Tag Archives: Celebrity

Why I admire people in the armed forces more than famous entertainers

I’ve noticed that many Christians can tell me a lot about famous entertainers. It doesn’t matter if it’s singers, musicians, actors, athletes, etc., they seem to know details of their biographies, achievements, etc. And it doesn’t really matter if those people are Christians, or whether they have performed actions consistent with a Christian worldview in their private lives.

Anyway, speaking for myself, I mostly admire two kinds of people. The first kind is the kind I blog about here all the time: Christian scholars engage non-Christians intellectually using logic and evidence. The second kind, as you can tell from my reading list, is people who distinguish themselves in conflict with those who oppose the principles and policies that allow me to live out my Christian life. And I am especially interested when people who are fighting evil (imperialists, Nazis, socialists, communists, leftists, etc.) exhibit Christ-like character in risking their lives to save others, or in giving their lives to save others.

Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot
Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot

I have a war story to tell you that happened on November 10th, 1943.

Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Commander) Walter Lewis Chewning of Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, steps on the burning fuel tank of an F6F-3 Hellcat flown by Ensign (later Lieutenant) Byron Milton Johnson of Potter, Nebraska to effect a successful rescue of the pilot on November 10, 1943. Johnson had flown out to USS Enterprise from Barbers Point, Hawaii, enroute to Makin Atoll in the Gilberts to support the United States Army invasion, which occurred on November 20, 1943. The afternoon of November 10, Johnson took off in F6F Hellcat Number 30 for a routine training exercise. He immediately developed engine trouble and requested an emergency landing. He was waved off three times as he struggled to maintain control, but his tail hook caught the third arresting gear wire, and Johnson’s Hellcat was slammed into the deck, coming to rest in the port catwalk. The plane came to rest on its external belly fuel tank, which started to leak. As the engine vibrated horribly as the propeller bent itself on the deck, sparks ignited the fuel. The hard landing had jammed Johnson’s canopy closed, shearing the retaining pin; he could not exit the plane. Chewning, who had joined the ship October 2, 1943 as Enterprise new catapult officer, scrambled out of the catwalk and came through the smoke. Stepping on the burning belly tank, he forced open the canopy and pulled Johnson to safety.

He received the two highest non-combat medals available:

Chewning was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his actions.

He was a well-educated and accomplished person before joining the Navy:

Chewning played soccer and Lacrosse at Cornell while studying Mechanical Engineering, breaking his rib and left ankle in one game. He graduated in 1936 and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the Navy in January 1941. He was the assistant to the Chief Engineer at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before joining USS Enterprise. He served as Enterprise’s catapult officer until December 1944, when he transferred to Dutch Harbor Naval Air Station in Alaska as ordinance officer. Chewning served in the Navy until December 1949; he also was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war he assisted research and development for various aeronautical companies, the United States Air Force, and the fledgling National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Motion picture film of the crash, taken from Enterprise’s bridge, was shown as part of the television program “Victory at Sea” on January 25, 1953. Chewning and Johnson gave interviews to several newspapers about the accident after the program aired.

You can see a video clip of the rescue here, from 5:35 to 6:00. I found a colorized version of the picture above here:

Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot
Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot

This image was colourized from the original by Paul Reynolds.

What I thought was interesting about Chewning was how he had everything going for him in terms of his education and career, but he chose to join the Navy anyway, in order to defend his country from Japanese imperialism. Those who understand how the Japanese treated prisoners and conquered peoples will know which side of that conflict was good, and which side was evil. Chewning wasn’t some sort of loser who took risks for fun and thrills. It had to be a risk where the prize was worth the risk. And he had the humility to consider others better than himself, so that their life was worth the risking of his own. Many people on the secular left who like to talk about how generous, compassionate and virtuous they are are unable to make moral judgments against evils like Japanese imperialism – much less take self-sacrificial action against them.

I just think that it’s important for young Christians to have the right kind of heroes. The heroes who are promoted to young Christians by the cultural elites are not usually the right role models. And there is a reason for that. The secular leftists don’t want young Christians to be emulating people who excel according to the standards of the Christian worldview. We are in a religion where self-sacrificial love is the centerpiece. Taking trouble on yourself for someone else. Doing your job, when it goes against your own self-interest. Let’s not allow a bunch of godless socialist celebrities to pick and choose who we hold in high regard.

Why I admire people in the armed forces more than famous entertainers

I’ve noticed that many Christians can tell me a lot about famous entertainers. It doesn’t matter if it’s singers, musicians, actors, athletes, etc., they seem to know details of their biographies, achievements, etc. And it doesn’t really matter if those people are Christians, or whether they have performed actions consistent with a Christian worldview in their private lives.

Anyway, speaking for myself, I mostly admire two kinds of people. The first kind is the kind I blog about here all the time: Christian scholars engage non-Christians intellectually using logic and evidence. The second kind, as you can tell from my reading list, is people who distinguish themselves in conflict with those who oppose the principles and policies that allow me to live out my Christian life. And I am especially interested when people who are fighting evil (imperialists, Nazis, socialists, communists, leftists, etc.) exhibit Christ-like character in risking their lives to save others, or in giving their lives to save others.

Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot
Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot

Anyway, today is November 10th, so I have a war story to tell you that happened on November 10th, 1943.

Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Commander) Walter Lewis Chewning of Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, steps on the burning fuel tank of an F6F-3 Hellcat flown by Ensign (later Lieutenant) Byron Milton Johnson of Potter, Nebraska to effect a successful rescue of the pilot on November 10, 1943. Johnson had flown out to USS Enterprise from Barbers Point, Hawaii, enroute to Makin Atoll in the Gilberts to support the United States Army invasion, which occurred on November 20, 1943. The afternoon of November 10, Johnson took off in F6F Hellcat Number 30 for a routine training exercise. He immediately developed engine trouble and requested an emergency landing. He was waved off three times as he struggled to maintain control, but his tail hook caught the third arresting gear wire, and Johnson’s Hellcat was slammed into the deck, coming to rest in the port catwalk. The plane came to rest on its external belly fuel tank, which started to leak. As the engine vibrated horribly as the propeller bent itself on the deck, sparks ignited the fuel. The hard landing had jammed Johnson’s canopy closed, shearing the retaining pin; he could not exit the plane. Chewning, who had joined the ship October 2, 1943 as Enterprise new catapult officer, scrambled out of the catwalk and came through the smoke. Stepping on the burning belly tank, he forced open the canopy and pulled Johnson to safety.

He received the two highest non-combat medals available:

Chewning was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his actions.

He was a well-educated and accomplished person before joining the Navy:

Chewning played soccer and Lacrosse at Cornell while studying Mechanical Engineering, breaking his rib and left ankle in one game. He graduated in 1936 and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the Navy in January 1941. He was the assistant to the Chief Engineer at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before joining USS Enterprise. He served as Enterprise’s catapult officer until December 1944, when he transferred to Dutch Harbor Naval Air Station in Alaska as ordinance officer. Chewning served in the Navy until December 1949; he also was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war he assisted research and development for various aeronautical companies, the United States Air Force, and the fledgling National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Motion picture film of the crash, taken from Enterprise’s bridge, was shown as part of the television program “Victory at Sea” on January 25, 1953. Chewning and Johnson gave interviews to several newspapers about the accident after the program aired.

You can see a video clip of the rescue here, from 5:35 to 6:00. I found a colorized version of the picture above here:

Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot
Lt. Walt Chewning charges unto burning F-6F Hellcat to save trapped pilot

This image was colourized from the original by Paul Reynolds.

What I thought was interesting about Chewning was how he had everything going for him in terms of his education and career, but he chose to join the Navy anyway, in order to defend his country from Japanese imperialism. Those who understand how the Japanese treated prisoners and conquered peoples will know which side of that conflict was good, and which side was evil. Chewning wasn’t some sort of loser who took risks for fun and thrills. It had to be a risk where the prize was worth the risk. And he had the humility to consider others better than himself, so that their life was worth the risking of his own. Many people on the secular left who like to talk about how generous, compassionate and virtuous they are are unable to make moral judgments against evils like Japanese imperialism – much less take self-sacrificial action against them.

I just think that it’s important for young Christians to have the right kind of heroes. The heroes who are promoted to young Christians by the cultural elites are not usually the right role models. And there is a reason for that. The secular leftists don’t want young Christians to be emulating people who excel according to the standards of the Christian worldview. We are in a religion where self-sacrificial love is the centerpiece. Taking trouble on yourself for someone else. Doing your job, when it goes against your own self-interest. Let’s not allow a bunch of godless socialist celebrities to pick and choose who we hold in high regard.

Should Christians mourn the death of the famous singer Whitney Houston?

Probably one of the most alarming things for me about Christians is their tendency towards moral equivalence and moral relativism. Take the death of Whitney Houston for instance. I noticed a lot of Christians posting feverishly about it in a way that they never post about real heroes. Apparently, for these Christians, the amount of fame that a person has should determine their importance to us – and not their moral character.

Here’s why I don’t like Whitney Houston:

The singer’s comments provided a sad coda to Brown and Houston’s tumultuous 15 years of marriage, a union that unfolded like a gonzo soap opera across the pages of so many tabloids and a reality TV show, before crumbling under the weight of its numerous dysfunctions in 2007.

Over their time together, Houston and Brown positioned themselves as a kind of ‘80s R&B edition of Bonnie and Clyde—he, a hard-partying bad-boy pioneer of New Jack Swing, and she, America’s onetime sweetheart, the glowing beauty with a stunning multi-octave range—whose glaring personal disparities combined to create a dangerous codependent relationship. “He was my drug,” Houston told Oprah Winfrey in a widely publicized 2009 interview. “I didn’t do anything without him. I wasn’t getting high by myself. It was me and him together, and we were partners, and that’s what my high was—him. He and I being together, and whatever we did, we did it together. No matter what, we did it together.”

What they did together, according to her testimony, included a nightmarish descent into hard-core drugs, fistfights and bizarro behavior by Brown, such as him spray painting “evil eyes” on the walls and carpets of their home and cutting the heads off all photographs of Houston.

The couple was married in 1992 and the following year they conceived a daughter, Bobbi Kristina. To hear Houston tell it, what doomed their relationship, though, was her movie breakthrough that year in the romantic thriller The Bodyguard, which includes the singer’s epochal contribution to its soundtrack “I Will Always Love You.” “Something happens to a man when a woman has that much fame,” Houston explained on Oprah. “I tried to play it down all the time. I used to say, ‘I’m Mrs. Brown, don’t call me Houston.’”

In 2000, Hawaiian airport authorities found nearly half an ounce of marijuana in the actress-singer’s luggage, but she and Brown boarded a plane and flew off before Houston could be arrested and the charges were later dropped. Although she flat out denied to Diane Sawyer that she and Brown abused drugs—“We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is wack,” Houston memorably said in the interview—by the mid-2000s, Houston had endured a roundelay of rehab stays. She admitted she made habitual use of marijuana and crack and specified that Brown’s highs of choice were alcohol and marijuana laced with cocaine.

By that point, the couple’s fights had entered a physical realm. In 2003, police responded to a domestic-violence 911 call to their Georgia home and discovered Houston with a bruised cheek and a cut lip. Brown subsequently turned himself in and was charged with misdemeanor battery for striking the superstar and reportedly threatening to “beat her ass.” Inexplicably, the couple left Brown’s court hearing arm in arm and drove away in an SUV with Houston singing along to the Aretha Franklin song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

“They were like Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” says a friend who’s known them for roughly two decades. “It was a real, love-hate relationship.” Still, the person never really bought the popular media-storyline about Bobby being the thing that brought down Whitney. “I hate when people blame Bobby for her drug use. He had his drug use and she had hers. They got divorced many years ago, she had all the opportunities in the world to get herself to together and she didn’t. I actually think part of the reason they broke, up was that he was trying to get clean.”

This is why I oppose talking about Whitney Houston – I have moral concerns. I take morality seriously, because I allow my Christian worldview to determine what I like and don’t like in other areas – like my taste in music and art. I object to her moral standards and her choices in courtship and marriage, so I do not celebrate her success nor mourn her death any more than any other non-famous person. Moreover, I do not respect contributions to art that undermine traditional marriage and courting, which her singing clearly did. It is because of singers like her that women today feel justified in allowing emotions to dominate their choice of man and their interactions with men. They think that a roller-coaster of entertaining drama and spontaneity with a handsome man will result in a happy marriage.

These songs and movies teach them that you can marry a tiger (won’t your friends be so envious!) and then after the wedding, it will be a kitten in your lap. It’s stupid, but that’s the view of marriage that people get after decades of indoctrination in non-Christian art. And when they adopt these Whitney Houston methods of living and it doesn’t work out, that’s when they turn to big government programs and pastors who blame men who refusing to “man up” – it’s not their fault their plan failed – because it worked for Whitney Houston. Except it didn’t. We should not be celebrating anyone in the popular culture who discourages the idea that there are objective constraints on the roles that women and men play in marriage – and that spouses should be selected for their ability to perform those roles.

Here is a comment I wrote about it on Facebook to some of the men and women who were celebrating Whitney Houston. I posted my link to the story of Medal of Honor winner Michael Murphy, and a Christian woman replied asserting a moral equivalence between Whitney Houston and Michael Murphy.

I wrote:

If we are serious about putting forward a vision of life that includes morality, then we should talk about self-sacrificial heroes more than drug addicts. There is a moral law, and because it sends a message to young people about who their role models should be. There is a huge redefinition of moral standards going on right now because young people, especially young women, are having their values redefined by culture. Women, more than men, crave the approval of their peers when it comes to things like choosing men and deciding how to be courted by men, for example. For example, it’s possible for a woman to be swayed away from a man who has a record of protecting, providing, and being a moral and spiritual leader, simply because the culture’s standard of what a good man is is being determined by music stars and celebrity. Whereas characteristics like chastity, sobriety, employment and investments USED to be regarded as desirable, women’s views have changed so that they are allowed to have premarital sex with men who fire their emotions – that’s what happens in Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” movie, isn’t it? So why is she good? Patrick McGoohan refused to kiss on camera and turned down the role of James Bond because of too much sex.

See:
https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/tag/patrick-mcgoohan/

Quote:
—-
As both a moral and opinionated man, McGoohan held strong views and was forceful about seeing that they were carried out. He had insisted at the very first meeting on the script for the first episode that the bedroom scene be cut out. In fact, he stipulated that romantic involvements would have to be eliminated if he were to play the role, and consequently none appeared in either this series or the ‘Secret Agent’ series that followed.

…It should come as no surprise that when McGoohan was offered the role as the first James Bond, he turned it down – several times – as being incompatible with the type of role he wanted to play. He says it was a decision he has never regretted.

[H]e was offered the roles of James Bond and Simon Templar (The Saint). He turned both down.

He once recalled: “When we started Danger Man the producer wanted me to carry a gun and to have an affair with a different girl each week. I refused. I am not against romance on television, but sex is the antithesis of romance. Television is a gargantuan master that all sorts of people watch at all sorts of time, and it has a moral obligation towards its audience.”
—-

Do you know more about Whitney Houston and her ilk than you know about Patrick McGoohan? Does it matter to you how popular art is going to influence young people away from traditional boundaries and requirements of relationships and marriage?

As Ravi Zacharias says – be careful what you celebrate. I celebrate the bravery of Medal of Honor winners who give their lives protecting their country. I don’t celebrate promiscuous, abusive drug addicts who makes millions of dollars singing about sentimental irrational immoral notions of love divorced from chastity, chivalry, commitment and traditional gender roles. There are many single mothers who derived their views on men and marriage from popular music, and think of the harm that caused. The values of Whitney Houston have been embraced by a younger generation, and now none of them will ever enjoy lasting married love – they don’t know how to do it. They think you can act like a fool and somehow, lifelong marriage will obtain independent of our efforts.

That is why one of my courting questions for women is: “Who do you admire most, and what is your plan for making your children become like him or her?” It’s not a good thing when women cannot distinguish between the Hollywood celebrities and Medal of Honor winners. This view that ballet dancers are the same as William Lane Craig when it comes to effectiveness for the Kingdom is also an alarming view, which many women share.

Is life about having happy feelings, or is there something else that we should be doing? What does God expect from us?

I just want to emphasize that I saw just as many air-headed Christian men as women posting about Whitney Houston.

One more thing that I didn’t say in the comment thread is this. Do Christians have an obligation to think about life? I mean, anyone can see that there is a culture war going on right now, where young people are having their values undermined by new values being pushed in the mainstream media, by Hollywood, in the secular public schools, and so on. I think that Christians should be obligated to stand apart from the culture and be different. Most of the Christians I know are thoroughly compromised by postmodernism, feminism, socialism and a host of other doctrines incompatible with a robust Christian worldview and a Kingdom-centered life plan. They are so steeped in it that they don’t even realize that they are identical to non-Christians in every respect, except for singing in groups on Sunday and reading the Bible for comforting feelings.

Related posts

Is Oprah Winfrey a Christian?

Consider this article from CNN.

Excerpt:

Lofton, a professor of U.S. religious history at Yale University and the author of “Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon,” was intrigued that Winfrey had mentioned Jesus, since she had used his name sparingly on air.

“Early on (in her career) she was more comfortable in saying that but over time began to use this more universal language of ‘spirit,'” said Lofton, who wrote about Oprah’s final show for CNN’s Belief Blog.

Lofton says Winfrey wants to be viewed as someone who “translates and understands herself as a Christian woman” but reflects a modern attitude about religion and religious institutions.

And that has angered a few folks.

In 2008, Winfrey endorsed the book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” helping it sell more than 3.5 million copies after the talk-show host selected it for her book club. Winfrey and the book’s author, Eckhart Tolle, took part in a webinar in which she angered some Christians by saying that Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross.

“It really was about him coming to show us how to do it, how to be, to show us the Christ-consciousness that he had and that that consciousness abides with all of us,” she told the audience.

One viewer even asked the question on the Oprah.com message boards: Is Oprah a Christian?

Pistis07 wrote: “I was surprised because I had always thought she was a Christian but after flicking through her website and watching clips of more shows where she seems to be promoting a type of New Age religion and books from ‘New Age spiritualists,’ I really doubt that she is a Christian in the way Jesus explained and most Christians understand. Or perhaps she’s just confused about the nature of God.”

It was an issue her critics seized on. They said she wasn’t promoting the God of the Bible but instead was indoctrinating her audience into a New Age spiritualism.

Authors Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett say as much in their book, “‘O’ God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality.” Sterrett told Crosswalk.com in October 2009 that Winfrey “reflects the common American practice of choosing whatever beliefs seem most attractive and leaving the rest.”

Her message in the final years of her show was that the truth of life was within the individual, several commentators have said.

“Christians aren’t people who have gotten in touch with their inner selves, but those who actually have Christ living inside of them through the Holy Spirit,” McDowell told Crosswalk.

What Winfrey tried to get across is her belief that there wasn’t just one right way to be connected to God, Lofton argues.

“The only right way is the way that she herself articulates and embodies, which is multiplicity,” she said. “You can be many things. There are many paths to God, she says. It’s that multiplicity which very much marks contemporary religious life.”

Some people evidently think that she is not. And I agree with those people.

Consider this article by William Lane Craig about salvation and religious pluralism.

Excerpt:

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12). So proclaimed the early preachers of the gospel of Christ. Indeed, this conviction permeates the New Testament and helped to spur the Gentile mission. Paul invites his Gentile converts to recall their pre-Christian days: “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2.12). The burden of the opening chapters of Romans is to show that this desolate situation is the general condition of mankind. Though God’s eternal power and deity are evident through creation (1.20) and the demands of His moral law implanted on the hearts of all persons (2.15) and although God offers eternal life to all who seek Him in well-doing (2.7), the tragic fact of the matter is that in general people suppress the truth in unrighteousness, ignoring the Creator (1.21) and flouting the moral law (1.32). Therefore, “all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God…'” (3.9-1 1). Sin is the great leveler, rendering all needy of God’s forgiveness and salvation. Given the universality of sin, all persons stand morally guilty and condemned before God, utterly incapable of redeeming themselves through righteous acts (3.19-20). But God in His grace has provided a means of salvation from this state of condemnation: Jesus Christ, by his expiatory death, redeems us from sin and justifies us before God (3.21-26). It is through him and through him alone, then, that God’s forgiveness is available (5.12-21). To reject Jesus Christ is therefore to reject God’s grace and forgiveness, to refuse the one means of salvation which God has provided. It is to remain under His condemnation and wrath, to forfeit eternally salvation. For someday God will judge all men, “inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (II Thessalonians 1.8-9).

It was not just Paul who held to this exclusivistic, Christocentric view of salvation. No less than Paul, the apostle John saw no salvation outside of Christ. In his gospel, Jesus declares, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14.6). John explains that men love the darkness of sin rather than light, but that God has sent His Son into the world to save the world and to give eternal life to everyone who believes in the Son. “He who believes is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3.18). People are already spiritually dead; but those who believe in Christ pass from death to life (John 5.24). In his epistles, John asserts that no one who denies the Son has the Father and identifies such a person as the antichrist (I John 2.22-23; 4.3; II John 9). In short, “He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life” (I John 5.12). In John’s Apocalypse, it is the Lamb alone in heaven and on earth and under the earth who is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals, for it was he that by his blood ransomed men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation on the earth (Revelation 5.1-14). In the consummation, everyone whose name is not found written in the Lamb’s book of life is cast into the everlasting fire reserved for the devil and his cohorts (Revelation 20.15).

One could make the same point from the catholic epistles and the pastorals. It is the conviction of the writers of the New Testament that “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2.5-6).

Indeed, it is plausible that such was the attitude of Jesus himself. New Testament scholarship has reached something of a consensus that the historical Jesus came on the scene with an unparalleled sense of divine authority, the authority to stand and speak in the place of God Himself and to call men to repentance and faith.{1} Moreover, the object of that faith was he himself, the absolute revelation of God: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11.27) .{2} On the day of judgment, people’s destiny will be determined by how they responded to him: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12.8-9).{3} Frequent warnings concerning hell are found on Jesus’ lips, and it may well be that he believed that most of mankind would be damned, while a minority of mankind would be saved: “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14) .{4}

A hard teaching, no doubt; but the logic of the New Testament is simple and compelling: The universality of sin and the uniqueness Christ’s expiatory sacrifice entail that there is no salvation apart from Christ.

The Bible is very clear that belief in Christ’s atoning death on the cross is required for a right relationship with God. I find it interesting that so many Christians, especially Christian women, have so much respect for a person who is not even a believer. Can you really rely on a non-Christian to give you advice about morality and spirituality? Is she an authority on the Bible? An authority on logic? An authority on science? An authority on history? Has she debated her views with scholars who disagree with her – as might be done in a courtroom where evidence trumps feelings? Shouldn’t you rely instead on the Bible, and the work of authentic Christian scholars who accept what the Bible teaches?