Category Archives: Politics

The Best Books I Will Read In 2015

america's pastorIt’s only April so how can I possibly know the best books I will read in 2015? I get that I’ve already read some good books and that I will hopefully read more in the course of the next several months but I just can’t imagine that I will find two that I enjoy more than America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. If I do, then 2015 will be a banner year in reading.

These two books combine some of my favorite genres: history, biography, and politics. Then throw in some religion and it gets even better. Billy Graham was the seminal force in American Christianity in the 20th century defining evangelicals from fundamentalists (an evangelical was someone who liked Graham and a fundamentalist was one who thought he was too “liberal”), rallying Christians to be involved in government, an important voice on desegregation, and a possessing a relationship with every president since Truman.

Can You Legislate Morality? MLK Jr. Responds.

The assertion that “You can’t legislate morality” is often used as a reason that Christians (or anyone else for that matter) shouldn’t seek to create laws that are based on moral values. But is that true? If you think about it for just a moment, you realize that it’s a ridiculous statement. We legislate morality all the time. For example why do we have laws agains stealing? Because taking another person’s property is immoral.

When people say, “You can’t legislate morality,” sometimes they mean that laws can’t change people’s hearts. I think that’s what President Eisenhower meant when he used the phrase in 1957 regarding race relations. With an uptick in violence including the bombing of houses of black leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. asked Eisenhower to come to the South to make a speech urging law and order. Eisenhower refused and in response King and his associates sent the White House a telegram that said in part…

“We shouldn’t impose our beliefs on other people!”

Halfway on the drive between Columbia and Kansas City our argument reached a pitch. My girlfriend (now wife) and I were debating a hot-button issue in the 2008 election. She argued that we should vote in line with our Christian beliefs. I, however, took the opposite perspective. While personally opposed to the issues like abortion,

Bad for America, Good for the Church

Though I cannot recall the title of the sermon I was listening to at the time, I once heard pastor and author John Piper refer to Christians in the United States as being “like little kids living in Disneyland.” His point at the time was to highlight the fact that all around the rest of

Talking Pictures in Review: Lincoln

A few thoughts for you dedicated film fans out there who weren’t able to make it to the Talking Pictures discussion of Lincoln. As usual, there’s much more that could be said than can be included here. First, a couple of notes on the artistic qualities of the film: In my judgment, the film does

Thomas Jefferson: Defender of Religious Freedom?

“The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a study this September showing that this potential for penalty and discrimination [against religious freedom] is becoming a reality. Pew documented evidence of increased social hostility and government restrictions against religion in America. When compared with the rest of the world, the United States rose from

A Few Principles for Politics–Pt. 2

Last week, in light of election season, I posted a few biblically shaped principles to keep in mind concerning the political process. This week I wanted to follow up with a few more (though again, this won’t do much more than scratch the surface): 1. There is one pursuit all Christians are called to be

A Few Principles for Politics

In case you’ve somehow missed the bombardment of radio and TV ads, yard signs, and news reports, election time is not that far away. So it only makes sense to do a bit of thinking about politics through a biblical lens. And while such a task has been the subject of books, let alone blog

The Politico

It is no secret the political climate is heating up as we find ourselves in another election year. There has already been significant turnover within the primary season as many incumbents are finding their constituents less than impressed with their legislative efforts and voting record. One of the first major upsets of the primary season

Health Care Reform

When I was first asked to contribute to ESI over two years ago, a request was made for me to address areas of health and science which intersect a biblical worldview. It was hoped that I could help shine the light of the gospel on areas frequently left out of conversations in the American Christian