Monday, October 31, 2005
Two women may jump from an airplane and experience the thrilling freedom of freefalling. But there is a difference: one is encumbered by a parachute on her back, the other is free from this burden. Which person is most free? The one without the parachute feels free, even freer, since she does not feel the constraints of the parachute straps. But she is not truly free. She is in bondage to the force of gravity and to the deception that all is well because she feels unencumbered. This false sense of freedom is in fact bondage to calamity which is sure to happen after a fleeting moment of pleasure. (John Piper, What is the Difference)
Ms. Swoopes should serve as a sobering reminder to all of us, that sin is deceitful. We are all prone to exchange the truth of God for a lie, and believe that true freedom is the throwing off of the restraints of God's law. Yet it is God's law that graciously serves as our comfort and security from the freefall of sin. We can only pray that Ms. Swoopes would come to realize her awful predicament and repent and cry out for God's mercy and forgiveness before she hits the ground.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Surely it is disturbing that people can be so casual about sin and our society would applaud her for what they would call "her courage." Yet to me the most disturbing aspect Ms. Swoopes declaration is the effect it had and will have upon her mother. Interestingly, according to Ms. Swoopes, her and her mother are Christians:
I'm content with who I am and who I'm with. Whether people think that's right, whether they think it's wrong, I don't care. We shouldn't and can't judge each other. I am a Christian, and my biggest dilemma is when people start throwing in the whole religion thing: you're going to hell for this or that. I think that's the hardest thing for my mom to deal with, too. She's into the Bible and church, and I'm concerned about how she's going to deal with her church friends. What are they going to say? What are they going to do? Five years ago, when I told my mom I'm gay, her reaction wasn't any different than I expected. She just said, "I figured." I don't know exactly what that meant, but I could see the hurt and disappointment.
"Why?" she asked. "What did I do wrong?" I told her she didn't do anything wrong. This is who I am, and it's okay. I love my mom to death. I do. And I would never, ever, ever want to do anything to hurt her. I think she knows that.
You can read the entire, disturbing article at ESPN.com "Outside the Arc."
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The current issue of TableTalk Magazine takes the via negativa approach to understanding Reformed Theology. The issue is entitled "No Strings Attached: What Reformed Theology is Not." In it you will find the following articles:
Burk Parsons (editor): "Why Not?"
RC Sproul: "The Fine Points of Calvinism"
Michael Horton: "Reformed Theology vs. Hyper-Calvinism"
D. James Kennedy: "Turning the World Right Side Up"
Phillip Graham Ryken: "Hearts Aflame: Reformed Piety"
(By the way, is it a prerequisite for the pastorate at Tenth Presbyterian Church that you use your middle name i.e. Donald Grey Barnhouse, James Montgomery Boice, Phillip Graham Ryken?)
Ken Jones: "Truly Reformed"
RC Sproul Jr.: "God in the Hands"
R. Albert Mohler: "Reforming Our Mission"
This is an excellent issue. If you have never subscribed to TableTalk, now is the time. If you have never received an issue of TableTalk, you can receive a free copy by calling 1-800-435-4343. This would be a good one to get.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
That's its greatest appeal, even for those who've never set foot inside an African-American church. But in his retelling of the story of the prodigal son, writer-director Rob Hardy ("Trois," "Pandora's Box") never gets to anything like the depths of the gospel moans and shouts he celebrates. In fact, when the music isn't pounding in sanctified syncopation, the look and the dialogue of "The Gospel" are a lot like what you might see and hear on daytime TV....Hardy has plenty of opportunities to examine the foibles of the current crop of theatrical "prosperity" preachers. But that's clearly not his purpose, as time and again he goes for easier, cliched images --- juxtaposing liquor bottles and leather-bound Bibles, hip-hop bump-and-grind and dancing in the spirit. And with all that, Hardy's sure to please his target audience, even if he's only preaching to the choir.