Moral Obligation vs. Moral Approval

by Joshua Crutchfield

cakesWith the firestorm underway in Indiana and much of the United States regarding religious liberty and the outcry of discrimination, I find it necessary to point out the obvious. After watching the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s president, Russell Moore, succinctly present the logical reasons for such unfortunately necessary bills that protect our religious liberty, it became quite apparent that the Christian community has been demonized as a people who would like the ability to indulge prejudice behaviors as opposed to extending neighborly concern.

Whether this stereotype forced upon the church is accurate or not, it is not one that the media and others seem to be concerned with. Now with the irrational behavior of our country, driven by unstable emotions, the distinction of moral obligation and moral approval needs to be stated. Continue reading

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Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

by Joe Wooddell

wolfOn January 16, 2015 American Sniper (the movie) was released. It took me a while, but I finally saw it a few weeks ago. Based on the true story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, the movie chronicles his four tours of duty in Iraq, and basically shows how important a sniper can be to military maneuvers, and how extremely well Kyle accomplished this task. A friend mentioned that those critical of the movie assert that it glorifies war. I disagree. It glorifies valor, courage, self-sacrifice, and the triumph of good over evil, but not war itself. All of this is another post, however. It’s not what I aim to address in this post. Rather, I want to mention a phrase or idea mentioned in the film by the character of Kyle’s dad when Kyle and his brother were children. Continue reading

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In the Lion’s Den: Tough Topics with Everett Berry

lions den

After our latest Lion’s Den Q&A with professors, we asked our resident theologian, Dr. Everett Berry, to discuss the theological implications of the questions raised by our students. Continue reading

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A Tribute to My Father: Emmett Meraz, Jr. (1923-2015)

by Aaron Meraz

meraz jrAs Emeterio Meraz made his way to the red barn he and his family of ten called home, he had a box of crackers under his arm. He entered the barn, called his family together, set the box of crackers before them, and said, “This week, we will eat like kings.” Such was the poverty my father, Emmett Meraz Jr., experienced during his childhood in Cyril, Oklahoma. He was six years old when the Great Depression hit. His Mexican father, who had been educated in Mexico City, was now a sharecropper, picking cotton along with his older children and wife. Extreme poverty was their life for the first four years of the Great Depression. Continue reading

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The Engaging Culture of the Mind

by Kirk Spencer

00 TheEngagingCultureOfTheM“Engage” and “transform” are popular words in academic circles. They can take on many meanings. Taken together, they usually imply connecting (engaging) to make a difference (transform). In my opinion, this is not something that can be avoided. If we live together, we will connect and we will make a difference. So the main issue—whether individually or an institutionally—is “What kind of transformation are we going to make when our minds engage?” Continue reading

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The Goober Truth

by Kirk Spencer

00 TheGooberTruth ThisSideUpThe goober truth is when a liar tells the truth about lying which causes the truth-telling liar to be exposed as a liar… and so he then has to convincingly lie to cover up the fact that he told the truth about lying. I call it “goober truth” because the truth-telling liar must really believe that those who would believe him are goobers (peanut brains)—not only because they believe the liar who is, in fact, telling them the truth about when he lied (thus obviously untrustworthy), but because they continue to believe the lie the liar tells to cover up the truth he told about lying. Such blind trust of someone who is clearly untrustworthy—and we know they are untrustworthy because they are actually telling us (that they lied) and then show us (lying to cover up the truth about the lie)—such blind trust of the clearly untrustworthy is a strange phenomenon which takes place from time-to-time. However, it is something that rarely makes it into the news cycle—especially with the frequency it has recently. Continue reading

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Divine Singularity

by Kirk Spencer

00 DivineSingularity MeAndAIt was an amazing thing… holding something so fresh from heaven, only a few hours after her arrival—my first grandbaby—Aberdeen Alexandra. It was very different from holding my first child—the one who handed her to me, now all grown up. And, when I saw the fear on his face, I understood why holding this baby was different: With grandbabies you don’t bear the overwhelming primary responsibility of such a little life. No… with grandbabies you can be philosophical. Continue reading

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