Dorothy was afraid of the forest, its unknowns, its wild beasts. Her apprehensions on the road to Oz have become a household refrain: “Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!” However frightened Dorothy may have been, only one of those beasts seems now to threaten our livelihood. In our economic crisis, media moguls whine loudly, “Bears and bears and more bears! Oh, my!” Their opining comes all too close to home. The bear market seems to be almost more than we can bear.
Posted January 14, 2009 By
Approximately half of my sixteen years of teaching theology has been spent at Westminster. Prior to that, I was on faculty at two secular universities in the UK. The obvious question, therefore, is why did I make the move, at least in the eyes of the wider world, from being a mainstream academic to being a seminary professor, with all of the sectarian connotations that can have? And why did I bring my wife and children across the Atlantic, thousands of miles from family, friends, and all that is familiar, to do so?
Posted January 26, 2009 By
“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” So tout 800 British bus billboards, funded by the British Humanist Association and the pope of atheism, Richard Dawkins. The atheistic campaign, which notably did not have the courage to exclude the word “probably,” weighed the evidence and concluded that society in all probability couldn’t handle the bald proposition “There is no God.” But as The New York Times writer Ruth Gledhill noted in her Jan. 6, 2009 article, campaign organizers were shocked by the influx of resources to their campaign, as they raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few days.
Posted February 2, 2009 By
There was a day when I liked the sea. That day has come and gone. Don’t get me wrong. I still love to walk on the beach. I love to watch the waves. I am compelled by the majestic “signals of transcendence” (to co-opt a Peter Berger phrase), which propel my mind God-ward before the immense ocean and its teeming life, as it is set against a horizon extending beyond the eyes’ reach. But it would take a presidential-sized stimulus package to convince me to get on a boat in the Pacific...
Posted March 9, 2009 By
Some months ago, I wrote a short piece for the e-zine, Reformation 21, about the tendency of Reformed Christians over the last twenty or so years to be rather embarrassed about their heritage and to be continually fretting about whether they are relevant or not...Well, if Time magazine is to be believed, the worrier children can stop wringing their hands...
Posted March 16, 2009 By
"...at the start of the twenty-first century, docetism is back, but with a new twist. It is not Christ who has only the appearance of humanity; rather it is human beings themselves. Newsweek ran a fascinating article on the web sensation, Second Life where people create avatars, or virtual characters, and live out their lives in virtual reality. The phenomenon is fascinating for a variety of reasons..."
Posted April 17, 2009 By
In 2006, lawyer Michael J. Kline informed two of the brand managers for Coca-Cola Classic that they could sue their own company's Coca-Cola Zero brand. What ensued was an unprecedented reality TV-styled marketing campaign. In “Candid Camera” like settings, two actors, posing as Coke Classic brand managers seek to establish the case that the sugarless Coke Zero tastes so much like the Real Coke Classic that they have a legitimate intellectual property suit. The charge? “Taste infringement.” In a number of mildly humorous to quite hilarious encounters, attorneys are captured on tape, with responses ranging from stumbling nonsensical utterances to verbal aggression.
Posted May 26, 2009 By
Blogging is not a sin. No, really. It’s not. No commandment says “Thou shalt not blog,” and good and necessary consequence doesn’t place blogging on par with pornography. Real Christians really blog, but sad to say, much of this blogging doesn’t look really Christian. With thanks to technology and the hankering to be heard, blogging has found its place, and is indeed morphing into its own accepted, self-propagating, self-attesting genre of the written word. But by its very nature it’s unique. It has none of the editorial, marketing, and vetting protections of other published formats.
Posted June 5, 2009 By
Most Reformed people probably do not think of themselves as catholic. Now, there is a sense in which that is correct: if you are a member of the Reformed, then, by definition, you are not a member of the Roman Catholic Church. At least, if you are, and the minister or the priest finds out about it, you are going to be in some considerable trouble. Yet there is also a sense in which Reformed people are catholics. To be catholic, after all, really only means to be part of the one great communion of saints, of all those who call upon Christ for salvation and who are entrusted with the faith once for all delivered to the saints...
Posted June 30, 2009 By
No experience in my life has elicited greater heart-sickness than witnessing the AIDS orphans in South Africa…helpless, unclothed children, walking the dirty hillsides, wandering aimlessly, scrounging for food, living only to die. For the estimated 3.5 million such orphans in South Africa, there exists neither home nor hope...
Posted September 16, 2009 By
Crisis in preaching is as much a crisis in the doctrine of God and of Scripture as it is in confidence in the means of communication; indeed, the crisis in the latter is surely a function of a decline in the former two points.
A sound doctrine of God and a solid doctrine of Scripture are critical. Also, a careful study of the movement of preaching from Moses to the close of the apostolic era is surely a very useful exercise.
Posted November 5, 2009 By