I’m accustomed to seeing Donald Trump Twitter tirades. I’m not, however, accustomed to seeing Southern Baptist theologians as the object of those tirades. Yet, yesterday morning, I woke up to this:
Opinions of Donald Trump aside, when was the last time a Republican Presidential nominee publically went after an influential Evangelical leader? I can’t think of an example. Republicans used to actively court Evangelicals, not crucify them.
And the cordial feelings tended to be mutual. Though the Republican Party has never aligned perfectly with Christian teaching, conservative Evangelicals could generally rely on the party to produce candidates who valued life, character, and religious freedom.
Yet that assumption has been slowly eroding, and Trump’s tweet seems to be the nail in the coffin. The gospel no longer fits neatly into a political party (if it ever did at all). Continue reading
[Editor’s Note: My wife, Katie (a teacher), and I collaborated on this post.]
The dawn of a new school year is often a time for complaining. Parents complain about the early start to the school year, the local school system, or the fact that their child got that teacher. And teachers may complain about education policy, increased responsibilities (without increased pay), or the fact that they got that child in their class.
Yet a new school year also means that thousands of Christians return to their classrooms to make a profound impact on children’s lives. This is a huge responsibility and privilege — and teachers need your prayers.
Please consider praying for the following: Continue reading
I have been a stay-at-home dad for the past few years (in addition to being a full-time student and part-time writer). My wife and I decided that this arrangement made the most sense given our present life and work situation. And we are not alone, as statistics reveal. More than 1.4 million dads stay at home, according to a 2009 study.
Being a stay-at-home dad has taught me valuable (even spiritual) lessons — mostly via the school of hard knocks. So if you find yourself in the same situation, here are five tips for surviving and thriving as a stay-at-home dad: Continue reading
The events of recent days, along with topics I’ve been studying on my own, have brought to mind the title of Richard M. Weaver’s classic book: Ideas Have Consequences.
Weaver recognized a decay in Western civilization; the culture had lost its center and desperately needed repair. As a result, In Ideas Have Consequences (1948), Weaver both diagnosed the problem and suggested a solution. He explains:
First, I present an account of that decline based not on analogy but on deduction…. Second, I go so far as to propound, if not a whole solution, at least the beginning of one, in the belief that man should not follow a scientific analysis with a plea of moral impotence. (1)
I agree with Weaver’s diagnosis. But his solution? Read the rest of this (admittedly heady) Ideas Have Consequences book review to get my perspective. Continue reading
Chris Pratt has been all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds this week — not just for his role in Jurassic World, but because of his comments about faith. Evidently he turned to God at his son’s premature birth, posts verses to Facebook, and goes to church.
Last year, Shia LaBeouf received similar attention when he said he “became a Christian man” on the set of Fury. Then, as now, Christians excitedly shared the story across Facebook and Twitter.
But it’s not just these guys. We tend to glorify the Christian athletes who praise God after a victory, musicians who sing vaguely inspirational songs, or reality TV stars who say they’re Christians. In each situation, we hastily, enthusiastically share the story with glowing comments:
- “Can’t believe that he is a Christian, too!”
- “Wow, God could really use her!”
- “Take that liberals in Hollywood!”
We treat their faith, no matter how genuine, as a cause for unbridled celebration.
To be clear, my issue isn’t with Pratt, LaBeouf, and others. I desperately hope they know our Savior, and I applaud their openness to talk about matters of faith.
Rather, my issue is with us. Our frenzied reaction to such stories points to a problem: we have an unhealthy infatuation with Christian celebrities. I’m afraid we subtly believe that we need Christian celebrities to vindicate our beliefs — or worse, that God needs Christian celebrities to accomplish His will. Continue reading
Jeff Gordon is retiring. Whether you love him or hate him, odds are he comes to mind when you think about NASCAR. He was the face of the sport for more than 20 years, and many little race fans wanted to be like him.
You probably remember Gordon as the guy who drove the rainbow-colored DuPont car. And for good reason. DuPont shelled out tens of millions of dollars to his team every year.
But Gordon didn’t pocket the money and run. He never said, “I got my paycheck, so I’m going to hit the lake this weekend. You guys can take care of the race, right?” Continue reading
I’ve been a political junkie ever since middle school. While most kids were watching Nickelodeon or playing football, I was the oddball reading USA Today, watching cable news, and vehemently arguing politics with friends and family.
As an American, I had every right to assert my political opinions. To take a stand. To make my position known. And though I have mellowed in recent years, that itch never went away. As a result, I still liked posting opinion columns on controversial issues to my Facebook.
Then, last spring, I ran across this line in D.A. Carson’s book The Cross and Christian Ministry:
“How can Christians stand beside the cross and insist on their rights?”
This quote—and the passage in 1 Corinthians 9 it referred to—floored me. I was immediately convicted about my “right” to assert my political views.
You see, when I ardently posted my political views, I was inevitably driving away the friends who disagreed. And their greatest need is not a change in politics. It’s a change in heart, the kind only the gospel can provide. Continue reading