Before and After Pictures of Collapsed Bridge

A friend of mine just sent me a link to some before and after pictures of the collapsed bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The photos go back to 1967 when the bridge was under construction. Here’s the link: “Interstate 35W Bridge Collapse, Minneapolis, Minnesota.”

Also, be sure to follow the Desiring God blog’s commentary on the disaster. The newest entries include a video from the scene and a poem by John Piper.

John Piper on the Calamity in Minneapolis

John Piper has just written on the Desiring God blog about the tragedy in Minneapolis: “Putting My Daughter to Bed Two Hours After the Bridge Collapsed.” He reports:

“At about 6 PM tonight the bridge of Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. I am writing this about three hours after the bridge fell. The bridge is located within sight of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Most of us who minister at the church cross this bridge several times a week. At this point I don’t know if any staff was on the bridge. Desiring God offices are about a mile from the bridge.”

You’ll want to read the rest of this piece. It’s a meditation on Luke 13 and God’s purposes in the midst of calamity. Pray for the injured and for those grieving the loss of loved ones.

Tragedy in Minneapolis

About 2,000 feet of a heavily trafficked bridge collapsed in the middle of rush hour today in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As many of you know, John Piper’s Desiring God ministries and Bethlehem Baptist Church are right there in downtown Minneapolis. It turns out that the bridge is only about a mile from the Desiring God office and that folks from Desiring God travel on it often. I just received a note from Abraham Piper, and he says that they are not yet aware of anyone from Desiring God being involved in the tragedy.

Jon Bloom has already written about the bridge collapse over at the Desiring God blog and has asked for prayer: “Pray for those who are injured and for families of loved ones who have perished. And pray that God will guide us in responding to this tragedy in a way that points to the mercy and patience of God the way Jesus did in Luke 13.”

Maranatha.

Emergent Humor

Well, this post will be a bit of inside baseball for those who keep up with currents in evangelicalism. The Christianity Today blog linked to these motivational posters that are parodies of the Emergent wing of the emerging church. They are pretty hilarious. One of the posters is pictured at right, but if you’d like to see the rest of them, click here.

For those of you who are emerging and are offended by this post, let me even things out by offering you this parody of Calvinism: “25 warning signs that you might be obsessing about Calvinism.”

Who said I can’t be an equal opportunity offender? :)

Uneasy in Babylon

I am about five years behind everyone else in reading Barry Hankins’ Uneasy in Babylon: Southern Baptist Conservatives and American Culture. I actually began reading the book a couple of years ago, but then got distracted and only picked it up recently to finish it. But don’t be deceived by the narrative of my history with this book. Uneasy in Babylon is a great read and will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the history of the conservative resurgence in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

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The Surge Is Working

The most encouraging analysis that I have read on the progress of the Iraq War is Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack’s Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times. O’Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a foreign policy think-tank that is widely regarded as leaning liberal. Continue Reading →

John Piper: The Future of Justification

Pastor John Piper has written a book refuting N. T. Wright’s view of the doctrine of justification. The book is titled The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright, and it is set to be released by Crossway this Fall. Anyone who has been following the impact that the New Perspective on Paul has had on this critical biblical doctrine will want to read this book.

The Desiring God website has an excerpt from the conclusion of the book on its website. Here’s a piece of it:

“God has not ordained that living the Christian life should be the basis of our hope that God is for us. That basis is the death and righteousness of Christ, counted as ours through faith alone. All the punishment required of us because of our sin, Christ endured for us on the cross. And all the obedience that God required of us, that he, as our Father, might be completely for us and not against us forever, Christ has performed for us in his perfect obedience to God.”

Against N. T. Wright, Piper is arguing that it is Christ’s life and redemptive work alone that is the basis of justification. Our hope is not ultimately in our faithfulness to Christ, even the faithfulness that is wrought in us by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification. Our hope is in Christ alone. I am eager to read the argument and the exegesis that have led him to this rather traditional (and I believe biblical) conclusion.

We’ll all be enthusiastically awaiting this volume. In the meantime, you can pre-order the book from Amazon.com.

FBC Pell City, Alabama

I have been on vacation for the past week, and this morning I had occasion to visit the First Baptist Church of Pell City, Alabama. I didn’t know anything about the church or the pastor as I walked into the sanctuary for morning worship. So, I was delighted to find how God-honoring it turned out to be. Pastor John Thweatt preached on Galatians 2:20, and the sermon was exceptional.

I’m writing about my experience this morning because I think it’s worth noting when you come across something valuable. I have heard many Southern Baptist preachers, and there simply aren’t that many anymore who open up their Bible, explain the meaning of the text, and apply it to the lives of their congregation. Yet Pastor Thweatt did exactly that this morning. He preached the gospel, and the “amen” was welling up in me all the way through.

If you are ever in Pell City, Alabama, be sure to visit the First Baptist Church. If you love the gospel and the preached word, this is a place you don’t want to miss.

First Baptist Church, Pell City, Alabama (You need Explorer to view the website)

Rod Dreher on the Pope’s Recent Clarification

Rod Dreher comments on the Pope’s recent clarification that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church:

“It’s the pope’s job to explain and defend Catholic teaching, which makes unique and exclusive truth claims. It would be logically inconsistent for the pope to affirm Catholic teaching while asserting that churches proclaiming contradictory things are equally correct.
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