Wednesday, March 26, 2014

All Around the Web - March 26, 2014

Special Report with Bret Baier - SCOTUS hears arguments on ObamaCare contraception mandate

The Gospel Coalition - Your Options in Fertility
Nonetheless, there are several morally permissible options for Christian couples facing infertility. Here are five.

1. It's okay to pursue no further treatment. Some couples happily accept that childbearing isn't God's current plan for them and look to his guidance for the future. I've found some couples hear this word with great relief, especially given the stresses involved with fertility treatment.

2. It's possible to wait. Even though infertility is diagnosed after a year of trying to get pregnant, only 85 percent of couples are expected to conceive in the first year. Sometimes "infertility" is really just impatience. For those considering taking things further, however, some doctors would advise they not wait longer than six months if any of the following apply: the woman is older than 35 years old; there's a history of absent or irregular monthly periods or pelvic inflammatory disease; either partner has been treated for cancer or a serious illness such as diabetes or hypertension.

3. The couple can seek a diagnosis to determine the cause of infertility. This diagnosis can be helpful even if no further treatment is pursued—simply to know what's going on. A cause for the infertility can be found in 80 percent of cases. Male factors account for about a third, female factors about the same number, and about 40 percent of cases are due to multiple factors. Sometimes the underlying problem can be corrected easily. It may have nothing to do with the reproductive system. Regardless, couples should continue to regard infertility as a joint problem within their marriage—rather than one partner's problem—so that blame isn't focused on one person. This approach helps marital unity.

4. Subsequent to diagnosis it's increasingly common for the couple to receive a recommendation to go straight to Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART) treatment rather than to try treating the underlying problem. At this point I'd particularly urge Christian couples to stop, pray, collect information, think carefully, and not just agree to anything that will help them achieve their desire for a baby. Ethical problems are avoided by looking ahead. In some ways, the advent of assisted reproductive therapies—in vitro fertilization (IVF), for example—has increased the anguish of infertility since these treatments can prolong the struggle for years. Moreover, pressure from other family members, such as potential grandparents, can make it even harder to choose. Someone familiar with the process needs to be involved in order to make sure decisions are based on facts. Costs are not just medical but also emotional, relational, and spiritual.

5. Couples may consider adoption at any point of their journey. It helps if they've come to terms with the loss of the potential for biological offspring before exploring this option. It is entirely possible to have a healthy, loving family without any genetic link. Embryo adoption is a new option to consider in this vein. And spiritual adoption—being the Christian parents someone doesn't have—will always be available in the church.

Doug WilsonTotal Depravity
Before I came to understand and embrace the Biblical doctrine of resurrecting grace, I was kept away by a combination of factors. One reason, of course, was my own prejudices and ignorance. Certain truths tend to rub our theological fur the wrong way, and they have had that tendency since at least the time of Paul (Rom. 9:19). But there was another reason. I had trouble because my ignorance and prejudices were sometimes reinforced by how heard these issues presented. Conse­quently, I thought I understood what in fact I did not.

I write on one such topic, therefore, with some trepidation. I have no desire to mislead fellow Christians on such an important issue; our subject is the resurrection to eternal life, therefore, we must begin the discussion within the framework set by the Word of God.

Justin Taylor - A Conversation with Derek Thomas

The Gospel Coalition - How Pastors Can Care For Their Children
1. Think long-term.
2. Be intentional about your children's behavior on Sundays.
3. Praise your congregation to your children.
4. Don't talk about church conflicts in the hearing of your children.
5. Train and deploy the elder team.
6. Focus on the heart.
7. Guard your special family times.

Obeying Christ - Born that Way? Naturalism and Homosexuality
Edward Welch’s book Blame It on the Brain?: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience is an extremely helpful read for all.  One of the more persuasive arguments for the approval of homosexuality is the claim that a homosexual cannot help it, they are “born gay”.  The argument assumes the possibility of a gay gene in DNA.  Welch’s book provides some extremely helpful insight to this argument, and I want to add some background information that will help us think through this issue.  Therefore, in this post I will seek to accomplish two things: 1. Provide a survey of Welch’s chapter on Homosexuality and the “scientific evidence” for the gay gene, and 2. Provide a basis for Christian thought vs. Naturalistic/Evolutionist thought.

I prefer the Oxford Comma in case you cared.

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