Archive for 'Culture'

An Exceptional Heritage

An Exceptional Heritage

On September 10, 2013, President Obama made his case for using military force against Syria in response to internal war crimes. He closed it thusly: “I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional.”

Five years earlier, while overseas, Obama said: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” In other words, there is nothing ...

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“Blurred Lines”

“Blurred Lines”

The Obama presidency is best defined by the phrase, “blurred lines.” So is his Party. There are few firm lines in their world.

Calling abortion a “choice” is a line blurring spin. Never mind that a life is destroyed. Redefining marriage to suit some powerful sexual identity groups but not others is a line-erasing atrocity. Offering amnesty to illegal immigrants blurs the notion of citizenship itself. Redefining or censoring terms only thickens the fog. Claiming ...

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Fuller Caves

Fuller Caves

    “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” ~ The Apostle Paul (Romans 1:32, NIV).

Fuller Theological Seminary, where I earned my Master of Divinity degree in 1979, has officially sanctioned a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) student group on campus. They are the first evangelical seminary to sanction and support ...

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Why Young People Leave the Church

Why Young People Leave the Church

When I see an article about millennials, generation Xers or young people in general leaving the church, I prepare myself for another round of ‘bash-the-bride’ As a lifelong church-lover, I brace myself for harsh judgment. The criticisms I read, offered under the pretense of caring about the condition of Jesus’ church (his bride), are usually stereotypes that our secular culture stamps on the church.

I detest stereotyping certain races, as if the race is responsible ...

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Gratitude ‘El Zorrillo’ Style!

Gratitude ‘El Zorrillo’ Style!

I felt the full power of human gratitude worshipping with the El Zorrillo Church of Christ in Baja, Mexico, on July 10, 2013. It was expressed in a language foreign to me, but I got it. Gratitude transcends language. Culture too!

I was one of twelve visitors from my home church who came to Mexico to build a new house for a needy family of five belonging to the the El Zorillo congregation. We were part ...

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“Vive la Difference!”

“Vive la Difference!”

Bold contrast can evoke great wonder. Sameness, on the other hand, can be boring.

Music is built around contrast. Holding one note hardly qualifies as music, let alone as beautiful. Music needs ups and downs, ins and outs and many orderly variations of timing and sound to be good. The Bible resonates with this. Speaking of music, Paul praised “distinction in the tones.” (1 Corinthians 14:7).

The awesome power of electricity is based in contrast. No polarity, ...

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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 ...
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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, ...

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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 ...

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America’s First Lady!

America’s First Lady!

She was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a riverboat engineer and his musician wife in 1898. She learned to love music and wanted to teach it. In 1918, a voice contest intercepted her and sent her on an amazing journey through Chicago, New York, and Hollywood.

Near the end of her journey, in 1985, Irene Marie Dunne (1898 – 1990) was awarded the highest possible honor bestowed upon a performing artist for her contributions to ...

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