Saturday, September 14, 2013

All Around the Web - September 14, 2013

Denny Burk - Okay to change a child’s sex but not his gender? | Why it is ok to change one's gender, but not their sexual "orientation?"

James Kushiner asks an insightful question that exposes the moral confusion of our day. In essence he asks why it should be legal to change a child’s sex but not his gender.

The question is provoked by the recent bill signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The law prohibits any attempt to change a child’s “gender expression.” That means that if a parent has a young boy who likes to put on dresses and wear make-up, New Jersey law prohibits licensed counselors from helping that boy. Counselors must approve and support whatever gender that child chooses regardless of the child’s sex. This law reveals the rising social stigma in our culture against anyone who attempts to alter a child’s gender identity.

But what about altering a child’s sex? While there is a growing stigma attached to altering gender identity, there is a growing acceptance of surgical procedures that would “alter” a child’s biological sex. The New Yorker reports on a suburban teenage girl who wished to embrace a male gender identity. Her parents allowed her to begin testosterone therapy when she was fourteen, and just before her seventeenth birthday they allowed her to get a double mastectomy. Now she is living out a male identity, although she says she still prefers to date boys.

Practical Shepherding - What are 10 lessons I have learned from pastoring the same church for 10 years?

1) God’s Word is sufficient to build Christ’s church.
2)  The Gospel is powerful enough to change lives.
3)  Hang on to your family.
4)  Don’t underestimate the value of older members.
5)  Pursue to be wanted, but not needed.
6)  Don’t neglect your own soul.
7)  Faithfulness is worth the harshest of criticisms.
8)  Training men for ministry is an unspeakable joy.
9)  The burden to care for souls is too great for one man.
10)  Pastors will give an account for all souls under our care

Albert Mohler - The Sheer Weightlessness of So Many Sermons—Why Expository Preaching Matters

If preaching is central to Christian worship, what kind of preaching are we talking about? The sheer weightlessness of much contemporary preaching is a severe indictment of our superficial Christianity. When the pulpit ministry lacks substance, the church is severed from the word of God, and its health and faithfulness are immediately diminished.

Many evangelicals are seduced by the proponents of topical and narrative preaching. The declarative force of Scripture is blunted by a demand for story, and the textual shape of the Bible is supplanted by topical considerations. In many pulpits, the Bible, if referenced at all, becomes merely a source for pithy aphorisms or convenient narratives.

The therapeutic concerns of the culture too often set the agenda for evangelical preaching. Issues of the self predominate, and the congregation expects to hear simple answers to complex problems. Furthermore, postmodernism claims intellectual primacy in the culture, and even if they do not surrender entirely to doctrinal relativism, the average congregant expects to make his or her own final decisions about all important issues of life, from worldview to lifestyle

KGW - Gresham bakery that denied same-sex wedding cake closes

The Gospel Coalition - Out of the Mouths of Ducks

Chances are you've never heard of Newton Minow. He's not a minor character in a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, nor a midlevel whistleblower in the National Security Agency. He's not even a wealthy philanthropist or an anonymous accountant in a downtown office building. But I'll bet you've heard something he said . . . because it applies today more than ever.
Minow served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President Kennedy. On May 9, 1961, Minow gave a speech entitled "Television and the Public Interest." In it, he said that the television of his day was a "vast wasteland." The words are memorable because they were, and still are, so apt. He said:
  • When television is good, nothing—not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers—nothing is better.
  • But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
  • You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials—many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.
If the broadcast medium was bad in 1961—and few today can seriously dispute Minow's withering summary—a viewer could find many shows that today are considered classics: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Avengers, The Twilight Zone, and Gunsmoke among them. You couldn't find much highbrow entertainment in the daily TV lineups of America's three broadcast networks in 1961. But it's practically a golden age compared with the endless parade of "reality shows," "wardrobe malfunctions," "twerking," and soft porn that can come into our homes via cable and the public airwaves today. Expecting wisdom from the modern dreck is about as likely as finding a black-and-white TV at Sears.

Eric Crawford - Pitino's road to the Hall of Fame | Indulge me.

This time, he would have to rebuild more than a program. He'd need to rebuild his own career. He chose to do it back in Kentucky, but this time at the University of Louisville. It was another fixer-upper. Still, in five years he had the Cardinals back to the Final Four, and in his twelfth season, just last April, won his second national championship in his second straight Final Four appearance.
"Rick's the kind of guy that he knows he's good and it's okay for someone else to be good," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Pitino before their teams met in Indianapolis in the 2013 NCAA Regional Final. "And then if the other guy who's good wins, you shake his hand and you know you'll be good and you'll get another chance to be good. I like that about him. "

If the story ended there, Pitino would be a Hall of Famer. But it does not.

He didn't set out to be the greatest coaching mentor of his generation, but it happened nonetheless. A snapshot of one of his Providence staffs gives an indication. There's Pitino, then Jeff Van Gundy and Herb Sendek, along with Stu Jackson. Of course, Pitino's legacy would extend through another generation, with Billy Donovan, who played for that Providence team, becoming a two-time NCAA championship coach himself, and Pitino's son Richard, pictured in Donovan's lap quite often in those days, becoming an NCAA Division I coach and most recently named head coach at Minnesota.
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