February 28 – March 1, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Blogroll Collection

The Daily Discovery (February 28-March 1, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Political Bullying and Intimidation Over Evolution – “The topic of evolution, especially regarding how politicians have responded when asked if they believe in evolution or not, has been in the news lately. The very liberal Huffington Post published an article on the topic stating the following…”

Beware the “Gospel In A Bottle” – “It is beautiful.  It is captivating.  It boasts an inspiring, powerful message presented in the most stirring of words  – language more than capable of making eyes weep and chins quiver with emotion.”

Conditional Faithfulness – “The Bible continually discusses God’s faithfulness and the need for us to have complete faith in Him. But what exactly does the Bible say about the faith we are to have in God? And what about God’s faithfulness? Does His faithfulness extend to all people? All believers unconditionally? Or is God’s faithfulness conditional at times based on our behaviors?”

Announcement: We’ll be Blogging through Shepherd’s Conference 2015 Inerrancy Summit Next Week! – “We’re trying to wrap our blog series on the Christian worldview, film and Comics soon because next week all three bloggers from Veritas Domain would reunite at The Shepherd’s Conference. This year’s theme is on Inerrancy and is the biggest ever. They have called it The Inerrancy Summit and have brought many different speakers that normally don’t come out but they are for this occasion such as Kevin DeYoung and Carl Trueman.”

The Word-less “Church” – “Many American churches are in a mess. Theologically they are indifferent, confused, or dangerously wrong. Liturgically they are the captives of superficial fads. Morally they live lives indistinguishable from the world. They often have a lot of people, money, and activities. But are they really churches, or have they degenerated into peculiar clubs?”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – The Grim Reality of the last days


VIDEOS:

Is your government school teaching Buddhism?

President Obama visits Planet Reality.

Source


Albert Mohler Blog: “The Table of the Nations, the Tower of Babel, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: Part 2”

In this new blog essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. reproduces the second half of this year’s convocation address on the Table of Nations and racial reconciliation. Mohler writes:

“Sin explains confusion and difficulty in communication. Sin explains hatred and animosity, racism and ethnocentricity. Seen in the light of the gospel, racial and ethnic differences are not accidental. They reflect the perfect plan of a perfect God. And they are not overcome by the gospel — they are glorified by the gospel. The community of the New Covenant looks like this people preparing for this second table, the table of the Lamb. The New Covenant community lives not by avoiding diversity of ethnicities, but by embracing and celebrating it. The New Covenant community lives looking forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb when men and women from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation will gather around the table of the king.”

Click here to read more


10 Biblical Formulas To Change Your Life

“Every formula is in “greater than” format. For example, the formula Good News > Bad News, based on Phil. 4:8, is saying make an effort to increase your intake of good news and reduce your intake of bad news in order to produce more of God’s peace in your lives.”

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When Africa Bleeds

“As the attacks have accelerated in recent weeks, leaders from various Christian denominations in Nigeria have called on their Christian brothers and sisters in the West, along with all people of goodwill, to speak out against the mounting violence in their country.”

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The Most Ignored Commandment

“In today’s 24/7 world, Sabbath-keeping is countercultural; it doesn’t just happen by default. If you long to lay down your heavy burdens, you’ll need to be more intentional about your time the other six days of the week.”

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American Crusades and Existential Threats

The Obama administration’s refusal to recognize the existential nature of the threat posed by Islamic fanaticism does not make that threat less real. Given their apocalyptic vision, if al Qaeda’s rapidly metastasizing franchises obtain weapons of mass destruction they will use them. ISIS computer specialists demonstrated remarkable information age capabilities in their 22-minute Internet presentation culminating in the live immolation of Jordanian Air Force Lt. Moaz al Kasasbeh. The nature of cyber warfare is that savvy hackers can wreak catastrophic damage. This existential threat is real. Given the fanatical commitment driving this threat, efforts to “decimate and contain” will fail.

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Is President Obama a Christian? It Depends What You Mean By ‘Christian’

How do we tell the difference? Evangelicals would want to hear more from the professing Christian. How does he believe one enters into a vital relationship with God? What does he believe about the nature of sin? What does he believe Jesus accomplished on the cross? What role does the authority of Scripture play in his life? Does the person evidence the fruit of the Holy Spirit that accords with genuine repentance?

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What ISIS Really Wants

That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model. Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group’s message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time.

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Kay Coles James Inspires Future Generations of Leaders

With her return to Holly Knoll a half century later, she restored the site and founded the Gloucester Institute to mentor another generation of minority leaders. “I think God placed it in my heart to restore the property and the vision. My husband and I formed the nonprofit, and have dedicated our lives to restoring, not only the bricks and mortar, but also the vision as a gathering place for racial reconciliation where we can deal with the important issues of the day; a place where politics are left aside, and we come together as people who want to find solutions.”

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Ministry to the Military International Planting PCA Churches Near Military Bases

Under the leadership of retired US Army Chaplain, TE Doug Hudson, The Presbytery of Southeast Alabama has developed and supports the Ministry to the Military International (MMI), with churches in Germany, Okinawa, and one under development in England. There is also a staff pastor in the Charleston, SC area, site of several military installations.

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God … You are Killing Me!

Job is correct in starting his prayer with fervent complaint but ending with a declaration of faith. In later scripture, the Psalmist is legendary for beginning his prayers with despair but ending them in doxology and rededication. Then later, on the cross, Jesus begins his supplication with loud cries and tears, but notice how he ends by declaring, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

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10 Ways to Read Your Community

Read your community’s history. Even if no one has written a full history, many communities have published at least a brief record of their story. Learning that story will not only help you understand the history better, but it will also show others your interest in being a genuine part of the community.

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The Coptic Church And Chalcedon

There are six churches known as the Old Oriental Orthodoxy (or Non-Chalcedonian Churches): Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrea, Malankara (Indian), and Armenian. These six churches have a completely different hierarchy and are not in communion with the rest of Eastern Orthodoxy (under the Patriarch of Constantinople) or with Rome (under the Bishop of Rome). These churches have been called monophysite, but they reject the label, saying they too deny Eutychianism. They prefer to be called miaphysites because they want to emphasize the one (mia) nature, without rejecting the doctrine of the two natures of Christ.

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21 for 1

Which is why I hope that these murderers are judged completely and exhaustively for their sin, and that their guilt is cast upon Christ on the cross. My hope is that through repentance and faith, the old men in black outfits who drew those knives would die to themselves and that new men would emerge to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. My hope is that the ISIS movement would dwindle and evaporate as the gospel does its work. That is my first hope. Another apostle, The Apostle Paul, persecutor of the church embodies that hope.

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My Unexpected Season Working at Chick-Fil-A

It wasn’t until I came across Philippians 2 one night that I understood what God was trying to show me. His Son, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” God wants us to be like his Son. And his Son, even though he had access to all the power in the universe, humbled himself. Even though he is Master, he took on the form of a servant.

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The Idolatry of Climate Madness

by Bill Muehlenberg

Anything – even presumably good things – can become an idol if they take priority and precedence over God himself. And this happens all the time: Christians will go utterly overboard on some cause or activist agenda item, while ignoring basic biblical concerns.

We certainly can get that with the whole area of climate alarmism. Not only has so much of this become a religious crusade for so many, but often it is not even based on real science, but on emotion, fear, political correctness, and media and activist agendas being pushed. Yet one Christian after another seems to be falling for this.

Thus we now hear about “climate justice”! And various religious groups are turning all this into a full-blown action item. For decades the radical environmentalists have sought to make this into a new religious movement. Now we have religious folks chipping in.

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Understanding Why New Atheists Use Ridicule

As we have seen, ridicule and mockery of the religious are key components of the New Atheist Movement. According to John Loftus, “It’s not just the so-called “new atheists” like Richatheist mord Dawkins, Bill Maher, and PZ Myers who advocate ridicule. I do too (see below). So does Richard Carrier, as does Stephen Law.” The ridicule not only come from the writings of the New Atheists, but they also engage in such tactics with their memes and their YouTube videos.

Read more


 

Infographic of the Week

Who Wrote the Bible? Jeffrey Kranz. Humanly speaking, of course. This infographic would be a lot simpler if we were asking about the divine author of each book. There were some surprises in here, even for us. Jeremiah’s got the longest book? Who knew? And…Heman is in the Bible? (Also, be sure to see Kranz’s breakdown of the Bible’s biggest contributors here.)

Articles of the Week

Persecution in the Church Has Never Been Worse, Jesse Carey. When watching the news and hearing of atrocities around the world, it’s easy to wonder if things are getting worse in the world. In broad terms, that’s tough to measure. But in terms of overt persecution, as it turns out, 2014 was one of the worst years ever. Carey interviews Open Doors USA director Kristin Wright about persecution among Christians around the world…and what the American church can do in response.

Fifteen Reasons Our Churches Are Less Evangelistic Today, Thom Rainer. It may not be surprising for many people to learn that contemporary churches share their faith much less than a generation ago. So what gives? Rainer has conducted an “unscientific Twitter poll” to see if he can identify any contributing factors. He got responses for four days, and did us the favor of compiling everything. Here are the top fifteen answers.

Women, Stop Submitting to Men, Russell Moore. “Those of us who hold to so-called ‘traditional gender roles’ are often assumed to believe that women should submit to men. This isn’t true. Indeed, a primary problem in our culture and in our churches isn’t that women aren’t submissive enough to men—but instead that they are far too submissive.”

Three Relationship Rules, Ed Welch. These aren’t the top three rules for a marriage relationship. That list would have more obvious rules like asking for forgiveness or praying together. No, this is a more nuanced list, a snapshot of “micro-applications” of the gospel. It’s an unexpected collection, but an enlightening one. Some of these might make for good “relationship plumblines.”

 


Doubt and Obedience

“We don’t merit righteousness before our Father by our obedience, and the Lord’s grace is so vast that He regularly blesses us in spite of our disobedience. Still, perhaps we would see more blessing and experience less doubt if we were to serve Him more faithfully.”

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20 Ways to Find Contentment

by Founders Ministries Blog

Modern culture fosters discontentment and all the miseries and heartaches that go along with it. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of luck in finding contentment.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>


More Highly Than You Ought [Article] – The Bible tells us to think of ourselves with sober judgement, but here are 4 reasons why we think of ourselves more highly than we ought. Read the Article


Romance With Jesus [Wednesday’s Word] – Theology, morality, politics, ministry and charity shouldn’t motivate your faith. Romance should. Read the Devotional


Romantically Pulling Weeds [Free Download] – Download this free PDF and discover the 6 most common weeds that suck the life from your marriage. Download The PDF


Lessons From Corinth [Sermon Series] – What can we learn from historical churches in the Bible? Here are four sermons examining the Corinthian believers. Listen to the Sermons


5 Simple Strategies for Better Communication

by Philip Nation

Communication is a key component to leadership. If you are communicating, then you are leading in some way. Here are five principles that you can begin using immediately to help you communicate, and thus lead, better.

READ FULL ARTICLE


Do I Want My Wife to be a Proverbs 31 Woman? Sorta

by Stephen Altrogge

Husbands, listen up: if you are using Proverbs 31 as a diagnostic godliness checklist for your wife, you are misusing the passage and hurting your wife.

READ FULL ARTICLE


7 1/2 Minutes to Courageous Family Communication

by Association of Biblical Counselors

What if your family spent 7 1/2 minutes every day sitting down together at the kitchen table and offering instruction, guidance, encouragement? Here’s how you can make it work.

READ FULL ARTICLE


4 Steps to Honestly Evaluate Your Sermon

by Brian Croft

This might surprise you, but one of the most dangerous times for a pastor are the hours following his Sunday sermon. During that time, evaluation can be tough, but these 4 steps will help.

READ FULL ARTICLE


Weekly Watchman for 02/27/2015

Conditional faithfulness?
Feb 27, 2015 07:10 am | A. S.

The Bible continually discusses God’s faithfulness and the need for us to have complete faith in Him. But what exactly does the Bible say about the faith we are to have in God? And what about God’s faithfulness? Does His faithfulness extend to all people? All believers unconditionally? Or is God’s faithfulness conditional at times […]

The post Conditional faithfulness? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Contending and defending
Feb 26, 2015 08:38 am | A. S.

How do you, and how do we, share the truth about what’s been happening in the modern church in a way that glorifies God? It’s a fine line we all need to walk every day. Today we’re going to talk about the discernment landscape out there, and share our philosophy about why we contend […]

The post Contending and defending appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Contending-and-defending-guest-Ryan-Mauro.mp3 24.3 MB


Two father babies could become a reality
Feb 25, 2015 02:05 pm | A. S.

Children may be born with parents of the same sex following a breakthrough which scientists believe paves the way for “two dad” families. Researchers from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science say they have shown for the first time that human egg and sperm cells can be made from stem cells in the […]

The post Two father babies could become a reality appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Andy Stanley: Even if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you will have a better life by following his teachings
Feb 25, 2015 12:35 pm | A. S.

“Who doesn’t want their life to be better?” That’s a question Pastor Andy Stanley asked recently.  And his answers are very telling. When we compare some of Andy Stanley’s teachings lately to Scripture, we’re seeing some many discrepancies. We encourage you to do the comparative work for yourself (as the Bereans did), listening carefully to […]

The post Andy Stanley: Even if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you will have a better life by following his teachings appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The marketing and branding of the post modern Church
Feb 24, 2015 08:11 pm | A. S.

Why do so many evangelicals appear to be chasing hollow and deceptive philosophies, practically begging to be taken captive? Have they fallen prey to slick marketing campaigns, packaged, big-box sermonettes and feel-good pep-talks that have replaced timeless, eternal, doctrinal truths?  Thankfully no; there is still a remnant hanging on tight to the Word of God […]

The post The marketing and branding of the post modern Church appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The-marketing-and-branding-of-the-post-modern-Church-with-Pastor-Gary-Gilley.mp3 24.1 MB


God’s Will and the Christian genocide
Feb 24, 2015 08:49 am | A. S.

Today on Stand Up For The Truth we are asking for your thoughts and Scripture verses as we look at a topic many Christians struggle with: How does one discern God’s will, and then follow it? We’re going to share Part 1 and Part 2 of an excellent series by one of our authors, Marsha […]

The post God’s Will and the Christian genocide appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Gods-Will-and-the-Christian-genocide.mp3 24.1 MB


Finding God’s Will Is No Deep Dark Secret Part 2
Feb 24, 2015 08:33 am | Marsha West

In Finding God’s Will Is No Deep Dark Secret Part 1 I asked the following questions: Is it possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it?  Should a Christian (a) make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? (b) avoid making […]

The post Finding God’s Will Is No Deep Dark Secret Part 2 appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Common Core explained in 5 minutes [VIDEO]
Feb 22, 2015 05:09 pm | A. S.

Monday, join us for a discussion on Common Core with Dr. Duke Pesta. FreedomProject Education has just released a brand new Common Core video (launching Monday, February 23), to kickoff its new look for http://www.fpeusa.org. Here is a clip from Common Core 101: a 5-Minute Breakdown With Dr. Duke Pesta: Dave Drake is the director […]

The post Common Core explained in 5 minutes [VIDEO] appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Common-Core-Explained-guest-Dr-Duke-Peta-David-Drake.mp3 24.5 MB


How “free public schools” make us all renters from the State.
Feb 21, 2015 11:16 am | Scott Alan Buss

Remember when you could actually own a home in America? The answer is: No, you do not. Even if you think that something like true home ownership was recently or is presently allowed here in “the land of the free” and the home of the NSA, you are simply wrong. As with most of the […]

The post How “free public schools” make us all renters from the State. appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That

  • Andy Stanley has been raising eyebrows lately with his newest sermon series, Brand: New. Considering what emerged from his pulpit a couple of years ago (see here for his “microcosm of the church” and here for his views on Adam and Eve), I’m totally unsurprised by what he’s saying now. Here is one and then another article by Philip Lee detailing his concerns with Stanley’s latest teachings.
  • Carl Trueman on the bondage of pornography.
  • Watch out for those 9 volt batteries.
  • Because Charisma never fails to post something stupid.
  • This picture really made me wish I’d been able to join No Compromise Radio on their trip to Israel.
  • John MacArthur discusses the roles of men and women.
  • I don’t know which Jesus this guy is following.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Fascinating. (See the comments below for the background on this link. Hint, it’s an updated link from the original posting.)
  • I learned the word “mantilla” this week.
  • Sinclair Ferguson preaching, “Why am I a Christian” (HT: No Compromise Radio)

Source


 

Some Here, Some There — February 27, 2015

by Dan Phillips

And off we go. There may be updates, as usual, up to noon TX time.

  • The murder of the 21 Egyptian Copts provoked a lot of heat, and debatable light, as to whether they should be classed as “Christians.” Kevin DeYoung gives helpful historical and doctrinal framing. I’ve always appreciated how Kevin writes and speaks. The article includes some very nice turns of phrase, such as “It’s unclear whether Nestorius was actually a Nestorian.” Then, later, “it’s unclear how much of Eutychianism came from Eutyches.” History is hard.
  • There is much interesting and informative push-back in the meta, and (as I think is customary), zero response thus far from Kevin. One of the respondents is a poor soul who self-identifies as a “coptic orthodox christian” [sic]. He does, I think, a great deal of damage to his own case, aggressively crusading against truths we all hold dear and essential and for practices we rightly condemn.
  • But my personal fondness for DeYoung was increased by a particular phrase. My family (particularly my dear and only daughter) has had to wrestle with, and tease me for, my tendency to phrase things negatively. “Are you not going to finish that?” So imagine my joy in Kevin’s wording here: “For my part, I’m unwilling to say the non-acceptance of Chalcedon is no big deal.” Kevin, you are my brother.
  • Baronelle Stutzman is (A) a profile in courage and conviction, and (B) clearly not an “evangelical academic.”
  • Doug Wilson adds some excellent commentary.
  • I wonder if The Gospel Coalition has blocked Wilson? They have to feel torn about him. He’s a celebrity and witty… but has edges and little patience with pretentious frippery.
  • The smiling Scot, Prof. David Murray, offers ten Biblical formulas to cultivate a more joyous, positive attitude.
  • Murray also pointed to Brad Hambrick’s favorite posts on anxiety.
  • This Wednesday’s text in Psalm 3 will take me into the arena of the imprecatory prayers in the psalms. Some recent thoughts on that were offered at Reformation 21, and by Barry York.
  • The living breathing fog machine that is Rob Bell has rhetorically attempted to ennoble his amorous pursuit of the present age by framing homosexuality and its specifics as a cure for “loneliness” and a species of “love.” Anyone who opposes, we’re told, is overfond of 2000-year-old letters. Michael J. Kruger responds, winning the internet for the day by quoting from the movie Tombstone.
  • Also, as to the appeal to “love” you might remind yourself of this. As to his sneering denigration of God’s wordthis.
  • Everyone who attended Sufficient Fire is ready to answer this sad, unintended confession of ineptitude from Anne Graham Lotz:
  • Deuced thing about “the slippery slope fallacy” is how individuals keep providing illustrations of its non-fallaciousness. Like John Walton.
  • This fellow has been one of my most effective (if unwitting) salesmen so far:

Dan Phillips's signature

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TGC Spotlight 02.27.15

TGC Spotlight highlights TGC articles from earlier in the week, previews articles coming next week, and links to items around the web that you might have missed. 

TGC SpotlightFeatured TGC Articles

Facebook, Moms, and the Last Day | Nikki Daniel

Facebook and Twitter, rightly used, can be tools that promote intercessory prayer and encouragement. But they are not without their perils.

 

Why Racial Reconciliation is a Gospel Issue | Jeff Robinson

Jarvis Williams argues that race and racism are issues that strike at the heart of the gospel.

 

Open Roof Hospitality | Melissa Kruger

Am I willing for my home to be filled, refashioned, and torn asunder so that people can meet with Jesus?

 

Does Your Youth Ministry Mess With Christ’s Bride? | Jon Nielson

If youth pastors aren’t preparing students for this kind of future for their faith, they aren’t doing their jobs.

 

More, But Not Less, Than a Carpenter | Tom Nelson

Jesus’s humble service in the workplace was the training ground for that glorious display of servanthood in an upper room in Jerusalem.

 

Featured TGC Contributor Articles

A Crash Course on Influencers of Unbelief: Karl Marx | Justin Taylor

These are notes based on an essay by Peter Kreeft, author of Socrates Meets Marx: The Father of Philosophy Meets the Father of Communism (St. Augustine’s Press, 2012).

 

Keeping His Commandments | Kevin DeYoung

Calvin understood this seeming inconsistency and provided a wonderfully balanced response.

 

“Christ and Culture” – An Overview of a Christian Classic | Trevin Wax

H. Richard Neibuhr’s Christ and Culture is one of the most significant theological and missiological works of the 20th century, offering a memorable categorization of the ways Christians have related to culture throughout history.

 

You’re not crazy | Ray Ortlund

Serving Christ gets hard. Harder than we expected. Harder than we can endure, even for one more day. We are tempted to think, “No way can this turn out well. My life – the only one I have – is going to end up on the junk pile.

 

A Prayer For Letting Go Of The Desire For Revenge | Scotty Smith

Dear heavenly Father, in view of the increase of kidnappings and human trafficking, the proliferation of pornography and the spirit of jihad, I find myself growing angrier and angrier.

 

Coming Next Week at TGC

When You Are No Longer a Pastor’s Wife | Anonymous

The wife of a fired pastor asks the question ‘How do I respond?’

 

4 Reasons to Beware the Goodness Gospel | Christine Hoover

Christine Hoover warns against approaches to Christianity that amount to works righteousness and do not rest in the hope of Christ’s righteousness.

 

8 Reasons We Need the Puritans | Jeff Robinson

Jeff Robinson extols the virtues of the Puritans, their theology and ethics, and argues that we need to study them in the church today.

 

Upcoming Events

Albuquerque Regional Conference (March 20-22, 2015)

Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and Christ. Speakers include Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, and David Helm.

2015 National Conference (April 1-15, 2015)

Heading Home: A New Heaven and a New Earth. Speakers include Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, John Piper, Mark Dever, Voddie Baucham, Philip G. Ryken, Ligon Duncan, and many others.

Remainder Bin

American Culture

Obama Calls for Expansion of Human Rights to Combat Extremism
Peter Baker, New York Times

President Obama on Thursday called on nations around the world to expand human rights, religious tolerance and peaceful dialogue as they struggle to combat a spate of terrorism that has recently struck places as far afield as Australia, Canada and Europe.

Here’s Why Wonder Woman Isn’t Getting A Movie Any Time Soon
Leslie Loftis, The Federalist

Inquiring fans want to know. Feminist fans suspect conspiracy. But the real answer may be that Hollywood has no idea how to write a female superhero.

Bioethics

Let’s call physician-assisted suicide what it is
Karin Klein, L.A. Times

The number of words we can’t use without offending is ever growing, and if the supporters of the right-to-die movement have their way, it will stretch yet again to include the word “suicide.” At least when that suicide is the result of a dying patient taking a lethal dose of drugs to avoid impending mental and physical anguish.

Three-Parent Embryos: Harming Women to Save Lives
Jennifer Lahl, Public Discourse

The UK has passed a bill that allows for genetic engineering of children through nuclear transfer technology and germ-line modification. Young women will be needed to supply their eggs. But egg donation—or more accurately, egg selling—is risky business.

Christianity and Culture

Mixing faith and finance: Churches put faith in followers’ creditworthiness
Rebecca Robbins, Washington Post

Here’s how it worked: McCarthy’s church offered funds as collateral so she could qualify for a loan through the Virginia United Methodist Credit Union. McCarthy agreed to repay the loan at an annualized interest rate of about 6 percent – meaning monthly payments of $25 for about 2 1/2 years, drawn right out of her bank account.

How TV made Christianity radical again
Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post

“The Americans,” along with the History Channel’s “Vikings,” has done something that almost nothing else in pop culture dares to attempt: It depicts Christianity as a seismic force, something capable of producing profound transformation in both individuals and society.

Frequent Church Attendance Highest in Utah, Lowest in Vermont
Frank Newport, Gallup

Slightly more than half of Utah residents say they attend religious services every week, more than any other state in the union. Residents in the four Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas are the next most likely to be frequent church attendees, with 45% to 47% reporting weekly attendance. At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, where 17% of residents say they attend religious services every week.

Crime

Unlikely Cause Unites the Left and the Right: Justice Reform
Carl Hulse, New York Times

Usually bitter adversaries, Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress have found at least one thing they can agree on: The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

Rape in the American Prison
Maurice Chammah, The Atlantic

In 2003, Congress passed legislation to eliminate sexual assaults against inmates. One young man’s story shows how elusive that goal remains.

Family Issues

Families Armed With Books Repel The Effects Of Poverty
Allison Kieselowsky, The Federalist

Families that read together build strong bonds and ward off poverty. Here’s what you can do to encourage love for books in your community.

How Many Kids Grow Up With Their Married Mom and Dad?
Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

It’s not normal these days for a teen to live with their married mom and dad. Fifty-four percent of U.S. teens 15-to-17-years-old do not live in a home with their married mother and father, according to the Fifth Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection released this month by the Family Research Council.

Even in Unsafe Neighborhoods, Kids Are Safer in Married Families
Nicholas Zill, Family Studies

Children’s rates of exposure to neighborhood violence depend not just on where they live, but whom they live with.

Same-Sex Parenting: Unpacking the Social Science
John B. Londregan, Public Discourse

For some people, scientific research on the subject of same-sex parenting is irrelevant. A new volume is meant for those who still approach the topic of parenting and sexuality with open minds.

Health Issues

In 2013, measles killed more kids than car accidents or AIDS
Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

Measles killed 82,100 children under age 5 in 2013, ranking the disease at No. 7 on the list of the top causes of child death, according to recent statistics from the Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet.

International Issues

Army of Assyrian Christians aims to fight Islamic State
Therese Apel, Crux

Assyrian Christians in the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, with the help of a group of Americans, are building a fighting machine to stand toe-to-toe with the Islamic State group to preserve their homeland, their history and their heritage.

Islamic State ‘abducts dozens of Christians in Syria’
BBC

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 90 men, women and children were seized in a series of dawn raids near the town of Tal Tamr.

Marriage Issues

The Implications of Extending Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples
Gerard V. Bradley, John Finnis and Daniel Philpott, Public Discourse

It is morally indefensible for Catholic institutions to recognize and incentivize same-sex marriages by extending marriage benefits to employees who declare themselves legally married to a person of the same sex.

Racial Reconciliation

Southern Baptists try to diversify churches — but will it work?
Heidi Hall, Religion News Service

How tough is it to create a racially diverse denomination? Consider a recent luncheon organized by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Religious Liberty

‘Relationship with Jesus’ doesn’t justify florist’s refusal to serve gay couple, judge rules
Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post

A Washington state florist who refused to provide flower arrangements for a gay wedding “because of [her] relationship with Jesus” violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws, a judge ruled Wednesday.

A florist loses religious freedom, and much more
Denny Burk, CNN

Stutzman is the Washington florist who has been sued for living out her Christian beliefs. In 2013, a long-time friend and customer came to her flower shop and asked her to provide flowers for his gay wedding. Stutzman had known this man and had done business with him for about nine years. Nevertheless, she told him that she could not participate in his wedding “because of my relationship with Jesus.”

Supreme Court to hear religious freedom case
Ariane de Vogue, CNN

Samantha Elauf was apprehensive to interview for a sales job at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch in 2008 because the 17 year old wore a headscarf in accordance with her Muslim faith. But a friend of hers, who worked at the store, said he didn’t think it would be a problem as long as the headscarf wasn’t black because the store doesn’t sell black clothes.

Sexuality Issues

New secretary of defense: transgender soldiers should be able to serve openly in military
German Lopez, Vox

Newly confirmed Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Sunday suggested transgender people should be allowed to openly serve in the military.

Source


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


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This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

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