New Volume on Hebrews

Richard Bauckham has edited a new volume on the epistle to the Hebrews, Cloud of Witnesses: The Theology of Hebrews in Its Ancient Contexts. It’s the latest installment in T & T Clark’s series “Library of New Testament Studies.”

Dr. Barry Joslin of Boyce College contributes an outstanding essay on the law in Hebrews titled, “Hebrews 7-10 and the Transformation of the Law.” Among other things, he argues that in Christ the Old Testament Law has been “transformed” such that the artificial categories of “civil, ceremonial, and moral laws” might be curtailed. Continue Reading →

Roman Catholics Defending Life

For all their differences on matters of Christian theology, Evangelicals and Catholics are cobelligerents in their opposition to abortion. Moreover, not only do both groups oppose abortion, but many Evangelicals and Catholics would insist that defending the unborn is a transcendent moral value.

That’s why I posted this video. It strikes just the right note in that regard. I hope many people will see it and hearts and minds will be won to use their democratic privileges for the protection of the unborn.

The Second Debate and an Election Prediction

By this time next month, Senator Barack Obama will be the President-elect of the United States. Barring some catastrophic and unforeseen mishap, I think it is all but certain that Obama will win. Nothing happened in tonight’s debate that will change that fact.

Pay no attention to the nationwide polls that come out almost daily. Because we elect our president through the electoral college, the only polls that matter are the state-by-state polls. The bottom line is this. Obama is leading in the battleground states that will decide the election, and the trend lines are going against John McCain in those same states.

It takes 270 electoral votes in order to win the election. Obama would have 264 electoral votes from states that generally poll in his favor. McCain would only have 163 electoral votes from states that poll in his favor. That only leaves 111 votes (8 states) where the polls are too close to call. McCain would need to grab 107 of those votes to win, and Obama would only need 6. Right now, the polls slightly favor Obama in nearly all of the toss-up states. Here’s how the electoral map currently looks according to RealClearPolitics.com:

All of this bodes ill for those of us who regard the abortion issue as paramount. After Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly have the opportunity to appoint 2 to 3 Supreme Court Justices—Justices that will prolong the pro-choice majority that currently rules the court. So it appears that the immoral regime of Roe v. Wade—a regime that has presided over the deaths of 50 million babies since 1973—will continue for the foreseeable future.

We won’t see many opportunities in our lifetime to shift the majority of the Court on this issue. I’m sad to say that it looks like we’ll miss this one.

Does Pro-life Law Make a Police State Society?

In the Washington Post last week, Linda Hirschman alleges that John McCain’s pro-life position could lead to a kind of “police state” if he were elected president. She writes:

“In the 1980s, when abortion was severely limited in then-West Germany, border guards sometimes required German women returning from foreign trips to undergo vaginal examinations to make sure that they hadn’t illegally terminated a pregnancy while they were abroad. According to news stories and other accounts, the guards would stop young women and ask them about drugs, then look for evidence of abortion, such as sanitary pads or nightgowns, in their cars, and eventually force them to undergo a medical examination — as West German law empowered them to do. Continue Reading →

McKnight Questions McLaren

Scot McKnight recently posted a fascinating article for Christianity Today about Emergent leader Brian McLaren. The whole article is worth the read, but one section in particular caught my attention. At the end of the article, McKnight raises some questions about McLaren’s theology, and the first one has to do with McLaren’s engagement with the wider evangelical movement: Continue Reading →

Scot McKnight Describes Emergent

I think Scot McKnight would describe himself as “emerging,” so it’s fascinating to see his trenchant remarks about Emergent in a recent article for Christianity Today. McKnight describes the theological trajectory of Emergents in this way:

“Very few emergent folks I have encountered have any chance of returning to a robust, traditional evangelical faith. As emergents learned and listened in their evangelical churches and institutions, they realized they could not accept much of what they were being taught. Though they remained within the comfortable confines of these institutions, their faith became ironic. Yes, they were Christians, but not quite what most people meant by that term. Continue Reading →

I’m in the Twilight Zone

What an unbelievable weekend of college football. Both Vanderbilt and Kentucky are legitimate contenders in the SEC. Kentucky nearly beat the number two team in the country, Alabama. I’m watching Vandy in the victory formation right now to beat Auburn 14-13. It’s their first win over Auburn since 1955! After this game Vandy will be in the lead in the SEC East—ahead of both Florida and Georgia. ESPN’s College Gameday broadcasted from the Vanderbilt game in Nashville and passed on the Miami vs. Florida State game. Unbelievable.

I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Continue Reading →

NY Times on the Economic Crisis

This is unbelievable. From the New York Times on September 30, 1999:

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring. Continue Reading →

She Did No Harm

I don’t know anyone who had high expectations of Sarah Palin going into tonight’s vice-presidential debate. Her speech at the Republican convention was a real barn-burner, but it’s been downhill since then. Her interview with Charlie Gibson was terrible. Her interview with Katie Couric was even worse.

But tonight, Governor Palin exceeded expectations. She held her own (in complete, intelligible sentences), and she did no harm to the McCain campaign. In fact, if I had to pick a winner, I would say that Palin came out on top. In the final analysis, however, I think this debate will be seen as fairly inconsequential. Senator Obama is leading this race, and nothing happened tonight that will change this fact.

One item of note. Hot-button cultural issues took a backseat throughout the evening. They did not interact on abortion at all. The discussion of same-sex marriage was minimal, and the differences between the candidates on this issue were not brought into plain view.

If you missed the debate, you can read the transcript here.

Don’t Feed the Blog Trolls

I have a fairly liberal comments policy. I have turned my blog filter on so that it automatically sifts out comments with profanity. Other than that, I generally do not screen all the comments. I’m not saying it’s the best policy. It’s just the one that I use because I simply do not have time to read all of the comments (especially in the longer threads), and I do not want to turn off the comments altogether.

Continue Reading →

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