• Christianity,  News

    Lisa Beamer Shares Candidly Twenty Years On

    Every now and again, I will think about Lisa Beamer and wonder how she and her children are doing. It’s usually around the 9/11 anniversary that I will remember her husband Todd and then recall her. More than once, I have searched on the internet for news or an interview. But there really isn’t much there. What is there is really dated. It’s like she disappeared. But then earlier this evening out of nowhere, I learned that she spoke at Wheaton College to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is great to see her again and to hear her share so candidly. Don’t miss this one. You can watch…

  • Christianity,  News

    Lisa Beamer’s Account of Todd Beamer on Flight 93

    Todd Beamer was an evangelical Christian and one of the heroes of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. His last conversation with a telephone operator named Lisa Jefferson bears witness to great courage and grace. The account below is from Lisa Beamer’s 2002 book Let’s Roll! Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage (Tyndale House). Todd Beamer left behind a pregnant wife and two children. Read every bit of this, and remember. Lisa Jefferson indicated to me that at several points during their fifteen-minute phone call, Todd put the phone down, moved around the plane to talk with other passengers, and then returned to their conversation. Lisa told me, “If I hadn’t known it was…

  • Christianity,  News

    A Meditation on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

    I’ll never forget where I was on September 11, 2001. My wife and I were in our second year of marriage, and we were living in Louisville, Kentucky while I was working on my Ph.D. On the morning of the attacks, I had a seminar later that day, and I was in our apartment when she called me from her work to tell me to turn the television on. I think both buildings had already been struck by the time I tuned in, but I was watching live television as the towers eventually crumbled to the ground. Americans were horrified by what we saw that day. As the flames engulfed…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    Louisville Mayor Endorses CRT in Public Schools

    Yesterday, I read the news that the mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer, has sponsored a resolution encouraging public school to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT). Mayor Fischer endorsed the measure at the 89th annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. Mayor Fischer’s resolution is deeply problematic and encourages school systems to adopt one of the most destructive and divisive ideologies of our time. The resolution treats any racially disparate outcome as racism itself. It claims that racism is a “normal feature of society” and thus is virtually omnipresent in American life. It rejects meritocracy and colorblind notions of justice. It calls for a new epistemology, one that gives…

  • Abortion,  Christianity

    Abolitionism vs. Incrementalism: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    Doug Wilson has posted an interesting article today about the abolitionist and incrementalist approaches to opposing abortion. If you are unfamiliar with this debate, then I direct you to a piece I wrote about it last summer (here). Wilson and I both hold to incrementalism—that is, while we both want to see the abolition of legal abortion, we support policies that would reduce abortion along the way to that ultimate goal (like the new “heartbeat” law in Texas). Incrementalism is the mainstream pro-life position. Incrementalism does not entail an endorsement of every incrementalist measure. Indeed, some such measures could be ill-conceived and imprudent or perhaps surrendering too much on principle.…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Can Calvinists Sing “Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling”?

    John Piper’s message at T4G 2014 was one of the most memorable sermons I have ever heard. His assignment was to preach Romans 9, to explain the doctrine of election, and to show how that doctrine is NOT at odds with the free offer of the gospel to all sinners. At the end of the message, he tells a story about his father, who was a Southern Baptist evangelist. Many “cage-stage” Calvinists would not put Romans 9 together with an old school tent revival, but Piper does. And it’s beautiful. Here’s the description of the message from the T4G website: Why is Romans 9 in the Bible? More specifically, why…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    Is Debating CRT a Distraction from Racial Justice?

    Jake Meador recently declared that racial reconciliation within Reformed Evangelicalism is effectively dead: “So far as I can tell, that conversation, which once showed such promise, is over.” You don’t have to agree with his explanation for why this is the case to see that he has a point. Things were already tense before the pandemic, but from the murder of George Floyd until now, we seem to have gotten ourselves into a tailspin. What happened? Evangelicals have differences over why things are the way they are right now. One side thinks the other is in the throes of Marxist identity politics. Another side thinks the other is marinating in…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Should Christians Cuss?

    For some time now, I have had a growing pastoral concern about Christians using foul language. This concern has been driven in no small part by well-known pastors who commend the use of foul language and who do so based on foul language that they perceive to be in scripture. They acknowledge that the Bible says that we should not be using certain kinds of language: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4). But they also allege that the Bible itself elsewhere uses the very language that it prohibits in Ephesians 5:4. While…

  • Christianity,  Culture

    How a Christian Patriot Might Love His Wayward Country

    I love G. K. Chesterton’s reflections on what it means to be a Christian patriot. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read “The Flag of the World” in his classic work Orthodoxy. Chesterton contends that love of one’s homeland is not like house-hunting—an experience in which you weigh the pros and cons of a place and choose accordingly. He writes: A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it. He has fought for the flag, and often won heroic victories for the flag long before he has ever enlisted. To put shortly what seems the essential…

  • Christianity,  Devotion

    Self-Deprecation

    I love Arthur Bennett’s Puritan prayer book The Valley of Vision. These prayers are a regular part of my devotional life, and sometimes I bring them to corporate prayer in my church as well. One one of the prayers of confession has been particularly meaningful to me for about twenty years now. It is titled “Self-Deprecation,” and I led our congregation in prayer with it last Sunday morning. As I said, this one has meant a lot to me over the years. I pray it will to you as well. _______________ SELF-DEPRECATION My every sense, member, faculty, affection is a snare to me, I can scarce open my eyes but…