Weekend Reading: November 14, 2015

Good morning and welcome to the weekened! Here are the most interesting articles, blogs, videos and more from the past week…

Over the last several hours we learned that over 100 people were killed in a massive terrorist attack in Paris, France. ISIS is taking credit for the attack, claiming that its retaliation for France’s roll in the bombing campaign in Syria. Key clip from ISIS statements, “Paris is the ‘capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe’ while its attackers were ‘a faithful group of the soldiers of the Caliphate.'”

The Christian response to such acts of hatred and rage and pure evil ought to be prayer for the victim’s families, and a gospel-driven love for people whose worldview is shaped by the wrong-headed views disseminated by Islam. Certainly any religion can be twisted or made militaristic, but for those who know Islam well, this is a perfectly natural outgrowth of its teaching. Deep inside I think we know its wrong and a symptom of a fallen world to think that suicide and murder combine toward redemption. Politically, it is a reminder that even the evil of ancient ideas can infiltrate into any ‘civilized’ 21st century city or country. Modernity is not a perfect form of insulation from the tide of terror.

Now back to America, and Presidential campaign’s state of play. Donald Trump took his rhetoric too far this week, comparing Dr. Ben Carson to a child molester.  I personally believe that its only a matter of time before the enthusiasm for Mr. Trump will be transferred to a more worthy candidate.

Some people may or may not know this, but Dr. Carson is a 7th Day Adventist. What exactly does that mean? An articulate and accessible video by a Masters Seminary prof explains.  And since we’re talking Carson, last week he took some hits in the media over his foreign policy, but it seemed to only help his standing in the polls. 

The GOP Debate that took place this past Tuesday was another interesting spectacle. This time the reviews seemed to favor Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, two young conservative Senators from Florida and Texas respectively.

Zooming out a little bit, Peggy Noonan penned a thoughtful column in the Wall Street Journal about the GOP field and state of play in the nominating process. Her main point was that Democrats are united because their single goal is to seek and keep power, whilst the GOP candidates are currently not united because they are having a very healthy debate of the meaning of conservatism, and what that looks like policy-wise in a host of areas. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

In light of the controversial actions of the University of Missouri football team and some of the student protestors in said school, the Dean of the School of Journalism penned this statement (h/t Tracy L.).

I appreciated Cliff Sims’ take on the Starbucks Cup so-called-controversy. This is just one more area where Donald Trump bloviated, and though this one is a small deal, it ought to inform conservative and Christian opinion about this man’s inch-deep morality and policy convictions.

So much happened this week that caused me to shake my head, but this article about a WWII vet from my Kate’s home town was encouraging. It focuses on the ex-soldier’s bible – a bible which had survived Normandy, and more.

And in case you missed it, the US showed some strength when it flew several B-52 bombers within 12 nautical miles within the man-made Chinese islands in the South China Sea in a show of freedom which sent the following message: the Chinese do not own this Sea!

In tech news, the guys and gals at Apple released what they are calling the iPad Pro. Look pretty interesting…

To more uplifting items…

Tony Reinke wrote a short blog on Desiring God’s site titled ‘What Stops our Fighting?’ that I found to be a good and humbling reminder from James chapter four.

Tim Challies blogged about the phenom devotional ‘Jesus Calling’ and titled the post, ’10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling’.  I have to say that it is worth looking this over. I know a lot of people who read this devotional, some who are older Christians. Ought we not to have more discernment in who we read?

Challies also penned a less controversial, yet just as insightful, blog called ‘God’s Not Really that Holy, I’m Not Really that Bad.’ You might be encouraged by the reminder of God’s grace.

Speaking of good authors, Ligonier Ministries announced that both Dr. Derek Thomas and Dr. Al Mohler were joining the ministry as Teaching Fellows. That ostensibly means that they will produce content for, and speak at, Ligonier events and other Ligonier programs.

Probably my favorite Christian blog post this week was on 7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage. 

Top two posts I didn’t get to check out but wanted to: A Quiz on the Doctrine of Scripture, by Tim Challies, and ‘Is All Worship Equally Acceptable to God?‘ by Tim Barnett.

And this hasn’t been talked a lot about in my circles yet, but I still found it interesting that a giant merger between two huge beer companies took major steps forward toward finalization this week. 

In case you missed it, thing seem to be continuing down the ‘serious’ path for Hillary Clinton’s email probe…

HOME: Kind of on the odd side, this article caught my eye from Houzz – its all about how to clean your microwave. I mean, who doesn’t see cleaning the microwave as a terrible thing?

MUSIC: Christmas is coming! Which means there will be a lot of good music being released. I have not yet heard the Chris Tomlin album, but I have purchased and am thoroughly enjoying the Sovereign Grace release ‘Prepare Him Room.’

That’s it for now, have a great weekend!

PJW

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