Friday, August 31, 2012

Today’s the Day

Today’s the day for all those things you said you would do once in a blue moon.

Don’t let it pass. The next one won’t be until July of 2015.

This reminds me of the problems of procrastination.

I am going to write about that later.

Friday, August 24, 2012

No Voice for the Voiceless: Shame on Fox 2 Detroit

Fox 2 Detroit has a regular segment called “Let It Rip.” It’s pretty interesting sometimes.

It also doubles as an indication of much of what is wrong with civil discourse in our society: It’s not civil; it’s too soundbyte-ish; it doesn’t work well to develop actual thinking skills; and I could go on. But it’s like watching a train wreck. You just can’t help yourself sometimes.

Well, last night, the topic was on abortion. When I first turned it on, Huel Perkins was reading an email from a viewer complaining about the idea that a woman, conceived by rape, was pro-life and was exercising her voice. Perkins said, “We want to give all sides a voice.”

So I watched it.

And what I found is that there was no voice to speak up for the thousands of children killed every day. There was a representative for Planned Parenthood who took the expected line that convenience and choice are more important than life.

There is the co-host, Charley Langton, an attorney who actually thinks that Roe v. Wade was a good decision.

There was another attorney, though I am not sure what she brought to the table aside from declaring that Roe was settled and safe.

There was no one to point out that no other segment of our population is treated as these littlest ones are.

The two women on the panel arguing for women’s right never stood up for the two thousand plus women everyday that are killed by the one who should most protect them.

We need to realize that abortion is not about choice. That is a red herring.

This society has already accepted the long established principle that “choice” is never ultimate, particularly over another person’s life. No one can simply choose to kill others without consequence. People here in Detroit mourn the violence that happens every day on the streets.

But somehow, our collective minds checkout when a human being is in the mother’s womb. Then killing someone is something to be protected and treasured.

Fox 2 Detroit, you should be ashamed.

Huel Perkins, you should do better because you know better. As a journalist, you should know that if you are going to have a conversation and debate, you should have two sides represented.

As a human being, you should recognize that life is not something to be debated. It is to be protected and preserved, particularly when they are defenseless.

Around the Horn

At first, leading off with something funny. One of my Facebook “friends” posted a link to this recipe for ice cubes along with some accompanying reviews. This is LOL kind of stuff, at least if you are slightly demented like me.

At second, Michael Horton has some good thoughts here on “Four Disturbing Trends in the Contemporary Church.”

At third, here are some good thoughts on evangelism from Timmy Brister.

And the home run today is from the world of politics. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, is telling people to get out and vote on November 2. It’s great advice. Except the election is actually November 6. Can you imagine the outcry of voter suppression if this had been a Republican?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Here’s My Take on Romney-Ryan 2012

The presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney picked his vice-presidential running mate over the weekend: Paul Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin.

Here’s my take: Romney just took a fairly easy campaign with an almost certain win and turned it into a knee-knocker. Now, it will be close, and here’s two reasons why:

First, Ryan will be cast as a polarizing figure, extreme on the budget, and wanting to take public assistance away from people at the time they need it most. Of particular focus will be Ryan’s position on Medicare and Social Security, that those under 55 should have some private options rather than being forced into a public program. 

Now, Ryan is undoubtedly right on this. There is no legitimate argument that can be made that the current system is either good or sustainable. The problem is the politics of it. It started long ago when Ryan was positioned as wanting to take Medicare away from seniors who depend on it.

Great argument and great rhetoric. Just untrue, according to Ryan. His changes are for those under 55, and everyone under 55 should be voting for this. Problem is they won’t.

Second, I think this election will be very hard to win without Florida. And I don’t think Ryan will play well in Florida. Again, this is not because he’s wrong. He isn’t. It’s because of politics. Thirty seconds of “Ryan wants to take your social security and Medicare away from you” running ten times an hour all over the Sunshine State will sway voters.

In short, I don’t think Romney can win the election without winning Florida, and I don’t think he can win Florida with Ryan.

As some have suggested, this was Romney throwing down the gauntlet, going for broke, playing for keeps, or whatever metaphor you want to use here. It was a declaration that there is no holding back. He is not going to run on Obama’s failed record. He is going to run with positive ideas.

The upside for Romney in this is that it probably energizes the Republican base, and the Tea Party constituency. Those who were tepid on Romney will be more likely to vote for him with Ryan at his side.

Will it work? In about ninety days we will know.

In short, I think this makes it close when it probably wouldn’t have been.

However, I am sure that Romney had all kinds of internal polls throwing all kinds of names out there to see what the electorate in key states looked like.

Hopefully, it turns out well.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Around the Horn

First, while there continues to be a debate about the role the church gathered should play in evangelism, here’s a good post about things that affect guests and their decisions to come back. For all the bad press being “seeker-sensitive” has gotten, most churches need some more of it, particularly in terms of the basic expression of common graces to guests.

Second, in the category of really strange, NBC faced a little brouhaha last week over a commercial of a gymnast monkey that aired after a US athlete won a gold medal in gymnastics. While I think a good number of people are calloused to the ongoing affects of the racial past, I join with John Hinderaker in wondering just what kind of people, upon seeing a monkey, think “African-American.”

Third, speaking of African-Americans, a Mississippi church recently made the national news for refusing to allow a black couple in their church to marry in their church building. Now they have apologized for it. Oh. Okay. Then it’s all better. What I want to know is this: Where’s the leadership here? Where’s the pastor who is standing up to call on these people (the complainers, not the couple) to repent of their sinfulness under the threat of church discipline? Sadly, he was trying to make peace. Which reminds me of something I said a while back: You can't lead if you are not willing to disappoint, and maybe even infuriate people. Here was a chance; he missed it.

Last, here’s a sort of humorous piece about debates online. The author here has obviously been around the block a few times. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Around the Horn

First, the new issue of Credo Magazine is out. It has some interesting articles on the Old Princeton, including men like Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, and J. Gresham Machen, as well as interviews with Brian Croft and Mark Dever.

Second, here’s an interesting site on the Apostle Paul. It contains a number of articles and links that will inform and educate concerning some of the current trends in Pauline studies. If you are not familiar with the New Perspective on Paul, there are a number of tutorial articles that will help.

Third, here’s a good article from centuries past on “The Character of a Genuine Theologian.” It was delivered in 1675, but it packed with relevance because of its timeless teaching. It is found on the University of Michigan library website, which means that at least something good comes out of Ann Arbor. Predictably, it didn’t actually originate in Ann Arbor.

Last, here’s a good article by Michael Horton on 5 Myths About Reformed Theology. These myths are unfortunately all too frequent. And for many people, it doesn’t matter what you tell them, their mind is already made up. Just recently I saw someone say that Calvinists shouldn’t blame a criminal for his actions; they should blame God. And this from a man who has been in vocational ministry for over twenty years. He should know better, but unfortunately, he doesn’t talk like it. An article like Horton’s, though brief, will give some clarity to these kinds of old wives’ tales that somehow keep getting repeated.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

This is Fascinating

Here's a video on education that is really interesting, artwork aside (which is so good, it is almost distracting).

In a country with a failing education system, there are some thoughts worth considering here.