‘No Idols’ High School Conference

Josh Harris, Al Mohler, and Russell Moore will be the featured speakers at Boyce College’s conference for high school students on March 19-20, 2010. The theme for the conference is “No Idols: Calling Students to Single-hearted Devotion.” Grammy-nominated Boyce College student “Flame” will perform, and “Shane and Shane” will be leading the worship in music for the weekend.

Speakers / Lodging / Schedule / Registration / Contact

Josh Harris

Last year’s conference was a great success, and I expect this one will be even better. It will be a Christ-exalting, gospel-centered, Bible-focused weekend. So please tell your pastor or youth leader about “No Idols.” You don’t want your students to miss this one.

“You shall not make idols for yourselves . . . for I am the Lord your God.” -Leviticus 26:1

Beauty Will Rise at Thanksgiving

Rose Kennedy buried four of her own children–all of whom met tragic ends. Her oldest son Joe was killed in action in World War 2. Her daughter Kathleen died in a plane crash in Europe. Her sons John and Bobby died by the assassin’s bullet. At the end of her life she wrote this:

“It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don’t agree. The wounds remain. Time—the mind, protecting its sanity—covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.”

I have never known that kind of grief. It is hard to imagine. And I would not dare gainsay her experience. Nevertheless, I am thankful today that there is more to the human story than this. Continue Reading →

Piper and Mohler at ETS

Panel

John Piper and Albert Mohler sat on a panel last week at ETS to discuss a recent effort to bridge the theological divide between Muslims and Christians. The effort resulted in a document titled “A Common Word Between Us,” and I wrote about it in early 2008 (read it here).

I was at the panel discussion which featured two Muslim scholars and one Christian scholar in favor of the proposal, and Piper and Mohler who were opposed. Desiring God has made the audio available, and I commend it to you. J. P. Moreland moderated the discussion, and I have arranged the audio below to reflect the original order of presenters. Continue Reading →

Why Mohler Signed It

Dr. Albert Mohler explains why he signed the Manhattan Declaration in an article on his website (see my remarks here). Here’s his reason in a nutshell:

“There are several reasons, but they all come down to this — I believe we are facing an inevitable and culture-determining decision on the three issues centrally identified in this statement. I also believe that we will experience a significant loss of Christian churches, denominations, and institutions in this process. There is every good reason to believe that the freedom to conduct Christian ministry according to Christian conviction is being subverted and denied before our eyes. I believe that the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and religious liberty are very much in danger at this very moment.”

Read the rest here. Dr. Mohler devoted his radio program to this topic on Friday, and you can listen to it below.

[audio:http://www.sbts.edu/media/audio/totl/2009/AMP_11_20_2009.mp3]

Render Not to Caesar What Is God’s

I just finished reading and signing The Manhattan Declaration (MD), and I urge you to do the same. The Manhattan Declaration is a document affirming the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of marriage, and the rights of conscience and religious liberty. All three of these items are under siege in our culture today, so a group of Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians have drafted this statement and call upon others to defend life, marriage, and religious liberty.

You need to read the entire document, but I would like to highlight the end. It commits signatories to civil disobedience under certain conditions. It’s punchy and dead-on:

“Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

Piper in Prison

John Piper left the ETS meeting in New Orleans on Wednesday to go and preach to the inmates at Angola prison in Louisiana. Louisiana is my home state, and Angola is infamous here. As Piper notes,

“This prison is the largest maximum-security prison in America. It is one of the most famous prisons in the whole world. It has only murderers, rapists, armed robbers and habitual felons. The average sentence is 88 years, with 3,200 people in one place serving life sentences. Ninety percent of the inmates will die here.”

As I said Louisiana is my home state, but I did not know about the wonderful, redemptive work that is going on there until I read Piper’s report. Piper writes about his experience here, and I recommend that you read it. Here’s a piece of what Piper preached:

“For 90% of you the next stop is not home and family, but heaven or hell. O what glorious news we have in that situation. And believe me it is not the prosperity of Gospel. Jesus came and died and rose again not mainly to be useful, but to be precious. And that he can be in Angola as well as Atlanta. Perhaps even more.”

Google Brain-teaser

Tim Challies posted a link this morning to “15 Google Interview Questions That Will Make You Feel Stupid.” It turns out that Google is hiring again, and they like to ask hard questions in their interviews. In fact, you might say that their interview questions are like taking the GRE. Here’s one of the brain-teasers they use when interviewing product managers. See if you can figure it out before looking at my answer in the comment section. Let me know if you got it right.

You have eight balls all of the same size. Seven of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weighings?

Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right

The New Yorker recently published a must-read interview with Jon Shields, the author of The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, about the history of the organized opposition to abortion and its evolving relationship with American politics. Among other things, Shields says this:

“The pro-life cause has indeed resonated in a liberal, rights-oriented culture far more than other “culture-war” issues. Even as attitudes toward gay marriage and gender roles have rapidly liberalized, abortion opinion has been remarkably stable since the early nineteen-seventies. The remarkable spread of social liberalism, therefore, has not left our nation any more pro-choice than it was in 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided. There is even some evidence that opinion might now be moving slightly in a pro-life direction. Young Americans, for example, are suddenly less pro-choice than older Americans, even though they strongly favor gay marriage and are less religious.”

This is a fascinating interview that will make you want to buy the book. Read the rest here.

Turning the Bible into Toilet Paper

I mentioned yesterday that I am in New Orleans this week to deliver a paper on homosexuality at the Evangelical Theological Society. Yesterday I came across an article that relates to the subject matter of that paper. In an interview with Details magazine, gay actor Ian McKellen says that he tears pages out of Bibles that he finds in hotel rooms. Some of the Bible pages are hung up in his bathroom as toilet paper. Here’s the exchange: Continue Reading →

McLaren, Homosexuality, and the New Testament

I am back home in the Bayou State for the 61st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The meeting is in New Orleans this year, and the theme is “Personal & Social Ethics.” I will be delivering a paper on homosexuality. Here’s the title:

“Why Evangelicals Should Ignore Brian McLaren: How the New Testament Requires Evangelicals to Render a Judgment on the Moral Status of Homosexuality”

For all of you in New Orleans this week, I’d love to see you there. Here’s the place and time of my presentation: Continue Reading →

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