The Inversion of Virtue

The West, I argue, has turned a corner from which it will be impossible, short of a miracle, to un-turn.  We’ve become addicts of narcissism, ignorant judgements, and feigned righteousness.  We’re continuously fed their messages of “just a little more” so that our impending overdose is all but assured.  But, perhaps most depressing is the fact that we don’t even realize it. 

Did God Deceive Israel?

People who read the Bible somewhat seriously are well aware of the Biblical story leading up to the nation of Israel; their near-total rejection of their redeeming God; His attempts to retrieve them from their apostasy; and their ultimate destruction as a nation and collection of tribes in 70 and 135 AD.  What some may fail to notice is that even before they entered the “promised land”, God had foretold their apostasy and that, as a result, they would endure the curses articulated in His covenant made with them at Horeb.

Isaiah’s Servant and “Israel”

The book of Isaiah is in many ways a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. In it, we find a seemingly bipolar God concerning His chosen but about-to-be-exiled Israel. One moment He chastises their behavior while the next He promises future redemption and blessing. And in it, we find the enigma of His servant – sometimes His beloved Israel, and sometimes…well, someone else, unnamed.

Make Straight the Way of the LORD

Anyone who has spent any time in Israel knows that it is a land of hills, and therefore of constant elevation change from one location to another.  From the cliffs overlooking the Rift Valley of the Dead Sea and Masada in the South, to Qumran, to the Central Highlands, to the Golan Heights and Mount Herman in the far north.  (If you’ve been there you may have heard the saying: “Everything is uphill in Jerusalem”.)  How did this topography influence the Biblical authors?

Life Elevated

Much of today’s popular psychological messaging is designed to make us happy and content with ourselves by puffing up our self-esteem.  Much of this messaging is commercial, designed to create in us a frame of mind favorable toward purchasing whatever is being sold.  This psychology doesn’t have your best interests at heart; it doesn’t want what’s best and most edifying for you.  It just wants your money, your time and attention, and your “clicks”.

Rejecting God

My premise here is that the radical Left, whatever victim, group, or cause they profess, is focused on eradicating God.  For most, their political North Star is Cultural Marxism (a subject about which I have written elsewhere).  The general idea is that anything the West has created or held in esteem is noxious to humankind, as it represents oppression by the privileged class (Caucasian male, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, native-born American, religiously faithful, family man) over their assumed victim classes (or more appropriately, identity groups -- i.e. everybody else). 

The Law of Faith

Paul in Romans 3:27 says:

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.

Unfortunately, Paul never explicitly tells us what this law is that he is referring to (this is the only occurrence of the phrase not only in Romans, but in the entire Bible.)  In order to understand his meaning, we’re going to have to do a bit of exegetical work on the argument he is waging in Romans 3 and preceding.

A Fresh Look at Paul

What was Paul teaching us in his epistles?  Ever since Martin Luther and the Reformation he inspired 500 years ago, we’ve thought we knew.  However, in the last 30 years, a different understanding has been proposed as the result of research to understand Jewish thinking on their relationship to God in first-century Israel, so that Paul’s messages could be interpreted within this context that surrounded him.

Perceiving God

Christians are taught to “know” and love God.  And for some, their experience in the faith leads them to moments of perceiving God with them.  Here I’m not talking about some strange incursion into your life by some spirit-like presence, perhaps in response to some crisis or loss in your life.  The web is full of such event-induced testimonies, and, no doubt some are true, and some are even God.

No, I’m referring to times typically of quiet reflection in which you sense the reality of God with you.  These episodes are far more intense and immediate than the Spirit-filled Christian typically experiences.  They are (for me at least) very rare.  (I certainly am no mystic.)  But they do happen.

Christianity in the Age of ‘Whatever?’

Lots of people write blogs.  Very few people actually read them. So why this one? Recently I’ve been absolutely stunned by the power of the delusion our society is suffering regarding truth, good and evil.  In this perverse worldview, people who elect to strap on explosives and detonate them, or fire automatic weapons at unsuspecting … Continue reading Christianity in the Age of ‘Whatever?’