CultureWatch

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

Why Do the Nations Rage?

Nov 25, 2007

This famous phrase, made even more famous by Handel in his Messiah, comes from Psalm 2. The whole Psalm is about the nations, and their limited and temporary nature, in contrast to the everlasting God. The Psalm reminds us

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How to Think About “A Common Word”

Nov 19, 2007

Last month a number of leading Muslims issued the document “A Common Word Between Us and You.” The letter, delivered to world Christian leaders, was from 138 prominent Muslim imams and scholars. It urged Christians and Muslims to find common

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A Major Rethink on Church Growth

Oct 31, 2007

Hot on the heels of some recent articles I penned on megachurches comes a revolutionary report questioning the very basis of much of the megachurch movement. My earlier articles sought to raise a few questions about church growth and some

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The Church as Hospital

Oct 24, 2007

I was asked recently for my thoughts on a Melbourne Age article about homosexuals in the church. It had to do with the Anglican Church and its view on homosexuality. It quoted a very liberal Anglican lay woman who bewailed

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Are We Ready To Die?

Oct 23, 2007

Death is a subject that most people really don’t want to discuss or even think about. And fair enough: if the materialist worldview is correct, and this life is all there is, and once we die, that’s it, then death

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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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A review of The Big Questions. By Jonathan Hill.

Oct 8, 2007

Lion, 2007. Available in Australia from Koorong Books.

This book combines two main areas: philosophy of religion, and historical theology. It examines the big questions that philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for millennia. These include, who is God?; is

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On Delivering a Hard Word

Sep 27, 2007

When the Apostle Paul was at Ephesus, he told the leaders of the church in his farewell message that he did not refrain from declaring the whole counsel of God to them (Acts 20:27). He was willing to tell it

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In Praise of Dogmatism

Sep 13, 2007

We live in an age in which taking a strong stand for anything is frowned upon. About the only thing many people today are willing to strongly affirm is the claim that we should not strongly affirm anything. To have

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No, We Do Not Worship the Same God

Aug 19, 2007

In a predominantly secular culture, theological distinctions are easily lost. Indeed, they are seen as irrelevant altogether, not only for secularists, but for many believers overly influenced by secularism. Thus it may seem like a petty squabble as to whether

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Long Live the King

Aug 16, 2007

Thirty years ago today Elvis Presley died. He influenced a generation, not only with his swivelling hips, but an endless supply of number one hits. His premature death at age 42 shocked the world. Countless fans today still visit

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What to Make of Allah

Aug 16, 2007

Often the church is its own worst enemy. Sure, there is plenty of opposition and animosity towards Christianity, but sometimes those calling themselves believers can do as much damage or more to the Christian faith.

Consider the case of a

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In Praise of Praise

Aug 15, 2007

I confess. I am writing this article for selfish reasons. You see, anyone who is in the public spotlight to a fair degree will be subject to two things: bouquets and brickbats. Praise and criticism. Compliments and complaints. Blessings and

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Learning to Live With Limits

Aug 9, 2007

For most of human history people have accepted the fact that life is “nasty, poor, brutish, and short”, to use Hobbes’s phrase. But advances in science, medicine, technology and other areas have resulted in a redefinition of what it is

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