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Elgin’s Books


  • Christianity and Secularism

  • Evidence for the Bible
  • Global Christian Perspectives

    July 9th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    Global Christian Perspectives is a new weekly show on Google Hangouts discussing world events from a broad Christian perspective. It will be hosted by Chris Eyre from England who is more to the left politically, and myself an America who is more on the right. So while we are both Christians, there is very likely to be large areas of disagreements.

    Each week we will be joined by one or two guests so there should be no shortage of differing perspectives as we discuss the issues in the news. In addition we will have an in-depth section to get behind the current event and explore some of the factors that leads us to reach such different conclusions, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

    While subject to change, currently we are planning to discuss

    News Segment:

    Greece: What should we do?

    The Pope’s Encyclical: Are Climate Change and Capitalism really the most pressing problems facing Christians today?

    In-Depth Segment:

    Is there such a thing as a Christian economics?

    We are looking to have a good, and lively discussion. So be sure to join us Fridays at 2:00 ET

     

    Social Justice Good Or Bad? – Rescheduled

    June 9th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    Last month’s Energion Hangout debate on Social Justice was off to an energetic start when audio problems prevented us for continuing. So we will be going to try again. So be sure to join us this Tuesday June 9th at 7:00 PM when I will again be debating the question Social Justice Good Or Bad?  I will be arguing that it is harmful, while Steve Kindle, author of Stewardship: God’s Way of Recreating the World, will be defending it.   Steve and I agree on many biblical principles, but our application of those principles to our daily lives is vastly different. If last month’s start is any indication it will be lively and interesting discussion.

    Social Justice Good Or Bad?

    May 10th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    Join us for the next Energion Hangout on Tuesday May 12 at 7:00 PM when I will be debating the question Social Justice Good Or Bad?  I will be arguing that it harmful,  while Steve Kindle, author of Stewardship: God’s Way of Recreating the World, will be defending it.   Steve and I agree on many biblical principles, but our application of those principles to our daily lives are vastly different, so it should make for a lively and interesting discussion.

    “White Christians” and Baltimore

    May 8th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    In his article “Why White Christians Need to Listen to Amos and Isaiah” Rev Morgan Guyton, the director of the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University, asks “I wonder what Amos and Isaiah would say about the self-satisfied scorn that so many white Christians have been spewing out into social media in response to the rage in Baltimore?”  Given the question sets up a straw man, it answers itself.  God is never pleased with “self-satisfied scorn.”  While it fails as an indictment of “white Christians” in general, Rev Guyton’s article is, I think, a clear example of the problems with the attitudes of social justice.

    At the risk of falling into “self-satisfied scorn,” I think that Rev Guyton’s claim that “the collective rage that has exploded into violence is an expression of God’s wrath” is absurd. Still it goes to the heart of my problems with his article, and with social justice in general.

    For me it is easy to condemn the rioting. It brings nothing good and I agree with President Obama that those who participated in it are thugs.  I am mad at the police so I am going to burn down an innocent person’s store?  I am mad at the police so I am going to steal a TV?  Just how does that make sense? The destruction of the community they brought about, not only caused a great deal of innocent suffering during the riots, but if history is any guide, it will cause problems and suffering for years, if not decades to come.

    As for the “collective rage” that Rev Guyton claims is behind them, I would ask, rage about what?  This question is asked in all seriousness as we still do not know who or what caused the injuries that lead to Freddie Gray’s death.  So how do we do know what is behind the rage?  This is the problem with Social Justice. It is the agenda that is important. The facts really don’t matter.

    To see this one only needs to consider the events in Ferguson Missouri.  Like Baltimore, riots occurred long before the facts were known.  When they were known, it became clear that the whole, “hands up don’t shoot” meme was false, and that Officer Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.

    For some, the idea that Brown was unarmed is all the evidence they need to convict Wilson, but to see the absurdity of that claim one only need consider the case of Officer David Smith who just a few months before the events in Ferguson responded to a report of a disturbance and was attacked by an unarmed man before he could even get out of his car, very similar to Ferguson.  Unlike Ferguson, the unarmed man was able to grab Officer Smith’s weapon and then proceeded to shoot him to death.

    Given the numerous split second decisions, and numerous mitigating factors in such a violent confrontation, it is not at all difficult to image that Brown had been able to get Officer Wilson’s gun and Officer Wilson would have shared the fate of Officer Smith, dead and largely unnoticed, like the other 127 officers who died in the line of Duty in 2014,

    To put this number in perspective, something Social Justice advocates virtually never do, this is a number roughly equal to the number of black men killed by police each year.  The difference being that almost all of the police shootings are justified, the killing of police officers are not. Also given the relatively small number of police officers compared to the black population they encounter, in the police face a greater risk of death.  One could also compare this to thousands of black men murdered each year, mostly by other black men, don’t those black lives matter?  The problem is that those deaths don’t fit the agenda of Social Justice.

    In the end, the Justice of any given situation cannot be determined statistically.  It depends on the actions of individuals, not groups. In this case it depends on what actually happened that led to Freddie Gray’s death.  It will depend on the truth.

    But for many advocates of Social Justice the truth does not matter. Only the cause matters. Thus you continue to hear Ferguson included in the list of alleged outrages, many of which are equally false, which led up to what Rev Guyton calls an explosion of “collective rage” Baltimore.

    The other really troubling aspect about Rev Guyton’s charge is its stark racial foundation in that it is directed against “While Christians.”  While troubling on many levels, it is very characteristic of Social Justice, which divides people into groups and then pits them against each other.  It seeks division, not harmony.

    The injection of race into the situation in Baltimore is especially awkward and difficult given that the city is 60% black, most of its elected officials are black and 3 of the six officer charged are black. Given this why does Guyton single out “white Christians” for his condemnation?    These are the absurdities that come from abandoning true Justice for the false idol of Social Justice.

    God is truth, and whenever we put our agenda ahead of the truth, we put ourselves ahead of God. This is never a good place to be. I, for one, am quite content to wait until I know what happened before I presume to know what would be Just. A rush to judgment rarely results in Justice.  Neither does mob justice, whether by a lynch mob, or by a prosecutor who puts appeasing the mob head of seeking Justice.

     

    On The Chosen Generation Show

    March 25th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    I will be on the Chosen Generation show with Pastor Gregory Young, Thursday March 26, from 10:00 -10:30 to discuss how the Social Justice movement continues to be negative force in society.  The show will be streamed live here. If you miss the show, it will be posted here.

    Consider Christianity Week – Unity

    March 25th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    Just an announcement that tonight, as part of Consider Christianity Week I will be discussing Christian Unity with Joel Watts.  Joel and I do not agree on a lot, but we both seek unity so it should be an interesting discussion.   It starts at 7:00 PM Central Time and you can post questions for us.

    Hebrews 11:9-16

    February 26th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    A verse by verse study of Hebrews
    V    Accessing The Work (11:1-12:13)
        A   The Means – Faith (11:1-40)
            1    A definition of Faith (11:1-3)
            2    Faith to Abraham (11:4-19)
            3    Faith to Moses (11:20-28)
            4    Faith of the Exodus (11:29-31)
            5    Faith – Ongoing (11:32-38)
            6    Link (11:39-40)
        B   The Method – Look to Jesus (12:1-13)

    http://www.consider.org/Classes/Hebrews/OutlineShort.htm

    http://www.consider.org/Classes/Hebrews/OutlineLong.htm

    Hebrews 11:4-8

    February 26th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    A verse by verse study of Hebrews
    V    Accessing The Work (11:1-12:13)
        A   The Means – Faith (11:1-40)
            1    A definition of Faith (11:1-3)
            2    Faith to Abraham (11:4-19)
            3    Faith to Moses (11:20-28)
            4    Faith of the Exodus (11:29-31)
            5    Faith – Ongoing (11:32-38)
            6    Link (11:39-40)
        B   The Method – Look to Jesus (12:1-13)

    http://www.consider.org/Classes/Hebrews/OutlineShort.htm

    http://www.consider.org/Classes/Hebrews/OutlineLong.htm

    The Face of Tyranny

    February 26th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    Supporters of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples like to portray it as the latest battleground in a long tradition of fighting bigotry and intolerance, a fight where victories are celebrated as triumphs of the rule of law. But while supporters like to keep the focus on what they call “marriage equality” in reality something far darker and more sinister is going on.

    As I have written in the past, court rulings that redefine marriage are the antithesis of the rule of law.  These rulings are not upholding the rule of law, they are destroying it for the sake of an idea of equality.  But the ideal itself is false. Often supporters counter with claims that this is the new civil rights movement where allowing same-sex marriage is the equivalent of allowing interracial marriage. This is false.

    Previous court rulings on race were grounded both in the Constitution and reality.  They were grounded in the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.  They were based in reality because the distinctions based on skin color are false distinctions, no more valid that distinctions based on hair color or eye color.

    The same cannot be said for Same-Sex marriage. There is no grounding in the Constitution for over turning long established marriage laws.  Instead it comes, not from reasoned analysis of the Constitution, but from judges demanding that their personal views become the law of the land, however they may dress it up to sound legitimate.

    Nor is it based in reality, for unlike distinctions based on skin color, distinctions based on sex are very real.  While the ideal that men and women are basically the same was a fad back in the 1960s and 1970s, science has completely and thoroughly refuted that notion, as if any refutation was even necessary.  Today the ideal that men and women are basically the same is overtly held only by some elites who insulate themselves from inconvenient things like facts.

    Yet while refuted, like the walking dead, the theory that men and women are basically the same remains a strong force for many on the left.  It is also one of the key underpinnings for Same-Sex marriage, as the basic claim is the categories of men and women are arbitrary and can be interchanged. Thus statements such as “the best environment for raising children is a home with a loving mother and a loving father” is seen as irrational.  Mothers contribute nothing special to the raising of a child and the two fathers will work just as well.

    As soon as you conclude that it is reasonable to see men and women as different, the rationale for the court cases overturning traditional marriage falls apart. In short they are themselves a lie.

    Another major argument used by supporters is some form of ‘What difference does it make?’  How would allowing two men or two women to marry affect your marriage, or affect you? This argument is at best naïve, and more likely disingenuous.   Marriage is by definition a social construct that involves more than the two people getting married. If it was just a commitment between two people, same-sex couples have been able to do that for a long time.  As a core unit of society, to redefine marriage is to redefine society. Its effects will be reflected in everything from TV shows to the text books used in school.

    As traditional marriage laws have been overturned and same sex marriage imposed by judges, normally contrary to the expressed will of the people, one thing that has become clear is that this is not a movement for tolerance as many people have unfortunately found out.  So far those on the front line in this battle have been those involved in weddings in one fashion or another, photographers, bakers, florists etc..

    Some who did not wish to participate in the celebration of something they disagree with have found themselves  facing a hostile government saying you will celebrate same-sex marriage or else.   In the most recent case a 70 year old grandmother is facing the loss not only of her business, but of her home, because she refused to renounce her religious beliefs, which see marriage as sanctioned by God.

    But these are not the only victims. The CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign because it was discovered that several years earlier he had donated $1000 to the California ballot proposition that upheld the traditional view of marriage.  Last month a highly distinguished fire chief for the City of Atlanta was fired because of comments he wrote in a book several years earlier.

    This is not tolerance, this is the face of tyranny.  You will think what we want you to think or else.  No disagreement will be tolerated.  As for now the fate of Liberty, the founding principle of the Republic, remains in the balance.

     

    Hebrews 11:2-4

    February 25th, 2015 by Elgin Hushbeck

    A verse by verse study of Hebrews
    V    Accessing The Work (11:1-12:13)
       A   The Means – Faith (11:1-40)
            1    A definition of Faith (11:1-3)
            2    Faith to Abraham (11:4-19)

            3    Faith to Moses (11:20-28)
            4    Faith of the Exodus (11:29-31)
            5    Faith – Ongoing (11:32-38)
            6    Link (11:39-40)
        B   The Meathod – Look to Jesus (12:1-13)

    http://www.consider.org/Classes/Hebrews/OutlineShort.htm

    http://www.consider.org/Classes/Hebrews/OutlineLong.htm