Friday, July 19, 2019

Justice and Reparations: Personal Responsibility vs. Inherited Guilt

While not one of the biggest stories in America, the contentious issue of reparations for the enslavement of people of African descent has been receiving some attention this year. The concept has been explored a number of times in the past but has never served as anything more than a way to attack opponents as being racist. It has never had a hope of being seriously considered or passed into law, and it stands no chance now, either. It did not happen when Barack Obama was President and the Democrats had near supermajorities in both houses of Congress in 2009-2010. Why it should be successful in 2019, with Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of the Senate, is something none of its proponents can explain. They do not seek to explain it. It is a club for hitting enemies with, not a policy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

According to Mark: The Purpose of Parables

The heart of Jesus’ teaching is found in His parables. These stories use mundane elements to tell spiritual truths, but not usually so that the connection is obvious. It takes work to understand them, and a willingness to seek out the answers. This is the primary lesson to discover in Mark 4:1–34, one of the largest blocks of the Lord’s teaching in this gospel. We want to be sure we have “ears to hear” (Mark 4:9, 23).

Friday, July 12, 2019

Finding Repair: A Life Lesson in Auto Care

Have you ever had a leaky tire plugged? I had that done a few weeks ago and was struck by the imagery of it. A short while beforehand, I had noticed that one of my tires was looking a little flat. It wasn’t by much, not as if I was riding on the rims, but enough that I could see that bit of widening at the bottom.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

According to Mark: The Family of God

Diving right into our continuing study in the Gospel of Mark, this entry focuses on Mark 3:7–35. Mark begins this particular passage by recapitulating the Lord’s power to heal and liberate the suffering. He is still attracting a large following, which has grown to include people from a wide geographical extent. And this, most likely, explains why He decides to introduce a leadership structure into His movement.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

American Freedom and Christian Liberty

I’m taking a break from my normal publication schedule to make sure this article gets out on Independence Day itself. I have made a habit of saying that for Americans, Thanksgiving is our most religious holiday. That is certainly true, but we must never forget that today is also closely tied to faith. Christians who live in this country should be mindful of how our beliefs have shaped this nation and its liberties. We should also appreciate how those liberties protect our right to believe.