Category Archives: Articles on Culture

Tattoos: To Do or Eschew?

Tattoos: To Do or Eschew?

The Christian life is meant to be a life of obedience grounded in discernment. “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21) Such discernment is not simply an inner sense of confidence, or a feeling of sagacity, but an active judging of all things for their meaning. The pursuit of meaning is… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Difficulties: The Problem of Taste

Beauty’s Difficulties: The Problem of Taste

This entry is part 15 of 18 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

After more than a century of grappling with Descartes’ division of knowledge into “subjective” and “objective”, eighteenth-century thinkers developed a way to rescue the concept of beauty. The conversation about beauty moved away from a discussion of harmony, proportion, or unity and towards the idea of taste. In fact, at this early stage, the attention… Continue Reading

Lessons from a Pandemic: Science Is Limited

Lessons from a Pandemic: Science Is Limited

I’m obviously very thankful for science, I’m thankful for medical advancements that improve quality of life, I’m thankful for technology. However, what our current situation with COVID-19 has helped us to see is that science can’t solve everything because it is based on human observation, and humans are limited. The scientific method by definition is… Continue Reading

The Unexamined Life

The Unexamined Life

“The unexamined life is not worth living”, said Socrates. Socrates was teaching the need to live a life where all things are parsed for their meaning. A life lived on auto-pilot, following the great mass of humanity, takes most of life for granted. It is a life lived without reflection, without much meditation, and consequently,… Continue Reading

Live Images Are Not Living Persons

Live Images Are Not Living Persons

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Our technologies have come a long way from when John wrote, likely using a reed-pen on a papyrus sheet, “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.” (3 Jn. 1:13-14)… Continue Reading

Disembodied Christianity

Disembodied Christianity

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

During last week, I read one man rage at ‘conservative Christians’ for their desire to re-open churches. He then proceeded to point out that Hebrews 10:25 does not really prove that churches need to gather in physical buildings, and that all Christians who call for re-opened churches based upon Hebrews 10:25 are abusing the text.… Continue Reading

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“John, we’d love it if you and Susan would join us for a meal on Thursday evening.” “Uh…well, Mike, thanks but…isn’t that illegal? I mean, doesn’t the lockdown prohibit that kind of social gathering?” “Oh, no, I don’t mean that you and Susan come to our home. We’ll host you online.” “I’m still not following.… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words: Conclusion

Ten Mangled Words: Conclusion

This entry is part 63 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Words are not just names. If they were, we’d have no problem swapping out one label for another. No, words are things. Yes, they are man-made things, concatenations of syllables created by human cultures, and their particular meanings have been shaped through convention and association. But they are things that have meaning in themselves, and… Continue Reading

“Hate” – A Word Like “Atheism”

“Hate” – A Word Like “Atheism”

This entry is part 62 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

His name was Polycarp, and he was a disciple of the apostle John. He later became the pastor of the church at Smyrna. When he was very old, the vicious persecutions of Christians in Smyrna turned on him. He was arrested and told to deny Christ. He refused. He was brought into the stadium to… Continue Reading

What does government have the right to do?

What does government have the right to do?

In these times of government-mandated quarantine for many US states and even countries around the world, the issue of the biblical role of government, and the response of individual Christians and churches collectively to government, is an understandable topic of concern. While our current dilemmas—particularly with churches being encouraged not to meet—are complicated, and I… Continue Reading

The Complexity of Hating What God Hates

The Complexity of Hating What God Hates

This entry is part 61 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

No one should love what God hates. No one should hate what God loves. But, as we have seen, God has the ability to love and hate at the same time. It is this conscious simultaneity that we lack, and which adds such difficulty to our understanding of hate. We have seen the kind of… Continue Reading

God Loves (and Hates) You

God Loves (and Hates) You

This entry is part 60 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Does God hate the sin and love the sinner? We have seen it is more biblical to say that God both loves and hates the sinner. Several theologians have suggested just that. Augustus Strong wrote, “These passages show that God loves the same persons whom he hates. It is not true that he hates the… Continue Reading

Does God Hate Sinners?

Does God Hate Sinners?

This entry is part 59 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

God’s hatred is a necessary part of His love. Whatever opposes, harms, defiles or otherwise threatens what He loves experiences His displeasure, often erupting in righteous indignation: a divine demand for change. We could say that God’s hatred is an ally of His love, destroying those things which are destructive of the true, the good… Continue Reading

The Hate That God Hates

The Hate That God Hates

This entry is part 58 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

God does not hate all hate. Some hate is actively encouraged by God. Indeed, if hate exists as the opposite of love, it follows that in many cases we must hate the opposite, or the destroyer, of what we love. Some hate, however, is condemned by God. In the following verses, hate is the opposite… Continue Reading

Ten Mangled Words: Hate

Ten Mangled Words: Hate

This entry is part 57 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Hate has become the only sin the left recognises. To them, it is apparently not possible to sin sexually, and any and every form of sexual sin is to be celebrated publicly. Slaughtering innocents (perhaps the most heinous form of murder) is to be cheered and encouraged. Stealing other people’s property is no sin if… Continue Reading

Taste Formed and Deformed by Culture

Taste Formed and Deformed by Culture

This entry is part 55 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Taste is never shaped in isolation. We learn to love what we love from our family, our church, our school, and our society. In other words, taste is largely shaped by culture. Culture can be defined as T. S. Eliot suggested, “the incarnation of a religion”. At the heart of any culture is Richard Weaver’s… Continue Reading

Good Taste and Christian Taste

Good Taste and Christian Taste

This entry is part 53 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Even atheists used to believe in good taste. The infamous David Hume wrote in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals “In many orders of beauty, particularly those of the finer arts, it is requisite to employ much reasoning in order to feel the proper sentiment; and a false relish may frequently be corrected by… Continue Reading

A parable of moral change on alcohol

A parable of moral change on alcohol

Increasingly, evangelical Christians are abandoning abstentionist and prohibitionist positions on alcohol. This is true among many conservative Baptist churches. It is increasingly common for pastors to lead their churches to take a more moderationist position with respect alcohol. Back in 1981, John Piper led Bethlehem Baptist Church to change its church covenant with respect to… Continue Reading

Christian at the Movies (3) – Magic and Fantasy

Christian at the Movies (3) – Magic and Fantasy

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Christian at the Movies You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Many Christians are alarmed at books or movies that involve magic or fantasy. They feel that the one is dabbling in the occult, and the other is immersing oneself in what is unreal and possibly even false. They wonder that any Christians could read or watch something containing magic, wizards or any reference to the… Continue Reading