Friday, April 16, 2010

Links for your Friday (4/16)

Some of you may find this interesting, some may not, but Anthony Bradley from WORLD Magazine wrote about the end of an era. The era of the emerging church.

Because post-modernism as movement is also dead as scientific realism emerged as a recent culture-shaping philosophical movement, the generation of Christians struggling to meet the challenges of post-modernism, instead of yelling at it hoping it would go way, are shifting as well to address a world asking different questions. While the effects of the emerging church movement will linger for some time we will begin to see books praising and attacking the movement go out of print.
This obituary for the emerging church was also pretty interesting. I used to be one who would have considered myself a part of the movement. Well from afar at least. I read McLaren, I listened to Rob Bell, I liked to argue theological doctrine just for the sake of arguing. But I got tired of it. I learned a whole lot from Bell and McLaren and will still occasionally listen and read both (and if you read the article you'll find out that even Bell seems to be shifting) but I've fled to the reformed camp.

Over at the Resurgence Justin Hyde posted on how he pastors his family. I found this not only challenging, but encouraging and even exciting as we're almost a month away from our family going from two to three. This was one of the most challenging lines for me:

I get home from work between 5:30PM and 5:45PM each night. But I have to prepare myself before 5:30PM so that I can hit the ground running when I walk in the door. Though I am invariably tired from my day's work, I have to remind myself that the most important part of my vocation happens after 5:30PM, not before. I am tempted to mentally "clock out" on my drive home, which would be easy. Yet I have to consciously prepare myself to give more energy, more attention, and more dedicated focus as soon as I walk through the door and am greeted by my 5 year old son, 3 year old daughter, newborn son, and wife than I have all day. This takes prayer, practice, and intentionality.
I'd encourage any father to read the full article.

Oops.. I aborted the wrong baby. Dr. Mohler discusses a news article about an abortionists who mistakenly aborted the wrong twin:

A Sarasota doctor has lost his license for mistakenly aborting a healthy twin during a procedure targeting a deformed fetus. Immediately after the Florida Board of Medicine’s decision Saturday, Dr. Matthew Kachinas was involuntarily hospitalized because he said he planned to commit suicide. Kachinas had blamed faulty ultrasound equipment for the 2006 mistake. He was targeting a fetus with Down syndrome and signs of a heart defect.
This issue has been on my mind lately after overhearing a comment in the checkout line at Walmart. A middle aged gentlemen was talking to two 20 year olds about why he doesn't support Sarah Palin. I couldn't believe how matter-of-factly he said this: "I mean look at her, she knew her child was going to have Down sydndrome, and she had it anyway." To be honest I don't know if I've ever felt as much anger before. In retrospect I know that I should have said something, but the thoughts that were going through my mind were not helpful or loving or pro-life. So I remained silent. But, based on statistics, this is what a large portion of Americans think. You may not hear it stated so blatantly, but judging by our actions it seems obvious.

And along those same thoughts here's a youtube video about a young man who has was born without eyes as well as many other disabilities, but his answer when asked to describe his disabilities: "not disabilities, more like abilities."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Quickly We Forget

"God is faithful"

"God will provide"

"Just have faith"

Those are common phrases that we, as followers of Christ, use. But I question how often we actually believe them when we say them. I know for the past month or so I've been guilty of using them without any meat behind them. As we get closer and closer to the arrival of our baby girl my paycheck seems to look smaller and smaller. I add up our bills and try to figure out just how we're going to make my paycheck alone spread to cover them all. I've picked up a second job that I can work a couple evenings a week and on my off day, but things still seem like they're going to be tight. And as the months turn to weeks til our due date I get more and more anxious. Yesterday it hit the breaking point. I was at the bottom, desperate and angry, feeling like I deserved better then this. Scared that I had no clue just how I was going to be able to make this all work.

Then at 4:30 my wife showed up at the office to bring me dinner before I head off to my second job and she has a card we had just gotten in the mail. It was anonymous, and in it was a $100 American Express gift card. Somehow in all of this I had forgotten an important part, God. Not once had I even prayed about the situation. Not once had I said, and actually meant it, "I trust that You will take care of us." I had tried to use my pea-sized brain and pinch and crunch to figure out just how I was going to provide for our family. Now I know that God may have something else for us other then the jobs I'm working now, and I do need to be responsible and provide for my family. But I had completely lost my trust that God would provide for us. And while $100 dollars doesn't make our bills go away, it's a reminder that I'm not the one controlling things and that the One who is has promised He will take care of me.

Last night, with this still fresh in my mind, I sat on our living room floor surrounded by the many gifts we had gotten at our first of two baby showers I looked at the outfits and imagined what our baby girl would look like and as I read the Dr. Suess books I thought of the day when I'll have a little angel in my lap to read to. Then I looked up at the amazing wife that God has given me and thought to myself: God has blessed me with way too many good things to waste my time worrying and being anxious.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jakob Dylan: Tiny Desk Concert

Don Miller posted this on his blog this morning so I thought I'd pass it along. Great way to start off your morning. So pour yourself a cup of coffee, surf the net and listen to some Jakob Dylan.

If you're getting this through facebook click on "view original post" below to get to the video.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

American College of Pediatricians: Homosexual Attraction is Neither Innate Nor Unchangeable

The American College of Pediatricians had a very interesting press release to educators on April 5th:

The College reminds school superintendents that it is not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient confusion about their sexual orientation and that most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. For this reason, schools should not seek to develop policy which “affirms” or encourages these non-heterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion. Such premature labeling can lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks.

There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered. Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable. Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.

They also wrote a letter to school superintendents:

Dr. Francis Collins, former Director of the Genome Project, has stated that while homosexuality may be genetically influenced, it is “… not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.” He also states [that] “…the prominent role[s] of individual free will choices [has] a profound effect on us.” 6

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) recently released a landmark survey and analysis of 125 years of scientific studies and clinical experience dealing with homosexuality. This report, What Research Shows, draws three major conclusions: (1) individuals with unwanted same sex attraction often can be successfully treated; (2) there is no undue risk to patients from embarking on such therapy and (3), as a group, homosexuals experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical health problems compared to heterosexuals. Among adolescents who claim a “gay” identity, the health risks include higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and suicide. Encouragingly, the longer students delay self-labeling as “gay,” the less likely they are to experience these health risks. In fact, for each year an adolescent delays, the risk of suicide alone decreases by 20%.7

In light of these facts, it is clear that when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to “come out as gay” and be “affirmed,” 8 there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students (who may merely be experiencing transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation). Premature labeling may then lead some adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.
You can see the full press release here.
And the letter to the superintendents here.
And here's a fact sheet on what we should know about "Sexual Orientation among Youth"

And lastly this is basically a copy from Kevin DeYoungs post.

Friday, April 9, 2010

There's something soothing about sitting in a coffee shop. I may not get as much reading done as I would if I were sitting alone in a quiet room with a book, but theres nothing quite like sitting in a coffee shop, sipping a caramel macchiatto with a book in hand. The book is there but much of my time is spent observing: the paintings on the wall, the girls sitting behind me quizzing each other for there high school science exam, the thickness of foam in my coffee, the soft music drifting through the air, the sound of the roaster making a fresh batch of beans. All of this is part of the experience. Eventually I'll tune them all out and get some reading done. But for now I'm enjoying taking it all in. There's no better place to be on a dreary, rainy Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Michael Spencer Quote

It's amazing the way that the internet connects people. One of the blogs I've followed fairly closely since I began keeping up with blogs has been I didn't necessarily always agree with what Michael Spencer, the main blogger there, I always appreciated what was typed and would often link to his blog. And while I never knew him I was saddened to see that he had passed away earlier this week. His impact has become obvious since his death as the blog world, or at least the one that I follow, has been covered with sympathies and remorse. Trevin Wax posted a list of his favorite 5 posts from Michael over the years which were all very challenging and encouraging but I really liked one in particular:

When the quality of God’s mercy in the Gospel no longer amazes you, you will begin to justify the dilution of amazing grace into religious grace, or moral grace, or grace in response to something.

Real grace is simply inexplicable, inappropriate, out of the box, out of bounds, offensive, excessive, too much, given to the wrong people and all those things.

Read the full blog post. And check out Trevin's blog to see some of Spencers other posts.