I find this paragraph from David Bahnsen–Dr. Bahnsen’s son– fascinating:
Greg Bahnsen was a person who had very, very few enemies in the unsaved world. Then correspondence between dad and Gordon Stein may have been an exception, but the treatment he received from scores and scores of ideological opponents on the OTHER side of the antithesis was nearly always filled with respect, collegiality, and poise. Frankly, the vast majority of correspondence I read with non-Reformed Christians was often the same – even if the subject of the correspondence was disagreement over a matter of ideology – respect, collegiality, warmth. The ugly stuff was always from those who were closer and closer to his various distinctives. I couldn’t explain this to you if I tried because no one has ever explained it to me. But when I talk about the way Dallas Willard, Richard Mouw, Father Neuhaus, and others interacted with him, not to mention dozens of unsaved intellectuals, it was like a different world when you start reading the correspondence with people in his own “camp”. I take that at the very least as a testimony to his scholarly caliber and his own respectful demeanor.
My associate pastor has a great post on how the abortion philosophy has changed. Here is his conclusion:
This was a bridge too far, and proponents of abortion set their argument for abortion on a new moral foundation. Abortion is good, and it is good in and of itself. The killing of your child is a thing to be celebrated. You should SHOUT YOUR ABORTION. Let the world know what a good thing it is to kill your baby. Better for him, better for the mother, better for society. Abortion is no longer a necessary evil – it has become a moral imperative.
Today we write hymns about our abortions. We set up virtual shrines with ultrasound images of our babies so we can speak to them about how grateful we are to have the right to kill them. We demand that fetus joins us in our worship of self.
Cross providences are sent by God to work some noble good for saints.
A saint conflicts against sin universally, the least sin as well as the greatest.
Christ, the Scripture, your own hearts, and Satan’s devices, are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched. If any cast off the study of these, they cannot be safe here, nor happy hereafter.
At one time he (Satan) will fix men’s eyes on others’ sins than their own, that he may puff them up.
Remember this, that your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of welldoing, and heaven shall make amends for all!
Repentance is the vomit of the soul; and of all purgatives, none so difficult and hard as it is to vomit.
Humility can weep over other men’s weaknesses, and joy and rejoice over their graces. Humility will make a man quiet and contented in the lowest condition, and it will preserve a man from envying other men’s prosperous condition (1 Thess. 1:2, 3).
The Spirit of the Lord is your counselor, your comforter, your upholder, your strengthener. It is the Spirit alone, who makes a man too great for Satan to conquer. ‘Greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4).
…solemnly to consider, That the spiritual riches of the poorest saints infinitely transcend the temporal riches of all the wicked men in the world; their spiritual riches satisfy them; they can sit down satisfied with the riches of grace that are in Christ, without earthly honors or riches.
The saints’ motto in all ages has been ‘Laboremus’—let us be doing.
To step outside of the politically correct sphere is becoming a gigantic threat to anyone who dares touch on the ideological latitudinous of celebrity culture. Whether one uses humor or shares his convictions about a topic, if he touches on the sacrament of ungodly sexuality, his career suffers a thousand deaths.
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart, who was invited to host the Oscars, and who considered this “the opportunity of a lifetime” suffered such death when a decade ago he tweeted:
“Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my
daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head &
say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’”
He dared, as a comedian in his late 20’s, to desecrate the holy of holies of the gods of diversity. Hart has since declared he has evolved on the issue and no longer holds to such declarations. Still, the gods show no mercy; even though Hart has achieved the apex of financial success; even though he has already shown on many occasions his ability to play within the temple with other toleration citizens. But the celebrity culture knows no grace; their gods demand perfection ten years ago and ten years henceforth. R.I.P. Hart.
Many of us grew up in environments where extra-biblical requirements were given as a way to please God. Now, no one in their right minds would assert that these were meritorious, but the end result of not doing x, y, or z inevitably led to guilt and fear. “Did I read my Bible this morning? “Did I forget to pray?” “Is God angry with me?”
The long-term effect of this thinking has led many to abandon the faith. I don’t want to condemn the legalistic heritage that some of us grew up with (though it is worthy of criticism), but I do want to assert that there are alternative ways of contemplating Christian piety that does not leave you dry.
We don’t want piety that abandons traditional habits of grace; we want a piety that learns to cultivate these habits in a grace-saturated world. We want a piety that is rich, diverse, and capable of drawing from God’s vast resources of strength and encouragement. We need to forsake legalism, but not to the wells of liberalism or atheism, but to the fountain of grace where the Gospel is given through an encouraging word, a phone call, a note of thanks, a text that edifies, a book that moves us, a story that awakens us, a community that bears with our weaknesses and a Christ that communes with us. If you find yourself in that guilt-ridden Christianity, don’t jump into the darkness, seek the light in traditions and people that are immersed in a life of freedom and thanksgiving.
Noah Rothman writes a phenomenal article at Commentary concerning the climate change hysteria overtaking the media. He focuses on the media’s outrage over recent comments from American Enterprise Institute scholar Danielle Pletka. Rothman summarizes Pletka’s concern:
Pletka went on to note mitigating phenomena that, in her view, don’t receive due attention. The last two years were typified by the “biggest drop in global temperatures that we have had since the 1980s,” she said. Pletka added that carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. are declining even after America pulled out of the Paris accords, and American industry has shifted away from burning so-called “dirty coal,” unlike its European counterparts.
She also added that “we shouldn’t be hysterical.” It was that latter comment that led to visceral reactions from the media. Rothman notes the outrage over that simple statement from Helene Cooper who noted:
“I actually think we should be hysterical,” she said. “I think anybody who has children or anybody who can imagine having children and grandchildren, how can you look at them and think this is the kind of world that through our own inaction and our inability to do something, that we’re going to leave them?”
Pletka’s great sin was her “refusal to accept a straight-line projection at face value.” Rothman concludes:
You might see now why some advocates prefer hysteria to caution and skepticism, and why those who shatter the serenity of the echo chamber are so valuable.
Christians, of whatever persuasion, ought to bring their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. All parents should have a covenant awareness of their tasks. They need to remember the promises of God to their children each day. They need to whisper those promises when they rise up and when they lie down to sleep. The covenant demands the art of repetition. We kiss only to be reminded that we will kiss again. We say, “I love you,” as a way of practicing for the next “I love you.” These affirmations serve to remind us of the persuasive nature of our God who throughout Scriptures repeated the same message through patriarchs, prophets, and priests. We need the covenant promises made known afresh. Admonishment and nurture must be grounded in solemn joys–a firm, but tender methodology. We exasperate children when we stop reminding them of these promises. The more repetitive you are the more covenantal you become. So repeat yourself. Give hugs again and again. Repeat God’s promises again and again. And when your child complains of your incessant loving, hugging, and story-telling, then know that you have done your job well.
Psalm 16 adds this unique messianic prophecy: “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” The Father loves this theme of “death and resurrection.” What we experience as saints are little episodes of death and resurrection. Every act of repentance is an act of death on your part, and every act of forgiveness by God or someone else is an act of resurrection in your life. God promises in this psalm to raise Jesus from the dead; the Father will not allow the death of Jesus to be a source of mockery but of triumph. So also, every act of suffering we undergo is God’s display of his commitment to being with you always.