Culture and Contemporary Issues


Love Your Neighbor, Politically

But the greatest hope, of course, comes by holding forward the gospel and praying for God to transform hearts so that enemies become brothers, sinners become saints, and the heart is transformed by the Holy Spirit, not merely restrained by the sword of the State.

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…

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. – SocratesIn 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 what…

40 Questions for Pro-Lifers Who Lament the SCOTUS Decision

Perhaps you have seen posts on Facebook since the Supreme Court decision, Dobbs v. Jackson, that run something like this: “I am not pro-choice myself, but this is a tragedy for women’s rights.” I have personally seen a number of people who would identify as “pro-life” but who have gone out of their way to…

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…

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…

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…

Civil Disobedience for Calvinists

I have spent the past month or so writing about how Christians should respond to the covid vaccine mandate set to take effect any day now. This blog represents my final thoughts on the matter and have been where I have been wanting to go all along, but first needed to make some qualifications and…

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…

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…

Are Vaccine Mandates Unconstitutional?

In my previous article I wrote a summary of what I thought were the strongest arguments for a Christian resisting the vaccine mandate. I have argued elsewhere that aside from issues of conscience and health, if a Christian is under the vaccine mandate they should consent and be vaccinated. Many people helpfully responded that they…

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…

Social Media is Dangerous For Your Soul

Social media platforms do not care about what is good, true, or beautiful–all they care about is engagement. They want to curate content that is perfectly tailored to our own tastes so that we will spend as much time as possible on their platform. When you hop on Instagram or Facebook, you aren’t seeing the…

What Should Christians Do About Vaccine Mandates?

If the government requires you to be vaccinated for you to continue working at your job, what should you do as a Christian? While everything having to do with covid/vaccines/masks/mandates has always been controversial, the new mandate taking effect very soon has put many Christians into an even more tense and divisive spot. What are…

Your Church Livestream Isn’t Neutral

On these shows, the preacher is tops. God comes out as second banana.Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. 117 Neil Postman wrote his classic, prophetic work, Amusing Ourselves to Death, a jeremiad on the consequences of television on American society, over 35 years ago. He details how TV has permanently altered not only how…

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…

Gender Roles Aren’t Just True, but Good

One doesn’t need to be an expert in cultural analysis to recognize that there is a growing hostility towards any notion of traditional gender roles in society. The recent centralization on stories of abuse and oppression have made all of us highly sensitized to stories of individuals (and groups) with power who have used their…

The Power of “Science” in Forming Our Beliefs

In Carl R. Trueman’s seminal work, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, he details how various thinkers over the last four hundred years have shaped how we currently form our identities. In one chapter titled, “The Emergence of Plastic People” he examines how the works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Charles Darwin…

How to Be Less Stupid About Difficult Things

We have all been deeply influenced by the medium of the internet. Whether or not you are a denizen of the world wide web, the digital ecosystem has affected the vast majority of people in our wider culture. So, even if you don’t use social media, don’t have a smartphone, and don’t read the news…

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…

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…

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…

Authority Abused (Mark 6:12-30)

Originally written in April, 2020 “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings…

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…

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…

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…

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Government

The Old Testament book of Daniel is famous for portraying human government doing wicked things! What could it tell us about the goodness of government? The fact that Daniel and his three friends are willing to work within the Babylonian courts is itself instructive. These are men who, quite literally, are willing to die before…

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…

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…

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…

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Use the search form to search the site.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.