Saturday, January 23, 2021

Book Review: Dangerous calling by Paul Tripp

Some writers make a living off cheap shots. It’s pretty easy to create a patina of profundity by manipulating guilt in your readers. It’s been done all too often in Christian circles, especially in books dealing with the modern church or modern ministry. That is not what Paul Tripp does in his terribly convicting book, Dangerous Calling, as he takes the reader on a tour of the lethal dangers associated with the ministry.

None of the hazards he explores come from the outside—they all come from within the minister himself. Pride, anger, hypocrisy, the danger of celebrity, the danger of personal isolation, thinking one has “arrived,” thinking that theological knowledge equals spiritual maturity, are just some of the minefields and pitfalls Tripp covers. It’s a wake-up call, whether you’ve been in ministry for forty years, or have just entered the ministry.

Tripp’s warnings are all the more powerful as he makes it clear that he himself has failed multiple times in multiple ways. He bares his soul—and his sins—to the reader. I think the book gains in two ways from Tripp’s painful self-disclosures. First it encourages those of us who struggle with transparency to become transparent ourselves, knowing that we are safe and forgiven in the grace of Christ. Second, when I see what Tripp struggles with, I know he knows what he is talking about. It’s not pastoral practice according to the ivory tower; it’s blood-and-guts practical.

But the book is not a negative downer. Each chapter contains reminders of the love and grace of Christ for broken sinners like us, and practical steps and suggestions for accountability, transparency, and a renewal of our love for Christ and passion for ministry.

Read this book. It might save both your marriage and your ministry. Five stars. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Book Review: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, by Hornfischer

In October of 1944, the Japanese threw the remainder of their naval power into an attempt to destroy MacArthur’s invasion of the Philippines, particularly the landing on Leyte. In a three-pronged desperate operation called Sho-1, employing powerful naval task forces under the command of admirals Nishimura, Kurita, Shima, and Ozawa, the Japanese sought to stall the American island-hopping advance. While Ozawa martialed Japan’s remaining fleet carriers in hopes of drawing Halsey’s Third Fleet north, away from its position blocking the San Bernadino Strait, the other three Japanese forces would advance on Leyte in a pincer movement from north and south.

When Halsey took the bait and left his assigned station to chase north after Ozawa, the only thing standing between the massively powerful Japanese fleet and the Leyte landings was Taffy 3 (Task Unit 77.4.3) consisting of 6 light carriers, three destroyers and four destroyer-escorts, under the command of Admiral Sprague.

Hornfischer’s fascinating book details the heroic stand of Taffy 3, which faced the largest battleship in the world whose 18” guns had a range of 20 miles, plus three more battleships armed with 14” guns, six heavy cruisers with 8” rifles, two light cruisers, and eleven destroyers. The 5” guns on Taffy 3’s small force had a range of only about 7 miles, and their shells were insufficient to put even a dent in the armored sides of the Japanese battleships and heavy cruisers. And yet Taffy 3 slowed the Japanese onslaught, and eventually caused Admiral Kurita to lose his nerve and withdraw.

The author does a superb job of introducing the reader to the human combatants, from cook to admiral, primarily on the American side. The book is full of riveting first-person accounts of the fear and courage of the men of Taffy 3, sailors and airmen, as they faced the devastating punishment of an opponent that overmatched them in every category except courage.

Hornfischer points out it was a battle of firsts and lasts: first time in history that an aircraft carrier was sunk by a surface fleet, and the last time this sort of surface melee involving battleships ever happened. His writing is superb: you can feel the spray and the concussion from the Japanese shells as they straddle the ships of Taffy 3.

If you enjoy military history, this is a must read. Five stars, highly recommended.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Book Review of Ruth Batstone's Moving On: Beyond Forgive and Forget

Ruth Batstone’s writing style is warm and engaging—this book will be very helpful in teaching and encouraging victims to deal biblically with their trauma, particularly when it comes to forgiving the perpetrator. The author does a powerful job of connecting with those who have suffered greatly at the hands of an abuser. Her empathy and understanding of the emotional damage such suffering produces is compelling as she gently nudges the reader toward the imperative to forgive.

Batstone constantly leads the reader back to the Gospel as the landmark and source of forgiveness. She repeatedly reminds us that the grounds on which we are commanded to forgive others is God’s forgiveness of our own sins through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Moving On is fully Christ-centered and is an excellent tool for presenting the Gospel to a counselee who’s not yet professed faith in Christ but who has suffered at the hands of others.

The strengths of the book include the writer’s sharing of her own suffering. Her personal experience provides Batstone with a deep-level understanding of the complex emotions swirling in the heart of a victim. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection, making the book a great homework tool for biblical counselors. She also does a good job covering the various peripheral topics surrounding the issue of forgiveness, such as anger, desire for revenge, the danger of not forgiving, and the relationship of forgiveness to worship.

There are a few matters that weaken the volume. One of the book’s strengths is also its weakness: Batstone deals mostly with the subjective aspects of forgiveness; there are a few glaring holes when it comes to her treatment of the objective, transactional nature of forgiveness. The best example of this is her failure to deal with the little word “if” in Luke 17:3. Jesus says very clearly, “if he repents, forgive him.” Batstone, on the other hand, claims boldly that “forgiveness is not contingent on another’s repentance” (p. 96). She presents forgiveness as a unilateral, one-sided transaction. I don’t recall her dealing with Psalm 86:5, in which God is said to be “ready to forgive, and abundant in loving kindness to all who call upon You” (NASB). This is the posture a believer is to take with someone who refuses to repent: the heart attitude is that of forgiveness, but without actually making the transaction of forgiveness. This is more than a semantic difference when it comes to restoring relationships broken by sin: restoration is always a two-way interaction. Batstone’s unilateral idea of forgiveness unintentionally weakens that interactive dynamic.

Another weakness is apparent in her treatment of the notion of “forgiving oneself.” Again, she deals with the subjective, emotional matters and never touches on the fact that our sins are not primarily against ourselves to begin with, but against the Lawgiver. We are not the lawgiver, and therefore there is no need to “forgive ourselves” (texts such as 1 Corinthians 6:18 really speak to self-damage we wreak, not to moral transgression against our own law thereby requiring “self-forgiveness”). While she does a excellent job of exploring what issues might be rattling around in the heart of someone who “just can’t forgive themselves,” she does not deal plainly with the fact that sin is against God, not ourselves.

I recommend this book highly, but I would suggest Jay Adam’s From Forgiven to Forgiving as a companion text to anchor the subject in a more thoroughly biblical frame work. Four stars.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Workout Video

I asked for an easy, brief workout video for Christmas—something I could do in maybe 15 minutes a day without raising a sweat. I figured that, given those two requirements, Doris wouldn’t be able to find any that qualified. It was a safe request that would be impossible to fulfill. I could virtue-signal my “desire” to get in shape, without worrying about actually having to follow through with it.

My sweet wife took me seriously. Except for the “15 minute” and “without raising a sweat” parts. Those provisos she seemed to ignore. So, she actually did give me a workout video for Christmas. Ho ho ho. They say that the best gifts have layers of meaning behind them. Not sure I want to do the excavation on this one. After attempting the first round today, I’m wondering if it has something to do with my life insurance.

I should have known I was in trouble when the DVD jacket said this guy was a former Combat Controller who trains US Special Forces operators. Unfortunately the DVD didn’t come with a bell so I could ring out.

The fellow leading the workout is bald. That, by the way, is the only thing we have in common. This guy out-atlases Charles Atlas. His sculpted shoulders are the size of my cheeks, and I’m not talking about the ones on either side of my nose. He is also completely without mercy.

The DVD comes with a seven-minute warm-up video. By the time that was over, I was completely gassed. The next segment was just an evaluation workout, to see whether I should go into the level 1 beginner track, or advance to level 2 or beyond. Let’s just say I failed the evaluation video with flying colors—not only do I not qualify for level 1, I couldn’t even complete the evaluation workout. Perhaps for the next month or so, I should just do the warm-up and cool-down videos, and skip everything in between.

All the literature associated with this program trumpets the fact that you don’t need a gym or any weight equipment. His exercises simply use your own body weight. I figure if I can get my total body weight down to maybe 30 pounds, I’ll be able to do the workouts.

It’s called the 90 day challenge. I’m gonna be challenged to complete the basic evaluation workout in 90 days. Next Christmas I’m asking for Crunch Munch.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Review of Stephen Ambrose' The Victors

When I began reading The Victors and realized that it was compiled from many of Stephen Ambrose’s other books on World War II, I was disappointed. I thought I’d be reading the literary equivalent of ‘refried beans.’

It was a needless concern.

Although I recognized some passages from Citizen Soldiers, D-Day, and Pegasus Bridge, the book read as a fresh telling of the momentous stream of actions that comprise the Allied victory in the Eastern Theater of Operations. Ambrose begins with D-Day and continues the account to the signing of surrender on May 7, 1945 in Reims. Most of the account details the actions of the Americans and the Brits, with less about the Canadians, even less about the French, and practically nothing about the Soviets.

Effusive in his praise of Eisenhower but equally unafraid to critique and criticize, Ambrose gives the reader a clear picture of what Ike had to deal with as he led a multinational coalition of competing egos, competing national and strategic priorities, and competing deficits in the character or competence of the general officers serving under him. Marshall, Montgomery, Bradley, and Patton occupy the lion’s share of attention when Ambrose writes of the generals, although accounts of many other general officers are included in the pages.

Most importantly, Ambrose exercises one of his great strengths as a writer and historian: he brings the reader down to the squad level of combat, with the privates, sergeants, and lieutenants. Through numerous interviews with the men who were actually there, the author puts the reader in the soggy foxholes with the soldiers as they battle the Germans plus rain, snow, mud, hunger, cold, trench foot, dysentery, and extreme sleep deprivation.

The book includes some good photographs, but only one master map. I would have enjoyed more maps, especially when the author invested several pages detailing specific battles. Here and there Ambrose embeds passages explaining tactics, weapons, policies, or even the politics hidden behind strategic decisions—these digressions were always fascinating.

Ambrose’s respect for the common soldier crafted from the common citizen is on display in The Victors. He concludes the book with a retrospective tribute to the enlisted men without whom no victory would have been possible. It is well deserved.

I walk away from The Victors marveling at the near superhuman endurance of the teens and twenty-year olds who not only survived the extreme conditions, but beat back the powerful German army. Will there ever again be such a generation? May God grant that there will never be the need. Five stars, highly recommended.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

More than an adventure story

Imagine what would happen if an extremely contagious and deadly disease (genetically-engineered smallpox) was released in the atmosphere over four major cities in a criminal act of biological warfare? Suppose there was no known cure. What would the world look like eighty years later?

This is the world of Outlander Chronicles: Phoenix. The year is 2120, and the global population has fallen south of eight million souls, a population inadequate for manufacturing, mining, refining, power generation, or even government. The scattered remnants of humanity have divided into two groups: on the one hand, tiny communities trying to scratch out a living using rudimentary agriculture, and on the other, vicious lawless gangs that survive by raiding the communities. Both scavenge abandoned, decaying cities looking for what few material goods have survived eighty years of rot, neglect and exposure to the elements. The future looks more like the distant past—there’s nothing sci-fi about it.

A young man—Jacen Chester—decides it is time to try to replant civilization. He meets a mysterious stranger, an older man named Hakim. Hakim begins to mentor Jacen, teaching him how to survive in a world of violence and anarchy. The two men could not be more different, however. They must first learn how to survive their own sharp disagreements.

Outlander Chronicles: Phoenix is much more than a fast-paced action-adventure novel. Amid the gunfire and fighting are serious philosophical discussions about God, faith, forgiveness, the source of morality, secularism and more. The story could be characterized as a “parable of forgiveness disguised as a shoot-em-up.”

The tale does contain heart-stopping violence but not any obscenity or skin scenes. Readers ranging in age from early teens to senior citizens have found it to be gripping and hard to put down. The premise of the tale along with the characters, the plot line, the action, and the arguments around the campfire combine to make this novel far more than the average mass-market paperback.

If you’re looking for a great read with a little more meat in it, Outlander Chronicles: Phoenix should be on your list. A sequel has also been released, Outlander Chronicles: Pegasus.

Both books are available from Amazon in print or Kindle formats, or from the Doorway Press store, from Bread of Life bookstore in Greenville, or from your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore through the Ingram catalog. You can see all my books at

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Christian and Marijuana

[Disclaimer: this post is NOT intended to disparage the medically helpful use of non-THC cannabinoid products, nor the careful and temporary use of medically-indicated antidepressant or anti-anxiety drugs prescribed by a physician.]

As the recreational and medical use of marijuana is legalized across America, I am concerned that believers are justifying the use of pot because “it is no longer illegal.” Though it remains a controlled substance on federal lists, the feds don’t seem to be on a crusade against states where marijuana use is now legal at the state level.

Between the general cultural lessening of the stigma regarding drug use/abuse, and the change in its legal status, some professing Christians believe that the use of psycho-active substances such as marijuana is a legitimate lifestyle choice. The most common justification I hear is, “it helps me relax,” or “it helps me deal with stress.”

There are, in my opinion, many good reasons Christians should abstain from all psycho-active substances unless specifically prescribed by a physician. There’s a medical case against it (especially regarding teens and marijuana, in terms of the impairment of brain development), there’s a psychological case against it (loss of motivation and ambition, and the development of psychological dependency), and there’s certainly a social case against it (marijuana is a gateway drug and is demonstrably associated with irresponsible behavior). Great caution should be exercised even when a physician does prescribe a drug—the over-prescription of psycho-active drugs is a recognized problem in the typical American practice of medicine.

There is also a likely Scriptural case against such drug use at the lexical level. The Greek term φάρμακον (pharmakon, from which we get the English terms pharmacy and pharmaceuticals), and its related words, is translated with the English term sorcery or sorcerer in Galatians 5:20, Revelation 9:21, 18:23, 21:8, and 22:15. The Dictionary of New Testament Theology indicates this word group was typically associated with the use of substances involved in the practice of magic: medicines, herbs, potions, and poisons. The New Testament consistently associates the word with negative and prohibited practices. Galatians 5:20 includes sorcery in the list of the “deeds of the flesh,” saying that “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (5:21).

Modern users of marijuana may not be consciously engaging in classical “magic” practices in their use of the drug, but that neglects to consider the general shift away from superstitions in our post-enlightenment culture. For example, moderns don’t necessarily believe in animistic gods as supernatural beings—but we still practice idolatry by worshiping something other than God (sex, money, etc.). The worship no longer takes on the appearance of the cultic practices of the pre-modern era, but it is worship all the same and therefore idolatry all the same. By the same token, moderns using marijuana are not consciously practicing magic, but they are pursuing the benefits, the highs, the alteration of consciousness that ancient magic practices promised, and as such there is virtually no distinction between modern and ancient usage of drugs.

But none of those arguments are the strongest arguments against the use of marijuana by believers. When a believer uses the drug for the euphoria of the high it is no different from drunkenness, which is roundly condemned by Scripture. When a believer uses the drug to relax or escape the pressures of stress and difficulty, he is endorsing the assumption that stresses, difficulties, and trials are bad, are a moral evil, and therefore should be eliminated or avoided.

But that’s not how the Scripture treats stresses, trials, and troubles. Instead, the Bible presents these dynamics as tools in the hands of God that make us more like Christ. Peter says the trials work the “proof of our faith, being more precious than gold,” and ultimately are found to “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Somehow I don’t think that dealing with trials by toking on a joint produces the same glory, honor, and praise toward Jesus Christ.

Peter also says that God’s divine power has granted us “everything pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). I don’t think he meant that God’s power plus pot accomplishes the glory of Christ. If we need marijuana to cope with life, then we are obviously demonstrating to the world that God’s divine power is frankly inadequate.

Paul says that he boasts in weakness, distresses, difficulties for Christ’s sake, because in his weakness Christ’s power is perfected in him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I don’t think Paul dealt with his troubles with Christ plus pot.

In my opinion this is the greatest argument against the use of marijuana. The stresses, trials, troubles of life are designed to produce the image of Christ in our character. When we can only deal with those things by getting high, we are confessing that what Jesus has done for us is insufficient to deal with “real life.”

Is the inadequacy of Christ really the message you want to proclaim?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Book Review: Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody

Pluckrose and Lindsay dismantle Critical Theory in an intellectually rigorous way. It's frankly refreshing. The
book begins with an examination of the historical development and foundational ideas of postmodernism. They contrast it with classical liberalism. Although Critical Theory is rooted in postmodern ideas, postmodernism became little more than a faddish philosophical plaything because it ultimately deconstructed itself. If all knowledge is subjective and socially constructed and all truth claims are oppressive, well, that applies to postmodernism, too.

What rose in its place Pluckrose and Lindsay identify as "applied postmodernism." The main distinction is that applied postmodernism arbitrarily considered claims of oppression to be objectively real, while continuing to view most other claims of knowledge as mere social constructions. Applied postmodernism makes up the foundation of all variations of Critical Theory.

Most of the remainder of the book, chapter by chapter, examines the following branches of Theory: Postcolonial Theory, Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory and intersectionality, Feminism and Gender Studies, and Disability and Fat studies.

The book concludes with a close look at Social Justice scholarship and Social Justice in its real-world application.

Though it is a much overused cliche, Pluckrose and Lindsay demonstrate that the emperor of Social Justice and Social Justice "scholarship" indeed has no clothes. In fact, the authors demonstrate how Social Justice themes and emphases frequently hurt the very identity groups they are seeking to help.

The book is heavily documented with primary sources, and engages Theory's various scholars by the use of their own words and writings (perhaps 25% of the length of the book is composed of the extensive documentation and end notes). If one is researching Theory, I imagine this book is a virtual catalog of the most important sources.

In my opinion, Cynical Theories is a hugely important contribution towards rolling back the progressive tidal wave of intellectual irrationality that has taken control of virtually all aspects of modern culture. Five stars: highly recommended.

Monday, November 9, 2020

You may find these hard to put down...

Want a break from the bad news, the political news, the Covid news, and the riots-in-Portland news?

Would you like an exciting Cold-War story about conflict with the Soviet Union at the height of America’s military strength? Want to read an intriguing espionage tale? Want to read a great action/adventure tale that does not contain any gratuitous sex or obscene language?

Let me recommend the Falcon Series. It’s an exciting tale (four novels) about an American F-16 pilot who gets shot down and captured by the Soviets in what amounts to a high-tech kidnapping. He finds himself incarcerated in a Soviet interrogation camp. He knows he has two options: escape, or torture followed by death.

The Falcon Series is set in the Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The research behind the Series gives it a ring of authenticity often missing in the military and espionage genres. Fast paced, unpredictable action will keep you engaged from wheels-up to the final scenes.
 Kirkus Reviews said of Falcon Down: “Cobb has clearly done his research on
multiple counts and, like Tom Clancy or Dale Brown, masterly intertwines military technology and behavior into a tightly plotted narrative in which every development follows logically and smoothly from what came before. This deft touch extends to the characters: . . . This first installment chronicling the adventures of Maj. Jacob Kelly turns out to be an undisputed success.

I measure my success as a writer by whether or not I can make you miss your bed-time. According to a number of readers, the Falcon Series has been very successful by that metric. The books are available in both Kindle and print format. The book links below take you to Amazon--however, there are bundle prices in the Doorway Press store that will save you up to $16 for the complete set (print format).

Book 1: Falcon Down 
Book 2: Falcon Rising 
Book 3: Falcon Strike 

And one last thing: if you read any of the Falcon Series, and you enjoyed it, leave a rating or review (preferably) on Amazon or Goodreads, or other reading sites. And tell a friend! Thanks!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

When all is said and done, it's time to reboot...

First: full disclosure. I wrote this post for my benefit, to remind me of what is true and to get re-centered on what is important, and what is ultimate. I am a political junkie and sometimes get off-centered. I needed the thought that went into this essay in order to restore my own sense of balance. Perhaps it can help you, too. Take a deep breath, and read on...

Tuesday will come and go and the earth will continue to orbit the sun. No matter who is elected (and no matter how long it takes us to find out who won), you’ll still need to go to work, raise your children, love your spouse.  

Here are a few thoughts to remember:

1. No matter who wins, the outcome is ultimately an act of God’s sovereign control over His creation. “For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.” (Psalm 75:6–7). Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 4 is particularly helpful: “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Daniel 4:17).

2. Do not get caught up in conspiracy theories. God’s got this. What if the vote is polluted? What if there is cheating, perhaps organized fraud? The sin of man will never overcome the plan of God. Conspirators may thwart the will of man, but they will never thwart the will of God. Psalm 2 should forever destroy the fear of conspiracies: “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalm 2:1–4).

3. On the other hand, don’t be glib about the sovereignty of God. The fact that Christians have confidence in God’s sovereign control of all things should never lead the believer to become glib or insensitive to suffering that is a result of wicked men and poor governance. Jeremiah knew God was in control of the Babylonian invasion—but he still wept for his nation, nonetheless. Jesus knew His Father was in control of the judgment to come, but He still wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). Caring deeply about our nation and its fortunes is neither unbiblical or unspiritual—rather, it is an appropriate response to our stewardship in this earthly kingdom.

4. Remember that relationships are far more important than politics. Our politics are certainly formed out of our worldview, but not everyone has thought as deeply about the connections. All of us, including me, live with a degree of cognitive dissonance or intellectual contradiction in our opinions and viewpoints. The Scripture is absolute; our opinions are not absolute. Don’t confuse the two. We are to receive one another: “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:1–4)

5. Do not buy the argument that concern for the economy and the policies that impact it is a greedy preoccupation with wealth. Many of those who make this charge are precisely the ones whose economic status largely protects them from the vagaries of a faltering economy. For the majority of Americans, the health of the economy translates to whether they can pay their rent or mortgage, keep the electricity and heat on, and put food on the table. The economy matters hugely, because it has a direct and often immediate impact on human suffering. Christians should care about this—not only in terms of mercy ministries, but in terms of laws and policies that add strength to the economy.

6. Do not buy the argument that the church and its mission are largely unaffected by culture in which it lives. Paul intimates in 1 Timothy 2 that domestic tranquility has a positive effect on the ability to share the gospel: First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4)

7. Don’t be confused: America is neither ultimate nor permanent. The Constitution is neither ultimate nor permanent. Only God, His Word, and His plan are ultimate. “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Someday—maybe soon, who knows—all the works of man will come to an end in the fires of God’s judgment. Washington D.C. will be burned to a crisp. London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Seoul, and all the capitals of men will be burned to a crisp. That doesn’t mean the policies and laws of those places are irrelevant, but it does mean that they are at best temporary.

8. Don’t be confused: America has been greatly blessed by God, but Americans are not the people of God; rather, the true church comprises the people of God. While the Constitution embodies many biblical principles, it is not the sixty-seventh book of Scripture—it’s not the Epistle to the Church of Philadelphia, USA.

Here’s what we should remember: we must faithfully exercise our stewardship as citizens of an earthly kingdom, but we must never allow that citizenship to take priority over our heavenly one. On Wednesday morning, God will still be on the throne. His sovereign plan will reign supreme. He will still be good and loving and just and faithful. The blessed hope of the believer will be unchanged by political winds. Fullness of joy is found in the presence of God, not in political victory. Our joy will continue no matter who sits behind the Resolute Desk in the White House.

If your eyes (and my eyes) are fixed on Christ, our joy will be undiminished.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1–4)