In becoming president of a seminary that specializes and focuses on apologetics, I am just moving from front-line combat to a training command, helping to prepare the next generation of green berets and paratroopers for the Lord's army. I fervently believe apologetics is the way we will spell Christian evangelism, missions, and discipleship in the 21st century.
As an Evangelical Christian, I believe American Evangelicals have to confess that too often in the past half-century we have been more like that North Dallas church than we should have been. Too often we have been too closely identified with a rampant materialism and have confused rapid growth in numbers with spiritual success. Too often Christians have been seduced by the pursuit of even greater material success or the blandishments of a "prosperity gospel."
Are Christians in America entering a new dark age? To many, it may seem so. Certainly the forces of secularism seem to be flexing their muscles in contemporary American culture. It often feels as if traditional Christian morality is retreating in disarray on an ever increasing number of fronts.
In the wake of the 2012 presidential elections, some Evangelical leaders declared the election results a "catastrophe" and a "disaster." Followed soon after by the United States Supreme Court's dismal decisions on same-sex unions and the Boy Scouts' pathetic surrender of their founding beliefs, even more voices were raised in both the Evangelical and wider conservative Christian community, declaring defeat in the "culture wars." Many even perceived a dark, looming secular age of persecution directed against people of orthodox, historic Christian faith and witness.
It should be remembered that on August 28, 1963 it was not Dr. King's march, and he was not even the featured speaker, but one of many. In a few remarkable minutes, Dr. King's speech permanently changed the Civil Rights Movement and altered the course of history.
Whatever one's views on the Trayvon Martin controversy and jury verdict, two things are crystal clear. First, the racial divide in America, despite undisputed progress over the last decades, remains deep, wide, and extremely sensitive. Clearly, Americans of different ethnicities often view events through very different prisms. Second, the controversy exposes the limitations of the legal system in healing American's racial wounds. While the law can, and should, do many things, it cannot do what matters most: changing hearts and minds.
As we approach this Fourth of July, we also commemorate the 150th anniversary of the greatest blood sacrifice on the altar of freedom that ever took place on American soil, the battle of Gettysburg. For three days, July 1-3, 1863, the Army in Northern Virginia (70,000 men) and the Army of the Potomac (94,000 men) collided in a three-day struggle that haunts and captivates us to this day.
Having acknowledged that the Court is always notoriously unpredictable, I am prepared to take the plunge and make a prediction. Given Chief Justice Robert's aversion to judicial activism, shared by a crucial number of his fellow justices, I believe the Supreme Court will take the path of least judicial activism and most judicial restraint.
Just like in Roe v Wade, a case widely discredited by legal scholars as poor law and credited by conservatives as the spark that ignited Christian activism, the court has a massive challenge ahead of it – threading the needle between state's rights and the press of coastal public opinion.
In backing away from the proposed membership change, the Boy Scouts at least temporarily averted calamity. If the committee had rammed through the change in membership policy, it would have dealt a serious blow to the Boy Scouts of America on several fronts.
As the new Congress begins the New Year, they are confronted with herculean problems. This stark reality gives our elected representatives the opportunity to be one of the most successful and productive Congresses in decades. Difficult problems open the door for meaningful solutions. Here are five resolutions, perhaps political miracles, for which I am praying. And the first resolution is key to them all.
Clearly, there are tens of thousands of men and women who served our nation with great valor and sacrifice under extremely difficult circumstances during the Vietnam War and who are walking around with tremendous emotional pain and hurt over the negative reception they received when they returned home. At Christmas time, the season of love, forgiveness and reconciliation, let us all as Americans, whether we supported or opposed the war, or were born long after it ended, resolve to heal this deep hurt of tens of thousands of our fellow Americans.
At a time of severe economic dislocation, when the people's demand for the services of charitable institutions is particularly high, it would be extremely counterproductive and illogical to implement tax policies which would result in crippling cuts to the budgets of charitable institutions, rendering them far less able to help the most vulnerable in our society.
On the night of September 12, 2011, the Republican Party began to lose the 2012 election. On that night, in a presidential primary debate in Tampa, Florida, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (believe it or not the most moderate presidential candidate on immigration reform) was booed loudly by the audience for defending having supported and passed (with overwhelming bipartisan legislative support) in-state college tuition for the children of undocumented workers in Texas.
America is at a fork in the road and must choose between a President Barack Obama who wants to remake America in the model of a European welfare state and a Governor Mitt Romney who wants to restore a more economically vibrant and traditionally moral America.
The issue of whether Americans should approve "same-sex" marriage continues to be debated heatedly in the 2012 election cycle. President Obama has "evolved" on the issue to the place where he supports "same-sex" marriage, making no distinction between the time-honored institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman and a relationship between two people of the same sex.
Governor Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has reshaped the entire presidential campaign. In selecting Ryan, he has made this election a big election about big issues, the future economic direction of the country, and how substantial a role the federal government will play in Americans' daily lives in the future.
First, let me put my cards face up on the table. I am a very dedicated college football fan. Let's put it this way. My favorite sports are college football, spring football, and college recruiting.
Is he the Convention's first African-American president and thus a historic figure? Yes. But he is also a great Christian, pastor, preacher, husband, father, and friend that I have had the privilege of knowing for more than two decades.
A newly released Gallup poll taking America's moral temperature finds strong support for fidelity in marriage and increasing respect for unborn life, but in other key areas – specifically sex outside of marriage and homosexuality – Americans may have lost their biblical compass. And, unless all people of faith unite in opposition, pornography may be next.
Chuck Colson (1931-2012) was a giant among Christians in America. If there were an Evangelical Mount Rushmore, Chuck Colson would be on it.
We hear much discussion these days on the subject of the economy. Why is our economy in the doldrums and what needs to be done to restore our once prosperous business and job climate? Are the problems merely cyclical or are they systemic?
Let's begin by making one thing crystal clear. The debate generated by the Obama administration's requirement that virtually all healthcare insurance plans provide free contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization services in all health insurance plans is not a debate about contraception or "reproductive services."
There is great cause for rejoicing today in our nation because of a tremendous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding its affirmation of both the Establishment and the Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.
Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron went to Oxford and gave a speech commemorating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible in 1611. The prime minister seized the occasion to deliver a discourse on the profound role the Bible, and the Christianity it espouses, have played in forming the British character, culture, and nation.