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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

1. Would you like to improve your reading ability?  Here are seven pleasurable ways.  HT: Jake Bouma

2.  Prodigal Jon explores why society tends to picture God as angry in his post “Painting God mad” at Stuff Christians Like.

3.  Flatulence is now considered bullying.  Jr. High boys of the world… beware!  (HT: Nuke)

4.  Evidently Obama’s uncle fought for the Soviet Army so he could liberate Auschwitz.  Velvet Hammer blogs on other Obama lies – numbering now 51 in this campaign.  Do we see a pattern here?

5.  Pistol Pete on what makes a great blog.  Caffeinated Thoughts has the honor of making his blogroll.

6.  A “Christian” T-Shirt concept that hasn’t quite caught on:

Source: Naked Pastor

7.  Straight Talk Express?  See below.  I don’t want it to be said that I give GOP politicians a free pass here.  There is much to criticize about John McCain as well.

HT: Stephanie

8.  Organic Faith shared some thoughts about Dr. Tim Keller’s message to last year’s Gospel Coalition regarding how pastors are losing focus in the pulpit.

Dr. Tim Keller said last year in a teaching to the Gospel Coalition that the difference between Gospel-centered preaching and lifeless pulpit talk is a focus on Jesus. He said that his wife told him that his best sermons are those that focus on the transforming power and example of Christ. He basically hit on an issue that I have been concerned about for a while. In the effort to be relevant, it has become all too common for preachers to deliver good messages on moral teachings instead of Jesus-focused calls to divine transformation and human repentance.

That is so true.  May that never be said of my ministry in the pulpit.

9.  Anne Jackson asks, “what is something you feel you can’t say in church, or around other Christians?”  She gets some humorous and serious responses. 

Some responses that caught my eye:

  • Anne started things off – “I suck at reading my bible.”
  • I can relate to Pete who said, “That sometimes when there is a dramatic pause in my message, and I look like I’m waiting on God to give me something really powerful to say, I’m not. In reality I’m just wondering if I zipped up my zipper before I went up on stage.” (I laughed out loud at that one.)
  • “Most people I know who claim to follow God are really sucky people who don’t care about anything but themselves and their comfort. It makes me not want to follow their rules.”
  • “When I’m leading worship, I sometimes think of all 31 flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.” (Huh?  Ok then.)
  • “How I feel more alone than ever, when someone gets up to the mic and talks about the deep friendships that can be found in church small/care groups . . . and that just has NOT been my experience.”
  • “That law is easier than grace … just tell me what to do and not do and I’ll give it my best shot.  Grace is too big, to wide open and scary.”
  • “I don’t like Beth Moore Studies.” (It seems like every women’s Bible study I hear of is doing one.)
  • “Stop making Christianity a scapegoat for not developing a personality. Quit being judgement, flaky, egotistical, mean, rude, fake in the name of a God who was none of those things.”

HT: Rodney Olson

10.  An interesting way to get people to church.

And it is at a BAPTIST church!!!!  They reported their largest attendance ever (just kidding).

HT: Crummy Church Signs

11.  If you haven’t already found this gem, I highly recommend the Christian Classics Ethreal Library where you can read works by some great dead people.

12.  Here at Caffeinated Thoughts I am concerned about your health.  Nintendo is coming out with the Wii Fit.  Exercise for video game junkies.  Nice.

13.  You know you spend too much time blogging and commenting when…

HT: Smart Pastor

14.  I am all about networking.  It is in the name of the ministry I serve.  I have been a member of the National Network of Youth Ministries since 1998.  I have benefited from the youth ministry networks that I have been a part of or have led in my youth ministry career.  Since moving back to Des Moines six years ago I have been disappointed by the lack of a vibrant cross-denominational network for pastors in Des Moines.  Sam Rainer (a recent Southern Seminary grad – congratulations Sam!) blogs about the benefits of pastors who get together.

15.  No kudos for Indiana Jones…. just read over on Greg Stier’s blog some harsh, but likely well deserved, criticism of Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I was tuned in from the opening scene through the final scene. But, and I hesitate to make this declaration, I hated Indiana Jones.

There I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, Harrison Ford did a great job in reprising his role as the combative and compelling archaeologist. Shia LaBeouf did a fine job as a whippersnapper whip snapper in the making. And the villain, Cate Blanchett, was very good at being vey bad. But the real villains in this movie were not the old school Communists of Russia but the lame writers of the movie screenplay. Indy should have hunted them down instead of the Crystal Skull and given them a good shalacking.

Please don’t misinterpret. I am a HUGE Indiana Jones fan. I really wanted this movie to be great. In the first thirty minutes of the movie I thought that it could be. The next thirty minutes made me start to doubt. Doubt turned into resignation over the next 1,800 seconds. The last cringe-inducing, please-don’t-go-there segment made me want to reach through the screen, grab Spielberg by the lapel and ask him, “Why? Why? Why?” The director of E.T. should go home, sit in front of his old school typewriter (the one he typed the screenplay of Jaws with) and bring back a plot worthy of his considerable talents.

I guess I’ll wait for the DVD, LOL.

16.  Are you frustrated with no signs of spiritual growth in teens?  Tim Schmoyer gives three reasons why youth pastors (and parents too) may feel this way.

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Forgetting that growth is a process.
  • We are watching the process close up.

17.  David Innes of King’s College suggests that John McCain should tap Bret Schundler, the three-term mayor of Jersey City, NJ as his running mate.  An interesting suggestion, I’m not so sure a Mayor would be a good choice, but I do like his credentials.

18.  Gay Marriage by Judicial Decree – Stuart Taylor, Jr. on the recent California Supreme Court decision.  (HT: Mere Orthodoxy)

19.  Rick Warren – It is your skill, not preaching and prayer that will grow your church.

Ugh.  I think I just vomited in my mouth a little.

HT: Irish Calvinist

20.  Quote: Abraham Piper at 22 Words

If unapplied theology is worthless, we shouldn’t claim to believe truth with arguments, until we’ve proven we believe it with our lives.

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1.  Just incase you haven’t had enough already… another political ad asking questions about Senator Barack Obama.

HT: Nuke

2.  Because I didn’t do any political items in the last edition of Twenty Items of Interest.  I present to you… the many faces of Hillary Clinton.

HT: Kevin Stilley

I hope you enjoyed this picture as much as I did.  Ahem, moving along…

3.  I discovered, thanks to Brent Thomas, a blog called Stuff Christians Like.  It is a strange mix of the serious and the humorous.  One serious blog post is on “Lying because I love you”  He said many Christians do it, but if we are to be honest with ourselves we lie to protect ourselves not the other person involved.  The non-serious post is “turning ushers into the Secret Service” it made me laugh out loud.

4. Brooke Bouma blogged about Einstein videos – are they bad or not?  I think every once in awhile they are fine, but I swear it seems like some people raise their kids on these things.  So the end result will likely be a bunch of people with like two-second attention spans (ok I’m exaggerating).  Seriously though, have you noticed that the number of cases of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) increased with the number of children’s TV shows increasing?  Do we not think there is some correlation?

5.  it drives me nuts when people don’t use caps in e-mails and blogs.  like it is some hip, cool postmodern thing to do.  what do you think?  use caps or not?  is it really that burdensome to use caps?  are they too sexy for capitalization?  are we afraid that we will pull a pinkie to reach over and press that shift key?  the chicago tribune talks about using caps versus not using caps.

it is a pet peeve of mine along with the e-mails i get THAT ARE IN ALL CAPS LIKE THAT PERSON IS SCREAMING AT ME, but i digress.

6.  A dad has been jailed for six months for daughter (now 19) skipping school and not graduating.  A judge ordered her father to be responsible for her education when she was 17.  Apparently he will be in jail until she passes her G.E.D. which apparently she is unable to do.  Crazy… while I think parents need to be held accountable when the kids are younger –  I think a 17-year-old needs to take responsibility for her actions.  My thoughts are why are we, as taxpayers, footing the bill for a kid’s education when that kid clearly has no desire or motivation to be there?  That is why I am, in principle, against raising the compulsory age of education to 18.  (Source: Alisyn Camerota)

7.  Hey NEWS flash!!!!!!  Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are vastly different than born-again Christians!  Duh.  Somebody actually paid to have this survey done?

8.  Bible names top the list for newborn boys.  Names like… Jacob, Michael, Joshua, and Matthew were the favorites.  I think that is awesome.  My wife and I have been kicking around having a fourth child, and I think if we do and the baby is a boy we should name him Nimrod, a great Biblical name.  We like being different.  I also think that Ham is a good name.  I am also partial to Riphatgh, Togarmah, Dodanim and Methuselah.

9.  Apparently there is a Jedi Church, and Darth Vader was spared jail time for attacking its founder.  To my readers from Great Britain… I thought the U.S. religious scene could be pretty weird, but I have to say this is one of the strangest things I’ve seen in some time.  May the force be with you!

10.  One of our mentors, Darin Wogen, shared his testimony at our banquet last week.  He did an awesome job!

11.  My friend Eric is concerned about Evangelicals who seem to be grasping for political influence and power.  Particularly with the Evangelical Climate Initiative and their seemingly quick embrace of the global warming rhetoric.   I won’t use the word he used for these Evangelicals actions because I try to keep my blog family friendly ;).

12.  I encourage you to read Out of Ur’s commentary on the Evangelical Manifesto.  Richard Land shares why he didn’t sign it.

13.  John Edwards endorses Barack Obama… gee I’m shocked (please read sarcasm)!  You can read a first hand account of this earth-shattering news at One Mom’s blog.  Why exactly is Hillary Clinton still in this?

14.  Bob Barr announces his candidacy for President of the United States on the Libertarian ticket.  He is taking an anti-Iraq stance.  This may slow a flow of conservatives who don’t want to vote for McCain from going to him, but may garner support for Blue Dog Democrats who are against the war.

HT: Kevin Tracy

15.  Pistol Pete blogs on mysterious love letters found that could possibly be between Judas and Mary Magdalene.  It made me laugh out loud.

16.  I love this cartoon… Appreciation by David Hayward

17.  Interesting post by Velvet Hammer about the connection between Nazism and Islam.

18.  It’s official… Californians no longer live in a democracy, but an oligarchy.

19.  This commercial reminds me of when my son was born.  The nurse took him over to clean him up and while he on the table she had to jump to miss this nice arch of pee.  Yep… that’s my boy.  This kid has a great future putting out campfires.

HT: Joe Carter

20.  Brian McLaren’s non-sequitur.

McLaren answers a question about truth:

Obviously that’s a challenge. The flip side of that question is look at the Catholic Church: For all of its orthodoxy, it could have bishops covering up for molesting priests. And evangelicals, for all their claims of orthodoxy, can be barbaric to gay people and can blindly support a rush to war in Iraq and can be, as we speak, fomenting for war with Iran. … Obviously, I have a lot of critics and they often say, ‘You’re wanting to water down the Gospel to accommodate to post-modernity.’ I say, ‘No, I really don’t want to do that. But what I do want to do is acknowledge first the ways we’ve already watered down the Gospel to accommodate modernity.’ … I think the naivete of some of those critics is that they’re starting with a pure pristine understanding of the Gospel. It seems to me we’re all in danger of screwing up.

Melinda at Stand to Reason points out that a common mistake that emergent types tend to make regarding absolute truth – that it is taken to mean that we are infallible in our knowledge of the truth.  That isn’t what it means though.  Absolute defines the truth, not our knowledge.  She suggests that we should refer to absolute truth (which Josh McDowell defines as “something that is true for all people, in all places, at all times.”) as objective truth.

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It’s Friday, and I thought I’d share some not-so-serious items from the campaign trail that has been making the rounds this week.

Hillary Clinton was seen in a local bar in Crown Point, IN (not far from where I used to live in Valparaiso) slamming a whiskey shot and doing beer chasers.

I didn’t think she’s been in Congress long enough to be drinking like that.  I guess she does this pretty frequently.  I personally don’t think this is the best attribute for a President to have.  I know many of our Presidents have been know to drink (our current President excluded), but there is just something about this video that is disturbing to me.  What do you think?

A student, Peter Doocy, a junior political science major at Villanova University, had the opportunity to bounce a theory off of Senator John McCain as to why Hillary is frequenting bars. (Warning: Chris Matthews uses some colorful language at the end.)

I don’t think I’ve seen Senator McCain tripped up like that before on a question.

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1.  John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School, lectures on “Genesis and Cosmology” (click his picture to get to his lecture and power point presentation).

It expanded my view of Genesis 1 and its context.  He contends that Genesis 1 doesn’t address the time span for matter or structures being made (Dr. Walton affirms that God does create matter and structures), but rather Genesis 1 addresses God bringing order out of disorder, creating functionality out of non-functionality.  We look at Genesis 1 and see God creating structures, when an ancient Israelite would have looked at Genesis 1 they would look at functions – we have a difference of worldviews.  He says that Genesis 1 doesn’t address creation ex nihilo.  In the Q & A time afterwards he says that Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 does.  Very interesting lecture.  I still have questions.  The one that moved me originally from having an old earth position to a young earth position was this – “how could there be disease and death before the fall of man and God’s creation being corrupted by sin?”  He didn’t address that.

HT: Tim Olson

2.  Chuck Colson on the Demise of Marriage in Great Britain:

According to a new report by Britain’s Office for National Statistics, the proportion of Britons getting married “has collapsed to a record low,” and that is a quote. One critic of the current government called it “a disaster for children, families, and society.” But, unlike natural disasters, this disaster is completely man-made.

In 2006, there were approximately 237,000 weddings in Britain—the fewest since 1895, when Victoria was still queen and Britain’s population was about half of what it is today. In fact, “the proportion of men and women getting married is below any level found since figures were first kept nearly 150 years ago.”

The marriage rate for British men is 22.8 per 1,000 and for women 20.5 per 1,000.

Related to this is a Break Point commentary that talks about the economic costs of family fragmentation – the rise of divorce and unwed mothers.

As I said earlier, the costs of this family fragmentation are not limited to the children. As one expert wrote, “Divorce and unwed childbearing create substantial public costs, paid by taxpayers.”

How much? A minimum of $112 billion a year. That is more than a $1 trillion a decade in “increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice . . . education programs,” and lost tax revenues.

What is more, the “human and social capital” lost from family fragmentation has an economic impact that goes far beyond government expenditures.

3.  Former Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee launches his new political action committee – Huck PAC.  You can also get to it at his previous domain name – http://www.mikehuckabee.com.  Check out his blog post on the Fair Tax posted on 4/15/08 (for those readers outside of the U.S. that is our tax day).

4.  Mark Driscoll on why he hates religion.  Great video!

Amen and Amen!

HT: Steve Randall

5.  Why Rob Bell makes me angry: a pastoral response to Velvet Elvis.

While I wanted to throw Velvet Elvis across the room at times while reading it, I’m not so sure I’d go quite as far as Pat Abendroth, the senior pastor of Omaha Bible Church, (where Erik Raymond the author of Irish Calvinist is on staff).  He does make some good points though as to why Bell makes him mad.

  • Because he preaches an anti-gospel.
  • Because he writes off the virgin birth of Jesus as non-essential.
  • Because he downplays the vital role of conversion.
  • Because he does violence to the clear words of Jesus.
  • Because he is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church

You’ll have to read the post to read why he makes the points he does.  I was also troubled by how Bell handled the virgin birth, and how he does downplay conversion.  I’m not so sure that I would completely agree with Bell doing violence with the clear words of Jesus.  Sometimes they are not as clear as one would think if you do not look at them from the original historical context.  That is true with all scripture, not just Jesus’ words.  On the other hand, Scripture is also timeless and speaks today as well.

What do you think?

6.  Puritan Prayer for Preachers – adapted from The Valley of Vision

My Master God,
I am expected to preach today,
but go weak and needy to my task;

Yet I long that people will be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony will be given for you.

Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,
with heart uplifted for grace and passion.

Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,
will fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a deep emotion to accompany the words I speak,
and grace to apply them to people’s consciences.

Keep me conscious all the while of my defects,
and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.

Help me to offer a testimony for yourself,
and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting your mercy.

Give me freedom to open up the sorrows of your people,
and to set before them comforting consolations.

Give your power to the truth preached,
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May your people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me to use the strongest arguments
drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,
that people might be made holy.

I myself need your support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of your grace,
and be able to do something for you.

Give me then refreshment among your people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer,
or be harsh in treating Christ’s death, its design and end,
from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with you as I do this work.

I need to pray this often.

HT: Justin Taylor

7.  Looking ways to get your kids excited about missions?  Tia over at Desiring God’s blog suggests 10 ways.

8. Here’s something to augment your quiet time – a meditation on grace in Psalm 119.

9.  Al Mohler regarding the real issue with Sen. Obama’s comments:

Take a look again at the words most often cited from Sen. Obama’s comments:

“It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I will let the political pundits have their day with this. My interest is theological, for Sen. Obama has given us a near-perfect expression of a functional view of religious belief. In other words, Sen. Obama said that “religion” is a coping mechanism for hard times — lumping religion with other issues his audience members were presumably to find strange and alien.

A functional view of belief assumes or “brackets” the question of whether the beliefs are true. One who holds to a purely functionalist view of religious conviction is not concerned with the truthfulness of these beliefs, but only with the effects the beliefs have on the believer, both privately and in social contexts.

HT: Barry Carey

10.  C. Michael Patton on blogging to the glory shame of God:

I believe that we are to defend the faith. I believe that we are to contend for the faith. One of my great loves in theology is the discipline of apologetics. But sometimes our zealousness for our faith can have the opposite effect and actually undermine our witness. We can shame God.

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this.  You can read a second post he did on this topic.

11.  The Iowa General Assembly wants to mandate a core curriculum for public and private K-12 schools.  The model core curriculum draws heavily from Dr. Willard Daggett, a controversial education consultant based in New York.  You can watch a video that highlights a number of factual inaccuracies and distortions in his speeches, and an article about the controversy.  It has already passed the Iowa House.  If you live in Iowa, contact your state senator ask them to kill this bill.

HT: From Their Own Mouths

12.  Charles Krauthammer says that the U.S. needs to develop a holocaust declaration to deter Iran is using nuclear weapons that it is well on it’s way to developing.  Could we be facing a second Cold War made further complicated by Islamic Extremism?

HT: Kim Moreland at The Point

13.  Want to know how to sin with money?

14.  Oprah’s favorability rating takes a dive from 74% to 55%.  I think people are getting tired of celebrities thinking we take our cues from them when it comes to who we support.

HT: Anthony Randazzo at World

15.  Roger Overton at The A-Team Blog interviews David Wells, author of The Courage to Be Protestant.

16.  Mormon Coffee highlights faith-promoting perceptions of the LDS church as it tries to distance itself from the polygamy scandal/shakedown  happening at the YFZ Ranch in Texas operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

17.  I missed this earlier.  John McCain on Letterman.  I enjoyed this only because it was great to see David Letterman get made fun of.

HT: Paul Edwards

18.  The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer asks are American Christians persecuted?  I would agree with him that we are not compared to many other places, and the persecution that we do face isn’t “for righteousness sake,” (Matthew 5:10).  However in the beatitudes Jesus does broaden what persecution means.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you,” (Matthew 5:11-12, ESV, emphasis mine).

Of course the caveat is being persecuted “for righteousness sake” and being persecuted on Jesus account.  Thoughts?

19.  Joe Carter offers a Christian view on capital punishment.  I agree with his assessment of Christians applying Mosaic law to the debate.  What do you think?

20.  According to Ephesians 2, our children don’t need leading… so why the sign?

I wonder how effective this is in getting people to attend their parenting classes?

HT: Crummy Church Signs

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Well to make up for missing last week, I’m posting a second Twenty Items.

1.  Minnesota has a publicly-funded Islamic school.  Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reports:

TIZA has many characteristics that suggest a religious school. It shares the headquarters building of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, whose mission is “establishing Islam in Minnesota.” The building also houses a mosque. TIZA’s executive director, Asad Zaman, is a Muslim imam, or religious leader, and its sponsor is an organization called Islamic Relief.

Students pray daily, the cafeteria serves halal food – permissible under Islamic law — and “Islamic Studies” is offered at the end of the school day.

Complete craziness.

HT: Matt Riesetter

2. The new sexual revolution going on at Harvard – abstinence.

HT: Family Research Council

3. Continuing with the education theme.  Madness once again seen in public schools with one Wisconsin elementary school encouraging students to participate in a cross-dressing day.

HT: Kevin McCullough

4.  Just so Senator Obama doesn’t feel like I only pick on him (like his campaign staff would read this blog).  David C. Innes ponders whether or not Senator Hillary Clinton is insane.

5.  Catholic-run University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN is ok with transgender lecturers and Al Franken coming to address their student body.  But if you are Black and pro-life you are evidently not welcome.

6.  John Hawkins on liberal insanity when it comes to terrorists.

7.  Rich Lowry says that President Bush should boycott the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing over China’s brutal crackdown in Tibet.  What do you think?  I think I’m in agreement.

8.  By the way, I still don’t like Mitt Romney.  There is an online petition sponsored by Government is Not God to let John McCain know that Romney is not wanted on the ticket.  I already signed it.  I will not vote for a McCain/Romney ticket. 

HT: Carl Cameron

9.  Inspiring video over at Hot Air about a Marine who lost his leg fighting in Iraq, returns to duty… in Iraq.

10.  Oprah is a theological mess.

HT: Brent Thomas

11.  On the left is one example of “Christian” consumerism run amok.  Can I throw up now?  I guess I would need one of those mints if I do.

HT: Steve Randall

12.  LifeChurch.tv is going to launch it’s “One Prayer” initiative.  Interesting concept.  What do you think?

13.  The Olympic Torch leaves a huge carbon footprint.  Where’s Al Gore when we need him?

HT: Janice Dean

14.  News flash! Husbands benefit more than wives when it comes to the amount of housework the couples has compared to what they had before they were married.  According to a recent University of Michigan study:

Having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women, according to a University of Michigan study of a nationally representative sample of U.S. families.

For men, the picture is very different: A wife saves men from about an hour of housework a week.

Does this really surprise anybody?

HT: Joe Carter

15.  Google doesn’t allow anti-abortion advertisements.  Another reason why I Goodsearch (that and if you designate Serve Our Youth Network as your charity we get $.01 every time you do).

16.  Here’s a college trend I’d like to see discontinued.

In the Woodstock era, the advent of coed dorms caused a stir, with Life magazine proclaiming the development “an intimate revolution on campus.” Coed floors came along over the next two decades, giving college students immediate proximity to each other. The next step, coed suites and bathrooms, brought the sexes even closer together.

Now, some colleges are crossing the final threshold, allowing men and women to share rooms. At the urging of student activists, more than 30 campuses across the country have adopted what colleges call gender-neutral rooming assignments, almost half of them within the past two years.

HT: Catherine Claire

17.  John Mark Reynolds shares a list of 12 books that Christians should read to gain better insight on how to do “cultural apologetics.”

18.  R.C. Sproul interviews Ben Stein on his movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  Listen to Part 1 and Part 2.

HT: A-Team Blog

19.  Muslims leaving Islam in droves.  Interesting.

20.  Pro-Life Doctors, are they a new oxymoron?

In November 2007, the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published Committee Opinion # 385 entitled, “The Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine.” The committee opinion sought to “maximize accommodation of an individual’s religious or moral beliefs while avoiding imposition of these beliefs on others or interfering with the safe, timely, and financially feasible access to reproductive health care that all women deserve.”

Unfortunately, the balance struck by the committee between the right of conscience of physicians and the reproductive health care of women so emphasizes patient autonomy that it turns physicians into medical automatons forced to act against their best ethical and medical judgment. As pointed out on March 14, 2008, by Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt: “The ACOG ethics report would force physicians to violate their conscience by referring patients for abortions or taking other objectionable actions, or risk losing their board certification.” Put simply, committee Opinion 385 could be the end of the pro-life doctor.

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Sorry for the lapse in posting.  With my new responsibility of being interim pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Indianola, IA, my work with Serve Our Youth Network and just being a dad and husband I’ve been behind in reading my blog subscriptions and news feeds, so that is why I missed a week.

1.  Jeremy Taylor, a teacher at Sioux City North High School, is running against incumbent Democrat Represenative Wes Whitead to represent Sioux City in House District 1.  He recently gave a great speech at the Woodbury County Republican Convention.  Watch below.

Part I: 7 minutes, 32 seconds

Part II: 6 minutes, 1 second

I hope that he wins, and more people like him win to stop the craziness that is going on in the Iowa House before our state goes completely bankrupt both morally and fiscally.

HT: Matt Riesetter

2.  The Barna Research Group has a new study out on Marriage and Divorce that finds marriage is norm among adults with only 22% having never been married.  They also found, however, that divorce is widespread and has lost most of its stigma.

3.  Wayne Larson on Worldview, Antithesis and Where We Get It All Wrong.  He brings up some interesting points.

4.  Great April Fool’s prank from Neil Cavuto.  HT: Matt Proctor

5.  Condy Rice – McCain’s VP pick?  That would be interesting.  I think it would be a strong pick for him, but would rather see somebody with more domestic experience.

6.  The picture below made me laugh out loud.  Anybody else feel the same?

 

HT: Jeff @ Smart Pastor 

7.  Also a good link I found from Jeff @ Smart Pastor.  Ten Worst Ever Life Verses.  Dang, I’m going to have to change mine.  Guys, perhaps reciting #7 to your wife wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  I mean it is scripture after all!

10. Hezekiah 13:7
“Ye that dwelleth in his name, observe the news of the Lord.”

9. Hosea 4:14
“I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—a people without understanding will come to ruin!”

8. Judges 4:21
“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.”

7. Song of Songs 7:7-8a
“Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.'”

6. Psalm 137:8-9
“O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

5. 1 Samuel 4:18
“When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backwards from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy.”

4. Matthew 1:9
“And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias”

3. Acts 5:9
“How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

2. Leviticus 18:19
“Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”

1. Ezekiel 23:20
“There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

8.  Having been a spectator (and sometimes victim) of congregationalism run-amuck as a form of church governance, I appreciated this post by Greg Gilbert over at the 9 Marks blog.

9.  The unchurched prefer cathedrals over contemporary church designs according to a LifeWay survey.  Interesting, exactly the opposite of what I would have thought.  HT: Sam Rainer

10.  Greg Stier on the James 2 faith-works dilemma.  My take is that works don’t save, but saving faith will have works as fruit or the evidence so to speak of legitimate faith.  That is a rather simplified summary of my interpretation of James 2.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!  Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.  You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, (James 2:14-26, ESV).

11. MTV survey on teens and social activism.  Pretty interesting.  HT: Kurt Johnston

12.  Adopt a Terrorist for Jesus

That’s what the new Web-based ministry Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer (ATFP) is urging Christians to do. Though ATFP agrees the government must fight terrorism militarily, it also believes the real war will be won in the spiritual realm. “Visitors can find a terrorist to pray for, as well as see how many others are praying for them,” said ATFP founder Thomas Bruce. “ It’s all about connecting these prayer warriors to each other to see how others are praying, to encourage each other, to spread the word, and fight this War on Terrorism in a powerful and spiritual way.” (From the Ministry Report Newsletter).

HT: Monday Morning Insight

13.  Also the first ever Amish emerging church – Solomon’s Barn.  I kid you not.

14.  Randy Alcorn does a monthly book giveaway, this month it is his book, Heaven.

15.  Christopher Wesley has a series of blog posts over at the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Community Blog entitled “Good to Great Youth Ministry” based on learnings from Jim Collins book, Good to Great.  Here is a link to the first post.

16.  Andrew Jackson on how Christians can engage in politics without losing their soul.  He offers 10 biblical guidelines for how to do this.

17.  Senator Barack Obama’s outreach efforts to evangelicals has been sabotaged by his former pastor (and I would also say a number of his policy positions).  But it would seem his belief in liberation theology is hurting him.

Barack Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, is dedicated to Black Liberation Theology and income redistribution. This liberal theology goes hand-in-hand with the liberal politics which Obama espouses. Obama’s faith is heavily based in the social gospel, meaning an emphasis is placed on the humanitarian example of Jesus. Humanity’s need for a savior to pay the debt due because of sin, which is satisfied by Christ’s death and resurrection, is relegated to the sidelines.

HT: Politics and Christianity

18.  Foxfier on the death of Charleton Heston.  Not only do two of his movies rank as some of my all time favorites (Ben Hur and the Ten Commandments), but also his work in conservative circles.  Foxfier included a quote from “Winning the Culture War” in her blog that I’ll share here as well.

Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, “Don’t shoot me.”

If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist.

If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you sexist.

If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion.

If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.

Don’t let America’s universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.

But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation? The answer’s been here all along.

I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.

You simply … disobey.

Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely.

But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don’t. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.

I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King . . . who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.

Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Vietnam.

In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful … it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.

19.  Awesome quote.  When I first watched Amazing Grace I didn’t catch this, but Jemila Kwon over at Quirky Grace highlighted a quote given by Barbara, who is the woman who encourages William Wilberforce not to give up on his dream of seeing slavery abolished in Great Britain.

When they stop being afraid, their compassion will return.

20.  Something that leaders don’t often like to do, but I think is vital in order to listen to a variety of viewpoints and have a plurality of feedback: encourage disagreement.  Listen to opposing viewpoints.  This isn’t saying that we should promote disunity.  We need to be charitable toward one another, but I have far too often see a “group think” mentality occur when everybody thinks alike.  Poor decisions are made when we lapse into that.  We should seek to gather not “yes people” around us, but also those who will also challenge our thinking and push us beyond our comfort zone.

HT: High Calling Blogs

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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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