Author Archive | Denny Burk

A coach’s wife writes to tell about her marriage

In my previous post, I made reference to the fact that being a head football coach in the SEC can be a real trial for marriages. As the video makes clear, the husbands are so busy that the wives are left alone for long amounts of time with minimal input from the husband. One woman said that her husband starts working on July 13 and does not get a full day off until Christmas Eve. In other words, it is really tough for husbands and wives.

A high school football coach’s wife left a comment under my last post that I thought was really helpful. She says that she and her husband have a “dynamic” marriage, even though the football season is a trial every year. They are Christians, and they have made this life their ministry. After viewing my last post and the video embedded in it, she writes: Continue Reading →

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ESPN profiles wives of SEC head football coaches

ESPN has produced a brief feature on the wives of SEC football coaches titled “The Better Half.” It’s really short, but I also think really telling. One of the wives says that her husband goes to work on July 13 and won’t get a day off until Christmas Eve. Another is pictured with her kids (sans husband) at the kitchen counter saying that it’s a hard life but that you get what you sign-up for.

Yes, there is lots of money and big houses if you’re an SEC coach’s wife. Still, there seems to be an underlying sadness with some of these women. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so. Watch it, and see for yourself. See below. Continue Reading →

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All law is imposed morality

The inimitable Doug Wilson is in rare form over the subpoenaed sermons in Houston. He writes:

I have been pointing out the totalitarian impulse of progressives for some time, but they are not totalitarian because they want to impose morality. They are totalitarian because they want to impose an immoral morality. They are not totalitarian because they want to suppress something. All laws suppress something. The problem is what they want to suppress. They want to suppress decency and glorify kink, when they ought to be doing the opposite.

There are only two options — public virtue or public vice. There is no neutral third zone that enables our ruling elites to privatize all virtue and vice, thus enabling them as moderators of our public discourse to make their Olympian decisions in accord with some trans-moral system.

All law is imposed morality, and the only question concerns which morality will be imposed. Either you will impose virtue on the creeper who wants into the ladies room, or you will impose your system of vice on pastors who object to creepers being allowed in the ladies room. You will either punish vice or you will punish virtue. Houston is currently doing the latter.

The rest is here.

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When Popes and councils contradict each other

Andrew Sullivan calls the news out of the Vatican yesterday a “pastoral revolution.” That point is being vigorously contested right now by the likes of Robbie George, George Weigel and R. R. Reno, who point out that the statement in question has no official status. Some reports say that the report reflects the sentiments of a plurality of bishops participating in the synod. Still, it is significant that a synod of Bishops has even released an interim report affirming the church’s traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality while calling for “courageous pastoral choices” that include valuing gay “sexual orientation.”

At least some of these bishops wish to maintain the language of the catechism but to adopt pastoral practices that contradict it. This enables them to say that the church’s teaching on homosexuality has remained constant and that the only change is in how it is applied in people’s lives. But in this case, that distinction doesn’t work. One cannot value something and at the same time repent of it, and yet that is what these bishops appear to be calling for. Most people (I think) can see the contradiction. Continue Reading →

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Did the Roman Catholic Church just change its position on divorce and gay marriage?

The headlines coming out of the Vatican yesterday are nothing less than eye-popping. Here’s just a handful:

What is going on here? Did the Roman Catholic Church really just nullify its 2,000-year old teaching on the nature of marriage and sexual ethics? If all you had were these headlines, you might think so. Continue Reading →

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Do you have confidence in Christ that can handle Ebola?

My heart sank when I heard the news this morning about Thomas Eric Duncan. He was the first Ebola victim discovered in the United States, and he passed away earlier today. I don’t know much about Duncan at all, but I do know this. He travelled to the United States late last month after having contact with Ebola in Liberia. The disease overcame him after he arrived in Dallas, Texas. His condition became so desperate that his family members could no longer have video conferences with him. The sight of him was too unsettling for them. He died alone in an isolation ward this morning. Continue Reading →

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The argument from irony against close communion

Well, I suppose I would be better off letting Mark Jones’ essay attacking close communion go by without comment. I am reminded of the Proverb, “Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own” (Proverbs 26:17). Jones’s post wasn’t addressed to me specifically. Still, I do feel like this is as much my quarrel as anyone’s. I am a Baptist pastor who holds to close communion. That is the position of my denomination, and it is the position of my church. I happen to believe that it is the position of scripture as well. Continue Reading →

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Gay marriage not to be constitutional right this term

The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court has denied cert in all five pending same-sex marriage cases. There are two immediate implications of this—an upside and a downside:

(1) Downside: Same-sex marriage will now go forward in five states—Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. This should increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24. By deciding not to review these cases, the Supreme Court has let stand bad rulings from lower courts that usurp authority from the people by striking down good laws. This is not good and will likely have far-reaching effects over time.

(2) Upside: Gay marriage will not become a constitutional right this term. Many of us were predicting that the Supreme Court would take up one of these cases. Given the court’s decision in Windsor, it is very clear how they would have ruled if the issue would have come before the court again. Observers expected gay marriage to become a constitutional right across the country this June. But that is not going to happen—at least not right now. The issue will continue to be fought in the lower courts and in the states.

This is big news, and the upside is definitely significant. Still, SCOTUS at best has only delayed the inevitable. Legal same-sex marriage in all 50 states—including a constitutional right to SSM—is a fait accompli at this point. It’s like watching water roll down the windshield. You can debate what track the water will take to get there, but it’s going to get there one way or the other.

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When Team Secularism gets envious of Team Christian

Ross Douthat has an insightful blog today about “Pagans and Christians” that you should read. Among other things, he argues that America isn’t really a “pagan” nation yet. So much of its middle-class spirituality is still deeply informed by the judeo-christian tradition. He is certainly right about that.

He also argues that secularists don’t know what to do when Christians outshine them in acts of mercy and charity. Case in point: the overwhelmingly Christian identity of western doctors on the ground in Liberia right now. They are missionaries, they are there to heal, and they are there to proselytize. Everyone likes the healing part. But secularists get really uncomfortable about the preaching part. Douthat says that Christians ought to relish the tension that this creates in our secularist friends and neighbors:

Continue Reading →

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An iconoclastic approach to Daniel

Jim Hamilton has given us an iconoclastic rendering of the theology of Daniel in his latest book With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology (InterVarsity, 2014). This latest addition to the New Studies in Biblical Theology series takes some hard shots at the critical orthodoxies concerning a late date for Daniel. In addition, it presents Daniel’s message in line with the overall story of the Bible. It’s the kind of canonical approach that tends to irritate the myopic vision of some Old Testament scholarship. That is why D. A. Carson says,

“Dr Hamilton’s work is also an implicit call to engage in similar work on other biblical books, in self-conscious determination to reverse two centuries or more of atomistic approaches to Scripture” (p. 14).

I couldn’t agree more.

Hamilton was kind enough to answer some questions from me about this work. My questions and his responses are below. Continue Reading →

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