Responsibility and Freedom in the Time of COVID

Trusting Vaccines November 29, 2018

In a weekly column on Sunday, August 29, Evangelical attorney David French declared “It’s Time to Stop Rationalizing and Enabling Evangelical Vaccine Rejection.”

Is that really a thing, you may ask?

There certainly is some evidence for that. Among those who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, white Evangelicals trail the national average by 10 percent. A significant difference, but not a dramatic difference. In fact, the majority are vaccinated, according to this tweet displayed in the article.

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Knowing the Will of God

How do you ascertain God’s will for your life?

This is one of the greatest existential questions asked by followers of Christ, the young in particular. It is also one of the most profoundly misunderstood.

We may be taught that there is a divine roadmap for our lives, known to God yet unknown to us. We desire to know it for two reasons. First, we seek to please God and be good stewards. Second, we believe following his divine plan will maximize our earthly joy and blessing, but He offers no objective way of knowing it. What then, does that say about God? He created a divine master plan for us to follow, but we have to pry it out of Him? What sort of God would do that, and why? What if we make the wrong decision?

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The Return of the God Hypothesis

In last Saturday’s New York Times, Christian columnist Ross Douthat asks, “Can the Meritocracy Find God?”

“The secularization of America probably won’t reverse unless the intelligentsia gets religion,” writes Douthat. Nor is he sanguine for the prospects of that occurring. Douthat postulates two primary obstacles. First, “a moral vision that regards emancipated, self-directed choice as essential to human freedom and the good life.” Second, an entrenched anti-supernaturalism: “The average Ivy League professor, management consultant or Google engineer is not necessarily a strict materialist, but they have all been trained in a kind of scientism, which regards strong religious belief as fundamentally anti-rational, miracles as superstition, the idea of a personal God as so much wishful thinking.”

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Christians and Conspiracy Theories

“You can’t handle the truth!”

That classic line from A Few Good Men from Colonel Jessup in the witness stand became a waving flag for many. It is enticing to think we own the truth, and that those who can’t “handle” it are naïve, weak or cowardly. Delivered to perfection by Jack Nicholson, Jessup hammered a wedge between truth and fantasy, and of course we all know which side we’re on, don’t we?

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Marriage: Past, Present and Future

What is the state of marriage in Western society? How did we get there? What are the implications for the worldwide body of believers?

We began this series in June discussing a report from a study committee of the Presbyterian Church in America calling for a biblically based and scientifically valid sexual apologetic. Across a vast range of hot-button issues, beliefs about human sexuality create the greatest divide between Christianity and the secular community. Within the church there is persuasive evidence that sexual issues are a major contributing factor to declining church participation and membership. Let’s turn our attention now to the issue of marriage.

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Victims of the Sexual Revolution

Too often, it seems, Christians engaged in culture are fighting yesterday’s battle. Probably, most who are engaged in apologetics still believe the worldview of secular culture is premised upon values of tolerance and moral relativism. We are way beyond that. Having emerged victorious (according to some) in the “culture wars,” tolerance and “rights-speak” are no longer useful to sexual revolutionaries. Their narrative has shifted. Opponents of Christian morality now assert far more than equivalence. They claim moral superiority, along with intolerant disdain for traditionally-minded folk of most religious or conservative persuasions. The prideful often fall by overreaching, as Napoleon did by invading Russia. Opponents of Christian sexuality have badly overreached. It is a battle they cannot win.

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Part 2: Answering Contemporary Challenges to Christian Sexual Morality

In Part 1 of this series , we looked at two common objections to a traditional Christian view of sexuality: “What about other Old Testament rules we don’t keep?” and “The New Testament teaching on sexuality was socially constructed and not intended for universal application.” In this second part, we will examine two more recent arguments that have become quite popular and, to some, deceptively persuasive.

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Part 1: Is Christian Sexual Morality a Matter of Ancient Cultural Bias?

What is the foundation of your moral principles?

If you consider that a simple question, you’ve never really thought about it much.

The gut reaction of most Protestants would be “Scripture”—certainly a fitting place to begin—but when one drills down into the details, things get complicated rather quickly. For decades, theological liberals have dismissed biblical teaching on sexuality because they dismiss the Bible. In more recent years, a newer contingent rejects traditional Christian teaching on sexuality arguing that “the Bible never taught it in the first place.”

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Stand in the Gap: A Summons to Healthcare Professionals

OK. The ad is hypothetical, I’ll admit. But only a little. A just-released report on human sexuality issued a clarion call for Christian apologists to step up and counter the increasingly toxic cultural narrative on human sexuality. That narrative—or perhaps narratives, since some are severely at odds—has led to increasing radicalism and polarization, leaving a tide of refugees in its wake.

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