Monday, March 23, 2009

Video on What the Christians Need to Consider When Thinking About Politics

Here is a video about suggestions for improving the quality of political involvement by Christians. We need to avoid two extremes: The belief that we do not act upon the truth as citizens because "separation of church and state" somehow bans any truth believed by Christians from the marketplace of ideas on the one hand, and the idea that there is one definitive Christian answer to all political issues and that if Christians could take over they could create heaven on earth on the other. I don't believe either extreme. Christians should be active citizens. Government in about coordinating for the common good an restraining evil. Truth about good and evil has every place in politics. On the other hand, Christians are imperfect humans too. Exactly what specific political policies best vindicate the good in every situation is a fair matter for debate. In an imperfect world filled with imperfect people there are no perfect human political fixes that will bring heaven on earth. More follows in the video. It is very far from a perfect speech too.

Monday, March 09, 2009

More Obama Hardness of Hearing

President Obama has signed an executive order allowing federal money to be spent on embryonic stem cell research. The President made a statement that the prior policy made a “false choice between science and moral values.” The President also said that human cloning is dangerous and wrong. While it is true that cloning is immoral, it is odd the President does not understand that killing humans at the embryonic stage of development, a necessity for the research he plans to fund, is also clearly immoral. He is also apparently unaware of the practical connection between embryonic stem cell research and cloning.

The current research on random embryos’ stem cells is not likely to produce any cures for diseases. There are three major problems with directly using the stem cells from just any embryo: The embryonic stem cells have DNA foreign to the patient, mass producing the embryos at levels needed for a therapy to hundreds of people would require thousands of human eggs (which are very difficult to obtain in even small numbers) and, embryonic stem cells consistently produce tumors in the recipients. There is no easy solution to the egg problem, but there will be an attempt to solve the other two problems by taking a patients DNA, cloning dozens of twins of the patient, killing the embryos to harvest their stem cells, and then using the twins’ stem cells for the “therapy.” Why anyone would do something so monstrous when you can already use the patient’s own adult stem cells in therapies that work is unfathomable to me; but that is what will be done at some point in the future if researchers can get enough eggs.

Is it not obvious that the offspring of a human being is a human being? Is it not obvious that from the moment the DNA in a living egg and the DNA in a living sperm connect you obtain a living human being with a distinct identity? Does anybody really believe humans come to life from dead parts just after birth? Does anybody really believe it is moral to kill other human beings and use their body parts for research that might lead to a treatment for a disease - a treatment that can only prolong life, not ultimately prevent death? Obama is famous for saying he would listen to both sides. How can he be listening and still do what he is doing?

According to Rick Peary’s blog, the Obama administration has also asked for a change of the regulation that protects the conscience of medical personnel by protecting their right to refuse to take part in performing abortions. (See

While Obama’s presidency is for many a sort of symbol of social justice, it is sad that this image is costing uncounted people their lives.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Thoughts on Sanctification

Sanctification is the process of God working in the lives of believers to make us more like Jesus. Looking at the word itself, sanctification essentially means the process that makes a person set apart for God. Sanctification is not how we are saved, but how we are improved by God as a result of the salvation we have by grace through the faith God has given us in Christ's work.

One of our professors here at Trinity, Professor Steve Kennedy, recently said something to me that really struck me as interesting: He said that the process of sanctification should improve in us all of the communicable attributes of God and not merely God’s righteousness. In other words, as a result of sanctification, we should not only become more obedient to God, but we should also become wiser, more creative, more beautiful, better mannered, and a blessing to others in every way.

It strikes me as true. There is always a strong emphasis in speaking about sanctification as an improvement with regard to keeping God’s moral commands. Some people go further and speak of an improvement in virtue. But few people speak of sanctification with respect to creativity. Yet I suspect that this ought to be the case. That being sanctified means making us more like Christ. Being more like Christ means having the mind of Christ. Having the mind of Christ should mean being more creative, not only more virtuous. And, the things that we create should be more beautiful, as well as our own mind, soul, and spirit evidencing the beauty of God in us.