(Yesterday on the blog: New and Notable Books for March)
This one will take a bit of time and concentration, but it’s worth it. “Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of this present age is the sheer speed with which unquestioned orthodoxies—for example, the nature of marriage, or the tight connection between biology and gender, or the vital importance of free speech to a free society—are either crumbling before our eyes or have been completely overthrown. If cultural conservatives are to respond to these changes, it is not enough to address each of them as isolated, discrete phenomena. We must first understand them as symptomatic of deeper cultural pathologies; and that requires a broader theoretical framework that sets the iconoclasm of today in the context of wider, deeper, social and cultural changes.”
Here are some missionary reflections that in some ways apply to all of us:”I guess that’s the thing about parenting–we make all these choices for these small people under our care, and they don’t get any say in it. We choose where they will live, how they will be educated, how many siblings they will have, who they will be friends with. None of this seems like a big deal when they are little and an extension of us, but then they get bigger and smarter and they start to realize that some of the choices we made for them have difficult repercussions. Our enthusiastic, It will be worth it! starts to sound more hollow, to them and to us, because the truth is, we really don’t know if it will be.”
CT reports on the SBC: “Conflicting statements from Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leaders on the denomination’s approach to addressing sexual abuse have left victims, advocates, and pastors themselves with a sense of whiplash—and called into question the fate of proposed reforms to improve accountability among SBC churches.”
David French shows the hopelessness of the social media giants ever doing a reasonable job of moderating their platforms. “This week, two important reports, one in Vanity Fair and the other in The Verge, document Facebook’s struggles to moderate ‘hate speech’ while still preserving its open platform. The two stories complement each other perfectly. The Vanity Fair report is a top-down look at the company’s efforts to design policy, while The Verge reports from the trenches — taking a deep dive into the real life experiences of Facebook’s content moderators. Neither piece is remotely reassuring.”
“Whenever an unborn baby is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition abortion is usually recommended But little Albi was not killed, he was born, he was loved, he lived for almost 2.5 hours and he was mourned.” This video is well worth watching.
Denny Burk gives his take on the method for disciplining a pastor. “In 1 Timothy 5:19-21, the apostle Paul explains how to deal with a pastor who is sinning. Some readers understand Paul to be setting a higher standard for pastors than for other members of the congregation. I think this is a mistaken reading of Paul’s words, for Paul wishes for everyone to be treated equally and without ‘partiality’ (v. 21).”
There are all kinds of spiritual lessons to learn from this story of an art thief and his insatiable desire to steal. “A curious thing about temptation, at least in Breitwieser’s case, is that it never seems to abate. If anything, the more he feeds it, the hungrier it gets. The weekend after the ivory theft in Belgium, Breitwieser and Kleinklaus drive through the snow-streaked Alps to the Zurich art fair. Behind a dealer’s back, quick as a cat, he steals a spectacular goblet, filigreed with silver and gold, from the 16th century.”
It is the Christian’s duty and delight to hold loosely to wealth and to give generously to the Lord’s work. Any problem with money is not the fault of the money itself but with the sneaky, sinful human heart.
“Thinking Christian” should be a redundancy, not an oxymoron.—Albert Mohler