Author Archive | Denny Burk

Tebow Is Always Good in the Clutch

Tim Tebow is good in the clutch, and that includes answering tough (and even dumb) questions from reporters. In what may be the dumbest, most-out-of-bounds question to date, Tebow maintained his composure. Tebow did not get sacked in this encounter, but I hope the reporter does.

P.S. I agree with Kevin Allen’s take on this one.

Can you get de-baptized?

Here’s an article from USA Today explaining a new trend among atheists, ‘de-baptism.’

‘Up until last summer, Jennifer Gray of Columbus, Ohio, considered herself “a weak Christian” whose baptism at age 11 in a Kentucky church came to mean less and less to her as she gradually lost faith in God.

‘Then the 32-year-old medical transcriptionist took a decisive step, one that previously hadn’t been available. She got “de-baptized.”

‘In a type of mock ceremony that’s now been performed in at least four states, a robed “priest” used a hairdryer marked “reason” in an apparent bid to blow away the waters of baptism once and for all. Several dozen participants then fed on a “de-sacrament” (crackers with peanut butter) and received certificates assuring they had “freely renounced a previous mistake, and accepted Reason over Superstition.”‘

If this article says anything, it says this. No one is dispassionate towards God—not even atheists. Jesus said it best: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). That is why some atheists are not content simply to disbelieve but feel like they must scoff at those who do. Proverbs 19:3 applies as much to the atheist as to anyone else: “The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the LORD.”

The good news is that the Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1). He is able to bring to repentance the most hardened of sinners. I am living proof of that.

A Critical Look at Cronkite’s Legacy

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial that offers a critical look at the journalistic legacy of Walter Cronkite. This one is worth reading in full, but here’s an excerpt:

“The most important moment in his career came when he departed from the newsman’s role to play editorialist…

“Without the authority that derives from that trust, reporters get careless about objectivity, weakening the audience’s trust even further.

“The glory of Walter Cronkite’s career is that he did more than anyone to earn his viewers’ trust and establish his profession’s authority. The tragedy is that he also did more than anyone else to undermine them.”

Concerns about New Hate Crimes Bill

The Baptist Press reports some disturbing news:

‘The U.S. Senate passed legislation July 16 to expand hate crimes protections to include homosexuals and transgendered people.’

Here’s how the Baptist Press explains the significance of the measure:

‘The measure, combined with existing law, could expose to prosecution Christians and others who proclaim the Bible’s teaching that homosexual behavior and other sexual relations outside marriage are sinful. For example, if a person commits a violent act based on a victim’s “sexual orientation” after hearing biblical teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, the preacher or teacher could be open to a charge of inducing the person to commit the crime, some foes say.’

Tom Wright on ECUSA Declaration of Independence

The Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA) has effectively declared its independence from the worldwide Anglican Communion. Yesterday, the House of Bishops of ECUSA voted overwhelmingly to allow practicing homosexuals to be consecrated and ordained. In taking this step, they knowingly defied the rest of the communion. Read about it here.

Bishop Tom Wright has written forcefully denouncing the move in the Times online, and his remarks are worth noting. He writes:

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Richard Hays and the Authority of the NT

Recently I picked up again Richard Hays’s The Moral Vision of the New Testament in preparation for a paper I am giving at ETS this November. Hays rightly argues at the beginning of the book that the New Testament is the norm that trumps all other authorities. He writes:

“This study proceeds on the assumption that the canonical Scriptures constitute the norma normans for the church’s life, whereas every other source of moral guidance . . . must be understood as norma normata. Thus, normative Christian ethics . . . must begin and end in the interpretation and application of Scripture for the life of the community of faith. Such a pronouncement . . . represents the classic confessional position of catholic Christianity, particularly as sharpened in its Reformation traditions” (p. 10).
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Healthy Economies Rely on Healthy Marriages

Pope Benedict XVI has some fascinating things to say in his latest encyclical titled Caritas in veritate “Charity in Truth.” A papal encyclical is a general letter to Roman Catholic Christians, and Popes use such letters to teach the church the Christian viewpoint on key issues. The document is 30,472 words, which translates to about 54 pages of single-spaced text. For a good summary, see Francis Beckwith’s piece at the Christianity Today website.

Among other things, I found it interesting that the Pope attempted some “public access” arguments in favor of marriage. Much of this letter is taken up with economic issues, and the Pope insists that healthy economic policies must be built upon the recognition that economies are comprised of persons created in the image of God and that these persons owe one another “love in truth.” The Pope holds furthermore that some “formerly prosperous nations” are experiencing economic decline precisely because of a shortage of human capital due to “falling birthrates” (44). For this reason, the Pope concludes: Continue Reading →

Quotables from Caritas in Veritate

“Religious freedom does not mean religious indifferentism, nor does it imply that all religions are equal.”

Reason always stands in need of being purified by faith: this also holds true for political reason, which must not consider itself omnipotent.”

–Caritas in Veritate, 55 & 56

AG Holder To Investigate Bush Interrogation Practices

United States Attorney General Eric Holder is contemplating something pretty big. Here’s the scoop from Newsweek:

“Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter. Such a decision would roil the country, would likely plunge Washington into a new round of partisan warfare, and could even imperil Obama’s domestic priorities, including health care and energy reform.”

Derek Webb: Clean or Explicit?

Derek Webb has a new album out, and it comes with a bit of controversy. BeliefNet.com reports the following:

‘Derek Webb’s new album, Stockholm Syndrome, will be released in September in two versions: a clean and explicit version.

‘The controversy surrounds the lyrics to one of the songs, “What Matters More,” in which Webb says apparently the word “sh*t”. In typical Derek Webb fashion, he’s used a bit of shock value to make a point and in the process made his label a little nervous. (And used it all to promote the album.)
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