Saturday, September 29, 2012

Obama & Romney on 60 Minutes

Recently both President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney sat down individually for an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes. From what I can recall, this is the first time both candidates have been so closely associated together in this campaign. The GOP primary included over 20 debates (especially if you count the debates Newt Gingrich would have with other candidates) and after months of campaigning, we have not seen both President Obama and Mitt Romney together. Though the following interviews are not the two together, it is helpful to contrast them in this sort of format.

Enjoy.




HT: Real Clear Politics

All Around the Web: Links For Your Weekend - September 29, 2012



Coming Summer 2013!


WORLD Magazine - Morning-after pills available at 13 NYC schools |

NEW YORK (AP)— The New York City Department of Education is making the morning-after-pill available to high school girls at 13 public schools.

The DOE says girls as young as 14 will be able to get the Plan B emergency contraception without parental consent
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Practical Shepherding - How can a pastor’s sinful desire to feel needed manifest itself in his ministry and family? |

One of the best ways to discourage a pastor is to make him feel he is unneeded.  In fact, a pastor’s desire to feel needed shows itself in a variety of ways.  The most obvious way the desire for significance manifests itself is in the pastor wanting to do all the work.  He has to make every visit.  He has to preach every Sunday.  He has to be at every meeting.  He has to conduct every wedding and funeral.  Because of this desire, he will not delegate tasks.  He will not take his vacation time.  He will not allow others to help.  This controlling posture in the church can easily be camouflaged as faithfulness and zeal to labor hard in the work of the ministry.  However, it eventually leads to two common results:  burn out and family neglect.


ABC News - Generation XXX: Teens Addicted to Porn? | An important piece that everybody needs to watch.




Business Insider - 6 Reasons Why Evolution Isn't A Sure Thing | A rare and welcomed article.

1.  Genetics: Random mutations cause harm to organisms and do not build complexity.
2.  Biochemistry: Random and undirected processes do not seem capable of producing cellular complexity.
3.  Paleontology: The fossil record shows abrupt appearance and generally lacks intermediate fossils.
4.  Taxonomy: Despite DNA discoveries, biologists are failing to reconstruct Darwin’s ‘tree of life’.
5.  Chemistry: The chemical origin of life remains an unsolved mystery.
6.  Icons of Evolution: Textbooks often overstate or misstate key lines of evidence for modern evolutionary theory.


Real Clear Politics - Obama: "I Bear Responsibility For Everything, To Some Degree" |  This goes right up there with "57 States." Click on the link for the video.

Kroft: And you don't bear any responsibility for that?

Obama: Oh, I think that-- you know-- as president I bear responsibility for everything, to some degree and one of the things I've realized over the last two years is that that only happens if I'm enlisting the American people much more aggressively than I did the first two years
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PJ Media - Skewed and Unskewed Polls | This is interesting.

As I pointed out yesterday, the result of Romney’s “really bad week” was that Romney had gone from 5 or 6 points behind in Gallup, to essentially tied. Even so, a number of people have noted that there are some odd assumptions in that poll, and others. . . .

Other polls — including Gallup — apparently have similar assumptions (called “turnout models”) in their polls.

There is a new website, called unskewedpolls.com, that basically reweights the data to fit the Rasmussen party identification. Their results are quite different, giving Romney somewhere between a five and eleven point lead.

Now, this should also be taken with a grain of salt. Basically, they claim (by the site name) to be an unskewed poll. In fact, they’re just a differently skewed take on existing polls. Instead of taking their numbers over, say, Gallup, though, what it should tell us is that even if the polls are being heavily weighted to Obama, Romney’s still essentially tied. Any difference in Romney’s direction in real turnout from the pollster’s assumptions would bring Romney into a lead.



Real Clear Politics - Howard Stern Interviews Obama Supporters 2012 | This is unreal. Though I in noway support Howard Stern and am surprised as anyone that I am posting a clip from his radio show, the following illustrates the trouble we are in. Just listen.



The Blaze - SNL Shows Us the Important Questions Undecided Voters Have: ‘Just What Is Oil? What Is it Used For?’ |



Friday, September 28, 2012

There Will Be Blood: Is Genetic Engineering a Moral Obligation?

A perfect, just, Utopian society is just one simple law and a few improvements in medical science away. All we need to do is open the flood gates to genetic engineering. Not only would diseases be cured and handicaps like Down Syndrome and Trisomy 13 be a thing of the past, but only the best, the brightest, the purest, and the most ethical children would be born.

The Kingdom of God harnessed in a test tube.

Oh, and it would be the ethical thing to do as well. According to Dr. Julian Savulescu, creating so-called designer babies could be considered a "moral obligation" as it makes them grow up into "ethically better children." Like a little girl with her dolls, Dr. Savulescu is wanting parents to design and welcome in only the perfect offspring.  It goes beyond the color of hair, eyes, intelligence, and athletic skill, but to what many like Savulescu assumes would be moral and ethical children who would make the best citizens. These designer babies, fashioned, not in the womb, but under a microscope, would be less likely to "harm themselves and others.

Such a dream world could be ours in just a few generations - once we weed out the non-designed humans like you and I. The catch? Change the laws. Savulescu complains that outside of a few conditions, such screenings, testings, and "designing," are not available legally. Thus if we want to have the perfect society made up of the perfect citizenry, its time to become libertarian on all things prenatal. His dream might be realized soon. Already 90% of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome or some other similar condition are aborted.

But there is another, more destructive catch. What do you do with children conceived that don't fit the bill? What if they don't have the right hair color, intelligence, or "ethics?" Simple. You abort them. They are to be consider simply as medical waste.

This Utopian dream has been regurgitated for centuries, but the last one hundred years has seen it practiced on a mass scale. Adolf Hitler's execution of non-German Aryans is just one example. If you didn't fit the right genetic bill, you were a drain on society's limited resources and an impediment against human progress and evolution. That same language can be found in the likes of Dr. Savulescu.

Evolution cannot progress rapidly enough, the eugenic argument goes, unless intelligent humans weed out the weakest links and wouldn't it be great if we started that process before children were born? But Utopia by the means of eugenics cannot be realized without the mass spilling of blood. Secularism is a theology of blood and murder.

But there is something different going on here. Its not just eugenics that Savulescu is after, but he has a fundamental belief, it seems, in the power of genetics to determine our future. He seems to suggest that we are, in many ways, robots controlled by our genes. The Telegraph reports:

He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality – with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics. 

By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out. 

In the end, he said that "rational design" would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.

So wickedness, crime, sin, violence, malice, etc. are not subject to human nature, but the human genome. Dr. Savulescu presents a worldview that believes that we are controlled by our genes. We are our genetic makeup. This leads to dangerous implications in society. For example, a rapist is a victim of his genes, not a criminal that needs to be punished. In the article, Savulescu is quoted as saying that such genetic designing could screen out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence. He then adds that you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children. . . .  They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others.

Worldviews really do matter.

Savulescu presents all of this murder and blood as ethical. The article concludes with the haunting words: If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring — rather than consigning them to the natural lottery — then we should.

There will be blood.


The Telegraph - Genetically engineering 'ethical' babies is a moral obligation, says Oxford professor


For more:
From White Sheets to White Coats: Abortion and the Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights
Eugenics in the Present Tense: Eugenics in America Today - Part 1
Eugenics in the Present Tense:  Eugenics in America Today - Part 2
Eugenics in the Present Tense:  Eugenics in America Today - Part 3
Abortion Reduction:  The Danger of Compromising on Life
Abortion: Is Common Ground Possible?   
The Follow of Abortion Reduction: A Lesson in Common Sense
Social Conservatives Take Heed: 100 Days of Change
The Slavery of the Unborn: Why Abortion Reduction is Not Pro-Life
From Life to Choice to Economics: A New President and a Change in the Debate Over Life
Colson: The March of Death
"No We Won't": Obama and the Lie of Abortion Reduction
The "Personhood" of Animals: The Argument is Made . . . Again
Hitler Is Alive And Well: Repeating the Mistakes of the Past

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 5

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 1 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 4  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 5

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 1
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 4
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 5
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 6
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 7
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 8  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 9
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 10

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 3 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 10
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 11
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 12
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 13
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 14
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 15
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 16
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 17
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 18
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 19
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 20

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 5


So what are we to do about free will? That million dollar question will not be answered here and we should go ahead and deny all forms of Pelagianism from our discussion. In his book Christianity Theology, Dr. Millard Erickson lays out the argument that God's Plan is one of preordination reminiscent of the traditional Calvinist understanding of Sovereignty and Providence. This conclusion gives naturally to the question of human responsibility. If foreknowledge doesn't go far enough, how does one avoid the accusation of denying human agency?

Erickson begins by making an important point (and this is my language). We must understand what we mean by free will. If by free will we mean that we are without any limitations, then we are hard pressed to believe that we are actually free. Erickson uses the illustration of food of which I will edit. If two dishes are set before me one containing steak and a bake potato (yum) and the other potato salad (yuck) and I freely choose the former, am I really free? Am I not already predisposed to choose the steak and potato because of my genetic makeup? And if I am, then am I truly free?

But take this to the next step. Who gave me that genetic preference for steak and potato? Erickson writes, The Theistic answer is, "God did"* (384) He goes on to add

I am free to choose among various options. But my choice will be influenced by who I am. Therefore, my freedom must be understood as my ability to choose among options in light of who I am. And who I am is a result of God's decision and activity. God is in control of all the circumstances that bear on my situation in life. He may bring to bear (or permit to be brought to bear) facts that will make a particular option appealing, even powerfully appealing, to me. Through all the factors that have come into my experience in time past he has influenced the type of person I now am. Indeed, he has affected what has come to pass by willing that it was I who was brought into being. (384)

But for the purpose of clarity, Erickson offers the following:
Furthermore, in rendering human action certain, God does not merely choose to bring a being into existence and then leave that person to function in a mechanistic, determined world. God is actively at work within this world, including what takes place. . . .

The position being advocated here is what B. B. Warfield regarded as the mildest form of Calvinism (there are, in fact, some Calvinists who would deny that it deserves to be called Calvinistic at all. Warfield termed this position "congruism," for it holds that god works congruously with the will of the individual; that is, God works in such a suasive way with the will of the individual that the person freely makes the choice that God intends. (385)

Erickson then goes to the issue of salvation where he writes, God does not begin by regeneration those he has chosen, transforming their souls so that they believe; rather, he works in an appealing, persuading fashion so that they freely choose to believe, and then he regenerates them. What we are adding to this position is the idea that God is operative in the life of the individual long before his work of suasion and regeneration. (385)

All of this is to emphasize Erickson's point that free will is not as libertarian as it is often presented as. At times Erickson comes off as very Calvinistic, but seems to be hesitant to embrace it fully. It will be interesting to see where he goes with issues of Sovereignty, election, predestination, perseverance of the saints, and providence.


* The full quote reads, There are, then, limitations on who I am and what I desire and will. I certainly did not choose the genes that I have; I did not select my parents or the exact geographical location and cultural setting of my birth. My freedom, therefore, s within these limitations. And here arises the question, "Who set up these factors?" The theistic answer is, "God did." (384)


For More on Erickson:
Where to Begin?: Calvin on the Starting Point of Theology - The Knowledge of God & the Knowledge of Man
Wherefore Art Thou Theological Giants?
On Special Revelation: Dreams, Visions, Theophanies, and the Word of God 
Is Hell Real?: The Difference Between Emergent Agnostic Doctrine & Orthodoxy
Condemnation But No Justification: The Purpose of General Revelation
The Reservoir & Conduit of Divine Truth: Carl FH Henry on Revelation
Where is the Gospel? Charles Hodge & the Insufficiency of Natural Theology 
Exegetical Theology or Theological Exegesis?: DeYoung on the Both/And
A New Kind of Christianity . . . Indeed: The Authority Question - Part 2
Grudem on the Problems With Denying Inerrancy
Inerrancy and the Early Church
Divine Simplicity: Theology Proper For Liberals & Calvinists
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Introduction
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Foundations
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Challenges
"Their God is Too Small": A Review
Tozer on Holiness  
"Knowing God": A Review
Justice and the Implications of Atheism: Doug Wilson Hits the Nail on Its Head
"The God Who Loves" by John MacArthur: A Review
"Godly Jealousy" by Erik Thoennes: A Review
Ryrie on the Names of God
"The Sovereignty of God" by A. W. Pink: A Review
DeYong on the Trinity
Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility
If God is Sovereign, Why Pray: A Few Voices Fromt the Past & Present - Part 1


For more on Creation & Providence:
Blogizomai - A Must Read: Evolution's Theory of Perhapses and Maybes
Blogizomai - Some Things Never Change: Why Evolution Is Contrary to the Gospel
Blogizomai - Doubting Darwinian Fundamentalism: Olasky on Evolution's Heresy Hunters
Blogizomai - On Why Darwin Still Matters
Blogizomai - "Does Revelation Teach Us Evolution?": The Prince of Preachers on the Question of Evolution
Blogizomai - Expelled: A Film About Freedom, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
Blogizomai - The Mising Story: Ida and the Search For Secular Validation
Blogizomai - There Is No Such Thing As Atheists: Hawking's Curious Theism
Blogizomai - Before There Was Time: Hawking on the Origina of Everything
Blogizomai - Evolution Animated & Refuted
Blogizomai - "Our Beliefs Are Formed First": Michael Shermer and the Truth About Science
Blogizomai - "In the Beginning God" by John Lennox
Blogizomai - We're a Bunch of Idiots: The Extent of Vanity Fair's Argument Against Creationism
Blogizomai - Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility
GBC - Luther, Depression, and the Sovereignty of God
GBC - MacDonald on the Sovereignty of God 
GBC - Charles Hodge on Sovereignty 
GBC - God's Sovereignty Defined:  AW Pink on God's Sovereignty 
Theology -  Jim Wallis & Open Theology 
Reviews - "Process Theology"
Theology - Orthopraxy is Rooted in Orthodoxy - The Postmodern Return to Rome

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"John Knox & the Reformation" by M. Lloyd-Jones & Iain Murray: A Review

What do we make of this man [John Knox]? He was a man for his age; a man for his times. Special men are needed for special times; and God always produces such men. A mild man would have been useless in the Scotland of the 16th century, and in many other parts of this country. A strong man was needed, a stern man, a courageous man; and such a man was John Knox. . . . God uses different types of men, and gives them different personalities. Different men are needed at different times. In those times an heroic, rugged character was needed; and God produced the man. (75)

Do a quick web search on books on the great Scottish Reformer John Knox and at the top of that is almost always the book John Knox and the Reformation by Drs. Martin Lloyd-Jones and Iain Murray. A short book numbering 130 pages made up of three essays, two written by Lloyd-Jones, on the life, ministry, impact, legacy, theology, and thought of Knox.

Knox's legacy is mixed at best. As the authors point out, many view Knox in a very negative light. After all, he first arrives in history yielding a double-edge sword and then later makes the queen cry. Many see him as bigoted, angry, and a religious nut. It is for these reasons that secular Scotland has deemed it acceptable to put a parking lot over John Knox's grave. On the other end, however, are those who see Knox as a hero, a spiritual warrior humbled by grace but used mightily by God in the work of the Reformation. It is this latter view which dominates this book.

The book begins with two essays by the late Lloyd-Jones. Manuscripts is a better term. Lloyd-Jones is talking about Knox and making an argument about him rather than writing about him. The first chapter, given at the four hundredth birthday of Knox, calls on the church to remember Knox and his work in Scotland. Lloyd-Jones suggests that the church is in such disarray, and how much more so now!, that the only way forward is for us to go back. He writes:

And then I want to add a third reason. Why are we considering the Reformation of four hundred years ago? Well, if I am to be quite honest, I must confess this is my main reason: because of the state of affairs today. I am primarily a preacher, not a lecturer, not an historian, very fond of history, but not an antiquary, as I have said. No, I am interested in this because, as a preacher, I am concerned about the present state of affairs which is increasingly approximating to the state of affairs that obtained before the Protestant Reformation. You are aware of the state of the morals of this country, and of Great Britain in general, before the Reformation: vice, immorality, sin were rampant. My friends, it is rapidly becoming the same again! there is a woeful moral and social declension. . . .

But it is not only a matter of moral and of social problems. What of the state of the church? . . . We are going back to the pre-Reformation position. . . . Is there anything more characteristic of the church today than doctrinal confusion, doctrinal indifference - a lack of concern and a lack of interest? And then perhaps the most alarming of all, the increase in the power, influence, and numbers of the Church of Rome, and the romanizing tendencies that are coming into and being extolled in the Protestant church! There is no question about this. This is a mere matter of fact and observation. There is an obvious tendency to return to the pre-Reformation position; ceremonies and ritual are increasing and the Word of God is being preached less and less, sermons are becoming shorter and shorter. There is an indifference to true doctrine, a loss of authority, and a consequent declension, even in the matter of numbers. I wonder, Christian people, whether I am exaggerating when I suggest that at the present time we are really engaged in a great struggle for the very life of the Christian church, for the essence of the Christian faith? As I see the situation, it is nothing less alarming than that. We are fighting for an heritage, for the very things that were gained by the tremendous movement of four hundred years ago. That to me is the most urgent reason. We cannot afford luxury of being merely antiquarian; we should be concerned about this because of the state of affairs in which we find ourselves. (10-12)

And it is in this spirit that Lloyd-Jones writes of Knox. The preacher admires the Reformer for his stance on the authority of Scripture, power in the pulpit, and his reformation of the Kirk. And I agree with the Lloyd-Jones here; the only way forward to regain what we have lost and trust God with the rest.

The second chapter is more academic and concerns with Knox's connection with the Puritans. Lloyd-Jones returns with the argument that Knox played a major role in establishing what became the Puritans long before they were born. An interesting proposal - a Scotsman presented as the force behind the English Puritans.

The final chapter is written by Dr. Murray and covers the life, legacy, and impact of the man. It is the longest chapter and the author gives a good summary of the man. Murray, like Lloyd-Jones, notes some of the characteristics of Knox that made him so great and so powerful. He was a man of prayer. He was bold. He was a preacher. He was humble. Etc. The list goes on and on.

Overall, this is a great book. For anyone interested in the Reformation, John Knox, or the Scottish Reformation, this is a must read. Of all of the most known Reformers, Knox is oftentimes mentioned last if mentioned at all. His legacy has been tarnished by a cowardly church and a secular culture. Both Lloyd-Jones and Murray shows us why Knox still matters and as we quickly approach the 500th birthday celebration of this man of God (2014), we should take him more seriously and be humble enough to go back in order to go forward.


This book was given to me free of charge by Banner of Truth Trust for the purpose of this review.


For more on Knox:
"John Knox: An Introduction to His Life and Works" - A Review
"The Mighty Weakness of John Knox" by Douglas Bond: A Review
"John Knox" by Rosalind K. Marshall
Douglas Bond on the Legacy of John Knox


For more on the Reformation:
"The Reformation for Armchair Theologians" by Glenn S. Sunshine: A Review
The Theology of the Reformers  
The Unquenchable Flame  
"On the Necessity of Reforming the Church" by John Calvin
John Calvin:  A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology 
Christianity's Dangerous Idea
"Five Leading Reformers"     
 Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In 
He Turned the Water Into Wine: MacArthur, Alcohol, & Christian Liberty
Theology Thursday | Calvin on the Redemptive Necessity of the Resurrection
Calvinist Baptists and the Many (False) Misconceptions
"Without the Gospel": A Gem From John Calvin
Calvin on God in Theology and the Christian Life
Calvin on Providence
Calvin on Treasures in Heaven
Calvin on Fasting
Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?

All Around the Web: Links For Your Wednesday - September 26, 2012



HT: The Blaze 


Bock's Blog - Quick Thoughts on the New Jesus Wife Text |

It is a small text with no context.

It is a late text (4th century), if the dating given is right.

It would be nice to know where the text came from on the collector's market. It is a text without any real setting right now, just a date and a few broken lines.

It needs a larger public vetting by experts (like being in the first quarter of a game and asking for comment on the whole).

What is more, in Gnostic Christianity, there was a rite called the bridal chamber in which the church was seen as the bride of Christ. The whole thing could well be metaphorical with a disciple representing the place of the church. If that is the case, then it is not even a claim that Jesus was married in real life to a single person
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Dr. Denny Burk - Same-Sex Marriage Poised To Win Popular Vote |

Whether or not this polling proves to be accurate remains to be seen. Nevertheless, gay marriage supporters are feeling the wind at their backs at this point.

None of this is surprising. The demographics have been moving against traditional marriage for some time now. My generation and younger are simply more accepting of same-sex marriage than their parents were. The result is that the more time passes, the more people there are who support gay marriage and the less there are that oppose it.

What does that mean for Christians? It means that we are quickly moving into to a minority status on the marriage issue. It also means that we can’t be putting our finger to the cultural wind to see what we ought to believe about sexual morality. At the end of the day, the Christian view of marriage doesn’t change even if our culture does. It will fall to us to bear witness to the truth in the coming days, even in the face of opposition. And the opposition will come.

Read the rest of the story here.


Ben Witherington III - BW3 on Jesus’ Wife? |




Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. - ‘Staying in His Lane’ — Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Affirmation without Salvation | Dido.

She established the perfect platform for Osteen to respond with the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he did not. “Well, Soledad, I don’t necessarily focus on that. I only talk about that in interviews,” he said.

So this pastor only talks about sin on television interviews, and then only when forced to do so. He then attempted to broaden the talk of sin to being critical and even “being negative.”

Osteen tried to explain that he tries to avoid such issues intentionally. “I think part of my, if you want to call it success, I’ve stayed in my lane and my lane is listing people’s spirits and there are issues that good, Bible-believing people see on both sides of the fence.” . . .

Viewers of CNN saw a display of confusion, evasion, and equivocation coming from one presented as a Christian pastor. What they were really seeing is the total theological bankruptcy of the word of faith movement and the gospel of positive thinking. Osteen cannot, or at least will not, speak even the simplest word of biblical conviction. He states his intention to stay in his “lane” of glib affirmation.

Affirmation is important, and humans crave it. But affirmation as a sinner is the worst possible form of pastoral malpractice. Christianity is based on the truth that sinners need a Savior, not merely a coach or a therapist.

Joel Osteen’s appearance on CNN Thursday revealed little that is new. It was Osteen as always — evasive and confused, but constantly smiling. This is now his calculated and well-practiced approach. He offered no word of the gospel, and no reference to Jesus Christ, but he was introduced as “one of the most recognizable faces of Christianity in America today.”

There, for all to see, was Joel Osteen … staying in his lane
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Ligonier - What Does Sola Scriptura Mean?

The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. It is not a claim that all truth of every kind is found in Scripture. The most ardent defender of sola Scriptura will concede, for example, that Scripture has little or nothing to say about DNA structures, microbiology, the rules of Chinese grammar, or rocket science. This or that “scientific truth,” for example, may or may not be actually true, whether or not it can be supported by Scripture—but Scripture is a “more sure Word,” standing above all other truth in its authority and certainty. It is “more sure,” according to the apostle Peter, than the data we gather firsthand through our senses (2 Peter 1:19). Therefore, Scripture is the highest and supreme authority on any matter on which it speaks.

But there are many important questions on which Scripture is silent. Sola Scriptura makes no claim to the contrary. Nor does sola Scriptura claim that everything Jesus or the apostles ever taught is preserved in Scripture. It only means that everything necessary, everything binding on our consciences, and everything God requires of us is given to us in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3).


Dr. Denny Burk - The 9/11 Surfer |


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Dick Morris - Why The Polls Under State Romney Vote | Morris remains a bit optimistic to me, but I do believe that the polls are a bit skewed whether on purpose or not. Here is another article from Morris on why he believes that the polls are actually favoring Romney.

Normally, this task is not difficult. Over the years, the black, Latino, young, and elderly proportion of the electorate has been fairly constant from election to election, except for a gradual increase in the Hispanic vote. You just need to look back at the last election to weight your polling numbers for this one.

But 2008 was no ordinary election. Blacks, for example, usually cast only 11% of the vote, but, in 2008, they made up 14% of the vote. Latinos increased their share of the vote by 1.5% and college kids almost doubled their vote share. Almost all pollsters are using the 2008 turnout models in weighting their samples. Rasmussen, more accurately, uses a mixture of 2008 and 2004 turnouts in determining his sample. That’s why his data usually is better for Romney.

But polling indicates a widespread lack of enthusiasm among Obama’s core demographic support due to high unemployment, disappointment with his policies and performance, and the lack of novelty in voting for a black candidate now that he has already served as president. . . .

But the fact is that the undecided vote always goes against the incumbent. In 1980 (the last time an incumbent Democrat was beaten), for example, the Gallup Poll of October 27th had Carter ahead by 45-39.  Their survey on November 2nd showed Reagan catching up and leading by three points. In the actual voting, the Republican won by nine. The undecided vote broke sharply — and unanimously — for the challenger.

An undecided voter has really decided not to back the incumbent. He just won’t focus on the race until later in the game
.


Politico - Republican Poll Anaylsis: Romney Winning with Middle-Class Families | I struggle knowing which poll to believe now, but the argument put forward here makes sense. I predict that Obama will win the lower class vote because of entitlements and I do believe that Romney will win the middle class vote. Upper class remains a mystery to me. Can you say class warfare Mr. President?

We took a special look at middle-class voters, and middle-class families in particular, in this latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll and found that not to be the case. In fact, on every measure it is Romney who is winning the battle for the support of middle-class families. 

Overall, Obama leads Romney by just 3 points on the ballot (50 percent to 47 percent) – which before we rounded up, is actually a 2.6 point lead and only up a half-a-percentage point from the 2.1 point lead for Obama in our last Battleground poll in early August.  In our latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll with middle-class families, which comprise about 54 percent of the total American electorate and usually split in their vote behavior between Republicans and Democrats, Romney holds a 14-point advantage (55 percent to 41 percent).  Middle-class families are more inclined to believe the country is on the wrong track (34 percent right direction, 62 percent wrong track), are more likely to hold an unfavorable view of Obama (48 percent favorable, 51 percent unfavorable), and hold a more favorable view of Romney (51 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable) and Paul Ryan (46 percent favorable, 35 percent unfavorable) than the overall electorate.  These middle-class families also hold a majority disapproval rating on the job Obama is doing as president (45 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove), and turn even more negative toward  Obama on specific areas; the economy 56 percent disapprove; spending 61 percent disapprove; taxes, 53 percent disapprove; Medicare 48 percent disapprove; and even foreign policy 50 percent disapprove.






HT: The Point

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 4

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 1 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 4  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 5

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 1
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 4
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 5
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 6
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 7
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 8  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 9
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 10

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 3 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 10
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 11
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 12
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 13
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 14
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 15
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 16
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 17
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 18
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 19
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 20

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 4 


Clearly from Erickson's perspective and from his understanding of the text, and I think he is right, God's plans are not merely foreknown, as common defined by more Arminian theologians, but are preordained. In the following quote, Dr. Millard Erickson lays out the case for why this is and why Arminianism simply does not hold up to the biblical evidence.

Despite difficulties in relating divine sovereignty to human freedom, we nonetheless come to the conclusion on biblical grounds that the plan of God is unconditional rather than conditional on human choice. There simply is nothing in the Bible to suggest that God chooses humans because of what they are going to do on their own. The Arminian concept of foreknowledge . . ., appealing thought it is, is not borne out by Scripture. The word means more than simply having advance knowledge or precognition of what is to come. It appears to have in its background the Hebrew concept of [yada'], which often meant more than simple awareness. It suggested a kind of intimate knowledge . . . When Paul says that God foreknew the people of Israel, he is not referring merely to an advance knowledge that God had. Indeed, it is clear that God's choice of Israel was not on the basis of advance knowledge of a favorable response on their part. had God anticipated such a response, he would certainly have been wrong. Note that in Romans 11:2 Paul says, "God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew" and that a discussion of the faithlessness of Israel follows. Certainly in this passage foreknowledge must mean something more than advance knowledge. . . .

Furthermore, there are passages where the unconditional nature of God's selecting plan is made quite explicit. This is seen in Paul's statement regarding the choice of Jacob over Esau . . . (Rom. 9:11-13). Paul seems to be taking great pains to emphasize the unmerited or unconditional nature of God's choice of Jacob. Later in the same chapter Paul comments, "Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden" (v. 18). The import of the subsequent image of the potter and the clay is very difficult to escape (vv. 20-24). Similarly Jesus told his disciples, "you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last" (John 15:16). Because of these and similar considerations, we must conclude that the plan of God is unconditional rather than conditional on foreseen human actions. -382-383

For many who embrace a more Calvinistic understanding of Sovereignty, Providence, etc. the "revelation" comes from the overwhelming biblical evidence.  When Paul says that God chose Jacob over Esau for no other reason than he chose Jacob, what is an Arminian to do? This is not a denial of free will, and I'm sure Erickson will deal with that soon, but an acknowledgement of what the text says.

This forces me to ask why the God presented here in this systematic theology textbook is so often rejected. The biblical record seems pretty clear when it is presented as is - without explanation, without philosophy, without justification. Scripture clearly presents a God who has preordained everything under His good creation. If this is the case, and again I think it is, one must assume that those who try to either deny this or redefine it are limited in their reasoning. They cannot use the whole biblical record - the evidence is too great - but must instead turn to philosophy, experience, or other forms of anthropocentric reasoning.


For More on Erickson:
Where to Begin?: Calvin on the Starting Point of Theology - The Knowledge of God & the Knowledge of Man
Wherefore Art Thou Theological Giants?
On Special Revelation: Dreams, Visions, Theophanies, and the Word of God 
Is Hell Real?: The Difference Between Emergent Agnostic Doctrine & Orthodoxy
Condemnation But No Justification: The Purpose of General Revelation
The Reservoir & Conduit of Divine Truth: Carl FH Henry on Revelation
Where is the Gospel? Charles Hodge & the Insufficiency of Natural Theology 
Exegetical Theology or Theological Exegesis?: DeYoung on the Both/And
A New Kind of Christianity . . . Indeed: The Authority Question - Part 2
Grudem on the Problems With Denying Inerrancy
Inerrancy and the Early Church
Divine Simplicity: Theology Proper For Liberals & Calvinists
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Introduction
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Foundations
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Challenges
"Their God is Too Small": A Review
Tozer on Holiness  
"Knowing God": A Review
Justice and the Implications of Atheism: Doug Wilson Hits the Nail on Its Head
"The God Who Loves" by John MacArthur: A Review
"Godly Jealousy" by Erik Thoennes: A Review
Ryrie on the Names of God
"The Sovereignty of God" by A. W. Pink: A Review
DeYong on the Trinity
Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility
Ware on the Trinity & Relationships 
All Aspects of Our Lives Are Preordained: Grudem on Providence & God's Plan


For more on Creation & Providence:
Blogizomai - A Must Read: Evolution's Theory of Perhapses and Maybes
Blogizomai - Some Things Never Change: Why Evolution Is Contrary to the Gospel
Blogizomai - Doubting Darwinian Fundamentalism: Olasky on Evolution's Heresy Hunters
Blogizomai - On Why Darwin Still Matters
Blogizomai - "Does Revelation Teach Us Evolution?": The Prince of Preachers on the Question of Evolution
Blogizomai - Expelled: A Film About Freedom, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
Blogizomai - The Mising Story: Ida and the Search For Secular Validation
Blogizomai - There Is No Such Thing As Atheists: Hawking's Curious Theism
Blogizomai - Before There Was Time: Hawking on the Origina of Everything
Blogizomai - Evolution Animated & Refuted
Blogizomai - "Our Beliefs Are Formed First": Michael Shermer and the Truth About Science
Blogizomai - "In the Beginning God" by John Lennox
Blogizomai - We're a Bunch of Idiots: The Extent of Vanity Fair's Argument Against Creationism
Blogizomai - Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility
GBC - Luther, Depression, and the Sovereignty of God
GBC - MacDonald on the Sovereignty of God 
GBC - Charles Hodge on Sovereignty 
GBC - God's Sovereignty Defined:  AW Pink on God's Sovereignty 
Theology -  Jim Wallis & Open Theology 
Reviews - "Process Theology"
Theology - Orthopraxy is Rooted in Orthodoxy - The Postmodern Return to Rome

Listen to & Download Propoganda's Album "Excellent"

Christian hip-hop has come a long way. It is only in recent years that it has gained legitimate respect and some of the best beats, songs, lyrics, and rappers are coming from Christians who rap an unapologetic Christian. message. Lecrae is only the tip of the iceberg.

Today one Christian rap artist, Propaganda (Facebook, Twitter), released his latest album "Excellent" and Rapzilla offers a free stream of the album online. You can listen to the album, thanks to Rapzilla, below. You can also download the album for free from the Humble Beast Records site.

I have listened to the whole album through once and consider it his best effort. I love the touch that Beautiful Eulogy has added to the record. I agree with Joe Thorn who says that this is an album meant for us to argue with him. This is not an album one can just listen to for the sake of music, rather it is to strike dialogue and to challenge our preconceptions. Take the song "Precious Puritans" for example. He attacks the racism of our Christian ancestors and asks the question how can we listen to them when they mistreated blacks and other races in the name of Christ. A pickle of a question that is rarely asked. We just sweep it under the rug. But the conclusion is significant. We are errant just like them. God takes our imperfection - our crooked sticks - and makes straight lines. Praise God!

I don't agree with everything on the album, but I appreciate his skill, his voice, his thoughts, and his ability to use rap as a medium to challenge the listener. One of the problems with secular music, and secular rap, is its simplicity. Christian rap, I have found, is much more intellectually stimulating, challenging, and meaningful.

Here is the album stream:




Propoganda is best known for his viral YouTube video G.O.S.P.E.L. Here is is.




I also recommend the following song featuring Propaganda from Lecrae's "Church Clothes" album, which you can download for free here, called "Misconception."





For more on the album:
Joe Thorn - Propaganda: Excellent
Jesus Freak Hideout - Propaganda: Excellent
YouTube - Propaganda & 'Excellent' (@prophiphop @rapzilla) 


For more:
A Beautiful Eulogy 
Listen To & Download Lecrae's "Church Clothes" For Free
The Gospel Illustrated 
Some of Their Best: DC Talk
GBC - Flame- The Great Deception
GBC - Trip Lee - "War"
GBC - FLAME - Power [with Rap-Along lyrics]
GBC -  Shai Linne: Triune Praise

Monday, September 24, 2012

On the Reformation: An Interview With Glenn S. Sunshine

The Reformation is one of the most important, history shaping periods of history. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg Castle Church door, the world changed. In his book The Reformation For Armchair Theologians (read my review here), historian Glenn Sunshine offers a helpful summation of the Reformation from the pre-Reformation era to the post-Reformation era. The book is meant for general audiences, both those brand new to this period of history and those with some limited familiarity. He covers both the theological and the political aspects of the Reformation in a readable format and style.

Dr. Sunshine has a Ph. D. in Renaissance-Reformation History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taught at Calvin College, the German Military University in Hamburg, and Central Connecticut State University. His books include The Reformation For Armchair Theologians, Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home, and Reforming French Protestantism: The Development of Huguenot Ecclesiastical Institutions, 1557-1572, among many other articles.

Dr. Sunshine was kind enough to answer a few questions in regards to the Reformation in general and his book The Reformation For Armchair Theologians in particular.


Why should people study the Reformation and the Reformers?

It’s a tremendously interesting and fun period that helped shape the world we live in; it’s full of interesting and colorful characters and stories; and if you have any interest in Christianity, you can’t understand the history of the church and its role in modern society without understanding the movements and trends that were put in place by the Reformation. It also shows the interaction of “church history” and “secular history” in very pointed ways that demonstrate that our faith does not exist in a vacuum or as a purely intellectual exercise. Rather, it needs to be appropriated and lived out in the unique circumstances that face us and needs to respond dynamically to the culture while also working to shape and change culture. And for Protestants especially, it helps us know our roots and rediscover what we’re about and why we focus on the things we do.


You mention several times in your book that John Calvin did not place as heavy an emphasis on what we now call "The Five Points of Calvinism" as most would assume Could you explain this?

The Five Points were formulated after Calvin’s death to respond to the five points raised by Arminius and the Remonstrants. I think they are faithful to Calvin’s theology, but he never formulated them that way, and he never emphasized those points to the degree that his later followers and interpreters did. The reason is simple: Calvin thought that they were taught in Scripture and so pastors and theologians needed to know about them, but they were much less important in practical terms for lay people. He thought people would get overly concerned about those and go off the deep end focusing on them without paying attention to the more important matters of trust and obedience. So he preferred to emphasize those issues rather than the more difficult theological fine points.


You write on page 175, The Remonstrants, meanwhile, continued to protest the [Synod of Dort's] decisions and grew progressively more rationalistic and theologically liberal as time went on, even welcoming Socianians . . . into their seminaries. Do you see this as a common trajectory of non-Calvinists? That is to say, Arminian movements appear to historically move in the direction of Pelagianism or liberalism. Would you say that that is accurate?

Not all Arminians do. I know a lot of fundamentalist Arminians that are anything but liberal, and there are conservative Wesleyans. I think it is accurate to say that theological liberals tend toward either Arminianism or Universalism, but I don’t think Arminians necessarily end up there. There is probably a connection between Arminianism and semi-Pelagianism, however, since your salvation is ultimately in your hands. You can even look at believing as the “work” that saves you.


In your opinion, is the Reformation over?

It ought to be. The Catholic Church has come very far to the Protestant side on some of the key issues that separated them, including particularly some very surprising statements about justification by faith. They’ve signed statements affirming common ground with Lutherans and Evangelicals, among others, and while differences remain, there’s enough common ground to work together, particularly in light of some of the very serious challenges we’re facing today.


With that said, do you see the movement led by people like the late Charles Colson called Evangelical and Catholics Together a refreshing and good movement that Protestants should embrace? Do you see the debate over the justification by faith alone and sola Scriptura now over between Protestants and Catholics? Would Martin Luther, if he lived today, be as anti-Roman Catholic as he was in the 16th Century and vice versa?

I think ECT is a good thing, along with other collaborative projects like the Manhattan Declaration. Neither tries to paper over the real differences between us, but they recognize the common ground that exists between the two. Given the degree that the papacy has moved on the issue of justification, I think there’s great cause for hope that the rest of the Catholic Church will follow suit, but it’s a large and cumbersome organization that will take time to turn. Not engaging with them will not be helpful in this process. If Luther came around today, I think he would find he could work with Benedict on a number of important points, and I’m not sure the split would necessarily have happened. On the other hand, Luther was also big on several other issues beside justification, and it isn’t clear to me he wouldn’t have split over those. But I think the Luther up to 1520 at least would not have done so if he were faced with someone with Benedict’s views. And, of course, the Council of Trent would not have hardened the theological categories so much, so Luther’s views on e.g. the Eucharist, papal authority, and Mariology might have been considered within the range of Catholic theology, so the other issues might not have been as important.


What are some other books you would recommend for those who are wanting to take the next step in learning about the Reformation after reading yours?

I would suggest people read some of the primary sources. Luther has some great pieces (and can be very funny), and Calvin’s discussion of prayer in the Institutes is considered to this day to be one of the great devotional classics of the church. There are some real gems there that can stretch your thinking and your faith tremendously.


For more books on the Reformation:
"The Mighty Weakness of John Knox" by Douglas Bond: A Review
"John Knox" by Rosalind K. Marshall
"Young, Restless, and Reformed"
The Theology of the Reformers  
The Unquenchable Flame  
"On the Necessity of Reforming the Church" by John Calvin
John Calvin:  A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology 
Christianity's Dangerous Idea
"Five Leading Reformers"    


For more on the theology of the Reformation:
Douglas Bond on the Legacy of John Knox
Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In 
He Turned the Water Into Wine: MacArthur, Alcohol, & Christian Liberty
Theology Thursday | Calvin on the Redemptive Necessity of the Resurrection
Calvinist Baptists and the Many (False) Misconceptions
"Without the Gospel": A Gem From John Calvin
Calvin on God in Theology and the Christian Life
Calvin on Providence
Calvin on Treasures in Heaven
Calvin on Fasting
Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?

All Around the Web: Links For Your Monday - September 24, 2012

Wall Street Journal - Stephens: Muslims, Mormons and Liberals

So let's get this straight: In the consensus view of modern American liberalism, it is hilarious to mock Mormons and Mormonism but outrageous to mock Muslims and Islam. Why? Maybe it's because nobody has ever been harmed, much less killed, making fun of Mormons. 

Here's what else we learned this week about the emerging liberal consensus: That it's okay to denounce a movie you haven't seen, which is like trashing a book you haven't read. That it's okay to give perp-walk treatment to the alleged—and no doubt terrified—maker of the film on legally flimsy and politically motivated grounds of parole violation. That it's okay for the federal government publicly to call on Google to pull the video clip from YouTube in an attempt to mollify rampaging Islamists. That it's okay to concede the fundamentalist premise that religious belief ought to be entitled to the highest possible degree of social deference—except when Mormons and sundry Christian rubes are concerned.

And, finally, this: That the most "progressive" administration in recent U.S. history will make no principled defense of free speech to a Muslim world that could stand hearing such a defense. After the debut of "The Book of Mormon" musical, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded with this statement: "The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

That was it. The People's Front for the Liberation of Provo will not be gunning for a theater near you. Is it asking too much of religious and political leaders in Muslim communities to adopt a similar attitude?


The Point (John Stonestreet) - The Slippery Slope | Those who deny the slippery slope especially when it comes to sexual ethics simply don't have their eyes open.

In July, TIME Magazine interviewed the Dargers, a polygamous family who star in the new TLC reality show, “Sister Wives.” The Dargers say they’re “coming out of the closet” because homosexuality has already blazed the trail for them.

This month, Fox News reported that Nick Cassavetes, who directed the film, “The Notebook,” is now looking for a studio for his new film about a romance between a brother and sister.

As Vice President Joe Biden admitted earlier this year, it was entertainment like the TV show “Will and Grace,” which changed our culture’s attitude about homosexuality. Now entertainment is dealing with polygamy and incest. I’ll give you two guesses what the next sexual rights movement will be.


CNN - Joel Osteen Explains stance on homosexuality | The title is very misleading. Osteen has the spine of a jellyfish.





Voice of the Martyrs - Pastor Youcef writes letter of thanks |

I also want to express my gratitude towards those who, all around the world, have worked for my cause, or should I say the cause that I defend. I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have supported me, openly or in complete secrecy. You are all very dear to my heart. May the Lord bless you and give you His perfect and sovereign Grace.

Indeed I have been put to the test, the test of faith which is, according to the Scriptures “more precious than perishable gold.” But I have never felt loneliness, I was all the time aware of the fact that it wasn’t a solitary battle, for I have felt all the energy and support of those who obeyed their conscience and fought for the promotion of the justice and the rights of all human beings. Thanks to these efforts, I have now the enormous joy to be by my wonderful wife and my children. I am grateful for these people through whom God has been working. All of this is very encouraging.

During that period, I had the opportunity to experience in a marvellous way the Scripture that says: “Indeed, as the sufferings of Christ abound for us, our encouragement abound through Christ.” He has comforted my family and has given them the means to face that difficult situation. In His Grace, He provided for their spiritual and material needs, taking away from me a heavy weight
.


The Blaze - Woman Convicted of Murder After Slicing Out an Unborn Baby From a Pregnant Woman’s Womb | She is charged with double homicide - the mother and the unborn child. If she had been wearing a white coat working for Planned Parenthood and the mother walked in, it would be called choice.

A Milwaukee woman who confessed to trying to steal a baby by attacking a pregnant woman and slicing out her full-term fetus was convicted Thursday of killing them both.


Les Miserables.