Tish Harrison Warren is an egalitarian, a priest in the Anglican Church, and a supporter of progressive causes. None of that, however, was enough to keep Vanderbilt University from kicking her ministry off campus. She has a compelling reflection in CT on how everything came unraveled for InterVarsity at Vandy. In essence, Vanderbilt said that no organization could require adherence to a creed in order to limit membership or leadership in campus organizations. The result? The university began discriminating against Christians for holding to Christian beliefs. In Warren’s article, this bit was particularly clarifying. She writes, Continue Reading →
Peggy Noonan has a sobering column in today’s Wall Street Journal about the threat that ISIS poses to a war-weary United States. I encourage you to read the whole thing. When you do, don’t miss this part:
One of my fears in the early years of the Iraq war was that if it proved to be the wrong war—if no weapons of mass destruction were found, if sustained unrest showed Saddam Hussein was the garbage-pail lid who kept the garbage of his nation from spilling out—it would mean that at some time in the future when America really needed to fight and had to fight, she would not. I feared the war’s supporters would be seen to have cried wolf, and someday there would be a wolf and no one would listen. Now there is a wolf.
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I just read one of the most morally confused (and indeed asinine) things I’ve ever seen on the New York Times editorial page. The author is a professor named Michael Boyle, and he argues that we must not call the ISIS terrorist group evil. Why? Because the times don’t call for moral clarity. President Bush had moral clarity, and look where that got us–a decade of war. For this reason, Boyle argues that we should avoid describing ISIS as a “cancer” like President Obama did earlier this week. Such language keeps us from seeing the world as it is.
This is the logic of appeasement. It’s very similar to the moral indifference of Western democracies that led to the rise of the Nazis and the rearmament of Germany after World War I. And we cannot go that route again. There really is such a thing as evil in the world. In a culture of pluralism, we may have difficulty agreeing on how to define the good, the right, and the true. Nevertheless, there are times when all of our pluralistic sensibilities are overcome by an unambiguous display of wickedness. It happened on 9-11. And it happened again when ISIS beheaded James Foley. How can someone be so resentful of the last president that he would refuse to see that?
No one is served when we bury our heads in the ground and pretend that ISIS is anything less than one of the most morally repugnant regimes on the face of the planet. Maybe our statesmen will disagree on the best way to address this threat. But can’t we all agree on what they are. They are evil. The only reasonable and moral response is to say so and oppose them.
I can’t tell you how full my heart is at the news of Dr. Kent Brantley’s recovery. I can only imagine how his family must be feeling to have him back after thirty very dark days of uncertainty and perhaps even of despair.
The video above is the statement that Dr. Brantly made upon his release earlier today. It’s fantastic. Among other things he describes how he cried out to the Lord as the illness descended upon him, “I prayed that God would help me be faithful even in my illness and that in my life, even in my death, he would be glorified.” How grateful we should be for this dear brother’s life and for that of his colleague Nancy Writebol. God is merciful.
I am reminded of the lines from John Piper’s poem about Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol:
Fly back to us, our joy, our crown…
They are back… all the way back. Thanks be to God!
Albert Mohler has timely advice about how Christians ought to be thinking about the tragic shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He says that the shooting and its aftermath are an “excruciating reminder that the racial issues in America continue.” In sum, he says that Christians need to love their neighbor, lead with empathy, not prejudge, and wait for the facts. You can listen to his full remarks below or download them here.
Here are some important excerpts from his remarks:
Max Boot argues at Commentary Magazine that is it time to annihilate ISIS. In light of recent atrocities—which are now becoming too numerous to count—it is hard to disagree that ISIS deserves to be completely and utterly destroyed. I don’t pretend to know what the best strategy is to make that happen, but here’s what Boot writes:
“What is needed now is not strongly worded condemnation of Foley’s murder, much less a hashtag campaign. What is needed is a politico-military strategy to annihilate ISIS rather than simply chip around the edges of its burgeoning empire. In the Spectator of London I recently outlined what such a strategy should look like. In brief, it will require a commitment of some 10,000 U.S. advisors and Special Operators, along with enhanced air power, to work with moderate elements in both Iraq and Syria–meaning not only the peshmerga but also the Sunni tribes, elements of the Iraqi Security Forces, and the Free Syrian Army–to stage a major offensive to rout ISIS out of its newly conquered strongholds… Now it is simply a matter of resources and resolve on the part of the U.S. and its allies.”
Read the rest here.
(HT: John McCormack)
Jennifer Lahl was recently interviewed by ABC News about women who regret being surrogate mothers. A surrogacy agreement is when a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child for someone else. In some cases, the pregnancy occurs through in vitro fertilization so that the baby is genetically unrelated to the woman who carries the child. In other cases, the woman who carries the child becomes pregnant naturally or artificially so that the child is genetically related to the woman who carries the baby. Usually, a woman agrees to receive a sum of money in exchange for being a surrogate. Continue Reading →
In this third and final episode of the interview with Family Life Today, we discuss talking to children about the birds and the bees. We also discuss our culture’s changing definition of marriage. Can Christians have fellowship with one another while having differences over the definition of marriage? Can pastors be neutral on the issues of marriage and homosexuality? You can listen to the episode below or download it here.
Here is the second episode of my interview with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine of Family Life Today. I’ll post episode three tomorrow. You can listen to today’s episode below or download it here. Here’s the description of the show:
What did God have in mind when He created male and female? Denny Burk, a professor at Boyce College and an assistant pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, reminds listeners that sex exists for the glory of God, which means that our sexuality puts God’s glory on display. Burk talks about God’s purposes for sex: consummation, procreation, an expression of love, and pleasure. [Source] Continue Reading →
I am very grateful for the ministry of Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine at Family Life Today. These are faithful men running a top-notch ministry aimed at strengthening marriages and families. I recently had a chance to sit down for an interview for three episodes of their daily radio program. It was a joy to be with these brothers to talk about sex and gender issues. I will post all three episodes as they are released over the next couple of days. You can listen to episode one below or download the audio here. Continue Reading →