Culture and Contemporary Issues


A Brief Note on Knowing and Humility

Epistemic humility is not the same thing as epistemic relativism. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. To have “epistemic humility’ is to admit that our knowledge is limited because our perspective is limited. Paul says, “We know in part…we see through a glass darkly” (1 Cor 13:12). We really do know (true knowledge), even if … Continue reading A Brief Note on Knowing and Humility

Techno-Skepticism

The discoverer of an art is not the best judge of the good or harm which will accrue to those who practice it. – Socrates In Plato’s book, The Phaedrus, Socrates shares the story of a conversation between the Egyptian King Thamus and Theuth, the god responsible for countless inventions. Theuth showcases his inventions to Thamus before showing him … Continue reading Techno-Skepticism

Coram Homine: An Ethic of the Face

In 1984, Soviet Russia was waging war in Afghanistan, leading millions of Afghan refugees to flee into neighboring Pakistan. A young, 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, a Pashtun orphan had fled to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Steve McMurray, a photographer working for National Geographic, was walking through the refugee camp when he … Continue reading Coram Homine: An Ethic of the Face

Coram Deo: A Theology of the Face

Face as Presence In the Bible often the word for “face” is a metonymy for “presence.” Frequently our English translations actually translate the Hebrew and Greek terms for face (פָּנֶה, panėh; πρόσωπον, prosōpon) just with the word “presence”. For example, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the … Continue reading Coram Deo: A Theology of the Face

A Whimper, Not a Bang

“This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper,” – T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men How will the pandemic end? Will it be with a “bang” or a “whimper”? Will there be a definitive moment where the sun will shine through the clouds, trumpets blast and the masses emerge … Continue reading A Whimper, Not a Bang

The (Ignored) Slippery Slope

If you are unfamiliar with the term, a “slippery slope” is an informal fallacy that asserts “that a proposed, relatively small, first action will inevitably lead to a chain of related events resulting in a significant and negative event and, therefore, should not be permitted.” For an example, here is the always incisive Dilbert: In … Continue reading The (Ignored) Slippery Slope

The Purpose and Limits of Government

If Christians are to submit themselves to the governing authorities per Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, if Jesus Himself submitted Himself to governing authorities and taught others to do likewise with His “render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s” comment, then is there any scenario where the government can ask Christians to do something … Continue reading The Purpose and Limits of Government

A “Steel-Man” Argument to Resist the Vaccine Mandate

A few weeks ago I wrote an article on what Christians should do in response to vaccine mandates, looking specifically at Matthew 5:38-42 and leaning heavily on Mathew Henry, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. From that post I concluded three basic conclusions for Christians under the vaccine mandate: If receiving the vaccine would … Continue reading A “Steel-Man” Argument to Resist the Vaccine Mandate

Good Diversity, Bad Diversity

God has decided that He would display His creativity through making many different kinds of people: gender, ethnicity, age, etc. Image bearers are a diverse people. But God’s image is not the only source of diversity in humanity. Sin also affects us all uniquely leading to a diversity of depravity. Some people’s sins look different … Continue reading Good Diversity, Bad Diversity

Bavinck on the Gift of Art

Art…is a wonderful gift from God. Just as the Lord Himself is not truth and holiness alone but also glory, and one who spreads the beauty of His name abroad over all His works, so it is He, too, who by His Spirit equips the artists with wisdom and understanding and knowledge in all manner … Continue reading Bavinck on the Gift of Art

I am We, You are They: A New Credo

In the ever-dissolving acids of our postmodern days we have certainly arrived at an ironically unexpected place, a place where I am We and You are They. In one sense, the subjective individualism we usually associate with PoMo is alive and well. If “your truth” tells you something that is contrary to “my truth,” so … Continue reading I am We, You are They: A New Credo

What does the Bible Say About Racism and Social Justice?

There are few issues more controversial and polarizing than the issues of race, racism, and social justice today. This is particularly divisive in the Church where battle lines have been drawn with each side accusing the other of perverting the gospel, capitulating to societal pressures and worldliness. Any attempt at nuance and thoughtfulness results in … Continue reading What does the Bible Say About Racism and Social Justice?

Justice Needs a Foundation

In 2009, a thirteen story building in Shanghai was about to open up to the 500 residents who had already rented out each apartment. The builders, however, had poured a shoddy foundation and began to dig a large pit right next to the building for a parking garage. After a rainy day eroded much of … Continue reading Justice Needs a Foundation

Skip Church? Consider the Cost

*I know, I know, Covid. If you are forced to stay home because of medical complications, the Lord understands. Hebrews 10:24-25 refers to willful neglect of missing church on Sunday; being forced to stay home because of medical reason does not necessarily mean you are breaking this commandment. But, if you are healthy and are … Continue reading Skip Church? Consider the Cost

Can We Sing?

I am a pastor. I am not a scientist, I am not a doctor. I took “zero” classes on epidemiology or respiratory infections in seminary. Below is a summary of findings from academic journals or articles published by research universities on the science behind the risks of singing indoors in a Covid-19 world. But, because … Continue reading Can We Sing?

Cancel Church? A Puritan Reflection

Richard Baxter was a puritan pastor and theologian in England in the seventeenth century. He lived through the Great Ejection by the Church of England where the state abusively expelled about 2500 ministers across England who refused to conform to the new Anglican liturgical orders. Baxter was forced out of his pulpit against his own … Continue reading Cancel Church? A Puritan Reflection

The Peculiar Assembly

What is the Church? Is it a denomination? A hierarchy of old guys in funny hats? Is it a building? A liturgy? Is it a club? Is it a set of traditions, values, or political commitments? Hopefully the answer to those questions seem transparently obvious–No. A Mostly Right Answer But what about this: the Church … Continue reading The Peculiar Assembly

Why You Can’t Have Church Online

Churches around the world have had to make very difficult decisions in the past week due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Out of love for neighbor (Matt 22:39) and a desire to obey the governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7), many churches (ours included) have temporarily suspended their Sunday services, small groups, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and so … Continue reading Why You Can’t Have Church Online

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