Thursday, March 6, 2014

All Around the Web - March 6, 2014

Kevin DeYoung - What Would Jesus Bake?
As Christians continue to debate to what extent they can be involved with gay weddings, advocates for participation as no-big-deal have been hurrying to the Gospels to look for a Jesus who is pretty chill with most things. It’s certainly great to go the Gospels. Can’t go wrong there. Just as long as we don’t ignore his denunciations of porneia (Mark 7:21), and as long as we don’t make Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John our canon within the Canon. For Jesus himself predicted that the Holy Spirit would come and unpack all the truth about the Father and the Son (John 16:12-15). The revelation of the Son of God was not limited to the incarnation, but included the pouring out of the Spirit of Jesus and the subsequent testimony written down by the Messiah’s Spirit-inspired followers.

But even if we were going to limit ourselves in ethical matters to only those things Jesus said, why doesn’t anyone talk about the letters to the seven churches? Grab a red-letter edition of the Bible and you’ll see: Revelation 2-3 is all crimson. They are letters from Jesus. To be sure, this Jesus warns against losing our first love, but he also rebukes several churches for being too cozy with the culture. Pergamum countenanced false teachers who encouraged sexual sin (Rev. 2:14-15). Thyatira was too tolerant of a Jezebel-like woman leading people into sexual immorality (Rev. 2:20-21). Many in Sardis had soiled their garments with the world (Rev. 3:4). Compromise was in the air, and only some of the Christians could say they didn’t inhale.

What did this compromise look like? We can’t be sure, but Greg Beale–who has written the best scholarly commentary on Revelation–suggests that, at least in part, the compromise had to do with participating in the festivals put on by local trade guilds. Christians who worked in professions belonging to these guilds were put in a precarious spot. Would they go along with the run-of-the-mill idolatry associated with the feasts? Or would they opt out and risk losing their livelihood, their respectability, or worse.

Joe Carter - Since Jesus Ate With Sinners, Do I Have to Eat at the Strip Club's Buffet?
Do you know that strip club down by the airport? You've probably never been in there. You likely have no interest in going in there. The only reason you even know about it is because your uncle, the one you have to pick up from the airport every Thanksgiving, makes a joke about the sign that says they have an all-you-can-eat buffet. (It's a lame joke made lamer by the fact that he tells it the same way every year.)

There's something you probably don't know about that buffet: Jesus would have no qualms about sitting at the bar eating scrambled eggs. In fact, Jesus probably wants you to go in there and join the patrons eating cold bacon.

You might be thinking to yourself, "Um . . . what?" Yeah, I was surprised too. But that is the argument many Christians have been making lately. Oh, they don't make that argument directly. But that is the implication of their argument (whose logic they often fail to follow to its conclusion).
Their argument, in enthymematic form, is

The Gospel Coalition - The Gospel at Work: Questions and Answers

John StonestreetThe Language of Assisted Suicide
The battle over ideas is the battle over definitions.  Whoever controls the language controls the debate. Let me illustrate. What’s your response—positive or negative—to the term “assisted suicide”?

Okay, now, positive or negative, what about the term “aid in dying”? Logically of course, they mean the same thing. But this isn’t about logic; it’s about persuasion. And since most people have an aversion to “suicide,” it goes down much easier if you call it “aid” instead.

A report in The New York Times by Erik Eckholm shines a light on this evolution (or corruption) in language. Eckholm writes, “Helping the terminally ill end their lives, condemned for decades as immoral, is gaining traction. “Banned everywhere but Oregon until 2008, it is now legal in five states. Its advocates, who have learned to shun the term ‘assisted suicide,’ believe that as baby boomers watch frail parents suffer, support for what they call the ‘aid in dying’ movement will grow further.”

Eckholm notes that much of this support depends on which term is used. Gallup says that in 1948, only 37 percent of Americans agreed that “doctors should be allowed to ‘end the patient’s life by some painless means” if the patient and family wanted it. Last year, however, 70 percent of Americans agreed. But just 51 percent in that same poll supported allowing doctors to help a dying patient “commit suicide.” That’s a big difference!

A pro-“assisted death” group, which cutely calls itself “Compassion and Choices,” is trying to further twist the language by insisting that killing oneself is only suicide if the person has “severe depression or other mental problems.” The rest are simply seeking to “die with dignity,” I guess. But if they succeed, they’re still dead!

And this issue isn’t ultimately just about how we speak, but how we think. Why do more and more people think ending life prematurely—or “aiding” someone in ending his or her own life prematurely—is acceptable?

Well, it’s about worldview.

Russell Moore - Questions & Ethics: Should a parent attend their atheist daughter’s wedding?
Russell Moore counsels a Christian mother unsure if she should support her atheist daughter’s wedding. He talks about the importance of marriage for both Christians and non-Christians.

15 Inaccuracies Found In Common Science Illustrations

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