Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Worship Wednesday: "The Cross" by Kevin Max








From Lewis's Pen: He Loves Although He Sees

From A Grief Observed:
It is often thought that the dead see us. And we assume, whether reasonably or not, that if htey see us at all they see us more clearly than before. does H. now see exactly how much froth or tinsel there was in what she called, and I call, my love? So be it. Look your hardest, dear. I wouldn't hide if I could. We didn't idealize each other. We tried to keep no secrets. you knew most of the rotten places in me already. if you now see anything worse, I can take it. So can you. Rebuke, explain, mock, forgive. For this is one of the miracles of love; it gives - to both, but perhaps especially to the woman - a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.

To see, in some measure, like god. His love and His knowledge are not distinct from one another, nor from Him. We could almost say He sees because He loves, and therefore loves although He sees.




All Around the Web - October 29, 2014


The Federalists - California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions—Or Else

Washington Post - Christian rapper Jackie Hill-Perry comes out as ex-gay firebrand

The Gospel Coalition - 3 Reasons You Should Care About Election Day

On Faith - 10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Reformed Theology

Ligonier - The State of Theology: New Findings on America’s Theological Health


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MacArthur at SBTS


E. Y. Mullins Lecture: Session 1 from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Practical Theology 3

Who isn't on the side of the poor? As I mentioned last week in my discussion of Chad Brand and Tom Pratt's book Seeking the City, the rhetoric of the progressive left is more akin to inaccurate name-calling. For progressives, being pro-free market or anti-statism and government intervention must make you anti-poor. This is simply not true.

In their book, the authors helpfully try to trace the genesis of the phrase "God is on the side of the poor" and determine that, to the best of their research, the origin lies with liberation theologian Ron Sider. The phrase has its problems at it "is clearly an ambiguous turn of phraseology," (742) but it is more than that. The authors suggest it "is marginally useful to some for generating vague concern (guilt?) on the part of sincere Christan people who take the Bible seriously and do not wish to be 'against' the poor and needy" (743).

They then offer the following which garnered a host of "Yes!" in my copy of their book:
In fact, except for the genetic engineers, planned-parenting abortion advocates, Darwinists, and various Hegelian fascist types at the close of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century who advocated (by selective breeding and passive euthanasia) eliminating the chronic bearers of the various syndromes that kept the poor in abject poverty, the mass murders of the Social/Communist twentieth century, the African dictators and thugs who pile up relief supplies in depots for sale to the highest bidder while hundreds of thousands starve to death, the bureaucratic types who soak up large percentages of the budget allocations in the United States reserved as transfer payments to the poor, it is hard to think of anyone not "on the side of the poor." Of course there are the environmentalists who stopped the use of DDT in the last century after the developed world had used it to effectively eliminate the scourge of malaria, the leading cause of 1.5 to 2.7 millions deaths per year. (744-745)
There is a lot here that a simple blog post cannot cover. The authors footnote many of the assertions above, but it does raise a real issue worth highlighting. No one is against poverty in one sense. However, it has historically been the political and cultural left that has sought the elimination of poverty by means of death. The authors specifically mention abortion clinics which are predominately in poor, minority neighborhoods, eugenicists who try to selectively breed only the wealthy and "fit" to live, and the countless Darwinists who apply the basic doctrines of natural selection to society. The record is clear. The secular and progressive left has literally damaged (and killed) the poor as an answer to poverty whereas more theologically robust Christians have sought more beneficial policies.*

With all of this said, the real debate today isn't regarding who wants to eliminate poverty, but how one can best go about eliminating it. The commands in the Bible to serve and help the poor are clear, but how do we "go about being obedient to its teaching?" (746) That is a debate worth having and an honest conversation about how to best eliminate poverty only when we put aside childish rhetoric all too common in the public square today.


* I discuss much of this paragraph in my book The Death of Death: Engaging the Culture of Death with the Gospel of Christ.


"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Preface

"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Introduction 1
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Introduction 2
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Introduction 3

"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Biblical Theology 1
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Biblical Theology 2
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Biblical Theology 3
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Biblical Theology 4
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Biblical Theology 5

"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Historical Theology 1
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Historical Theology 2
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Historical Theology 3

"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Practical Theology 1
"Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Practical Theology 2  "Seeking the City": Blogging Through Brand and Pratt - Practical Theology 3


For more:
"Flourishing Faith" by Chad Brand: A Review
Brand on Coveting and Classwarfare
The Secular vs the Sacred: Brand on the Influence of Luther