Archive for 'Commentary'

America: Imagine Your Limitations

America: Imagine Your Limitations

In 1971, John Lennon imagined a world with no countries, possessions, hunger and “no religion too.” This, he presumed, would create “a brotherhood of man” wherein “the world will live as one.” Sweet!

Remember President Obama’s election victory speech in 2009? He boldly proclaimed:

    I am absolutely certain, that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the ...
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My Dad
(Happy Father’s Day to Horace Spurgeon Solliday)

My Dad <br>(Happy Father’s Day to Horace Spurgeon Solliday)

As a boy, rising early in the morning enabled me to spend private time with my dad. He was always on his way to work before my mom or brothers got up, so this was our time. He would make an egg and toast breakfast for me with yoke soft enough to dip my toast into it. Is there any other way to have eggs and toast? If he broke the yoke, he would take the disqualified egg.

I was ...

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Bold and Brave—Part 2
(Another Verb that Needs Your Voice)

Bold and Brave—Part 2    <br>(Another Verb that Needs Your Voice)

Word for the Day: “yakah”

Verbal boldness has a rich history. In Part 1, we saw how the ancient Greek word elencho was used in the New Testament to expose great moments in the history of verbal boldness and bravery (see Part 1).

Now let us go back even further in time to reflect on the ancient Hebrew verb yakah. No, it does not refer to a desert plant in Central and North America. It shows up 59 times in the ...

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Bold and Brave—Part 1
(A Verb that Needs Your Voice)

Bold and Brave—Part 1 <br>(A Verb that Needs Your Voice)<br>

Word for the Day: “Elencho”

Every word has a history. Elencho’s earliest known use in Greek was to convey blame. By the 4th century BC, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle used it for logical expositions—meaning, to test or examine. Soon, Elencho was used when a debater convinced someone of a point or refuted it. By the 1th century AD, elencho was used as a verb meaning; to expose, bring to light, rebuke, convict or correct. It was used 17 times ...

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BAPTISM: “For the Forgiveness of Sin”

BAPTISM: “For the Forgiveness of Sin”

A hymn written by Robert Lowry in 1876 begins with a good question:

    What can wash away my sin?

The answer is immediate and accurate:

    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What about the water of baptism? Doesn’t it wash our sins away too? Be careful. The real sin-cleansing power comes from above and works only through the blood of Jesus. Baptism has no power or meaning apart from Jesus’ blood. The water itself is neither magic nor holy. Without the ...

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Was Jesus Religious?

Was Jesus Religious?

Would you like to be spiritual without being religious? First, I commend your desire to be spiritual. Second, I commend you to Jesus as inspiration for not leaving the religious part behind. Here are seven points to ponder about Jesus:

  1. Jesus was raised by very religious parents who kept the Jewish laws and customs of their day. Mary followed the purification terms of her religion and the whole family showed up at the temple on time for Jesus’ presentation and circumcision ...
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So Goes the Church

So Goes the Church

America is currently experiencing a decline in church attendance and health. Buildings are being sold, young people are bolting and biblical literacy is evaporating. With sincere concern, many are rearranging deck chairs as the ship continues to sink. Some seek a more polished strategy to stem the decline but in many cases, it doesn’t. Others feel helpless and sing, “Nearer my God to Thee.”

Is the Church the Culprit?

In the face of tumultuous change, many churches turned inward and ...

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A Full 180

A Full 180

What sort of fruit grows on a tree of “the knowledge of good and evil?” What looked so irresistible to Eve that it made her disobey God? Was it an apple, a pear, a pomegranate or what?

Wrong question. The fruit (undoubtedly delicious) did not produce the sin. Something went wrong deep inside the hearts of Adam and Eve when they fell for the forbidden fruit. Eve tried to blame the serpent and Adam blamed Eve, but in fact, they ...

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We Must Discriminate!

We Must Discriminate!

A shocking magazine cover on display in a public bookstore in Minnesota a few years ago featured a man with both arms raised and the middle finger of both hands raised higher. I approached the information desk and asked the manager, “Do you intend to keep this crass cover on public display?”

A clerk trying to impress his manager proudly replied, “Yes, we don’t discriminate! We have gay magazines, sex magazines and so on. If we took this one down, ...

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[Not] Going to Heaven, Part III

[Not] Going to Heaven,  Part III

Having performed countless funerals over 30 years, I can say that the idea of not going to heaven is one that rarely occurs to most people anymore. Most Americans think that all we have to do to go to heaven is to expire. The idea that accountability for sin, absent repentance, extends beyond this life is becoming rare. In the Bible, however, it is clear:


“Each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
(Paul, Romans 14:12).

The Christian ...

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