Culture

Category Archives: Culture

Abusers, Hucksters and the Protection of Wronged Parties

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17 (ESV) Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured

‘Jesus, could we put this whole crucifixion thing to a vote?’

Recently, yet another congregation of Christians took a vote and decided “overwhelmingly” to agree amongst themselves to overturn centuries of orthodoxy with regard to human sin and the singular rescue plan we all freely have been offered in Jesus. Unsurprisingly, the driving issue at hand was God’s revelation as it relates to His created order,

A Prayer for Charlottesville (And Us)

Jesus, When we look at the images of hatred, division, evil, violence, and chaos that took place this weekend in Virginia, our hearts are grieved. In moments like this, it’s difficult to know what to say and do. As those who follow you, help our first response to be prayer that turns into action fueled

Some Thoughts for Politely Declining One-Third of a Barbecued Gopher

Since June of last year, I have been progressivly convicted by the sinful patterns of eating that are more-or-less “the air we breathe” in modern American culture. The ride has been rather bumpy. While we should all be deeply grateful that our country no longer suffers from the sort of widespread starvation that characterized the

7 Tips to Help Your Kids Engage with Media/Entertainment

Apart from throwing our kids into solitary confinement and shoving them meals through a slot in the door, every parent eventually has to make decisions about how to guide their consumption of TV shows, movies, music, YouTube videos, websites, and other media and entertainment options. Even failing to adopt a strategy is, by default, adopting a strategy. But if we’re wanting to take a wise, biblically-shaped approach, we need to do think through some principles that will help us guide our kids as they navigate the sea of popular culture.

We should acknowledge that there’s no flow chart or set of “if/then” statements that we could list that could cover every situation, but the following points should at least steer us in the right direction.

We All Need Protection…from Ourselves

Galatians 1:6-12 (ESV) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or

The One Thing We Might Overlook in Someone Becoming a Christian

What does it take for a person to become a Christian? Certainly a recognition of one’s need for grace and forgiveness, and an understanding and acceptance of what Jesus accomplished. But we might overlook another ingredient that’s often necessary:

5 Good Reads

For the post-holiday rest of your week: a roundup of five articles worth reading and considering, with a sample quote from each. (Note that inclusion here means each piece is helpful, not that I agree with everything in every article!)

The United States of Ambivalence: Celebrating the Founding of Imperfect Freedom
Thomas Kidd, Desiring God
“Ambivalence” is not such a bad posture for Christians to adopt toward America, however. We have always had reasons to celebrate and reasons to lament America’s history.

This Pro-Life Talk at Google Headquarters Was a Hit
Catholic News Agency
A pro-life activist walks into Google’s headquarters and delivers a speech so compelling that within 24 hours, the online video of it surpassed a similar speech given by the head of Planned Parenthood. It may sound like the start to a far-fetched joke, but on April 20th, pro-life speaker and activist Stephanie Gray did just that.

Psychology Today Article Recognizes Crossing Member

Leigh Shaffer, a member here at The Crossing, was the subject of a recent article in Psychology Today. It begins this way:

Dr. Leigh Shaffer is a dear friend and colleague whose health has not been good lately. He has borne his illness as he has conducted himself throughout his life, with much grace, humility, and dignity. I wanted to take this opportunity to write a note of gratitude for my time with Leigh, as he has been an inspiration to me.

Leigh is an academic. He spent many years as a professor of psychology before moving to Columbia with his wife Barbara. He is also a committed Christian, having participated in various teaching and ministry roles throughout his life. Both of these aspects of Leigh’s life feature prominently in the article, which was authored by George Mason psychology professor Gregg Henriques. In reading Henriques’ “letter of deep appreciation” for his friend, I was struck by a handful of things that can teach and encourage us:

U.S. Senators Characterize a Central Christian Belief as “Indefensible” and “Violation of the Public Trust”

If you stated publically that believing in Jesus Christ is necessary for the true worship of God, do you think there would be any repercussions?

In the case of Russell Vought, it meant two U.S. senators questioning his fitness for a job in the federal government. Vought has been nominated for the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, and during his recent confirmation hearing, he came under fire as a result of his role in a previous controversy at Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian institution and Vought’s alma mater.

In December of 2015, Wheaton political science professor Larycia Hawkins made news for a Facebook post in which she wrote, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.” In response, Vought wrote an article in which he argued that “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Those are undoubtedly strong words, but in terms of representing historic, orthodox Christian belief, Vought’s position is anything but controversial. Christians have held to this doctrine for nearly two millennia, based on the teaching of Jesus himself. For example, in John 14:6 Jesus famously states, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And consider another famous passage, along with the verses that immediately follow: