Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Shelter in Financial Storms

On a monthly basis on The Meeting House on Faith Radio, Mark Biller, the Executive Editor of the Sound Mind Investing Newsletter and Website joins me to discuss financial issues from a Christian worldview perspective. In light of the financial news that we are hearing as of late, in the midst of the talk of recession, high gas prices, the mortgage loan crisis, and the fire sale of Bear Stearns, this could cause anxiety from a financial point of view.

But Jesus addressed the topic of finances frequently during His earthly ministry, and gave a poignant passage in Matthew 6, telling us basically to "chill out" about our finances and seek first the Kingdom of God. I trust Mark to share with us that strong, solid Biblical perspective on our finances, and recently he discussed, "3 Keys to Change Your Financial Future". Here's the skeleton outline, along with audio files addressing each point.

The first key is to create a written spending, plan, otherwise known as a budget.


The second key is to start contributing to a retirement savings plan.


And the last key, which actually is the cornerstone of our financial matters, is to give.


An American Enterprise Institute study (to which Mark refers in the audio clip) illustrates the correlation between giving and one's financial well being. An article can be found here.

I encourage you to visit the Sound Mind Investing website at to download the full conversation with Mark Biller. That address is

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Whatever Happened to Sin?

I have been a bit fascinated by a new study by Ellison Research that shows that a majority of Americans surveyed believe in a concept of sin, but differ widely on what activities actually can be defined as sinful. For the purposes of the study, sin was defined as "something that is almost always considered wrong, particularly from a religious or moral perspective".

So 87% of Americans believe in the concept of sin, and there were 30 behaviors that were listed for those taking the survey to give a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" regarding whether they believe that behavior (or lack of behavior) was sinful. Only 7 out of 30 were described as sinful by a majority of those taking the survey. Among those making the cut were adultery (81%), racism (74%), using hard drugs (are you kidding? - 65%), having an abortion (56%), and homosexual activity or sex (52%).

The surprise comes as we look at some of the items that were classifed as sinful by 50% or less of those surveyed - reading or watching pornography (50%), sex before marriage (45%), getting drunk (41%), and gambling (30%). You can find the results at

I think as we look at the whole notion of sin, we see that while there still may be a sense of right and wrong generally in our culture about some things, but what defines right and wrong is often up to the person. As Christians, we can have moral clarity as a result of the teachings of the Scriptures - we have a bearing for our lives. And as Christians, we can bring the world an antidote to the problem of sin through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Be sure to tune in The Meeting House weekdays from 4-6pm on Faith Radio or

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dealing with Design (from Montgomery's Journey)

God has opened another door for me to express myself in writing, in addition to the radio stuff! Jason and DeAnne Watson run Montgomery's Journey magazine, which is published on a monthly basis, and have asked me to write a monthly column dealing with what I might call "worldview" issues, as we think about how our faith can influence the culture.

Here are some excerpts from the original of my first offering, "Dealing with Design":

Where did we as human beings come from?

That is a fundamental question that has become a flashpoint in the scientific and academic communities, and our response to the question of origins can determine how we think toward a variety of other issues as well.

As I see it, there are basically two schools of thoughts overall with respect to the issue:

The first is the no-God (NG) approach – that life came from non-life, at random; through a series of scientific events over scores of years, our universe was formed, species evolved through random selection and mutation, and ultimately humans came from non-humans.

The second is the designer approach – which has three tracks:
The “young earth” camp. This group, including a number of evangelical Christians, believes that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days, and that if you track the Biblical timeline and genealogy back to Adam and Eve in the Garden, you’ll find the earth is about 6000 years old.
The “God’s hand in evolution” camp. These are the folks that believe in a non-literal “six days”, and adopt a view allowing for some of the principles of evolution, but with a more governed approach - God guided the process, which could have taken millions of years to come about.
The “ID” camp. These people subscribe to an increasingly popular belief system called “Intelligent Design”, advocating that aspects of life itself, including human life, are so complex that the chances of these taking place randomly are beyond the realm of possibility. Examples would include the formation of certain bacteria or the intricacies of the DNA molecule.

I went on to present some evidence of how science and the Bible are complementary, not contradictory:

The Access Research Network, in its 2007 "Top 10 Darwin and Design News Stories" list, reported in The Christian Post, cited some top stories it considers a "growing burden" to Darwinists. For example, an increasing level of complexity has been discovered in small biological systems such as “ribosomes” - molecular machines inside living cells, plus discoveries of the human genome show a greater “biological jungle” that has been imagined. Newly uncovered jellyfish fossils in Utah that were dated much earlier than the oldest specimens of the modern jellyfish showed the same or even greater complexity as modern types.

World Net Daily reported on a “Who’s Who” of hundreds of leading scientists who are questioning the long-held beliefs in the Darwinian theory. The names include top scientists as MIT, UCLA, Ohio State, University of Pennsylvania, University of Georgia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Texas A&M, Duke, the British Museum and others. "Darwinism is a trivial idea that has been elevated to the status of the scientific theory that governs modern biology," said Michael Egnor, award-winning brain surgeon and professor at State University of New York, Stony Brook.

In conclusion, I highlighted a disturbing trend in the world of academia:

Some examples of this unprecedented assault include:
Richard Sternberg lost his job at the Smithsonian for “allowing” a pro-intelligent design paper to be published,
Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez was denied tenure at Iowa State University because of his intelligent design affiliations, and
The Baylor administration shut down Robert Marks' Evolutionary Informatics Lab and website for similar reasons.

On The Meeting House program on Faith Radio recently, David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association discussed the case of Nathaniel Abraham, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who claims that his 2004 dismissal resulted from his religious beliefs.

A new documentary film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, featuring Ben Stein, is scheduled to appear in theaters nationwide this spring, and will expose instances of employment termination based on …worldview!

As evidence proving that science supports faith is discovered and reported in the future, it’s important that we as Christians are knowledgeable and prepared to speak out on behalf of our Master Designer!

Recently, at National Religious Broadcasters, I had a chance to interview Mark Mathis, one of the producers of the film, "Expelled"...

You can link to the .mp3 of the interview by going to and scrolling down to Mark's name. The website for the film is