Posts from the “Religion” Category

“I’m not stopping to be interviewed”

Posted on April 16th, 2014

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, has an opinion about death, judgment day, and heaven: Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter. But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking…

House Judiciary Committee statement on Religious Freedom

Posted on March 27th, 2014

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius religious freedom cases in the Supreme Court, which center around the government mandate that businesses provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives that could end human life after conception, despite their religious beliefs.   Chairman Goodlatte:  “Our nation’s laws have long-protected the rights of people to freely exercise their religious beliefs and recognized their convictions as valuable and nonnegotiable. The Obamacare mandate at issue in the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases in the Supreme Court signifies a growing willingness for federal bureaucrats and President Obama to blatantly disregard the consciences of people of faith.   “As an original co-sponsor of the broad, bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA),…

Religion: companion and cradle of freedom

Posted on February 20th, 2014

Alexis de Tocqueville on freedom and religion: Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights.  It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration.

Mind over matter

Posted on February 17th, 2014

Which came first, matter (the universe) or mind? John Lennox, Oxford mathematician, helpfully delineates these as the two fundamental worldviews. For the atheist the ultimate reality is the universe, and for the theist the ultimate reality is God. Genesis tells us that God is primary, and the universe derivative. This worldview is the exact opposite of ancient polytheism and contemporary secularism, both of which assume that matter is primary and everything else, including mind, is derivative. John Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (p. 95)

Lutherans for Life statement on Thrivent

Posted on February 11th, 2014

Thrivent’s recent “values neutral” policy continues to draw heavy criticism from the Lutheran community, and has brought shame upon the Lutheran name in the broader Christian community and among pro-life groups. Lutherans for Life has recently issued a statement. It is not yet posted on their website, but I received a copy today along with permission to post it here. Please spread the word. Because human life is created in the image of God as proclaimed throughout scripture (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6; Psalm 8:5, Colossians 3:10), and because every human being is someone for whom Christ died to restore the image of God, the sanctity of human life is a basic Lutheran/Christian value. Martin Luther strongly condemned abortion: “Those who have no regard for pregnant women and who do not…

Chilling Effect

Posted on February 7th, 2014

Well, now we know that Thrivent has taken the next big step away from the Christian Church. Their new “neutrality policy” makes permanent the decision to deny support to organizations that help moms in crisis and their vulnerable babies. While I hope everyone will now completely divest themselves from their insurance and investments, and also refuse all funding, I suspect that the lure of easy money will prove too strong for many. What effect will this have? Now that defending the most basic human right—the right to life—has been deemed “controversial” and not something Christians should be involved in, will pastors, churches, and schools be even more silent in the face of this great horror? If their funding is at stake, it will be…

Are all religions the same?

Posted on January 27th, 2014

How do you answer the question, “Are all religions the same?” J. Gresham Machen, in Christianity and Liberalism (Kindle Locations 206-207), shows that the idea of all religions being the same is logically incoherent: If all creeds are equally true, then since they are contradictory to one another, they are all equally false, or at least equally uncertain.  

LCMS Responds to Thrivent

Posted on January 15th, 2014

The Missouri Synod has issued a statement in response to the troubling revelation that Thrivent has been directly supporting Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, and NARAL, a powerful arm of the pro-abortion lobby. The most disconcerting paragraph puts in juxtaposition the suspension of all funds that help women in crisis while funding directly the murder of the most vulnerable humans in our society: Today’s news indicates that Thrivent not only has suspended funding for pro-life, nonprofit organizations serving women and children in need but now also directly supports organizations providing abortion services and pro-abortion advocacy. You should read the entire statement, found here. Thank God for the faithful witness of Pastor Schuermann, along with Maggie Karner and President Harrison.

Materialism vs Theism

Posted on January 14th, 2014

I think this is an excellent one-sentence snapshot to get the difference between these two world views: It is the most straightforward way of reversing the materialist order of explanation, which explains mind as a consequence of physical law; instead, theism makes physical law a consequence of mind. Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos:Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False (p. 21). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition. Thus: Materialism makes physical laws generate mind. Theism sees Mind as the creator of physical laws.

The Religion of Government

Posted on August 23rd, 2013

Jonah Goldberg on the religion of big government: The New Deal amounted to a religious breakthrough for American liberalism. Not only had faith in the liberal ideal become thoroughly religious in nature— irrational, dogmatic, mythological— but many smart liberals recognized this fact and welcomed it. In 1934 Dewey had defined the battle for the liberal ideal as a “religious quality” in and of itself. Thurman Arnold, one of the New Deal’s most influential intellectuals, proposed that Americans be taught a new “religion of government,” which would finally liberate the public from its superstitions about individualism and free markets. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Kindle Locations 4199-4203)