Featured Columnists

Featured Columnists

People Tend to Believe What They Want to Believe

People tend to believe what they want to believe. If you are a secularist looking for ways to defend your secularism, you will find secular ways to explain and minimize the relevance of religion to society. If you are a Christian looking for ways to defend your faith, you will find biblical ways to explain and maximize the relevance of religion to society. One way forward is, therefore, to help secular people want to believe what Christians believe. For that to happen, they must first want what we have.

ChatGPT, Consciousness, and the Human Mind

ChatGPT is, to borrow a phrase, “breaking the internet.” So far, what it has produced ranges from the impressive to the hilarious.  It is also forcing a series of existential crises. For example, teachers are scrambling to discern the work of their students from the work of compelling AI counterfeits. The tech industry now faces what The New York Times calls “an AI arms race,” as competitors like Google apply their own AI to search engines and ad generators. Technology has made searching for errors in code, sifting through mountains of data, and summarizing complex issues in a few paragraphs exponentially easier and more user-friendly.

How to Morally Share Your Moral Beliefs with Others

The question is not whether Christians should be allowed to “impose” their moral beliefs on others, but the most moral means by which they—and everyone else—should do so. Here we find secular and biblical answers that align.

Laws Shape How We Think about the World Around Us

If our intuitions do influence our moral decisions, even overriding our best intentions and our rationality, we’d do well to pay attention to what is shaping themWhat’s legally available (or not) shapes them, and not just because people don’t want to get in trouble. Laws create conditions, such as whether we have access to certain products and advertising. Laws make some financial incentives possible, but not others. They can also normalize or stigmatize behaviors. In other words, laws play a role in fostering the habits of a people, and people tend to be formed by their habits. Laws should not enable and should never incentivize bad habits. Good habits, on the other hand, also form our moral intuitions. 

Energy Department Says Lab Leak Most Likely Origin of COVID-19 Pandemic

The US Energy Department (USED) has concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic origin was most likely a laboratory leak.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this conclusion “is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of US national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research.” However, people who have read the classified report add that the USED made its judgment with “low confidence” (which means that it is based on highly incomplete evidence).

Courageous Christian Leadership in Sierra Leone: Shodankeh Johnson

Every year, the Colson Center presents the William Wilberforce Award to a Christian leader who has made a lasting difference in their sphere of influence, demonstrating the same principled courage as British abolitionist William Wilberforce. This year, at the 2023 Colson Center National Conference, we look forward to honoring Shodankeh Johnson with the award. His work as a pastor, church planter, and reformer has brought transformation in his home country of Sierra Leone.

Movements of God Are Unpredictable Because God Is Unpredictable

The reason movements of God are unpredictable is that God is unpredictable. Here’s why: “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:28-29).

Don't Call on Demons You Don't Believe In

A post-Christian society may be about to learn what Christians have always taught: Not all spiritual entities are friendly or helpful. A chilling 2018 article in The Atlantic  chronicled the growing demand for official Catholic exorcists, even while practicing Catholics dwindle as a share of the population. Something is going on that psychologists can’t handle. Modern Westerners’ naïve approach to the spiritual realm — treating it as a game or a joke or a political sting — leaves them especially vulnerable to attack.

Why World War III Will Not Start in Ukraine

Ultimately, there’s little you or I can do to prevent the kinds of global conflicts that appear to be on the horizon. But there is an important lesson we can learn from them that makes a profound difference in our ability to navigate the trials and temptations that threaten to draw us away from God. So much of the world’s attention is currently focused on the war between Russia and Ukraine that other — potentially more dangerous — threats are allowed to persist relatively unchecked. We make the same mistake in our own lives when we become so fixated on where we expect Satan to hit us that we blind ourselves to the other areas where we are vulnerable.

Our Enemy tends not to care where he attacks so long as the attack proves effective. As such, it is often the parts of our lives to which we give little thought that prove to be the most fertile ground for temptation to take root. So take a few minutes right now to ask the Lord to show you any areas of your life where Satan may be at work in the shadows. Ask him to show you where you are most vulnerable and keep an open mind about where those areas might be.

Is Christianity Sexist?

February 6 marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The World Health Organization estimates more than 200 million women and girls across the globe have been subjected to this violent practice which forcibly cuts or mutilates a woman’s sexual organs as a so-called “rite of passage.” Not only is FGM a gross violation of the human rights and dignity of these girls, most of whom either do not consent to it or are not old enough to understand what’s being done to them, but it’s also incredibly dangerous.

Diverse people groups practice FGM, including, unfortunately, a few remote tribes who identify as Christian. However, far more Christians have fought the practice than committed it, including missionaries, Christian aid organizations, and many local African Christian communities. These Christians are motivated by a biblical view of humanity, that includes the inherent dignity of women and children. Nevertheless, a common accusation is that Christianity is an oppressively patriarchal religion that either subjugates women or, at least, devalues them. This accusation is almost exclusively Western and modern. The first Christians were actually criticized for teaching that women were equal in value to men, and accused of being “incestuous” for referring to fellow believers as “brothers and sisters.”