Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All Around the Web - May 27, 2014

Russell Moore - Questions and Ethics: Should pastors talk politics from the pulpit?
Russell Moore discusses pastors engaging politics from the pulpit. Read the full transcript here.

Liberate - You Can’t “Live Out” the Gospel

9Marks - What a New Pastor Doesn’t Know
1. You don’t know who’s there.
2. You don’t know what’s there.
3. You don’t know where they’ve been.
4. You don’t know where you are.
5. You don't know what you’re changing.
6. You don’t know where you’re going.
7. You don’t know what your idols are.
8. You don’t know what God will do.

Canon and Culture - Alfred Kinsey: A Brief Summary and Critique
During the Twentieth Century, no one individual did more to bring homosexuality into the public forum than Alfred Charles Kinsey (1894 – 1956). A professor at Indiana University, Kinsey was a zoologist by training and spent the early years of his career studying gall wasps, collecting thousands of specimens of the insects. Kinsey then transferred his obsessive and taxonomic approach of research to the study of human sexuality. Much like the gall wasps he collected, Kinsey and his colleagues gathered thousands of “interviews” in which he or his researchers asked detailed questions about the sexual backgrounds of research participants. Kinsey compiled the findings from these interviews into two books that were the opening salvos of the sexual revolution that soon swept the United States: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). Both works contain many sweeping assertions and often move quickly from tables full of data to moral speculation about the repressed sexual ethics of America.

Kinsey officially began sexual research in 1941 with the help of funds from the Rockefeller Foundation and the assistance of the National Research Council. In 1947 Kinsey founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, now simply known as The Kinsey Institute. What has become clearer in the years since the publication of the Kinsey reports is that Kinsey was not merely gathering information about other people’s sexual experiences, but he was also engaging in assorted sexual practices with various members of the research team. Instead of the staid atmosphere most people associate with academia, the Institute for Sex Research became a kind of sexual utopia for the gratification of the appetites of Kinsey and his team. According to one biographer, “Kinsey decreed that within the inner circle men could have sex with each other; wives would be swapped freely, and wives too, would be free to embrace whichever sexual partners they liked.”[1] Kinsey himself engaged in various forms of heterosexual and homosexual intercourse with members of the institute staff, including filming various sexual acts in the attic of his home. My purpose here is not to engage in ad hominem attacks on Kinsey, but to emphasize that Kinsey was not a dispassionate scientist seeking truth; he was an agenda-driven reformer bent on changing the sexual ethics of a nation.

The Gospel Coalition - Bonhoeffer and Blindspots
It’s rather shocking, in hindsight, to consider how two men so personally invested in fighting racism in the German context could have been so blind to the truth just two years before Hitler was named chancellor. The so-called Jewish question was in fact no joke.

But neither was racism in America. Bonhoeffer and his brother saw a serious problem in America with distinct clarity, though they underestimated the severity of racism in their own context. We need to be careful on this point, but it’s safe to say that the racial prejudice in both contexts was atrocious.

And so often it is the same way with us. We easily identify blind spots in contexts other than our own while nurturing our own forms of blindness. Our own blind spots would not be so if we could see them (that’s why they are aptly named).

Here are three things we can learn from Bonhoeffer about overcoming our blind spots.

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