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Families of Charleston victims forgive the killer and call him to repent

This is one of the most gut-wrenching and beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Through tears and raw emotion, the families of Charleston victims forgive the man who murdered their loved ones, and they call him to repent. I can hardly imagine how difficult it must have been for them to offer these gracious words. Even more unimaginable is how they will maintain this grace in the long days ahead. The Lord will sustain His people.

This testimony needs to be seen far and wide.

Matthew 5:44-45, “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

1 John 4:18-19, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.”

Matthew 12:50, “Whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

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Brian Williams sits for first interview since suspension from NBC News

This is an awkward interview. I think the bottom line is this. Williams says that he embellished stories to enhance his role in certain events he was involved in (kind of like a fisherman would exaggerate his exploits). This started not as a part of his news reports but in interviews and conversations outside of his reporting. In his own mind over the years, his exaggerations took on a life of their own–so much so that he was no longer distinguishing fact from fiction in his own thinking. He apparently began to believe his own fictions and repeated them years after the fact, not recalling (perhaps not choosing to recall?) that they were not true.

Like I said, this conversation is awkward. But there is something deeply revealing about human nature in all of this. Even our memories are morally implicated by sin. People tend to remember themselves as the hero of our their own stories. They recall (and sometimes invent!) what buttresses their self-image and suppress what does not. These fictional accounts of ourselves tend to emerge rather spontaneously from our nature as sinners (Rom. 1:18). People can be easily, happily, and even obliviously self-deluded.

You can watch the interview above for yourself and judge for yourself whether I have the correct read on this. Or you can read the report here. You can read Albert Mohler’s comments from last February here.

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Three Observations about Tony Campolo’s acceptance of committed gay relationships

Tony Campolo has released a statement today calling for “full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” Campolo has long been a stalwart of the theological left, so this announcement is no surprise. Still, it is significant as another prominent leader moves away from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. He is not the first to have done this, and he will not be the last. American Christianiaty will be in a period of winnowing for the foreseeable future, and there will be more to come.

A few observations about Campolo’s announcement: Continue Reading →

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Boyce College student is stabbed and forgives attacker

I was coming out of a movie theater on Sunday evening when I received word that one of our students at Boyce College, Joshua Lewis, was stabbed while on the job delivering pizzas. It just so happens that Joshua was making a delivery to a local hospital. For that reason, he was able to get immediate medical attention for a collapsed lung after the attack. Obviously, our entire campus has been concerned for this brother, who is in stable condition now and posting updates to Facebook. Continue Reading →

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Ryan Anderson says Kennedy may rule against redefining marriage

Ryan Anderson went on Bill Bennet’s radio program today and said that he believes Kennedy may rule against redefining marriage (listen above). In Anderson’s own words:

I went in thinking that Kennedy might have already made up his mind and Kennedy might be inclined to strike down these laws. I came out thinking Kennedy hasn’t made up his mind. And there’s a good chance that Kennedy’s going to be inclined to uphold the male-female marriage definition.

I would like to let myself believe that Anderson is correct, but I am still very skeptical. Yes, Kennedy asked some tough questions. But Kennedy has written two landmark opinions in favor of gay rights–Lawrence (2003) and Windsor (2013). In the latter case, he specifically attributed opposition to gay marriage to irrational animus. I just don’t see how he walks that back at this point. Even though he asked tough questions in oral arguments, I’m skeptical that he will now overturn his gay rights legacy and nullify precedents that he himself wrote.

Again, I hope I’m wrong about this. Nothing would make me happier than for Anderson to be right!

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Brief Reflections on the Oral Arguments

Before yesterday’s oral arguments on gay marriage at the Supreme Court, I had contended that the Court’s decision was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I predicted that by the end of June, the Court would rule gay marriage to be a Constitutional right. Now that the case is in, I have listened to all of the arguments made by attorneys on both sides of the question. I have also listened to the Justices’ grilling of those attorneys, and I can say this. I am no Constitutional scholar, but I heard nothing today that would alter my original prediction. The Court will ensconce a Constitutional right to gay marriage. Continue Reading →

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Transcript and Audio of Supreme Court same-sex marriage case

Below are the audio and transcripts of oral arguments made in the same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court today (Obergefell v. Hodges). Justices heard each side present arguments in answer to two questions:

1. Does the 14th Amendment require states to issue marriage licenses to two people of the same sex?

2. Does the 14th Amendment require states to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states?

The Court will render a ruling on these questions by the end of June. In the meantime, you can listen to or read the arguments from both sides below. Continue Reading →

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The aftermath of the iconic image of the OKC bombing

The image from the Oklahoma City bombing that is etched in all our memories is the picture of that firefighter carrying the lifeless body of a 1-year old girl from the ruins of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The little girl’s name was Baylee Almon, and the firefighter Chris Fields had no idea their picture was being taken as he brought her up from the rubble. Nevertheless, that single image captured the scope of the tragedy and became the focal point for Americans trying to understand the horror of that day.

USA Today reports that the lives of nearly everyone connected with that photo were in turmoil after its release: Continue Reading →

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The six daycare survivors from Oklahoma City bombing

I can hardly believe that we are about to mark 20 years since the Oklahoma City bombing, but tomorrow is the day. Much of the country has moved on, but there are survivors who are still living with the results of that day’s catastrophe. The six survivors from the daycare are among them. The video above and the caption below tell their story. From the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum:

The six survivors from the America’s Kids Daycare don’t remember the explosion that killed 15 of their playmates. But they will never forget how the Oklahoma City bombing changed their lives forever. All of them are moving forward, some in college, some in the workforce, all grateful for the gift of life.

These are precious lives. So grateful for each one of them.

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