Those now infamous words have echoed across continents for years. In recent memory, the American economy has been the focus of much speculation as talking heads debate whether President Trump is helping or hurting it. News that the U.S. Economy hit 4.1% in growth for the second quarter of 2018 made headlines across the nation.
Proponents of the current economy are at the top of the “Market Cycle of Emotions” as investor confidence and consumer spending remain strong.
But we would do well to remember that everything that glitters is not gold.
A couple of considerations are worth noting.
First, there is a difference between the “originary” and nominal interest rate. For more on this subject you can read this helpful article. For now let’s just say that the nominal interest rate is the one talked about by media and government officials. And the “originary” interest rate is of great importance as it indicator of how much people spend and how much they save.
Basically what we are seeing right now is an artificially low interest rate environment in which banks are seeking to keep interest rates artificially low in order to continue issuing money through credit expansion. In other words people are borrowing money at greater rates and banks want to keep this trend going. Continue reading…
In recent years the Miss America Pageant has lost much of its luster. Controversies, loss of viewership, and organizational turmoil have made it somewhat irrelevant in our culture. All that could change with the new direction being led by newly appointed Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson.
It could also go very badly.
Carlson recently said that the new direction the Miss America pageant will go will be about the ideas the contestants share. She said:
“We’re no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire, their evening wear, whatever they choose to do. It’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives.”
This sounds like a great improvement. This sounds like something the feminist movement and social justice warriors can easily get behind. And in the age of #metoo, this sounds like a perfect alternative to a culture that demeans women through prostitution and pornography. What’s to worry about?
The cause for concern comes in what ideas are shared and, more importantly, what ideas are discouraged.
Back in 2009, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was asked about her views on marriage by judge and LGBT activist Perez Hilton. Prejean responded by saying she believes marriage is intended for a man and a woman: Continue reading…
The cultural buzz around “sexual identity” is at euphoric levels. Everyone wants to be proud of their identity and it seems to start and end with their sexuality. The consequence is a polarized society divided over an aspect of personhood that doesn’t accurately define us.
Within this broad discussion comes the responsibility of Christians to engage the culture with what the Bible teaches around these complex issues. And while some are speaking truth, it isn’t necessarily in love. Others are misrepresenting Scripture or even teaching outright false doctrine.
Knowing that some churches are seeking to marry the biblical sexual ethic with the LGBT agenda makes a voice like Rosaria Butterfield critical. Actually, in some ways, Butterfield’s voice and message are prophetic.
Butterfield spent much of her life living as a lesbian. She fully embraced the pride of her lifestyle and sought to bring others to her point of view. It was through the kindness and hospitality of Christian friends that Butterfield came to faith in Jesus Christ and rejected her lesbian lifestyle. Butterfield realized that her identity in Christ was greater than any other and that her sin no longer defined her.
In the wake of an email scandal that saw top executives and the CEO resign, the Miss America Pageant is making changes. This once heralded beauty contest that featured women in high heels and bikini’s is rebranding itself as a competition for women designed to showcase their skills and talents.
What kind of competition?
According to newly appointed Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson, it’s a competition to empower women:
“Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul. That’s what we’re judging them on now.”
Empowering women in the wake of #metoo means no more swimsuits or evening gowns, and no more judging based purely on shallow criteria such as looks. Rebranding itself as a competition rather than a beauty pageant is necessary if looks are no longer important. After all, no one watches a “beauty pageant” to see skills tests and hear analysis on geo-political affairs. Continue reading…
After the recent nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh by President Trump to the Supreme Court, a flurry of polls were released showing that Americans overwhelmingly support abortion. The attempts by abortion activists to send a message that Roe v. Wade is settled and should be left alone is an act of desperation.
A recent article highlights the problems with poll questions being asked and shows that when facts are revealed, support for abortion drops.
What has been revealed is that many people are simply unaware of exactly what Roe v. Wade is. Many people think reversing this legislation would make abortion illegal in all 50 states. In fact, reversing Roe would simply return the issue to the states to decide. I would think that people that claim to be “pro-choice” would welcome the ability of Americans to “choose” whether to legalize abortion or not. More choice is better, right?
Others are not aware that Roe allows for abortion through birth. Americans have overwhelmingly rejected late-term abortion. As the article makes clear, even as late as June of 2018, Americans were not in favor of late-term abortion: Continue reading…
Within the discussion on predestination and election naturally comes a discussion on God’s justice and mercy. It’s hard to go more than 5 minutes in any discussion on predestination before justice and mercy are mentioned. And for good reason. Central to a proper understanding of predestination is a proper understanding of God’s justice and mercy.
I want to take a minute and make sure we have a clear and proper understanding of how justice and mercy factor into any discussion on predestination and election.
The first thing we must agree on is that there is no injustice in God. At no time, ever, in human history has God ever been unjust. Nor will a time come when God is unjust. And no person has ever been the victim of God’s injustice. I think it’s easy for us all to agree on this point. (Rom. 9:14)
The next point we need to be clear on is whether God owes any person mercy. Does God owe any of us His mercy? Is God in some way obligated to give mercy?
Mercy is something granted at the discretion of the one granting mercy. In other words, we would be hard pressed to demand mercy, or claim that any person is required to grant mercy. From this understanding we can agree that God owes no person mercy. And the Bible makes clear that mercy is given at God’s discretion: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Rom. 9:15)
Now that we agree that there is no injustice in God, and God owes no one mercy, let’s answer two more questions to see how these relate to predestination and election. Continue reading…
Every Christian will come face to face with the doctrine of predestination. It’s inevitable. It’s also one of the hardest doctrines in the Bible to wrestle with. But its equally one of the most rewarding to study.
I want to address several “accusations” against predestination that are often given by those that object. But before I do, let’s make sure we are on the same page about exactly what predestination is and what it isn’t.
Two main views of predestination exist. The first is called the “Prescience view.” This view can be summed up in this way: God looked down through the portals of time and history and saw all those that, when given the chance to accept the Gospel, would do so, and He predestined them to be saved. In other words, God saw everyone in history that would accept the free gift of salvation when given the opportunity and He predestined them to salvation.
The second main view is called the “Augustinian/Reformed view.” This view can be summed up this way: God, before the foundations of time, in His sovereign will, determined who would be predestined to salvation with no merit or effort on the part of any human being. In other words, salvation is entirely in the hands of God and humans play no part in their own salvation. Continue reading…
The imminent retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court is liberals’ worst nightmare. His vacancy gave President Trump another opportunity to nominate a conservative justice dedicated to originalism. Another Antonin Scalia, if you will. The feeling that President Trump would nominate Judge Amy Barrett didn’t work out…this time.
Democrats and liberals alike were terrified that Trump would nominate a highly qualified judge with little to question or attack. This would leave no other choice than to go off the rails and and launch unconscionable attacks against things such as the nominee’s faith. (Remember when Sen. Feinstein issued an unconstitutional religious test against Amy Barrett?)
Since we’re talking about Judge Amy Barrett, it’s notable to mention that she’s (still) on President Trump’s short list. Many analysts predicted that Trump would nominate Barrett this time around. Some said such a nomination would be “political genius.” Not only was Barrett confirmed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in October of 2017, making it hard to not confirm her to the Supreme Court. But she is a highly qualified woman, wife, and mother; making her the feminist movements worst nightmare.
When nominated, Judge Barrett will reveal once again just how antagonistic the feminist movement is towards women. Not all women, just conservative women that are pro-life. While claiming to affirm women’s rights, the feminist movement has become little more than an arm for the Democratic party in promoting abortion, LGBTQ issues, and anti-male sentiment. Continue reading…
The Supreme Court ruling in NIFLA should have been applied to the Masterpiece decision.
In recent weeks the Supreme Court of the United States has issued rulings that have elated free-speech and religious freedom advocates. LGBTQ and abortion advocates have been less enthused with the rulings.
In NIFLA, the court ruled correctly that the government cannot coerce or compel speech. The ruling struck down a 2015 California law that mandated all care pregnancy centers read a notice to each patient reminding them that abortion is an available option in California. This clearly violates the free-speech, and moral consciences of the people operating the centers by compelling speech that is against the convictions of those reading it.
After the SCOTUS ruling, Michael Farris, CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, just one of the groups that argued before the Supreme Court in this case, commented:
“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion. In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion. The Supreme Court said that the government can’t do that, and that it must respect pro-life beliefs. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. They enable us to coexist peacefully with one another. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others.” Continue reading…
When I was in elementary school we had “school olympics” during which students participated in various olympic style games. Not the 1stcentury lion-eating, bare knuckles boxing style games, it was the run, jump, throw kind of olympics. I was a runner.
I ran the sprint and won. I beat every little boy in the school. It was clear that I was the fastest guy in our elementary school. When there was no more boys for me to race against, I was scheduled to race against the fastest girl in the school.
She had done the same thing I did: she beat every one of her counterparts. Since there was no other girls for her to race so she was to race me.
I remember thinking it strange that the school would pit a boy and girl against each other. I remember thinking to myself that if no boy could catch me, how would a girl catch me? But since I was a typical little boy, always happy to show I could beat a girl, I raced her.
Fast forward nearly thirty years and the reality that males are typically faster than females has not changed. Looking into the world of competitive sports makes the biological differences between males and females clear. From muscle mass to respiratory function, the hormones that dominate our bodies create differences in us that are biologically verifiable.
Knowing this, it is not surprising that parents would be upset that transgender students are being allowed to compete in high-school sports. Continue reading…