Gulf Oil Spill and the Evangelical Conscience

Be sure to read Russell Moore’s latest on the Gulf oil spill, “Ecological Catastrophe and the Uneasy Evangelical Conscience.” Here’s an excerpt:

“I’ve left my hometown lots of times. But never like this. Sure, I’ve teared up as I’ve left family and friends for a while, knowing I’d see them again the next time around. And, yes, I cried every day for almost a year in the aftermath of a hurricane that almost wiped my hometown off the map. But I’ve never left like this, wondering if I’ll ever see it again, if my children’s children will ever know what Biloxi was.”

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Was Shakespeare Christian?

Anthony Esolen makes the case in First Things that Shakespeare was a profoundly Christian playwrite. He writes:

“There is an abundance of evidence to show that Shakespeare was a profoundly Christian playwright—and far more thoroughly concerned with the theology of grace, repentance, and redemption than any of his contemporaries. Here I should like to note one characteristic of his view of the world that seems to spring from his Christian faith—for it certainly does not spring from any recrudescence of paganism in the Renaissance, nor from the worldly laxity that sets in with the fading of western man’s assurance of Christian dogma and morals. For Shakespeare, chastity is as near to an absolute value as it is possible for a virtue to be.”

Read the rest here, and see if you agree.

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Lady Gaga and Spirituality

David Mills has a few things to say about Lady Gaga and spirituality at First Things. In particular, he deconstructs the trend toward “spirituality” as an alternative to “religion.” He writes,

‘It’s a great and self-serving mess, this claim to be “spiritual but not religious,” which we hear from almost anyone who talks about religion in public… So we find Lady Gaga, the pornographic songstress, telling a reporter for The Times that she has a new spirituality just before taking her out for a night at a Berlin sex club. Asked by the reporter, “You were raised a Catholic — so when you say ‘God,’ do you mean the Catholic God, or a different, perhaps more spiritual sense of God?”, she responded, “More spiritual. . . . There’s really no religion that doesn’t hate or condemn a certain kind of people, and I totally believe in all love and forgiveness, and excluding no one.”‘

Don’t miss this one. Read the rest here.

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England’s exhausted, bleeding sons

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the great rescue at Dunkirk. On May 27, 1940, the British army had fallen back to the beaches of Dunkirk in the north of France. In front of them was the German army, and behind them was the sea. These British soldiers and their French allies were the last line of defense between England and Hitler, and they were about to be crushed. There were over 300,000 of them trapped on the beach.

What happened next is the stuff of legend. Some say it was nothing short of a miracle. In his biography of Winston Churchill, William Manchester narrates it best:

‘The French had collapsed. The Dutch had been overwhelmed. The Belgians had surrendered. The British army, trapped, fought free and fell back toward the Channel ports, converging on a fishing town whose name was then spelled Dunkerque.

‘Behind them lay the sea.

‘It was England’s greatest crisis since the Norman conquest, vaster than those precipitated by Philip II’s Spanish Armada, Louis XIV’s triumphant armies, or Napoleon’s invasion barges massed at Boulogne. This time Britain stood alone. If the Germans crossed the Channel and established uncontested beachheads, all would be lost…

‘Now the 220,000 Tommies at Dunkirk, Britain’s only hope, seemed doomed. On the Flanders beaches they stood around in angular, existential attitudes, like dim purgatorial souls awaiting disposition. There appeared to be no way to bring more than a handful of them home. The Royal Navy’s vessels were inadequate. King George VI has been told that they would be lucky to save 17,000. The House of Commons was warned to prepare for “hard and heavy tidings.” Then, from the streams and estuaries of Kent and Dover, a strange fleet appeared: trawlers and tugs, scows and fishing sloops, lifeboats and pleasure crafts, smacks and coasters; the island ferry Gracie Fields; Tom Sopwith’s America’s Cup challenger Endeavour; even the London fire brigade’s fire-float Massey Shaw—all of them manned by civilian volunteers: English fathers, sailing to rescue England’s exhausted, bleeding sons.’

When it was all said and done, this rag-tag armada of leisure crafts and fishing boats evacuated 338,226 soldiers (198,229 British and 139,997 French). It was one of the most impressive escapes in history, and it enabled the Allies to fight another day. And fight they did. When the Allies returned to the northern beaches of France on June 6, 1944, the tide was about to turn.

William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory (Little, Brown and Company, 1983), 3.

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Pray for the leak to end soon

Louisiana is my home state, and we have all been watching this oil leak with great disgust and sadness. Pray for the leak to be fixed soon and for clean-up efforts to minimize the environmental impact as much as possible. A whole way of life is threatened right now, and we need this to end.

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Miss USA, Feminism, and the Pornification of Women

Mary Kassian has an exhortation to young women who are being influenced by feminism and its pornification of women in our culture. She uses the recent Miss USA contest as a case in point. She writes:

‘It’s the ultimate irony that the foundational beliefs of feminism have contributed to the increased sexual objectification and pornographication of women. Continue Reading →

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Marcus “Flame” Gray

He’s a grammy nominated hip-hop artist, and he’s also a 2010 graduate of Boyce College. Watch above to see Marcus “Flame” Gray share about his experience as a student at Boyce College. It will be worth your time.

If you or someone you know wants a Christian undergraduate education that has an intense focus on the Bible and theology, there is no better place than Boyce College. Learn more about us here.

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JBMW Online

We have introduced a significant change with the release of the latest issue of JBMW. We have moved to an exclusively online format. That means all of our articles will be immediately available for download for anyone who wants to read them. We will still produce two fascicles per year, and the first one for 2010 has just appeared at the CBMW website. Starting with this issue, readers have the option to download the entire journal in one PDF document. Readers can also view individual articles in HTML or download individual articles in PDF. Current subscribers to the print version will be receiving a letter next week explaining the changes.

The full table of contents is printed below, but I want to highlight one article in particular. Tom Schreiner has writer a feature-length review (9,000 words) of Philip Payne’s recent book Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters. Schreiner’s conclusion sums up his take on Payne’s book: Continue Reading →

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Does the Dalai Lama follow Jesus?

In yesterday’s New York Times, the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, called on religious believers of all stripes to “respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.” In doing so, he explained how he has learned from and been inspired by Christianity. He writes:

“In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus’ acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.” Continue Reading →

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