

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” — Jude 3 The Christian faith has many adversaries, both within and outside the church.   This was true in Jude’s day, and it’s no less true in our own.   Of the two, however, the internal foes may pose the greater threat, because they’re more deceptive.   A skeptic who openly denies the faith and argues against it—say, a Christopher Hitchens or a Sam Harris—is easily recognized as a foe.   So is a persecutor like a Diocletian or a Stalin or a soldier of Allah waving the black flag of ISIS.   The internal foes, however, are more difficult to recognize.   The danger they pose is subtle.   They claim to be friends of the faith but are in fact its mortal enemies.   I’m referring specifically to heretics—those who reject the truth as it’s revealed in Scripture and teach lies instead

Reflections on Elections

Here are a few things to keep in mind about yesterday’s election—and elections in general.   First, the outcome of any given election is not the absolute disaster that many people might be tempted to think it is.   God remains sovereign over all the affairs of men, even of powerful political figures. The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the L ord ; he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1 God can prevent whatever evil or folly politicians intend to do. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. Job 5:12 Even that evil and folly which he permits them to achieve, he can turn to the good (Gen. 50:20). Second, the outcome isn’t the unrivalled blessing that others might imagine it to be.   Politicians are notoriously pitiful saviors.   The best of them often leave behind a trail of broken promises, dashed hopes, unfulfilled expectations, and betrayed trusts.   To build one’s hopes on getting the “right”

Social Justice: What's Marx Got to Do with It?

Introduction In my previous  post  we considered the underlying assumptions of the social justice movement.  In this one, we will consider its Marxist origins.  My contention is that social justice is best understood as a euphemism for what is variously called Neo-, Western, or Cultural Marxism.  It’s called  Neo -Marxism to distinguish it from Marxism in its original form,  Western  Marxism because of its adaptation to western societies, and  Cultural  Marxism because it takes the principle of  class  struggle in traditional Marxist theory and applies it to other social struggles in the broader culture.  This last term is perhaps the most helpfully descriptive.  But to understand Cultural Marxism, we must first understand Classical Marxism.  Classical Marxism Classical Marxism is the name given to the social, political, and economic thought of Karl Marx (1818-1883).  Marx and his associate, Friedrich Engels, were the co-authors of the  Communist Manifesto  (1848).  They,

Social Justice and its Dangers

Justice is an attribute which is consistently ascribed to God in Scripture and presented as a defining characteristic of his reign ( Deut. 32:4; Ps. 97:2; Isa. 30:18b; Rev. 15:3; etc.).   Because he is just, he calls us to live justly with one another (Gen. 18:19; Ps. 33:5; Jer. 5:1; Mic. 6:8; etc.).    This call includes laboring to form a just society (Deut. 1:13-17; 16:18-20; Isa. 1:16-17; Jer. 22:3; Amos 5:15, 24; etc.).    This is not merely incidental to our call, but integral to it.   Pursuing justice—both personally and in broader society—is one of the weightier matters of the law (Matt. 23:23).   It is, in fact, one of the ways in which we live by the golden rule and fulfill the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:39; Jas. 2:8).   There are few who would argue against justice as the foundation of civilized society, but there is perhaps less consensus now than at any point in our nation’s history as to what justice is .   It’s beco