Monthly Archives: March 2008

A Roman Catholic and Reformed Forum on the Eucharist

Tomorrow evening, at 6:00 p.m., ACT 3 is pleased to host another one of its regular forums for the general public. This one will feature Father Thomas Baima and myself on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. Tom contributed the Catholic chapter to my book, Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper. 0310262682The book also includes a Lutheran, Baptist and Reformed view of the Eucharist. I hold to the Reformed view. So the two views we shall discuss tomorrow are from these two different perspectives. The event will not be an acrimonious debate but a dialog among friends. Tom and I have shared much personal fellowship over the last four or five years. We have also shared the same platform a number of times now.

I am well aware that there are those who think such an event is, in itself, a "sell out." Obviously, I think otherwise or I would not take part in it. I believe that you would learn

By |March 29th, 2008|Categories: Roman Catholicism|

Economic Plans Do Matter: Keeping Markets and Morality Close Together

As Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton draw nearer to a very important primary race in Pennsylvania they seem to continually seek to "one-up" each other with the newest economic solution packages for what they think will gain votes for their respective campaigns. Piggy_bank
One cannot be exactly sure what they are actually promising voters without a good deal of careful reading. Says one writer in a paper today, "They often appear to be playing a game of policy leapfrog." Sen. Clinton proposed  a $30 billion package on Monday that would provide grants and loans to localities so they can acquire foreclosed properties, make improvements and then sell them. The aim, she says, is to head off big clusters of foreclosures that can undermine neighborhoods.

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Then yesterday Senator Obama countered Clinton with his own $30 billion package, although he says his would help financially

By |March 28th, 2008|Categories: Economy/Economics|

Our Economy Will Grow Again if Washington Allows It

There is a great deal of low-level panic in the public and private sectors over the American economy. The housing market is bad and the cost of fuel keeps rising. Unemployment has grown. Inflation, a huge problem in the 1970s, is still not a major cause for concern. Syndicated columnist and financial adviser Lawrence Kudlow Kulow_2
expressed my thoughts perfectly when he wrote last week: "I applaud the Fed for backstopping the financial system and preventing a run on the whole banking sector. That’s what it’s there to do. Treasury Secretary Paulson said repeatedly, ‘the government is prepared to do what it takes to maintain the stability of our financial system.’ He is absolutely right. So is President Bush, who said ‘we’ve taken strong and decisive action in challenging times,’ adding that ‘in the long run our economy is going to be fine.’"

The panic that many feel is not rooted in real long-term prospects so long as Washington does not try to over-correct

By |March 28th, 2008|Categories: Economy/Economics|

A Nazi Story Like Very Few I Have Seen on Film

Dvd_ss Sophie Scholl was a bright, committed, serious 22-year old woman who joined a growing resistance of various intellectuals and students in 1942-43 to oppose Adolf Hitler. Scholl ended up paying for her involvement by being arrested, interrogated and beheaded, all within six short days in the summer of 1943. She was part of what was known as The White Rose, a student resistance group that produced a series of six leaflets to undermine their government following their miserable military defeat at Stalingrad, a defeat that cost so many German lives and showed where the future would lead under German national-socialism. This led to the idea of "All Our War, " a new phase which would foolishly lead to the death of millions more, both Germans and the Western allies who fought against them.

Director Marc Rothemund, using long-buried historical records, beautifully recreates Sophie Scholl’s last six days in this moving 2006 movie, now available on DVD: Sophie Scholl—The Final Days. The film

By |March 27th, 2008|Categories: Film|

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

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The seventy-minute documentary film, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, is a genuinely shocking account of the brutal murder of a fourteen year Chicago African-American boy in Money, Mississippi, in 1955. His simple offense was whistling at a white woman in a public place. The Emmett Till story shocked many Americans, especially outside the Deep South, and thereby became the real public spark for the Civil Rights movement. Indeed, you cannot understand the rise of the Civil Rights era without this story. Before Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., before James Meredith and Medgar Evers, there was Emmett Louis Till. And there his very brave mother Mamie Till-Mobley, who courageously insisted on having an open coffin at his funeral so that the entire nation could really see what happened to her boy. (The sheriff in Mississippi had tried to bury Emmett Till’s body before anyone could see it.)

Emmett Till, the only child of Mamie Till-Mobley of Chicago, was sent by

By |March 26th, 2008|Categories: Race and Racism|

Two Personal Prayer Requests

I appreciate the fact that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of you who read these blogs pray for me and the mission of ACT 3 in some way. I am in your debt. I write this short blog to make two specific requests:

1. Tomorrow I will undergo foot surgery for about an hour. Two different procedures will be done on the same foot that I had surgery on two-plus years ago. I will be resting for a few days and then should be able to move around in a special post-surgery shoe. Cdcover_page_1_ezr
I hope to preach on Sunday, March 30, at First Reformed Church in South Holland and then share the platform with Fr. Tom Baima in our ACT 3 Forum on Sunday evening at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church. See our Web site home page for information.

2. Our ministry, like so many non-profits of this type, goes through financial ups and downs in the course of twelve months. We have

By |March 25th, 2008|Categories: Personal|

Ben Stein's New Movie Will Clearly Shake the Academic Tree

This year, author and former speech-writer Ben Stein goes for the jugular vein that supplies all the false ideology fueling today’s rebellion against God and final truth. He does it in a movie, Expelled, that has already stirred controversy and it is not even out yet. (Click the movie title and you will see the trailer that has been pre-released.) Stein is taking on the establishment’s enslavement to Darwinism and exposing not only its improbability, but its dangerous intellectual suicide that refuses to follow the evidence where it leads, and that of course is back to God our Creator. Take a minute and watch the preview of this forthcoming film. It should be interesting whether you completely agree with his conclusions or not.

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By |March 25th, 2008|Categories: Science|

What (Really) is a Worldview?

Some years ago the concept of a worldview became popular. I am not sure who first coined this term. I get the feeling Francis Schaeffer may have made it popular but I am not really sure. All I know is that the terms has run through a number of expressions and now seems, at least to me, to be spent and less useful.

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About twenty years ago a Christian theologian defined a worldview as "A broad conceptual synthesis which forms one’s perspective on the whole of reality." So far so good. The problem is that the "broad conceptual synthesis" has become more and more narrow as various cultural apologists have tried to use this term to define themselves and their ministries.

All Christians should have a Christian worldview, if by this term we mean a broad way by which we understand the created order and sin, fall and redemption and then order our lives by it. But this is not

By |March 25th, 2008|Categories: Culture|

The Cross in Daley Plaza Chicago

In preparation for Easter this past weekend, an an Easter sunrise service in downtown Chicago, a 19-foot cross was erected on Daley Plaza in Chicago. We_the_people
What struck me about this event was not the ceremony, or even especially the use of a cross. What struck me about this event was that Rob Sherman, a nationally known atheist from Buffalo Grove, Illinois, applauded the way the event was done. I thought: "What gives? Had Rob become a Christian?" The real answer is one many conservative Christians need to think about I believe.

This event was sponsored by The Thomas More Society (Catholic). The More Society obtained a city permit for the cross and their event. Sherman therefore applauded the city of Chicago and The Thomas More Society for properly working together to gain legal approval for "free exercise of private religious speech in the public square." Christians from several different backgrounds worked on this project. Sherman noted that he had no problem with

By |March 24th, 2008|Categories: Separation of Church & State|

Resurrection Myths and Resurrection Reality

Since the first century people have developed various explanations (myths) to explain away the historical credibility of the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. These theories, or myths, include:

1. The Swoon Theory

Jesus didn’t really die, but only swooned and then recovered in the cool tomb.

2. The No Burial Theory

Jesus wasn’t really buried but placed in a common grave and his body was later recovered.

3. The Hallucination Theory

Scores, if not hundreds, of people thought they saw him in his resurrected state but they all hallucinated.

4. The Telepathy Theory

People had mental images of the Christ but he did not really arise.

5. The Seance Theory

People experienced an incorporeal and ephemeral appearance but not a bodily resurrection.

6. The Mistaken Identity Theory

Someone besides Jesus appeared impersonating him.

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But none of these can explain how cowards became heroes, or how the early church

By |March 23rd, 2008|Categories: Christ/Christology|
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