Eschatology can make or break a nation. Our worldview has practical ramifications on our nation. Thinking the goal of the Christian life is more souls in heaven has a particular result in the here and now. Thinking the goal of the Christian life is to have more heaven on earth will have another result in the here and now. The power of the Kingdom to affect our world depends upon where we put it. If the Kingdom of God is where we go when we die, or waiting in our post-rapture life, then it does not do much for society now.
But if we are already seated in heavenly places with the ascended Christ, then Continue reading Rethinking The End Times
Christian culture is shifting in a myriad of ways to embrace the idea that the Gospel is bigger than personal salvation. We are beginning to see that its scale encompasses institutions, cities, and nations.
We are not talking about The Church swallowing up these spheres, but that God cares about nations. His truth is not confined to how we do church and how we live our individual lives but expands to how nations function. We are not looking to create, or at least we ought not be looking to create, another Christendom, but an expansion of the Kingdom into all spheres of society. There is a difference. Continue reading A New Reformation
The evangelical vernacular has adopted and old word “Reformation.” For many our thoughts immediately go to The Protestant Reformation. We think of Martin Luther and the 95 Theses being nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church in what would become the nation of Germany. This history is not only church history, but world history. The world changed through The Reformation. It did so because biblical theology came to bear on the practical world of institutions.
Today the term is used in conjunction with the historical meaning, but we are no longer talking about a protest, but a return to an integrated truth. The Church has been crying out for revival, asking the Lord to heal our nation. But we have not been applying the Continue reading What is Reformation?
Jesus said that the world will know that we are His by the way that we vote. Jesus said He would one day separate the elephants from the donkeys. Anyone with any Bible knowledge at all will recognize the blatant misquotes above, but now I have your attention.
The Bible gives us theology for nations, government, law, justice, etc. However, the Kingdom is neither synonymous with a particular nation nor a repudiation of all nations into one big globe.
The Bible provides the theology for nations. The Kingdom provides the supernatural power to reform nations to the reality of heaven. It brings the transformative power of truth to the natural undiscipled infrastructure of a nation. The Kingdom of God does not just heal a sick person, but also a sick institution or nation. Continue reading Biblical Theology of Nations
I have loved American history since I was a child. Preserving the stability of my nation is a deep passion of mine. America is my homeland. In so doing, I wish to address a topic that we face today in modern theology. There are always ditches on either side of truth.
One ditch is to equate all things Christian with all things American. When we do this, we make America the center of God’s plan and its strength or weakness the barometer of our end time theology. Doing so creates fear at elections, and at the moral climate of our nation for we think it directly tied to God’s count-down to the end of the world as we know it. We tend to spiritualize everything to the extent where we are uncertain where politics end and Christianity begins. The two get so intertwined and lost in each other that we equate our Christianity with a political party making the “other party” not Christian in comparison. We are then judged, not by our works, but by our votes.
Now here is the rub. There is a ditch on the other side. Continue reading America, Christianity, and Avoiding the Ditches
Facebook is not real. It does not give us a real picture of real life. It is manufactured. It is an imitation of socializing. It provides a false sense of community. It provides a daily dose of drama. It can also provide amusement, social networking, and helpful information. But it often takes more than it gives.
Topics of great import fade away as quickly as a summer thunderstorm. They clamor for attention with mighty displays of hype and drama only to be replaced by the next storm unleashing its fury against our walls. One day it is threats of missiles from North Korea, the next day it is the war in the Ukraine, then it is the horrific acts of ISIS, then it is the sale of baby parts by Planned Parenthood, then it is Cecil the Lion, then bathroom laws, then a Gorilla takes center stage for a few days. Now it’s Orlando and with it the hotly debated Second Amendment. As each matter demands our attention the last one fades into obscurity. Continue reading Breaking Free of Facebook
If we all thought the same way, we would be in trouble. When we are free to think for ourselves, we are free to think poorly as well as rightly. We are free to think sideways, backwards, or not at all. If we are not free to think worse, we are not free to think better.
When I watch debates raging across social media, I think we have all gone mad. We seldom debate to reach truth. We debate to dominate and stamp out the opposition. I’m free to share my opinion, but your opinion should not exist. This is proven when we are angry at someone for saying something we interpret as stupid. Continue reading Why Are We All Arguing?
During the political season it is easy to adopt an us versus them mentality. Such a mentality leads to polarized thinking where “we” are the good guys and “they” are the bad guys. All “their” ideas are hogwash and all of “our” ideas are the hallmark of wisdom. Soon the ideas themselves are sacrificed to the greater cause of party politics. We demonize the “other” and glorify the one we identify as the only wise choice.
Though in this political season, some feel that no one candidate is the wise choice and all are sorely lacking as leaders. Regardless, when all the dust settles one of these candidates will be chosen as President. The one that is chosen will need to be respected as President.
On one hand, this political season has brought voters out of the woodwork and interest in the political process has soared compared to what has been normal. This is a very good thing. America needs her citizens to be interested and invested in the political process. The Republic is strengthened the more citizens become active participants in choosing their representatives. Continue reading Religion & American Politics
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” We know these famous words from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address given in 1961.
When a nation has lost trust in its governing body, and when corruption, self-interest, and economic concerns bear down on an overwrought citizenry, it is easy to cast all the responsibility to course correct forward onto a new leader. When we think all of our nation’s troubles are the result of a misguided President, it is natural to think that a different person, a more right person, can be our knight in shining armor.
What we are witnessing is the convergence, the maturation of the choices throughout decades of American history. What we feel to be the sudden conspiratorial success of secret hidden agendas, is merely the culmination of the natural progress, or rather regress, of civic, governmental, and religious worldviews. Continue reading What Can I Do?
Seldom do we live on purpose. It’s like we have gotten use to the idea of being receivers of whatever comes our way instead of initiators of our own lives. We see ourselves as always playing defense. We talk of playing offense, and maybe take an offensive position from time to time, but do we ever consider we do not have to be responders at all?
Of course, we respond to God. But in life we do not need to always be the one preparing to defend against or attack an opponent. While there is a time for each of these, a constant position of defense or attack will wear us out. Our job is to initiate the Kingdom from a place of victory. Consider Jesus.
The disciples were in a boat with Jesus. A storm raged with strong wind and waves assaulting their fishing boat. The waves were breaking over the boat. All the while, Jesus slept in the back of the boat. Afraid, the disciples woke Jesus and asked if he cared if they drowned. Rising, Jesus spoke to the wind and water, commanding them to be still. The storm abated at his words and he turned and asked the disciples why they were so afraid and questioned their continued lack of faith.
Jesus did not take a defensive or offensive posture against the storm until the disciples peace of mind necessitated his rebuking of the storm. He simply slept and let it rage. It was not going to hurt him or the boat. He was of a Kingdom that could not be shaken. No matter the natural assault brought by the storm, Jesus, and those with Him, were safe. Continue reading The Peace that Calms Storms