I am working on some actual posts but due to some circumstances I am having a hard time completing them but I did want to pass along some posts/articles from others than I have found interesting.
Our Shaken Faith in Football
There is not much that is more American than going to church on Sunday and then rushing home to watch the NFL all afternoon. I remain convinced that a large part of the reason church meets mostly before noon on Sunday is that no men would show up at all if it met in the afternoon. That is what makes Owen Strachan's essay so jarring. The idea that perhaps the values of football, my favorite sport bar none, is not a particularly healthy obsession for Christians borders on heresy. High school, college, pro, we love our football but Strachan asks some important questions about a game that revels in violence and leads to many injuries (how many of us talk about nagging injuries from high school football as a badge of honor?). Is it possible that our cherished national obsession is unhealthy for the church?
Food (Stamps) For Thought
Food assistance for the needy, commonly called "food stamps" even though they are not really stamps anymore, is a huge and growing program designed to meet the most basic need of the poor and/or needy among us on a temporary basis, namely feeding their family. It is also an easy target for conservatives because it is a growing program and feeds (pun intended) into the image of the "welfare queen" living off the government dime. National Review is an unlikely venue to read someone who thinks that conservatives should lay off food stamps but that is kind of what Henry Olsen is suggesting. His most salient point is that it is disingenuous to complain about food stamps in the "ag bill" and ignore farm subsidies. I am not a huge fan of food stamps as a program and it needs serious reform but there are much bigger fish to fry in the Federal budget (um, "defense" spending perhaps?!).
It's (Too) Easy for me to say I'm a pacifist
I don't like the term pacifist, preferring non-resistant because pacifism implies I am against war and that is it but this brief essay raises a troubling issue. It sure is easy to be non-resistant when I don't have much to resist in the first place. We are not persecuted in any sense of the word in America. I am not forced to fight in wars. I am in little personal danger. So it is mostly academic for me to say I am non-resistant. I trust that God would give me wisdom and strength should I ever find myself in a situation where being non-resistant had a real cost but until that happens I recognize that it is awfully easy for American Christians to claim to be pacifists.
Is Public School An Option?
I don't write much about homeschooling these days because it is hard for me to not be self-righteous about it. It is a hot button issue that causes battle lines to be drawn and it often divides the church. Nevertheless I think Al Mohler makes some important points in his essay and concludes, as I have, that public school is by and large not an option for Christian families. It is one of those issues that I think people need to address but I don't think I am the right person for the job, at least not these days!
Evangelical Adoption Movement Attacked..Again
We have seen a number of assaults on the burgeoning movement toward adoption in the church and the attacks are relentless. Jonathan Merritt points us to another public attack, this time on the elite pages of the New York Times. I will admit that there are issues in this movement, as there are any time fallen humans attempt something, but the attacks take the exception and the anecdote and apply it to all. Most Christians I know are very sincere in their desire to help those without families. It is unhelpful to orphans and those in the system to attack the people trying to help them out of some misplaced fear and outright bigotry. There seem to be some who prefer children be trapped in the government system rather than be exposed to those awful Christians in a loving home. I think I know what their motivation might really be...
And then there was this...
Evangelical Sex Abuse Record 'Worse' Than Catholic, Says Billy Graham's Grandson Boz Tchividijian
This one got play all over the media. I read it and alarm bells went off all over the place. I am in no way discounting the problems being alleged. What I an concerned about is four fold. First, Mr. Tchividijian is apparently (although not uniquely) playing on his famous grandfather's name to gain credibility (almost every article I saw on this referenced 'Billy Graham's grandson). Second, the articles are all pretty vague and mostly anecdotal. There are lots of problems but they are unreported. Well isn't that convenient! You can make a claim of a huge problem that is unreported so you are not burdened with providing statistics/facts and if questioned just blame a culture of silence. Notice that the title is inflammatory but then he is quoted saying "I think we are worse" (emphasis mine). Pretty major accusation to make based on something he thinks might be true. Third, Mr. Tchividijian is all over the secular media to drum up attention rather than dealing with this in the church. When you seek attention from unbelievers and those with an ax to grind (i.e. an interview with Rachel Held Evans who of course brings up Sovereign Grace Ministries who also happen to be complementarian) it makes you seem more interested in drumming up business than dealing with an issue. Fourth, follow the money. Mr. Tchividijian works for an organization that also employs another relative and seems a little shady to me. When it is in your financial interest to blow a problem out of proportion I am always suspicious. Notice the praise for Bob Jones University for hiring his organization.
Child abuse is real, it is a problem and when it happens in the church it is a major issue but I am not sure if this is a real attempt to solve a problem or a cash cow for people to provide "consulting" and "investigative" services. As always when money is involved your discernment radar should go up. No one is more critical of organized religion than I am but sometimes it seems as if the "solution" is less a solution for a problem and more a way to cash in on sin.
Anyway, that is a little of what I have been reading for the last week or so. Give them a look!