Monday, November 9, 2009

Fleeing the Abortionist’s Probe
To pull a quote from Jessi’s blog that demonstrates the lunacy of pro-abortion mentality:

Authorities say a 37-year-old Los Angeles man has been arrested on suspicion of murder for the death of an unborn child believed to be his.
Police said in a press release that Joshua Woodward was arrested Sunday in Los Angeles and is being held on $2 million bail in a county jail.
Police say the arrest came after an investigation on Monday revealed "suspicious circumstances of a miscarriage." Investigators estimate the fetus was in its 13th week.

Also from the same article:
Police released no information on the mother or the circumstances of the child's death.

Fascinating and yet contradictory to the mentality.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

The Myth of Monogamy
Christians are going to appear more and more out-of-step with the culture in this kind of atmosphere.

I also think this is why we have been such a non-impact on the abortion (and a slew of others) debate. We, too often, haven’t been out of step. You’re spot on, Erik! What a tremendous opportunity. I pray for a renewal of courage among believers to stand in the face of cultural dictates and norms (when in oppostion to God’s word, of course). Frigteningly, though, I also think the answer to Erik’s question might be that it’s just a matter of time for society at large to view committed marriage as out of date and backwards (actually, for many that has already happened).

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The State of the American Woman

If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?

No, but I would have followed the commands of God given through Joshua (which was to slay the city, yes). Don’t recall a command to “your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman”. I’m not sure how the spirit moved back then to know, but marching around a city that then spontaneously crashes to the ground might have been a clue, I suppose.

And EP, no, you would have followed the orders. It was the consensus of all of those people. That’s how reasoned atheist-based tendencies go. Atheistic reason would have been an arbitrary group consensus (actually, arbitrary isn’t fair. It would have been a man-based set of criteria to better that group). While I don’t understand why or really even how it was enacted, God worked to demonstrate it was He giving the command (the walls falling) that was to be followed. I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of it, and, to be 100% honest, I can’t explain how or why it worked out the way it did.

And I’m with Lucas. I wasted a lot of time catching up on this. Shame on me.

New Comment
I just don’t see Christians as moral agents any more.

Very telling. As is the thought that somehow no-fault divorce is good. It may have some beneficial side effects (such as the ability to more easily get out of an abusive situation), but hey, pagan sacrifices also fed many people.

I think it’s also interesting that you levee an accusation against someone who likely can’t defend themselves.

I do second (or, at this point third/fourth) Darius and Ryan in that any abuse against you was unbiblical and sinful as was anyone who tried to explain it away. My heart and my prayers go out to you. I’m sure a little too late, you might say, but, still, they are extended.

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I am interested to listen to the interview with Packer where he says he doesn’t remember the statement against the TNIV, didn’t read “The Gender Neutral Bible Controversy” and conceded that (in essence) Grudem hadn’t studied Koine Greek.


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Hmm. Odd question and an odd quote by Packer given that Wallace was on the ESV translation team (who, I believe, is schooled in such) and Packer wasn’t (I believe). I’m very interested in hearing what else he said. Post a link to the interview, I’d be interested in hearing it.


New Comment
That should be Packer wasn’t on the translation team (I don’t believe he was, anyway). D’oh!


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Re: The Packer interview, not that it matters, but I must say I’m quite skeptical still. My observations (which could be misguided):

  • The quote about not having read Polythress and Grudem is lumped into a block that simply says it wasn’t recorded and there isn’t a quotation.

  • There are other he-said-a-bunch-of-stuff-here blocks.

  • I believe the classical Greek comment is in context of the general editors (oversight?), not the translation team (given there are other prominent classical greek students on the translation team).

  • Packer specifically commented on the statement against the TNIV. He said he didn’t remember who drafted the statement.

  • It is set against the backdrop that you have an admitted axe to grind with the interview (which, btw provides a bit of amusement given the questioning method that sounds similar to how the Pharisees asked questions.) .

  • All this compounded by the mysteriousness of "well, I don’t really know where the recording is."

While I stop well short of fabrication, I am still quite dubious. But, like I said, not that it matters.

I did enjoy the quote from Packer, when asked if the ESV translation may be upsetting to some pointed out that with translating the bible:

"...we are not talking about cultural expectations, are we?"

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Episode 88: Biblical Divorce and Remarriage
I’m sorry to go a tad off topic, but I’ve “heard” you make the comment similar to:
“In my opinion, the situation isn't really any of your business.”
Writing about an issue is just not as easy as speaking in person, so I’m trying very hard not to write anything that could be taken as bombastic. In a nutshell, you don’t feel this comment demonstrates a negligence of the body of believers? I completely understand a desire to stay away from a nanny state (and, as we all know, you never badger anyone to Godly deeds, then they are not of the heart), but we are to encourage one another, to go to your brother, to restore one caught in a trespass with a spirit of gentleness. I take the bible as promoting proactive ministry rather than reactive or a ministry of ignoring.
I know in our westernized societies we have this great tendency to favor individualism* above all other things (often at the expense of our own spiritual health), so I guess to me it seems that is precisely what that comment exhibits. Maybe I’m off base or completely misunderstanding you.
* - and, in the church, anonymity as that better breeds the ability to hide ones sin.

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The way that I’ve seen it treated is that the church treats it in a church discipline manner. Approach (as indicated by the bible) the offending spouse. If they refuse, then they are being recalcitrant. An unrepentant Christian is not truly one of God’s (doesn’t actually exist, actually). Thus, Paul’s words would be applicable (if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave, let them). The key that you state is that the injured spouse follows a biblical course of trying to reconcile (as opposed to encouragement to go, etc.).

But others may see that differently.

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I missed a crucial word. It should have been I’ve heard you make similar comments before. Sorry for the lack of clarity (I know I was using a line from your comment.).

I suppose my question is do you think that such a lack of accountability is biblical (or even warranted)?

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Thanks for the response. Contrary, perhaps, to what you might expect, I have no whispers of thinking I can change your mind. As you have read here, I may be used as a tool for God’s purpose in that, but I, alone, by what I say, cannot change your heart. You are right, though, in that many of the folks around me who read this blog are beneficiaries of mutual accountability. We do see the rich reward from the “wounds” of a friend (Prov 27).

Those might be things that point in our direction, but I don’t see that they would ever convince.

Thanks again for the answer, I appreciate it!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Abortion and the Sexual Revolution

Even from your secular position, I think that abortion merely fuels the fire of the sexual liberation. If there was actually an acceptance of responsibility and consequences, I imagine we would likely see a drop in that sexual liberality.

From a Christian perspective, I would also say that overwhelmingly Christians (even if taken at the face value of someone claiming the name while living a life devoid of evidence) at most see destroying a fetus as only in dire circumstances as opposed to the at-will option championed now.

I agree with Clay that the transforming of lives by the power of God is the only way. But we work and finish the race. We don’t throw up our hands and say, “wow, this is tough, oh, well, just go with the flow.” Taking that attitude (as many in the church have) and we find ourselves in the mish-mash of Corinth.

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(In a huge paraphrase) You state that conservative Christians still sin. I’m sorry, but Paul beat you to that argument.

Regardless of what happens, we are called to a standard of righteousness that is unmovable. We strive to affirm what God affirms and decry what God has decried. We do not call evil good or dark light.

And, to answer the other question by Larry, no, we don’t vie for a theocratic state. But we should uphold what God upholds in any way we possibly can. With abortion, we uphold the dignity of human life, the highest of God’s creation, in His own image. That is why it is so important to those who are of Christ.

I read this earlier this morning and thought of the discussion going on here (and the other ice cream one and tree thing as well). Hebrews 4:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

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Actually, Kelly, you are saying exactly what Paul says. We are not perfected in the flesh. Far from it. Even Paul had his "thorns". We are all fallen. Because we sin simply means that we sin, not that God’s word isn’t true. We are measured by God, not in relation to one another (which should strike deep reverential fear in each and every one of us).

I was listening to Begg today. He spoke of expectations. The struggle for a Christian is just what you highlight, Kelly. We cannot expect those outside of Christ to live a life as though they are in Christ. For instance, I think you have a couple of letters wrong. It’s not that abortion is necessary, but it is necessarily a result of the sexually immoral. Destroying a human life is (as unpopular as this will be), at its heart, self serving. It’s not necessary, it’s necessarily a product of turning away from God. For some, it’s a rebellious action. For others it’s a life of rebellion. So, as Christians, we strive to uphold God’s word. Sometimes we have the ability to politically affect this. But as some have rightly pointed out here, we don’t trust in horses and chariots. We should strive to preach the message of Christ crucified above all other things to help liberate those who are in a life of theft. To free those in sexual sin of the chains of their own sinful choices. To bring the forgiveness bought on Calvary to those who daily deny God’s grace. In response to much of what you (and ep) have said, I, for one, am severely deficient in that I don’t weep enough for those who are perishing. I am too often happy to be where I am and never give it a thought. I appreciate the stoke.

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Unbelievable Providence
Ep: I don’t share your atheistic view. Just as the Lord tells us that the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous, God’s providence is represented in a tree spearing a young woman who lives and a wheelchair cutting a young man who died*. You know, our pastor asked a question one day. “Why do good things happen to bad people?’ A: “There are no good people.” Our finite brains like to try to place ourselves in judgment of God (how could a God be so loving….etc.). I was brought to Christ in painful circumstances. I place myself in judgment of God to have said “wow, that was random” or shaking my fist at God and saying that I was a good person and this shouldn’t be happening. I suppose it makes me sound weak and pitiful, but, honestly, that’s what I am. That’s the reflection of the power that each and everyone of us has. And, for me (and for the vast majority), it took a moment of pain (or moments) to realize how helpless and in need of something larger than this bag of bones I am. And, while I’ll assume you disagree, it’s depressing to think of a world as total random with no purpose and no being. That God is as helpless as I am at doing anything or that there are these surprises that God “wakes up” and says “whoa, didn’t see that one coming. I better do something.” I suppose a total divergence of world views there.

* – a local man got cut on a wheel chair which imparted a flesh eating virus and was dead within a few days.

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I think I disagree with you (sort of). I may be taking this in a completely wrong manner, so sorry if I misunderstood. I would say that if you hold to the sovereignty of God, you hold that His hand was in the 30 minute response time that saved the life of Pastor Tom Nelson and also the lack of response time for my aunt who died of the same ailment (heart attack, home alone). What we do, however, is to have a tendency to focus on the here and now. When we survive (or have someone survive), we're here to say "how great is the sovereignty of God". My aunt wasn't around afterward to say "God has called me home, how great is the sovereignty of God, I no longer suffer in that bag of bones!" I think you are spot in that this (and something like my aunt's death) should serve as a reminder of a life dedicated to God (see Piper's messages around his dad's death....and another recent post that caused much consternation....).

As a person who holds to the sovereignty of God (Psalm 139, Prov 16, Isa 37, Psalm 65, Matthew 10, Col 1, etc.), a God who isn't all knowing or without plan is scary (to note, I'm sure the feeling the other direction might be mutual). If there is not plan by God, then He is a reactionary God, who essentially lives by the seat of His pants. He doesn't know the end from the beginning, thus, where is all of this really going? I also hold that we don't get to question God (as Christ said to Peter, what is that to you?). So we mourn, we may rhetorically ask "why", but when it comes to God's motives, we are not to question. Doubts, fears, yes. But His plan is perfect. His will is perfect. His reasons are unflinchingly for good. I suppose mostly, knowing something in advance doesn't imply enjoyment in the individual pieces of the plan. God knows when the wicked prosper, the righteous suffer and when seemingly nothing happens in our lives as we go to work, play with the kids, eat dinner and go to bed, then wake up and do exactly the same thing again.

Ferg: Good to hear from you again. I'm glad your visit didn't cause you to stop talking to us :-).

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You were spot on about how I read your comment. Excellent clarification. I agree and well said. I love the picture you paint of putting real people in the place of my pictures of Job or David, etc. Lewis mentions the mental picture that we often have of "togas and sandals and armour and bare legs". These were real men and women, fearing just as we do.

I am moved by God’s hand protecting this lady, stopping the branch and letting it rest on her [jugular].

Very well said! And I always crack up at the string literal post stuck between aging and child marriage.


I, too, understand the struggle you mention. I wouldn’t say anything different from those a few months ago when this came ‘round back then, so I suppose we disagree at that point (as a reasoning for going against sovereignty....if I understand you correctly, that is). Good to hear from you again.

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For me, sovereignty does not negate the responsibility. You can do all of the things you state. If you did, I could, with all confirmation, state that it was in God’s plan. Any millisecond after right now (in the future), though, is entirely in God’s hand. So to flatly answer you question, no, you cannot avoid the “bullet (or branch) with your name on it”, but neither should you live your life pretending you know which branch is the one for you or pretending there isn’t a branch with your name on it. It’s the consequences of your decision (ordained and fully known from the beginning).

Take a personal example. God called me through a very painful divorce. I learned through that pain. I could have sulked and wallowed in the "why God?" questions (I was blessed to not fall into that trap). But a greater good came out of what, individually, was evil. We sometimes get a glimpse of the sure outworking of God’s plan. It’s beautiful. The danger comes when we demand the view of the outworking of that plan as a right.

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Yes, without question for me. He used evil to work for good.

Actually, that’s something that strikes me when I think about it. One of the questions could be why I wasn’t angry about “having” to go through that. Or why, if God hates divorce, did He allow it. The answer is that I don’t know. But one thing I do know. I am glad that God is so longsuffering in patience that I, even I, now call His name.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Right To Homeschool
This story has me really torn in a way. Ep and BRM are right, that this was born out of a custodial duty dispute (I think fathers too often get a very short end of the court system there, hence the "torn" part), but that is not the reasoning for the decision rendered by the judge. This isn’t a mediation case. The judge alluded that harm was being done in the home due to the child being unlikely to "seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view.". A couple of paper quotes:

The court found Amanda to be "generally likable and well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level." Nonetheless, reasoned the court, "it would be remarkable if a ten-year-old child who spends her school time with her mother and the vast majority of her other time with her mother would seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view."

The judge ignored New Hampshire state law, which requires evidence of harm to a child before removing her from the home-school situation, and interposed an arbitrary basis for removal — that the child "appeared to reflect the mother's rigidity on questions of faith," and "would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior."

This isn't a decision based in "the father has rights, too" (which, btw is what gives me such great pause when initially reading about this). That would be understood. This is a decision based on a tenet of the judge feeling that the 10-year old needed to be forcibly exposed to other points of view.

Also, as an aside, I understand it to be the court (not chosen by the mother) who appointed the overseer in the home after the father failed in '06 to force the girl into public school.

BTW, a funny line from WSJ: In a state whose motto is "Live Free or Die," this is an extraordinary line of reasoning.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

McLaren: A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing
I agree with much of the flowery language hides cutting remarks, though I’m not sure that McLaren often falls into that category. Which, to me, is more of a point that identifying McLaren’s views/beliefs are sometimes more difficult to ascertain than nailing jello to the wall. I agree with Dr. Burk that he is a wolf. Most notably because he is a teacher (woe to you who desire to teach…) and consistently refuses to give a reason for the hope that he has. And continues to see Christ as more of an add-on to your current religion. Or so it would seem. I think there are a great number of things we can learn from how he converses. And I (or we or whatever), as a conservative, should certainly learn from the shortcomings McLaren identifies (the Church often falls too far out of society) in the same manner that David learned from his enemy’s rebuke. That’s the thing, I think that he leads his flock away from Christ as the center and makes me the center or makes other people the center. It seems to show that he puts relationships with others and our own beliefs before God, thus I think he is not preaching biblical Christianity but (I liked the line) syncretistic gobbledy-goop that is no longer recognizably Christian.

I think that, for this specific context, I think Charlie said it best.

And, after saying all of that, Hitler.

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You raise, in my mind, two questions. First, what are your thoughts of Mr. McLaren’s observance, essentially, of Ramadan? I know you disagree with one of the commenters here, but the blog itself didn’t state that. Or were you sweeping the author in with your generalization, too?
Second (and this is more of a general question to anyone), is there a difference between the example you cite* versus the Qur’an’s teachings on (violent) Jihad (which seem to be interpretations, not outright statements of killing infidels)? From my very limited knowledge set (stress limited), I would say so, but....?

* - old testament governances on theocratic law (homosexuals condemned to death) and New Testament condemnation (of homosexual sin) but no longer bound by theocratic law

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Thanks for the response. Just a point of clarification, the commenter is DennyReader, not the author of the blog that made the comment to which you referred. Dr. Burk would post as Denny Burk, I doubt he broke form here.

WRT the second part, I know that you were referring to the (incorrect) broad sweeping notions that every muslim is a terrorist. My question was more along the lines of the fact that violent Christians (or even violent speaking folks like Phelps) are fringe Christ followers (at best). Christian doctrine promotes peace (but zealous faith to Christ). That’s complicated, though, in that theocratic Israel had capital punishment for adultery, beastiality, homosexuality (and a host of other sins), but people will use those fringe folks to broad-brush all of Christianity. Whereas the Qur’an specifically calls its followers to wage war. Thus moving from a fringe sect to a larger movement (I’ll let Darius and ep sort out those details). My question is whether or not letting 1-in-6 or nearly 1/2 determine your view is different than a fringe (orders of magnitude less) determine your view. I suppose it’s that, while I don’t agree with McLaren that we should help the Corinthians Muslims stay in their stew, I don’t agree that all muslims promote violence, I do think that we zealously defend Christ, I do think that there are very large numbers of muslims who do want to commit violence to all non-muslims. That number of potentials is simply to point out that the war on non-muslims is written in their book. It’s not an interpretation (how far to take that is, however!). So while all muslims don’t learn violence from the Qur’an, a significant portion indicate that one of the teaching points is war (and, thus, we get terrorism).

And after saying all of that, I have to say that it does seem like there is a much more peace-seeking wave beginning to take root in the muslim community. Unfortuantely, it also seems that the movement seems to be in non-middle-east locations. But I don’t much care for peace. I care for Christ to be preached and His word to be sown. Which is why I am so dismayed when something like this (with McLaren) happens.

New Comment
A commenter (on Wilson's site) named Michael Hutton had a good word:
I do agree that not eating in front of Muslims during Ramadan is respectful, and I would support and encourage those who rub shoulders with Muslims to do so. But as for keeping Ramadan in order to build a bridge, How can you do works for merit in order to help free people from the slavery of working for merit? How can you observe the religion Christ died to set them free from?

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Too Complementarian?

In this dialog, Pastor John was answering a specific question. “Do you think complementarianism is so important to some people that they deny women more opportunities than the Bible denies them?” It wasn’t a defense of biblical complementarianism.

Your emotional response is well noted, I hope, with all complementarians. We should uphold the truth as Piper indicated. However, to shy away from the truth because some may pervert it is foolish. Saying What did Piper do to give back to that woman her lost years is akin to saying what have I given back to [insert people] who were harmed or put into hiding during the Inquisition. Piper stands for the truth, not what that husband did. I would stand for the truth, not justifying violence because someone is not Christian. Taking biblical complementarianism and adding falsehoods to it as the man to whom Piper was referring simply means that we can take any of God’s truth and turn it on its head.

Why is it so important to choose the one thing that is spoken against? Why not champion the areas where Paul speaks clearly about what women can do? It’s our nature to focus on what we don’t get. Why focus on the one tree in the garden from which we cannot eat rather than the entirety of the rest of the garden?


I would say the command is repeated and reflected. 1 Corinthians 11, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3 (and 5 indicating teaching) and Titus 1. All of which is also reflective of Ephesians 5, Colossians 3 and 1 Peter 3.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keeping the Courts out of the Marriage Debate
I think what Matt S was indicating was that the LGBT who proclaim Christ are calling dark light and evil good. The bible is very clear about this sin. The bible is very clear that we are all rebellious. Meaning I sin and fall short of the glory of God. It is another thing, however, to say that my sin is OK and acceptable in God’s eyes. No one will arrive at judgment without sin, we all stand condemned. What is in question is standing on the word of God or saying that God was a liar when He condemns homosexuality. And, perhaps I should restrain, but Paul said that the Athenians were deeply religious people, too, spiritual, religiosity and Christianity are not one in the same.

As far as the equal rights part, we live in a country where we have a say in the laws. As bible-believing Christians, we’ll continue to fight for biblical commands, but, in the end, we will obey authority in the absence of disobeying God. However, just to quickly address the rights question and reiterate a question asked often, what is the difference between the right of two men (or women) marrying versus three men or three women and one man? In the sliding scale of "equal rights", do you have an eternal measuring stick for those?

Didn’t this conversation
already happen in a way?

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Wow, Matt. I think that, in order to prevent a straw man argument, I would say that….

  • Standing by a biblical condemnation of homosexuality does not mean standing by a continuation of Levitical law (Christ fulfilled the law).

  • I can’t speak for anyone else, but I never said anything about not having LGBT people around my family. I also don’t avoid adulterers, the promiscuous, thieves and gossips. I don’t avoid them and I reach out to the lost in my community. I also try not to shy away from fellow believers who revel in their sin.

  • I believe in obedience to God’s commands. Just because I have an innate urge, a chromosomal tendency for pornography, for stepping out on my wife, for gossiping, etc., it does not invalidate my command to obedience. Unlike many of my brethren, I don’t discount genetic links (I see them as products of the fall). I don’t believe they hold the water that is desired, though, as a tendency is not an absolute (i.e. those who are blind are those who truly don’t have a choice).

  • As far as society goes, any argument made will eventually break down. Society is a fleeting wind that passes and changes with time. The word of the Lord stands forever. The arguments you linked there are mostly emotional. The other are simply rehashes of how to introduce something into the text that’s not actually written.

In the end, I support God’s biblical command. Legally, I’ll support it. When the law diverges, I’ll still obey it provided it doesn’t violate God’s commands.

Just out of curiosity, would you support legalized unions and civil rights with a legal definition of marriage as man and woman?

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How Should Christians Feel About Healthcare Reform?
Interesting link:


You’re kidding if you think that the manufacturing demise in the US is due to healthcare. It’s due to a lot of things, but they were in place long before health care became problematic. Maybe a final straw so to speak.

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My personal feeling about Government health care is that it’s thieving, debt-producing and (as Lindsay pointed out), results in a continued reliance on someone else to do my caring for me. But as for the socialized health care versus fee for service, an interesting note that I hear. In one country, it’s weeks for an MRI but for pets, you can pay to have it done the next day. Funny and very sad (more that there is actually a high enough demand for the latter).

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Well, I was trying mostly to avoid appearing as one of the many that decry the great health care plan to the north, but since you query, the source was the 20/20 report. It cited Canadian vets giving a 24-hour turn around on MRI’s for pets.

I didn’t cite anything about dying, but if you wanted stats on death, here are a few (related to healthcare):
* - Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany, 9% higher in Canada than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway, 184% higher in Canada. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher. (Concord Working Group, U.S. Cancer Statistics, National Program of Cancer Registries, U.S. Centers for Disease Control; Canadian Cancer Society/National Cancer Institute of Canada)

Or preventative (June O'Neill and Dave M. O'Neill, "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S."):
Nine of 10 middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to less than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).
Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a pap smear, compared to less than 90 percent of Canadians.
More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a PSA test, compared to less than 1 in 6 Canadians (16 percent).
Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with less than 1 in 20 Canadians (5 percent).

The MRI wait time is a microcosm of the challenges with socialized medicine. When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they don’t have time to wait for 6 months to get an MRI to confirm it.

I agree that many church goers failed (you definitely have that pegged). I would say, though, that is not a failure of the Church. Most churches here have a very strong benevolence ministry (or several). The couple of Christians I know who are doctors do the free clinic work (my sampling is 2 and both do, so in my study, 100% of Christian doctors give of their time ;-). We send medical mission trips as well (though those are abroad, not local in the absence of a Katrina). The challenge is people to actually put in the effort for it (and, as a sidebar, the fact that many don’t want anything to do with “church” at all). The culture has saturated the church in that manner. Why should I go and help, there’s welfare and assistance programs and childcare available…….etc. Why go help when we can throw money (especially when most of it is someone else’s money). Socialized healthcare just reinforces the idea that it’s OK, someone else will take care of this problem for me. It is not a dichotomy to be against the currently proposed socialized healthcare and continue helping the less fortunate.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Concerns about New Hate Crimes Bill
I'm sure I'm not the first one to think this, but doesn't this create a caste system? As in some humans are worth more than others. Many crimes are based on hate of one form or another. Why is it that a mother killed by her ex (jealous hate) would be seen as somehow less (i.e. punishment worse for the ex) than, say if a killing were motivated by race/sexual orientation? Or if someone killed me because they hate the fact that I am perhaps wealthier than they are would be seen a lesser crime than if someone hated for some other reason. And, to follow, should those who bomb churches have a greater crime? I don't think I recall ever seeing that. Or, isn't that a contradiction of sorts? For example, if a homosexual group accosted parishioners of a church for biblically teaching that homosexuality is wrong (verbal assault is still assault in many locations), then isn't that verbal assault based on sexual orientation? Or is it only if you're for, but assault the other direction would be less of a crime?

GF, you're right, it is coming. I think it will also come a littler quicker than I ever thought. Of course, we could somehow all be completely wrong about the direction of things to come, who knows?

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Tom Wright on ECUSA Declaration of Independence
Mohler also wrote on this (just today, though). It’s worth the read, but he quoted the ECUSA presiding bishop from TIME magazine some time back after her (the bishop’s) election:
"We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box."
I agree, Derek, it’s great to hear Wright speak up on the topic!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Healthy Economies Rely on Healthy Marriages

I was going to say the emporer from Star Wars. Yes, not the best picture for him.

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I find this odd. After writing a 500 or so word diatribe (while throwing in an occasional phrase such as “how…other people will read it”, it was quite the attack), you receive one short response and then state “seems I hit a nerve”. Huh…..I suppose I wouldn’t characterize it that way. You are correct, though, in that many on this site are passionate about submitting to the authority of scripture (and defending how). And my guess is that this will elicit response worthy of that statement (hitting a nerve), so maybe oddly premature.

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I, too, get uncomfortable when folks immediately go after the dividing the household thing. However, I think it is appropriate here. While the letters (and Christ) speak peace, they are all speak very forcefully against false teaching. We are all sinners. A difference comes, however, when we teach that dark is light or that error is truth. Similarly, we don’t back away (as is so en vogue now) from calling sin, sin. Christ befriended sinners, but he said they were sinners. Likewise throughout the NT. Just a thought.

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Just out of curiosity, would you elaborate on:
Comparing most of the gay people I know to prostitutes or drunks is ridiculous and insulting.

I think I know the answer, but I’m just curious.

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That’s what I assumed (your view on homosexual activity), but I thought I would ask first. Just a few thoughts.
1) “Most [blank] people in society accept [blank] now” or “In time (generations) the society will change so overwhelmingly on this issue ” are a foolish reasons to do anything. It’s even worse to indicate that we should accept something that is unbiblical simply because someone else does (blown about by winds….). But expected. You’re inaccurate that this will be something the church will “just accept” (unless the church, as a whole, abandons biblical inerrancy and authority). I think you are accurate in a sense in that trying to maintain a hold on the word “marriage” is futile.
2) I find it interesting that you hold a view of (this is just a codifying statement) “how are you going to witness to someone who thinks you are a jerk?” yet at the same time bark bigot.
3) The drunk/prostitute part. I’ll kind of cut to the chase. In some ways, the only thing that differentiates me from a prostitute and a drunkard is the type of sin in which I revel. Because I know Christ (and if the drunkard/prostitute doesn’t), then we would be set apart. Saints are not sinless. They sin less and feel worse about it. God’s sons and daughters aren’t always nice either, while I know many wonderfully nice and friendly atheists who soundly reject Christ. So while I understand your physical concerns about the safety of a child, it has nothing to do with the spiritual equivalence of my gossiping and someone else’s adultery or my lust versus some other’s homosexual acts (or a drunkard, or a prostitute, etc.). A difference might come in each of these in that I do not say that my (or Darius’ or my mom’s) gossip or lust is OK because I’m (or they are) a nice person or that I just don’t like that or that society has just accepted it.
4) “down the stree to the Episcopalians, the UCC or just become one of the ever growing number of ‘spiritual’ people….” OK. Sorry to say it, but “they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,”
5) Darius isn’t spreading his message (a reference to your earlier post). It’s not something he made up or I made up. People put too much emphasis on how it’s up to me to get the message. I’m going to convince them. The holy spirit might. We are to preach the message with gentleness and reverence. But it’s the message, not just part of it. And we should respect.
6) Personally, I’m torn on the original remark. On the one hand, I understand respect, we don’t insult, etc. On the other hand, it’s a hijacking of language. Meaning if the goal was really “we just want to live in peace”, then “unions” would be perfectly fine. However, it seems to me that it’s more about forced acceptance. I.e. get someone to call me married and thus they must accept that marriage as norm. Subtle, but it’s what’s happening.

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Just to note, nice != moral != Godly

You have a very elitist hierarchical view of sin (that even seems incompatible with your own statements). Sin is sin.

And, again, I think I know the answer, but which part of what Darius said was “full of hate”?


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Spot on about divorce. We need a strong reformation of marriage as a whole. Acceptance of homosexual marriage is simply the breaking of the dam, so to speak. A quick search on Mohler (this year) returned about a 2 – 1 split (8 to about 4). Of course, much of what he writes on is what is in the news, too. I had written out a response to Kelly prior and I am sad that I didn’t include it:
• Re: marriage, you are spot on. Christians need to be the ones with the lowest divorce rate (by a landslide). And we’re not. We won’t call adultery “good” either, I hope you see the consistency.

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Just to ask, what is the difference between a "committed monogomous and loving gay relationship" and a "committed, polygamist loving relationship" (you can insert several types in that statement)?

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"Iron clad"

So, then, Kelly, since we are the unwashed who don’t understand, you have insulted me and you have no chance of reaching my evangelical brethren by referring to homosexual couples as marriage. You just need to figure out how to talk to evangelicals

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Interesting Sue.

You seem to fall in the same lines (though perhaps not same theological framework) as Kelly. Sort of summed up in "most [blank] people in society accept (or are offended by) [blank] now, ergo, we as the church should, too". I think that part of Dr. Burk’s interest in this was the simple fact that a Christian leader (all those who disagree, just hang on to that thought) is making a "public access" argument. It seems like the arguments brought forth most often fall into that trap. I know you are simply keying off of statements in the pope’s letter (or so I assume, I still haven’t read it *blush*), but you’ve written similar posts before as well.

In a completely related yet off topic part, I get a piece of mail every once in a while from an address that is on Powerscourt drive. I always giggle. Can a grown man giggle? I’ll have to check with Piper on that.....

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I’ll say it. Insulting someone to their face is not the best way to start a conversation. Did someone do that here? Even Dr. Burke’s discussion (which was a commentary, not a conversation with someone) didn’t start of with that (it was well into the comment.).

"Have you heard me say that anything goes?"
"In time (generations) the society will change so overwhelmingly on this issue that the church will follow suit anyway..."

It was said we should not be like children "carried about by every wind of doctrine."

Do you see a discrepancy between descriptive reasoning based in the bible and prescriptive?

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I’ll take another view yet. OK, not another, actually a different subject. So, Sue, what you seemed to write was essentially "I baited you and you didn’t take it. C’mon, I want to argue!" Which, I suppose, is fine. It just seems a bit like the pointless arguments Paul mentions. To which I am certainly not immune unfortunately for me.

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A few thoughts...
● The two of us have a fundamental difference, I believe. Mostly in what exactly the inspired, inerrant word of God is. Interpretations can be flawed, but in their original text they are inerrant. It is final and does not point to some hidden meaning (you didn't say that, just how I've seen it argued). It seems you believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that parts of the bible were inspired, parts are merely human writings that are subject to human prejudice and error?
● While it seems a big jumble to you, the discussion flowed to the topic of acceptance of homosexuality. Polygamy was not part of an argument per se, it was part of a series of questions. There was only equating it in your mind.
● You specifically stated that "In time (generations) the society will change so overwhelmingly on this issue that the church will follow suit anyway..." You have put your finger in the wind to see where society goes. So goes society, so goes your church. It's not saying anything goes as in complete anarchy. But my question is, as a believing church, what is your defense against something like polygamy? Is it simply well, no major church has accepted it, so we're not either. OK, but you have simply relegated your church to whatever is popular opinion (see your statement above). I think it's appropriate.
● So, then, since it hasn't been asked, how do you deal with Romans 1, 1 Cor 6 and 1 Tim 1? Again, I think I know the myriad answers, but it's always interesting to hear a take on it.
● No, I am not a seminarian or a minister. I can tell by your earlier post what your thoughts are of seminary students (ghetto). Again, a fascinating part of an argument denouncing someone's insult.
● Back to where this all started, if he had been really wordy and wrote "homosexual unions (I do not agree that they are married)" or something similar, would it have been appropriate? Or is it merely the fact that it's a contrary stance or....? Again, I was still in the air over this, though the longer it goes, the more I have a tendency to agree with Mohler about the hijacking of language.

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I think it's a foolish redirect, but since I've never heard of him, some quick info I read (online) about Giordano Bruno (a compilation of several sites.....none of them wikipedia ;-):

He could not conceive that God and nature could be separate and distinct entities as taught by Genesis, as taught by the Church and as even taught by Aristotle.
He had written of an infinite universe which had left no room for that greater infinite conception which is called God.
He is one martyr whose name should lead all the rest. He was not a mere religious sectarian who was caught up in the psychology of some mob hysteria. He was a sensitive, imaginative poet, fired with the enthusiasm of a larger vision of a larger universe ... and he fell into the error of heretical belief.
Bruno was not condemned for his defence of the Copernican system of astronomy, nor for his doctrine of the plurality of inhabited worlds, but for his theological errors, among which were the following: that Christ was not God but merely an unusually skilful magician, that the Holy Ghost is the soul of the world, that the Devil will be saved, etc.

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Should he preach traditional marriage or should he talk about social policies that have been known to boost the fertility rate?

You're right, Sue, sticking to biblical values including the traditional definition of marriage might be a better idea. Lay the cards on the table and work to help (witness, feed, care) fellow man. Making a secular-based argument (whether or not you agree with him) is a trap that we all fall into at one point or another. Regarding statistics and such, I believe it was the Psalter who asked why do the wicked prosper (I was thinking that it also mentions his generations, but that may just be me crossing these two topics). Hope everyone has a superb weekend!

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feel My Pain

I understand what you are saying, though I took it a bit different. To me, he aims it rightly at much of current day church thinking. And, specifically, how offensive it is for anyone to claim having truth over someone else (see the Scottish agnostic bishop or the Dutch atheist pastor or Shelby Spong or...), thus (to paraphrase Carl), your statement of a position is not a position but merely a veiled attempt to insult me. We glory in pluralism and shun any absolute. I read:

Thin-skins, absurd senses of entitlement and a bizarre conviction that all criticism of ideas is really a personally intended affront to those who hold them are not the exclusive preserve of any one theological party.

And it reminded me of R. Kent Hughes' book Disciplines of a Godly Man. Hughes says something to the effect of "leaders better be able to digest depression because they will eat a lot of it".

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BTW, I enjoy reading Trueman if for the simple fact that he makes me go and look up words like salubrious. A word I'm sure everyone else here knew, but I didn't.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

At the End of the Day...
Coinciding with the cessation of the sun's light rays directly impacting our part of the

How about "When the lion lays down with the lamb...." Or "When the streaker finally jettisons his last shred of dignity and steps onto the field..." or even "when the tea kettle whistles....."

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The Living-Together Lie

There is the emotional attachment that isn't proper for someone who isn't your wife or husband. I know boundless has had more about it than this, but here are a couple of links:
and related, but not explicitly:

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I find this to be a telling statement:

I'm not bothered at all by which view is correct since it won't change my personal actions one bit.

I don't care what the truth is, I'm going to do what I want anyway. The fact that one person (or which particular one) said it is irrelevant. It's a recurring mindset that has permeated the Church from culture.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth....

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I thought it important to include the preceding comment (to the above comment) to which my comment was related.

Really, I'm not invested in this issue at all, but I'm just not 100% sure that there's a clear distinction between sex and marriage in spiritual terms. in the passage you quoted there is - but you could argue that that's a cultural distinction, ie in that woman's culture marriage existed but she was not married - does Jesus condemn this behaviour, or is His mentioning it simply a sign to the woman that He knows all about her?

Again, I'm totally open to persuasion and I'm not bothered at all by which view is correct since it won't change my personal actions one bit. It's just something I wonder about.

To which I responded above. I then received the following constructive feedback:
Brian K, 52:
It was me who posted the 'telling statement' that you quoted, and you totally misunderstood what I meant. You summarised my view as:
"I don't care what the truth is, I'm going to do what I want anyway."

In fact if you'd read my earlier post, you'd know that I fully intend to remain a virgin 'til I'm married. The answer to this particular question of mine (whether having unmarried sex and staying together is sin or not) will not affect my actions whatsoever because that isn't something I plan to do anyway, not because I don't care about following God.
Actually to be honest I'm quite offended by your characterisation of me. Please don't assume motives like that without even reading what someone has written before. I would like to think that my posts across all topics demonstrate that I do in fact care what God thinks and aim to align my actions with His will.

Thus I respond:


First, I just wanted to say that I had read your comment, I was really trying to chew on what you said (I know, you were waiting on pins and needles ;-). I apologize for offending. I don’t purposefully write to offend. I should have stated your position on premarital sex as a construct.

I do, however, still stand by what I said (perhaps I should simply have broadened it to state that you do not believe in premarital sex….yes, I did read what you wrote prior). I purposefully didn’t include you stating it for that reason, and also that’s why I said it’s irrelevant who wrote it. It’s a mindset that you specifically state and it does define the culture in which we live. It’s stated often even on this blog (there was another statement similar to it on another post shortly after). After reading your clarification, I suppose I more or less see your line of reason, though, what I quoted makes a very absolute statement. I guess I think of it this way. Assuming that you are or eventually will be discipling/teaching/counseling someone (hey, counseling!). Someone says “I had sex with my boyfriend” or thinking about it. Now it matters what is correct and not. Truth is truth never mind what your personal motives may be. I think what you are saying, though, is that you will remain a virgin and won’t sleep with anyone prior to marriage, so it doesn’t matter about what is viewed as “marriage”. I guess I would just say that you should consider what the biblical construct (what is correct) for it may be prior to that discipling relationship (something to which we are commanded). Personal motives don’t cut it if they are divorced from God.

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1) I see dating (in a form) in Ruth and again in Song of Solomon.
2) as a general rule, people who date--Christian or not, cohabiting or not--are going to be having sex. This wasn’t (and isn’t) always the case (of course it also With cohabitating (not missionary/transient housing) have, as a general rule, always been. Dating can be a wonderful tool to get to know someone’s character given the culture we are in currently (since people move out of their parents home quickly and tend to resist getting rooted in a church), but can easily lead to sexual immorality. Mostly that’s due to the fact that we have a tendency to be fiercely independent and don’t want to admit that there should be boundaries on behavior, then act surprised when it happens (“golly, we just kind of fell into it!”). To me, when dating is seen as a tool to glorify God that leads to determine marriage (but not getting there), it’s great. It goes awry when we let our heart go unrestrained. There’s a lot on this site especially that codifies Godly dating, I’m just trying to be brief.
3) Just to be clear, the Bible is my authority for arranged marriages and not your family heritage. Just as I wouldn’t (nor did the author) make an absolute prohibition against men and women living under the same roof, be careful about making a statement of the bible being your authority for arranged marriages. Arranged marriages are not prescriptive, they’re descriptive. And dating (getting to know your partner) is seen in the bible also (see SoS and Ruth).
4) I think there is a great case for the concept of arranged marriages (especially in the modified version mentioned here, but I scanned and didn’t see it). I think this can get just as problematic in a different way, too (parents arranging based on monetary reasons).
5) Also, regarding Can you say for a fact that a couple that lives together are more likely to engage in premarital sex than those who don’t…”, if people approach dating the way FotF/Boundless does, then yes, I can say that.

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It makes sense.


I agree, especially with #1.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Grateful For Meat
I really enjoyed the article (actually, I didn’t like since it convicted me ;-). It brought a great sense of conviction in just an overall idea of why don’t I just eat less? But for me, it was an overall consumption, not relegated to just meat. I get very caught up in God’s bounty that I forget it is just that. A bounty from God. And just because I don’t vomit just so I can eat some more doesn’t mean I’m not being a glutton or, as she highlights, not giving thanks to God when it is due.

I do have one minor disagreement. In the article, she says

…animals would live longer, more productive lives when they were given plenty of grazing room and time to rest.

I just am not sure how you would measure a productive life for a cow or a chicken. It smack of the elevation of nature, which sounds just beneath the surface. Definitely not to the stereotypical PETA extremes (stereotypical, not necessarily typical), mind you. From that she states, in essence, that we should think about eating more veggies. That is also fraught with peril, just different application (how are farms treating their land, etc.).

I am grateful for the reminder of how I should be thankful to God for what He provides. Which is another extremely small point in that a) all good things come through God and b) there is no conscious act the animal does for which (a point simply to contrast thankfulness towards a person), hence thanks to the chicken sounds absurd. Regardless, though, giving thanks for God’s blessing is very often lost in the middle of reaching for that second….third…..OK, fourth helping of potatoes or brats.

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I had read something interesting about eating Crickets. If I understand it correctly, it’s based in the days of the Killing Fields. People ate whatever they could to survive. That meant crickets, too. The crickets wound up being a carryover from a horrible time period for them. Very sad.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

five things I learned about God from the life and death of a baby

I linked here from Burk. My wife and I are waiting to try again after a blighted ovum. I think you have such a wonderful, spot-on view. After experiencing something similar first hand (not personally as that was my wife, not me), it’s a great testament to read how God has worked in your life despite the difficulties. My wife has been a source of amazement to me during this time for the same reasons! I just thought I would drop in to say what a great list this is.

Also, I liked the foundation for the name. And I couldn’t help but giggle at the occupation.


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Monday, June 15, 2009

Scot McKnight’s Question about Headship
Well, we did get to 1700 on the Ware post. I think that did everyone in (then again, IBC brought it on again....). I'm not a betting man, but I think I'd take the under.

The responses are pretty much exactly what you would expect (although not many complementarians on beliefnet apparently), but I did get a (slightly guilt-ridden) giggle at one post:

It has been great reading the comments. As a Christian man, I have never really liked all the religious stuff very much. After reading most of the comments here, I am so glad I don't have to worry about leading my family in that area. I have always felt that playing golf with my buddies on Sunday mornings was a better spiritual activity for me than going to church with my wife and kids. Now I know that my previous feelings of responsibility were just due to a misreading of Ephesians 5:25ff. My wife will be a better spiritual leader than I will anyway. She will be delighted at her new opportunity to lead. And now I won't feel as much of a disconnect with the dominant culture in America and all the other men who don't really like all that religious stuff.


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Yes, but you can only bet against another man.......

PS: I think yours is the first site I’ve ever seen with a comment from mom.

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Do I think anyone will change their mind? No. Just as I also don't think that I can change an atheist's mind to come to Christ. I can’t do that work. But I can witness to him. I can continue to proclaim the truth of Christ.

In a similar, yet very different way (in that egalitarianism shouldn’t be a question of a persons salvation.), biblical manhood and womanhood is discussed here. I can’t convince you, perhaps, but I don’t stop speaking against what I view as a damaging error. I do so with gentleness (1 Peter), but I don’t stop because I just don’t feel like it. That is how a lot of doctrinal error propagates. We just get too tired of speaking against error. That said, no one has a perfect theology, I do understand that. But this is one area that appears to me very clear. And biblical complementarity has a deeper reaching impact than does, say wine vs. juice or instruments, etc. I think that Piper and Grudem’s answer the root question of “why would I keep making the argument for biblical complementarity?”

We are concerned not merely with the behavioral roles of men and women but also with the underlying nature of manhood and womanhood themselves. Biblical truth and clarity in this matter are important because error and confusion over sexual identity leads to:
1. marriage patterns that do not portray the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32);
2. parenting practices that do not train boys to be masculine or girls to be feminine;
3. homosexual tendencies and increasing attempts to justify homosexual alliances (see question 41);
4. patterns of unbiblical female leadership in the church that reflect and promote the confusion over the true meaning of manhood and womanhood.

God's gift of complementary manhood and womanhood was exhilarating from the beginning (Genesis 2:23). It is precious beyond estimation. But today it is esteemed lightly and is vanishing like the rain forests we need but don't love. We believe that what is at stake in human sexuality is the very fabric of life as God wills it to be for the holiness of His people and for their saving mission to the world. (See the Rationale section of the Danvers Statement.)

Emphasis mine.

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Just out of curiosity, Sue, where else is the second phrase used (comment 33) in the NT? Also, sorry to show my ignorance, but I’m not familiar with your reference to phoebe being the prostratis of Paul (perhaps you are referring to the Greek there, sorry, I don’t understand the reference), perhaps that Phoebe served to the needs of Paul or helper or…?

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First and foremost, remember that rooting 1 Tim 2:12 in Genesis is Paul’s establishment, not Dr. Burk or anyone else’s.

Second, I would see Dr. Burk’s, et. al argument not as 1 Tim 2 proves 1 Tim 3. I would say that 1 Tim 2, Eph 5, Col 3, 1 Peter 3 and 1 cor 14, God prescribes the order to His creation and church (and is reflective of His essence, the trinity). Titus 1 and 1 Tim 3 reflect that as well.

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She was a servant leader, I suppose
I giggled (I took that as a little [friendly] jab correctly, right?).

I’m not as familiar with prostatis, I’ll have to take time to study that (and see below, too), however along that lines, does an example of something contrary to what is biblically prescribed mean that the prescription is nullified?

The Despot reference as I was familiar, was a reference to the business aspects (in a sense) of running a household (such as the two verses you cite) and not in conflict with a husband leading his family. I’ll have to take a greater look at the references of oikodespotein elsewhere. Of course, words, as has been mentioned many times over here and similar places, can have a broader sense of the root meaning.


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You’re right, it’s impossible for me to prove it. But there’s an entire line of thinking there that I don’t think you really mean but you indicate. If you mean do I speak Greek? No, you will have to leave that to the folks who write books like Articular Infinitives in the Greek of the New Testament.

That said, Tim was Paul’s instructions for the church (God’s word breathed to the church). If it were toward a single woman (presumably disrupting church services), he would have singled out like Hym. And Alex, don’t you think? It speaks in general terms in the verses leading up and then following, so while I can’t prove it, it would seem odd to stop and single out an unnamed woman here. He roots it in Adam and Eve (the reason I mentioned it was the comment that seemed to indicated it was Dr. Burk’s concoction of sorts). He had established a similar church command in his letter to the Corinthians. 1 Peter 3, Col 3 (and Titus as well) sets forth order to the creation within the home (the two subjects the original letter writer above was connecting). It is an overall theme and order that runs throughout. Later in his letter to Timothy and then again to Titus, he mentions qualifications for elders and deacons. I mention them all in conjunction as it is the flowing unity and, especially with reference to Eph 5, is reflective of His nature.

Can I prove any of this? Not until I am face to face kneeling before my maker. Until then, well, I suppose nothing more.

PS: There is proof. The fact that you don’t accept it doesn’t make it false (for a similar argument, see if Jesus is God.). Based on the style of your comments and the (very difficult to tell over electronic media) tone, it seems you are being more quarrelsome for the sake of stirring up than a true question.

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I still think there’s no way 150 is going to get here.

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Well, to be fair, I never said nor indicated that the complementarian reading was the only possible reading. I defended my position. And yes, I understand that my theology and doctrine is not perfect. But contary to what you state, I would say a complementarian reading is more simplistic, taking the words written as they were written rather than trying to invent or assume a situation that is not mentioned or described (again, as is the case with the other two fellows as well as the unnamed, but singled out, teachers trying to take over Paul’s ministry while he was in prison).

So, only since this conversation went a little different that the letter asks, does everyone agree that the letter above describes and incongruous situation? As in if your egalitarian, it’s both church and home (must be applied the same), right?

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The problem with male leadership is that it makes your head spin. Better a woman apply to do her moral best using her own conscience which was put there by God.
Agreed that there are varied opinions. I agree with Kostenberger’s external evidence (given there isn’t a direct lexical, uh, proof). But you and I have argued that before (see the DBC threads). You mention something that, to me, is just as much at the heart of the matter as your view that men want to maintain dominance (is to the heart of your matter). It’s the idea that if I must use my gifts in the way I see fit. Conscience is a fickle thing sometimes. Many homosexuals would tell you that they are celebrating a moral thing that God has put on their hearts, but scripture would say otherwise (and the arguments against that scripture are nearly as nuanced and plentiful as teaching.). A woman may say that she left her husband for a God-fearing man and did so using her moral best judgment while again, scripture speaks against divorce (again, arguments are just as plentiful).

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What about single women who provide for their families and manage them well? Allowed to lead?

What about the celibate women of old who were abesses and in charge of estates, churches and priests, – allowed to lead?

I know you’ve stated this before, but I don’t understand why. A husband leads his family. Complementarians don’t say a woman is always to have some man in her life to lead her spiritually in her household.

And David, yes, I believe that Paul does want them to get married (he states it in his other letters as well, if memory serves me correctly). A desire, contrasted with not permitting.

OK, Darius, I have faith. We’re to 60 and we haven’t even gotten to the read scripture through the lens of Aristotle yet.

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Just to tack on something else that’s related, we tend to get focused on one or two things (along the lines of what Ferg said earlier). The unspoken part that goes hand in hand with our discussion came in what I thought was a great quote:

And then [God] goes over to the man and says, "You're going to love your wife like Christ loved the church." And so you start running through it: how does Christ love the church? He rescues her, He saves her, He becomes sin for her, He has His body ripped apart for her, and here's the kicker and here's where I want to spend my time tonight, He does it all, not because the bride asked for it, but He initiates on His own. And that's what I think is so big about this text.

OK, I'll be quiet now.

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The word servanthood is not in the bible either yet we use it to describe Christian doctrine. Yes, it does describe the order placed before us by God. Is it your interpretation? No.

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Re: Widows, no, Paul specifically says he doesn’t have a deceiving spirit at the end of that passage. One could be for younger widows, the other for older widows (the likely case given the identification of younger in 1 Tim). To tack on to what I had said earlier, not only do I not have a perfect theology, I also cannot answer every question about the bible (A. I’m simply not smart enough B. I cannot know all the things of God).

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I grieve that I brought up the Jesus as God claim. I really don’t even like reiterating it. Just go and look up JW’s doctrine and commentaries on it.

Again, I’ll go back to your original thought. Can I prove anything I believe? No, I can’t. And I have a sneaky suspicion that it will continue to give me tired-head, but, I still hold that this topic holds such an important foundation…. In the Timothy passage, this section of the letter starts by describing guidelines for proper attire and ends with preservation. Looking out further than that little section, it starts with guidelines for prayer, going further past, it takes on guidelines for teachers, overseers and deacons. Hence why I said it speaks in general terms leading up and coming out. To stop in the middle and speak to an individual, unnamed, unidentified situation would not flow with that whole portion of the letter. Hence, I In 1 Cor, I wasn’t saying 1 Tim proves it, I’m saying it’s a similar command. It then flows with the other commands given by multiple authors and can further be compared against the

Can I prove it? No, but there are very few things in the bible I can prove (either to exist or even to be commands). Can you call it theory? Sure. Then, I suppose, that settles that. I accept them as statements by faith. I accept them as true and part of the truth. I would assume you view egalitarian doctrine the same way. I certainly pray you do. I pray your desire is truly to find God’s spirit driven word, not seeking to salve my personal views as I so often find myself.

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You asked why I thought, so I told you. It does have warrant (as before, if you don’t hold to it, OK, but that can’t be used as a proof of falsehood). You are correct in saying that we don’t go the route of hyper-literalism.

I say he didn’t have a deceiving spirit as all scripture is God-breathed (and profitable, etc.). If you hold to God deceiving him (which I don’t think is what you are implying, correct?), then we are on very different ends of the spectrum. I think what you mean to indicate is that because Paul’s letters are written to churches, they are prescriptive only to that particular church or situation (some or all of the letter, anyway). If that’s the case, I think we’re still far apart as all scripture is profitable for training, etc.

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BTW, (as you would agree, I think)any hermeneutic leads to real problems. One can argue "what if" or "prove it" with any hermeneutic. I think the scriptures do transcend time. Piper and Grudem say it well:

"In contrast, to show that the specific forms of some commands are limited to one kind of situation or culture, (1) we seek for clues in the context that this is so; (2) we compare other Scriptures relating to the same subject to see if we are dealing with limited application or with an abiding requirement; and (3) we try to show that the cultural specificity of the command is not rooted in the nature of God, the gospel, or the created order."

New CommentI have found that my own views have been shaped by exposure to contrary perspectives that I had been previously unaware of. I have then proceeded to examine the issue anew and eventually have developed, hopefully, a more mature perspective which has been tempered by dealing with awareness of more details.

Amen for me, too!

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We who have the benefit of having a more complete canon of Scripture must be careful about imposing that fuller insight upon understanding those passages which could not be interpreted without that benefit.

The danger I see creeping up often (this isn’t towards you specifically or meant to be rebarbative) is that we get sunk into the idea that Paul authored the letter. God was the author. How He handled those 150 or so years worth of hearts and churches is up to Him. When taking a letter that Paul (or Peter, etc.) wrote, it must be held in the full insight we have. God didn’t make a mistake with His word. To tiresomely say again, it doesn’t mean I have full understanding (or perfect theology). I hold that the complementarian view does hold up to the full insight, taking into account a cultural aspect (if necessary) along with a historical view. This isn’t to say that there aren’t opposing views now or through history that see this issue as a cultural aspect or lone case (in the case of 1 Tim), just saying what and why I hold to it.

No way we make 150.

BTW (didn’t think it fair to put this in a different post….that would be cheating ;-), Sue, given your passion in other posts, I thought you would see that passion in this essay.

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Oh, and Ferg, I’ve completely changed my mind. After listening to it, I think that people just need to lay off of David Letterman.

Hope you enjoyed or are enjoying your tour through the US. And I like the beard though I’m not manly enough to be able to grow something that full.

I hope this isn’t seen as a cheater’s post.

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I am distressed that many men preach violence to violent men.
Who teaches this?

To take the rabbit trail, Sue, I mentioned this to you during that 1700 comment thread (or one close by), but it is awful that some man abused his Godly-authorized headship and turned a gift from God into his perverted concept. It truly pains my heart to even read that (much less hear it). And these are likely very hallow empty words for you mostly because I didn’t live them. The pain that is felt is yours. The only one (as you know by now) who can take it away is God. No amount of what I say or what you tell youself (or anyone else, for that matters) can do that. It’s a work that transcends all understanding.

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When a wife submits to an abusive husband, the abuse is not ameliorated, but it is reinforced. This is a fact.

Among other specific suggestions, Mrs. Hunt says:

Church members should be taught that injustice is sin and that submission does not mean that a woman must submit to the sin of abuse. Women should understand that it is wrong for a wife to enable a husband to continue sinful practices. She has a responsibility to him to take this to her pastor and to the elders of her church.

And from thus flows her thought of men failing to protect women (see the earlier examples in her article).

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Can I come to Ireland and have some tasty breakfast? I promise not to talk egal/comp.


I guess the cop was abusive when she gave me that ticket. Oh, and I suppose that the IRS was abusive when they sued me for tax evasion. Oh, and my boss is abusive when he tells me to get to work rather than comment on…..uh……gotta go.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been that snarky, but part of our departure is that you see authority as sinful. I see it as a reflection of the trinity. Perhaps another area we depart.

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Yes, Sue, Susan Hunt said:
Church members should be taught that injustice is sin and that submission does not mean that a woman must submit to the sin of abuse. Women should understand that it is wrong for a wife to enable a husband to continue sinful practices. She has a responsibility to him to take this to her pastor and to the elders of her church.

I think you put two words together that don't belong "biblical battery".

Stickler: The author starts off exactly correct. She is definitely writing to tickle one’s ears. I suppose I disagree that complementarians put such emphasis on 1 Tim 3:4 as the foundation of complementarianism. Kind of renders the rest of it pointless.

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Not sure why you opted not to use my name in the comment, but I’m even more baffled how you got to your conclusion. I think anything given to me by God is wonderful. It’s good to have a car, but I don’t take it, yet I think having a car is wonderful. I’ll affirm it again, God gives authority, no one else. It cannot be taken. I am granted only that which is in God’s will. He states that will over and again to us.


Word games? How offensivley disgusting.

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I stand corrected, Darius. Only 11 to go and someone just referred to another commenter's words as disgusting. Oh, wait.....10 more, this one counts =)!

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Dangit! Nearly 30 to go still (did you really count ‘em ;-))? Does the disgusting comment count as well since it didn’t really say anything? What about combined responses? I put some together even though they were to different folks (ha ha).

I agree with you about hyper-emphasis (comment 124). I suppose for me, it then goes back to the generic references in the Timothy letter and that God ordained order and (dread the word) authority is a recurring command. I would also posit that historical interpretation was that way as well (which is not a proof, mind you, simply another, uh, checkoff?). But, I suppose, that is just me.

Again, just to state it, I don’t have an answer to every question (especially, as we see here, any acceptable answer). I would uphold your idea of commitment to inerrancy. I pray you do well in your research. Thanks for the interaction as well!

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I wasn’t offended, I was perplexed. I thought it was maybe a joke I didn’t understand (that happens often). No need to apologize, but if so, I would forgive you!

Something I want to be clear on (sorry, I hate danging preps, too!). I don’t believe that a woman is only to do something if she receives instruction from her husband (or as you erroneously expand, some man). I agree with Ann in comment 74. I would venture a guess that actions and working out aren’t tremendously different in many ways between complementarian and egalitarian households.

Y’all have fun getting the 150 mark.

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Oh, and I guess I lost the bet, too. What a disappointing comment for #150, huh?

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I may regret this, but Mr./Ms. Crow, it seems your view of Christ's work was temporal-centric. I believe that is liberation theology at it's heart.

Also, I thought Jeff Breeding summed up well a point I tried to make earlier.

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While I suppose I should resist.

So what is stated is that “could mean”= “does mean”

I suppose I could fold my hands across my chest and cry "you can't prove it", but that would be silly, I suppose. Instead, I’ll say that I understand the argument, but neither of the response comments address the idea that of the 200+ uses of aner in the NT none are neutral (as the Plato selection is). It would seem that the consistency of the word should shine through. Of course, I hold no degree in Greek, so, there’s that.

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As far as calling someone or something satanic, I think that purposeful use of abrasive language in order to offend is wrong. I believe a good way of thinking of this is theological triage. This is something that can’t be both “yes” and would necessarily split believers (disunity) and deeply impacts other beliefs (see next), hence a 2nd level issue. It doesn’t affect salvation, but I do think it is a vicious attack on the authority of scripture (through putting what we want above what is said simply because we don’t like it), thus, I see egalitarianism as a spiritually dangerous teaching. I wouldn’t be so cavalier or irresolute as to say “you need to know the truth….”. I hold that we do know the truth. I do specifically reject egalitarian teaching. I do hold that there is a truth to this. I also hold that I will have to answer for that, too. I would hope that you hold the same. If not, you are purposefully undermining authority of scripture as well (there is no truth, thus we need not be held to much of anything).

I do think this is serious and not trivial. I would hope you feel the same.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Seek to Be Known
Louise said:
Comment 11, if Mr. Brown wants to help his friend, that is a good thing.

I guess I just don't recognize that level of accountability in one's private life.

I think that is a perfect illustration of the mentality of hiding. We often sin and hide it citing "that's personal" or private. Not to say that everything we do is discussed in detail out in the open (I think my wife would rather me not). I have trouble sharing those things in my “private” life that others can and should call out. I too often value my comfort and whatever veneer I can over serving God. Integrity is doing what is right when no one is looking. Hiding gives us a false sense of integrity.

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Louise (#19):

I don’t mean to sound rebarbative, but yes, I know, and that is exactly my point. We want to do what we want and we don’t want anyone telling us any different. Sin (perhaps just for me, who knows?) is easier to justify when no one sees it or when we have no fear of being noticed. Again, that doesn’t mean that I share every graphic detail of my life and those around me are free to push for that level of detail. But with outworking actions in particular, we must remember to sharpen one another (Pr 27:17), we don’t get to hide our sin (Pr 28:13) and gently restore (Gal 6:1). And I think that is where we depart. My prayer is that I have men like Motte in my life (I believe I do). Otherwise, I would be a fool who spurned discipline.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Civil Rights Decision in New Hampshire?
That is an interesting question, BDW and an excellent point about Las Vegas, uh, "marriages". I just finished Marriage Under Fire… and Dr. Dobson does touch on this subject. The crux (of his argument) is that family is the foundational unit of society. We've been having a major breakdown of society because of the breakdown of the family. While gay marriage is not the cause, it is a massive erosion of the family. Government relies on society, society on the family. As you just did, he also poignantly highlights that we are in this state because of our own erosion of marriage. While gay marriage is seen as further crushing the family concept, it was we who got the big ball rolling through no-fault divorce, the sexual revolution, legitimization of living together (which has subsequently legitimized the hookup generation as well). And on and on.

We can’t dictate what should be God’s intention for marriage, but, given the government we live in (i.e. we get a say in our government) combined with the societal ramifications of the destruction of marriage, it is something that I think we should take whatever legal action possible.

BTW, congrats, dude! Are you @ T-school down there? I have a friend down there about ready to graduate with his MDiv.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Animals Are People Too?
Given that the evolutionary view has soup->bacteria->monkeys->humans, shouldn't the slogan be "People are animals, too"? Or "Amphibians are bacteria, too"? Or.....

And I think you're spot on, Nathan.

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Sotomayor: “Court is where policy is made.”

The greater context does shed better light on the quote. I’m not comforted by the greater context, though. It’s still simply swinging the pendulum completely in the other direction. The view she (properly) derides is based on one thinking they were superior over the other. Her view is based on exactly the same thing, only the opposite side. Judge Sotomayor’s words:

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases... I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

I agree with the viewpoint with which it sounded like she started. That being that diversity brings balanced decision making (or so it seemed to me). But then goes wrong, I think, by individualizing it and asserting superiority. I would also agree that there is not a universally agreed “wise decision”, but there is a universal “wise decision”.

I’m also not quite sure if I agree with the resignation to experiential, physiological or cultural bias or the resignation to judges making policy. Isn’t that at the root of what she is speaking against? The white male justices were resigned to a certain viewpoint, thus, just go with it. But, as with the above quote, I can see the angle she is taking. I think.

Again, though, all of that simply to come back to the fact that time will flesh out more information. And in the end, we pray, regardless of it being someone who is perfectly in line with our views or not.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sotomayor: “Court is where policy is made.”
I can't watch the video, so maybe there was a tone or some other mitigating factor, but it seems that the statement is saying that empathy should drive ruling and interpretation? I don't think I fully get the second way.

That said, it's one quote pulled from an interview (right?). Maybe time will reveal that other side of things.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Talking about Talking about Abortion
I can handle the protestors being called, “Anti-abortion” protestors, but not Pro-life, because they are not. They are pro some lives, but not all.

I believe that was George Carlin, wasn't it ;-)?

I understand what that person is saying, however, to be consistent with that mentality, wouldn’t that necessarily preclude opposing all abortion? Given that some pregnancies that continue have a risk of death of the mother? They have also identified all war as unjust (think being attacked), etc. That’s a very difficult blanket statement to make, I think. And perhaps that falls in line with their thinking, I don't know.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama’s Hypocritical Strategy on Abortion
Kevin J:

I had just read Justin Taylor quoting Yuval Levin:

Although it was certainly not his intention, the president’s remarks point to the profound and growing weakness of the case for America’s radical abortion laws.

John Knight (from Bethlehem Baptist) had a good response to the abortion rhetoric as well. His quote:

So, is that the point, Mr. President - we get to talk, but the underlying positions get to remain the same? The only thing that actually changes is we think a little more charitably about each other?

And he rightly points to a corollary issue:

When do we get to talk about how the behavior of men on virtually every measurable level has gotten worse since abortion was made legal across the United States?

And yes, I’m sure we all understand presence isn’t a proof of causation. Perhaps almost a chicken and egg thing.

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Kevin J:

Oh, yes, I agree. I was seconding your comment! At least I think so. I think that it could be we are seeing God's working to make evil actions turn out for good (combine the idea with the pollster's uptick in pro-life self-designation and it seems that way). So evil-to-good irony.


I think Dr. Burk has developed a new Kentucky bias against his new southern neighbor (ha ha).

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Obama Fails To Transcend Abortion Debate
Yikes, Chris. I think Darius illustrates the fallacy well (that you sum up with your #11: We can correspondingly conclude that abortion saves an unborn baby from the risk of hell., as if we have some bearing on salvation of others…role, yes, possibly, bearing, no.). And I agree, are you simply speaking in hyperbole or is that really your stance?

I suppose, though, those who want to provide some salve to their wounds of sin do so with whatever means they can. Just reminds me that you don’t throw a frog in a boiling pot. Or something like that.

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I suppose all I can say is wow. I believe in holding the judgment for God alone. You are attempting to usurp that (though you will fail at it).

I believe that your statement is a logical fallacy. I believe those precious humans have a right to live. My desire is that they would live a life devoted to Christ and kneel with me on judgment day to hear Him say well done good and faithful servant. The fact that someone may choose to be disobedient and deny Christ does not have any bearing on what I desire (nor even the desires of God, but that’s a much bigger subject). It’s a foolish equivocation and conclusion that you make.

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Zachary, Chris T and Chris Carter (I enjoyed watching you play for the Vikings….I’m sure you’ve NEVER heard that one before):

I think the difference in our views boils down to viewing these precious ones as humans. I am unwilling to call these humans 2/3rd’s human or anything less than just what they are. I would say that is a fundamental difference for us. One which makes me very narrow minded, I suppose. I think we have the tendency to find great comfort in not having to think about them as lives (and that is me being guilty as much as anyone). They are silent, so we don’t have to listen to any “real” arguments. It’s easier to view those lives as commodities that either enrich or lessen our quality of life, not as people that have any life at all. It’s easier to think of a ball of tissue than a potential life (that, to use CT’s argument, could turn out to bring someone to Christ….again, a bigger discussion). The more we stew in the juices of that darkened view, the deeper that sin goes.

BTW, comment 29 was supposed to be addressed to Chris Thompson.

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