Thursday, December 18, 2008

Carl Trueman on “The Case for Gay Marriage”


Wow. Don’t you think that is “there is no truth”? It certainly sounds just like it only in a nicer way that almost sounds like there is truth. As in there is absolute truth…..but it’s subjective. The Scriptures have authority, but don’t really say so since we can’t divine the true will of God. Then again, that’s very -esque.

I know we have to shy away from shutting our ears and running (along the lines of what Nathan said), but that is far from what is going on here. Just as a point, then, following your logic, as a Christian, I can't and shouldn't assert that Christ is the only way, and that he wasn't God’s son and that he wasn’t really God. After all, we don’t really know precisely what the words mean. That’s just what they mean to me right now.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

James Kushiner on Single-Issue Voting


I’ve written and rewritten this. I read your comments and others like it and I am struck with an incredible sense of incredulity (as, I’m sure, you are as well). It saddens me that abortion isn’t seen as the atrocity it is. It saddens me that we can look and with great ease call slavery shameful and an atrocity but then say there are many issues alongside abortion. It’s sad that SD couldn’t get an abortion ban passed. I think it shows how we have devalued innocent lives and how we have desensitized ourselves by myriad excuses and justifications. The SD vote also demonstrated the influence of RvW (one of the major objections was the amount of tax dollars spent fighting against lawsuits to defend it. A defense that would be met with loss given the current (and now future) SC compilation…..). I think it’s also sad that abortion is an industry. It generates money. Much of that under the guise of any ban being government intrusion into the private medical decisions that affect how doctors treat women while no consideration is taken for the life of the child.

At best, I think in the next 4 years we’ll see no changes in the extension of RvW. At worst, we will see FOCA passed, funding cut for crisis pregnancy centers and a roll against the modest gains pro-life has seen in the last decade or so (just under).

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“Pro-lifers” for Obama

“I do think that a strong argument can be made that abortion is one of, if not the most important moral issue in our nation. That does not make it the most important issue to the election. (Russ)

I think you codify the argument. We minimize abortion below slavery, but (as many have said) we would never vote for a candidate supporting it. The same can be said about any number of other issues. We should fight for life on all battlegrounds, and this was one of the biggest.

FOCA has been mentioned many times by the president elect. That said, I agree that the speech was simply a typical political overspeak. And yes, abortion would not have likely been eliminated with McCain. But the continued (and expansion of) on-access abortion is seen as more than just another issue by the president elect (as he has stated RvW would influence SC nominations and he fully supports FOCA in more than a passing manner, apparently).

And to go with Alando’s statement, yes we should pray as Mohler stated. I hope (pray) that Michelle Obama’s family stance is real. I think that goes many miles for some of the atrocities of our new American families (divorce, dead-beat dads, etc.). Our prayers should be for Obama to have been courting votes with his FOCA comment. They should be for the protection of our president against the idiots who see him as an affront (as a black man). For his decisions to be Kingdom-centered rather than man-centered. But the fact is that the election demonstrated how sidelined the unborn are. And I don’t think it right to join in and ignore it. Hence why it is still discussed.

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'On Faith’ on Gay ‘Marriage’


Calvinists deny culpability? I kinda short-cut there (ha ha).

The closest I can get is a father-child analogy*. I see my child reaching for the cookie. I tell him don’t, you’ll get a tummy ache. I “know” when I leave the room, he’ll try it again. I could explain how the gastric system performs poorly when too much sugar is consumed, thus causing the ache. But he’s 3 and doesn’t know how to spell “consumed”. Thus a life lesson. He’s responsible that he chose to eat the cookie. He also understands (hopefully) a little better that I was serious. He is culpable (even if he can’t spell it), but I “knew” what he would do. The differences are drastic, of course, but, in the end, similar. God knows the heart and we do have the same opportunity. The end was known before the beginning, but we are no less culpable for our decisions.

* - one which isn’t necessarily true.

PS: Which one is the dog, DJ or Darius? Am I too late to be in the running?

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As infuriating as it may be, I do enjoy reading the panel (it gives a good sense of how many people actually view their faith as opposed to how they may state it in a crowd). Some interesting quotes:

“The issue is never what the Bible says; it's what the readers say it says.”

“A far better goal is to ask people not to attempt to impose their theology on those who hold a different theological point of view.”

“…the Bible does not anticipate most features of today's debates.”

“If the Qur'an teaches that sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin (and it does), how can I condemn a significant portion of the population to sin or to a life of celibacy (which the Qur'an frowns upon as well)?”

“Gay people prefer people of the same sex, so if God made them that way, then that was God's choice.”

I think Paul’s words on tickling ears definitely come to mind. One distinction that is made and lost is that Christians condemn the sin, not the sinner. The unfortunate thing is that there are plenty of Phelps characters who take the wrong view (Peter’s words on gentleness and reverence come to mind). I think a good essay on the Christian side of the issue that is not just centered on the question of “OK or not?” is on Boundless. Our compassion isn’t demonstrated by embracing the sin, rather, in embracing the sinner (just as we would a repentant adulterer, a spouse-abuser, an embezzler, etc.). The balance and difficulty comes in remaining steadfast in the word (which does include turning out those who remain steadfast in their sin) while showing love (and compassion) for all. Condoning and embracing the sin is far more unloving.

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Would it be too bombastic to say that I'm a complementarian calvinist who believes Genesis isn't just a borrowed story? I would draw a smiley but I have to use alcohol to get the ink off the screen.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ultimate 80’s Medley
We’re Not Gonna Take It in harmony. Uh, wow.

Paul, I think the joke might have been funnier if you weren’t first trying to insult SCC (from the original thread).

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You guys need to take a breather.

Paul, I'm sure you've already seen it, but here's an interesting blog post related to music.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Son’s Submission to the Father

My question is about whether “equal in power and glory” conflicts with “the Son is in eternal submission to the authority of the Father.”

It seems that complementarians won't and egalitarians would (almost must). The egalitarian rendering of 1 Peter 3, Col 3, Eph 5, it seems, is submission only comes on my terms (a veiled view of retaining power as authority to egalitarians necessarily means power, but not with a complementarian view as the authority is ordained by God, not our personal views……but I think we disagree on that, as well…..). As Michael said, the issues egalitarians have appear to be with the texts. Then again, I seem to think that we’ve had this discussion before on this site at least in one other post.

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What comes out when you're squeezed?!
I like your post. While your title is a wee bit disturbing ;-), you also reminded me of a story I heard about Nazi Germany. I will very briefly paraphrase (I don't recall where I read or heard this first). Two women were sent to a concentration camp. They were tired, hungry, beaten, etc. by the time they got there. When they went into the bunks, they laid down for welcomed sleep but were met with stinging and biting. Fleas! One of them looks at the other and says let's pray and thank God for the fleas. We're to give thanks in all circumstances. The other woman said that was insane, but the first insisted. So they knelt down to pray. After a few weeks, the two women discovered that the guards wouldn't come into the barracks because of the fleas. So they were able to hold studies, prayer and whatever worship they could there without fear of reprisal from the guards. Ah, the blessing of fleas.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Has Obama Betrayed the Left-wing?

And in a similar manner, has Michelle Obama let down the team as well?

Don't know if it's window dressing (though I do think it manifests his dizzying position (over time) on the war). I think it will be something to which he'll point when enacting a spate of his other policies domestically. I think time might show how close he is to rep. on foreign policy but will demonstrate how far apart he is on the socialization of the US (through his domestic policies). Then again, I’m not a political guy. And I agree with Chris and his first guest. We’ll just have to see.

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LA Times on Women in Ministry
While it might be fun to rehash the comp/egal discussion, I’ll stick with only slightly on subject items:

1) “In terms of political slant, the [Los Angeles Times] has moved to the left of The New York Times…” Now that’s saying something.
2) Am I supposed to refer to myself in third person for this comment?
3) Can CBMW get a blog spell checke ditor?


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Monday, November 24, 2008

eHarmony to Precipitate Same-Sex Relationships
I had read the comment here as well as the previous thread on the subject. Varying takes on it, but essentially the comment is “This is a business, so what Dr. NCW did was business-related.” There are varying levels and takes on that, but that’s the gist. That’s a very disheartening view. This isn’t simply a professing Christian who provides a product (service, company, etc.) that another person is then using to purposefully sin*. This is someone now providing a service to promote that sin. It’s the equivalent of a Christian movie distributor settling and agreeing to distribute pornographic films. I can’t help but think of Daniel putting his job with Darius on the line (oh, and his life, too) in a similar situation.

Actually, it never is strictly a business decision. God is always involved and at the center.

* - To that end, if it were, the person would have to at least take measure of what they were doing. That wouldn’t be so cut and dry.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Ted Slater on Biblical Divorce

Thanks for posting this. The singles pastor at my church covered Matthew 5 (on divorce) and, of course, expanded it to include Paul’s letter. I am divorced myself and thought he spoke very well on it, but it occurred to me how different we can all be affected by this issue. When he and I were meeting, he made a mention about a divorced person coming up to him afterward and saying how relieved the person was. Until then that individual truly felt there was a scarlet “D” on them. The pastor was very firm on the exact points you make in this short response. He was very clear. I was surprised to hear that response (from that person). That individual was very clearly a part of that allowance and yet still felt stigmatized. It was heart wrenching to hear. I suppose I had been counseled all along (differently, perhaps?) and just hadn’t been exposed to that.

The difficulties are many when dealing with divorce. They are tragic. And after witnessing life overall, it surprises me how flippantly divorce is treated by professing Christians. It’s a core travesty in the fabric of America and yet it’s all too often simply accepted without thinking. All that said, it saddens me how uncompassionate folks can be.

Great response!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dr. Burk on A Resolution on Protecting Human Life
Nathan (or anyone else):

How do you think this will drive a wedge (sorry I paraphrased)? I guess I'm coming from a church that's not within a denomination. I think it similar to how the ECUSA is fracturing (with the biblically more prone to schism to the African Cone), right? I suppose the question is essentially what kind of teeth (other than pure, stand alone merit) would this have?

I like the statement and think it makes just that, an impactful statement.

I dig the new site. I am now not just "leaving a comment", but I'm going to "join the discussion"!

BTW, John, don’t you think that reducing abortion to simply a political issue is amiss?

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John H: Just a quick note of correction. You did not say (in post 3) that abortion was simply a political issue. I meant to post this earlier but just didn’t. Sorry for misrepresenting what you said.

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Perhaps I’m being na├»ve here, but how does this issue differ from slavery? There were many Christians during that time saying that we should just give up, after all slavery is (was) already legal and there’s the Dred Scott decision. I bet the laundry list was longer for slavery than it was for abortion.

Or, juxtapositioned (sic) another argument championed by some Christians (and to quote Scott Klusendorf):

“Imagine a candidate who said he was personally opposed to spousal abuse while he had a 100% voting record in favor of men having a right to beat their wives. Suppose he told the public the underlying cause of spousal abuse is psychological, so instead of making it illegal for husbands to beat their wives, the solution is to provide federally funded counseling for men.”

Or worse, what if a tenet of that federally funded counseling was to tell men that beating their wives was OK and here’s a smaller, safer belt with which you can beat.

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One more and I’ll stop discussing. I think the quotes thing (not parentheses) is a silly argument, personally. And it winds up being an easy distraction. Two things disturb me (three that are puzzling ;-). First is that Dr. Burk is rebuked for his (quotes needed here) “particular political ideology”. But I think part of it is the simple fact that abortion is above political affiliation. It is stated as though it’s an excuse for voting republican. But the consistency is that abortion is the view, not a political affiliation (if you think otherwise, see comments on Giuliani). What I think would be delicious to see is a democratic representative that is for making abortion illegal (running against a Giuliani). If Christian leaders such as Dr. Mohler, et al decried that candidate, then the political ideology argument would hold water. Until then, it’s simply a diversionary tactic. And, BTW, I will boldly (emphatically?) state that Dr. Mohler, Dr. Burk, Dr. Moore, etc. would have the same vehemence for that pro-life candidate.

Second is abortion as a policy issue. This is not a policy issue, it is a moral issue. When I hear the argument that abortion should be reduced by this program or that program, suddenly it becomes a policy issue. Just something more that can be debated. Something that we should just accept that it will be around.

I dare not attach an “evil” tag to anyone who voted for Obama. When I talk to my mom and dad (die-hard democrats), in fact, they are far from giving their views lip-service (they state they vote the way they do b/c of policies for helping the downtrodden). But it just seems that because we can’t hear the silent screams of the unborn we can more easily sink into a comfort of voting on other things. Again, I don’t think the other reasons that people vote one way or another are bad or even unimportant (in fact, they are quite noble). But many of them are not the equivalent of the equivalent of an entire generation of people. I think that collectively, Christians had an opportunity to say that abortion really means this much. Ignoring the protection of the most innocent means this much. And it was shunned (in a grand, outspoken, obvious manner).

In the end, our Christian tenets should hold form. We should not expect our thinking our ideologies to be carried out by government. While at the same time our ability to impact the nation around us should be informed by those same tenets. That is why our concerns today are the same as they were November 3rd, they are the same as they will be November of next year, etc.

PS: Darius, thanks for the highlight, that was the crux of that discussion post.

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1) I don’t know how voting Nader is a pro-life vote (I think he’s pro-abortion, isn’t he?).
2) Darius already said it, but I'm sure there were many Christians who said the same thing after Dred Scott.
3) 2 and 2a should have nothing to do with this aspect. Shouldn’t affecting abortion in any way (including how we vote) be and in addition to? I would have put quotes around that, but I got confused.
4) I can’t help but think that stating “You cannot be serious if you expect me to vote for someone that I watched gut my industry” is exactly that to which Dr. Mohler, Dr. Burk, et al pointed. The way you said that is that the right for a fetus to live doesn’t trump the comfort I would have gotten or would have been denied (given deregulation, which, perhaps was not right). This seems to be the shining example of how people weighed this election. Of course I could be completely wrong.

Paul is spot on that we need to “get our hands dirty”. But the fact is that we should do all we can for this. Voting was one way of doing it and, obviously (and as Darius stated), many millions opted not to do this. The election is hind sight. Nothing we can do about the election. I’m still dumbfounded, though at the chest thumping of Christians who say they voted Obama. And no, this doesn’t change the way I pray for the president. Although what I pray will be to let FOCA and crisis pregnancy center funding be among the promises that Obama doesn’t keep (that’s a reflection that all politicians fail on some promises, not an indication that Obama would be unique in that aspect!)

Sorry for the liberal use of quotation marks. That doesn’t make me liberal does it?

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How is abortion not like slavery (other than the fact that we can’t hear the unborn children)? Or how would Scott Klusendorf’s example not be the same?

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If you are saying one is based on one attribute (skin color), the other is based on another (walking and talking), then, yes, they are different as they discriminate based on different inherent attributes. But both are a denial of rights based on attributes inherent to that person (that they are unable to change). Abortions are because the child in the womb is seen as inferior and has no rights (or else the child might speak for himself). They are denied a right to even exist (and aren’t even viewed as 3/5’s human). If you’re going to support abortion 0 to 9 months, then yes, ALL babies lacking the attribute of functioning outside of the mother’s womb are then seen as inferior (actually less since they are not even acknowledged as humans).

I don’t see your connection in the next part. Abortion is an evil that we ignore. The comparison is very applicable in that those who support a candidate who promotes (not simply turns a blind eye to) providing abortion would never think the same in the analogous situation (of slavery). The point I was making was not one of why abortion is or isn’t an evil. It clearly is. The argument some were taking was that though abortion is evil, it takes an equal (or secondary) place to protecting the environment, feeding the poor, etc. Or, in other cases, an argument that we may as well give up as look at the decisions against the pro-life movement.

BTW, adorable kiddo.

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I agree in particular with one item you mention (I do agree with others and disagree with some still, but I really don’t want to belabor a point any further than it should be). Slavery was about power and abortion is about life and death. And yet folks will still support someone who doesn’t merely support, but seeks to expand the ability, reduce funding against while providing more funds for killing the unborn. The parallel is that the same people would never consider supporting someone who supported slavery. And as you rightly say, slavery was about power, abortion about life and death, yet the latter is downplayed in favor of health care, environment or other not-quite-as-important issues.

And regarding the last part, yes, I’m sure he is a gift. My little one stood a shot at having curls like that, alas my straight hair was the dominant gene there.

Thanks so much for the exchange!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Dr. Burk on Change That Pro-Life People Can’t Believe In
1) I found it extremely ironic that when I visited the page, the sponsor in the corner was Shell (one of the other thrusts of the article was the California carbon emissions regulation.) Funny.
2) Yes, John, God is fully in control. But don’t confuse that as a justification for lethargy or indifference. He will use all to work for His good. But we haven’t a clue what His will is. We strive for kingdom values. I think Dr. Burk’s point is that with one stroke of the pen, the new president will specifically contradict that (rescinding the embryonic stem cell research). The President-elect also continues to hold FOCA as a high value to his platform.
3) I find it amusing that the carbon regulation is supposed to “stoke innovation”. I agree that necessity is the mother of invention. But carbon emission regulation will be detrimental and wind up focusing on trapping. The mpg increase initiative is what should be the thrust. Regulating our .0001% contribution to global carbon seems utterly silly (and expensive to boot).
4) From that, the article points out two anti-life issues along with regulating carbon emissions (can’t we just breathe less? ;-). I think this will be a tone for the first part of his presidency. Over time, though, as policies are defined, even Obama supporters see the need for accountability.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Dr. Burk on Mohler’s Remarks about the Election on ABC News
I think that the other life-protection bills not passing in other states is directly a result of the continued willful rejection of seeing a fetus as a human. With RvW, people have a crutch to say it won’t matter. Many use it as a definition (meaning, RvW defines it and it means that life is defined as at least not some time in the womb). It’s too easy for opposition to promote the idea that with a federal case on the books, props such as the SD ban or California’s notification law would just get struck down by a higher court (well, there’s really only one higher than the state constitutions, right?). It’s simply a continuation of the ease of sliding it out of our minds. The specific outworking on this was the OK law recently. Out of sight, out of mind.

But when it comes down to it, I think what we see is just what Dr. Mohler, et al have been saying. Abortion is being minimized. It’s tossed into a bucket of “concerns” and it’s far easier to just not care as much. And that’s reflected in voting. SD saw the restrictions as too much. It’s a fundamental shift that life no longer begins in the womb. We vote the way our consciences allow us. And it’s not popular enough to see this as a transcendent value. It’s not cool to be a one-issue voter*. And if they don’t care, why should I?

Paul is right about acting. We should act out our convictions. But that doesn’t mean a new game plan. It has never been vote this way or work at a crisis prengnancy center. That’s an unfair caricature (and if it’s what you’ve witnessed, then shame on those around you). Justin Taylor had an interview with Scott Klusendorf. I think it speaks well to the issue overall. Plus there are a couple of other really good guest blog posts on there about the election. Worth checking it out!

* - See the recent boundless article on Cool Compassion

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Just to beat the proverbial dead horse, I liked this thought out of Klusendorf’s interview:

The moral logic in play here is baffling. First, if abortion does not unjustly kill an innocent human being, why is Obama worried about reducing it? But if it does unjustly kill a human being, isn’t that good reason to legislate against it? Second, laws which allow—indeed, promote—the killing of unborn human beings are unjust even if no one has abortions. Imagine a candidate who said he was personally opposed to spousal abuse while he had a 100% voting record in favor of men having a right to beat their wives. Suppose he told the public the underlying cause of spousal abuse is psychological, so instead of making it illegal for husbands to beat their wives, the solution is to provide federally funded counseling for men.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seth McBee: A Christian Response to Obama's Presidency: Trust, Pray, Submit

That would be funny.

Yes, that would be!

I had wanted to chime in on the vote/not vote, but I felt I didn't "catch it" in time. I'm glad you issued the question again (as an aside, I appreciate that you are very open and communicative with your comments, too!). I think something that Erik Redmond stated one aspect well:

Second, even if one is seeking to be consistent in humility and holiness individually, to abstain from voting on any matter is to allow the majority to speak for you. That same majority, with a victory, might make trouble for the greater populous by means of the evil(s) of which you sought to distance yourself by abstaining from voting.

Of course I don’t get past the first sub-topic you cite (killing babies v. innocents). The most succinctly I would say this is that McCain’s policy was not to expand war (it was not a tenet of his platform) but to exit Iraq after reasonable stability. Obama’s policy, though, is to expand abortion (as you understand, I’m sure, FOCA being the center of that in addition to elimination of funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Expansion is a tenet of Obama’s platform). I’m sure you’ve read the boundless article on it, but it gives a good comparison.

All of that aside, though, Seth, you hit the nail on the head (Pray, Submit, Trust). The presidency, senate, house, supreme court nominations, etc., etc., should not affect the outworking of our Christian lives one iota.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dr. Burk on Post-Election Columns to Read

Interesting. I think you hit upon the core issue

legally binding contract

As Christians we should fight every step of the way to keep the view of marriage from becoming exactly that.

If the concept is legally binding, then that should be the route taken (i.e. push for state reform that allows people to put whomever they want in their wills/insurance). Take the word marriage out of it. But that isn’t the agenda, is it? Just a convenient topic to which one can point to stir emotions. It’s something about which people can get others shouting and yelling.

I would point to a significant amount of government that is not the spirit you mention, but that would take more space than I should ever take here.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Dr. Burk on final election words....

My Closing Argument for Life on Election Eve by Dr. Burk

The issue that I would voice is that you never get to care for the poor. Sen. Obama’s record is not one of passivity (which, at worst, McCain would be). His is one of aggressively expanding and denying rights to those whom we hold very dear. They are never cared for and are denied a right to even exist. Given the details of FOCA (a central plank in Obama’s platform), the little that has been accomplished will be utterly nullified as well.

So you say that When the Republicans nominate someone who is pro-life, anti-war, opposed to the death penalty, against embryonic stem cell research, and for the poor, I will vote for him or her.

Abortion: Obama is Pro-Abortion (and make no mistake, it’s not choice, it’s not choice, it’s federal funding to have abortions among other expansions, see FOCA and his desire to eliminate funding for crisis pregnancy centers)
Death Penalty: Both candidates are pro-Death penalty
Stem Cell research: Obama is pro stem cell research (in fact, he even wants to begin creating new embryos for the sole purpose of destruction. McCain (despite thoughts otherwise) does not oppose stem cell research using embryos slated for destruction. I find that to be at odds with my belief that we should allow embryonic stem cell research.
For the poor: Obama, I’ll say, is pro-poverty (that is, that he envisions an ability to eradicate it). However, there have been several studies shown that aggressive government distribution programs don’t work. So I would not tend to say that any of his policies will do anything but expend a sense of entitlement (but that is an entirely different discussion). I suppose a question I would ask is what policy do you oppose of McCain’s? Or, rather, what policy of Obama’s is radically superior to McCain’s?
Anti-war: Both are for the removal of troops from Iraq. McCain outright states that political stability must come prior to a reduction of troops. Obama says the same thing, only first says we must reduce troops then follows with we must ensure political stability (but also appears to favor increased troops in Afghanistan while saying troop reduction). As with so many other issues, Obama has stated opposition, changed his position (to where at one point he said that he and Bush were on the same page) and now back to opposition. I still think McCain

I can understand the feeling of wanting to change the “old guard” so to speak. I think that is the tide that Obama has ridden thus far. And I don’t think that anyone will convince you to vote otherwise. I also think that there are plenty of folks digging in their heels to vote for Obama based on fuzzy notions of “care for the poor” or “environment”. The crux, though, is that on life in the womb, the candidates are polar opposite. On nearly all other issues, they are not opposite, but view different ways achieving the same goal (policy). And while you don’t agree that it’s a moral versus policy comparison, you are showing a predefined priority. Or, rather, that pro-life just sits amongst the other issues you regard.

You are correct, we are of another kingdom. Regardless of who is elected, we should continue to support/expand crisis pregnancy centers (did you remember that Obama is for cutting off federal funding?), woman-to-woman resources and on and on. We should work tirelessly in our communities. We have an opportunity to demonstrate that we value life above all other things. Instead, though, we are relegating it to just another factor in my giant equation. And it is disheartening.

If you’re interested, do a quick search on abortion. Or visit (most have links to other sites and furthers the discussion):
or 2688 (especially concerning your “kingdom” reference)
or 2647 (I think this answers your comment from the next one….)
or 2645 (I think you commented on this one, answered above)
or 2633

And on and on. Plus, if you have a minute, take a look at the site as well (especially Cool Compassion).

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Dr. Mohler has a great prayer on his blog. I think, especially given the news about Obama's grandmother, that #6 really rang true:

Sixth, we should pray that God will protect these candidates and their families. They have been through an arduous ordeal and now face the deadline of the vote. They are physically exhausted and now face the judgment of the people. They are public figures, but they are also flesh and blood human beings, who are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. Their families have withstood much. We should pray for their marriages and their children. May God protect them.

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Friday, October 31, 2008 by Dr. Burk.....

Dr. Burk references Dr. Piper's comments on issues of the day and voting.

Gary Thomas wrote a really good article that just continues to strike at the heart.

As Piper stated: “vote as though not voting”. Dr. Piper correctly points out that getting too worked up about voting or someone not winning that you think should (“the united states is not my allegiance, God…is…always pursuing His kingdom.”) should cause you to question your motives (God- versus man-centered). That’s a great point that I (personally) have to keep in mind.

That said, I’m just understanding a vote for Obama less and less (from a Christian trying to justify it). I definitely believe (to the disbelief of some) that God ordains kings and leaders (see Piper’s quotes!). And I won’t cease working for the kingdom. Oh, well.

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Normally you offer a great perspective and good argumentation. I am perhaps the commenter that is least versed in argumentation on this site, but your comments on a couple of threads now (the “women are evil” stunts) are surprising and, honestly, appear troll-like (simply intended to draw someone “offsides” intended solely to inflame or incense). It also seems very uncharacteristic of you. Just to address the “woman is evil” thing, then, the statement is the same as saying that the Israelites committed evil in the Lord’s eyes. Thus being an Israelite is evil. Perhaps someone has actually said “being a woman is evil”. I could possibly have missed it. But I don’t think so and that is such a straw-man (and perhaps I should have not even bothered commenting about it?) that I am utterly flabbergasted.

While we don’t agree with you on issues related to 2Tim2, Eph 5, Col 3, 1 Peter 3, Titus 2, etc., you traditionally stick to the issues. If you believe that Palin is not being unbiblical here (I’ll go out on a limb and say that is the case), then make the argument (you’ve never shied away before on similars (sic)).

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BTW, While we don’t agree with you… was meant to be “while we don’t agree”, meaning Sue and I don’t. I wrote the rest of it with the intention of saying “I don’t agree with you” (again, indicating Sue and I don’t agree). I do not cast my thoughts or opinions upon anyone here (in particular Dr. Burk!). Sorry for my oversight and mis-type. I should have been more careful. D’oh!

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You rightly make a heartfelt and emotional cry for women who are dominated. Men take a biblical complementarian position and apply it in a sinful manner. And that is atrocious. They are no better than the false teachers demanding payment for their religion, ensuring salvation. My personal feeling is that it is worse as it too often involves physical atrocities and a multiple of other sins. I cannot say I feel your pain nor will I say that I can even fathom it. I also must say that you are far wiser than I. I am not even beginning to approach understanding classical/Hellenistic Greek, much less expert enough to conduct my own studies of it. However, I have read a great deal on this topic. And while I am in no place to be writing think pieces on why a translation should be taken one way or another, I feel confident in the complementarian position. Often the argumentation I’ve heard against comp is one of special knowledge, individualizing texts to deconstruct them or construct arguments based on assumptions of how a complementarian view should go based on the arguers position (in essence a stronger version of straw man).

Now, concerning the woman is evil, you replaced your straw man argument for reasons why you wanted to set up a straw man argument and then simply emphasized it. The crux is that the view by Dr. Piper is that his complementarian view extends to the commander-in-chief. He views that to be sinful not the attribute of being a woman (that’s akin to saying that if I sleep with this other woman, I’m committing the sin of adultery because I’m married. Therefore being married must be sinful.).

Again, I have always appreciated your thoughts (even if we do disagree). The question came across (still continues to, actually, but oh, well) as simply acerbic.

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Candice Watters on What Matters Most at the Ballot Box

What matters most at the Ballot Box


You are correct. That is a staggering issue. But foreign policy is not as polarizing an issue as is abortion. Meaning one is not for a unilateral withdrawal while the other is for expanding the war and waging war in additional countries. One is not for extending aid to foreign countries while the other desires to retract foreign aid policies and use government funding to purchase additional food from those same countries. But that same scenario appears when the abortion issue comes about.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dr. Burk goes Hip-Hop....

Dr. Burk on Flame.

This cracked me up, thanks, Dr. Burk. I would concur with D.J. (as I am a fan of LaCrae and Tedashii (I know, I’m behind the times myself)). I appreciate the point. Plus I’m happy that Dr. Burk is moving beyond Hannah Montana (I knew that gem from Dr. Moore would come back up!).

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Dr. Burk refers to George Weigel's piece on abortion

Pro-Life and Pro-Obama? Hardly.

I was amused at “Obamapologetics”.

I think Weigel codifies the disucssion:

Questions of war and peace, social-welfare policy, environmental policy and economic policy, on the other hand, are matters of prudential judgment on which people who affirm the same principles of Catholic social doctrine can reasonably differ. The pro-life, pro-Obama Catholics are thus putting the full weigh of their moral argument on contingent prudential judgments that, by definition, cannot bear that weight.

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podman (or anyone else, don’t mean to exclude ;-):

I think if we’re going to say that:
I might be more compelled by McCain’s prolife designation if i actually believed he was going to act on this in some meaningful way…

Shouldn’t we also comment on the fact that Obama isn’t merely a “do nothing”, but is going to actively seek justices to uphold RvW (he and McCain don’t say “litmus test”, but point to it), he will actively seek to enact a bill that will eradicate any pro-life bills on the books, that he will actively seek to reduce/eliminate funding for crisis pregnancy centers (federal funding of pro life crisis pregnancy centers)?

I understand if we don’t agree that McCain will appoint appropriate SC nominations for an overturn of RvW, but I cannot see logic in saying that federal medical funding of abortions (part of FOCA), elimination of funding of pro-life clinics in addition to SC nominations being based, not solely, but in a large part on RvW and the Illinois bill* is somehow a support of pro-life. Is an aggressive social welfare policy really supposed to combat the lack of recognition of a fetus being a human?

* - I only mention this since I’ve seen so much about McCain’s stance on Ginsburg, etc.

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Amen about the much to do. And, like you, I'm sure, regardless of the presidency, I'll pray just as fervently during an Obama presidency as a McCain presidency.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Seth McBee on trickle down economics and beer...

This is a reason I see as the oddity of social justice taking center stage in the discussion of issues during politics. And, to be honest, I am likely fairly close to the sixth or seventh man on our tax scale. Thanks for the post.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dr. Burk's post about J. Budziszewski on election importance of abortion

I would say that there are two reasons. First is the denial of dignity of a class of individuals. In essence, all issues are contained in that denial. Meaning that there are no issues about which I can care if there isn’t a life there. A denial of a life is a denial of any care or love to extend.

But, more often than not, it’s a matter of a difference in policy. It’s not that Obama cares for the poor but McCain is championing slave labor. It’s not that McCain believes in every man paid for his earnings while Obama steals from one group to give to another. In abortion, however, Obama does believe in the legal sanctioning and even (given FOCA) the funding of (and, in a slightly more far-flung manner, coercion of Dr.’s to perform) what is specifically unbiblical. J.Bud gives a good account of how to then fine tune, given comparable issues such as war (and you can even apply to the issue that disputatio rallied earlier).

And in a smaller manner, just hearing the rhetoric about the issue is upsetting to me. When Obama refers to a child in the womb as the equivalent of an STD, it breaks my heart. I think that we all harden our hearts to different sins. This is an easy one since the victims are silent and we don’t get pictures and broadcasts, etc. Actually, if I remember, that is something the article chimes in about as well. This is one that I would say Obama has hardened himself against. He only sees children we want to raise as gifts from God. Otherwise, they’re an inconvenience that we should be able to eliminate. And, as he has said about his own daughter (in the event that she were to get pregnant as a teen), he would condone as well.

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Yea, Paul, with the exception of the big jerk part, I have to go with Darius. And hey, if we were to sit and have dinner with one another, that may change, too (oh, wait......;-). RvW is the security blanket that lets (most) people keep telling themselves that this is simply a matter of personal choice (not saying you tell yourself that, mind you…but if you do, you’re a jerk.).

Additionally, while you or I couldn't give a sure prognostication on what would happen to the abortion numbers in the event of RvW being repealed, my hedge would be solidly in the camp that it would significantly reduce the numbers. Which would begin to return the idea that children are a gift, not a disease.

And, though I know that you will vainly not cast your vote for Obama, this isn’t a pro-choice supporter. This is a rabid pro-abortion candidate. At least that’s what his rhetoric would indicate.

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I think Dr. Burk posted a response in general to your question. Additionally, though, taking the argument you pose about SC nominations, I think you point out a specific “great divide” between the two candidates. Taking Obama at his word, he will actively seek to expand RvW. His “first order of business” would be to sign FOCA. This is an aggressively pro-abortion candidate. And, Sen. McCain also stated that he wouldn’t nominate someone who agreed with the RvW decision.

Further, Obama stated “Now I would not provide a litmus test. But I am somebody who believes that Roe versus Wade was rightly decided. I think that abortion is a very difficult issue and it is a moral issue and one that I think good people on both sides can disagree on.” Both candidates would agree that the next presidency will have a great impact on that (judicial nominations and RvW).

You are right about actively pursuing ways to help single mothers. Again, though, Obama wants to cut funding from crisis pregnancy centers. FOCA would force pro-llife organizations to “support”* abortion (if federal funding involved). So yes, we should actively seek to help, nurture and care for those mothers. But until the presidency is decided, we should also resist the urge to “back burner” an infant’s right to life because we find it unpalatable to vote for somebody who doesn’t socially reform the way we see fit.

* - at least they would have to present it to those they are counseling, if I understand it correctly.

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Thank you for the response. I have to apologize. I read the quote:

I do not believe that someone who has supported Roe v. Wade that would be part of those qualifications.

And I was thinking that (though the quote written is a bit confusing) his indication was not to submit an RvW supporter (but I did not get the opportunity to watch that debate). I truly apologize for getting that quote wrong.

Of course, given his disagreement with RvW based on his federalist stance, if a potential nominee agreed with RvW, then that would not meet his qualiications (simply from the fact that he not only disagrees with the abortion aspect, but the decision itself that took the decision out of the hands of the state). Again, I apologize for anything I wrote that was wrong or misleading (sigh).

My question still stands: what is your next course of action to fight Roe v. Wade if Sen. Obama is elected?
I didn’t realize that you had a question about that, wasn’t trying to avoid it, if so. Some things would be to continue our support of crisis pregnancy centers (this one especially since Obama seeks to cut federal funding unless support for abortion is included), single mother outreach, outreach to those around us (I live in a college-centered city). But all of that continues whether McCain or Obama (well, sans the parenthetical statement). Especially the last part. One of the fantastically detrimental aspects of secular thought is the teaching of how best to ignore repercussions. Meaning, teach kids how to have sex and pretend that you can prevent repercussions (or act as though they aren’t there). Even outside of a biblical framework, this seems obvious. I think, in the end, what happens is that the center of the issue is human life. We see this in terms of human life and it undoes the idea of sex without consequences.

The thing about what we do is very important. How we impact our community is important. How we speak to our neighbors (well, actually, just that we should speak to our neighbors ;-) ) is vital. Demonstrating (and speaking) the gospel to those with whom we interact is not just important, it is our defining action (of being a Christian). That’s local. What we have an opportunity to do now is to affect a national level. The vast majority of us are not called to stir a national organization such as Focus on the Family, NRL, etc. But our vote has a national affect. And every aspect that Obama touts is denied of the most unprotected of us all.

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I meant to comment on two other things, but I feel very long winded (sorry, all).

In either case, I never disputed that Sen. Obama seems to be adamantly pro-choice. I merely brought up the point that Sen. McCain does not appear to be adamantly pro-life.

That was my point as well. It’s not that Obama is pro-choice, he is aggressively pro-abortion. You (correctly, perhaps?) frame McCain as a passive pro-life guy. Obama is an aggressive pro-abortion guy. This isn’t Clinton, for instance, who at the bare minimum opposed late-term abortions (if my memory serves me correctly). Obama is a candidate who seeks to eradicate what little movement has been made in the law (again, see FOCA). McCain continues to seek faith-based initiatives, which would include efforts such as crisis pregnancy centers, of course, it could be that nothing gets promoted. Obama’s camp has already said no to supporting continued funding for crisis pregnancy centers. So, yes, it could be that McCain would nominate a center SC. At worst, he simply continues the court as we see it today (I disagree, however). But Obama is aggressively seeking to solidify and expand abortion. He’s a rabid pro-abortion fellow.

And, BTW, …while at the same time petitioning the current Supreme Court with intellectual, well-reasoned arguments for life, petitioning state lawmakers to present a law challenging Roe v. Wade…

With FOCA, the state law would not be allowed. With a left leaning (at best, ultra-liberal at worst) SC, the arguments never make it.

Did you read Weigel’s piece (and the corresponding rejoinder and surrejoinder)?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BoundlessLine on the end of all restrictions on abortion

Texas Craig:

Seed=egg!=plant!=life, germinated seed=plant(=)embryo=life (baby). As you say, He knew us before He knit us in our mothers' wombs. Why is that not enough? It is up to Him to decide that, not for us. To turn the question around, at what point does God call the soul back? Is it when someone's a vegetable? Is it when someone is in advanced stages of dimentia? Human life is dignity imparted by God. Abortion is the denial of that dignity.

Comparing to war, I'll stick with this site’s synopsis.

Also, you are correct about fertilized eggs as well. There are policies that are coming up that involve the purposeful creation and destruction of fertilized eggs to consider as well.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008


Dr. Burk spoke on Dr. Russell Moore's sermon titled Joseph of Nazareth Is a Single-Issue Evangelical: The Father of Jesus, the Cries of the Helpless, and Change You Can Believe In (Matt. 2:13-23) - by Russell Moore.

Since it's here, I must have commented.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008


Challies wrote an allegory about a church being overly concerned with its image. I giggled. And commented.

The Good Ol' Hockey Game
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Burk post 2631

Commented on Dr. Burk's site on the topic of abortion and Obama's statements in the debates.
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The intention of this blog is merely to provide more accountability for me on the world wide-web. Anyone can feel free to comment if you run across this. The information I provide here is not falsified, but I do ask for a modicum of privacy. What I mean is if you want to dialog or ask me a question, great, I'm all for it. I ask that you not flame here or, in essence, alert a mob intended to attack. I will not post thoughts (barring the occasional comment if necessary), but I will try to keep a record of where I comment (again, to maintain accountability). If you have questions, please feel free to ask. If you would like to contact me, my e-mail is Have a superb day!

UPDATE: I decided to include the actual posts to make accountability a little easier.
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