Archive | Christianity

What does Trump believe anyway?

D. C. Innes has a short piece on Donald Trump’s religious beliefs. Here’s the long and short of it. Even though Trump claims to be Presbyterian, he seems only to be a nominal Presbyterian at best. Innes writes:

So Donald Trump, the early Republican frontrunner for 2016, has come under scrutiny for his own religious beliefs. If he were an ordinary candidate, he would simply say he’s a “Presbyterian,” and that would be the end of it. But because he comes across as so arrogant, coarse, and self-absorbed, the opposite of Christian humility, people have been prying into the substance behind his boasts of religion.

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No Grave Could Keep – by Kenwood Music

The worship team from Kenwood Baptist Church—where I serve as one of the pastors—has just released a recording of some of the songs we sing in worship. I love this music, and I love these songs. My fellow elder Matt Damico is the leader of this group, and I am so very grateful for him, his team, and how they lead us in song every week. You can buy the album on iTunes or Amazon, but I would encourage you purchase through Bandcamp.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if pressed I guess I would choose “All I Need.” It’s a rendering of the end of Psalm 73:

My heart and my flesh will fail me,
but my God, You’re all I ever need.
You are my strength and my portion,
You are everything, O Lord You carry me.
My God, You’re enough for me.

You can download here or listen/download below. Continue Reading →

Why I went to Planned Parenthood on Saturday

Yesterday, I took part in a nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood. At over 300 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, people turned out by the thousands to protest the nation’s leading abortion provider. Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions every year, and we now know that they are also selling the body parts of the babies that they kill. It is a macabre business that the United States government subsidizes to the tune of nearly a half billion dollars per year. We turned out yesterday to say enough is enough. It is time to end federal funding for this travesty, and it is time to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for any laws they have broken. Continue Reading →

Some fatherly advice for young men contemplating an affair

1 My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
2 That you may observe discretion,
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
And smoother than oil is her speech;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of the grave.
6 She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

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Should Christians lionize Stephen Colbert?

Robbie George issues a pointed admonition about Stephen Colbert:

For Christians—Catholics in particular—to lionize this guy is a huge mistake. It’s on a par with lionizing Wendell Berry, something many Christians—especially Evangelicals—did. I understand the temptation to “claim” as one of our own an icon of the cultural elite, but caveat emptor. When push comes to shove, and the choice is between Judaeo-Christian morality and liberal orthodoxy, people like Colbert and Berry play for the other team. Often enough, they go out of their way to express contempt for those Christians who refuse to yield to liberal dogmas (on sex and marriage, for example, or the sanctity of human life). I suppose that’s their way of reassuring people in elite circles that they’re not like their “backward,” “retrograde,” “on the wrong side of history” co-religionists.

I was never a regular viewer of Colbert’s program on Comedy Central, so I’m sure there are many readers who can explain better than I why some believers might have viewed Colbert in the way George describes. I only saw a handful of episodes of the program, but even I can remember an episode that might have fed the impression that he is an ally. It is a head-to-head with Bart Ehrman (see below). Continue Reading →

What is the role of women in ministry?

Todd Wagner is the pastor of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. He was my pastor for several years when I was a student in seminary, and I am very grateful for his ministry. In the video above, he gives a quick answer to the question, “What is the role of women in ministry?” It is a concise, eight-minute summary of biblical manhood and womanhood, and I commend it to you.

Reaping the whirlwind of sexual idolatry

Yesterday I read an article in Vanity Fair about how social media has transformed the hook-up culture of millennials. The article is titled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse.'” It is so sexually provocative that I am not going to post a link to it. While Jesse Singal has questioned Vanity Fair‘s reporting and the central claims of the article, Rod Dreher and Carl Trueman have both written some helpful reflections taking the article at face value.

I have to confess that I did not know how Tinder and similar apps have amplified the possibilities for promiscuity. This technology has put the hook-up culture on steroids. If the Vanity Fair account is correct—as I assume that it is at least in some places—then we are indeed standing on the precipice of something big. And you can draw a straight line from the apostles of sexual liberation to the darkness described by Vanity Fair.

And as a people, we are not the better for it. Technology has been manipulated to serve the whims of the male libido. It is a new social regime built around fulfilling the sexual appetites of men—appetites that have been shaped by ubiquitous and dehumanizing internet pornography. The result is not sexual liberation but the opposite. It’s men enslaved to their own lecherous sex-drives and women agreeing to submit to the same. As a culture, we have sown to the winds of sexual liberation, and now we are reaping the whirlwind of sexual idolatry. And the result isn’t pretty.

It is important for Christian leaders, pastors, and parents to know what children and young adults are facing today. The reality is ugly, and we do no one any favors by pretending that it doesn’t exist. On the contrary, we need to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. We need to point out the pitfalls while pointing the way forward to real life, real freedom, and real love. The sirens of sexual liberation are enticing hapless souls into the darkness. We have to give them something better. And we have something better, if only we have the resolve to say so.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible– and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'” -Ephesians 5:11-14

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