Remembering the Courage of Martin Luther

Today is Reformation Day. It was on this day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the “95 Theses” to the castle door at Wittenberg, Germany. Thus began a movement of which we are still feeling the effects today, some 491 years hence. Luther’s stand against the Roman Catholic Church was ostensibly about indulgences. But really, it was about the gospel—how sinners are justified before God on the basis of Christ’s redemptive work.

In every generation, the Christian church is called on to herald and to defend the gospel before a watching world. That is what Luther did, and that is what we must do as well. My favorite quote from Luther is also a call to arms, as it were, for preachers of the gospel.

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

-Luther’s Works. Weimar Edition. Briefwechsel [Correspondence], vol. 3, pp. 81f

I am grateful for Luther and his courage. May the Lord grant that we all be willing to lay it all on the line for the gospel like he did.

Flame

The best thing about being the Dean of Boyce College is the students. Since coming to the college in August, I have met some of the most Christ-centered, committed students that I have ever known. I am grateful to be here and so very thankful to have the opportunity to serve them. If I could share the blessing that they are to me with you, I would.

There is at least one student, however, that I can share with you. His name is Marcus Williams (with the stage-name “Flame”), and he is a hip-hop artist with Cross Movement Records. He has released four albums since 2004 and has been nominated for a Dove Award. I just downloaded my first Flame MP3 last night (“See More Him“), and it is good stuff. He is probably the only hip-hop artist you’ll ever hear to rap about the hypostatic union (“The Godhead“).

I am not the kind of Dean who would pander to his students by pretending to be more cool than he actually is. Nor am I the type who tries use hip lingo while not realizing that he is about eight years behind what’s actually cool. I’m just not down wit dat (word!). Nevertheless if you want to hear some real fly tunes from a guy who is da bomb, then don’t wait another minizzle. Go download or order some Flame tunes right now. They are off the chiZane. Continue Reading →

Was Junia an Apostle?

The identity of Junia (named in Romans 16:7) has become an item of contention in the evangelical debate over gender roles. Was Junia a female apostle? Many maintain that she was an apostle and that her life therefore becomes a basis for affirming an egalitarian view of gender roles in the ministries of the Christian church. In an important book on this question, New Testament scholar Eldon Epp makes the case that Junia was in fact a woman and that she was the first female apostle. Continue Reading →

A Word for Post-Moderns

Abraham Piper has a clever line that I think describes the post-modern ethos of our day: “If you ask questions but you reject answers, you’re not actually asking anything. You’re just festooning tired, old propositions with trendier punctuation.”

This is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but it is actually a very serious point. The post-modern proclivity for interminable questions is very much like Paul’s description of the women at Ephesus who had been deceived by false teachers. Paul says that they are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

Abortion and Racism

From Anne Hendershott at the Witherspoon Institute:

“It’s never been a more dangerous time to be a black baby. . . The figures are shocking: Nearly half of all African American pregnancies end in abortion. Since 1973, the number of abortions by African American women has totaled more than twelve million. In some localities, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, and Georgia, more than half of all abortions are performed on black women. Similar rates are found for black women in New York City. . . The black community has already been changed by abortion. At a time when 50 percent of their unborn children are aborted, many within the black community are beginning to recognize that their community has been devastated by abortion.”

You should read the rest of Hendershott’s article. Also, John Piper preached a sermon last year on racism and abortion. You can download it here or listen to it below.

“When Is Abortion Racism?” – by John Piper

Pro-life and Pro-Obama? Hardly.

Many Catholics and Evangelicals have been making the case of late that supporting Barack Obama for President represents another way of being pro-life. The argument goes something like this. (1) The constitutional battles are over, pro-lifers have lost, and Roe vs. Wade is settled law. (2) There are other evils that Christians are bound to oppose besides abortion that Republicans tend to ignore—like the war in Iraq, torture, etc. (3) Liberalized social-welfare policies will lessen the need for abortions among poor women. Since Obama is a liberal on such matters, the abortion rate will therefore go down under an Obama administration. On this reasoning, Roman Catholics like Doug Kmiec and “evangelicals” like Donald Miller are supporting Obama’s candidacy.

I have already referred readers to Robert George’s compelling essay arguing that Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate for president in history. But I would also like to bring to your attention George Weigel‘s piece in a recent Newsweek column that decisively overturns each of the three points above. Continue Reading →

J. Budziszewski on Prioritizing the Abortion Issue

J. Budziszewski has penned a helpful piece illustrating the transcendent nature of the abortion issue. The short narrative is a fictional conversation between himself and two students asking about abortion. The question is this. Who do you vote for when you think both candidates would enact “evil” policies? How can you vote at all when your only choices are a pro-abortion candidate and a pro-unjust war candidate? He concludes that in the current case, abortion-on-demand in America is a far worse evil than the so-called unjust war in Iraq.

“Ballot Box Blues” – by J. Budziszewski (Boundless Webzine)

Connecting the Dots: Bill Maher and John Piper?

You have probably seen by now one of the ads for Bill Maher’s new documentary “Religulous.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s a movie that was produced for the expressed purpose of denigrating religion. The fundamental point seems to be that having faith in any religion is ridiculous—thus “Religulous.” In the trailer for the movie, the following exchange takes place between Maher and a person dressed up like Jesus. Continue Reading →

Powell’s Endorsement and the Pro-life Cause

This morning on “Meet the Press,” Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. Many viewers were no doubt surprised by this given that Powell is an old military man and a Republican (like John McCain). Nevertheless, folks have often overlooked some of Powell’s political views that make him less than your run-of-the-mill Republican. Continue Reading →

LSU Wins with a Mediocre Performance

LSU beat South Carolina tonight, and as a fan I can’t be anything but happy about that. The Tigers move to 5-1 and are second in the SEC West behind Alabama. [Watch ESPN’s recap here.]

Nevertheless, I don’t think that LSU looked very impressive at all. Without question, they stunk up the 1st half. Against a better team, they would have been trailing by a big margin going into halftime. When that happens, it’s a different game. That’s exactly what happened when they played Florida, and I’m afraid it’s going to happen again when they play Alabama and perhaps Georgia.

I hate to be pessimistic, but I can see LSU ending the season with at least 2-3 losses. As far as championship contention is concerned, this is an off-year for LSU. I hope I’m wrong.

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