The God of Awards Season

Awards season is here. We just had the Golden Globes were it was all about telling serial sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein that #timesup. So a quick reminder. God is okay. No really. Lots of people thank God. Even snarky atheist Ricky Gervais thanked God (that he made him an atheist) at the Golden Globes. I was watching Saturday Night Live last week and Chance the Rapper ended the show with the shout out: “I … Continue reading

Deadly Cult Stories in the News

(Originally printed in the Spring 2005 Issue of the MCOI Journal) It was one of those “What-is-this-world-coming-to?” news days. A man walked into a church with a gun and blasted away, killing seven people, including the pastor of the church and his son, while critically wounding the pastor’s wife. The shooter was identified as Terry Ratzmann, a member of the Living Church of God (LCOG) in suburban Milwaukee, WI. He was not a Satanist or … Continue reading

Crowded Out?

(Originally printed in the Spring 2005 Issue of the MCOI Journal on pg 15) Many are aware that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) teaches a two-class system: One is the 144,000 who will be in heaven, and the other is the “Great Crowd” who will never see heaven but hope to live forever on earth. What can we discover about this by asking questions from the Scriptures themselves? To be as fair … Continue reading

Conversation with a self-described atheist

I have recently been involved in an online conversation with a self-described atheist. He raised some questions that I thought might be of interest to our readers. He writes: I just find it fascinating how each of the more significant divisions of Christianity consider all the other ones so wrong on some pretty major things.  I was curious why you thought that was. Certainly you have experience with having differences in more minor details with … Continue reading

Dark Reason

Every now and then a news article comes along that scares me a little. The Washington Post reported on a social science study to test how politicians respond to evidence that contradicts their ideological positions. I bet you can guess how this went. Our research involved a number of “survey experiments” in which we varied the questions that we asked politicians. In our first test, we asked the politicians to evaluate parents’ satisfaction ratings for … Continue reading

The Challenge of Communication: Defining Terms

I often have to think about the challenge of communication, not only in our articles or public teaching but also in my day-to-day interaction with others. Sometimes when talking with someone, I get the distinct feeling that, although we may be using the same language, we somehow are not tracking together. Later, I may realize that the communication was not clear because we had different definitions, which had been assumed and not clarified. For example, … Continue reading