Denison Forum

Denison Forum

Two Years after the January 6 Capitol Riot, Do We Still Care?

I’ll admit, my initial reaction when I realized that I would need to write about the second anniversary of the Capitol riots was somewhere between “not this again” and “I just don’t care.” That’s not to say that the breach of the Capitol lacked significance or was in any way an appropriate or moral response to the 2020 election. The truth is that most Americans think what happened that day was wrong, but far fewer think it is worth continuing to dwell on or investigate going forward. So, if that’s the case, why am I writing about it today?

In short, it’s because it provides a good opportunity to think about a larger cultural question that continues to impact all of us, regardless of our political affiliation: Why is it that we so often feel the urge to push views to the extreme?

What If We All Lived by the Truth of God's Word?

Imagine a world in which everyone lived by the truth of God’s word. Imagine the personal and corporate righteousness that would result. Now imagine the consequences for a world in which each person and nation loved their neighbor as themselves (Matthew 22:39) and treated others only as they wished to be treated (Matthew 7:12), to cite just two biblical truths. How would this change the war in Ukraine? China’s threats against Taiwan? Crime in your city? Conflict in your home?

Why We Should Not Confuse Formal Religion with a Personal Relationship with Christ

Let’s not make a category mistake with our souls this year. No matter how advanced our technology becomes, bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari is right: we will never find lasting happiness through temporal comfort and convenience. And let’s avoid an association fallacy that confuses formal religion with a personal relationship with our Maker.

Our Real Problem with Praying in a Crisis

Our real problem with praying in a crisis is not that we do it but that we don’t do more of it. The Bible says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Jesus assured us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Criticism of prayer unmasks the self-sufficiency at the heart of our secularized culture. But crisis unmasks the irrationality of such self-sufficiency. We think we don’t need God anymore, that our scientific and medical advances have made faith in him obsolete and irrelevant. Then we face an emergency our human resources cannot solve, and we are faced with our need for Someone beyond ourselves.

How to 'Experience Meaningful Happiness'

If we want happiness for ourselves and others in the coming year, we will need to travel the ancient pathway: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). How do we do this? The psalmist explains: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (v. 5).

Why Integrity Still Matters

If our response to our own mistakes is to minimize the gravity of the sin and point out the hypocrisy of others, then we’re not really very penitent. After all, “I’m sorry, but . . . ” is not a real apology, and that’s just as true for you and me as it is for elected members of Congress.

Sacrificial Compassion Is Our Primary Medium of Witnessing to a Post-Christian Culture

We noted yesterday the urgency and privilege of sacrificial compassion as our primary medium of witnessing to a post-Christian, skeptical culture. This opportunity is only enhanced by an existentialist society that measures all news through the prism of the personal. In a day when people care primarily about what affects them directly, you and I will stand out when we extend God’s grace to those who cannot repay us or otherwise affect us.

Why Didn't Jesus Come into Our World as an Adult?

Jesus died for our sins as an adult. He did nearly everything we know of his earthly life as an adult: healing the sick, raising the dead, walking on water, and calming storms. In fact, except for one episode when he was twelve (Luke 2:41-51), we have nothing in the gospels about Jesus’ life from his birth to the beginning of his adult ministry.

If he did nothing else as a baby, child, or teenager that needed to be recorded in Scripture, why did he come as a baby who then experienced life as a child and a teenager before becoming an adult? Why did he not simply appear as the adult we see in his earthly ministry?

Three Reasons for the Decline of American Christianity

Pew Research Center estimates that Christians could make up a minority of Americans by 2070. According to sociology professor Stephen Bullivant, a practicing Catholic who teaches in London and Sydney, there are three main reasons for this decline in religious commitment and the concomitant rise of the nonreligious: the Cold War, 9/11, and the internet.