January 2010


One of the ads set to be shown during the SuperBowl next Sunday involves the testimony of Tim Tebow and his mother concerning her courageous choice to give birth inspite of her Doctor’s warning of possible serious consequences. The sponsor of the ad, Focus on the Family, has been under attack from certain sections including NOW.

Here is a another story that I really believe has a tremendous message. It is also about a football player, a former player in the NFL. It is about a mother whose baby was taken from her shortly before she died after she had been shot four times. It’s about the man who killed her who has become a muslim in prison and now talks of “judgment”. It’s about a courageous grandmother and about forgiveness and about much much more.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4874549

Oh yes, about that SuperBowl ad. Check out this video from the Washington Post about another pro-life ad from players of the New York Giants winner of the SuperBowl in 1989.

Confessions of A Liberal Christian Churchman.

I really didn’t have to listen to our President’s State of The Union address to get that it was about the “ECONOMY”. So what’s new in 80 years of progress- from 1930 to 2010?

In trying to live up to the “prophetic” part of the E4Unity blog, I went in search of a prophetic voice from the 20th century and found this tasty morsel from Paul S.Minear. As I started reading this essay which was written in 1980, I was blown away by what he said about his experience and convictions about the hard times of the 1930’s.

Paul S. Minear 1980

“In 1930 I was at Yale, beginning my graduate study of the Bible. The Great Depression was in its early stages; it would be ended only by World War II with its employment of millions of the unemployed, and with its armaments’ explosion and the subsequent development of the military- industrial-technological empire.
 But in 1930, millions were unemployed and hungry. There was immeasurable destitution, disillusionment, despair. The American dream had turned overnight into the American nightmare. Political anarchy and economic civil war were daily possibilities. There were explosive demands for economic justice; each of these demands touched off reactionary forces that were in a position to use the powers of government to fend off any substantive change in the social structure.
In New Haven, I was in constant contact with workers’ families whose only protection from extinction was to stand in endless breadlines or to work the streets peddling apples or pencils. I was kept from sharing their plight by the fact that I was a student, and my wife was in the employ of the university.
 The Depression signalled a cold war between economic royalists and radicals, both seeking to use the powers of government to fulfill self-interests. No one can tell how near the country came to revolution, but it was near enough to create an anti-Communist hysteria from which the nation has never since been free. To a great degree the cold war between America and Russia has been one of a pair of identical twins: the other twin being the internal cold war within America, between left and right.
What role in this struggle was played by Christian congregations? Two answers can be given. (1) The life of congregations appeared to be totally irrelevant to the solution of the critical issues. Nothing they did, or could do, had the slightest effect. (2) When congregations did take up positions, they lined up solidly on the side of economic and political reaction. Right-wing forces could count on their fears of radical change. The acronym WASP was an accurate symbol of actual collusion between religious and political establishments. Or so it seemed to me. This collusion was nowhere more obvious than in those sections of the country where Protestantism was, in effect, the state religion.

And the Bible? In many ways, the Bible appeared to be wholly irrelevant to finding ways of dealing with the successive crises. But where it did become relevant, it was in support of the collusion between religious and political establishments. The more reactionary the congregation, the more it gave recognition to the authority of the Bible. Loyalty to the Bible contributed directly to loyalty to Mammon, to Mars, to Caesar. “Bible-Belt” became a term referring to a region simultaneously super- patriotic, economically reactionary, militaristic, anti-union, and racially exclusive. All these were solidly identified with Christianity, and this Christianity was solidly identified with the Bible.

In 1930, I was convinced that before Christian congregations could be emancipated from such idolatries, their dependence on the Bible must be dynamited. I held the authority of the Bible at least partly responsible for the stance of the churches; therefore that authority must be undermined.”

 

Excerpt from “The Bible’s Authority in The Churches”.

Full text available as Authority-in-the-Churches

 

Living by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Well we’re already deep into the new calendar year and already face to face with human suffering and the mysteries of life on planet earth. For this blogger that means an opportunity to exchange personal viewpoints about how faith thinks and acts in daily life.

As far as my own faith in the Biblical witness that God Himself has given, that means keeping the Gospel of Christ as the fountainhead of every single day. I found the following post on another blog so powerful that I want to defer to it with little comment. I am focusing on what it says to the misconception that the Gospel is only about the begining-the ABC’s of salvation. Nothing could be farther from the reality. See if you agree.

Maturity doesn’t mean moving beyond the gospel, but more deeply into it.“There are two challenges for preachers, those of us called to announce this good news. First is to help people understand theologically that the gospel doesn’t just ignite the Christian life but it’s also the fuel that keeps Christians going and growing every day. The second challenge, which is much harder for me than the first, is to help people understand how this works functionally.

I address the second challenge by regularly asking myself this question: Since Jesus secured my pardon and absorbed the Father’s wrath on my behalf so that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” how does that impact my longing for approval, my tendency to be controlling, and my fear of the unknown?

In other words, how does the finished work of Christ satisfy my deepest daily needs so that I can experience the liberating power of the gospel every day and in every way?

If you’re a preacher, then God has called you to help others make the connection between Christ’s finished work and their daily life. To do this, we must unveil and unpack the truth of the gospel from every biblical text we preach in such a way that it exposes both the idols of our culture and the idols of our hearts.”

(from “The Everyday Gospel”- Tullian Tchividian)

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Richard Dawkins and his battle for Truth.

We have all heard about Richard and also about those who offended by his writings. But perhaps we have never heard directly from the man himself. Where was he born and raised? What is he actually trying to accomplish? Here’s a brief interview that I found very enlightening to begin the new year- in his own words. Note the source of this interview, that also is very interesting.