Serious Christian.Org





Major Articles

What is Serious Christianity?

This essay explains what is meant by the term “serious Christianity” and explains the basic concept behind this website.

Recovering Christian Ethical Absolutes

It may be possible to again assert ethical absolutes in an era when relativism is the only absolute.  *This paper was presented to the Oxford Society of Scholars in Washington D.C. at Dr. Nation’s induction into the Society as a Fellow.

Paul and the Humanists

The current generation is more like that into which the first Christians took their gospel than any generation since.  They were not intimidated, and neither should we be.

Essentials of Worship

With regard to worship, we create too many divisions where we ought to find unity, and require conformity where we should allow freedom. Meanwhile we overlook wide deviation from Biblical norms.  There are 7 essential elements of worship that can be derived from a study of the Scriptures.  *This article first appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Ministry, Winter/Spring 1997.

Character Deficiency Syndrome

A person who is deficient in moral character stands in danger of losing what little he may yet have.  This is a five-part study of the fool and folly as portrayed in the wisdom literature of the Bible, especially the Book of Proverbs.  Originally prepared as a radio script for Probe Ministries International, it can be found as an article at Leadership University (

What really happened at the Council of Nicea?

Did Jesus Become God in A. D. 325?   That’s how it happened according to Dan Brown's rollicking theology-as-conspiracy novel The Da Vinci Code.  The crux of Brown's argument  is that Christianity as we know it is the product of an imperial power play by the Roman emperor Constantine, who muscled the bishops gathered in the ancient city of Nicea into making radical changes to key doctrines. 

The true story of the Council of Nicea is no less dramatic than the fictional scenario Dan Brown envisions, but far more complex.  At the core of Nicea was a theological dispute of monumental significance.  Here is the true story.

Part One: “The ‘Real’ Story vs. the Facts”

Part Two: “The Arian Controversy”

Part Three: “The Council of Nicea Decoded” (Future article)

How We Got Christmas

If Jesus wasn’t born on December 25, why do we call that his birthday?

The Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is one thing, and the celebration of that is another.  How and when did the Christian church actually begin to celebrate Christmas.  Even if you think you know, you may still find some surprises.  I did.

Special Series

The New World Disorder: A Christian’s Perspective on the Post-9/11 World

It is my thesis that the world changed on September 11, 2001; that 9/11 was the day the 21st century truly began.  I also believe that it is important for Christians to know so, and to understand why it is so.   God has placed us at a crucial turning point in history, and hand laid upon us the obligation of living for him and representing the Lordship of his Son at such a time as this.  To that end I am pursuing a study of the impact of 9/11 on our generation, along with a projection of what it will mean to the generations to follow.

The essay comprises four parts or theses, to be published here in installments as they are completed:

First Thesis: 9/11/01, The Shattering Event

After 9/11/01 the world will never be the same.  This article explains how and why that is so, and offers an approach for the interpretation of history that helps us put current events in a larger context.

Future Articles:

  1. The Present Need: Strategic Christian Thinking.  Anticipating, interpreting, and responding—not just reacting—to crises

  2. The War Behind the War: A Clash of Worldviews.  The Real ideas that lie behind the current conflict

  3. Strategic Evangelism & Apologetics: Regaining the Ageless Balance.  The power of the cross, and the true meaning of tolerance

Lecture Notes

Beyond “Conservative” & “Liberal”: Notes on Divine Principles of Government

Is there such a thing as a “Christian” philosophy of government or a “Christian” political ideology, and if so, what is it?

In order to think like Christians about government and politics we must go beyond the stereotyped categories. We may not be able to escape them, but we must not let them dominate our thinking.  As serious Christians it is our task, not to redefine biblical truth in contemporary terms, but to redefine contemporary terms according to biblical truth.

I propose that we go back to the Bible as our starting point, and critique our culture through the lens of Scripture.

*This is not actually a fully developed essay, but rather a set of notes from which I have delivered lectures and conducted seminars. It is offered here without expansion or defense, but as a set of theses to provoke thought.

Short Essays & Reviews

In Memorium:  E. Earle Ellis (1926-2010), Scholar-Servant to the Body of Christ

A personal tribute and remembrance  by Garry D. Nation: “His fame was in the footnotes.”

“Marxism for 6th Graders”

A ways back I had an opportunity to give an impromptu lecture on the Russian Revolution to a department of history students.

It was a sixth grade class.

How would you explain Marxism to 6th graders?

“Expelled”: A Review

The opening credits roll over black and white newsreel footage of the building of the Berlin Wall.  That infamous symbol of the Cold War becomes a metaphor for the academic quarantine increasingly being placed on the proponents Intelligent Design and the hypothesis itself.  Just as that wall was placed to protect the Communist establishment by preventing the free exchange of ideas,  an invisible but unyielding wall has gone up to prevent any serious scientific discussion of any idea that could threaten the Darwinist establishment.

This is the central argument of “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the new documentary from Premise Media and hosted by Ben Stein.

The Bible on Television 2009, part 1: Kings

What if the nations of the modern world were ruled by kings and councils rather than presidents and parliaments—would there be any difference?   And what if the legitimacy of a government should depend not only on the favor of the people, but also on the favor of God?

The Bible on Television 2009, part 2: Battles B. C.

Strictly speaking, Battles B. C. on the History cable network is not about the Bible.  However, the program, produced by David Padrusch, is derived from his 2005 series Bible Battles, and is also built around the work of military historian Richard A. Gabriel.  Gabriel’s concept is to analyze the biblical text from a military point of view rather than a religious one. The biblical subject matter in Battles B. C. has includes the campaigns of Moses, Joshua, and David, alongside Hannibal, Caesar, Alexander, Pharaoh Ramses II, and the Greeks at the battle of Marathon.  What makes this series distinctive is its “graphic novel” approach to dramatizing the action in the style of the motion picture The 300 (but with a lower budget).

Guest Contributions

“What’s the Big Deal about Intelligent Design?” by Dan Peterson.

In the current showdown between materialists and theists, it’s easy to forget that science itself is a creation of Western Christian thought.  Reprinted from The American Spectator, December 2005/2006. Used by permission of the author.

“The Little Engine That Could...Undo Darwinism” by Dan Peterson.

What critics of Intelligent Design theory can’t accept is that its proponents are making scientific, fact-based arguments.  Reprinted from The American Spectator, June 2005. Used by permission of the author.