Evolution’s Iron Curtain

Iron curtain.jpg

Robert George teaches jurisprudence at Princeton and is well known both as a scholar and as a conservative. On Facebook recently he posted a dialogue with a “closeted conservative colleague” who chooses not to go public with his own views out of considerations of career safety. (Rod Dreher reproduces and comments on it.) The colleague feels implicitly judged by Professor George for his not speaking out, and a really interesting conversation ensues. It reminds me of the situation faced by Darwin skeptics in the science world.

Basically, the colleague feels he has good reasons for remaining closeted, while George says he “assumes” the colleague is “following [his] conscience.” Professor George admits that careers have been savaged and ruined when conservatives came out, but he nevertheless advises his own grad students to be fearless and candid.

Continue: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/evolutions_iron103169.html

Design Paper Hits a Home Run

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/design_paper_hi103156.html

More snippets from The Jesus I Never Knew by Yancey – 5

There is only one way for any of us to resolve the tension between the high ideals of the gospel and the grim reality of ourselves: to accept that we will never measure up, but that we do not have to. We are judged by the righteousness of the Christ who lives within, not our own.

Absolute ideals and absolute grace: after learning that dual message from Russian novelists, I returned to Jesus and found that it suffuses his teaching throughout the Gospels and especially in the Sermon on the Mount. In his response to the rich young ruler, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, in his comments about divorce, money, or any other moral issue, Jesus never lowered God’s Ideal. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” he said. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Not Tolstoy, not Francis of Assisi, not Mother Teresa, not anyone has completely fulfilled those commands.

Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace. Jesus forgave an adulteress, a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing him. He tapped that traitorous disciple, Peter, to found his church and for the next advance turned to a man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians. Grace is absolute, inflexible, all-encompassing. It extends even to the people who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words Jesus spoke on earth.

For years I had felt so unworthy before the absolute ideals of the Sermon on the Mount that I had missed in it any notion of grace. Once I understood the dual message, however, I went back and found that the message of grace gusts through the entire speech.

How could I have missed it? Jesus did not proclaim the Sermon on the Mount so that we would, Tolstoy-like, furrow our brows in despair over our failure to achieve perfection. He gave it to impart to us God’s Ideal toward which we should never stop striving, but also to show that none of us will ever reach that Ideal. The Sermon on the Mount forces us to recognize the great distance between God and us, and any attempt to reduce that distance by somehow moderating its demands misses the point altogether.

The worst tragedy would be to turn the Sermon on the Mount into another form of legalism; it should rather put an end to all legalism.

Having fallen from the absolute Ideal, we have nowhere to land but in the safety net of absolute grace.

~ Yancy, The Jesus I Never Knew

How the Digital Age Helps Us Pray

http://samrainer.com/2016/09/how-the-digital-age-helps-us-pray/

Praying to the God who Creates and Sustains

Praying to the God who Creates and Sustains

It’s Hard To Understand The Bible And That’s Great. This Is Why

You might be embarrassed to admit it, but honestly, it’s hard to understand the Bible. If you hear someone saying otherwise, ask them about the last Bible passage they read. You will be lucky if you get anything besides an excuse.

It’s hard to read and understand the Bible so most people ignore it. Why would you spend your time reading a book you don’t understand? As a result, the Bible is like any other classic, very popular, widely quoted but rarely studied and often misunderstood.

It’s hard to admit to your friends and family that you don’t read your Bible. You don’t want them to know that you find reading the Bible boring and unnecessarily complicated. The phrases seem dated, the metaphors incomprehensible, and the history irrelevant.

It’s hard to confess to your home group that you don’t understand the Bible. After all,  the Bible is God’s word and in it there’s eternal life. But how does it fit in today? New Testament books were written more than 2000 years ago and some of the Old Testament about about 3,500 years ago. Can text that old relate to a person in the 21st Century?

In this article, I would like to show you that the fact that the Bible is hard to understand is a demonstration of God’s ultimate love for us.

Read the rest: http://www.gracemusing.com/read-understand-bible/

New Apologetics Resource for Families: Cold-Case Christianity for Kids!

http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=543a95cdc760416f59a255c6b&id=969470aa89&e=32847b015c

Do not be carried away

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. Hebrews 13:9-10

https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/do-not-be-carried-away-2/

Is Your Church Messy Enough?

I love my church. I love the people I gather with week-by-week. They are fun and safe and easy to be with. But who said church should be safe and easy? What if one of the marks of a good church, a blessed church, is that it’s a messy church?

I’m sure you know of the parable of The Lost Sheep in Luke 15. We call it “The Parable of The Lost Sheep” but it is actually “The Parable of the Kind and Loving Shepherd.” The sheep aren’t the point of the story. Like so many of Jesus’ parables, this parable was told in the presence of two groups of people—people who were convinced of their own badness and people who were convinced of their own goodness. And in this case Jesus was speaking primarily to those good and religious people.

http://www.challies.com/articles/is-your-church-messy-enough

The Bible Is Messy

http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/265038-jefferson-bethke-the-bible-is-messy.html?mpweb=256-1768252-716263646