Thursday, July 18, 2013

All Around the Web - July 18, 2013

Out of Ur - Evangelicals Are Too Political & Other Popular Myths |

Since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 last week, it seems everyone with a keyboard has been analyzing the implications of the decisions. What does it mean for the gay rights movement? What does it mean for social conservatives? What does it mean for churches and religious liberty? Understandably many saw last week’s rulings as a significant victory for the LGBTQ community, and a seismic defeat for politically-organized evangelicals.

Critics outside the church say it is time for evangelicals to admit defeat and lay down their culture war weapons. Voices inside the church, like John Dickerson, echo this call. Last week in The Washington Post Dickerson wrote, “The repeal of DOMA proves that political involvement–useful as it may have once been—cannot stop the change of culture.” And, “The fall of DOMA demonstrates the end of investing too much into political involvement.”

On the surface I agree with Dickerson and others who warn evangelicals of the perils of social engineering through politics. I have issued such warnings myself. But as I’ve absorbed media reporting in the wake of the SCOTUS rulings from both Christians and non-Christians, I’ve grown increasingly confused by the assumption surrounding evangelical political activism. Have evangelicals really been “investing too much into political involvement”? And has evangelical political engagement really come at the expense of engaging other streams of the culture? Finally, does the perception of evangelicals as rabidly political fit with reality?


Grace to You - Who Were the Zwickau Prophets? |







Transformed - The Affairs of Pastors |
  1. Everyone is vulnerable.  From King David to Gordon MacDonald, even some of the best leaders stumble.  This means that every single pastor is capable of having an affair. 
  2. Know your commitment.  An excellent leader and great friend of mine, Jonathan Bow, reminds his congregation often that a man should NOT be committed to his marriage, but should be committed to his wife (and vice versa for a wife to be committed to her husband). 
  3. Allow temptation to guide you to the gospel.  Every temptation is an indicator that something is off.  When a pastor is tempted to break the bonds of marriage, the temptation can actually serve as a helpful starting point for discerning what is out of alignment with the pastor’s life.   
  4. Back up your behaviors with character.  Too much marriage-saving advice hinges on surface behaviors.
  5. Nurture a gospel-centered character.  It’s important to have honest conversations with yourself and with God about your temptations, vulnerabilities, and longings.
  6. Put marriage in its place. 
  7. Finally, an affair is not the end of the story.

The Resurgence - Handling Scripture like John Calvin |

1. Scripture should be treated with reverence.
2. Scripture proves itself to be the Word of God.
3. Scripture teaches us about God and idols - and how to discern between the two.
4. Scripture doesn't always teach what we'd like it to teach.
5. Scripture enables pastors in all aspects of ministry.


Washington Post - Balz book: Romney considered scrapping bid in spring of 2011 |

Mitt Romney officially announced his candidacy for president in June 2011. But during the spring of that year, Romney considered scrapping his campaign altogether, as detailed in a soon-to-be-released book about the 2012 presidential campaign by The Washington Post’s Dan Balz.

Then in the exploratory committee phase of his campaign, Romney was preparing on a May morning to deliver a speech in Michigan to defend the health care plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts and attack President Obama’s federal health care measure. The Wall Street Journal released a scathing op-ed that same day slamming the Republican over his Massachusetts plan.
Romney’s eldest son Tagg got a message from his father early that morning, he told Balz. “I’m going to tell them I’m out,” Tagg Romney recalled his father telling him. “He said there’s no path to win the nomination.”

Romney confirmed after the election that he called his son one morning to tell him he thought he wasn’t going to run. “I recognized that by virtue of the realities of my circumstances, there were some drawbacks to my candidacy for a lot of Republican voters,” he told Balz in January. “One, because I had a health care plan in Massachusetts that had been copied in some respects by the president, that I would be tainted by that feature. I also realized that being a person of wealth, I would be pilloried by the president as someone who, if you use the term of the day, was in the 1 percent.”
The book, titled “Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America,” is due out Aug. 6. It details the 2012 White House race through Election Day and its aftermath.




HT: 22 Words
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