Thaddeus Williams

Christian Millennials and the Lure of Socialism, Part Two: How Biblical Concern for the Poor Can Turn to an Unbiblical Understanding of People

By Thaddeus Williams Dec. 26, 2016 9:00 a.m. Culture

In Part 1 we examined how a biblical concern for the poor can be syncretistically mixed with socialist economic ideology in a way that undermines a biblical view of people and thereby hurts image-bearers of God. In Part 2 I clarify three specific bad ideas about people that have had very bad effects on people in hopes of breaking the spell that socialist ideologies increasingly hold on younger evangelicals ...

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Christian Millennials and the Lure of Socialism, Part One: How Biblical Concern for the Poor Can Turn to an Unbiblical Understanding of People

By Thaddeus Williams Dec. 21, 2016 9:00 a.m. Culture

Over the last year, as the Republican and Democratic voters sparred within and between their respective parties over the best candidate to lead our country from the White House, socialism became one of several hot button issues in our national dialogue (or national shouting match). It was the first time in our nation’s history that a candidate identifying as a “democratic socialist” garnered so much popular support, particularly among the college age demographic. Of course, this is not the first time that young Americans have been captivated by socialist ideals. With the 1960s and 70s came the Port Huron Statement according to which “students must consciously build a base for their assault upon the loci of power,” and free market capitalism became a favorite “loci” to assault. Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, a scathing indictment of all things capitalist, became something like inerrant sacred scripture to many budding ideologues. In the new millennium the socialist ethos has experienced new iterations as the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 99%, and, most recently, the widespread support for Bernie Sanders on university campuses around the country. Although Sanders did not procure the nomination of the Democratic Party, he succeeded in revealing a deep affinity with socialism among the millennial generation that will hold an increasing share of policy-shaping power over the decades to come ...

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What Does Jerusalem Have to Do with Washington D.C.?: Rethinking the Church’s Role in Law and Public Policy

By Thaddeus Williams Apr. 25, 2016 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership

The summer of 2014 gave us the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on the side of religious liberty. The summer of 2015 witnessed another culturally controversial 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which carries potentially ominous implications for religious liberty (particularly according to the dissents of Justices Roberts and Alito). Meanwhile, some legal scholars are forecasting a massive public policy paradigm shift in coming years over another hotly contested issue—the right to life. Fordham University’s Charles Camosy, as a case-in-point, sees such a dramatic shift as not only possible but indeed inevitable ...

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Open What God WRAPS: Christmas Reflections on Enjoying Your Best Gifts

By Thaddeus Williams Dec. 12, 2015 10:30 a.m. New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

What gifts does God give us in the person and work of Christ? How can we unwrap and enjoy them every day with the wide-eyed wonder of a kid on Christmas morning? Dr. Williams offers some Christmas reflections.

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Do We Need Another Reformation?

By Thaddeus Williams Oct. 31, 2015 4:29 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Missions, Theology, Historical Theology

The 16th century church was in dire need of a Reformation. What about today, nearly a half millennium later? Is the 21st century church due for another Reformation, a Re-Reformation? Professor Williams shares his thoughts ...

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The Emotions of Jesus, Part 5: Authenticity

By Thaddeus Williams Jul. 8, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

This series began by noting how we live in the Age of Feeling and Authenticity. We have come to see how Jesus can save us from it, how he can restore just sentiments like outrage, compassion, and joy. This leaves us with two hanging questions: First, how do we actually come to feel just sentiments the way Jesus did? Second, why Jesus’ feelings? Can’t we learn just sentiments from the emotional lives of Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Rosa Parks? Or from that friendly janitor, that magnanimous co-worker, or that self-giving mother? Or perhaps even from Homer’s Ulysses, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Aragorn, or J.K. Rowling’s Harry? Aren’t there a billion admirable feelers, real and fictional, who show us what life can look like beyond the confines of the modern fact box and the postmodern feeling box?

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The Emotions of Jesus, Part 4: Joy

By Thaddeus Williams Jun. 24, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

As we learn emotions from Jesus, not only does our blood start to boil (see Part 2) and our stomachs turn (see Part 3), he also shows our hearts how to beat with real joy. There is a stereotype floating around which says that Jesus and the faith he represents are about cold-hearted duty, doing the right thing at the expense of our happiness. There are enough grim-faced moralistic systems out that brandish the name of “Christianity” to keep the stereotype alive. But they have more in common with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant than with the kingdom of Jesus. The day after he stormed the Temple, Jesus returns to the same Temple courts to announce that his kingdom is like a big party, and everyone is invited; not a boarding school, not a boot camp, not a prison chain gang, but a party.

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