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Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

1.  Ouch, a man uses a gun to scratch his back and ends up shooting himself.  I wouldn’t know if there is a good way to explain that to friends and family.

HT: Smart Pastor

2.  The Pill kills babies, some little known information from the American Life League

3.  Web trends – a recent Barna report shows:

  • 78% who access a computer has sent an e-mail.
  • 33% have used IM in the past week.
  • 23% have a personal webpage or a profile on a social networking site (Facebook, MySpace, etc).
  • 10% have a blog, but 14% have commented on another person’s blog in the last week.
  • 38% of evangelicals have listened to a sermon via podcast in the last week.
  • Evangelicals use of Web 2.0 mirrors the trends seen across the board.

HT: Monday Morning Insight

4.  Something I need to learn to do better.

5.  One reason (of three given) to avoid using inconsistency as a mark against an idea or person.

Everybody’s inconsistent, so nobody denounces inconsistency consistently.

Source: 22 Words with Abraham Piper

6.  Stepping out if faith is hard to do, but comes with growth.

Stepping out in faith always brings clarification of God’s plan. When Ananias went to see Paul (then Saul), he received additional information (read Acts 9:10–21). As Saul submitted himself to the ministry of Ananias, he found out more about God’s plan for his life. You’re “a chosen instrument of Mine.” I’m going to use you “to bear My name” (9:15). Saul hadn’t known that before. (He had never read the book of Acts!) He knew nothing of what was in store for him until Ananias took that initial step of faith. Both men discovered that God Himself chose Saul to be His instrument and that intense suffering would mark his ministry. That’s the way God operates.

Source: Chuck Swindoll’s Blog

7.  Redefining Community?

HT: Out of Ur

8.  Effective evangelism… not so much.

You know I think it would easier to say everybody without Jesus, (Romans 3:23; 6:23; John 3:16-17).

Sports fans?  Really?  I guess since I entered a March Madness pool before the last NCAA tournament I’m in trouble.

HT: Ragamuffin Soul

9.  This made me laugh out loud.  Hillary Clinton – Unelectable.  You can download this musical gem here.  To listen to this song in a pop-up click here.

10.  Please continue to pray for Parkersburg, IA that was leveled by an EF5 tornado over Memorial Day Weekend.  My friend Eric’s wife’s grandma lives there and thankfully her house was spared.  They went up to help with clean-up and you can see some pictures of the aftermath on his blog.

11.  Understanding how metrosexual your worship leader is.  A handy guide by Prodigal Jon.

12.  I am still appalled by this video.  Pastors behaving badly in the pulpit.  Contemptuous speech has no place in the pulpit.  Fr. Michael Pfleger needs to be reeled in by the Chicago Diocese.

Edward Gilbreath has some excellent thoughts about this controversy.

13.  Bishop Harry Jackson & Tony Perkins – “The Truth in Black and White: California ‘Marriage'”

Source: Family Research Council Blog

14.  Will Smith on Marriage and Divorce

During an interview on Ellen:

Divorce just can’t be an option. It’s really that simple – if you just remove the option. Because if you have the option, one day that person’s going to make you want a divorce. You absolutely get to the point that you’re done, and the only thing that keeps you continuing is that there’s no other option.

From a Reader’s Digest interview:

RD: You and Jada have been married nine years and, by all accounts, are very happy. What’s the key?
Smith: Communication. And divorce cannot be an option.
RD: Your first marriage ended in divorce.
Smith: That is probably the most painful loss of my life. I quit. I could have fixed it. It really was not that bad.
RD: Some would say there’s no reason to stay if a marriage isn’t good.
Smith: Once you say that, you’ve lost. With Jada, I stood up in front of God and my family and friends and said, “Till death do us part.” So there are two possible outcomes: We are going to be together till death, or I am dead.

I’ve already been a fan of his movies.  I’m impressed.  This is rare, but encouraging talk coming out of Hollywood.

HT: Evangelical Outpost

15.  Evidently evangelism is a hate crime in the United Kingdom at least according to a police officer there..

A police community support officer ordered two Christian preachers to stop handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.

The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a “hate crime” and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned. The incident will fuel fears that “no-go areas” for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in The Sunday Telegraph this year….

The preachers, both ministers in Birmingham, were handing out leaflets on Alum Rock Road in February when they started talking to four Asian youths.

A police community support officer (PCSO) interrupted the conversation and began questioning the ministers about their beliefs.

“He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station.”

The ministers claim he also advised them not to return to the area. As he walked away, the PCSO said: “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned”.

West Midlands Police, who refused to apologise, said the incident had been “fully investigated” and the officer would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.

HT: Stand to Reason

16.  I like Michelle Malkin and I read her blog when I get a chance.  But the brouhaha that erupted over Rachel Ray wearing this scarf that is thought to be a keffiyeh in a Dunkin Donuts Ad is ridiculous.  I mean come on! Dunkin Donuts ended up pulling the ad.

Looking at other keffiyehs that are pictured in a follow-up post… it doesn’t even look the same!

HT: The Point

17.  John Mark Reynolds on the Presidential Race (now confirmed to be John McCain vs. Barack Obama) – “Five Reasons Both Candidates Will Lose“.

18.  The 2008 United Methodist Church General Conference is adopting a more pro-life stance on abortion.

19.  Breaking news on Michelle Obama?

20.  The 10 Worst Movies About Jesus.  HT: Michael Spencer

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I don’t work with many Muslims in my ministry with Serve Our Youth Network, but I have had a few, believe it or not, come through our Bible discussion groups while they were in juvenile detention center.  They are typically Bosnian or occasionally an American-born Black Muslim… not necessarily as devout as what we see in say a madrasah in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, this commentary by Chuck Colson peaked my interest.  What brings Muslims to faith in Jesus Christ?

Colson references a questionnaire done by Dr. Dudley Woodbury, professor of Islamic Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary to find out the answer to that question.  His survey of 750 Muslims who converted to Christianity shows five main reasons why they chose to place their faith in Jesus.

  1. The lifestyle of Christians. Former Muslims cited the love that Christians exhibited in their relationships with non-Christians and their treatment of women as equals.
  2. The power of God in answered prayers and healing. Experiences of God’s supernatural work—especially important to folk Muslims who have a characteristic concern for power and blessings—increased after their conversions, according to the survey. Often dreams about Jesus were reported.
  3. Dissatisfaction with the type of Islam they had experienced. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the Qur’an, emphasizing God’s punishment over his love. Others cited Islamic militancy and the failure of Islamic law to transform society.
  4. The spiritual truth in the Bible. Muslims are generally taught that the Torah, Psalms, and the Gospels are from God, but that they became corrupted. These Christian converts said, however, that the truth of God found in Scripture became compelling for them and key to their understanding of God’s character.
  5. Biblical teachings about the love of God. In the Qur’an, God’s love is conditional, but God’s love for all people was especially eye-opening for Muslims. These converts were moved by the love expressed through the life and teachings of Jesus. The next step for many Muslims was to become part of a fellowship of loving Christians.

It is easy to paint Muslims with the “would-be jihadist” brush.  It quite another thing to reach out to them with the love of Christ.  I believe that ultimately the only (lasting) way the war on terror will be won is through God through Christ changing hearts and transforming lives in the Islamic world.  Muslims are turning to Jesus throughout the world even in places where it will cost them.  We need to lift them up in prayer and support them anyway we can.

It may start with reaching out to Muslims next door.

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1.  Barack Obama is now a pop culture icon.  Presenting Barocky the Movie.

Oh yeah, I’m inspired.  I’m actually enjoying watching Clinton and Obama bludgeon each other.

HT: Amanda Carpenter

For a must see video on Obama (with serious content) go here.  HT: Eric via e-mail.

2.  What a waste of tuition – Randolph College in Virginia made a class trip to a Nevada brothel.  Exactly what are they supposed to learn?

HT: Kevin McCullough

3.  Oh yes, a pick on Obama post…. David C. Innes, Assistant Professor of Politics at King’s College in New York City blogged – “Obama, All Too Human

Several things were striking about Wednesday night’s debate in Pennsylvania. The two candidates drove home the point that we have either known for a long time (Hillary) or are coming increasingly to see (Obama) that they are both liars, i.e. ordinary politicians. At one point Obama was saying something disingenuous, and the viewers could hear Hillary burst out with a laugh off screen. That was all she needed to say.

Read the rest.

4.  Want to get Nancy Pelosi out of Congress?  Then support Cindy Sheehan.  I understand Kevin’s logic, but the thought of supporting Sheehan made me vomit in my mouth a little.

5. More Obama pile on…. sorry, I. CAN’T. HELP. MYSELF.  My favorite cartoon is below.

 

6.  Random cute puppy picture

I had to break up the political thing somehow.  He kind of looks like a big rat doesn’t he?

HT: Way Cool Pictures

7.  Steve has an interesting take on the FLDS ranch raid in Texas.  We need to think about the slippery slope this raid may have legally

FYI: I am glad the raid occurred (because I do believe abuse was going on), but I think Steve brings up a very good point.   What about due process?  Where is the person who made the phone call?

8.  Why being a “follower of Jesus” is not enough.  Stephen Murray thinks so.

When I probe behind the phrase on so many blogs…I discover something that is rather disturbing. It is disturbing by its omissions rather than by what it affirms. Usually these posts speak about Christ’s calls to uplift the poor, look after the marginalized, love one’s enemies, turn the other cheek etc. etc. And at this point I’m loving it and rejoicing in the supreme moral vision of our Lord Jesus that extends to so many of our current issues in this broken world… 

But step back and take a closer look – what’s missing? When I step back what I don’t often see is a cross, I don’t see nail pierced hands, I don’t see a thorn scraped brow. Ultimately I don’t see the glorious substitution of Christ in my place whereby I can truly call myself a follower of Jesus – because he has purchased me with his very own blood. Rather I see an ethical Jesus, a Jesus who knows right from wrong but has no way to deal with a problem that stretches so much deeper than right or wrong behaviour. I see a moral first century Rabbi inspiring people to be more moral – and it’s deeply disturbing.

9.  This is a conference I wish I was able to attend.  Good news though!  All of the main sessions of Together for the Gospel 2008 can be downloaded for free.  You can go here to hear sessions by Ligon Duncan, Thabiti Anyabwile, John MacArthur, Mark Dever, R.C. Sproul, Albert Mohler, John Piper, and C.J. Mahaney.

The message (right click link and choose “save target as”) by Thabiti Anyabwile, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman on “Bearing the Image: Identity, Work of Christ and the Church” was especially powerful.

10.  Douglas Neiswonger reconciles 2 Peter 3:3-9 with the doctrine of election.

11.  Britain’s Got Talent had a 13-year old sing who had an amazing voice.

His voice won’t stay like that for long… my voice started cracking when I was in 7th grade, but it should still very, very good.

12.  Video of a Hamas leader saying,  “President Carter’s visit gives us increased legitimacy…”  Yeah, that is exactly what we want a terrorist group to feel.  Thanks Jimmy!

13.  The Book of Hope is a charity that helps bring the Gospel to people throughout the world.  When I was a youth pastor we did this for a Jr./Sr. High School down the street – every kid in that school received a booklet of the Life of Christ.

A second video featuring their ministry in Poland.

We should also be involved in compassion projects as well like Blood Water Mission, World Vision, Compassion International, etc.  I would think this would be a great project for Vacation Bible Schools though.

HT: Compassion in Politics

14.  You know we all need to learn to say what we mean.  I am still learning this lesson with my kids.  HT: High Calling Blogs

15.  What were they thinking?

I don’t think they really gave this much thought.  While I don’t care for IRS rules on the type of speech that comes out of churches.  I must say out of all the crummy church signs that I’ve seen.  This takes the cake.

HT: Kevin Tracy and Crummy Church Signs.

16.  CNN hires a conservative as a political contributor.  I’m looking out the window for the flying pigs.  I live in Iowa after all.  You never know.

HT: Jenn Sierra

17.  Seth Barnes & I had e-mailed a couple times back and forth.  He shared a story of mine in a post about fathers exasperating their children… something I’ve been known to do.  He also has a great post on “how to repent to your children.”

18.  Dan Kimball blogs about how we need to be engaged in social justice concerns… our good works, but we can not forget eternity and our commission to share the Gospel in words, which he says is often where the emerging church goes wrong.

What I am wondering about, is how do we avoid patterns of the past when the church jumps strongly in the realm of focusing on the gospel’s impact for this earth and in this life – but slowly neglects teaching and reminding people of the gospel’s impact about the reality of eternal heaven and eternal hell in the life to come after we die?

19.  Sign me up!  Oh wait… too late.  The Archdiocese of New York has launched a marketing campaign (“The World Needs Heroes”) to address the decreasing number of young men who enter priesthood. They have also advertised during Knicks games too. 

FYI: The above ad is fake, but hey it could be effective.  HT: Mike Anderson

20.  Is there a connection between the movie Cloverfield and the Emergent Church?  Craig Detweiler seems to think so.

If you hate Cloverfield (or don’t even know what it is), then you probably loathe emerging Christians. If you like Cloverfield, you’re likely to dig the emergent conversation. Both deliver on their grand promises in a novel way (that is decidedly not for everybody). But why does the film (and the emergent folks) inspire such antipathy? Why can’t we appreciate the next generation’s re-imagination of tired clichés?

Read the rest.

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When I was a kid my family and I attended a small rural church several miles outside of the town I grew up in.  I remember going to VBS, Christmas programs and the fact the church didn’t have indoor plumbing.  I remember that the pastor was in the outhouse when a bull snake presented itself.  Let’s just say we were laughing about that for quite some time.

They were good people.  I had a good time.  I didn’t hear much about having a relationship with Jesus there.  Then when I was in junior high we quit going.  I’m not sure why, but there wasn’t an intersection with my life.  So I didn’t miss it.

From junior high until the summer before my senior year in high school I did not have one person tell me about Jesus.  My freshman year I met a guy after moving into Des Moines who invited me to church, but he quit spending time with me when I found excuses each time I was asked.  I didn’t encounter anyone who had a heart for somebody like me who was outside the faith.

That isn’t the heart of Jesus.

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest,” (Matthew 9:35-38, ESV).

He would look at those around him and have compassion on them.  He saw past people’s facade and saw their brokenness and pain.  He loved lost people.  He knew as well that the harvest of those outside the faith would be plentiful if we would pray to Him to provide workers.

We’ve been looking at the Church in Jerusalem and we have seen a continual devotion to growth and obedience to God’s word.  We saw that the enjoyed and were committed to the fellowship that they shared.  They were also enjoyed God,  worshipping him continually in small groups and large.

If we were to stop looking at this passage, we would have a very inward view of the Church.  On its own Acts 2:42 presents a very lopsided picture of the church’s life.  That wasn’t all that was going on though.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved, (Acts 2:42-47, ESV, emphasis mine).

It is important to realize, the Lord did it.  It was He who added to their number those who who were saved.  The Church was being the Church and He provided the fruit of their faithfulness.  This first church had a contagious community and that was attractive to those on the outside looking in.

They were also faithful in getting the good news of Jesus’ death & resurrection out.  They couldn’t contain themselves.

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ, (Acts 5:42, ESV).

Praise and proclamation were both the natural overflow of hearts that are full of the Holy Spirit.  And as their witness was continuous, so continuously were people being saved.

The great 19th century American evangelist D.L. Moody was once approached by a woman who criticized him for his methods in attempting to win people to the Lord.

Moody replied, “I agree with you.  I don’t like the way I do it either.  Tell me, how do you do it?”

The woman replied, “I don’t do it.”

Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

The key is faithfulness, not so much our methods.  We do need to be relevant.  We do need to be winsome.  But we also have to remember that the Holy Spirit is the Evangelist, not us.  Our goal is not to see people as targets, and move on to the next person if they are not responsive (much like I experienced my freshman year in high school).  Rather we need to faithfully share, with those whom we love and encounter, the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith,” (Romans 1:16-17, ESV)

The Gospel is powerful.  We shouldn’t be ashamed to share it.  It is good news, why would we not want to pass the word along? 

Do you intentionally look for ways to build bridges with those outside the faith that you know or encounter?  Do you have compassion for those without Christ, or are you like the woman who spoke to D.L. Moody?  Do you partner with others to share Christ with your friends, family and coworkers who don’t know Him?  Does your church have a heart for those who need Jesus?  Do you know how to share your faith effectively?

It is my prayer that you and your church will seek to be contagious for Jesus.

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1.  My friend Noah Braymen has written on false unity in the local church – read part 1 here and part 2 here.

2.  Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez over at The Hill Chronicles shares that in the midst of Eliot Spitzer resigning as Governor of New York amidst a prostitution scandal, and the new Governor, David Patterson, and his wife admitting to extramarital affairs; therapists are now saying that infidelity is acceptable.  Craziness!

3.  Man awarded $40,000 for being wrongly tasered by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper according to the Salt Lake Tribune after the state decided to settle the case.  The incident which was captured by the patrol car’s camera has been seen 1.7 million times on YouTube.

And to add to that number by posting the video here.

Jared Massey, the guy who was tasered was found not to have committed any crimes during the traffic stop, and also the video clearly shows that the officer did not seek to arrest Massey before he tasered him.

Massey should have just signed the citation and then argue it out in court, but when I first watched this after it happened I wondered… why did the officer taser him?  He didn’t appear to be threatening and even his tone of voice seemed reasonable though somewhat argumentative.

What do you think?

HT: Hicktown Press

4.  I’m now also blogging at RedBlueChristians.com

The purpose of this blog?

The purpose of the RedBlueChristian.com is to provide Christian bloggers — whether Conservative RedChristians or Progressive BlueChristians — the same blog space to post, discuss, and debate essential and important issues related to the Kingdom of God and American politics.  

We desire to promote a healthy biblical approach to politics as opposed to the adversarial “us” verses “them” stance which has resulted unfortunately in sincere Christians talking past each other more often than not. 

We want contributors and commenters to think biblically about the crucial public issues of our day without being constrained to boundaries set up for us by any political party platforms or rhetoric.

My first post there was a cross post from here.  I won’t always do it that way, but more likely than not, content I post there will also show up here.

5.  The Catholic Church can build a church in Saudi Arabia… if they recognize Mohammed as a prophet.  Yeah, I’m sure they’ll do that.  Read the story here

HT: Scarlett Crusader

6.  Nebraska gets a Home Education Week.  I think Iowa should as well.  I think pigs might fly first, so I won’t hold my breath on that one.  Good for Nebraska for recognizing the great education that kids are receiving through home education.

7.  John Piper on The Intensity of Christ’s Love and the Intentionality of His Death.  HT: Isaiah

8.  In my Bible study that I attend on Thursday mornings we were discussing a message given by Joe White at a Promise Keepers that we all attended.  I couldn’t find that particular message, but I found another one that was powerful as well.

9.  Above is a great gift this spring.  Global warming mugs.  Apparently when you pour hot coffee into them the ocean starts to spread across the continent as ice caps melt and water levels rise.  You can by yours here.

HT: to Orlando @ Ft. Hard Knox – His thoughts on this as a birthday gift.

This could be a nice “Happy” Birthday gift for your liberal friends to remind them they are all going to die a tragic death because of SUVs, cow farts, and light bulbs.

10.  Proof that bloggers are mentally ill.  Hmmm.

11.  I’m starting to look for Mentor Recruitment Ambassadors in Central Iowa.

12.  I have never gotten into the TV show Lost on ABC because I have been told unless you’ve been watching it regularly you won’t understand all that is going on.  It has been a huge hit with a number of my friends.  Well ABC now has all of their episodes online for free – all four seasons.  I just finished the first season and am on the third episode in the second season.  I’m a Lost addict now.

13.  Joe Carter blogs on “The Cold War Against Recruiters“.  He contends that Code Pink is not the military recruiters main problem, the indifference of Americans are the problem.  He knows this first hand having been a Marine Recruiter.

14.  Mark Dever on what evangelism isn’t.  He contends that we need to stop mistaking other Christian activities for the spreading of the gospel.  He mentions five things that are mistaken for evangelism: imposition, personal testimony, social action and public involvement, apologetics, and the results of evangelism.

15.  Ugly husbands are satisfied husbands.

HERE’S SOME ADVICE for women: think twice about marrying that good-looking guy. A team of psychologists recruited 82 newlywed couples and rated each spouse’s physical attractiveness and satisfaction with the marriage. They then observed how the two interacted with each other while discussing personal issues. It turns out that couples where the wife was more attractive were characterized by more supportive interaction on the part of both spouses; but, if the husband was more attractive, he was less satisfied and both spouses exhibited less supportive interaction. The psychologists suggest that a relatively attractive husband may feel he has more extramarital options, causing him to be less supportive of his wife, who, in turn, is less supportive of her husband. On the other hand, because women are less focused on the physical appearance of their mate, a more attractive wife is less likely to harbor resentment about her spouse and, meanwhile, has a husband who counts his blessings.

16.  I posted a few days ago on black liberation theology.  I came across a quote by James Cone who is the father of this brand of liberation theology that further illustrates my issue with it.

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

Source: Asia Times

17.  Why We’re Not Emergent (by Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin Deyoung, a pastor and Ted Kluck, a journalist is a book I want to read pretty soon.  From what I hear it is a solid critique of the emerging church movement (at least the liberal fringes of it).

The Emergent Church is a strong voice in today’s Christian community. And they’re talking about good things: caring for the poor, peace for all men, loving Jesus. They’re doing church a new way, not content to fit the mold. Again, all good. But there’s more to the movement than that. Much more.

Kevin and Ted are two guys who, demographically, should be all over this movement. But they’re not. And Why We’re Not Emergent gives you the solid reasons why. From both a theological and an on-the-street perspective, Kevin and Ted diagnose the emerging church. They pull apart interviews, articles, books, and blogs, helping you see for yourself what it’s all about.

HT: Melinda at Stand to Reason

18.  Chuck Colson’s commentary on a “Storm of Unity” talking about how Sunday morning is becoming a non-segregated hour in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

You can listen to it as well.

19.  John Mark Reynolds shares three reasons the Republican Party might survive November.  Not good news to Democrats who were expecting a coronation in November.

20.  Dr. Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary is interviewed by Justin Taylor.  The interview mainly covers the New Testament’s reliability.  Pretty interesting.

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1. Here’s to you Mr. Seeker-Sensitive Mega Church Pastor Guy!  I’m not against mega churches, but I thought this was hilarious.

HT: C. Michael Patton

2.  Planned Parenthood and other supporters of “comprehensive sex education” are now using the latest CDC study that shows that 26% of high school-aged girls have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).  The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation in America, Cecile Richards is quoted in the New York Times saying:

(The) new findings “emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.”

“The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”

Joe Carter challenges this assertion because there is absolutely no evidence that condoms which Planned Parenthood promotes as protection from STIs does anything to prevent a variety of STIs in women.

One study that they choose to ignore is the 2000 federal report by the National Institutes of Health on the Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention. On their webpage PP says, “Condoms are effective because they block contact with body fluids that cause pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection.” But this is clearly rebutted by the report. The researchers found the published epidemiology literature to be inadequate to answer the question. (p. 2)

That’s right. While we have Planned Parenthood and sex educators claiming that condoms can “offer effective protection against most serious sexually transmitted infections” the report finds there’s no scientific basis for that claim.

What the evidence does show is that men and women who always use a condom can reduce their risk of being infected with HIV and men can limit their exposure to gonorrhea. When it comes to gonorrhea in women, chlamydial infection, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid, the evidence is inconclusive. (p. 3) And there is no evidence at all that condoms can prevent the transmission of the HPV infection.

In other words, there is no evidence that condoms are effective in preventing the spread of the infections that plague these teenage girls. Yet we’ll continue carry out the “condom conspiracy”, lying to our nation’s youth about the efficacy of “safe sex.”

3.  Ten Reasons I Don’t Read Your Blog

4.  Tim Jones on the right of parents to homeschool their children.

A California  state appellate court judge has said “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.”.

We don’t need it, you idiot. We have a natural right to home school our children. We hold this truth to be self-evident. the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights is not anything like an exhaustive list of the rights of individuals, but is meant as a modest hedge against oppressive government encroachment like the nonsense you are trying to pull. You can’t expect the founding fathers to list everything that people have a right to do.

5.  Michelle McGinty points out that having John McCain as the GOP nominee may be a good thing since there seems to be more McCainocrats than Obamacans.

6.  Wesley J. Smith in Pushing Infantcide warns that our society is growing more tolerant of infanticide because in legalizing abortion and accepting the philosophy behind it we’ve sacrificed the fundamental principle of human life having intrinsic value.

Support for infanticide is becoming positively trendy. Where once support for killing babies born with birth defects was a fringe belief, it became respectable—even mainstream—after doctors from Groningen University Medical Center in the Netherlands admitted in 2004 that they euthanized dying and profoundly disabled babies under the terms of what has come to be called the “Groningen Protocol.”
The Protocol permits doctors to lethally inject three categories of sick or disabled newborn infants:

  • The baby has no chance of survival (which is sometimes misdiagnosed)
  • The baby “may survive after a period of intensive treatment but expectation for their future are very grim” or,
  • The baby does “not depend on technology for physiologic stability” but whose “suffering is severe, sustained, and cannot be alleviated.”

This means that not only are dying babies lethally injected, but also babies with serious disabilities who do not need intensive care.

HT: Melinda @ Stand to Reason

7.  Anne Morse on the new trend of canine weddings.

Chuck (Colson) talked the other day about the aggressive efforts by animal rights activists to blur the distinction between humans and animals. He describes a “wedding” between a canine groom (who sports a formal black tux) and a doggie bride, who wears a gorgeous white silk gown and veil designed by Vera Wang. (Okay, I made up the part about Vera Wang.)

Incredibly, there are even wedding coordinators who specialize in pet “weddings,” which make a mockery of the sacred meaning of marriage.

One thing driving this kind of nonsense is, I believe, the phenomenon P.D. James discusses in her novel that I mentioned recently, The Children of Men. When people are unable to have children, cats and dogs and dolls become their de facto offspring. I believe a big part of the trend of treating pets like children may have to do with a lack in people’s lives of other humans to love, and be loved by. (This article offers support for this notion.) I speak from experience: As soon as our sons left for college, our miniature dachshund became our “baby.”

8.  John Mark Reynolds thinks that John McCain should ignore old media and go new media.

9.  Barack Obama on Gay Marriage

I will tell you that I don’t believe in gay marriage, but I do think that people who are gay and lesbian should be treated with dignity and respect and that the state should not discriminate against them.  So, I believe in civil unions that allow a same-sex couple to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other. I don’t think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans. That’s my view.

Ummm… I’m currently studying Sermon on the Mount for an upcoming sermon series.  What exactly does it have to do with same sex marriage?  Perhaps he means the golden rule or Jesus’ warning against judging?  And if that is the case, is really being against same-sex marriage being judgmental?  I don’t think so, and I don’t believe Jesus is addressing this issue.  Let’s not put words in our Savior’s mouth.  Also, what exactly makes Romans 1 obscure?  Bad theology alert.

HT: A-Team

10.  I found a new blog focused on the persecuted church – The Enduring Church highlights those who are being persecuted worldwide because of their faith in Jesus Christ.  Check it out.

11.  Chuck Colson’s St. Patrick’s Day BreakPoint Commentary is about the Creational Theology of the Celts.  Very interesting, we can thank God for their contribution to Christian history as they played a part in preserving the Church in Western Europe.  You can download the audio version of his commentary here (right click and choose “save target as”).

12.  Sharon Lindbloom writes “With a Sincere Heart” at the Mormon Coffee Blog responding to the Moroni 10:4 challenge.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” (Moroni 10:4).

I was talking with a Mormon elder the other day. He challenged me to read the Book of Mormon (I have) and put the Moroni 10:4 promise into practice. Elder A. had just commented on the importance of LDS missionaries making an effort to understand, from a non-member’s perspective, what they tell investigators; therefore, I tried to explain a problem I have, as a non-Mormon, with the Moroni 10:4 challenge.

“Elder, this doesn’t seem like a valid test for me to use and here’s why. The Book of Mormon promises that if I ask God (while meeting certain criterion) whether the book is true, He will tell me it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost. But in order for me to believe the promise, I must already believe that the Book of Mormon is true. Because, if I don’t already believe the Book of Mormon is true, why would I exercise the promise given in Moroni 10:4? Why would I trust something that I don’t yet know or believe is true?”

Elder A. said, “You don’t need to believe the promise; you just need to do it.”

I explained that the book I do believe — the Bible — does not tell me to discover truth in the way the Book of Mormon suggests.

13.  Richard John Neuhaus reviews Austin Dacey’s The Secular Conscience over at First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

14.  Here is a good reason (among several) why the “morning after pill” shouldn’t be an over-the-counter drug.

OREM — A 19-year-old Orem man was arrested Tuesday for investigation in the rape of a 13-year-old female, a first-degree felony.

The two initially met at a roller-skating rink and kept in touch on the phone and the Internet, according to a 4th District Court affidavit. On March 3 they went skate-boarding with friends, and later that night the girl received a text, asking her to sneak out of the house and meet the man, according to the affidavit.

After she met the man, he allegedly took her to his apartment and tried to have sex with her. The girl told him no and pushed him, but the man removed her clothes and forced her to have sex, according to the affidavit.

“The next day, the child said that the suspect gave her a morning-after pill,” police said.

The girl’s mother apparently found out about the incident and reported it to officers, who gathered evidence and interviewed the girl Tuesday.

The man was identified, and when he was brought in for questioning “eventually he admitted to having sex with the child, but stated it was consensual,” police said. A 13-year-old is unable to consent, according to Utah state law.

Police booked the man into the Utah County Jail.

HT: Pro-Life Blogs

15.  My friend Ben Polhemus discusses how greed has impacted our culture.  Great stuff.

16.  A great reminder of why knocking Saddam Hussien from power was a good thing for the people of Iraq.  HT: Foxfier

17.  All American Blogger on Congress’ pork barrel spending and the increased taxes that will likely result.

18.  Obama and Clinton vote against helping pregnant women, McCain is in favor.

Life News Reports

Pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton joined a majority of the Senate Thursday night in rejecting an amendment that would offer financial support to poor pregnant women and their unborn children. Their votes contrasted with likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

The two candidates voted against a measure by Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado that would have included pregnant women and their unborn children in the SCHIP program.

Pro-life groups strongly supported the amendment because it would help women who may otherwise have an abortion because of financial worries about affording a baby.

The vote provided another clear contrast between Obama and Clinton, who support unlimited abortions funded with taxpayer dollars, and McCain, who opposes abortion and has called for reversing Roe v. Wade.

Obama and Clinton voted with the majority of the Senate 52-46 in rejecting the bid to help pregnant women while McCain supported the Allard amendment.

HT: Grizzly Groundswell

19.  Dan Kimball on St. Patrick the missionary, looking at his style of evangelism by summarizing lessons that he learned from The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West… Again by George G. Hunter III.

20.  Please somebody tell me that this website is a lame attempt at a joke.  It made me want to turn my stomach that somebody would try to market products this way.  If this is a joke certainly somebody is spending a lot of money on this website which could certainly go to better use.  I’m appalled.

HT: Mark Riddle

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This is the third sermon that I have preached in my new role as interim pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Indianola, IA.

The scripture was John 4:1-26.  Taking a look at an event in the life of Christ to better learn how we can share our faith with others in a more effective manner.

Listen online here.

Download here (right click and select “save as target”)

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