The views expressed here are provided as a resource for furthering culturally-engaged leadership through theologically-informed reflection about every aspect of contemporary life. Neither Union University nor The Institute for Intellectual Discipleship necessarily endorse the content expressed in this blog. The content of each entry solely reflects the view of its author.
May 22, 2013 -
Political “conservatives” (i.e., those who love mammon more than God) are fond of pointing out that Americans are increasingly a society of takers - a people who view themselves as being entitled to be on the receiving end of coerced generosity (i.e., government tax dollars). To whatever extent such sweeping claims about societal grasping are true, the realities to which they point (again, if true) should not be surprising.
The decline of traditional marriage (i.e., husband, wife, children) in our culture is well-documented. Everything from divorce, indefinite cohabitation, deliberately childless marriages, and same-sex partnerships have eroded our cultural capacity to apprehend what marriage is for. What has not been sufficiently appreciated is the relationship between this particular form of social or moral decay and the purported economic one.
The relationship is simple. Among other things, marriage is a means by which Go... read more
May 7, 2013 -
Theological glosses are woefully inadequate justifications for Evangelicalism’s on-going technophilia. Nonetheless, they don’t seem to be going out of fashion. Consider, for example, this quotation from Shane Hipps, author of Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith: “Christianity is fundamentally a communication event. It is God revealing God’s self to the world. And God uses a large variety of media to accomplish that revelation.” Appearing as it does as an epigraph to the introductory chapter of a recent book, the comment serves to bolster the 21st century understanding of the Great (techno)-Commission: “Go ye therefore into all the world and leverage technology, tweeting in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to like all things whatsoever I have commanded you to p... read more
March 11, 2013 -
Commenting on New York’s impending restriction on container size for sugary drinks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday, “all we’re doing in New York is reminding you that it’s not in your interest to have too many empty calories.” Bloomberg went on to explain that “what government’s trying to do is to inform you that if you’re overweight and you have all these empty calories and you keep eating, that your health is going to suffer and you’re going to live a not as healthy and a shorter life.”
Without a doubt, it is a role of the state to seek the common good. As a matter of philosophical necessity, given the fallen nature of human beings, this will inevitably require that the individual liberty of some must, at times, be restricted for the sake of the well-being of the whole.... read more
February 14, 2013 -
According to recent research by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, attitudes toward same-sex marriage in the US have been changing over the past decade. In short, moral opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage appears to be eroding. The Pew data shows that this shift is occurring in almost every demographic sector. It is particular pronounced among the young. And evangelicals are not immune to the declination.
For some, the eventual complete embrace of homosexual behavior as a morally legitimate way of life is inevitable. These “optimists” imagine a future in which objection to homosexual behavior will seem as backward and as morally reprehensible as advocating for slavery. Thus, like read more
November 21, 2012 -
Those who explicitly reject the Gospel often grasp its demands more clearly than those who eagerly receive it. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor calls attention to this truth through the actions and words of a murderous nihilist called “the Misfit.” In the story’s climactic scene, the Misfit speaks frankly to his next victim - a self-centered grandmother whose half-hearted attachment to Christianity is rooted in its perceived socio-economic utility. The Misfit: “Jesus thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can - by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him.”
Quite provocatively, the Misfit articulates the sense in which Jesus came not &ldquo... read more