Archives For Evangelicalism

In an incredible change of development, Bill Cosby could get away with rape. Allegedly, over the course of the last 50 years, Cosby has drugged and raped over 50 women. But a recent story came out claiming that Bill Cosby admitted to using sedatives to drug women back in 2005, but was promised by the prosecutor that it would never be used against him in court, and there is an email to prove this agreement. It is very likely that his confession, as well as any evidence gathered as a result of that confession, will not be allowed in court. If this turns out to be true Bill Cosby could go free. If the allegations are true, I can’t help but wonder what those women would go through if he ends up getting away with it.

martin-luther-king-mug-shotDealing with injustice is one of the most difficult things for people to go through. This situation with Bill Cosby is only one example of injustice out of a multitude this week alone. In celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day yesterday, we were reminded yet again about the injustice he faced and that he exposed the injustice millions faced through the evil of American slavery. Later this week hundreds of thousands will be invading the streets of Washington D.C. to participate in the March For Life and protest the Roe v. Wade decision. Millions of babies have since been killed and their murderers, instead of being locked up in jail for selfishly and callously murdering their babies, are not only free, but applauded for their decisions, and given a platform to encourage others to do so as well.

How do we deal with all of this? How do we think about injustice in the world? Here are six thoughts I need to remind myself with in order to deal with terrible injustice.

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Marriage is a huge responsibility. It is the opportunity to display a picture of the Gospel to the entire world. In Ephesians chapter 5, after speaking about the sacrificial love a husband should have for his wife, Paul concludes by telling the reader that marriage is an opportunity to display a picture of the Gospel to the entire world. A husband is called to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. Now, most husbands fail miserably within seconds of saying “I do”, and that’s why most healthy churches surround each young man with godly accountability.

Over the past few years of being involved in weddings, we have regularly had a “Bachelor Grilling hot seatParty”. While there is certainly meat involved, the grilling has less to do with animals and more to do with the bachelor. The idea is that you bring in as many godly people in the room as possible, and after a time of fellowship, you sit the guy front and center in the hot seat and allow everyone to give him advice and challenge him to think rightly about his marriage. Of course this doesn’t replace pre-marital counseling, but I believe this can be a very encouraging and challenging time for everyone involved. Here are 7 benefits of having a “Bachelor Grilling Party”.

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In a previous post, we looked to the seventy Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards as an example of an eternal and God-glorifying perspective that all believers ought to emulate. They are an especially helpful reminder at the beginning of a new year, when everyone is thinking about the resolutions they will make for the upcoming weeks and months.

But let’s be honest. A list of spiritual goals compiled by one of church history’s greatest heroes can be a bit intimidating, especially when there are seventy of them. When we make similar resolutions — and later fail to keep them — it can be downright discouraging to compare ourselves to someone like Jonathan Edwards.

Well, here’s a nugget of encouragement for you. Even a notable Puritan theologian like Edwards struggled to keep his resolutions.

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Every December it seems, there is some kind of story that comes out about Jesus. In a story that has now gone viral, British scientists, assisted by Israeli archaeologists, have used “Forensic Anthropology” to show us exactly what Jesus looked like. To America’s shock he’s neither white nor black, he looks like, wait for it, someone born in Israel. While this has caused many people to strong reactionsjesus, “discoveries” like these cause true believers to chuckle in amusement.

With recent movies about Noah, Moses, the Bible series and so on, Hollywood is banking on the world’s fascination with depicting Biblical content on the screen. People everywhere seem to be dying to get their eyes on what Bible stories look like. And while I understand the desire to know exactly what Jesus looked like, and to be able to experience Old Testament times, I think that the Bible would not only say that it is not necessary, but it would go as far to say that we are better off for not seeing. Here are three quick reasons why we are better off without any likeness of heavenly things.

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There are a lot of Santa Claus stories floating around this time of year. Almost all of them are completely based in fantasy. Flying reindeer; a sleigh full of gifts; precarious chimney climbing; a fluffy red suit — all of that is total fiction.

But when my kids used to ask me, “Dad, is Santa Claus real?” I didn’t always say “No.” At least not right away.

(Pause for dramatic effect.)


Like any good student of church history, I explained that the real “Santa Claus” was actually a fourth-century pastor named Nicholas of Myra who was later considered a saint by the medieval Roman Catholic Church. He was a favorite of Dutch sailors who called him, “Sinter Klaas” (or “Saint Nicholas”) which then came into English as “Santa Claus.”

Of course, I was careful to point out that the modern American version of Saint Nicholas bears absolutely no resemblance to the fourth-century pastor from Asia Minor. The real Nicholas did not live in the North Pole. He was not Scandinavian. He did not drive a team of magical caribou. He did not work with elves. Nor did he travel the world every Christmas Eve exchanging presents for milk and cookies. Continue Reading…

xmas blocks

I’m all for putting Christ back in Christmas. And there is no doubt that our secularized culture is working hard at surreptitiously ushering the Baby out, without losing the murky bathwater of gift-giving and commercial celebration. But I’d like to address the misinformed concern that the use of “Xmas” as a placeholder for “Christmas” is part of the conspiracy to excise Christ from his holiday.

First, Christmas is not a biblical holiday. There are no New Covenant feast days; besides communion there is no recurring remembrance that is mandated. The Catholics came up with the Christ Mass feast, and global retailers and consumers alike hopped on the bandwagon. So, if Jesus becomes as absent to the secular mindset from Christmastime as he is from Halloween, there is no loss to the New Covenant.

Second, and this is my main point, using “X” to replace “Christ” is not necessarily an indication of anything sinister. I have used Xmas and Christmas interchangeably with a clear conscience ever since learning about the history of its usage.

Some Christians shun the use of Xmas.

In an interview Franklin Graham opined on behalf of evangelicalism:

For us as Christians, this is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They’re happy to say merry Xmas. Let’s just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.”


This, I believe, is an understandable but unnecessary overreaction.

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December 15, 2015

What Would Jesus Do?

by Nathan Busenitz

wwjdReaching the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s, the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” used to be the de facto slogan of mainstream American evangelicalism. (Remember the bracelets and wristbands?) And although its prevalence has declined in recent years, a quick internet search reveals that WWJD remains a popular motto.

You can still find the famous acronym emblazoned on a wide array of available paraphernalia: from the expected forms of share-wear (like bracelets, t-shirts, and buttons) to more-surprising curiosities (like baby onesies and pacifiers). There are WWJD books, booklets, bumper stickers, mugs, key chains, and cell phone cases. There are even several films: the 2010 original, and two sequels.

Yet, despite the continuing popularity of this evangelical catchphrase, I doubt the majority of American Christians have ever seriously evaluated whether or not the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” is a biblically-valid mechanism for everyday decision-making.

Upon closer examination, I would suggest that WWJD—at least in terms of its popular application today—is often less than helpful, and sometimes downright dangerous. Continue Reading…

Pope Francis, in a sermon preached in front of many Muslims at a mosque in the Central African Republic, expressed very clearly his thoughts about Islam. He said that Muslims are our brothers and sisters. Later that day he posted this on Twitter:

It is time for born-again Christians to come to grips with the fact that this man worships a different God. Continue Reading…

This week Karen Swallow Prior, part of the Southern Baptist “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission,” wrote an article for Christianity Today called “Loving our Pro-Choice Neighbors.” She appealed for Christians to be more loving to those who practice abortion, and one practical example she gave was that we should stop referring to abortion as murder.

Here are her words:

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Today is December 1. That means there are only 25 days until Christmas.

Visit your local coffee shop, take a trip to the mall, or just drive through your neighborhood at night, and it’s easy to see that the so-called “Christmas spirit” is alive and well in American culture.

Some of the ironies of our culture’s fascination with Christmas are especially evident where I live in Southern California.

• It hasn’t snowed in Los Angeles in years, but snowflake decorations are everywhere.

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