Saturday, October 1, 2011

All Around the Web: Links For Your Weekend - October 1, 2011

God's Politics - True Story | I think this picture says enough.  How anyone can read the Gospels and then look at the work accomplished on the cross and resurrection and read politics, economics, socialism, anti-war protests, etc. is beyond me?  We can at least say that people will use any figure to promote their own ideology.  And anyone who says that the folks over at Jim Wallis' God's Politics aren't promoting a socialist social gospel, then please explain this to me.

Kevin DeYoung - The Doctrine of the Trinity:  No Christianity Without It | I believe this is taken from his book The Good News We Almost Forgot, but Kevin DeYoung has offered a helpful article on what the Trinity is and why it matters.  Here's his conclusion:

Third, why does any of this matter? There are lots of reasons, but borrowing from Robert Letham’s work, and in Trinitarian fashion, let me mention just three.

One, the Trinity matters for creation. God, unlike the gods in other ancient creation stories, did not need to go outside himself to create the universe. Instead, the Word and the Spirit were like his own two hands (to use Irenaeus’ famous phrase) in fashioning the cosmos. God created by speaking (the Word) as the Spirit hovered over the chaos. Creation, like regeneration, is a Trinitarian act, with God working by the agency of the Word spoken and the mysterious movement of the Holy Spirit.

Two, the Trinity matters for evangelism and cultural engagement. I’ve heard it said that the two main rivals to a Christian worldview at present are Islam and Postmodernism. Islam emphasizes unity—unity of language, culture, and expression—without allowing much variance for diversity. Postmodernism, on the other hand, emphasizes diversity—diversity of opinion, believes, and background—without attempting to see things in any kind of meta-unity. Christianity, with its understanding of God as three in one, allows for diversity and unity. If God exists in three distinct Persons who all share the same essence, then it is possible to hope that God’s creation may exhibit stunning variety and individuality while still holding together in a genuine oneness.

Three, the Trinity matters for relationships. We worship a God who is in constant and eternal relationship with himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Community is a buzz word in American culture, but it is only in a Christian framework that communion and interpersonal community are seen as expressions of the eternal nature of God. Likewise, it is only with a Trinitarian God that love can be an eternal attribute of God. Without a plurality of persons in the Godhead, we would be forced to think that God created humans so that he might show love and know love, thereby making love a created thing (and God a needy deity). But with a biblical understanding of the Trinity we can say that God did not create in order to be loved, but rather, created out of the overflow of the perfect love that had always existed among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who ever live in perfect and mutual relationship and delight.

The Point (John Stonestreet) - He's Not God | John Stonestreet hits the nail on the head. Both liberals and conservatives deify a Presidential candidate and act as if that one person can solve all their problems.  Christians especially ought to avoid this.

Americans, even Christians who should know better, have a tendency to want our President to “right every wrong, solve every problem, fix every pothole, provide health and prosperity for all, and on top of that be a likeable, fatherly, dignified, fun-loving, brilliant, down-home, urbane, humorous, serious, athletic, good looking, poet-warrior-manager man…”

No one can live up to that! But because we expect these things, candidates end up making promises that far exceed their capacity and voters have their misplaced hopes dashed time and time again.

The Point (John Stronestreet) - They're Not God, Either | Here is the 2nd part of Stonestreet's argument.  Not only are politicians not gods, but neither are scientists.

But, there’s another group that are given God-like status. Scientists. Since the Enlightenment, science has been seen as the neutral arbiter of truth, infallible, the standard by which all claims must be measured.

Case in point: Six Italian scientists were put on trial for manslaughter last week for not predicting an earthquake in 2009 that killed nearly 300 people. If they had done their job, prosecutors argue, people would have been warned.

Many experts think the case will be thrown out, and it should be. But consider what this case assumes: scientists can possess a complete knowledge of what will happen at any given time in the world. Wow. I thought only God knew that.

Moore to the Point (Russell Moore) - Pat Robertson Responds | A great response from Dr. Moore.  It is official, Robertson has lost his mind.  Here is the last few paragraphs:

First of all, Robertson’s advice didn’t “spread worldwide.” No one was tapping his phone or hacking his email account. It was broadcast. Robertson is a broadcaster with a television program using satellite technology to see to it that his advice gets carried across the world. That’s the problem. 

More problematic, though, was Robertson’s flippant response to the abhorrent theology behind the whole issue. 

“And remember, they come to me asking for specific advice and I give them specific advice about their condition, not for the world. I’m not giving a theological (defense); I’m not John Calvin giving the Institutes of the Christian Religion.

To tell a man to stay with his sick wife, that to divorce her or leave her because of her illness, is, in every situation, wrong, is not some abstract point of doctrine. No one was asking Robertson to, on his feet, explain the Molinist account of providence or to answer a tricky ethical dilemma about lying to save the lives of others. This question was about the most basic sign of the gospel, the union between Christ and his church. One doesn’t even need to know any Scripture beyond John 3:16 to intuit the spirit of antichrist in the notion of abandoning a suffering spouse. 

If one can’t answer a question that basic to the Christian faith, with clarity and conviction, one shouldn’t teach first-grade Sunday School, much less broadcast one’s spiritual guidance to the whole world.

Christianity Today - Dawkins defends decision not to debate apologist William Lane Craig | I don't think Craig is a Creationist is he?

Many believe that Craig’s upcoming “Reasonable Faith” tour in the UK is intimidating Dawkins, who refuses to engage on a one-on-one talk with the leading Christian apologist, famous for his revival of the Kalam cosmological argument which asserts that God caused the universe to first exist.

But Dawkins, defending his decision, previously shared during a panel that Craig was not a worthy opponent.

“I always said when invited to do debates that I would be happy to debate a bishop, a cardinal, a pope, an archbishop, indeed I have done those, but I don’t take on creationists and I don’t take on people whose only claim to fame is that they are professional debaters; they’ve got to have something more than that. I’m busy.

Washington Post  - Anwar al-Aulaqi, U.S.-born cleric linked to al-Qaeda, reported killed in Yemen | This is big news and the most significant kill or capture of a terrorist since Osama bin Laden.  Here is how ABC News broke the news:

LifeNews - Congress to Investigate Planned Parenthood Abortion Business | This is interesting.

A Congressional committee has taken the first steps in investigating the Planned Parenthood abortion business over abuses ranging from financial disparities to its compliance with federal regulations on taxpayer funding to concerns that it is covering up cases of sex trafficking.

In a September 15 letter obtained, Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, writes to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.

The Blaze - Herman Cain Wins Florida Straw Poll | This is certainly surprising.  The real story is the comments of Florida's governor.  He said that whoever wins the straw poll will be the next President, (he was probably thinking Perry would win) but when Cain was the clear winner he backed away from those comments.  One thing is true though, whoever wins Florida in the General Election will be the winner.

(AP) Under the radar Republican Presidential candidate and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain won an early test vote in Florida, capturing 37.1 percent of the vote at Saturday’s Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry coming in second with 15.4 percent. Mitt Romney came in third with14 percent and Rick Santorum followed with 10.88 percent. Michele Bachmann, who scored a high-profile straw vote victory in Iowa last month, finished last, with less than 2%.

“Let’s send Washington a message: We the people are still in charge of this country. Not we, the bureaucrats. Not we, the government,” Georgia businessman Herman Cain told the conference.

While all declared candidates were on the ballot, the first-tier candidates aside from Perry did not compete. Perry bought hundreds of activists’ breakfasts on the sidelines before heading to Michigan. Romney skipped and didn’t send representatives to the forum.

From Fox News:

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