Monday, May 31, 2021

Why Calling The US Tax Code Racist Is Not So Clear: Consistency and Logical Conclusions

It doesn't come up much here, as I use this blog to focus more on matters of religion and worldview, but I am an accountant by trade. And on some occasions, the two worlds intersect.

In this case, the issue at hand is racism and the United States Internal Revenue Code, which sets the laws for taxation at the federal government level. 

Full disclosure: I don't specialize in tax directly. It's not my specialty or field of interest. Nevertheless, I am a CPA (certified public accountant) and an EA (enrolled agent), so I have to maintain a working knowledge of tax law and practice. I know enough to be dangerous.

And so when an issue ties taxation with worldview, I may have some thoughts and insight (at least hopefully).

Friday, April 30, 2021

Jesus Did Not Tell His Disciples To Buy A Sword In Order To Make Himself "Among the Transgressors"

Whenever the question of whether Christians are ever permitted to use violence comes up, it is neither a secret nor a surprise that Jesus telling His disciples to buy swords in Luke 22:36 also usually comes up. It's not hard to understand why. Telling someone to buy a sword in the first century was like telling someone to buy a handgun today; it is a weapon with only one real use, and it is not to prepare food or chop wood.

Those who believe that Christians must never use violence ever, no matter what, understandably have rebuttals to this and explanations as to why, they believe, this passage does not justify the use of violence.

One such interpretation seems to be getting more popular. This interpretation is that Jesus told them to buy the swords so that it would look more like he was part of a violent mob, in order to fulfill Isaiah 53:12, which He cites in Luke 22:37 about Himself:

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The COVID-19 Vaccines, The Cross, and Making Good Come Out of Past Evils

One area of substantial controversy over the multiple available COVID-19 vaccines is the use of fetal cell lines in their production. Needless to say, those who oppose abortion on moral grounds (as I do), based on the belief that a person is already alive inside the womb before birth (which I hold), are wary of anything that necessarily involves the death of an unborn baby.

For this reason, it is important to understand what is and is not happening, and to be reasonable and consistent in how we think through the matter and apply it to our lives.

In this post, my focus is more on the underlying worldview and moral implications of the use of fetal cell lines in the COVID-19 vaccines than on whether you should get a vaccine. With that said, the application will be in favor of the vaccine (or at least against declining the vaccine due to this particular issue).

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Don't Let the Fall of Ravi Zacharias Threaten Your Christian Worldview (The Bible Predicted This Sort of Thing)

Needless to say, right now nothing good is being said about the late, formerly-great Christian preacher and apologist, Ravi Zacharias. And unless there is some massive and explosive revelation that the recent reports about him are actually false, probably nothing good will ever be said about him again.

It is now well-known news that Ravi Zacharias International Ministries published a report earlier this month, after an investigation by an independent law firm, that during his career, Zacharias committed not only acts of sexual immorality and adultery, but even sexual abuse and rape against multiple women (RZIM).

But while fans and followers of Ravi Zacharias certainly (and justifiably) feel stunned and betrayed, none of this poses any real challenge to the Christian faith and worldview. None of this should cause doubt or trouble us at a greater, meta level. And I don’t just mean this because we put our faith in Jesus and not men, or because broadly everyone is a sinner or what have you (although those things are all true).

This kind of thing was predicted by the Bible itself.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Government Welfare is, by Definition, Not Compassionate (Even If It Is The Right Policy To Have)

Government welfare is not compassionate. It cannot be compassionate by its very nature. And I say that as someone who is much more progressive on economic issues than I am on social issues. I support a lot of forms of government welfare. I think that they are ultimately the right types of things for government to enact. I just don’t think that they can be considered compassionate, nor can you call it compassionate to support them or vote for people who do.

The reason that it is not compassionate is simple: no party involved, neither government nor the taxpayer, willingly makes a sacrifice for the sake of others.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

More Reasons to Think that Jesus Affirmed the Old Testament (and Not Progressive Christianity)

You may be sensing a trend here. In recent months, I have started putting more emphasis on and effort into dealing with the broad classification of progressive Christianity and the way that this theological system attempts to maintain a robust, genuine Christian faith while openly and knowingly belittling and dismissing much of the Bible.

The primary focus in this is what Jesus says in the Gospels, since a major component of what would be called progressive Christianity is setting Jesus's (apparent) teachings, as recorded in the Gospels, in conflict with the rest of the Bible and ultimately overruling much of it. The rest of the Bible is a lesser revelation, usually deemed to be a man-made attempt at understanding God in contrast to the true and ultimate authority of Jesus (as found in the much more accurate and reliable Gospels).

However, this whole approach to scripture and theology falls apart if Jesus Himself (in the Gospels) contradicts this theological system and affirms the truth, accuracy, and divine origin of the other scriptures (namely the Old Testament, since the rest of the New Testament did not exist yet).

Monday, December 14, 2020

Clearing Up Myths And Misconceptions About Adam and Eve

The narrative of Adam and Eve, in the first few chapters of Genesis, is one of the most commonly misunderstood parts of the Bible. For such a pivotal point in the Bible and human history, people make mistakes about it quite frequently.

In this context, I am not even talking about disagreements about the broader elements of the narrative. Was the earth and the life on it created in six literal days or longer? Are Adam and Eve literal humans who were actually the first humans to exist or are they allegorical? What broad and controversial issues in systematic theology apply (e.g. God's sovereignty, man's immortality, etc.). That is a whole different discussion.

I am simply talking about people missing key elements of the text, or coming to conclusions that are not hard to disprove from the text. Some of these mistakes are made by non-Christians who simply haven't read the actual text. But many mistakes are made by Christians who miss a verse here or there that refutes their belief, fills in a gap they believe exists, etc.

So let us dive in and clear these things up.