Recent Viewpoints

December 22, 2017
messianic prophecy fullfilled

Kerby Anderson On this Christmas week, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the coming of the Messiah. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies that give specific detail about the “anointed one” who is the Messiah. The prophets proclaimed that He would come to save the people. The Bible is unique in many ways, especially when it comes to fulfilled prophecy. At the time when it was written, 27 percent (1800 verses) of the Bible was prophetic….

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December 21, 2017
First Noel

Kerby Anderson During this Christmas week, I have taken the time to discuss the theology of some of the Christmas hymns and carols that we sing. Today I would like to talk about “The First Noel.” It is an English song dating back to the sixteenth century. Some people believe that “The First Noel” was French because of the French spelling of Noel, but it is actually an English song. The French word Noël does mean “Christmas” and is relevant…

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December 20, 2017
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Kerby Anderson It is estimated that Charles Wesley wrote over 6500 hymns. Perhaps his best-known hymn is “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.” Over the years, it has been edited slightly, but the meaning and theology remains as he wrote it more than two centuries ago. It begins with a proclamation of the birth of Jesus: “Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” The hymn reminds us why…

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December 19, 2017
O Holy Night

Kerby Anderson This is Christmas week, and so I thought we might reflect on the hymn, “O Holy Night” by John Dwight. “O holy night! The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” Jesus came into the world to save us and so we feel valuable and our soul feels its worth. Perhaps the most quoted…

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December 18, 2017

Kerby Anderson This is Christmas week, and I thought it might be worthwhile to spend a moment to reflect on the words to the hymn, O Little Town of Bethlehem. It was written in 1867 by Phillips Brooks (an Episcopal pastor from Philadelphia). He had been in Israel two years earlier and had celebrated Christmas in Bethlehem. He wrote this song to reflect on what the night of the birth of Jesus might have been like. O little town of…

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December 15, 2017

Penna Dexter States across the nation have been redirecting taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood and toward health clinics that do not offer abortions. It’s time for the federal government to do the same. And the US Justice Department may now provide strong justification. Prompted by David Daleiden’s investigations into Planned Parenthood’s baby-parts-for-profits transactions, two congressional committees have been looking into the activities of Planned Parenthood related to the sale of human body parts. Last year a House panel released…

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December 15, 2017
Joy to the World

Kerby Anderson Although we usually sing the carol “Joy to the World” during the Christmas season, the hymn isn’t really about the incarnation of Jesus. Isaac Watts wrote it and has often been known as the “Father of English Hymnology.” He composed “Joy to the World” in 1719. It was originally titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom.” The original title illustrates why there is no reference to angels, shepherds, or wise men. It is really about Christ’s second coming. That…

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December 14, 2017
O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Kerby Anderson The carol “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is an English translation of a Latin hymn that is sung during Advent and Christmas. The text goes back to at least the 18th century (and perhaps much earlier) while the music put to it goes back to the 15th century. “O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”…

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December 13, 2017
What Child is This

Kerby Anderson One song we often sing during the Christmas season is “What Child Is This?” William Chatterton Dix wrote the lyrics in 1865 when he was an insurance company manager and had been struck by a severe illness. After a spiritual renewal in his life, he wrote a number of hymns. This one was set to the tune of the traditional English folk song, “Greensleeves.” “What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom…

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December 12, 2017
Theistic Evolution

Kerby Anderson How can we resolve the apparent tension between the scientific presentation of evolution and the Bible? Some Christians attempt to reconcile the two views by saying that evolution is true, and that’s the mechanism God used. Prominent organizations such as Biologos insist that theistic evolution (sometimes called evolutionary creation) is a superior view because of the evidence for evolutionary theory. Authors of a new book challenge that assumption based on their scientific understanding and their theological concerns. The…

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December 11, 2017
Masterpiece Cakeshop

Kerby Anderson Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case that will have quite an influence on religious liberty. Lawyer David French was in my radio studio the other day and said that he has “never seen a case more mischaracterized in my entire legal career.” He has seen lots of cases, so that is quite a statement. The case involves Christian baker Jack Phillips. When two men visited his Masterpiece Cakes bakery in 2012 and asked…

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