Perspective Eternal

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During my last semester at Stony Brook University, I took a senior seminar on feminism. The course revolved around Iris Marion Young, an influential contemporary feminist. The class covered issues in gender theory, political inclusivity, economic inequality, etc. The majority of the students in the class were extremely liberal in ideology, which was challenging for me because I lean toward conservatism. The sessions lasted three long hours, typically filled with circular back and forth debates among the students and the professor. I learned a lot, and my patience grew, but I would never want to do it again and I had to keep myself from nodding off more than once. The course materials were voluminous and densely filled with academic jargon – more potent than Nyquil. No, I did not take this class to meet the ladies. Surprisingly enough there were actually more men than women in the class. I needed to take it to graduate. Continue reading

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Frogs, Birds and Bees: Unraveling Sex

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Hebrews 13:4

A woman came into the men’s restroom while I was in it. Recently, I met a friend for lunch at Panera. After enjoying a delectable Fuji apple chicken salad, I hit the head, and then it happened. At first I thought she was a woman but then I thought maybe just an ugly guy after a double take in the mirror. When the woman left, an older man in the bathroom said to me, “Crazy times we’re livin’ in,” confirming my suspicion. I felt violated. Additionally, my alma mater Stony Brook University became the first State University of New York to offer transgender restrooms and changing rooms. The times they are a-changin’ indeed. Continue reading

Omar, Omar, My Heart Weeps.

Jesus Paid

Omar Mateen murdered ruthlessly about 50 people on Sunday morning June 12, 2016. He targeted the LGBTQ community at the gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. This massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, killing about twice as many people as Columbine and San Bernardino combined. The Orlando shooting has been called the worst terror attack since September 11. President Obama deemed it an instance of “homegrown terrorism,” saying “[the shooting] is being treated as a terrorist investigation.” The primary motivation for Mateen’s actions is disputed: some say ISIS propaganda inspired him; others claim his frustration with his own sexuality pushed him over the edge; racism has also been postulated as a factor. Continue reading

Purposeful Unity

Fellowship

Frodo is a champ, but there is not the slightest chance he can destroy the Ring by himself. Aragorn saves him from the Nazgûl; Gandalf rescues him from the Balrog; and Sam Gamgee carries him up Mount Doom. Frodo needs as much help as he can get. That is why The Fellowship of the Ring was created. The Loner and the Ring probably would have ended in Frodo’s death right after he leaves the Shire – pretty lame. But he succeeds because every member of the fellowship brings to the table unique attributes. Legolas snipes with deadly accuracy; Gimli’s brute strength wards off countless orcs; and Gandalf orchestrates much of the adventure in his wisdom. Continue reading

yoU-Turn: The Kingdom is Near

bybelstudie god allows u-turns

Repentance today is generally misunderstood. Vernacularly, repentance refers to a feeling. Consider for example these popular definitions: Repent – to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin (New Oxford American Dictionary); Repent – to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right (Webster). These definitions do not capture the true meaning of the Greek word metanoia (μετάνοια) that is translated as repentance in the Bible. Metanoia has been defined as “a profound, usually spiritual transformation; conversion.” The typical definitions of repentance miss the essence of metanoia and describe contrition instead, but the two usually go hand in hand. Continue reading

The West Wing: A Rebuttal to Christianity Caricatured

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Christians are often called bigots in today’s “progressive” political climate. They are called intolerant, ignorant, exclusive, and even hateful. The Bible is seen as archaic, outdated, and outmoded. A fellow student at my university recently told me, “Confidence in a bronze age book I think is really dangerous for society.” Popular atheist apologists like Sam Harris call Christianity a cult and an illogical myth. But this should surprise nobody, for even in the time when the gospel was first preached it was lambasted as a fiction. Continue reading