Friday, September 29, 2017

Sorrow on an Enormous Scale


The life of Hugh Hefner led to sorrow on an enormous scale.  To be sure, there are those who consider his pioneering Playboy endeavors to have been liberating and wonderfully progressive, and a source of great happiness.  But, at root, what he did was encourage millions and millions of men to objectify women and diminish them into "roles not souls"--see Jon Bloom's thoughtful analysis along these lines.  So sad.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"ON THE ANTI-GOSPEL OF ALT-RIGHT WHITE SUPREMACY"

The Southern Baptist Convention's important 2017 resolution on this topic is posted here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Joni Eareckson Tada's Reflections


It's been 50 years since that diving accident that left Joni a quadriplegic.  I really appreciate her balanced biblical message about suffering and healing and honoring Jesus this side of heaven.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Dignitary Harm" and the Debate over Religious Freedom

Albert Mohler reviews a new two-views book on religious liberty and LGBTQ concerns.  Especially important is the discussion of "dignitary harm."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

About Preaching


Sam Storms has a very thoughtful article on why preaching has fallen on hard times, including some direct challenges both to the preacher and to church communities as well.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Transgender Controversy

Russell Moore strikes a wise and helpful balance of compassion and truth in his recent post at TGC.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

On Theological Diversity in Early Christianity

Michael Kruger cuts through the fog in the discussion about the supposedly radical theological diversity in and around the early church.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

"All Things for Good"


Helpful big-picture Bible reflections from John Piper on our great and good God!  "If you are given singleness instead of marriage as your life, it’s because the blood of Jesus secured the eternal good that singleness will do for you. Or if you’re given a disability or a disease that’s never healed in this life, it is because the blood of Jesus secured the eternal good that this disability will do for you."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Benedict Option and the State of the Church


A serious, sobering, and important conversation about the North American church in our age of cultural upheaval.  Rod Dreher's message deserves careful, prayerful consideration.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Secularism and the Ongoing Culture Wars


Peter Beinart writes at The Atlantic about "Breaking Faith: The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse."  The hunch that reduced attendance of organized religious services would lead toward a truce in the culture wars was naive.  Religiously unaffiliated Americans to the right and the left are not paving the way toward a tolerant, inclusive, and harmonious society.

In conclusion Beinart muses, "Maybe it’s the values of hierarchy, authority, and tradition that churches instill. Maybe religion builds habits and networks that help people better weather national traumas, and thus retain their faith that the system works. For whatever reason, secularization isn’t easing political conflict. It’s making American politics even more convulsive and zero-sum."

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Baby" and "Fetus"

Interesting that this article in the NYT about pregnancy consistently refers to the "baby" and not the "fetus."  How would it come across if the terms were switched?  Could it be that we have conferred on parents the right to define the unborn as a baby if a baby is wanted, and the right to relegate the unborn to the status of a fetus if a baby is not desired?  Makes me think of the chilling but important commentary of Matt Walsh:  "Apparently Unborn Babies Are Only Human When They Belong To Beyonce."

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Ends of the Earth


J. D. Greear shares an amazing report from a remote setting in Asia--a story that shows God's missionary heart for all the people groups, and the way he transforms lives and plants his church in connection with the witness of his people!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Losing Focus?


Is the rush of breaking news and counter-claims and 24/7-commentary tempting Christians to lose their focus on the Gospel?  And what's more, is our way of handling the current-events-mania causing unnecessary divisions within the church?  Erik Raymond has a very helpful warning along these lines:  "Keep Your Eye on the Ball."

Friday, February 03, 2017

Affirming Biblical Authority

Don Carson's recent article in Themelios is terrific--good, challenging, urgent words for all believers to consider:  "Subtle Ways to Abandon the Authority of Scripture in Our Lives."

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Questioning Christian Slogans

Michael Kruger has a helpful series of posts on "Taking Back Christianese," where he looks closely and critically at what people seem to mean when they say various stock spiritual phrases.  Like "it's not my place to judge" and "America is a Christian nation" and "preach the gospel--use words if you have to."  All in all, an excellent reminder not to just pass along the going religious slogan.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Post-Election Action

Nicholas Kristof at the NYT offers some food for thought encouraging Americans to resist the pull of both gloating and despair now that the election is over.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Third Party in American Politics?


David Brooks makes the case for a third party here in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.  No doubt it would (will?) be difficult for a third party to get serious traction in an American election, but the potential advantages for the nation would be very great.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Jen Hatmaker Veers Away from Biblical Teaching

Justin Taylor offers summary comments and links to four articles that respond to Jen Hatmaker's recent decision to speak out in favor of same-sex marriage.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Always Reforming?

Kevin DeYoung makes vital distinctions about semper reformanda here on the threshold of Reformation Day.  The notion of the church "always reforming" provides no valid basis for revisionist teachings that set aside classic biblical doctrines in order to keep up with the times.  See also Michael Horton's article on how the church should, and should not, be perpetually reforming.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Think It Not Strange"


The team at Desiring God has released a collection of essays on "navigating trials in the New America."  John Piper's introductory video is brief but very helpful as we seek to understand the changing cultural landscape and the place of the church in the West.  The title echoes 1 Peter 4:12, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you."
 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Images from North Korea


Fascinating glimpses into joys and struggles of life in North Korea.

The Main Thing About Heaven


Consider:  "Heaven Is a Person."

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Non-Optional Christianity

I appreciate the way Ray Ortlund challenges the "small Christianity" which people see as an option to consider between Sunday soccer practices.  "Christian conversion is not God sprinkling his pixie-dust blessing on our typical routines."  "Real Christianity is massive.  But is that our Christianity?"

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Reflections on Trump-Clinton Debate


Reflections on the first presidential debate from Russell Moore--thoughts worth pondering.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tim Kaine's Careless Hermeneutics

Trevin Wax responds to Tim Kaine's reckless reading of the Bible.  Kaine's approach provides a classic illustration of how not to read--not just how not to read the Bible, but how not to read, or even to think.  No doubt Kaine would cry foul if anyone handled his words in this kind of sloppy, manipulative way.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Unpacking "Once Saved, Always Saved"

"Whether from fear or ignorance, sizeable segments of the Christian church avoid the New Testament teaching that pursuing purity in this life is necessary for entrance into the next." That's how John Piper begins his very helpful article, "The Legacy of One-Point Calvinism and Casual Churchianity."  He clarifies that this necessary pursuit of purity is the fruit and not the ground of justification.  All in all, a serious and good word!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Russia Muzzles Church


"Under the guise of implementing “anti-terrorism” measures, Russia has adopted new laws that restrict religious freedom and criminalize missionary activities."  See Joe Carter's article on this chilling development.  And pray for the advance of the Gospel despite all obstacles.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton and the Question of Intent

Andrew McCarthy makes an important claim about how the question of Hillary Clinton's intent is neither here nor there when it comes to whether charges should be brought against her or not.  He contends that the FBI has effectively rewritten federal law so as to let Clinton off the hook.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Are Old Testament Promises to Israel Applicable to Gentile Christians?

In his "Look at the Book" video lab, John Piper explains why it is valid--and urgent--for Gentile Christians to take OT promises, such as Isaiah 41:10, as applying to them.  The line of reasoning presented here has far-reaching implications for how Christians handle the Word of God.

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).

Friday, July 08, 2016

Oh Canada


A car dealer in Minneapolis may have captured our national angst this campaign season!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Me Before You?


Joni Eareckson Tada is someone with the credibility to speak to the question of physician-assisted suicide when it comes to cases of disability.  We do well to take note of her thoughts in connection with the recent movie, "Me Before You."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Seek the Welfare of the City"


Stephen McAlpine makes a strong and urgent case for what it means for Christian communities to love the cities where God has placed them.  "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" (Jeremiah 29:7).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reasons to Worry!

Justin Taylor has a terrific post giving many of the foolish "reasons" Christians worry--he also points to God's Word in response to our anxieties.

"Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10).

Monday, May 16, 2016

Questions about Transgender Theories

Trevin Wax is asking important questions about transgender theories and their implications.  See here and here.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Sobering Reflections on Politics and Civilization


I appreciate Matthew Lee Anderson's strong words (here and here) regarding the disintegrating Republican Party and the corresponding sad partisan captivity of the Religious Right:  serious considerations in connection with the rise of Trump.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Multitasking and Stewardship

Jessica Schaeffer asserts, "There are far-reaching, personal benefits of monotasking, but the biblical call to stewardship ought to be the primary motivator for believers."

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Are the Culture Wars Over?

Carl Trueman says yes.  Consider his important analysis.

Trevin Wax has raised some of those questions which are off limits in today's Western anti-culture, as Trueman notes.  But the questions are valid, and urgent.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Christian Nation?

Is America a Christian nation?  Depends on what you mean.  Russell Moore offers helpful input on this topic.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Trump's Theology


Michael Horton has a terrific and important article on "The Theology of Donald Trump" at Christianity Today.

Who Left Whom?

Helpful reflections from Trevin Wax on the sense of dismay many church-going evangelical Christians currently have:  "I don't feel at home in the Republican Party anymore."  About this feeling, Wax adds, "Maybe that's a good thing."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Defense against a Demagogue?

Ross Douthat at the NYT reflects on the crisis of identity and the potential crisis of decision faced by the GOP.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Some Professing Christians Favor Trump

Ross Douthat notes that the most committed Christians are not the ones turning to Trump, but that the GOP front-runner is succeeding "where active religiosity has weakened, but a Christian-ish residue remains."  Trump's "occasional nods to religious faith — like, say, his promise to make store clerks say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” — are well tailored for voters for whom Christian identity is still a talisman even when an active faith is all but gone."

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Europe, America, and the Refugee Crisis

Fred Hiatt has an important word to say on this moment in both European and American history.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Vatican Says No to Evangelizing Jews


Bernard Howard has written a helpful article reviewing the recent (and misguided) assertion of the Vatican that evangelism of the Jewish people will no longer be conducted or supported.  Howard rightly reaffirms the basic biblical teaching that faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is necessary for salvation for Jews and for everyone else.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Trump's Christianity?

A thoughtful word from Michael Brown in connection with the concerns voiced by the Pope regarding Donald Trump's Christianity.

Update:  see also Max Lucado's post about Trump and decency.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Old Testament and Homosexuality

What are we to make of the Old Testament stipulation that homosexual activity is a capital offense (e.g., Leviticus 20:13)?  John Piper offers a tremendously helpful summary of reasons why Christians believe that homosexuals should NOT be killed for their conduct. 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Muslim Leaders Speak Out for Religious Freedom


More than 250 Muslim religious leaders from over 120 countries met in Morocco last month, and they released the Marrakesh Declaration calling for religious freedom for non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries.  Their contention is that it is in keeping with Islam and the writings of the Prophet Muhammad (in his Charter of Medina) to protect religious minorities. Christianity Today reports on this extraordinary summit. Even though there is a long distance between these lofty words and corresponding constructive actions in Muslim-majority nations (Ayman S. Ibrahim is not optimistic that change will come), it is surely positive that such a conversation is even taking place in this day when conflict and war and terror abound.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Biblical Illiteracy in the Church

Al Mohler laments the spread of biblical illiteracy not just in Western society, but in the church:  "We will not believe more than we know, and we will not live higher than our beliefs. The many fronts of Christian compromise in this generation can be directly traced to biblical illiteracy in the pews and the absence of biblical preaching and teaching in our homes and churches."

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What To Think of Trump


Serious concerns from Peter Wehner at the New York Times:  "Why I will never vote for Donald Trump."

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Polarizing Provocation


Charlie Hebdo's special edition recognizing the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack that left 12 dead in their Paris offices makes a reckless, dishonest, and profoundly damaging statement:  the cover portrays God as a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist scurrying about with blood on his hands, and it has the caption:  "The assassin is still at large."  Their point is clear:  God is to blame.  God is the killer.  Religion is the problem.

This broad brush journalistic swipe at religion is both incorrect and irresponsible.  We would expect some measure of discernment, some capacity to make vital distinctions, by those who write for a paper with the following self-description:  "A different angle on the news, for an in-depth view beyond the everyday media offer.  Humour, food for thought and satire from cartoonists, journalists, reporters, writers and columnists."  But discernment is cast to the wind in this brazen gesture to smear any and all who believe in God with the guilt of ruthless killers.  The Vatican, rightly, has sharply criticized Charlie Hebdo's anti-God message.

I can't help but suppose that this poor excuse for journalism is really a clever publicity stunt to sell papers and turn a nice profit.  Tossing out the baby with the bath water may be "Foolish Thinking 101," but it serves nicely to inflame other careless minds, cause unnecessary division, and, again, sell papers.  As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Two seconds of honest reflection on the history of the world will remind an open-minded person that religious faith has motivated many of the greatest humanitarian achievements.  Yes, religious people have sometimes committed great wrongs.  But to let that fact erase the massive contribution of good would be tragic and foolish.  Consider, for example, the countless hospitals founded by Christian missionaries that dot the planet.  Or so many many schools and universities.  Or charities or shelters for the homeless or social service agencies.  The list could go on and on.  But I'll stop.