Apparently the idea is abroad that the biblical book of Job is an inappropriate resource for Christians to turn to when addressing human suffering. I couldn’t disagree more. Is Job’s message the only thing to be said? No, of course not. There are countless other words of comfort that need to be delivered as we weep with those who weep and rally to support those in the midst of suffering (Psalm 34:18; Rom. 12:15). But neither can the message of Job be cast aside as insensitive or irrelevant to the current crisis. As tears stream down the faces of those grieving and hurting in Oklahoma, I’ll be praying that they encounter the compassion and mercy of the God of Job.
“Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (James 5:11).
SERMON: “Job’s Suffering and Ours” (Job 1-2) [download]
The most recent issue of The Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood has just released. The lead article is from Albert Mohler, who takes a critical look at the “contraceptive mentality” that so much defines the spirit of the age. Mohler writes:
The effective separation of sex from procreation may be one of the most important defining marks of our age—and one of the most ominous. This awareness is spreading among American evangelicals, and it threatens to set loose a firestorm…
A growing number of evangelicals are rethinking the issue of birth control—and facing the hard questions posed by reproductive technologies. Several developments contributed to this reconsideration, but the most important of these is the abortion revolution. The early evangelical response to legalized abortion was woefully inadequate. Some of the largest evangelical denominations at first accepted at least some version of abortion on demand. Continue Reading →
A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a discussion between Peter Gentry, Steve Wellum, and Jim Hamilton. The discussion took place as a part of Southern Seminary’s Alumni Academy. The students were studying Gentry and Wellum’s book for the class, and Hamilton came in for a panel discussion about different approaches to biblical theology. I moderated. Continue Reading →
Welcome to the brave new world. Now your 11-year old daughter can purchase abortifacient “birth control” over the counter without parental consent. Here’s the lede from NBC News’ report:
A federal judge on Friday reversed a contentious Food and Drug Administration ruling and ordered the agency to make the so-called “morning-after pill” available without a prescription to all girls of reproductive age, including those younger than 17.
Read the rest here.
I came across two helpful items yesterday, both of which contained exhortations about how we should be using our voices on the internet. An essay from Tim Challies warns against what we ought not be saying, and another from John Piper what we ought to be saying. There are exhortations and admonishments in both of these that we all need to hear. I commend them both to you.
Last week Senator Rob Portman announced a dramatic reversal in his views on gay marriage. He cited a number of reasons, but the main catalyst was his son’s coming out of the closet two years ago. As a result of that revelation, Portman says he began to reconsider his own opposition to same-sex marriage. In an op-ed for The Columbus Dispatch, Portman explains:
Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love. Continue Reading →
I just read Jonathan Merritt’s interview with Rob Bell, and this bit sort of jumped off the page:
Jonathan Merritt: So it would be totally appropriate to pray to one’s “heavenly mother” as well as one’s “heavenly father?”
Rob Bell: Well, you certainly have Isaiah using a mother image for God and Jesus talks about longing to gather like a mother hen gathers her chicks. But that is a great question, and one we should be asking.
This kind of feminine God-language has long been the mark of feminist revisionists who have moved well beyond the pale of evangelical Christianity. While we don’t believe that God has a gender, we do believe that He has revealed Himself as God the Father and never as mother. That Bell views the matter as debatable says a lot about his own grasp of Trinitarian theology. The self-revelation of God as Father is not an open issue, but apparently Bell thinks that it is.
Doug Wilson gives his post-mortem on his debate with Andrew Sullivan over gay marriage. The audio and video have not been released yet, but apparently there was quite a row over Wilson’s contention that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to the legalization of polygamous marriage. The arguments for the one are identical to those in favor of the other. Thus if you accept those arguments with respect to gay marriage, it will be impossible to deny them for polygamous marriage. Wilson elaborates on why Sullivan so vigorously opposed the point:
The reason that Andrew was so adamant about rejecting the logical consequence of polygamy is that it would wreck the very thing he has wanted to possess for so long. Hetero marriage has been the great house on the hill, bright lights shining whenever there was a great party, to which Andrew had never been invited and where he desperately wanted to be. But he doesn’t want to finally pull into the driveway of that house for the big event only to see a bunch of trailers for the new polygamous compound scattered over the great lawn. He wants the house to be the house it always has been, only with him there now. So if I point out that the riff raff might want to use all of his arguments verbatim in order to crash the party also, he has a deep emotional need to deny it. But nobody wants them to come, he might protest. This is quite true, but nobody wanted him to come either. It is hard to wax indignant about the third wave of party crashers if you were in the first wave.
Wilson says that video of the debate will be available soon and that he will link to it when it is. In the meantime, read the rest of Wilson’s post. It’s really good.
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