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On the Necessity of Being Political

When Jesus told Pilate “my kingdom of is not of this world,” he meant that his authority came from God and not from human authority (John 18:36). He did not mean that Christians would escape the world since Jesus prays, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). The Lord did not, however, imply that Christians should be swayed by partisan politics. Instead, he planned to build his church—his body across the globe to house the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:22; 5:23). And Christ’s church is...

Should a Christian Get Cremated?

We recently did a 16 week series on Biblical Anthropology in which we talked a lot about what it means to be a human being, what it means to have a body and what it means to be resurrected. The material covered in the series gave rise to a number of questions about cremation. Prior to 1980 very few Canadians were cremated, but according to recent data, about 75% of Canadians are cremated today. Most choose cremation because it is slightly less expensive than burial. Some prefer it because they want their ashes scattered in a location that has been...

Can Virtue Be Taught?

Can virtue be taught? What I mean is: are virtues objective, real objects of knowledge that we can both know and teach like mathematics or biology? If we say no, then ethics may be seen to belong only to an esoteric knowledge known only by revelation, group consensus, convenience, or other like arrangements. Some people certainly think this way. But if we admit that virtue and ethics are not concrete, real bodies of knowledge that we can know and teach, then why try? Why care about moral formation, right and wrong? The question is an old one. For example, Plato...

Your Child Is Developing a Heart-shaped Worldview

My oldest child is in junior kindergarten. My wife and I decided to put her into the public school system. A lot of prayer went into that decision—we really weren’t sure, but that’s where we landed. In a lot of ways, we’re really thankful for our daughter’s first year of school. She has an incredible teacher that she adores. She has had lots of fun and begun to come out of her shell and relate to other kids better. She has also learned a lot. She can sound out simple words now and read them. She can draw recognizable pictures....

Do I Have to Forgive Someone Who Has Never Repented of What They Did to Me? 

Do I have to forgive someone who has never repented of what they did to me?  This question usually comes up when a person has encountered what Jesus says in Luke 17:3-4: “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4 ESV) There it does kind of sound like forgiveness is conditional upon repentance: “if he repents, forgive him”. However, that text needs to be held in tension with what Jesus...

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