Spending time in Russia inevitably leads me to think about the communist system, especially when you see how quickly it was replaced with a Russian form of capitalism after the fall of the Soviet Union. Karl Marx famously proclaimed that “religion is the opiate of the masses,” but it seems that he may have missed the fact that material possessions are the strongest opiate of all.Read more
I spent the morning worshiping alongside Russian brothers and sisters at St. Petersburg Christian University at a time when relations between Russia and the West seem to be growing more tense every day. During the worship service, I was struck with the reality of how and why it is that Jesus Christ alone can bring peace to this world, both now and in the world to come.Read more
Many of us lament the outright hostility to faith that has become its own institutionalized religion in secular universities, but how is it that so many students at Christian universities experience the same loss of faith, especially while they are still at school? Perhaps it comes from the temptation of so many Christian professors to deconstruct students in order to break down what they consider elementary or fundamentalist beliefs, with the goal of replacing those beliefs with more mature formulations of our faith. While deconstruction is a good first step to a more mature understanding, deconstruction by itself is sinful and abusive unless we are committed to reconstruct those with whom we interact.Read more
There has never been a greater congregator of people than the Internet. It is fair to say we have scarcely begun to appreciate its impact on humanity. Yet in some ways, the Tower of Babel still casts a long shadow over the manner in which we live our lives in these digital collectives. We couldn’t possibly list the vast number of changes that have come about as a result of this unprecedented means of communing together, nor list all the potential downsides that have accompanied it. But there is at least one danger that is worth singling out, and that is the tendency to justify (and often celebrate) sinful behavior in the online collectives to which we belong.Read more
I was recently listening to the keynote address at a large conference. The speaker was really enthusiastic about our collective obligation to help the “least of these,” urging those of us who had been given so much to be responsible to give back even more.
But I can guarantee that no matter how many conferences you’ve been to, you’ve never been to the type of conference I am talking about. This wasn’t a church growth conference. It wasn’t a missions conference. In fact, it wasn’t a Christian conference at all. It was a conference of 1500 lawyers . . .Read more