• Engage

    “Locker-Room Banter”: A Teachable Moment

    The candidate for the US presidency who has received the most enthusiastic support from evangelicals made the following comments, which were leaked recently from a 2005 conversation in which he was talking with a member of the media: "I moved on her like a [vulgar use of term for female dog], and I could not get there, and she was married. And all the sudden I see her and she's got the big phony [vulgar word for breasts], she's totally changed her look." "I'll admit it. I did try to f***her. She was married … and I moved on her very heavily." "I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I…

  • Poison Corrosive
    Impact

    A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

    “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). The word “infamy” is defined by Dictionary.com as “extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act”. Thus one year ago today, June 26th, 2015, the day the Supreme Court of the United States declared that homosexuals had a Constitutional right to marry, is a date of infamy. The Court based their decision upon… well… upon philosophic talk that was devoid of wisdom. After all, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7, NIV 1984). The word “fools” describes…

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    Some Deep Thoughts about San Andreas

    It’s a disaster movie designed to be a roller coaster ride–the kind of scary fun you expect from summer blockbusters. Not quite a Spielberg roller coaster, but still, pretty intense, with a story of family reconciliation to boot.   My original title for the post was going to be “San Andreas: There is no thoughtful cultural commentary to offer on this movie. Just have fun.”    But even insurance companies acknowledge that earthquakes are "acts of God,"  so it's natural to see a link between earthquakes and earthquake movies and God. But first, the movie…  Unlike the 70’s disaster movies–Earthquake/Poseidon Adventure/Towering Inferno–the San Andreas disaster isn’t a quick prelude to a long, drawn…

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    Lent 101: Five Suggestions

    “What are you giving up for Lent?” For many Protestants, our only knowledge of Lent is what we perceive as excessive asceticism on the part of other Christians, often preceded by binging on Mardi Gras. We connect the season only with “giving up” something. Because today is Mardi Gras, I propose that we take a closer look. Just because some people abuse a spiritual practice, does that warrant our dismissing it altogether? “Mardi Gras” means “Fat Tuesday.” And Fat Tuesday precedes Ash Wednesday, which happens tomorrow and which marks the beginning of Lent—the forty-day season leading up to Easter. On Ash Wednesday participants receive ashes on their foreheads as a…

  • Impact

    “Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!” An Autobiography

    Journal excerpt 2012: “Do I look like a Christian? If I’m a follower of Christ, then why is my life so compromised? Why is there so much sin, so much fear, so little faith? Dare I stand up and identify myself with Christ? Will I not shame Him and shame myself?” I was beginning to doubt my own salvation. Everywhere I turned I saw flashing lights and warning signals. “Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5).   I’m not…

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    Cleaning up, again!

    It’s that time again. Monday, trash day. This week it fell my job to roll our large trash bin to the curb anticipating an early morning visit from the rumbling truck with it’s robotic arms ready to clasp my trash to it’s bosom. I had just been reading about spiritual disciplines and the ancient practice called “Examen of Conscience.” As I journeyed out the driveway rolling my trash bin I was struck with some amazing parallels. Every week, without fail, we clear out the wastebaskets, kitchen garbage, and other unnecessary things around the house dumping them with abandon, ready for our faithful garbage collectors. But I wonder, am I as…

  • Impact

    “The Confessions of St. Augustine” (A Conservative Christian Goes to College, part 18)

    “Whom could I find to reconcile me to you? Was I to seek the help of angels? By what prayer, what sacraments? Many people in their attempts to return to you and not being able to do so by their own strength have, so I hear, tried this way and have fallen into a desire for strange visions and have become, rightly, the victim of delusions…. They were seeking a mediator through whom to become clean, but this was not he. It was the devil” – “The Confessions of St. Augustine”, Book X, Chapter 42.[1] World Religions Class. It was time for our book reviews to be presented in front…

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    Turn to Jesus, Tiger

    Yesterday, Fox News commentator and analyst Brit Hume became the news  with his delightfully provocative comments about and to scandalized über-golfer Tiger Woods, which instantly showed up in places like an entertainment “news” show and in several YouTube videos. “Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think, is a very open question, and it’s a tragic situation. He’s lost his family; it’s not clear to me whether he’ll be able to have a relationship with his children, but the Tiger Woods that emerges, once the news value dies out of this scandal, the extent to which he can recover, it seems to…