gender-neutral-parentingGreat op-ed piece in the LA Times about the futility of gender-neutral parenting.  Liberals think it’s a great idea, but kids have a way of exposing a stupid idea for what it is.

testing_the_spiritsBeloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… (1 John 4:1a)

… for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4b)

Portions of 1 John 4:1-6 are often cited in discussions of spiritual warfare.  John’s admonition to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (4:1) is cited as evidence that we need to exercise spiritual discernment to distinguish between angelic and demonic spirits, or even good and bad human spirits.  “Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (4:4b) is typically quoted in the context of overcoming the Devil.  But are these passages being interpreted correctly?  Are they referring to spiritual warfare?  To find out, let’s look at the context. (more…)

Doctors have found a way to communicate with locked-in patients.  Perhaps surprisingly to some, most report being “happy” despite having what most would considerable to be a miserable existence.  We often think to ourselves that life would not be worth living if we had X debilitating condition, and yet, those in such a condition usually want to go on living.  We need to be very careful about making value judgments considering how worthwhile one’s life is.  While we may not be able to imagine how life would be worth living if we were to experience some major illness like locked-in syndrome, it’s amazing how those who experience such conditions continue to find meaning and value in life.  Every life is valuable, and even those who are experiencing terrible suffering still prefer life over death.  Life is precious.

First it was the approval of homosexuality. Now it is the approval of transgenderism. The Boy Scouts have jumped ship, and now it’s time for Christians to jump ship as well.  An organization that was based on teaching boys to be “morally straight” has lost its way, capitulating to political correctness.  Sad.

all-things-through-christI can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Some have called this the Superman verse.  People invoke it to say that they can do anything and everything, as long as Christ is giving them the ability to do it.  It’s a great motivational verse.  As great as that message sounds, it’s not what Paul meant when you read the verse in its context.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:10-13)

Ben Witherington observes that the Greek does not say “do.” The only verb in the Greek is ischuo, which means “to be able, strong, healthy, valid, powerful.”  A literal rendering of the verse is “I am able all things in Him who empowers me.”  Read literally, it doesn’t make any sense.  Able to do what?  The helping verb is missing, and can only be supplied by the surrounding context.

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Some good news! The Guttmacher Institute just released their abortion data from 2013-4.  The number of abortions fell below one million for the first time in 2013 (958,700), and dropped again in 2014 (926,200).  The last time they were this low was in 1975, just a couple of years after Roe. 

The abortion rate has also continued to decline from 29 p/1000 women (aged 15-44) in 1980, to 14.6 p/1000 women in 2014.  This is the lowest it has been since 1973.

While there are many factors that contribute to this decline (better contraception practices, pro-life legislation making it more difficult to obtain an abortion), one of them is most certainly the pro-life message of equal protection for all human beings.  We have a lot more work to do to make abortion a matter for the history books, but I’ll rejoice over each step along the way.

john-piperJohn Piper writes:

[T]here are two kinds of approaches to questionable practices in life. One I would call a minimalist approach to holiness and godliness. The other maximalist.

In the first case, your typical question is, “Well, what is wrong with it?” It would apply to movies and music, and kids often ask their parents, “What is wrong with it?” And the other approach is not to ask, “What is wrong with it?” mainly, but, “Will it make me more Christ like? Will it make me more devoted to Jesus? … Will it make me more bold in witness or weaken me? Will it help me be spiritually discerning of the ways of Satan in the world and will it help me lay up treasures in heaven?” …

You can see that there are these two kinds of approaches to life. I want to maximize my godliness and my holiness by drawing nearer and nearer to God, and the other one is just trying to do as many things as you can do without being tripped up explicitly by sin.

How true!