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“The Reckoning:  Remembering the Dutch Resistance,” is a socially and historically significant film. It is a story of the Dutch resistance to Nazi occupation of The Netherlands during WWII, a story of Jewish resilience in the face of a systematic state policy of annihilation, and a story of religious faith.

Conceived, written, filmed, and produced by John Evans and Corey Niemchick of StoryTelling Pictures in Grand Rapids, Michigan, “The Reckoning” features several up-close interviews of survivors of this period of Dutch history. Diet Eman, now in her eighties and living in Grand Rapids, is one of those survivors whose personal experiences as a resister are featured in an especially compelling and heart-wrenching presentation.

Viewing this film, like visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., is not “fun,” but it is nevertheless something everyone in their teens and older should do. It is reality even if disturbing reality. It is a depiction of the depths to which humanity can sink in hatred, depravity, and tragedy—but it is ultimately a depiction of triumph, for in this major piece of history the bad guys do not win.

Evans and Niemchick are the creative talents that brought this documentary to the screen. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture will fill hearts and souls for a long time to come.

Cornerstone University partnered with StoryTelling Pictures, a for-profit enterprise, to make possible “The Reckoning,” a non-profit endeavor. The university counts it an honor to have played a role.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

In the year since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and other coastal areas of the American south, the birth rate of New Orleans has jumped an amazing 39%, May 2005 to May 2006.

Citizens, medical professionals, and counselors have said this increase in the birth rate can be explained in these ways: an inability to attain birth control support, a lack of electricity and television so therefore more snuggling and what comes with it, the fact that there are more younger people returning to the city than older people, a logical outcome of people seeking comfort in one another, the fact that people had more to worry about than contraception, sex is a stress reliever, or a conscious attempt to do something that restored direction and a future to a family’s life. Some people think it’s also a sign of the city’s renaissance. In any event, a baby boom of this magnitude is a very interesting phenomenon.

I don’t want to over-theologize or spiritualize it, but I do believe “life” in the face of death and destruction is a compelling expression of the human psyche’s deep seated understanding that human beings are or should be eternal. Experiencing the loss of many human lives is an affront to this sense of ourselves. Whether or not people are religious, they know that human beings matter.

We want to scream, “No,” in the face of something like an overpowering hurricane that seems to suggest that human beings are no more significant than flotsam and jetsam. Babies are one way to scream “No.”

I salute the new little ones, and I salute the people of New Orleans and the coastal region in their efforts to rebuild. New life is about hope, and human beings are lost without hope.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Male/Female relationships in the workplace have always been an important organizational consideration. At times, depending upon prevailing winds of culture, they’ve been a challenge, perhaps none more so than today.

In no particular order, here are a few things we’ve learned:

¨ God created all human beings, male and female, in his image – Genesis 1:26. God made men and women equivalent in value and importance – 1 Corinthians 11:11-12.

¨ Considering appropriate and professional male/female relationships in the workplace should neither be a “witch hunt,” nor a “whitewash.”

¨ Both male chauvinism and radical feminism are unproductive and needlessly and inappropriately provocative in the workplace (and for that matter in any part of life).

¨ The family culture of a person’s upbringing, or the current family culture in which they live, greatly influences how the person approaches male/female relationships in the workplace.

¨ There are “huggy” and “non-huggy” people, and non-huggy people do not generally appreciate being hugged by huggy people, even if the latter are offering a hug with the purest of motives and in a manner that is generally considered acceptable in polite company.

¨ At least seven types of problems can develop from inappropriate and unprofessional male/female relationships in the workplace:

1) Unpleasant or uncomfortable workplace environments in which the attitude and atmosphere is tainted by sexually-charged or gender-related jokes or comments (e.g. references to PMS, appearance, etc.) or use of a demeaning or trivializing vocabulary (e.g. “gals,” “the boys,” references to body parts or physiological functions, etc.).

2) Devaluation of women’s comments, opinions, perspectives in the workplace.

3) A generally unstated but sometimes evident expectation that women should always defer to men in authority.

4) The Glass Ceiling – an ostensibly invisible barrier in the organizational hierarchy above which women may not be promoted.

5) Touching – physical contact that, even if not intended as a sexual advance, could be interpreted as such by the recipient or others. Physical contact not generally considered sexually oriented that may still be unwanted by the recipient.

6) Sexual harassment – direct sexual advances or references or other forms of sexually-charged touching, threats of workplace discipline or dismissal, or offers of advancement related to requested sexual favors, etc.

7) Immorality – adultery or affairs among coworkers.

¨ Any one of these problems can destroy careers, marriages, or lives. Consequently, they are important for more than simply contemporary political correctness or diversity reasons.

¨ While there is a biblical teaching called “submission” that relates to husband and wife relationships in a marriage, God never said that women should be “submissive” to every man they meet.

Some practical considerations: take reasonable care when meeting with someone of the opposite gender, e.g. leaving an office door open, refraining from covering office door windows, not meeting in obscure places, particularly away from the workplace, not traveling with a member of the opposite gender without others present, etc.

The real bottom line of male/female relationships in the workplace is respect. Men and women are uniquely gifted even as they are equal in the eyes of God. Each person has value. Each person must be treated with dignity as an image-bearer of the Creator.

In the end, there are moral, legal, professional, and practical reasons why men and women should exercise mature ethical judgment in how they relate to one another in the workplace.

God is honored as we honor others.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at


Dr. Larry W. Poland is this year’s recipient of the Foundations of Faith Award given by Cornerstone University to those who have demonstrated significant leadership and service to the Lord. Since 1985, Dr. Poland has been the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Mastermedia International, a ministry to the top leadership of the film and television entertainment business in Hollywood and New York, the so-called “media elite,” many of whom would otherwise never meet, let alone get to know, a follower of Christ.

Dr. Poland’s ministry with these individuals “takes the long view.” He witnesses to them of the truth of Christ and Christianity by living a trustworthy life before them and being there when they are in spiritual need and looking for answers. Given the individuals involved, this spiritual seed-sowing process may literally take years to bear fruit.

Mastermedia International publishes a “national media prayer calendar” in which media leaders are listed and for whom Christians pray every day of the year. Characters on “The West Wing” television program mentioned this calendar in one episode, and media leaders have repeatedly responded with warmth to the discovery that Christians cared more about praying for them than attacking them.

Last year, Cornerstone University’s faculty approved a new Media Studies major, which will prepare students for careers in journalism, broadcasting, film, theatre, and other related fields using the Internet and new media technologies. This new program is being offered because it is currently in demand but also because it is a way of developing individuals who can lead and influence culture via the powerful impact of all forms of communications.

Dr. Poland is an outstanding Christian leader, one who Cornerstone University is pleased to honor. We trust God will use the university’s programs to produce the next generation of talented and spiritually committed servants to work in media.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

U.S. Representative Katherine Harris (R, FL) recently called separation of church and state “a lie” and said that God and the Founding Fathers did not intend a “nation of secular laws.” She also told a religious journal that if Christians are not elected than in essence Americans have elected people who will “legislate sin.”

Rep. Harris’ comments come in the midst of her campaign for one of the State of Florida’s seats in the United States Senate. Needless to say her comments have drawn criticism from her opposition, but she’s also lost support among other Republican Party leaders.

Whether Rep. Harris should be elected to one of Florida’s Senate seats is a decision for the people of Florida. But we can say that her grasp of early American political history needs a tune up.

Most of the Founding Fathers were religious people, some were Christians, some were Deists, and some were less committed individuals. A few were not believers at all. To a person, though, they distrusted Church governance of the State and State governance of the Church. Then-recent European history was replete with negative examples of too much Church/State interconnection.

While the term “separation of church and state” does not appear in the key documents, The Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution, it was a political doctrine promoted a century earlier by Roger Williams and embraced after the Constitutional Convention by Founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids government from establishing a religion and prohibits government from intervening in the free exercise of religion.

What perhaps Rep. Harris intended to say is that the Founding Fathers never intended and did not establish a separation of religion and politics. They did not because they valued the input of religion, believed religion helped keep politics true to appropriate values, and was impossible practically speaking to separate from politics anyway. What they intended was for the Church not to control the State and the State not to control or establish any given Church. They believed in religious and political liberty.

While I cannot judge her motives or her character, I can say that Rep. Harris’ remarks about church and state, and about others who do not share her Christian commitment, are unwise and unnecessary. They feed fuel to those who do not share her religious and political values and needlessly offend those who may share her political values but not her religious views.

We’ve said before that journalists need to grow more sophisticated in their understanding of religion and its intersection with politics. Perhaps religious, and especially specifically Christian, people need to become more sophisticated in how to express their religious views in politics.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Recently, Terry Mattingly wrote USA Today’s Monday editorial “On Religion.” In his piece he argued that journalists need to “get religion.” He meant that journalists need to learn more about religious beliefs so that they can properly and accurately report religious events, developments, and leaders’ comments. He talked about reporters who don’t know the difference between Episcopalian and Episcopal, who confuse evangelicals with evangelists or even “evangelicalists,” a word that does not exist. In Mattingly’s view, while bias against religion may exist in media, the far greater problem is lack of experience, apathy, or outright ignorance about religious topics.

I agree with Mattingly. On a number of occasions I’ve been asked by reporters what could only be charitably described as ignorant questions—and I work in a locality where religion still plays a fairly prominent role in public life. I’m not alone. Nationally known, highly regarded, and established television broadcast journalists struggled to find the right vocabulary—and frequently failed—to ask Mel Gibson questions about “The Passion of the Christ.” Diane Sawyer of CBS clearly demonstrated she knew very little about biblical theology in her interview with Gibson.

Reporters too often seem more interested in possible controversy, as in “Do you kick out gay students?” than on the facts of a matter. I hear this question each time a reporter interviews me in the wake of a gay student-related story from some neighboring institution of higher learning. Potential or real controversy sells papers and news broadcasts, as in “Cornerstone Considers Dropping Ban on Faculty Vices.” This was the headline last February when CU evaluated its personnel lifestyle statement. No one had used the term vices in the interview, but someone other than the reporter created the headline.

Before I come down too heavily upon journalists, I must add myself to the mix. I don’t, for example, know enough about Islam. I’m reading, and I’m learning. But I have a ways to go.

What journalists first need to grasp is that religion is not just a cultural form like eating, clothing, or dating habits. Religion is not one of the components of a culture. Religion defines a culture. The best definition of culture is Henry Van Til’s from years ago: “Culture is religion externalized.” In other words, a people’s religious paradigm or worldview creates their culture.

Journalists, like many other contemporary Americans, need a couple of crash courses in religion and history and the history of religion. They need to learn that religion is not what a secularizing American culture has claimed during the past four decades. It’s far more resilient, powerful and influential, and permanent. Religion is spiritual, emotional, intellectual, practical, and, yes, political.

Mattingly captured the problem in a nutshell. In a Post-9/11 world, religion is playing a more influential role than ever, so journalists need to “get religion,” perhaps in more ways than one.

Cornerstone University is taking this challenge seriously. CU’s new Media Studies program includes coursework in journalism and broadcasting and, of course, Christian worldview. We want to graduate students who understand the Word of God and understand their times, and who therefore know what they should do.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at