January 20, 2016

Why You Should Boycott the Oscars

Some are calling for a boycott of the Oscars due to a lack of "diversity" among this year's nominees. 

I, too, am calling for a boycott of the Oscars. Not for any perceived lack of diversity, however. I think the Oscars should be boycotted because they are run by a bunch of mush-minded social justice warriors who are taking the egalitarian critiques of a bunch of spoiled children seriously. 

January 11, 2016

Review: Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament by Walter Kaiser

Kaiser Jr., Walter C. Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament (Kregel, 2015), 176 pp.

Christianity's critics are increasingly less likely to offer serious, rational objections to the existence of God or the accuracy of Scripture. Instead they are much more likely to make an emotional appeal, claiming that the God of Scripture is a homophobic/sexist/racist/genocidal tyrant. Frankly, I don't have much patience for that sort of nonsense. If the critics want to make an actual argument, I'm happy to respond, but if all they're capable of doing is pointing and shrieking, I'm not particularly interested in listening.

However, someone has to answer these objections, and in Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament (henceforth TQ), author Walt Kaiser attempts to do just that. The book consists of ten chapters, each one answering a common question about the character and/or behavior of the God of the Bible. The book is short (under 200 pages) and well-written. Each chapter also contains discussion questions, making TQ an ideal choice for group study. 

Kaiser does an able job responding to these tough questions, though I doubt he'll convince many skeptics (since, as I've already mentioned, I believe these objections often have more to do with feelings than facts). I don't always agree with the approach he takes (I especially disagree with the egalitarianism of chapter 9). Others may not share my disagreements with the author, but for me personally, they are enough to dissuade me from widely recommending the book to other members of my church. However, those interested in apologetics and/or Old Testament studies should find TQ to be a welcome addition to their libraries. 

Recommended, but not without reservations.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

January 01, 2016

Thinking Clearly about Immigration

Laurence Vance:
Libertarian advocates of “open borders” sometimes maintain that there should be no difference between an American traveling across a state border and a foreigner traveling across the U.S. border. But if this is what characterizes “open borders,” then that in and of itself is reason enough to reject “open borders” because, carried to its logical conclusion, “open borders” would then mean that if armed soldiers from any country in the world landed on America’s East or West Coasts, or massed at the Canadian or Mexican borders, and said that they were tourists coming to the United States to do some sightseeing, they should not be refused entry. And not only that, they could not be refused entry without violating their freedom to move, travel, migrate, or seek refuge. And if that weren’t ludicrous enough, foreign soldiers should be invited and welcomed just like everyone else in the world. If this conclusion is wrong, and not what certain left-libertarians envision as possibly happening with “open borders,” then perhaps they should use a different analogy or explain their position a little better.
. . .  
I have not argued against admitting Syrian refugees to the United States. I have not argued that immigrants take American jobs. I have not argued against admitting Muslims to the United States. I have not argued that immigrants commit crimes disproportionate to their numbers. I have not argued against immigrants. I have not argued that some refugees might potentially be terrorists. I have not argued against lawful immigration. I have not argued that some immigrants don’t want to assimilate. I have not argued against unrestricted immigration. I have not argued that some immigrants don’t want to learn English. I have not even argued against “open borders.”

I have merely pointed out some differences that libertarians can and should be recognizing—even if they are sympathetic to “open borders.” (link)

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