Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One Issue Voter

I had a conversation with a friend at work today about being a "one-issue voter." He asked me how somebody could be pro-life, yet fall in line with "liberal" policies economically, militarily, etc., and allow those issues to "trump" their pro-life stance. "If you think killing unborn babies is morally reprehensible, could you vote for somebody who is pro-choice because of their tax policy?" Our discussion reminded me of an article written by John Piper in 1995, which I read during one of the past couple of election cycles:
No endorsement of any single issue qualifies a person to hold public office. Being pro-life does not make a person a good governor, mayor, or president. But there are numerous single issues that disqualify a person from public office. For example, any candidate who endorsed bribery as a form of government efficiency would be disqualified, no matter what his party or platform was. Or a person who endorsed corporate fraud (say under $50 million) would be disqualified no matter what else he endorsed. Or a person who said that no black people could hold office—on that single issue alone he would be unfit for office. Or a person who said that rape is only a misdemeanor—that single issue would end his political career. These examples could go on and on. Everybody knows a single issue that for them would disqualify a candidate for office.

It's the same with marriage. No one quality makes a good wife or husband, but some qualities would make a person unacceptable. For example, back when I was thinking about getting married, not liking cats would not have disqualified a woman as my wife, but not liking people would. Drinking coffee would not, but drinking whiskey would. Kissing dogs wouldn't, but kissing the mailman would. And so on. Being a single-issue fiancé does not mean that only one issue matters. It means that some issues may matter enough to break off the relationship.

So it is with politics. You have to decide what those issues are for you. What do you think disqualifies a person from holding public office? I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office. It's simply the same as saying that the endorsement of racism, fraud, or bribery would disqualify him—except that child-killing is more serious than those.


These reflections have confirmed my conviction never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil—even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can Democrats Win Christian Vote?

I recently listened to a clip from Steve Deace's radio show on Newsradio 1040 WHO. It's titled "Can Democrats Win Christian Vote?" Here's the blurb from the website:
The answer is yes according to Time Magazine's Amy Sullivan, who has written a book about Democrats closing what she calls "the God gap." This interview is a must-listen.
It's definitely entertaining & enlightening. Go here to download or podcast


C.J. Mahaney writes about confession of sin in response to the baseball steroid scandal in general and Andy Pettitte in particular:
When I have sinned against someone, a sincere confession is required. A confession that is sincere and pleasing to God will be specific and brief. I have learned to be suspicious of my confession if it’s general and lengthy. A sincere confession of sin should be specific (“I was arrogant and angry when I made that statement; will you please forgive me for sinning against you in this way?”) and brief (this shouldn’t take long). When I find myself adding an explanation to my confession, I’m not asking forgiveness but instead appealing for understanding.

If my so-called confession extends beyond a very specific (acknowledgement of sin) sentence or two, then I am most likely excusing my sin, and requesting understanding for my sin, rather than sincerely asking forgiveness because of my sin. So I have learned to be suspicious of any confession of sin that is lengthy. Genuine conviction of sin is evidenced by a sincere, specific, and brief confession of sin, without any reference to circumstances or the participation of anyone else. When I sin, I am responsible for my sin, and the cause of my sin is always within my heart and never lies outside my heart.

Often after I sin, and even after I confess my sin—most importantly to God to receive the forgiveness I need from him for my sin through the death of his Son for my many sins—I experience a conflict in my soul about the confessing, when necessary, to the appropriate individuals. And whenever there is this conflict in my soul about specifically confessing my sin, I am aware that pride is actively at work in my soul, opposing the confession and seeking to persuade me that it wouldn’t be wise or even necessary for me to confess. But I have learned to ignore this noise from my arrogant heart, and instead weaken this noise by specifically confessing my sin to the appropriate individual as quickly as possible.

When I do confess, first and foremost to God and then (where and when appropriate) to others, I want my confession to be sincere and specific. I want my confession to express genuine sorrow and gratefulness to God for the mercy I experience because of the substitutionary sacrifice of his Son for my sins on the cross.

And when I confess my sin to others and ask their forgiveness when I have sinned against them, I don’t want my confession to resemble the press conference of a high-profile athlete, characterized by evasive language and the refusal to be specific. Instead, I hope my confession of sin is the sincere and specific confession of one genuinely convicted of his sin, sorrowful about his sin, and amazed at the grace of God provided for the forgiveness of sin.

A Hypocrite's Guide to Preaching

Michael McKinley has a good post at the 9 Marks blog called "A Hypocrite's Guide to Preaching." Here's the 5-point guide:

1. We are all hypocrites to some degree or another. None of us have attained perfection in any of the things we must preach about. But there's a line that shouldn't be crossed... if the gap between your words and your life is too great, you shouldn't be preaching at all. We need people in our lives who can help us think through these things so that we're not at the mercy of an overly tender or calloused conscience.

2. Systematic expositional preaching of Scripture is well-suited to preachers who are also sinners. It serves as a check against our natural tendency to focus on things that we do well and avoid areas where we struggle.

3. Your weakness highlights the power of God's word. There are only four reasons that people would want to listen to anything you have to say:

a. You're brilliant and holy (or at least you've convinced them you are).
b. They don't want to but they are too lazy to go somewhere else.
c. They are forced to listen as a condition of their parole.
d. You are telling them what God says in His Word.

Let's face it, you're not (a) and you don't want to be (b). When you feed your people a diet of God's Word and they learn to trust you to teach it to them faithfully they will listen on His authority, not yours.

4. We should take opportunities to acknowledge our own failures and limitations before the congregation when appropriate. If all of your children are under 5 years old and you are preaching on Ephesians 6:4, you should be willing to acknowledge that your personal experience is still somewhat limited. Then you can remind the congregation that the authority comes from God's Word, not from your personal experience. This approach models humility for your people and will (ironically, perhaps) cause them to trust you more.

And finally,

5. Since you're a hypocrite, every sermon should begin with your own heart. You shouldn't preach it to others until you've preached it to yourself. You can assume that you need to hear God's Word just as badly as the people in your congregation. Beware allowing a bifurcation between what you feel passionately in the pulpit and what you live in your day-to-day walk.

Political Songs

While these videos aren't "official" campaign videos, Mike Huckabee's "HuckChuck Facts" has some competition for my favorite political video ever. If you have some time to waste, listen to the words of these songs:

C.J.'s Gone Podcast

There's a new Sovereign Grace Leadership Interview Series podcast. The first episode is "The Pastor and His Reading," which contains a lot of good discussion, and the following book recommendations scattered throughout:
Resources mentioned in the podcast:

(HT: Sovereign Grace Blog)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's All Yours, O Lord

I've been reading through 1 Chronicles lately, and finished the book tonight. Chapter 29, the final chapter, tells about king David and other offering gold, silver, bronze, iron, and precious stones for Solomon to build the temple. After the offerings are made, a prayer of David's is recorded, beginning this way:
Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: "Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
- 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (ESV)
Wow. What an amazing God! Those words reminded me of a song on Steven Curtis Chapman's newest release, "This Moment." The song is entitled, simply, "Yours":

I walk the streets of London
And notice in the faces passing by
Something that makes me stop and listen
My heart grows heavy with the cry

Where is the hope for London?
You whisper and my heart begins to soar
As I'm reminded
That every street in London is Yours
Oh, yes it is

I walk the dirt roads of Uganda
I see the scars that war has left behind
Hope like the sun is fading
And they're waiting for a cure no one can find

And I hear children's voices singing
Of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded
That every child in Africa is Yours

And it's all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And it's all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything
It's all Yours

And I walk the sidewalks of Nashville
Like Singapore, Manila and Shanghai
I rush by the beggar's hand and the wealthy man
And everywhere I look I realize

That just like the streets of London
For every man and woman, boy and girl
All of creation
This is our Father's world

And it's all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And it's all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything

It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God

The glory is Yours, God
All the honor is Yours, God
The power is Yours, God
The glory is Yours, God

You're the King of Kings
And Lord of Lords

And it's all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And it's all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
All the greatness and power, the glory and splendor and majesty
Everything is Yours
Yeah, it's all Yours
We are Yours
The glory and honor is Yours, everything is Yours

It's all Yours, God
My life is Yours, my heart is Yours
My hands and my feet
Every song that I sing
It's all Yours, all is Yours
All belongs to You
Our gifts are Yours, God
All our dreams are Yours, God
All our plans are Yours, God
This whole earth is Yours, God
Everything is Yours

Monday, February 18, 2008


I never thought I'd post anything from the TV show "ER," but I came across this clip of a dying man speaking to a hospital chaplain:

I wonder how many dying people - not from terminal cancer, but from terminal sin - we have in our churches who are looking for ultimate answers. Not practical day-to-day application; not "What Would Jesus Do?"; not religious pop-psychology; not "moralistic, therapeutic deism"; but where can I find forgiveness? What is going to happen to me when I die?
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23 (NIV)

"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NIV)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." - John 3:16-18 (NIV)
For anybody reading this who shares this man's questions, know that Jesus Christ has come. The Son of God became man, lived the perfect life that we should have lived, died the death that we deserved for our sins, and rose again to conquer death, so that He may provide the righteousness that God requires to those who would believe in Him. He has died for your sins and offers you eternal life with Him. Trust in Christ, and receive His forgiveness for your sins, and be adopted into God's family, to live with Him in heaven forever.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12
(HT: Between Two Worlds)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'll Proofread This When My Eyes Stop Bleeding

Who knows about TerraPass? I had heard of "carbon offsets" or "carbon credits" before, but had never encountered them before yesterday. That's when I came across the reality of this year and a half old announcement:
Big news, people: Expedia and TerraPass have partnered in a program to offer Flight TerraPasses to travelers when they buy plane tickets.

Although the travel industry has undertaken limited experiments with this kind of offering before, this is the first program of its size and scope to offer measured, verified greenhouse gas reductions to all travelers. Expedia will offer TerraPass to every U.S. traveler who buys a plane ticket through their web site.

This is an important development for the travel industry and for the fight against global warming. Air travel has exploded in popularity as the cost of plane tickets has dropped. But planes create a large and growing proportion of global warming pollution. For frequent flyers, plane travel creates more emissions than their cars.

Previously, there was not much travelers could do about their contribution to this problem. Now there is.

Whatever shall we do? Why, alleviate our guilt for destroying the earth by spending money, that's what. While purchasing tickets through Expedia, I saw that I could buy a "Flight TerraPass." Only $5.99 for 1,000 lbs of CO2! Or $29.99 for 5,000 lbs! And you get a "nifty co-branded decal" or "a magnificent co-branded luggage tag, made of durable, high-quality silicone." Basically, what you're doing (beyond buying a decal/luggage tag), is giving money to TerraPass to fund "carbon reduction projects."

Now I'm not one to want to destroy the earth at all costs. But I think a reality check is in order. If you want to contribute to "carbon reduction projects," including "clean energy," "farm power," and "landfill gas capture," go right ahead. But do you have to use a middle-man? I say use Google, find a local researcher/company doing something like this, contact them, and ask where you can send your check to help them out. The only benefit I see of buying a TerraPass is vanity, much like people who buy a Toyota Prius because "It makes a statement about me." The desire here isn't to help the environment, it's to be recognized as someone who helps the environment.

It's this kind of thinking that worries me about the upcoming presidential election. I worry that people will vote for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton so that they can tell their children/grandchildren someday that they voted for America's first black/woman president. I don't care if our next president is a purple hermaphrodite, as long as they aren't going to flush our country down the toilet. But I hope people will pay more attention to actual issues & experience/records, rather than so-called "identity-politics."

For instance, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation recently released a study "which provides cost estimates -- based on hard data -- for more than 450 of the major candidates’ proposals that would affect the federal budget." Some of the numbers may shock you. (Some might not.) Take a look at the net effect on federal spending of some of the candidates' proposals (for new/increased programs as well as cuts):
  • Barack Obama: $287 billion increase ($105 billion for "economy, transportation, and infrastructure")
  • Hillary Clinton: $218.2 billion increase ($113.6 billion for health care)
  • John McCain: $6.9 billion increase
  • Mike Huckabee: $54.2 billion increase ($50.1 billion increase in military spending)
  • Mitt Romney: $19.5 billion increase ($40 billion increase in military spending)
  • Rudy Giuliani: $1.4 billion decrease
  • Ron Paul: $150.1 billion decrease
Now putting aside Paul's number, since he basically wants to cut all government spending (which isn't all bad), I'd like to see Giuliani's proposals. He seems to get it more than the others. What people need to remember is that the government doesn't really have any money - we pay for their programs as taxpayers. Check out the data from the report here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Here are a couple of recent posts about accountability: the one from Philip R. Gons, Matthew C. Hoskinson, and Andrew David Naselli, and one from Stephen Altrogge. The post by Gons, Hoskinson, and Naselli includes lists of benefits and potential pitfalls of accountability:
Benefits of Accountability
  1. Motivation
  2. Safety
  3. Consistency
  4. Specificity
  5. Thoroughness
  6. Community
  7. Intensity
  8. Reminder
Potential Pitfalls of Accountability
  1. Heartless participation
  2. Impressing God
  3. Impressing ourselves
  4. Impressing each other
  5. Impressing others
  6. Comparing ourselves to each other
  7. Lying
  8. Appeasing ourselves
  9. Rationalizing
  10. Lack of transparency
  11. Fearing man
  12. Avoiding face-to-face conversations
The guys also write about a scriptural basis for accountability, drawing from commentaries of John MacArthur, Thomas Manton, and John Calvin.

Altrogge shares a list of suggestions for "awkward questions" to ask your friends (and have your friends ask you):
  • Have you been consistently pursuing the Lord through scripture reading and prayer?
  • Have you diligently pursued your wife/husband this week?
  • Have you seen any persistent patterns of sin in your life recently?
  • Last week you confessed struggling with [insert sin]. Have you taken steps to fight it this week?
  • When you gave into [insert sin], what were you believing about God in that moment? What were you believing about yourself?
  • What is the truth that you need to believe in this situation?
  • When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment?

Re: Rob Bell/Nooma

I've posted in the past a bit about Rob Bell and his Nooma videos (here, here, here, and here). Well, C.J. Mahaney has a recent post entitled "Rob Bell, the Pastor’s Task of Discernment, and My Heart." In it, he offers four suggested biblical priorities for "the pastoral task of discernment":
  1. Protect Your People
  2. Prepare Your Heart
  3. Preach Sound Doctrine
  4. Pray for Rob Bell
Mahaney also links to Greg Gilbert's three-part review of Bell's Nooma series, which will be in the March/April 08 9Marks eJournal. Here are direct links to the three parts:
Part One: Overview and beginning of review, with the following headings:
Part Two: The meat of the review, with the following headings:
Part Three: Comments on each of the first 18 Nooma videos

UPDATE: Vitamin Z has some good comments regarding Bell, Nooma, and Gilbert's reviews:
I hesitate to leave this up because I don't want you to be a 2nd hander. Make your own conclusions. Don't just trust Greg's assessment. If you haven't seen any of the NOOMA videos then I would encourage you to suspend judgment.

My friend John is a big fan of NOOMA and he was telling me that we need to keep in mind that Rob's video are not meant to encapsulate all of theology in 10min. Just because he might not outline his understand of the atonement in every video doesn't mean that he is heretical. If so, we would need to indict Jesus as being heretical for not communicating all of theology in each one of his parables. If Jesus told stories that were incomplete in an of themselves, why should we accuse Rob of doing the same? That is John's take.

I don't know. I am just passing along info here. Watch the NOOMA videos, read Greg's post and judge for yourself but do so with humility and gentleness.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kicking It In The Womb

This story is amazing:
Like any thrilled mother to be, Michelle Stepney cherished the first kicks she could feel from her unborn babies.

But her lively twin girls were doing more than simply making their presence felt.

Each little kick was saving their mother's life.
Read the rest of the story here.

Amazing what a clump of cells, or "potential life" can do.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Super Bowl Mailbag

Dan from Chicago (no, not that Dan, the other one) has a great e-mail in the Sports Guy's Super Bowl Mailbag:
Here's what kills me most about the Giants winning ... not that we now live in a world where Eli Manning is a Super Bowl MVP, not that Plaxico Burress now looks like a pre-cog from "Minority Report," or not that we'll be constantly inundated with stories about whether or not all the off-field distractions played a role in the game. No, what kills me most is that the 1972 Miami Dolphins will still be a part of my life, and that's not a good thing. Why couldn't these guys have bowed out of the spotlight graciously years ago? What drives these guys to try and remain relevant 36 years later? I realize that it's a great accomplishment, but did you see Jerry Rice pop champagne when the season ended and no one broke his TD record? Did Dan Marino ever say, "Well, if Peyton Manning ever breaks my single-season TD record, we'll need to add an asterisk because he's played with an All-Pro wide receiver core for his career?" Seriously, I've never hated a group of athletes more than I hate the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Here's another good one:

How does it make you feel that, in the last three years, Tom Brady has lost playoff games to Jake Plummer and BOTH Mannings?
-- Tim A.

I Am Exceptionally Smart And Independent...

... at least according to Glenn Beck, who says that conservative talk radio listeners "are exceptionally smart, independent people." Beck wrote a good commentary on the main stream media claiming that "Conservative talk radio is dead."

Here's how his piece starts ...

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Well, actually, it's not just the rumors of my demise; it's me, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and every other conservative talk radio host.

Here's how the theory goes:

1. Rush Limbaugh is the most powerful and influential conservative talk radio host around.

2. Rush Limbaugh spoke out on the air against John McCain.

3. John McCain still did well in the primaries.

4. Rush Limbaugh must have no power or influence.

5. Conservative talk radio is dead.

But that cute little theory leaves out a few important facts.

First, no one -- from Rush, to Schwarzenegger, to Ted Kennedy, to Oprah -- has enough power to dictate an election. Nor should they. The founding fathers thought that might be a bad idea -- remember, they had already gotten their fill of the whole monarchy thing.

Secondly, I don't wake up every morning hoping to influence anyone to do anything. Unlike Air America (the liberal radio network that has consistently failed) I don't consider it my job to win elections for any one candidate, let alone an entire political party. My job is to entertain. Period. If people relate to what I say, and maybe find a little piece of themselves in the process, then great, I get to keep my job for another day.

... and ends:

The biggest irony in all of this is that most of the people who are claiming (or is it hoping?) that talk radio has no influence are the same people who are hoping for a Hillary/McCain match-up this November.

Why is that ironic? Because nothing -- absolutely nothing -- will drive more listeners to conservative talk radio than a liberal back in the White House.
The whole piece is a good read.


Interesting article in response to one I posted about just the other day (Adoption of Islamic Sharia law in Britain is 'unavoidable', says Archbishop of Canterbury):
Williams 'shocked' at Sharia row

The Archbishop of Canterbury is said to be overwhelmed by the "hostility of the response" after his call for parts of Sharia law to be recognised in the UK.

Friends of Dr Rowan Williams say he is in a state of shock and dismayed by the criticism from his own Church.
Are you kidding me? Dr. Williams, perhaps you're being criticized because you said you thought Sharia law would be a good thing, and you're not a Muslim. Or maybe that's just the twisted logic of my ignorant, American mind at work.

The article continues:
The BBC understands from sources who work on Christian-Muslim interfaith issues that Dr Williams has faced a barrage of criticism from within the Church and has been genuinely taken aback by how his words were received.

Islamic Sharia law is a legal and social code designed to help Muslims live their daily lives, but it has proved controversial in the West for the extreme nature of some of its punishments.
"Controversial"? "Extreme nature"? You really think imprisoning women for being in public with unrelated men, or for being raped and having the gall to speak up about it is "extreme" punishment? I don't understand how Sharia law is supposed to "help Muslims live their daily lives." No system of law helps anybody live their daily life, especially not Sharia law.

(HT: Riddleblog)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Higher Learning?

I love this. A student at Ohio State University shows the amazing education available in the institution's journalism department. Junior Frank Blechschmidt writes about Glenn Beck, and how his "slanderous antics pollute airwaves, TV":
On his radio show Wednesday, Beck went on about a 20-minute rant on how Hillary Clinton is a racist and anyone who supports her or her policies is probably one too.

His proof? First, he said her policy to remove troops from Iraq is racist and only benefits whites because the Army is 71 percent white and only 11 percent black. Next, he said her policy to raise taxes on the rich clearly hurts minorities and the "American Dream" because seven of the top 10 richest professional athletes are black and one is Hispanic.

He also had similar outrageous claims of racism in regard to health care reform. Finally, he even went as far as to contend Hillary's lack of support for oil and coal companies has some underlying racist sentiment as well (because oil and coal are black).
If the oil & coal companies part doesn't finally have you convinced that Glenn was not being serious, you're not alone. (I'm not even not going to not try to clean up the multiple negatives in that sentence. I'm not that unintelligent. Or am I?) Blechschmidt wasn't convinced, either:
In reality, Beck is just the latest in a long line of conservative spin doctors. These pundits will always be around and that is fine - it is a free country. I just hope anyone listening to his or similar shows during this election season will think critically before they start believing everything they hear. Most college students can easily find the flaws in these skewed arguments, but there are so many Americans who will believe anything.
I haven't read anything this unintentionally funny in quite some time. Thanks, Buckeyes!

UPDATE: If you want to, you can read the transcript of Glenn's original "racist" comments here.

UPDATE II: Check out some of the 300+ comments on Blechschmidt's article. Funny stuff.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More Mahaney On The Cross

If you aren't already, you should be checking C.J.'s Sovereign Grace Blog before coming here. Here's a bit from his post on Preaching and Sightings of Calvary:
Never assume the gospel

We must never assume the gospel. We must always assume that those we serve need to hear the gospel yet again. Any sermon we preach is incomplete and insufficient until we explicitly reference Christ and him crucified.

In the book A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, J.I Packer writes,
The preachers’ commission is to declare the whole counsel of God; but the cross is the centre of that counsel, and the Puritans knew that the traveller through the Bible landscape misses his way as soon as he loses sight of the hill called Calvary.

Every sermon must have a sighting of the hill called Calvary, because each passage of Scripture points us to the cross. In Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell writes,

In its context, every passage possesses one or more of four redemptive foci. Every text is predictive of the work of Christ, preparatory for the work of Christ, reflective of the work of Christ, and/or resultant of the work of Christ.
And because every text of Scripture points us to the cross, every topic should likewise point us to the cross. Thomas Jones says, “No doctrine of Scripture may faithfully be set before men unless it is displayed in its relationship to the cross.”

The message of the cross is central to the commission of the preacher, is to be on display in every sermon, is cultivated from every text of Scripture, and is embedded within every topic and doctrine intended to nourish the church.


Whether it’s a pastor’s personal reading of Scripture or the weekly preaching of Scripture, we must never lose sight of Calvary. In every sermon there must be some sighting of Calvary.

My prayer for Sovereign Grace pastors is that they build churches who gather together in anticipation of a Calvary sighting. I pray that even as Scripture is read before the sermon, our churches would await with anticipation that point in the sermon where Calvary will be made visible. And the more apparently obscure the passage, the more excited they would be that from this passage, at some point during the sermon, their spiritual sight will be pointed toward the hill called Calvary.

So never lose sight of Calvary, and never let those you serve lose sight of Calvary. In each sermon let there be a sighting of the hill of Calvary and what was accomplished there by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

M-M-M-My Sharia!

Good news from the U.K. - "Adoption of Islamic Sharia law in Britain is 'unavoidable', says Archbishop of Canterbury:"
The Archbishop of Canterbury has today said that the adoption of Islamic Sharia law in the UK is "unavoidable" and that it would help maintain social cohesion.

Rowan Williams told BBC Radio 4's World At One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

He says that Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court. He added Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

Dr Williams said there was a place for finding a "constructive accommodation" in areas such as marriage - allowing Muslim women to avoid Western divorce proceedings.
Now, I'm not in favor of divorce, to say the least, but I'm really not in favor of a man being able to divorce his wife by repeating "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you." I'm not sure how that makes it better for women. (I won't even get into things like the American businesswoman arrested for being in a Riyadh Starbucks with an unrelated man.)

But I'm sure that Dr. Williams is right in asserting that adopting Sharia law "would help maintain social cohesion." Just ask how well encouraging Muslims to not assimilate has worked in other European countries - like the Netherlands (see Theo Van Gogh) or France, where "youth riots" in recent years certainly had nothing to do with radical Islam. (See also my post from last April about Bruce Bawer's book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within.)

(HT: Riddleblog)

Election '08

I got a kick out of these t-shirts, available at the Glenn Beck Studio Store:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Humility & Bill Belichick

After watching the Super Bowl, and seeing Patriots coach Bill Belichick stomp off the field with one second left on the game clock, I had more ammo to tear him down for his arrogance and classless nature. I enjoyed listening to Jim Rome on Monday, ripping into "Hoodie" for his behavior. In reading a blog post by C.J. Mahaney, I read some of the same comments I had been thinking about Belichick. However, where my thoughts stopped, Mahaney continued:
But I must pay careful attention to my heart as I critique coach Belichick, because I am vulnerable to my own more serious expression of arrogance as I observe Bill Belichick. In critiquing coach Belichick and teaching my son biblical discernment and the importance of godly character, I must avoid a self-righteous attitude.

Bill Belichick is not the worst sinner I know. I am the worst sinner I know. For am I most familiar with the countless sins I have committed against God, the countless times I have responded in a similar way as Mr. Belichick when I have encountered the test of adversity. Though it doesn’t appear Bill Belichick is a humble man, I know I am not a humble man.

I am a proud man who is pursuing humility only by the grace of God. And it is only by the grace of God that I have been saved from the wrath of God against my sins. It is only by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross, as my substitute for my sins, that I am forgiven of my many sins and have hope for the weakening of pride in my life. And therefore the appropriate response to what I observed in Mr. Belichick last night is to pray that he will become aware of his need for a Savior and turn from his sins and trust the Savior.

Read the whole post here.

Military Preparations

Look here to see how the military is preparing for another President Clinton.