Thursday, August 27, 2020

What Is Justice without the Bible?

 

A professional athlete recently asked (publicly and rhetorically) why it's so hard to do something unified for just one day.

He asked the question because the professional sports world has been responding in a variety of ways in response to the recent ordeal in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some teams are boycotting games, some players are sitting out while the rest of their team plays, and some athletes are going about business as usual. The athlete referenced at the start was one of those players who sat out while his team played their scheduled game. Apparently he was looking for a full-on boycott league-wide.

His question is deeper than he probably realizes. Why is it just so darn difficult for this collection of unique individuals with varied backgrounds and beliefs to come together to do something that seems so obviously right?

The obviously right thing in his eyes, of course, is to advocate for justice with the platform they've been given as famous Americans. But there's an even more important question behind that idea.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Victimhood Isn't Virtuous




Introduction


Earlier this month I posted the following to social media: "Being a victim of another's sin is a tragedy, not a virtue. Don't pursue opportunities to be a victim; rather, seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God."

Some members of my incredibly modest social media following scoffed at the post, writing it off to be some reflection of white supremacy or privilege. Given the ever-changing current events in America, it seems appropriate to further explain the theme of my 29-word post.

Monday, June 8, 2020

You Forgot about Brett Kavanaugh


By The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States - https://www.oyez.org/justices/brett_m_kavanaugh, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74992411
Photo Credit: By The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States https://www.oyez.org/justices/brett_m_kavanaugh, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74992411


Twenty-one months is either a blink or an eternity, depending on who you ask. It's also the length of time that has passed since the United States Senate Judiciary Committee held a four-day hearing to examine Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. They grilled the nominee under the pretenses of discovering whether or not Christine Blasey-Ford was telling the truth when she accused him of sexual assault. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Helicopter Parenting and A Way Forward





I don't think I've ever cited Good Housekeeping on this website. But there's a first time for everything.

It's my goal in this article to draw a parallel between over-parenting and the way our leaders are treating us today amid the various crises we face. Before the parallel can be drawn, let me lay down a definition of the bad parenting I'm thinking of.

Helicopter parenting can be defined by those parents who have "a desire to create a perfect world for their kids...one in which they never have to face struggle, inconvenience, discomfort, or disappointment." This totally unrealistic pipe dream is incredibly harmful to children, depending on the degree to which it is carried out. In fact, the same article goes on to say this:

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hopeful Hymns in Uncertain Times (part 6)


During these uncertain times, it is important to hear from God's word and from godly counsel. One of the resources that provides us with good Christian teaching is good Christian music. Hymns, both new and old, are a treasure for the church as we seek to sing spiritual songs that remind us of great truths. My hope is that these little devotionals will encourage Christians in days of trial. 

"A Christian's Daily Prayer"
Matt Merker, Jordan Kauflin, and Dave Fournier

The most modern hymn featured in this series thus far was written by some of the most influential Reformed musicians of the day. Jordan Kauflin is the son of Bob Kauflin and Matt Merker is on staff at Mark Dever's church in Washington, D.C. I don't know anything about Dave Fournier and I couldn't find much online. In any case, these three men came together to compose one of the best contemporary hymns the church can sing today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hopeful Hymns in Uncertain Times (part 5)


During these uncertain times, it is important to hear from God's word and from godly counsel. One of the resources that provides us with good Christian teaching is good Christian music. Hymns, both new and old, are a treasure for the church as we seek to sing spiritual songs that remind us of great truths. My hope is that these little devotionals will encourage Christians in days of trial. 

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"
Helen Howarth Lemmel

Originally titled, "The Heavenly Vision," this hymn has its roots in a gospel tract from over a hundred years ago. Lilias Trotter, a missionary to Algeria, supporter of D.L. Moody's ministry, and friend of Amy Carmichael's, authored a variety of tracts as an aspect of her ministry, often incorporating her art skills in the publishing. Her pamphlet titled Focussed (sic), was the inspiration for Helen Howarth Lemmel who penned this song (she wrote over 500 songs in her lifetime and taught music at Moody Bible Institute).

Monday, April 27, 2020

Hopeful Hymns in Uncertain Times (part 4)


During these uncertain times, it is important to hear from God's word and from godly counsel. One of the resources that provides us with good Christian teaching is good Christian music. Hymns, both new and old, are a treasure for the church as we seek to sing spiritual songs that remind us of great truths. My hope is that these little devotionals will encourage Christians in days of trial. 

"Speak O Lord"
Keith and Kristyn Getty

The most influential contemporary hymn-writers became well-known in the Christian world with the 2001 release of "In Christ Alone." Keith co-wrote the song with Stuart Townsend and Kristyn performed it with them for the release. Since then, the Gettys have led God's people in singing that song countless times and hundreds of millions of Christians sing it in churches every year. Keith and Kristyn (who were initially introduced by John Lennox, by the way) have written many other songs worthy of corporate Lord's Day singing.

Friday, April 24, 2020

We're Going Back to Church



Last night, the elders of our church announced that we are going to open our doors again for in-building fellowship. We did not arrive at this commitment without much consternation, as there are a variety of factors that go into such a decision. Our society has not yet reached even the fringes of normalcy, but I hope that as more organizations find resolve in getting back to what we were doing before this mess that we can, at least, start to feel normal again.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Hopeful Hymns in Uncertain Times (part 3)


During these uncertain times, it is important to hear from God's word and from godly counsel. One of the resources that provides us with good Christian teaching is good Christian music. Hymns, both new and old, are a treasure for the church as we seek to sing spiritual songs that remind us of great truths. My hope is that these little devotionals will encourage Christians in days of trial. 

"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"
Martin Luther

What can be said about Luther that hasn't been covered in Here I Stand or in Metaxas' work? I will certainly add nothing novel here. Though, I should mention his favorite quote of mine since it is on a much related note. "Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world," he wrote in a foreword to a contemporary's published song collection

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Hopeful Hymns in Uncertain Times (Part 2)


During these uncertain times, it is important to hear from God's word and from godly counsel. One of the resources that provides us with good Christian teaching is good Christian music. Hymns, both new and old, are a treasure for the church as we seek to sing spiritual songs that remind us of great truths. My hope is that these little devotionals will encourage Christians in days of trial. 

"I Sing the Mighty Power of God"
Isaac Watts

Fewer songwriters of antiquity are more well-known than Isaac Watts. The English Congregational minister was born in 1674 and is estimated to have written over 700 hymns in his lifetime. His efforts toward congregational hymn-singing helped shape a new era of English-speaking corporate worship and his influence has lasted for centuries.