A Christmas Classic . . . Not!

Well, it has become a Christmas tradition to share this song on my blog. Listen at your own risk! If anyone ever figures out the provenance of this one, let me know.

More on the Rick Warren Controversy

Albert Mohler has a short article on Rick Warren’s decision to pray at the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. At the end, Mohler explains why he would not accept such an invitation:

“Would I deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States? Well, I have not been asked, but I can imagine that it would be difficult to turn down this invitation. After all, the inaugural ceremony is a national event, not a personal ceremony. Yet, in the end, the context of this inaugural ceremony would not allow me to accept. President-elect Obama has pledged to sign legislation including the Freedom of Choice Act, which would affect a pro-abortion revolution in this nation. He has also pledged to sign executive orders within hours of taking office that will lead directly to a vast increase in the destruction of human life. In particular, he has promised to reverse the Bush administration’s policy limiting federal funding of human embryonic stem-cell research. Sources inside the transition office have advised activists to expect a flurry of executive orders in the new administration’s first hours and days.

“Knowing the intentions of this President-elect, I could not in good conscience offer a formal prayer at his inauguration. Even in the short term, I could not live in good conscience with what will come within hours. I could not accept a public role in the event of his inauguration nor offer there a public prayer, but I will certainly be praying for this new President and for the nation under his leadership.”

The issue is not whether one should pray for the president. We all agree that we should be praying for our president no matter who he is or what his views are (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Nor is the issue a question of Warren’s views on life and the family. The issue is whether or not a public prayer might have symbolic ramifications that undermine a biblical view of life and the family. I’m not saying this is an easy question to answer, but I am saying that it is a necessary one to consider before participating in such an event.

The only way I could in good conscience participate is to make clear that I do not endorse the president-elect’s views on life and the family. But the only opportunity to make that known would be within the prayer itself. But if one were to make that point within the prayer itself, the prayer would then have the ring of hypocrisy–that is, praying to be seen by men and not by God. King Jesus told us not to do this (Matthew 6:5-6). So absent an opportunity to clarify my non-endorsement of Obama’s policies on the family and life, I think I would have to decline this invitation as well.

I do not think that Rick Warren intends to endorse Obama’s views on these matters. I am just saying that there may be some unintended consequences that may not be all the helpful.

“Choice of Pastor Aims to Bridge Divide” by Laura Meckler and Suzanne Sataline (Wall Street Journal)

Boyce College on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Well, Boyce College won’t actually be on “Wheel of Fortune,” but one of our employees will be. Allison Parker is the administrative assistant to Boyce College’s Dean of Student Life, and she is the wife of Southern Seminary M.Div. student Zack Parker. Allison will be appearing as a contestant on tonight’s edition of “Wheel of Fortune.”

I asked her at a recent Christmas party how her game ended up (the show was taped in October), but she was pretty cryptic about the show’s results. So we’ll all be on the edge of our seats tonight to see how she fares. Go Allison!

“SBTS employee to appear on Wheel of Fortune” – by Garrett Wishall (Towers online)

Carl Trueman on “The Case for Gay Marriage”

Carl Trueman has responded briefly to last week’s Newsweek cover story by Lisa Miller, “The Case for Gay Marriage.” Trueman makes an excellent point about Miller’s article that is worth more than a moment’s reflection:

“Behold the future. The piece is prophetic because, in a week where a high-ranking member of the NAE had to resign because he was `shifting’ on gay unions, at a time when the full weight of the opinion forming social media is behind the normalisation of homosexuality as acceptable, challenges such as this are clearly going to be coming thick and fast. Continue Reading →

Dan Wallace on the Reliability of the NT

I had the privilege of attending Dan Wallace’s riveting lecture at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in November. It was an outstanding presentation, and it is now accessible to a wider audience. Dr. Wallace’s ETS lecture and another one that he has delivered at apologetics conferences are now available for purchase at a very reasonable price. Here are the two lectures and information about how to obtain the DVD recordings of them: Continue Reading →

Gay Activists Oppose Rick Warren at Inauguration

Barack Obama has invited Rick Warren to pray at the upcoming presidential inauguration, and the Politico is reporting on the reaction from gay rights activists:

‘Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to perform the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that – in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California – is looking for a fight.’ Continue Reading →

Mohler Discusses Gay ‘Marriage’ on NPR

Yesterday on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” Albert Mohler offered a counterpoint to Lisa Miller’s “Religious Case for Gay Marriage.” It was a fascinating conversation, and I thought Dr. Mohler made a compelling and winsome case.

You can listen to the program at NPR’s website, or you can push the play button below.

Lisa Miller’s argument falls apart when a caller confronts her about polygamy. The caller points out that it is totally inconsistent for Miller to support gay “marriage” while opposing polygamy. Lisa Miller’s appeal to women’s rights as a basis for excluding polygamy fell flat. Dr. Mohler agrees with the caller and argues that if marriage is defined as anything other than the union of a man and a woman then there’s no logical reason for limiting its definition at all.

At the end of the day, the debate shapes up as a debate over the authority of scripture. Those who favor gay “marriage” do so by marginalizing or undermining what the Bible has to say on the matter (which is exactly what Lisa Miller’s article attempts to do). The “religious case for gay marriage” is really just a subterfuge. It offers a way for people to feel good about themselves for being “religious” while rejecting what the Scriptures teach.

This is not just any rationalization; it’s the most dangerous of them all.

‘On Faith’ on Gay ‘Marriage’

The ‘On Faith’ blog (a joint venture of The Washington Post and Newsweek) is hosting a discussion about the religious case for gay “marriage.” The topic is inspired by last week’s Newsweek cover story by Lisa Miller (which I wrote about here). Panelists include those from the religious left and right. Albert Mohler, Leith Anderson, and Charles Colson are among those representing the biblical view.

Colson has a good word about Miller’s call for ‘inclusiveness':

‘Miller admits that the argument for a biblical support of gay marriage is usually not made from any particular passage but from, as scholar Walter Brueggemann puts it, “the general conviction that the Bible is bent toward inclusiveness.”

‘Miller is only partly right.

‘Christ’s invitation to sinners to come and find salvation truly does go out to all. But this invitation is not to stay as we are. The Bible is inclusive in this–all of us have the same opportunity to turn from our sins, whether that is the sin of pride, unbelief, greed, or any number of sexual sins, including the kinds made by patriarchs, modern homosexuals, and everyday covenant breakers. God loves us enough that he won’t leave us as he finds us.’

Amen to that.

James Kushiner on Single-Issue Voting

James Kushiner of Touchstone magazine has some apt reflections on the idea of single-issue voting:

‘But the labeling of some voters—all, it seems, on the “right” and usually pro-life—as “single-issue” voters, as if they are narrow-minded and unthinking participants in our national life, seems quite narrow-minded itself. . . Continue Reading →

“Pro-lifers” for Obama

The editorial in the latest issue of Touchstone magazine is spot on in its appraisal of “pro-lifers” who supported Obama for President:

‘The role of “pro-lifers” in the Obama campaign was not to persuade the candidate to moderate his stand on abortion (there is no evidence that they even tried to do so) but to persuade pro-lifers to forget about the issue.’

The rest of this essay is a must-read.

“Morality Ploys: Big Bailouts & Culture War Maneuvers You Can Expect” – by James Hitchcock (Touchstone)

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