CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Homosexuality, Islam and Christianity

Jun 15, 2016

Homosexuality is condemned in all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While there are some similarities found on this issue in all three, there are also some major differences. Here I wish to focus on just one aspect of

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On Capital Punishment, Part 3

May 1, 2015

Some years ago I wrote a two-part article examining the biblical and theological rationale for the death penalty (DP). Since then I have also penned a two-part article looking at the secular case for it, covering philosophical, social, political and

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When Will This Hysteria Die Down?

May 1, 2015

I refer here to the hyper emotionalism and cloudy thinking of way too many Christians in the case of two convicted criminals who met their end recently in Indonesia. I certainly did not plan to say anything further on all

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Truth and Consequences

Apr 30, 2015

With plenty of public discussion over a recent case of capital punishment, I have regrettably noted an incredibly high level of confusion, misinformation, illogic, and just plain biblical illiteracy about these matters. It seems that far too many Christians are

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The Hypocrisy of ‘Compassion’

Apr 30, 2015

Does showing compassion make one a hypocrite? No, of course not – well, at least not necessarily. But I have seen far too many people just recently going on and on about compassion and mercy in a rather hypocritical fashion,

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Difficult Bible Passages: James 2:13

Feb 21, 2015

The last half of James 2:13 says this: “Mercy triumphs over judgment”. This passage is not so much a difficult passage as it is one which is regularly misused and abused. It is often hauled out to say something which

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Christians, Crime and the Death Penalty

Feb 14, 2015

Ideally, controversial issues should be discussed with careful, logical assessment, with an eye to the facts, and in the case of Christians, with the biblical worldview fully in place. But sadly this is often not the case, and what we

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The Sword of Romans 13

Feb 13, 2015

My topic here involves how we are to understand the sword – and the state’s use of it – as found in Paul’s discussion of government authority in Romans 13:1-7. Many scholars understand this to be a reference to the

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The Case for Capital Punishment, Part One

May 29, 2012

Capital punishment is certainly one hotly contested ethical issue. It draws passionate responses from all sides. Indeed, often there can be far more heat than light generated in this debate. Trying to calmly and rationally debate this topic is not

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God in the Dock

May 27, 2012

OK, I’ve got a beef. Hopefully it is a biblical beef, or a God-given beef – if not, don’t even waste your time reading any further. But I would like to think I have some biblical warrant for this particular

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Death, Justice, and the Gospel

May 4, 2011

A common argument made by pacifists and/or those who really do not know their Bibles very well is that all killing is wrong because it cuts short a person’s life, thereby possibly preventing them from hearing the gospel and repenting.

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Difficult Bible Passages: John 7:53-8:11

May 3, 2011

This is a famous passage, but one which can often be rather poorly interpreted. At least it is often used to support various agendas which the passage itself may never have had in mind. Pacifists for example are happy to

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In the Name of Compassion

Jun 20, 2010

The throw-away term ‘compassion’ today covers a multitude of sins. It seems that any behaviour, lifestyle and belief system can today be justified by simply saying it is the ‘compassionate’ thing to do.  We must be compassionate we are

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On Executing Terrorists

Nov 12, 2008

Indonesia is this week free of three murderous thugs – and Australia does not like it. Australia is intent on lecturing Indonesia and the world about how wrong capital punishment is. Even though the three Bali bombers have been given

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Sin, Forgiveness and Consequences

Oct 14, 2007

More than once I have been involved in debates with fellow believers over the broad issue of God’s forgiveness and what that entails. More specifically, some have argued that since Christ forgives us, we should not only forgive others, but

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On Capital Punishment, Part 2

Oct 12, 2007

It is clear that the Old Testament has ordained the death penalty as part of criminal justice in a fallen world. Human life is so valuable to Yahweh that one who takes innocent life must lose his own life as

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On Capital Punishment, Part 1

Oct 11, 2007

The recent squabble within Labor Party ranks as to whether the Bali bombers should be executed raises the old issue of capital punishment, and the biblical and ethical concerns surrounding it. How should the believer view this issue? Can a

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