On November 5, 2013, Coloradans will be asked to vote on Amendment 66, a law that proposes to increase revenue for K-12 education by almost $1 billion by increasing the income tax rate. Amendment 66 is a part of a larger effort to overhaul public education in Colorado. It is related to SB 213, an amendment to the Colorado Public School Finance Act, which will go into effect if Amendment 66 is passed. SB 213 and CPSFA deal with funding individual schools while Amendment 66 determines funding for the state educational system as a whole. Both SB 213 and Amendment 66 ride on voters approving the amendment on November 5. Continue reading »
I’ll try to make this short and sweet. Back in 2008-2009 when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA, aka “Obamacare”) was being debated across the country and in Congress, we were told of all the wonderful things that the law would do. This included:
- Making health care available for all. The law would bring millions of currently uninsured people onto a health care plan. These were people who could not afford the current plans on the open market (for various reasons).
- Making health care affordable for all. Proponents of the ACA promised that the law would bring down costs. This included wiping out restrictions on people with medical preconditions.
- Making health care quality better for all. The ACA required that health care providers offer basic plans with more provisions than plans currently on the market. This requirement applied whether you needed or wanted to pay for these health care provisions or not.
Christian, do you have doubts about your faith? Agnostic, are you not skeptical of Christian truth claims? Atheist, you disbelieve in God, don’t you? Doubt, skepticism, and unbelief are a part of life no matter what you believe or where you fall on the atheist-believer continuum. What are we to do when we face such questions that disturb us from our habitual and daily life patterns? Should we brush them to the side dismissively, bury them deep within in the hopes that they’ll never arise again, or seek to engage them? My goal in this article is to encourage the last of these options: to actively face and engage any doubt, skepticism, or unbelief you might have regarding issues of religious truth and knowledge. Continue reading »
Disclaimer: I originally wrote this article the second week of September, right when the Syrian crisis was dominating news headlines and generating considerable debate and tension through the nation. I’ve put off publishing it until now for three reasons: (1) I hadn’t finished the last section and due to the start-up of the semester, I had other work to do; (2) I wanted to see how the conflict and possible U.S. involvement would unfold; and (3) I wanted to allow myself time to reflect on my words so that I didn’t say anything that was too hurried or brash.
The Syrian civil war began in March 2011 and has been raging for over two years. Most Americans have been aware that the conflict was going on, but until recently little attention or public debate was focused upon it. However, a little over three weeks ago [read: 7 weeks now], on August 21, there was reportedly a chemical attack upon the Syrian people and rebel groups by the Assad regime. Continue reading »
This summer my fiancé and I have been preparing for our wedding, which will be in September. One aspect of our preparation has been reading through the workbook Before you Say “I Do”: A Marriage Preparation Manual for Couples. Admittedly, it was first published in the 1970s (reprinted in 1997), but generally I have found the content to be quite good and thought-provoking. However, in the chapter on “Love as a Basis for Marriage,” the authors make a distinction between three kinds of love Continue reading »
Is life absurd?
For some people in this universe, this question has defined their life’s searchings, their writings, and their interactions with others. Can we know the answer to such a deep, penetrating, and existentially pungent question? Few answer no; most say yes we can know, but they differ as to the answer. Christians almost always answer the question by affirming that life is not absurd: that because God exists and we can know him, we have a reason for living and that life is intrinsically meaningful. Just about everybody lives this way, regardless of their worldview, life philosophy, or take on God. Even atheists, who deny the existence of God, still live as if life has meaning. Continue reading »
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
― G.K. Chesterton
For some time now I have been thinking about articulating my philosophy for reading and building a personal library. I have been engaged in this lifestyle since the middle of college (2009), where my passion for reading matured and blossomed. Since coming to seminary two years ago, my personal library has exploded from a mere 75 or so books to well over 700. Seminary has opened up new worlds to explore and a seemingly endless list of books to read. I can’t get enough and there is no end in sight, which is good! However, reading so much and building a library is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, and I have had to defend myself on more than one occasion. So here are my thoughts, which I hope will not only be a sufficient defense, but also spur you on to read and build your own library. Continue reading »
Gun control is a major debate in our country right now due to the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the subsequent push by legislators at both the state and federal level to implement more restrictive gun control measures. One aspect of this debate focuses on the Second Amendment, its original intent and the scope of the rights it protects. Many people today believe that a citizen’s right to gun ownership lives or dies with the Second Amendment; if upheld we may bear arms, but if it is struck down or its meaning is twisted, then we lose that right. Is this true? Continue reading »
The Papal-Frankish Alliance (Academia.edu)
The Papal-Frankish Alliance (Scribd.com)
I wrote this paper during my sophomore year at Taylor University in a Medieval Europe class taught by Ms. Hoskins. I do not remember what first attracted to me the topic of Charlemagne’s alliance with the papacy, except for the key religious-secular bond it created and the dynamic and successful reign of Charlemagne himself. Continue reading »
The Ontological Argument (Academic.edu)
The Ontological Argument (Scribd.com)
This is a paper I wrote for my first semester apologetics class at Denver Seminary (PR 501 Defending the Christian Faith taught by Dr. Doug Groothuis). We read Dr. Groothuis’ book Christian Apologetics, in which he employs theistic arguments from natural theology to build a reasonable and intellectually credible case for Christian theism. One such argument is the well-know ontological argument (ontology is the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being) first put forth by St. Anselm of Canterbury (11th century). This is an a priori argument, meaning it is independent of experience and empirical evidence (as opposed to a posteriori arguments). It is also a deductive argument, meaning if the premises in the argument are true, then the conclusion logically and necessarily follows. Continue reading »