Welcome to the weekend! Grab some coffee, and enjoy the most interesting stories, blogs, videos and more from the week.
Friday was inauguration day, which means that the 45th American President, Donald Trump, was sword into office. Regardless of who gets elected in America, one of the amazing things about living in this great country is seeing the peaceful transition of power – something many countries don’t have. I’m thankful to God to live here!
How should Christians think about this moment, and about the coming four years of a Trump presidency? Two of my favorite Christian leaders spoke out today to frame the occasion. First, R.C. Sproul and Dr. Steve Nichols spoke about how Christian should be “confident” in a podcast from Ligonier Ministries. I thought they did a good job of zooming out a bit, and comparing this current presidency and moment with others in recent – and even ancient history. Second, John Piper wrote a scathing blog post called ‘How to Live Under an Unqualified President.’ This will no-doubt draw some ire, and plenty of discussion. But, I’m glad he wrote it, because as I’ve talked to Christian friends over the last week or two, I’ve heard more than a sense of optimism, I’ve sensed an almost jubilant tenor in their voices as they contemplate all the Donald Trump will do. Piper is bringing people back to reality, and clearly drawing a line for later referral (“you can’t say I didn’t warn ya”). Now, as the owner of several small businesses, and the father of a young family, I want Trump to succeed. I want him to keep us safe, and help make the country prosperous. I’m rooting for that to happen! That being said, Christians need to remember who this guy is. By all account, he’s not at all in line with what Christians believe on traditional marriage, the need to seek forgiveness for sins (one of the most BASIC Christian doctrines!), or the importance of respecting fellow image bearers. So my outlook is positive, and hopeful. I’m excited by the cabinet picks Trump made, but I’m not going into the next four years naively thinking that this man values what I value, or believes what I believe – heck, its hard to know for sure what he believes on a plethora of issues. Therefore, my confidence, my hope, is in the Lord.
This is what Jesus said to a group of people living under an oppressive Roman Regime:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Meanwhile, the Washington Post took it upon themselves to catalogue the biggest lies of the Obama Administration. A strange way for the liberal media to look back on his presidency. Yet a good reminder that there is nothing hidden from view when you’re a leader – especially the President. The Blaze was all to eager to fill in the blanks where they forgot certain items.
Michael Horton in WaPo: Evangelicals should be deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s attempt to mainstream heresy
Gene Veith had an interesting little column about the Fear of the Working Class (h/t Lisa W).
Something to note: Trump’s Cabinet Nominees Diverge on Russia, Security Issues. Excerpt:
Retired Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense nominee; Rex Tillerson,named to be secretary of state; and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), the Central Intelligence Agency director nominee, all made statements at Senate hearings this week that differed from views Mr. Trump has expressed, staking out positions that might help them win approval from the Senate but could set them on a collision course with the incoming White House over critical issues, ranging from Russia to Iran.
A different experience: At Elaine Chao Hearing, Smiles and Laughter in an Otherwise Tense Washington
HOW DID THIS FLY UNDER THE RADAR??? Top Lawmakers Left in Dark About Planned Iran Uranium Shipment.
A few articles on MLK from earlier in the week. First, from Steve Berman ask, ‘What’s the Real Legacy of MLK?’ An excerpt:
Hardly an hour would pass that Dr. King would not make reference or direct appeal to his Savior and King, Jesus. I challenge anyone to find a reference to Dr. King’s body of writing and speaking in which he was not engaged in proclaiming the Gospel. Dr. King’s frame of reference for social justice in race relations was single-eyed: through the lens of Biblical morality, and only through that lens.
Second, Greg Morse over at DG asks if Dr. King is Coming to Dinner?, the crux is this:
Perhaps we should let our calendars speak to us: Do we allow our tables to reflect the love of the entire body of Christ as well as our theological convictions? What specific number of people unlike ourselves have come into our homes, and sat at our dinner tables, since we last celebrated King’s influence a year ago?
On at the Wall Street Journal, and subsequently on the American Enterprise Institute blog, Sally Satel discusses ‘How to treat an opioid epidemic’. The main thing that stood out to me here was the importance of community – the right kind of community – in the lives of sinners (addicts and “normal” people alike).
Another one from WSJ. This is Noonan’s column from a few weeks ago, and it will make you think: Shining a Light on ‘Back Row’ America. Think about my note earlier on “community”, according to the guy Noonan talking about in this column, there are two things holding together America: McDonalds and small community churches. These are the glue holding us together, he says. Why? Because people gather there to do life together. They talk together and study Scripture and chat sports. They encourage, laugh, hug, and eat together in these places.
This was excellent: Trembling Before the Holiness of God. There’s really no one in our generation who can express the character of God like Sproul.
EGO WATCH: Obama’s farewell address longer than Reagan’s, Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s combined. Mohler’s take was pretty good (find it here).
Really??? Wow…In England, You Can Camp in Abandoned Medieval Churches
This is pretty angering: Islamic State militants partly destroy Palmyra’s Roman amphitheater. However, it fits right in to the Muslim mindset (some clear historical president going back to the burning of the library at Alexandria).
FYI: El Chapo: Drug lord Joaquin Guzman extradited from Mexico to US. Hope they don’t give him anything remotely resembling a digging tool. This guy could tunnel to Mexico with a Wendy’s spoon!
Fascinating: The Most Coveted Ball in Golf Is From Costco….excerpt:
That idea sent shock waves through a billion-dollar industry, left Costco out of stock for weeks at a time and caused secondary-market prices for the ball to soar. Its popularity is threatening one of the sport’s long-held consumer beliefs: when it comes to the quality of golf balls, you generally get what you pay for.
For your Radar: C of E archbishops call on Christians to repent for Reformation split. The Catholic Church in Rome seems to be succeeding in coaxing some guilt for splitting from the church of England. Keep in mind that there were definitely political (Henry VIII) reasons for the split, however, in England some of that had been brewing from a desire to read the Bible in a language that the English could understand. That’s the undercurrent effect that Wycliff and his disciples had on the times. In other parts of Europe, the reason for the Reformation was a bit different (if such exact lines could be drawn). Rome had (has) forsaken the Gospel. When you forsake the Gospel of grace by faith, and add things to the Gospel (works, indulgences, purgatory) and then never actually change or correct your error, then you can’t expect for other churches to accommodate your theological mistakes. Both the Council of Trent (which Rome still upholds) and the most recent Catholic Catechism make clear that they intend on willfully neglecting the Gospel instead of correcting their errors.
The reason I harp on this a bit is because this year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which means there will be a battle over what it meant then, and what it means today. Stay tuned…
Interesting book review: A Prison Bigger Than All of Western Europe.
Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads: Airbus CEO sees ‘flying car’ prototype ready by end of year