Holding A Miracle
Lincoln’s Logic on Slavery Applied to Abortion
On January 12, 2009 Samantha Heiges, age 23, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for drowning her newborn in Burnsville, Minnesota. If she had arranged for a doctor to kill the child a few weeks earlier she would be a free woman.
What are the differences between this child before and after birth that would justify its protection just after birth but not just before? There are none. This…Continue Reading
The President, the Passengers, and the Patience of God
Sometimes we are so overwhelmed at being treated better than we deserve that we must exult in the all-sovereign God—the God of birds' flight and Obama’s rise. When King David pondered how many were God’s “wondrous deeds,” he said, “I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told” (Psalm 40:5). That’s the way I feel watching God’s public mercies in the last…Continue Reading
Being Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President
That is the title of a sermon I preached January 17, 1993, three days before Bill Clinton was inaugurated president. It is just as relevant—or more—today.
The text was 1 Peter 2:17, “Honor the king.” I closed with eight ways to honor a pro-choice president. The seventh was this:
We will honor you by expecting from you straightforward answers to straightforward questions. We would not expect this from a…Continue Reading
Christianity Is the Best Explanation
Yesterday I said I’d share Mark Noll’s explanation of America’s successes and failures in the matter of race. Here is his summary which penetrates to the bottom of the “both-and” nature of the God-loved, God-cursed world we live in.
To explain the simultaneous manifestation of superlative good and pervasive malevolence in the history of race and religion, neither simple trust in human nature nor simple cynicism about American hypocrisy is…
How the “Fierce Caucasian-Gentile-Visigoths” Flunked
Mark Noll attempts a theological explanation of the “conundrum” of America’s successes and failures in regard to race in his book God and Race in American Politics. To set the stage for the explanation he quotes Walker Percy’s book Love in Ruins.
Noll says Percy “got it right”:
What a bad joke: God saying: here it is, the new Eden, and it is yours because you’re the apple…
How Barack Obama Will Make Christ a Minister of Condemnation
At Barack Obama’s request, tomorrow in the Lincoln Memorial, Gene Robinson, the first openly non-celibate homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, will deliver the invocation for the inauguration kick-off.
This is tragic not mainly because Obama is willing to hold up the legitimacy of homosexual intercourse, but because he is willing to get behind the church endorsement of sexual intercourse between men.
It is one thing to say: Two men…Continue Reading
Noll Wisely Risks the Un-sensible
In his new book, Mark Noll says that “a sensible historian would now end with a summary as follows...” (176). Then he coolly summarizes, in a single paragraph, the historical observations.
I am thankful that Noll was “promoted to move beyond historical interpretation” in the conclusion of his book. He calls it a “Theological Conclusion”—un-sensible, I suppose, for a historian. But wise and helpful as a human being willing…Continue Reading
Joyful, Serious Church Life Together
In my thinking about the nature of the church, I am often inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was hanged by Hitler in 1945. He wrote a little book called Life Together that described his plan for church community in the agonies of World War II in Germany. John Godsey says that it involved “a kind of theological education that was startlingly new in Germany: a communal life in which Jesus…Continue Reading