For many of us who lived through it, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was as shocking and emotionally jarring as the events of 9/11. That may be difficult for some people to understand given that the events of 9/11 claimed the lives of almost 3,000 innocent people, but I believe it to be true. In some important ways the world was very different 50 years ago; and the killing of President Kennedy marked both the death of America’s leader as well as the leader of the free world. Continue reading
Love and respect of country were always important virtues in the family in which I grew up. My father served as an American combat soldier during World War II; he and my mother were two of the most patriotic people I have ever known. Discussion of American history and current events were commonplace at the dinner table and in the living room of my boyhood home. Continue reading
Movies impact and shape our culture. They make us think. They communicate messages and worldviews, sometimes unintentionally. In light of the significance of film (and television), I along with RTB colleagues Krista Bontrager and Dave Rogstad spent time discussing how to approach movies “worldviewishly”—specifically from a Christian worldview—in a two-part podcast series entitled “How to Watch a Movie.” Continue reading
Every January, we honor the life and work of the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968). If you read only one of King’s writings, I would encourage you to read his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written in April 1963 while he was incarcerated in the city jail. The letter served primarily as a response to a statement from a group of Christian clergymen who questioned King’s methods of confronting the problem of racial segregation in Birmingham.
King, himself a pastor, sets forth his motives, intentions, and justification for the nonviolent civil rights movement that he lead in America in the 1950s and 1960s. He also provides a rational, moral, and theological defense of his life’s work.
Reading this letter would be a great way to honor Dr. King and to reflect upon the critical moral issue of justice. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” can be found online here: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html.
President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) is one of my favorite Americans. His unique leadership in abolishing slavery and holding the Union together during the Civil War mark him, in my view, as the greatest American. Visiting such historical sites as the Lincoln Memorial and Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. have been deeply moving experiences for both my family and me. Continue reading
“Rest easy, sleep well, my brothers. Know the line has held, your job is done. Rest easy, sleep well. Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held. Peace, peace, and farewell…”
– Inscription at Arlington National Cemetery (authorship unknown)
Does everyone have a worldview? What critical factors shape a person’s worldview compass? How important is it to correctly discern the worldview held by major influencers, such as our political leaders?
With the Presidential campaign well under way, I thought it would be a good time to revisit a recent edition of my podcast, Straight Thinking. In episode #187 I discuss the provocative documentary 2016: Obama’s America by political commentator and Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza. My intent is not to discuss the political issues, per se, or tell people who to vote for, but rather to evaluate the important questions in the film that relate to worldview thinking.
Give the program a listen—it’s sure to make you think!
At eleven years old I fell in love with baseball. From that time forward it was on my mind constantly. I was either playing the game, watching it on television, or thinking about it—even while I was supposed to be doing my schoolwork. At the time, the only subjects that could compete with baseball in terms of my life’s priorities were the Lakers and the Beatles. Those three subjects were my adolescent trinity, so to speak. Continue reading
A critical component of living a good (happy, satisfying, and meaningful) life is incorporating the concept of gratitude. Being aware of and appreciative for the good things one has been given can serve to transform one’s whole existence. This attitude of gratitude in life is one of the most important teachings from the historic Christian world-and-life view. Continue reading
Popular Christian bumper stickers featuring the letters “NOTW” remind drivers that Christ’s kingdom is “not of this world” and that His followers are “foreigners and exiles” in this world. For many American Christians, however, our spiritual loyalty can often get tangled with patriotism. How can we claim to be “not of this world” and yet still honor our earthly nations?
As the son of World War II soldier, I take great interest in the history of my country and look forward to celebrating our freedom tomorrow on July 4. I also have a moral responsibility to fulfill the civic duties my country requires. However, like all Christians, I must comply with my “eternal” responsibilities first.
Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) called these two allegiances the City of Man and the City of God, respectively. Knowing how these obligations relate to each other and how to balance them is a challenge. Check out these two previous posts for details on Augustine’s City of Man-City of God ideology and see how it can help Christians balance their present and eternal obligations.