In the study of logic, there is a fallacy called the no true Scotsman fallacy, and my study of the teachings of Calvinism have lead me to the conclusion that Calvinists fall prey to this same fallacy.
Around this time of year, a lot of Christians try to explain the genealogies in Matthew and Luke by saying that Matthew gives Joseph's genealogy while Luke gives Mary's genealogy. While this is technically true, I think that it causes more confusion than necessary. The proper way to view the two genealogies is not as those of Joseph and Mary but rather as the genealogies of Joseph and Jesus.
I was recently asked to draft a religious accommodation request (regarding the covid vaccines) that plainly outlines the reasons for the accommodation while also informing employers of their responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs. After submitting my draft to a lawyer for review and receiving his approval, I decided to share it here in case anyone else would like to use it.
If you’ve followed my blog over the past year, you know that my wife is a stroke survivor who cannot wear a mask without risking another stroke. She tried wearing a mask in July of last year and ended up with temporary paralysis of her right side. Since that event, her symptoms from the stroke have flared up with a vengeance, and we have been attempting to get her tested and treated for whatever is causing it.
There is a theory about the history of socialism that has annoyed me for some time now, and that is the theory that a man named James Harrington (whose writings had a powerful influence on America's founders) essentially taught socialism when he used the term "agrarian balance." I have encountered this claim in the writings and lectures of Harvard historian Eric Nelson who wrote "The Hebrew Republic," a book that I highly recommend in spite of this particular error, and in discussions with Jon Rowe of the American Creation Blog. The remainder of this article is a response that I made to one of Jon's reiterations of this claim.
One of the most significant debates separating Christians in America is the debate over how to fight against abortion in our nation. On the one hand, there are the mainstream pro-life leaders who argue that the best way to fight against abortion is to wage a war of attrition by passing incremental laws that make more and more abortions illegal until we finally eliminate all abortions entirely. On the other hand are the personhood and abolitionist leaders who argue that the incremental approach is immoral and that we must strive to pass laws which outlaw all abortions without exception. The two paths are irreconcilable. We must choose one or the other, but how do we know which one is right?
At what point would you use lethal force against an unarmed assailant? Have you ever thought about that question before? I mean seriously thought about it, not just as a fleeting cogitation during the commercial break of your favorite police drama. Have you ever sat down and planned how you would respond to different types of assaults on yourself or others with the consideration of using lethal force?
Last year, one of my friends posted a video on facebook excoriating everyone who did not wear a mask in public. I wrote this friend a letter explaining that his statements were very wrong and very hurtful. We never received a response from this friend, but he did soften his tone shortly thereafter. With the current rise in cases, I have seen several other friends make statements about masks that are similar to what this other friend said last year, and I have decided to share publicly the letter that I wrote to him. Here is the text of that letter:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
These famous words form the opening paragraph of one of the most influential documents in all of human history – the American Declaration of Independence. According to this paragraph, the American claim to independence was established upon “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” but what did Thomas Jefferson mean by this phrase? Nearly all of the modern historians who have written about this phrase have accused Jefferson and the other signers of the Declaration of abandoning the God of the Bible and erecting a more deistic god of nature in His place. But this accusation is entirely false. Jefferson’s reference to the laws of nature and of nature’s God had a very specific meaning that was well understood by eighteenth century Americans.
July 4th, 1776, has long been celebrated as the birth of our nation, but is that really the day that America became independent of Britain?
The first recorded celebration of the 4th of July occurred on the first anniversary of that date in 1777 in the city of Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence had been signed. A reporter in Philadelphia wrote of the event:
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)