Weekend Reading: January 23, 2016

Good morning – and welcome to the weekend!  Here’s what I read this week, what happened that you may have missed, and what I found most interesting…

First I wanted to start with a reminder of how thankful I am. There are a lot of negative headlines, and stories that might make you shake your head this morning, but its at times like these when I find a dose of gratitude soothes my soul, and adds much needed perspective. This is how the author of Hebrews put it:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

On to the weekend clips!

Wonderful blog here by Meg Meeker on why daughters need their dads (h/t to my buddy Derek who passed this along). Some great stuff here. When I first became a dad, the first book my dad bought me was by Meg Meeker, and it was great.

I read two helpful and edifying blogs from Desiring God this week, both were from Dieudonne Tamfu, whom I had never read before. The first is called ‘Suffering is Our Story’ and though I found it basic, I also thought it a wonderful string of truth after truth that will reorient your day if you’ve been suffering. It caused me to look at past posts, and he’s got one that was good from a while back called ‘What Does the Rainbow Mean for Gays?’ this is also worth skimming.  The best scripture he quotes:

Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face. (Ezekiel 1:28)

…On to the HILARIOUS: ‘Undercover Boss Episode: Starkiller Base’

Tim Challies had a great blog post this week about parenting called ‘Before the Birds and the Bees’. He always provides a helpful perspective – especially as it concerns technology and children.

Speaking of Challies, he had a post about going “all in with E-books” that was probably way too long, but if you’ve ever thought about the pluses and minuses of e-books versus hardcover books, then you’ll find this interesting. Lot’s of pros, cons, and opinions offered that may help (or may just leave you where I am…using both).

There’s some notable controversy going on at Wheaton College about whether ‘Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God’ – get the full download from Justin Taylor here. 

Almost everything else I have is on the Presidential race, and the characters running for the highest office in the land. Here’s what happened this week…

In perhaps one of the most embarrassing speeches of her career, Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination. I actually like Palin, but this exposed a side of her that is not very praiseworthy.

Speaking of Trump, Matt Walsh has written what can only be described as a withering warning to Christians entitled, ‘Dear Christians, If You Vote for a Godless Man, You are Asking for Tyranny’.  I appreciated my dear friend Matt P. sending this along for consideration this week, and while the piece could have been written a little more succinctly, Walsh raises some valid points of consideration. This is a must read.

On the same topic, here’s a story from the Washington Times (warning: their website is so littered with ads that I apologize in advance for any frustration) about Donald Trump’s speech at Liberty University. What got lost this week amid people making fun of Trump for mispronouncing “second” Corinthians as “two corinthians” were the words of Jerry Falwell Jr.  Falwell is the son of the late Jerry Falwell (Sr.), who spearheaded a Christian cultural movement often referred to as ‘The Moral Majority’. What bothered me most about the liberty speech was not Trump’s complete lack of understanding Biblical references, it was the fawning words of Falwell, who held Mr. Trump up as the paragon of Christlikeness and virtue. If you read Walsh (above), you’ll recognize the implicit irony of these statements. While Walsh trained his fire on Trump, I want to bring to attention the words of Falwell, and make sure Christians contemplate the full weight of their praise, and the character of the man they are praising.  Falwell is the head of what may be the largest Christian university in the world, and he’s giving more than an endorsement to Trump, he’s practically nominating him for sainthood.  Given the character of the candidate, Falwell’s words are misleading, foolish, and even dangerous. At the very least, no Christian ought to ever consider this man’s words worthy of trust. He has tarnished whatever legacy his father had as an influence for good in the culture. He has shown himself a fool, and unworthy of the influential position he holds. If I were in any way associated with Liberty University, I would be calling for his resignation, and if I were a member of his church, I would be asking whether church discipline was a necessary next step. I cannot contemplate a more reprehensible comparison than Falwell’s – that of a man like Donald Trump who says seeking forgiveness is unnecessary, embodies the virtues of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died to ensure forgiveness could even be made available.

Trump took advantage of the moment, releasing a new radio spot here. This one was was blooper free – but this one wasn’t…

While we’re on the topic of the GOP nomination, and faith, Ted Cruz has been staking a lot of his candidacy on his faith – the Dallas News has a story about that. It’s the Dallas News though, so don’t expect a glowing write up. Similarly, Marco Rubio was confronted by an atheist in Iowa this week, and here’s how he responded. “I’m more interested in eternity…I believe that God, our creator, became a man…and then he died, and he died to remove sins that we couldn’t remove up to that point. They could only be covered, but they couldn’t be removed. And as a result I now have the free gift of the opportunity to live forever with my creator and I believe that passionately…” (h/t to my well-informed grammy for posting on FB!) NOTE to Jerry Falwell Jr.:  Since discernment isn’t your forte, these are the words of a Christian candidate.

The big story out of New Hampshire this week was that John Kasich has been making a lot of headway with voters. In 6 of the last 7 publicly released polls Kasich is in second place. I must have read 30 news articles about this over the course of the week, and the theme of most is that Kasich’s style is more of the “happy warrior” who presents a different viewpoint to the anger many pundits see in the GOP primary electorate. This is largely driven by his faith, and a sense that he’s not the be-all end-all and if he doesn’t win, “life goes on”! (Full disclosure, I am working for Gov. Kasich). NOTE to Jerry Falwell Jr.:  These are the words of a Christian candidate.

The other big story on the campaign trail this week came on the Democratic side of the nominating contest. Hillary Clinton is in some real trouble. Serious trouble. I thought Joe Carter did a wonderful job summarizing the latest email developments in a Facebook post earlier this week. (thanks to Derek S. for reminding me of his post).  Fox News story 1 and Fox News story 2. Here’s the liberal Washington Post story (even they can’t hide their concern).  This is serious stuff, and ought to be the biggest scandal since Watergate (there’s where I agree with Joe Carter).

That’s all I have!  Remember that even though we live in a fallen, corrupt world, we can be grateful for the fact that Christ reigns and will one day come back again to end the suffering and misery and waywardness of our leaders, our nations, and ourselves. Have a wonderful weekend!

PJW

 

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