Monthly Archives: August 2012

Why Should A Gospel-Centered Group Insist on Complementarianism?

If the Gospel Coalition is an organization centered around the gospel and allowing room for disagreement on secondary issues (baptism, sign gifts, etc), then why is complementarianism built into the confessional statement?

D.A. Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper give their answers in the video below. As a side note, I asked Bruce Ware this question last Spring. You can find that video here.

Andrew Peterson’s “Rest Easy”

In anticipation of the release of his new album, Andrew Peterson has been holding a music video contest for his song “Rest Easy.” The winner receives $1000.00, a copy of the new album, and their video becomes the official music video for the song “Rest Easy.”

A family in our church entered the contest and found out yesterday that they were selected to be in the top ten. Number of views doesn’t determine the winner, but apparently it factors into the decision. So check out their video and share it with friends!

Gay Is Not The New Black

I only just read this excellent article by Voddie Baucham this morning. The article is nearly a month old now, but somehow in the midst of our daughter being born and all of the accompanying sleepless nights, I missed it altogether. But the article provides some clear, helpful thoughts on an important point of debate.

Advocates of gay marriage often claim the mantle of the civil rights movement. Just as we had to fight for the rights of a minority group that was denied those rights based on an integral part of their identity (i.e. race), so we now must fight for the rights of a minority group that is suffering the same injustices because of their sexual orientation. The parallels, they say, are striking. Gay is the new black.

Voddie Baucham skillfully argues that this is not the case–that race and sexual orientation cannot be conflated. Since this is an increasingly popular line of argumentation, in an increasingly public debate, it would do Christians well to consider Baucham’s lines of reasoning. Here it is:

Gay Is Not The New Black

John Piper and Tim Keller on Sanctification

Time-markers:

00:20 — How Keller talks about sanctification.

2:25 — What are we conforming to in sanctification?

3:45 — How does justification relate to sanctification?

6:40 — The psychological dynamics of faith.

9:00 — What does it mean to “owe God everything”?

11:20 — “I’m going to work my tail off for Jesus, and it’s all of grace.”

Time-markers:

0:01 — When action is enticed by a blessing.

3:00 — Looking for the past and future for sanctification now.

4:44 — How pleasure relates to our motives.

7:10 — The battle against pornography and being a “John Owen guy.”

11:10 — Three levels of motivation for holiness.

11:29 — Strategies and means of grace for holiness.

 

HT: Desiring God

A Bully’s Anger at Chick-fil-a and Vantar’s Press Release: An Illustration of Two Kinds of Tolerance

Perhaps you’ve already seen this video of Adam Smith, former CEO of Vantar, bullying a Chick-fil-a employee as he comes through the drive-thru to receive his free water. It’s sad. Thankfully, he was shortly thereafter fired by his company for his behavior.

But the significance of this incident is that it serves as a vivid illustration of the increasing culture divide over the understanding of what “tolerance” actually is. Last week I wrote about the two kinds of tolerance illustrated in the whole Chick-fil-a uproar (you can read the article here).

Mr. Smith illustrates one kind of tolerance–either you make no absolute claims,  understanding all viewpoints to have equal validity, or you will not be tolerated. This is the kind of tolerance that prizes tolerance so much that it refuses to tolerate those who don’t. Again, ironic.

Vantar, Mr. Smith’s former employer, admirably demonstrates the second kind of tolerance. This understanding of tolerance respects the right of others’ to hold differing perspectives and for those differences to be engaged civilly. Far from minimizing differences, this tolerance recognizes that differences actually do matter. They key is that they be hammered out civilly and respectfully. In short, tolerate the right of others to hold differing viewpoints.

Here’s Vantar’s press release, which serves as an admirable illustration of this second kind of tolerance:

TUCSON, AZ–(Marketwire – Aug 2, 2012) – The following is a statement from Vante:
Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A. Effective immediately, Mr. Smith is no longer an employee of our company.

The actions of Mr. Smith do not reflect our corporate values in any manner. Vante is an equal opportunity company with a diverse workforce, which holds diverse opinions. We respect the right of our employees and all Americans to hold and express their personal opinions, however, we also expect our company officers to behave in a manner commensurate with their position and in a respectful fashion that conveys these values of civility with others.

We hope that the general population does not hold Mr. Smith’s actions against Vante and its employees.

Rejoicing In The Wrath: Why We Look Forward To The Judgment Day

In the latest edition of Christianity Today, Trevin Wax has a superb piece on the necessity of the final judgment. He says that “justice and judgment are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have perfect justice without judgment. God cannot make things right without declaring certain things wrong. It’s the judgment of God that leads to a perfectly just world. Try to take one without the other, and you lose the Good News.”

Despite it’s unpopularity, Trevin believes there are several reasons we should continue to affirm the traditional Christian understanding of final judgment:

(1) Judgment is good news.

(2) Judgment demonstrates the holy love of God.

(3) Our sin angers God personally.

(4) The concept of judgment is good for society.

(5) We all sin and deserved to be judged.

You can read the entire piece here. It’s well worth your time.

Compassion and Conviction

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” ~Rick Warren

There’s been a great deal of discussion among media outlets this last week about tolerance and religious liberty. The discussion itself is an important and crucial one, but much of it has operated from the faulty presuppositions identified by Warren.

On one side, non-Christians see Christians that believe the Bible calls homosexuality a sexual sin, and the assumption is then that Christians fear or hate homosexuals.

On the other side, Christians see other Christians who talk about taking care to not unnecessarily create an “us vs. them” mentality or about showing care and love towards homosexuals, and the assumption is that they have compromised Christian convictions.

Warren is right of course. Both are nonsense. Christians follow a Savior who looked out upon a sinful, hard-hearted multitude and had compassion on them, because he saw them for what they were–sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). This is hard for us. Holding compassion and conviction together in healthy tension is not something that comes naturally. We tend to either be compassionate and sinfully permissive, or conscientiously upholding Biblical standards of holiness but self-righteous.

And yet the same Jesus who threw the money-changers out of the temple, wept over the city of Jerusalem. In both our public discourse and in our personal relationships, may we have more of the spirit of Jesus.

Compassion and conviction is not an either-or scenario.