Global Christian Perspectives – October 9, 2015

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Gun Control and Politics

In the wake of the Oregon shooting, there is a lot of posturing, but is there anything that can actually be done?  Why do we focus on objects (guns) instead of on people (the murders).

As I see it none of the proposed measures would actually have stopped any of these shootings. Instead focus on the Hero and victims.  People such as Chris Mintz

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/02/445271614/army-veteran-praised-as-a-hero-in-oregon-college-shooting

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/5/hillary-clinton-vows-executive-action-on-gun-contr/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3261458/The-President-not-welcome-Roseburg-residents-angry-Obama-traveling-visit-victims-UCC-shooting.html

Defense Bill passes in Senate for $612

How should Christians view defense spending.  This got mentioned last week but I did not get a chance to address it.  for me it is pretty clear.  As I see it we have not only cut back on the military, we have stepped back on our involvement in the world, just as many on the left wanted.  The result is that the world is not a far more dangerous place with evil on the rise.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/10/06/senate-moves-ahead-defense-bill-facing-veto-threat.html

In-depth Segment:  30  mins

  • Something that came up last week was the issue of predictive prophecy.  While I agree with Chris that the most prophecy deals with the time and condition of the prophet’s era,  I raised the issue of passages such as Daniel which do predict the future.  I would like to explore the prophecies of Daniel, not so much for what they say about the end times, but rather do they actually predict the future? I would think that the best thing would be to focus on chapter two where I believe the  4th kingdom is Rome, and Chapter 9 which predicts that the Messiah would come in about the year 26 AD, that he would be killed after 3.5 years, and that after that the city and the temple would be destroyed.  Since we have translations of Daniel in the LXX, the book cannot be any later than the mid second century BC. I believe it was written by Daniel, but either way this would be a pretty amazing prediction of the future that I would argue is beyond human ability.

Global Christian Perspectives – October 2, 2015

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Proposed Topics this Week

(Prepared by Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., show co-host)

Water on Mars?

                Interesting positive story – One tie in for Christians:  What would the discovery of life beyond earth do to our faith?

While I believe life elsewhere to be unlikely, (though given we have found pieces of Mars on earth, there is the possibility that life may have likewise traveled to Mars from earth) it would have no impact for me unless we found intelligent life that knew nothing about God.

                http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/mars-has-flowing-water-new-evidence-indicates/ar-AAeSDSl?ocid=ansmsnnews11

Shooting In Oregon

http://nypost.com/2015/10/01/oregon-gunman-singled-out-christians-during-rampage/

This story raise three  issues:

  • What if anything can be done.

The President called for Greater Gun control.

I think there is reason the people target schools, mall and other “gun free” zones.

  • The Gunman targeted Christians

Christians are the one group it is acceptable to hate.

  • Media coverage  / Media culture

Somewhat tied to 1, but I think coverage should ignore the shooter and focus only on the victims and the heros

A Nuclear Tsunami

“The terrorists plan on killing several hundred million people. The west is drastically underestimating the power of ISIS. ISIS intends to get its hands on nuclear weapons,”

Are we really taking this threat seriously enough?  (I would say no, we are not)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/28/l-todd-wood-isis-planning-nuclear-tsunami/

Syria

Russian and Iran want Assad

Saudi Arabia and others say he must go.

The Middle East descends further in chaos

This threatens to expand beyond the region

Is there anything that can now be done?

 

In-depth Segment:  30  mins

Apocalyptic thinking  

A constant interest for many Christians is the end times. But this mind set seem deeper than just Christians and the Left Behind series.   It is found in Islam and even secular thought.  (I believe it is a major component in the predictions of Climate Change)

Chris and I may be somewhat in agreement in that I believe most of what the prophets did was speak about things happening in their times.  However there are the books of Daniel, Revelations, and some other selected passages that at least seem to deal with the future.  (FYI,  I will be teaching on Daniel this fall, and have recently finished my notes which I have been working on most of this year).

As always you are free to suggest others.

See you all at  1:00PM CT,  2:00PM ET,  7:00PM in England.

 

 

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Global Christian Perspectives – September 25, 2015

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Topics and Links

News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Pope’s visit

               General reaction to the Pope’s visit and what he says over the next few days

Ben Carson’s Statement on Islam and the Presidency

While At first I was troubled by the clips of Carson’s statement I heard when I heard the full clip I changed my view, and now see this in just another in a very long line of media hit pieces.  While I think he could have been a bit clearer, given it was an off the cuff answer, I do not really see any problem here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUJvUDdtp8w

Immigration in Europe

This remains a growing and major crisis.  My view is that it is likely to remain, and in fact get worse, until the source of the problem is dealt with, something few seem willing to address.

News Segment:  30  mins

Rights ? Do they exist? What are they?

Historically human rights were grounded in a belief in God, i.e. what God had given no one not even the King could take away.    This view was beautifully summed up by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You can see this behind the argument of Lincoln in the 7th and last debate against Douglas when near the end he argues,

That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles-right and wrong-throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Today rights have been disconnected from God, and without a basis have drifted into chaos where China can claim it can suppress individual rights because it has a Right to Develop.  Where every wish become a right because it is desired.

The slavery issue remains a factor here. I do not believe there is such a thing as a right that impinges on others.  Your right to life, liberty and the pursue of happiness, for example, should not affect me, nor does it make any demands of me.  The moment it does, it ceases to be a right.

The “right” of another cannot be to force me to work on their behalf, and yet much of the modern welfare state is built on just that sort of mandate. 2/3 of the US budget is transfer payments, taking money from some people to give it to others. Thus if I am lucky, I will only have to work well into my 70s before I can retiree because in part I have to pay for government workers some of whom retire with 100% pensions at 55.  What do we normally call it when one person is forced to work for the benefit of another? Now days it is called a right.

GCP Topics for September 18, 2015

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Note: This section is prepared by co-host Elgin Hushbeck, Jr. and is subject to change as the news changes. Anyone is free to comment on these topics or make suggestions.

Here are the proposed topics for this week. 

News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Pope’s visit

                14 of 18 speeches in Spanish.

                I do not have a problem, as he is more comfortable in Spanish.  I am also not familiar with the tradition. (Do Popes normally give their speeches in their native language?)  However, I not sure it is wise if he has the goal of pushing for more tolerance of illegal immigration.        

               http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/15/pope-francis-us-visit-spanish-english-speeches

Unrest at the Vatican

Is this the press making much to do about nothing, or is this the beginnings of a serious conflict?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-conservative-revolt-is-brewing-inside-the-vatican/2015/09/07/1d8e02ba-4b3d-11e5-80c2-106ea7fb80d4_story.html

Problems for Science

As someone who has been concerned about the politicization of science for some time I am not surprised.  A key focus here will be why was the vote mentioned early in the article for requiring reproducibility a party line vote.

http://www.nature.com/news/reproducibility-will-not-cure-what-ails-science-1.18339

Assisted Suicide

This is a growing issue both here and in Europe.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/12/us/california-assisted-suicide-legislation/index.html

News Segment:  30  mins

Dealing with death

How should Christians approach issues of death and dying.

 

 

Global Christian Perspectives – September 11, 2015

Here are the proposed topics for this week.  .

News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Congratulations!

                Queen Elizabeth is now the longest reigning British monarch.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34177107  

Unrest at the Vatican

Is this the press making much to do about nothing, or is this the beginnings of a serious conflict?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-conservative-revolt-is-brewing-inside-the-vatican/2015/09/07/1d8e02ba-4b3d-11e5-80c2-106ea7fb80d4_story.html

Problems for Science

As someone who has been concerned about the politicization of science for some time I am not surprised.  A key focus here will be why was the vote mentioned early in the article for requiring reproducibility a party line vote.

http://www.nature.com/news/reproducibility-will-not-cure-what-ails-science-1.18339

Going to Jail for Christ.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423709/kim-davis-constitutional

 

Allan Bevere has a slightly different position.

http://www.allanbevere.com/2015/09/letting-our-yes-be-yes-and-our-no-be-no.html

 

I generally agree with Eastman.

News Segment:  30  mins

Church and State.

How to be a Christian with a hostile government.   Granted Hostility towards Christians in the United States and Europe is minor compared to elsewhere in the world, but it is also new.  In my lifetime we have gone from supportive to mildly hostile, and the conflicts are growing to the point that even the concept of religious liberty is now controversial.

(Note that the topic list is prepared by host Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.)

Global Christians Perspectives – September 4, 2015

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Here are the proposed topics. Remember that topics can change up to show time as the news marches on!


Here are the proposed topics for this week.

 

The Poor

Lead Quote: “By one dismal measure, America is joining the likes of Third World countries.

The number of U.S. residents who are struggling to survive on just $2 a day has more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million households and 3 million children in this desperate economic situation.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-surging-ranks-of-americas-ultrapoor/

We probably agree that this is a real tragedy.

Here is a somewhat long view that somewhat counters the above.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/the-unfinished-work-of-welfare-reform

My view is that the 1996 reforms were initially a positive first step, but with the initial success, and the war on terror, the issue dropped out of sight.  For me the key problem is that the move to work requires that there be jobs and the current recovery under Obama has been the worse in modern history.  While Government unemployment number as dropped, this has actually been because more people have given up even looking than have found jobs and many who have found “employment” have been part time and poor paying jobs.  (exactly one of the problems pointed out the first article).   Real unemployment it still well above 10%, and under employment much higher.

Inclusive vs thought control

University of Tennessee has told staff and employees to stop using he, she and instead use xe, zir, xyr.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3214567/University-Tennessee-tells-staff-students-stop-using-switch-xe-zir-xyr-instead.html

                While at one level, just another story about political correctness to laugh at.  Yet while many laugh, these is become more ingrained in out society.  At a deeper lever I see it as a much broader attack on gender.  One thing that has amazed me is how many Biblical statement I used to take as blinding obvious to the point I wondered why they were even stated, but have in recent years become important injunctions.    One was Deuteronomy 30:19 and the admonition to choose life.  Now we have Hamas who proclaims they love death, more than the Jews love life.   I now add Genesis 1:27 declaration that he created us male and female, though at the University of Tennessee that could get you in trouble.

News Segment:  30  mins

Would Jesus choose Democracy?

I see this as somewhat of a trick question, as Jesus would/has picked monarchy with him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   So with your permission I would like to modify this to “Would Jesus have us choose Democracy?”   Though we could keep the question the same and explain this at the start.

I would clearly answer yes.  For as Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of Government, except for all the rest.  However, there are many types of democracy, and I would argue that the best democracy is the one that keeps power closest to the individual, with lots of checks and balances.  I believe that the system of government set up in the constitution was the best so far, and worked very well for the first 150 years, but has largely been dismantled starting with the progressives in the early part of the 20th century, at this point is largely gone. We are seeing the results and are rapidly approaching, and in some respects have already passed the point of no return.  I detail the reasoning for this in my books Preserving Democracy and to some extent in What is Wrong with Social Justice.

 

Global Christian Perspectives – August 28, 2015

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Here are the topics. These may change any time up to the start of the show.


Immigration

Not just a US problem, and it is growing

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/22/migrants-hungary-border-fence-wall-serbia

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/europe-migration-crisis_55d63616e4b055a6dab37e64?kvcommref=mostpopular&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34028487

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-32912867

 

In the US, Conservative Columnist George Will attack Trump, but for many his article backfired as it showed the problem to be worse than many had thought.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-losing-immigration-policy/2015/08/21/b58a6d9e-4771-11e5-846d-02792f854297_story.html
 

Stock Market troubles

Is this capitalism run amok, or government meddling backfiring.

 

 

 

News Segment:  30  mins

 

For the in-depth segment some from previous weeks.  Please pick one or suggest another.

 

Who is our neighbor?  

 

A large part of the reason for the immigration problems are economic problems, corrupt governments, instability and wars around the world. What is our responsibility to those who are suffering around the world?  Some background,

 

“Former President Clinton has said many times in the years since that not intervening in Rwanda is his greatest regret. In March of this year he told CNBC that he believes had the U.S. gone into Rwanda, even marginally, early on in the genocide at least a third of the hundreds of thousands of people slaughtered could have been saved.”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/06/rwanda-and-what-bill-clinton-left-out-of-criticism-of-obama-on-syria/

 

Global Christian Perspectives – 08.21.15

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Teens Gone Wild

Being a teenage seems to be an increasing search for excitement. Often with tragic results.  While teenagers have always pushed the boundaries what does that mean in a society that has few boundaries?  Is this the same as in the past or do Teens have special challenges today? I will also be mentioning Kevin Brown’s book Rite of Passage.

http://ktla.com/2015/08/18/3rd-teen-dies-of-suspected-drug-overdose-at-california-music-festival/

Technology and Democracy

How Google could Rig the 2016 Election.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/how-google-could-rig-the-2016-election-121548.html#.VdcMNDZRH4Y

Does Islam have a problem?

Two more in a long line of disturbing stories.

You might want to read Deuteronomy 21:18–21

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middle-east/man-leaves-20-year-old-daughter-to-drown-at-dubai-beach-rather-than-allow-rescuers

 

In-Depth Segment: 30 mins

Multiculturalism. 

A common theme of multiculturalism is that all cultures are valuable and not is better than the others. Is this true.  Can we as Christians embrace this?   – BTW I would say of course not because of stories like those above.

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Global Christian Perspectives – August 14, 2015

There are two ways to view this event live: Google+ Event Page, and YouTube (embedded below).

What is the difference? You must view via Google+ to post questions and comments via the Q&A app. If you’re viewing the event recorded, then Google+ allows you to see audience questions and go directly to the places where they are answered.

Proposed Topics

(These are subject to change based on changing events in the news.)

Ferguson and Social Justice

With the new problems in Ferguson, this for me highlight one of the key problems social Justice, as it puts the agenda ahead of the truth.

Not required but if you want to know my views, you can check out three posts I did on this.

http://hushbeck.com/blog/2014/08/ferguson-justice-vs-social-justice/

http://hushbeck.com/blog/2014/11/ferguson-and-the-dark-side-of-social-justice/

http://hushbeck.com/blog/2014/12/responding-to-david-wilson-on-christians-ferguson-and-the-issue-of-race/

Illegal Immigration

There remain several immigration stories.  As Christians what is our duty and responsibility here?

Again not required but you might want to check out

http://hushbeck.com/blog/2011/09/no-go/

For the in-depth segment same as last week plus one new one (#3).

  • In a video over at Prager University’s Prager opens with the often used metaphor of evil and darkness.  He claims that is wrong, and that actually evil is bright, so bright that we do not want to look at it, and thus we find it much easier to simply down play it or even ignore it. While he applies this to the danger of Iran, it could just as easily be applied to a whole range of issues.   Given the current focus of “God is Love” and the focus on positive uplifting messages, how do we deal with the fact that evil does exist? How do we face it.

Global Christian Perspectives – August 7, 2015

Here are the topics that were discussed:

a)            Anniversary of Hiroshima.

Thursday was the 70th anniversary of dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, Sunday will be the anniversary of dropping the bomb on Nagasaki.

As there is a whole range of angles.   Should the bomb have been dropped; the generational divide on this question; how we view history; how we judge those in the past, just to name a few, we could probably spend the entire show on this, but will try to sum it up in 10 mins.

b)       Protecting the environment vs impacting people

Even if we grant that Climate change is a real problem (I do not accept it, but that is not the point here.), and ignore any potential Constitutional issues in the new EPA rules, this is still a problem. These Regulations will cause significant harm, particularly to the poor who can least afford it, and yet will only affect the temperature by 1/100 of a degree.

http://www.examiner.com/article/epa-head-we-don-t-need-to-justify-our-regulations-with-data

In-Depth Segment: 30 mins

The future of Western Christianity

We will start with Chris’ blog, (So I will be starting by asking Chris to sum up his post) and we will take this into a general discussion of the future of Christianity in the West.

http://eyrelines.energion.net/?p=784