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Four Reflections on Christianity and Creativity

Larry Norman was arguably the first Christian rock musician. His album, “Upon This Rock,” released by Capitol Records in 1969, is considered to be the first Christian rock album. In a later album, he released a song entitled, “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” Whether or not you like the song, the question is fantastic. It is of course an overstatement to ask why the devil has all the good music given the deep Christian faith of Bach (and many other fine Christian musicians throughout the ages), but it often seems as if we go through long seasons...

“Blessed liberty”

The tradition of Baptist political theology is usually taken to originate with A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity (1612) by the English General Baptist Thomas Helwys (ca.1550–ca.1616). Along with John Smyth (ca.1570–1612), Helwys had established a congregation in the town of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, that was not part of the state church, namely, the Church of England. They refused to accept anyone into the membership of the church unless that person could give a credible testimony of saving faith. Their congregation was part of a number of churches, now known as Separatists, who were seeking to return to a...

Unbelievable: Netflix and the Gospel

The relationship evangelical Christians have with Netflix is strained at best. The decision of the content platform and production company to offer Cuties (2020), a French film portraying young children in a hyper-sexualized way, was reasonable grounds for many to cancel their subscriptions. My own incredulity about Netflix producing something worthwhile was recently shattered by watching the 2019 miniseries, Unbelievable Spoiler alert! As a fictionalized account of a true crime story, Unbelievable (2019) is clearly intended for a mature adult audience only. Over eight episodes, two stories are told side-by-side until they converge at the end: one is about a...

Bill C-6 and Religious Freedom

Pastors and churches cannot give close attention to every new piece of legislation that is before Parliament nor engage with every public justice issue confronting our nation. After all, we want to keep our eye on the ball with evangelism and discipleship. That is our great passion and central calling. However, I believe Bill C-6 merits our special attention and concern. It is probably the first federal bill that could (if passed) criminalize teaching certain aspects of biblical truth and place faithful pastors, counsellors, and Christian parents at risk of prosecution. Bill C-6 may well have escaped your notice in...

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

In his recent book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman describes how we have entered into a world in which society understands and generally accepts the notion that a biological male may self-identify as a woman. Even fifty years ago, people generally assumed that a person’s biological makeup defined their sex. The notion that a person could individually express a deep, internal sexual identity regardless of one’s biological makeup was not an available idea within the social imaginary of earlier generations.  Certainly, sexual boundaries had been crossed and precursor ideas existed, but that society would understand—simply...

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