Under The Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization

(Originally printed in the Fall 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 10) By Frank York Retired (1999) Illinois College Professor of Sociology Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, who holds an M. Div. from Concordia Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, has written what should be considered one of the most important books of the twenty-first century. In a popular culture that seems determined to persecute Christians and to remove every … Continue reading

A Ham-Handed Walk through Church History

Sometimes when someone makes such an outlandish, obviously inflammatory statement you have to step back and look at what’s really going on. Take this headline from Churchleaders: “The Ridiculous Emphasis Christians Place on the Bible” I’m mean seriously. To be fair, Churchleaders.com (hereafter CL) gives this caveat: We at ChurchLeaders believe in the inerrancy and authority of Scripture as the inspired word of God. In fulfilling our purpose of helping church leaders lead better every … Continue reading

A Simple “Merry Christmas” is More than a Pleasant Greeting

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Christmas Bells) The poem “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was composed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on December 25, 1864, and turned into a hymn a few years later. The language and imagery are powerful – they do not derive from a comfortable, unchallenged … Continue reading

Joe Bidens’ and Nancy Pelosi’s Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage

[Trigger warning: statements that might qualify in some minds as offensive hate-speech will be quoted in this post. Heck, I might even throw in a few of my own!] You know Joe. He’s the VP whose favorability ratings go up every time he puts on Ray-Bans. And you know Nancy: the 76-year-old former (first female) Speaker of the House to whose face the years, and allegedly plastic surgeons, have been kind. Okay, then. You certainly … Continue reading

Sola Scriptura: Modern Misconceptions of Luther’s Intentions

(This originally appeared in the Winter 1999 edition of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 4) by Steve Berg In a recent debate between two apologists (a Catholic and a Protestant) over the issue of sola scriptura,* the Catholic defender, Gerry Matatics, argued that Luther invented the concept of sola scriptura in the early 16th century. He claimed Protestants today are holding to a doctrine that, by its very nature, is self-refuting and even unscriptural. … Continue reading

The Resurrection Probability

The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus will take place for many this Sunday. For most people these days, it is more-or-less a cultural event. I don’t necessarily mean they deny that the resurrection happened, but that they believe it based on their family and church affiliations, rather than as a result of their own serious consideration of the issue. Sometimes those who do contemplate and ask the hard questions are simply told to accept … Continue reading