Author: Daniel Kanis

21 Jul 2020 State and church authority in a pandemic – An interview with Professor Koyzis

In We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God, David Koyzis explains that authority is intrinsic to humanity and everything we do, because “authority is resident in an office given us in creation,” and when we encounter authority, “we encounter nothing less than the image of God, which always points beyond itself.” Part 1 of ARPA’s interview with Professor Koyzis covered some of his book’s key ideas. Part 2, below, focuses on the nature and limits of political authority and tensions between political and church authority during COVID. PART...

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17 Jul 2020 The Key to Authority is the Office of Image Bearer – An Interview with Professor David Koyzis

  ARPA’s John Sikkema interviews David Koyzis In We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God, David Koyzis addresses modern skepticism of authority by arguing that authority is intrinsic to humanity and part of everything we do, both communally and individually. Why is that? Because “authority is resident in an office given us in creation.” When we encounter authority, “we encounter nothing less than the image of God, which always points beyond itself.” Professor Koyzis was kind enough to talk about his book with me. Part 1 of our interview,...

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20 May 2020 Professing progressivism for emergency loans?

  by John Sikkema  What is our government doing by requiring small businesses to confirm that they do not “promote hate” or “discriminate” before they can get a loan? Imagine your business partner suffers a serious injury at the construction site. You call 911. The operator asks if you and your business partner respect collective bargaining rights. Or imagine you need cancer treatment, and hospital staff ask if you support the equal right of everyone to publicly funded medical care. Would that ever be appropriate? Does your respect or disrespect for collective bargaining or...

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20 May 2020 Criminal charges withdrawn against street preacher David Lynn

The Crown withdrew its criminal charges against David Lynn today, almost a year after he was arrested while street preaching in Toronto’s “gay village” at the opening of “Pride Month”. This case was politically charged from the outset. Lynn had been charged with two criminal offences: mischief and causing a disturbance. The entire incident was video recorded, however, and it quickly came to light that these charges were dubious at best. ARPA Canada’s Law and Policy Director reviewed that video last summer and wrote about the case on ARPA’s blog. At...

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27 Mar 2020 A Tale of Two Pandemics

by John Sikkema  Every day, COVID-19 numbers make top headlines. So, you probably have some idea of the numbers in Canada. As of today: Total people tested: >175,000 (most tests are negative or results pending) Total cases (confirmed or presumptive): ~4,700 (there are likely many more unknown cases) Total COVID-related deaths: 55 Meanwhile, since Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016, medical practitioners have deliberately killed over 14,000 patients, with legal approval and public funding. And the rate of euthanasia deaths is accelerating. From June to December of 2016, about 1,000 people were...

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25 Feb 2020 Government tables Bill C-7 to expand assisted suicide

Yesterday, the federal government proposed legislative amendments to broaden eligibility for “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD). Bill C-7 proposes to further liberalize Canada’s current law and endangers the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The bill is constructed around two vague categories – those whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable, or not. The legislation gives discretion to medical practitioners to categorize a patient as one or the other. Currently, doctors are permitted to interpret this foreseeable death requirement loosely. Patients who might have had years to live, but had a condition that would...

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14 Feb 2020 A breach in Wall:  New court ruling casts shadow on church independence

by John Sikkema In 2018, we told you about a Supreme Court case called Wall v Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In that case, Mr. Wall took a Jehovah’s Witnesses Congregation to court for “disfellowshipping” him. Mr. Wall succeeded in the lower courts, but lost his case at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). The SCC decided unanimously that civil judges have no business reviewing a religious body’s decision to expel a member where no legal right is at stake. That case raised the fundamental issue of churches’ freedom to govern themselves,...

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29 Nov 2019 What’s going on with Bill 207, Alberta’s conscience rights bill?

  *UPDATE (added Dec. 5): On Monday, December 2, while MLA Dan Williams was speaking on Bill 207, a tragic incident occurred outside the Assembly, which then adjourned. Consequently, Bill 207 was delayed. It will likely be revisited in February 2020, once the legislature resumes. Last week, an Alberta legislative committee voted against Bill 207.  So, is Bill 207 dead? Not quite. Ordinarily, a bill gets debated in the Assembly at second reading. Then, if it passes the “second reading vote”, it goes to an appropriate committee for closer study, where amendments are often...

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28 Nov 2019 Why liberalism and conservatism are both (mostly) wrong: Politics from a Christian worldview

by John Sikkema The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms acknowledges the "supremacy of God". Many see this as an inappropriate mixing of law and religion. Is it? What if the Charter stated instead that the individual is supreme? Or the people? Or the nation? Or the working class? Each of these would be a statement of the law’s foundational commitment, a statement of belief. We shouldn't think that politics becomes nonreligious simply by leaving out references to God. In his new book, Christian political philosopher David Koyzis helps us understand why. In...

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