Saturday, June 16, 2012

All Around the Web: Links For Your Weekend - June 16, 2012

Christianity Today - Gay community split on same-sex marriage | Don't ever here this statistic/poll.

A new poll has found that only half of gays and lesbians view marriage as "personally important".
Polling and research company ComRes conducted the poll to see where the homosexual community stands on the government's proposal to change the law on marriage to include same-sex couples.

Among the significant findings, 26 per cent of homosexual respondents said they believe there is no need to redefine marriage since civil partnerships already give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones.

However, most gay people, 77 per cent, also disagree that marriage should be only between a man and a woman, and 72 per cent said that the real point of marriage was the love between two people, rather than raising children.


Dr. Denny Burk - Explosive Study on Children of Homosexual Parents |

Regnerus’ study is not light reading. But if you want to see it for yourself with all the data included, you can do so here. Regnerus has a non-technical summary of the article here. The study does not focus on stable same-sex couples raising children. This is surely to become a point of contention in discussions about this article. Indeed, you can read Time magazine’s critique along these lines here.

What are we as Christians to make of a study like this one? I think there is some value in studies that confirm what the Bible says promotes the public good and human flourishing. The problem with social scientific research is that the methodology and the assumptions of the researchers often shape the outcomes. While I’m sure that Regnerus’ study was well-founded and carefully done, I’m just as sure that other studies with different methodologies and different assumptions will come forth to challenge this one.

What that means is that social scientific surveys are not at the end of the day what binds our consciences to the norm of heterosexual marriage. Studies have some use in the public discourse, but our ultimate authority is the word of God. Here we take our stand, even when the studies disagree.

Having said that, this study adds a significant wrinkle to public conversation about same-sex marriage. That conversation is far from over.


Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. - Recommended Reading: The Summer Reading List for 2012 |

1. Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity (Simon and Schuster, 2012)
2. Lisa Alther, Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys–The Epic Story of Murder and Vengeance (Lyons Press, 2012).
3. Paul Ingrassia, Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars (Simon and Schuster, 2012).
4. Frank Deford, Over Time: My Career as a Sportswriter (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012).
5. Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012).
6. Henry A. Crumpton, The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service (The Penguin Press, 2012).
7. James Donovan, The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo–and the Sacrifice that Forged a Nation (Little, Brown, and Company, 2012).
8. Tim Brady, Twelve Desperate Miles: The Epic World War II Voyage of the SS Contessa (Crown Publishers, 2012).
9. Walter R. Borneman, The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King — The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea (Little, Brown and Company, 2012).
10. Joe Jackson, Atlantic Fever: Lindbergh, His Contemporaries, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012).


Gospel Coalition - 3 Reflections on Leading Your Family Well | Amen!

1. The church can get another pastor, but your kids can't get another dad.
2. The church can get another pastor, but your wife has only one husband---and she needs a good one.
3. A day off is not just a good idea---it is essential.


USA Today - Column: Why top court is a key 2012 issue | In case you needed another reason why the 2012 Presidential election is so crucial to the future of the country. Also, don't forget that next year and the years to follow there will be a lot of central issues debated including gay marriage.

The late Supreme Court justice William Brennan used to say that five was the most important number — the number of justices needed to win a majority on a nine-member court. This presidential election year, the most important numbers at the court could be 79, 76, 75 and 73. Those are the ages, respectively, of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer.

While all four justices appear healthy — most remarkably Justice Ginsburg, who has beaten cancer twice— the fact remains that during the next presidential term of office, a stalwart liberal (Ginsburg), a combative conservative (Scalia) and a usually conservative swing voter (Kennedy) will reach the age of 80. And Breyer, also a steady liberal, will be approaching octogenarian status. That means that whoever is elected president might have a very rare opportunity to alter the direction of a closely divided court for decades to come.
It is difficult to predict the contrasting paths with precision. Many factors go into a president's choice of a Supreme Court nominee, including pressure from a Senate that might not be dominated by the president's party. But this much can be said: If a President Romney gets to appoint replacements for liberals Ginsburg and Breyer, then abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action and campaign-finance reform could well be in serious jeopardy. If President Obama gets to replace conservatives Scalia and Kennedy, then those doctrines will probably be safer, while regulation of the environment, gun rights, property rights and corporations could win more favor.

The Resurgence - Helpful Books on the History of Atonement Theology | A good beginning list.

Hengel, Martin. The Atonement: The Origins of the Doctrine in the New Testament.
McGrath, Alister E. Luther’s Theology of the Cross.
Moltmann, Jurgen. The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology.
Shaw, Ian J., and Brian H. Edwards. The Divine Substitute: The Atonement in the Bible and History.
Tomlin, Graham. The Power of the Cross: Theology and the Death of Christ in Paul, Luther, and Pascal.


Washington Post - Obama is Killing the Democratic Party | Here's an article you won't see very often.

Not even Jimmy Carter did this much, I would suggest, to jerk his party to the left and hobble its electoral prospects. No wonder Clinton is on a rampage. 

Rather than spin endless excuses and blame it all on money, liberal elites might want to reconsider tying themselves too tightly to Obama’s mast. They have already become quite whiny and sacrificed a good deal of intellectual rigor in trying to defend every misstep as brilliant and every loss as a win.

They should take a page from the conservative playbook from the second Bush term. Then, conservatives stuck by their principles, criticized him where appropriate and maintained their integrity. That was a wise choice. Presidents, especially inept ones, come and go, but parties, journalists and political movements need to endure more than four years.

Real Clear Politics - Obama Ad: Romney "Number One In State Debt" | Is it just me or is this the worst ad for President Obama? His argument is that deficet spending didn't create jobs in Massacheusetts.  Isn't that what we did nationally in 2009?


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