Archives For October 2015

“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” Acts 17:6 ESV

As I teach rhetoric classes, it amazes me how much more I have to explain every year. College students know little or nothing of America’s founders. For nearly every speech or book we read, I have to provide more and more background information because they don’t know basic history. Who Patrick Henry was. What happened at the Alamo. How Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler and fantasized that he had secured “peace for our time.” Continue Reading…

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“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NASB).

Burger’s Daughter by Nadine Gordimer is the story of a white girl growing up in South Africa during Apartheid. Rosa Burger’s parents are arrested for their anti-Apartheid activities, leaving their young daughter in the care of less sympathetic “Christian” relatives. Her aunt’s biggest concern when Rosa attended church is that the girl have an appropriate hat. The church community fails to connect with Rosa.

Gordimer presents a church striving to look good on the outside, but malicious on the inside. The church doesn’t care about those oppressed by institutional racism; it doesn’t care about little girls whose families injustice has destroyed. It cares about hats. Continue Reading…

Last week, I invited my high school English students to select the technology they thought was most important. If they could choose only one, would they choose the printing press, the automobile, or electricity?

I was a bit surprised that, among a group of new drivers or soon to be new drivers, no one selected the car. And to my disappointment, not many of them selected the printing press either. Even so, some of their arguments for choosing electricity were sound: medical advances, food preservation and storage, ease of access to useful information.

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I remember the moment it dawned on me. It was probably 20 years ago or more. I was sitting in church on a Sunday evening. The missionary to Germany was showing slides, German culture, German people, ministry in Germany. And then he said it.

“Islam is the fastest growing religion in Germany.”

It was really more like hitting a wall than experiencing a dawning. It struck through my being.

Catholicism is not the Whore of Babylon. Islam is.  If Islam were growing in Germany, it would also be growing all over Europe, which includes Italy, which includes Rome.

I come from a Christian tradition where, especially 20 or so years ago, this revelation would have met with disdain. I suppose that most people who have grown up steeped in the idea that someday Rome in the form of Catholicism would be the great false church of Revelation would find my idea ridiculous at the least and unbiblical at its worst.

But this week, Dale Hurd of CBN News is reporting that ISIS has formulated a plan to take over Rome and establish the apocalyptic Islamic state. The goal is to bring about Armageddon–to fulfill, not Christian prophecy, but Islamic prophecy. Continue Reading…

When my brother and I were young, my mother was frequently astonished at our capacity for what she called “bickering”. As a young mother, I discovered sibling rivalry from the other side. I see it in my grandchildren now too.

I tell them, “When you grow up, he (or she) will be your best friend.”

But I go back to my mother’s apparent surprise at our battles. I really don’t think she fought as much with her brother as I did with mine. Perhaps it was that she grew up during the Great Depression. Perhaps the turmoil of those days brought greater peace within her family.

Christians are always engaged in battle. So it has been since the Day of Pentecost. Today, we fight on many fronts. What looks most like a war is the conflict between East and West, what radical Islam perceives to be a battle against a decadent Christian nation, America. Continue Reading…

David Tuck was a Jewish boy in Poland when the Nazis invaded his homeland. He moved to the Lodz Ghetto and sandwiched two years in Auschwitz between other camps before American soldiers liberated him.

David survived five and a half years of Nazi occupation. He somehow convinced his captors that he was 15, not 10, and that he was a mechanic. He could speak German and got to work in an office where he could dig through the trash “like an animal” to retrieve his German coworker’s discarded food. Continue Reading…

“My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children didn’t kill each other. But that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility my uncle says.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451.

My copy of Voice of the Martyrs arrived the other day. The magazine features stories of people who are persecuted because of their Christian faith. This month’s cover photo was of a woman standing in front of a refugee tent. When we think of Christian martyrs, that’s how we imagine them. They are people in far off lands, as if they were from a different time, even from some other planet. Continue Reading…