• News,  Personal

    My Hometown of DeRidder in the Aftermath of Laura

    Last week, I wrote about Hurricane Laura as it bore down on my hometown of DeRidder, Louisiana. None of us knew then exactly what path the storm would take, but it turns out that the eye of the storm passed right over my childhood home. As the dust settled on Thursday, it became really clear that our little town was devastated. In fact, the federal government has designated our city as a disaster area. My parents have been taking care of my aged aunt who has been having extreme difficulties that have rendered her unable to walk or care for herself. For that reason, they had decided to ride the…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    If you think God is wrong, you can never be right.

    I was just reading an article by a biblical scholar who argues that God’s command for Israel to destroy the Canaanites cannot be excused or justified. In other words, God was wrong in Deut. 20:16, and the Israelites were wrong to obey Him. It is not my aim to explain the ethics of the conquest of the Holy Land in this short blog post. Rest assured, however, that Christianity does account for it. Even though our convictions on this account are often very difficult for modern readers, they are coherent. Michael Kruger, for example, has a really fine short treatment of this question in “Is God Guilty of Genocide?” Likewise,…

  • News,  Personal

    Waiting for the Storm

    I suppose most of the country is watching a political convention tonight. Not me. I’ve been focused all day on Hurricane Laura that is bearing down on Southwest Louisiana. My hometown is DeRidder, LA, and my parents still live there. It is 80 miles from the Gulf and is far enough inland that we usually don’t worry about Hurricanes there. We found out 15 years ago from Hurricane Rita that our inland “safety” is not as safe as we once thought. Mom and Dad rode that storm out, and it was one of the most harrowing experiences of their lives. The winds churned through our town. Mom and Dad said…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Reflections on a Review

    Well, I think my review of Aimee Byrd’s book may have touched a nerve. At least it seems that way from the wide array of responses I have seen on social media this week. There are a whole lot of folks that really appreciated it, and there are a number of folks for whom—let’s just say—it was less than edifying. Years ago, I used to be more of a Twitter warrior and would have been online answering all the criticism. Not so much anymore. I don’t have the bandwidth for that kind of interaction, and I’ve come to see it as mainly futile because Twitter is often dominated by foolish…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Politics

    A Revolution Is Underway

    Racial hatred really exists, and it really is evil. Marxist revolutionaries really exist too, and they really do mean to overturn the social order. It is happening before our very eyes. There seem to be so few who can or will see both challenges as the seeds of revolution spill out into the streets of major cities across the country. The difficult thing for Christians in our current moment is that we are told that we have to pick a side. But we can’t choose either side when biblical Christianity obliges us to oppose both racism and Marxist ideologies that contradict scripture. As Christians, we are not aiming for some…

  • Christianity,  Politics

    Roger Scruton on Marxism and Totalitarianism

    In Roger Scruton’s book A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism, he makes some trenchant observations about Marxism and totalitarianism. He writes: It is not the truth of Marxism that explains the willingness of intellectuals to believe it, but the power that it confers on intellectuals, in their attempts to control the world. And since, as Swift says, it is futile to reason someone out of a thing that he was not reasoned into, we can conclude that Marxism owes its remarkable power to survive every criticism to the fact that it is not a truth-directed but a power-directed system of thought. [p. 149] He goes on to explain Marxism’s revolutionary…

  • Christianity

    Crucifying Jim Crow

    NPR has an article making the case that racism has deep roots in white Christianity in the United States. The article lays out the long sad history of white supremacy in the U.S. with a special emphasis on how churches and Christians were complicit in it. This history is well-known  even among the most conservative American evangelicals. It is a great moral stain that so many Christians failed to see the evils of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation and, even worse, that some even tried to defend these positions from scripture. But the last section of the NPR article sort of lost me. It seems to blame these failures on…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    Can we weep with those who weep?

    Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Heather MacDonald titled “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism.” In the essay, MacDonald provides compelling empirical evidence to prove that blacks are not shot or killed by police at a level disproportionately higher than whites. She writes: In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  News

    Second Comings

    Writing in a time of chaos and hopelessness, W. B. Yeats subverts the Christian story of the world and paints a dark picture of the end in his poem “The Second Coming.” It is easy to slip into this kind of hopelessness when things are coming apart. That is why it is imperative that we remember right now that the true story of the world does not end in chaos and destruction. The true story of the world is better than how the anarchy of the moment makes us feel. The only people prepared to bear witness to this truth in a week like this one are those who know the…

  • Christianity,  Homosexuality,  Transgenderism

    PCA Report Names Sin While Not Being Named by It

    The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has been facing a great deal of internal controversy over the last couple years because of the Revoice Conference which was hosted by a PCA church in St. Louis. Last summer, the PCA General Assembly addressed the controversy with two crucial decisions. First, the General Assembly voted to affirm the Nashville Statement and to use the Nashville Statement in discipleship materials produced by the denomination. Second (and I believe more consequentially), the General Assembly voted to appoint a committee to draft a statement of belief on gender and sexuality. Kevin DeYoung and Tim Keller are among those who were tasked with drafting the report.…