Should Churches Submit to Government Demands to Shut Down Services?

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, various governing authorities have called for the cessation of public gatherings, including church gatherings. In my own state of North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper gave an executive order forbidding public gatherings of more than 100 people. This means that the majority of churches in North Carolina are forbidden to meet [ Read More ]

Why I am Not a Jihadi

There are only three logically consistent options when choosing an ethical framework for understanding matters of war and peace. At one end of the spectrum is pacifism, an ethic that wishes to achieve peace by refusing to take up arms. I reject pacifism as a form of idealism, unsuited for the real world. At the [ Read More ]

Why I am Peaceful but Not a Pacifist

Some readers may be surprised to learn that pacifism is not a monolithic ideology. In fact, in Nevertheless: The Varieties of Religious Pacifism, Christian pacifist John Howard Yoder lists twenty-nine varieties of pacifism. Yoder’s list, which is confined to religious forms of pacifism, serves to illustrate the mind-boggling panoply of pacifisms on offer. For the [ Read More ]

Does God Answer Prayer?

As a seminary professor, I get questions like this all the time. And while my answers typically differ based on the context and the person asking, there’s one element I always incorporate into the answer: God is real and he does answer prayers. I always make the point that “God is real” because if he is not [ Read More ]