Michael E. Brooks

Special to CP

Beware of the Emptiness of 'Superhero Sermons'

Many of the current blockbusters being developed and produced by Hollywood involve or revolve around superheroes. The popularity of this genre and its films among the masses is undeniable. What is not so clear is what specifically produces this popularity.

Jesus' Return: Waiting on a 'God From the Machine'?

What motivates your longing for Christ's return? Is it a healthy and discerning enthusiasm for Christ's glory to be revealed, or simply a desire for easy resolutions to the numerous problems plaguing humanity? While the latter may seem God honoring it actually contains a pessimism that is self-fulfilling rather than preordained.

Human Flourishing in a Society Governed by Feelings

At this point in societal evolution the question of "What is the best judge of the good life" has been distilled to one-category: feelings. What makes one feel good in the moment in which they desire to feel good is accepted as the profitable ethic for life. Long live carpe diem is our mantra, but it is also our madness.

Time: Life's Most Precious Gift

Moreover, contrast this pivotal resource of life with others, such as energy and finances, and a sharp distinction becomes obvious. While these other assets fluctuate, time constantly diminishes. No matter what one possesses, no matter how vibrant their body and mind, no matter the financial resources at their disposal, time cannot be purchased or stockpiled. One cannot gain access to additional time; they merely have the amount given them.

Presidential Politics and the Abortion Debate: A Glaring Omission

Debates are usually filled with rhetoric, posturing, and more than a few vague statements. Yet, the vice presidential debate provided a clear and concise answer to at least one issue: the abortion question. While studies and polls are mixed as to what the majority of Americans actually believe regarding this issue, neither the position held by Vice President Biden nor Congressman Ryan brought clarity to the national debate.

Does the Gospel Need Innovation?

Just because the Gospel's message is something many, even the revisionists, do not want to hear or buy-into, does not mean it lacks relevance. Relevance is not always determined by pragmatic efficiency, or driven by wants of the masses. Sometimes it is determined by the efficacy of truth contained.

Caring for Spiritual Orphans: Elephants in Our Midst

Over the past few years the desire and drive to place orphan care and adoption on the front burner of Christian life has been a success. However, there is another type of orphan that needs attention too. Yes, they can be found overseas, but more than likely they are within arms length of many church leaders and members.

Higher Education and a Growing Entitlement Mentality

The arena of higher education is becoming an increasingly important issue within society. Not only does it garner attention, but it also seems everyone has an opinion on how it should operate and facilitate specific goals. Politicians envision it as an avenue for societal transformation. Businesses see it as an engine for a stronger more efficient economy through a better-trained and educated workforce. Parents believe it is now a primary facet of the American dream. Thus, they desire their children to benefit from its powers.

Can the Church Afford Full-Time Ministers?

When it comes to finances the church has ample impetus to spend what it is given wisely. This means a steady diet of evangelistic and gospel specific spending is prime territory. Yet, when you look at most church budgets salaries for staff compose either a large minority or majority of financial resources. Now, the necessity of paying ministers a salary that provides for their needs and their families’ is a given. However, there are future pitfalls of this financial relationship, and new wrinkles that must be addressed.