Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Half a Blue Parakeet

A review of The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight (Zondervan, 2008):

This book has proven somewhat difficult to review for the simple reason that I know (in the web 2.0 sense) the author. Scot McKnight blogs at JesusCreed – one of the few blogs I read pretty much every day.

Given past interactions with Scot, I expected to have some issues with what he’s written here, but I never expected to react as I have.

Where’s the Rest of the Book?
Using a blue parakeet as a metaphor for those scriptures that don’t conform to our preconceived notions, McKnight challenges us to read the Bible in new ways. He says most modern Christians recognize the need to determine what part of the biblical text is actually meant to apply today, but they either do it with no real system to guide them and so produce excessive innovation (“reading to retrieve”) or with an excessive commitment to tradition and so are unable to recognize weaknesses in their theology (“reading through tradition”).

The Blue Parakeet calls us to approach the Bible using a hybrid method of reading the Bible with tradition – willing to innovate but interacting with our forefathers so as not to deviate from their wisdom unnecessarily (Chapter 2).

McKnight then asserts that the proper way to read the Bible is as a story, and I started wondering when he was going to defend this position.

Next the book lays out some bad ways to approach the Bible – as a rulebook, as a collection of promises, as an inkblot (i.e., so that it reflects the reader rather than the author), treating one author as the key to all the others, or as a puzzle to be solved – once solved, it serves as the key to interpreting all Bible passages (Ch 3).

It is without any apparent sense of irony that McKnight then tells us that the way to read the Bible is as a story – a particular story. He doesn’t cotton to the old version of the story as “creation, fall, and redemption;” he sees the story as “creating Eikons” (his shorthand for “person created in the image of God”), “cracked Eikons” (i.e., the fall), “covenant community,” “Christ, the Perfect Eikon, redeems,” and “consummation.” He offers themes for these plot points: “oneness, otherness, otherness expands, one in Christ, and perfectly one.” (Postmoderns love “community” and the word “other.”)

The book then asserts that every part of the Bible is a “wiki-story” (mini-story that retells at least some of the elements) of that overarching story. The only way to make sense of “Blue Parakeets,” we’re told, is by viewing them in the context of this Story (Ch 4-5).

By this point in the book I’ve realized that Scot’s not planning on defending any of these statements. He makes assertions, and he expects you to just believe him. He mentions other authors who say we should read the Bible as story, but he doesn’t even punt to them for the proof – he just mentions that they teach this too. Ditto on the makeup of the story. He says his plot is the “only plot the church has ever had” (p 68 in advance reader edition), and he mentions Irenaeus, but he doesn’t defend his interpretation of the plot, and my (admittedly quick) scan of Proof of the Apostolic Teaching didn’t come up with the plot Scot uses.

At this point I’m a bit grumpy with Scot McKnight. I felt like the most important part of the book was missing. You can’t just make undefended assertions when you’re asking people to embrace a completely different way of doing something. Why should I believe the Bible is a collection of mini-stories of an overarching story? Why should I believe his plot is the correct one? How exactly is Philippians or 1 Peter a “wiki-story” of this plot? These are question this book should have answered if it wanted to be taken seriously.

Please note that I’m not disagreeing with the method taught in this book. I do, in fact, think there’s an overarching narrative in the scriptures and that it’s important to keep it in view while studying them. My problem is not what he teaches; I’m saying he needs to defend this method so that readers can judge whether or not it’s a valid way to approach the scriptures.

Pot Meet Kettle
So my first problem with this book was the pattern of assertions where arguments were warranted. My second problem was that McKnight was apparently unaware that he was creating a system for approaching the Bible very much like one he’d already attacked.

The book tells us that the Bible is one Story from beginning to end that holds the key to understanding the smaller parts. We’re told, “Once you get the hang of reading the Bible this way, you can then map the story of each author of the Bible” (p68).

Does this not sound like the “puzzle” method of approaching the Bible? It appears to me that we’re taking the pieces and assembling them into something of our own devising and using that as a key for unlocking the scriptures.

McKnight tells us, “puzzling together the pieces we find in the Bible into a system is impossible" (p51), but he’s done just that.

The errors of the puzzle method, McKnight says, are it “presumes that we know what God was doing behind the Bible before the Bible was written” (p50) and “this approach nearly always ignores the parts of the puzzle that don’t fit” (p51). Both of these statements can be applied to his method.

The Balance of the Book
After laying out the “Story” by which we must learn to read the Bible, McKnight moves on to the manner in which we should read the Bible in Part 2. Again, the argumentation is a bit light, but he makes otherwise good (and less controversial) points.

He tells us to view the Bible as communication from and a means to relationship with God. Further, if we do not read to listen to, absorb, and do what God tells us in the scriptures we’ve wasted our time. Finally, he reminds us that tradition and the Spirit should guide implementing what we read.

In Part 3 he discusses the implementation in more detail. We all know we don’t do everything the Bible says; we all have some kind of system for determining what we think should be applied today. “As we read the Bible and locate each item in its place in the Story, as we listen to God speak to us in our world through God’s ancient Word, we discern – through God’s Spirit and in the context of our community of faith – a pattern of how to live in our world” (p 129, emphases in original).

Unfortunately that is where his discussion of “patterns of discernment” stops. It’s a very subjective approach. Postmoderns will no doubt say it’s very modern of me to think we need some objective procedures, but we’ve seen just how far following the “Spirit” (who so frequently sounds just like me) and our “community of faith” (be they Mormons, liberation theologians, or oneness Pentecostals) can take us off the reservation all too often.

McKnight then demonstrates his method by addressing the question of women in church leadership in Part 4. Here the weaknesses of his book truly shine forth. We get one part appeal to the “Story” – which he appears to have pulled out of thin air – one part argument from oft-ignored biblical passages and new archeological finds, and one part appeal to popular sentiment. His case is not convincing mostly because of his repeated appeal to his undefended “Story.” (BTW, I oscillate between complementarian and egalitarian.)

I spent a lot of time being angry with Scot McKnight* mostly because this book could have been so much more. I wish he had fleshed out his “Story” and “discernment” sections and then turned the section on women in ministry into a separate book. Instead he tried to do too much and achieved little.

As it stands, I cannot recommend the book. If you really want to know what McKnight says here, the unnumbered last chapter called “Now What?” contains a succinct summary of his method. Normally such chapters are good reviews but dispense with the author’s argument; since this book contains no argument, you lose nothing by reading only that chapter.

Must Read
Recommended Reading
Worth Reading
[Not Recommended]
Avoid This Book

* Is this the danger of reviewing books from people you know? My feelings were rather like a teacher disappointed in a student I was sure could do better. Go figure.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Self-Hating Christians

By now you’ve probably heard about Ray Boltz’s announcement that’s he’s gay. One of his comments really struck me:

“I didn’t hate myself anymore, so in that sense I felt closer to God.”

At the risk of hyperbole, I want to say this to all Christians: If you don’t hate yourself, at least a little, you aren’t doing it right.

I’m not going to enter into the debate about whether people are “born” gay or not – that really is above my pay grade.

It’s also beside the point.

You see, I’m born an adulterer. I’m also born a liar, thief, idolater, and a rebel to the core.

A lot of bad things come very naturally to me. And to you too. We all have a natural tendency to sin, though the sins differ. In all of us there is supposed to be a struggle between the natural man and the Spirit.

It was this that caused the apostle to say, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24)

All the greatest saints have followed that pattern. If you’re not growing in the sense of your own sinfulness, you’re not growing in Christ.

Our culture tells Christians, “You don’t have to hate yourself anymore!” Then they give in – to lust, to alcohol, to hatred or temper or pride or greed or any number of other things that are both completely natural and utterly sinful.

We are supposed to fight our sinful nature. We’re going to lose. We’re then supposed to get back up, ask for forgiveness, and move on.

And we live caught between the two truths that we are worthless and we are of inestimable value to God.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Keep Taxes Low?

Why do they do that? 2 – Conservatives and taxes

Progressives, Democrats, and other proponents of a strong, involved central government can make a pretty compelling case for raising taxes:

Isn’t it time the rich paid their fair share? Shouldn’t the oil companies, which are making record profits while the American consumer struggles to buy gas, give some of their largess to help the poor? With all the concerns facing the average American family – from daily living to health care, college, and retirement – we need to change our economic policy to meets the needs of the little guy rather than giving huge tax breaks to the rich while running up deficits that our grandchildren will have to pay off.

This argument has tremendous emotional appeal. What it lacks is truth.

Their Fair Share
First I need to say this “fair share” line is always powerful because it invokes in the hearers class envy (aka covetousness). “Rich” is a relative term and it is usually defined as those with more than me. This talk always turns into punishing people for having the unmitigated gall to succeed.

The Bible has a lot to say about treating people differently based on how much money they have. It says don’t do it. Repeatedly. Though you usually see the example of looking down on the poor, the opposite is the same sin.

Fair? Demagoguery vs Facts
When we hear that the rich need to pay a “fair share” of taxes, what no one can tell you is what constitutes “fair” – other than “more.”

(With our graduated income tax the general feeling seems to be that the rich should pay a higher tax on their riches. It’s interesting that those who turn to the Bible to defend the idea of taking money from one group and giving it to another never talk about the fact that the biblical system of the tithe “taxed” everyone at exactly the same rate. Everyone paid the same proportion of their income, and even the poor were expected to tithe as long as they had income.)

When politicians decry a tax code that “benefits the rich” rather than making them pay their fair share, we should ask them what is enough.

In 2006, the top 1% of American taxpayers earned 22% of the total income but paid 40% of the nation’s income tax revenues. The top 50% paid 97.1% of income taxes; the other half paid 2.9%. Families in the middle fifth of earners paid an effective tax rate of 2.9% (in 2004); the top 1% paid an effective rate almost 7 times higher – 19.6%.

For all the hand-wringing over oil company profits, the truth is Exxon Mobil makes $1400/second in profits and pays $4000/second in taxes.

Does the top half need to pay all the taxes? Or do we want to push that burden onto the top quarter? What is enough? How do we justify it?

The Morality of Taxes
As we consider how much is “enough” from those we define as rich, the question should be asked: Is there a limit at which taking more is wrong?

One, you’re taking away people’s rightful property. That’s stealing if anyone else does it.

Second, the power to take people’s possessions away is dangerous. You can take too much, and you can damage yourself by taking with the wrong attitude. Are we asking the rich to shoulder a reasonable share of the burden, or are we punishing them? Are we spreading around responsibility, or are we discouraging success?

Most of all, we need to ask: Are we taxing the rich to help the poor, or are we seeking funds for our pet projects?

Limited Government Again
All too often this seems to turn into funds for pet projects. Listen to the politicians today talk about the need to raise taxes; we have to pay for healthcare, college, infrastructure, and education – however they may paint it as helping the poor, there is a certain desire to build their dream [pick one] system.

A great many of those dream projects fall outside of the powers allowed the federal government. Even at the state or local level we should still ask whether government needs to do these things.

The important truth is that government has no money of its own; it only has what it takes from you and me. It is up to us to watch that government only takes what it absolutely needs for what is truly necessary to do in the public interest.

Taxes vs Economic Growth
Generally, low taxes are what’s in the public’s best interest. Taxes siphon energy out of the economy.

This is certainly true of taxing the “rich.” A dollar taken from the wealthy is estimated to take $5 out of the economy. The rich don’t store their money in mattresses; they invest (providing capital), buy stuff (putting money into the economy), and, if they have a business, re-invest (creating jobs).

Raising taxes gives the money to an amazingly inefficient bureaucracy to provide transfer payments and programs for the poor that all too often discourage self-sufficiency and encourage dependence and other self-destructive habits (e.g., multi-generational welfare families).

Lowering taxes on everyone, but especially the “rich,” energizes the economy and generates an environment where “the rich get richer” and in the process create jobs, rising incomes, and more opportunity for everyone – especially the poor.

This is often called supply-side economics. Detractors call it “voodoo” and “trickle down” economics. But the truth is it works.

It worked when JFK tried it. It worked when Reagan did it. Most recently it worked when George W. Bush did it. And it has worked everywhere it has been tried.

Though Democrats generally deny it, even Sen. Obama has implicitly admitted that raising taxes is bad for the economy – suggesting that lowering them would be good.

Finally, if you still want to tax the rich, try this exercise: Quit your job. Now go ask a poor man for a job. Let me know how that works for you.

Tax Cuts and Deficits
If tax cuts are so good, why do they cause deficits?

They don’t. As the links above show, tax cuts increase economic activity and eventually increase tax revenue.

Every time a tax cut is proposed someone comes out with numbers showing how much the cut would cause the deficit to grow. Those numbers always assume no growth in the economy and thus tax revenues.

But we’ve had tax cuts, and we have deficits – why, if they’re so stimulating?

Tax cuts will eventually result in higher revenues. If, however, spending outpaces revenue, deficits result. Spending has been out of sight. Raising taxes will not cure our deficits long term. Fiscal discipline will be required.

Next Time
Here I’ve tried to show that keeping taxes low is good for the economy – including the poor. Next time I’ll look at poverty more closely.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


=According to Brian McLaren, "The world 'is on a precipice' as it struggles to deal with the three 'tremendously frightening crises' of climate change, poverty and war."

But we have hope! "The hope that we are looking for in the world involves ... the have-nots not giving up and ... the haves learning to care."

Oh, did you think he was going to talk about Jesus? Silly rabbit.

=Resources to Help Church Leaders Equip Their Members to Defend the Unborn from STR

=STR also recently linked to a page I'd "lost" -- a dated but still striking comparison of the fruit of adult vs embryonic stem cell research.

=Check out Michael Hyatt's "Four Guidelines for Modesty" including
If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.
=This week's Christian Carnival

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Case for Limited Government

Why Do They Do That? 1

Previously I tried to show that basic conservative philosophies are not immoral. Now I want to examine some issues and explain why Christian conservatives think the way they do.

Let's look at why conservatives emphasize limited government first because many other conservative positions are related to this issue.

There are 3 main reasons conservatives strive to limit the scope of the federal government, and the first the Constitution itself.

Constitutional Limits
People would like the federal government to do lots of things; some might even be good ideas. Frequently, though, these ideas run afoul of the Constitution.

The founders had experienced a strong central government, and they didn’t care for it, so for the first US government, they experimented with a confederacy. It was too weak. Their next approach was in between – a federal system, and that’s the system we have today. Under the Constitution the powers of the central government are carefully stated, and the states are left with a rather broad "everything else."

The powers delegated to Congress can be summed up as taxation, regulation of international and interstate commerce, coining money, and providing patents, roads, courts, and national defense. There’s a little more, but not much.

Everything else is supposed to fall under the jurisdiction of the states.

Of course, you can ask, "So what?" What does is matter what they wanted way back then? Can’t we just run things the way we see fit?

No. And there are two reasons why.

Lucky Romans 13
Christians have this darned Bible that insists that we obey the law. Romans 13 contains the most direct statement of this: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established."

Of course, some will argue "we must obey God rather than men," and we should – if government forbids what God requires or requires what God forbids, we must obey God. But when we’re talking about how to achieve things we think God wants us to do, the Constitution’s forbidding certain methods doesn’t give us warrant to simply ignore the law.

As long as the Constitution says the federal government cannot do certain things, we can’t ask it to do those things. We can change the Constitution, but we can’t just ignore it – God does not give us that option.

Turnabout is Fair Play

Good sense also requires that we obey the Constitution. If we ask the government to ignore the 10th Amendment, we have little grounds to complain when they want to ignore the 1st or 4th. If we let them ignore section 8, how do we know they won’t ignore section 9?

This is not a game we want to play; once the genie’s out of the bottle, it’s awfully hard to put him back.

The Law of Unintended Consequences
Another reason conservatives want to limit government is we know from experience what the government tries to do – whether legitimate or not – will often go awry.

You know Murphy’s Law: what can go wrong will go wrong. In politics there is a similar notion: the Law of Unintended Consequences.

A nation, an economy, these are dynamic, chaotic systems, and it isn’t always possible to tell what will happen when you start changing things. A great and recent example is the move to add ethanol to fuel.

An attempt to help our oil situation, people wanted to add corn-based ethanol to our gasoline. It doesn’t release as much energy as gas, but it’s a clean and renewable resource.

And when you find a new use for corn, demand can outpace supply, which drives corn prices up sharply – causing people who live almost exclusively off corn to suffer.

Ok, maybe we should have seen that one coming. We should see this coming too – once laws get from Congress to bureaucrats or judges, they can be applied far beyond what the authors originally envisioned. We also see laws that were just poorly thought out or poorly written.

Examples abound: the endangered species act being used against family farms, RICO being applied to pro-life groups, babies getting put on no-fly lists, McCain-Feingold and 529s, the AMT drifting down to affect the middle class.

Laws go wrong. A lot. Our best bet is to keep our leaders from making any more laws than are absolutely necessary and to keep them as simple as possible.

Sinful Men
Part and parcel of the last point is the sinfulness of people. Politicians do things they shouldn’t. Bureaucrats do things they shouldn’t. Giving these people more power than we must is unwise.

We do have to give government a certain amount of power, but there are different levels of government, and the closer we can keep the decisions (and power) to us, the better our chances of keeping these people in line – and getting rid of them when they go astray.

Despite a common misconception, conservatives don’t want no government, but we believe that keeping government’s role as small as possible and as close to the voter as possible is both a requirement of the law and the best way to limit the trouble it can cause us.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

On Christians and Politics

Let the topic of politics come up among Christians, and it won’t be long before someone accuses those with strong political opinions of thinking "the state is the means to advance the Kingdom" or some such.

While there are Christians on both sides of the aisle who make that mistake, I think they’re relatively few. For my own part, let me be clear:

The state cannot bring in the Kingdom, but it can really screw up the world, and that’s why we try to influence it for the best as much as we can.

If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we have to be concerned for what crazy economic policies will do to them. You can’t love your neighbors and watch silently while your country gets dragged into a senseless war or ignores a dangerous enemy. Our neighbors, their children, and their children will be affected by the decisions made by the next Supreme Court justices. These issues are real and important.

But they are not of eternal importance.

We can all fall prey to excessive interest in worldly things. I don’t watch sports. Politics is my football, and the outcome of the next presidential election will be slightly more important than the outcome of the next Super Bowl. Passions run high. (That’s one reason I’m glad the internet gives you the chance to think twice – in person, my mouth will occasionally outrun my manners.)

We can also fall prey to insufficient interest in meaningful, temporal things. Medicine will pass away, just like prophecies and knowledge, and so will politics. That doesn’t mean we’re obligated to ignore any of those things. We shouldn’t spiritualize politics or lack of interest in politics.

In every case we need to agree to hold each other to Christian behavior, careful thought, and a spirit of love. And we do need to remind each other of those things are of ultimate import.

But in the mean time, the Republicans are a second half team, and it looks like this game is about to kick into high gear. Pass the nachos.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What’s a Deal Breaker?

The Bible and the Ballot Box: conclusion

Some folks on the political left have claimed that a Christian cannot be a faithful follower of Jesus and be politically conservative. I’ve tried to show that the conservative position is consistent with the Bible on a few issues that modern Christians face, but now it’s time to bring it all together.

The question at hand is, who can I vote for? Earlier I suggested that you can vote for me (the generic politician) if…

* we disagree about whether a policy is prudent.
* we disagree on whether a task is the government’s responsibility or prerogative.
* we disagree on whether a policy is the best way to approach an issue.

However, if we disagree on a moral issue on which you are convinced that I am indisputably wrong, you cannot vote for me.

When it comes to that moral issue, the question is whether you can accept that reasonable people can have different beliefs on this issue. Can you see how a case can be made in the opposite direction, even if you find it unconvincing? If you cannot fathom how another person can hold that position, voting for that candidate is voting for what you are convinced is an immoral policy, and I think that is a compromise believers cannot make.

Some may balk at this saying that we always choose the lesser of two evils. But when we say that, I don’t think we mean real evil. We’re choosing between one candidate’s policy that may not work on issue A and another’s that is a bit dumb on issue B.

Real moral evil, that’s different, and that’s something we cannot support.

So what positions are morally wrong?

On poverty, we looked at the Bible and saw that it consistently calls for personal charity and forms of assistance that encourage self-sufficiency on the part of the poor person and that there is no biblical precedent for forcing charity via government controlled income redistribution. The conservative approach to helping the poor via personal charity and tax policies that encourage economic growth (i.e., job creation) seems to be well within the scope of the biblical picture. Simply giving them “government” money may not be.

Thus not supporting welfare is not immoral. Not having any specific policies regarding the poor, also, is not immoral – the candidate may focus more on the personal charity approach.

The question you have to ask regarding poverty is, really, is this person proposing policies that are designed to hurt the poor? Does he hate the poor, or does he just have a different view on how to help them? If you’re not sure he wants to hurt the poor, you really should give him the benefit of the doubt.

On capital punishment, we saw that you can make a biblical case that the appropriate punishment for certain crimes is forfeiting your life. Certainly you can believe that the death penalty is no longer necessary, not appropriate in most cases, or improperly handled. I’m not asking you to support capital punishment. I’m asking you to accept that this can be a principled position based on the Bible – making it not an immoral position.

Regarding war, there are only two moral options – true pacifism and just war. If you don’t hold to true pacifism, and the candidate in question is not a warmonger in the truest sense of the term (and here again I think the benefit of the doubt is due when lacking evidence), then you have a disagreement over what constitutes a just war – a philosophical, not moral, issue.

On abortion, I really didn’t want to argue whether abortion is wrong – both because people rarely change their minds in this debate and because I think most Christians already think it is wrong. Instead I focused on those Christians who believe abortion is wrong and yet support keeping it legal. I made the case that IF you think abortion is wrong, supporting its legalization makes you, in God’s eyes, guilty of “aiding and abetting” abortion. Supporting those who want to keep it legal is the same thing.

That makes abortion really the only moral issue on the table. That makes it a deal breaker.

If one candidate has great ideas and supports abortion and the other is a blithering idiot but pro-life, abortion should keep us from supporting the former. What about the other guy? More on that later.

Issues in the Balance
A common sentiment is that "being pro-life means also being anti-war, anti-poverty, and anti-death penalty." (Of course, those who say this seem to vote pro-choice.) Let’s break that down:

Abortion vs poverty
Who is pro-poverty? Only the rare nutjob. No one likes to see people suffer. The “evil rich” usually have businesses, so they want poor people to have enough disposable income to become customers.

A common attack on pro-life people is, “You care about children before they’re born; we care about children after they’re born.”

Everyone does. No one wants kids to starve. The question is how to properly help them. But there are many sources of help for the starving child (or his parents); there is no one to help the child being aborted.

Abortion vs capital punishment
You can disagree about the morality of capital punishment, but you have admit there’s a difference between killing an innocent, helpless human being and a killer who’s been found guilty by a jury and had a half dozen appeals.

Abortion vs war
People die in war. Sadly, as long as we live in a fallen world, war is going to be part of our lives. But wars are fought by adults who have the chance to do everything they can to stay alive. In the current war, both sides consist almost entirely of volunteers – people who went into this knowing the danger and choosing to risk their lives for something important to them.

“But children are dying too.” That is tragic. But when comparing abortion and war, only in one is it the expressed intent of everyone involved to kill a child.

Abortion vs poverty, capital punishment, and war
The following numbers are taken from activist websites– so if they’re inflated, they’re probably all inflated. Unfortunately they’re probably mostly accurate.

There are approximately 42 million abortions a year worldwide.

Poverty kills approximately 10.6 million children per year.

An estimated 300,000 children have died in the Iraq war.

It’s not just about math, and every lost life is terrible, but one of these causes kills many more than the others, the same one where the child is intentionally targeted. There are people trying to save the children starving to death. There are people trying to protect the children caught in the crossfire. Who is trying to stop that woman from walking into the abortion clinic? Usually no one.

Abortion is not the only issue, nor is it the only problem in the world, but it is an evil Christians have stood against for nearly 2000 years. We have to continue to do so today.

The American voter generally has to choose between competing philosophies of how to deal with poverty, different philosophies regarding war, varying opinions regarding capital punishment, and the decision of whether or not to support abortion.

If you have to choose between two candidates and only one has an immoral position, you can vote for the other candidate or you can refrain from voting.

But occasionally you might come across a rare nut who really hates the poor or really thinks any war is fine so long as it improves his political prospects. What should we do?

If you can only choose between two immoral candidates, you can’t support either one of them. You are not required to vote for every position on the ballot. Some people show up just to vote for president; some just vote for county clerk. You do have the option to not vote if you don’t have a candidate you can support without compromising yourself morally.

Is there a position on the ballot with no acceptable candidate? Next time, can you run? Could you put more support behind an acceptable candidate in the primary? Just not voting is the way to handle this election, but as good citizens, we should try to put the best people in the office we can – even if it means running yourself. Hey, everybody ran for office a first time.

To this point I’ve tried to show that conservatism is consistent with the Bible. Next I’m going to spend some time explaining why Christian conservatives think the way they do about a few issues.