Weekend Reading: April 16, 2016

Welcome to your weekend – and happy Saturday morning!  For those of you who are new to the weekend reading, this is a weekly compilation of all my favorite articles, blogs, videos and books from the previous week.

For you Christians, I was thinking about what it is like to be a Christian at tax time. If your bank account is like mine, then its a great deal lighter than it was last week at this time! But praise God that He has taken the greatest thing of all – my sin – and made me as light as a feather. Amazingly, when He took that, I don’t seem to mind anything anyone else takes in this world!  Indeed, even at tax time, I encourage you to recall the words of Paul in Philippians 3:

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Doesn’t your heart just SING at those words??!!

Now…on to the news…I regret this will be shorter than usual. I spent the week at the Together for the Gospel Conference, and that consumed my full focus and attention. You can listen (soon) to the messages from that conference here.  My favorites were from John Piper, Thabiti Anyabwile, and C.J. Mahaney.

Speaking of John Piper, I read this blog called ‘The Root of Mental Health’ and really enjoyed it. Sometime I need to write a little about my own battle with anxiety (thanks Matt for that encouragement), but in the meantime this blog is a great little resource.

This was my favorite blog of the week: What are the books you come back to? – this is Joel Miller at his best. Though I have to say that what I like best is the concept and the principles here, some of the books he comes back to himself left me scratching my head for their obscurity. I ordered one of his favorite poetry books from Scott Cairns and read through most of it yesterday, and it wasn’t terribly impressive (thus far anyway).  So take that for what its worth…

As you probably know, Jordan Spieth won the Masters last weekend (and I think Jason Day is leading this weekend’s event as I type).  Kate sent me a puff piece that some Christian did on him. The tone is awfully fawning, but if you get through that, its still encouraging.

On to politics…

Donald Trump accidentally said something right about the Bible and politics. He said one of his favorite verses was an OT law quotation “an eye for an eye” and said so because he feels Americans are getting a raw deal from our international neighbors and that there’s a lot we can learn from the Bible.  Now, I think Donald Trump is a blind squirrel finding a nut here – so don’t attribute my praise to any semblance of Biblical or moral intellect.  But he’s right to apply this passage (as far as it goes) because that law in the OT was implemented at a time when the nations around Israel were unjust in all their ways. The whims of their sovereigns, and not true justice, were the order of the day. I’ll let you form the rest of your thoughts from here…

Even though I am supporting Governor Kasich, I think he had another wild week. In the first part of the week he was excoriated (on Wednesday) by Al Mohler for his lack of a Biblical stand on religious liberty issues – specifically on the North Carolina bathroom bill that’s been in the news.  Mohler is 100% correct – listen here (skip to the last 4 minutes or so to get the story).  Then, in the latter half of the week, the Governor met with potential victims of sexual abuse – young students – and was ridiculed by everyone in the leftist media for suggesting that young women at college stay away from parties with a lot of alcohol.  Fancy that – being pilloried in the press for using common sense!  But as Jennifer Rubin says, not only is this ridiculous, its not the whole story – now keep in mind that Rubin is Kasich’s more staunch opponent in the press. She has continually bashed him, and called for him to drop out. That should tell you something about the nature of this article, and how comical the press has become.

And – FINALLY! – the press is writing about how Donald Trump will likely have his high water mark on the first ballot at the convention in Cleveland. As you know, I have been talking about this for a while, but the media haven’t been articulating the obvious for a while – mostly to keep some kind of suspense (and ratings) around the race.

This is a problem for Trump, especially given the work the Cruz Campaign has put into rounding up the delegates necessary to win in Cleveland.  There’s a long story in the Post this week about just that.  And another one here titled ‘More Republican delegates chosen, more problems for Trump’

Of course the problem in all of this is still the fact that Gov. Kasich is still the only one who seems to have the chance to win in the fall – and not by a little. This was articulated again this week in a very large state by state study (linked above – another one focused on Cruz specifically here). Such is the quandary that conservatives find themselves in this year.

Finally, I got to read a blog post from Jen Wilkin this week titled ‘Why Hospitality Beats Entertaining’. This was really fantastic, because Kate and I love having people at our home, and I thought Wilkin’s words were well said.

That’s it!  Now go enjoy your weekend!

PJW

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