TGC Spotlight 01.30.15

TGC Spotlight highlights TGC articles from earlier in the week, previews articles coming next week, and links to items around the web that you might have missed. 

Featured TGC Articles

How Preachers Read The Bible For Themselves | Dan Doriani

We should recognize the privilege of pursuing his studies in the environment where God and salvation are in the air we breathe.


How To Combat The Demonic | J.D. Greear

We battle against a dangerous adversary, but we have a great weapon of warfare in the gospel.


Why The Prosperity Gospel Is The Worst Pyramid Scheme Ever | Nicholas McDonald

Here are three ways the prosperity gospel is strikingly similar to a pyramid scheme.


The Love That is Neither Easy Nor Natural | Erik Raymond

Christianity was easy when I was taking, but it became real when I had to start giving.


Seahawks Assistant Coach: ‘Jesus is Better Than the Super Bowl’ | David Daniels

Whether the Seattle Seahawks win or lose this Sunday, if a news camera finds assistant coach Rocky Seto, he’ll talk about Jesus.


Featured TGC Contributor Articles

Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods | Justin Taylor

Contrary to what is often implied or claimed by young-earth creationists, the Bible nowhere directly teaches the age of the earth.


Theological Primer: Eternal Sonship | Kevin DeYoung

From time to time I make new entries into this continuing series called “Theological Primer.” The idea is to present big theological concepts in under 500 words (or pretty close–what’s a couple hundred words among friends?). Today we look at the eternality of the Son of God.


Interacting with Joshua Ryan Butler’s “Skeletons in God’s Closet” | Trevin Wax

The strengths of Butler’s work are many. Butler combines profound theological reflection with accessible and memorable explanation. Throughout the book, he incorporates biblical analysis, voices from church history, and personal stories that help the reader grasp his overall construction, one building block at a time.


How can we tell when God is really at work? | Ray Ortlund

In The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God (1741), Jonathan Edwards pulled out of 1 John 4 the biblical indicators that God is at work, even if the people involved are complicating it with their own imperfections and eccentricities.


A Prayer for Gazing Upon the Beauty of the LORD | Scotty Smith

Dear heavenly Father, it’s only through the gospel of your grace that I’ve come to know you to be a beautiful God. Before then, your loveliness was veiled to me, mostly by the darkness of my unbelief. But now, your splendor outshines the sun; your excellences stager my imagination; and your kindness melts my heart.


Coming Next Week at TGC

How Martin Luther King Jr. Overcame ‘Christian’ White Supremacy | Russell Moore

Russell Moore on MLK Jr. and the white supremacy of Southern Christians.


When Productivity Strangles Joy in Ministry | Chris Carter

Chris Carter explains how the way we handle our time can affect our joy in ministry.


The Secret to Abounding | Winfree Brisley

Winfree Brisley reminds readers that contentment or abounding as a Christian has nothing to do with our circumstances.


Upcoming Events

Albuquerque Regional Conference (March 20-22, 2015)

Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and Christ. Speakers include Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, and David Helm.

2015 National Conference (April 1-15, 2015)

Heading Home: A New Heaven and a New Earth. Speakers include Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, John Piper, Mark Dever, Voddie Baucham, Philip G. Ryken, Ligon Duncan, and many others.

Remainder Bin

American Culture

After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel, Pew Research

Majority Says Publishing Cartoons Was ‘Okay,’ But About Half of Non-Whites Say ‘Not Okay’

Congress Seeks to Improve Global Anti-Trafficking Efforts Olivia Enos, The Daily Signal

As National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, Congress is turning its attention to combatting human trafficking. New estimates suggest that as many as 35.8 million people are victims of human trafficking. Renewed attention on this international crisis is necessary if the U.S. is to continue to lead global anti-trafficking efforts.


A Fundamental Right To “personal Recreationism”?  Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Gender dysphoria (transgenderism)—formerly known as gender identity disorder—was once considered a mental illness. Today, the condition—and how individuals and society react to it—is a prominent civil rights issue, the “T” in LGBT.

Texas May Once Again Change Abortion Law For The Entire Country Denise Burke, The Federalist

Texas is again at the forefront of the continuing national debate over abortion. In January 1973, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ prohibition on abortion in Roe v. Wade, unleashing an extreme abortion-on-demand agenda that has claimed more than 50 million children and left millions of American women at the mercy of an under-scrutinized, inadequately regulated, and profit-driven abortion industry.

New Mexico could be fifth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide  Andrew V. Pestano, UPI

Judges of the New Mexico Court of Appeals will determine whether doctors can help terminally ill patients end their lives.

More than 2 million years of life saved with organ transplants, experts estimate HealthDay

Organ transplants have saved more than 2 million years of life in the United States over 25 years, new research shows.

Christianity and Culture

Pope Francis Is Fair Game For Criticism, From Left Or Right D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

When Pope Francis damages the cause of liberty across the globe, it’s only right that its defenders should speak up.

Church of England consecrates first female bishop Danica Kirka, Associated Press

Male domination in the leadership of the Church of England ended Monday, as the 500-year-old institution consecrated its first female bishop.

Top Catholics, evangelicals: Gay marriage worse than divorce or cohabitation David Gibson, Religion News Service

A high-profile alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants is set to issue a sweeping manifesto against gay marriage that calls same-sex unions “a graver threat” than divorce or cohabitation, one that will lead to a moral dystopia in America and the persecution of traditional believers.

The “Rise” of Rapper and Pastor Trip Lee Corrie Mitchell, OnFaith

A Q&A with Trip Lee on pastoring, porn, and John Piper.


Justices Delay Executions of 3 on Oklahoma’s Death Row Adam Liptak, New York Times

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the executions of three Oklahoma inmates who are challenging the state’s lethal injection protocol on the ground that it might cause intense suffering.

Health Issues

California measles outbreak grows to 73 cases Ralph Ellis, CNN

California has reported more measles cases. The number of cases has increased to 73, with 50 of those cases linked to an outbreak at Disneyland, the California Department of Public Health reported Monday.

We’re hardly doing anything about the single biggest killer on the planet Gwynn Guilford, Quartz

What hardly anyone’s spending on is pollution—even though it’s the most lethal force on the planet, killing nearly 8.9 million people in 2012, the last year for which there was data.

International Issues

Princeton professor and others offer to take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

A Princeton University professor and a prominent Muslim American figure, as well as five other religious freedom advocates, are offering to take 100 lashes each for imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced by Saudi Arabia to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.

Anti-Slavery Activists Imprisoned in Mauritania Charlotte Florance, The Daily Signal

Three prominent anti-slavery activists and opposition politicians in Mauritania were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month.

These are the religious beliefs of Europe’s leaders—including the atheists Kabir Chibber and Jason Karaian, Quarz

Despite the ceremony being officiated by an archbishop, Alexis Tsipras this week became the first Greek prime minister to be sworn in without taking a religious oath (pictured above). You see, Tsipras is an avowed atheist.

Marriage Issues

What Is the Divorce Rate, Anyway?: Around 42 Percent, One Scholar Believes Scott Stanley, Family Studies

Here’s why we can’t know for sure what any individual couple’s long-term chance of divorce is.

Constitutional Rights and Wrongs David Corbin and Matt Parks, The Federalist

A week and a half ago, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the two constitutional questions at the heart of the contemporary gay marriage debate.

Same-Sex Marriage Foes Dig In on the State Level Richard Fausset and Alan Blinder , New York Times

As the nation waits for the Supreme Court to decide whether same-sex marriages should be legal nationwide, another, more mundane front has opened in the wedding wars: the offices of the state and local officials who perform civil marriages and issue licenses.

Religious Liberty

Religious Freedom Reigns Over Beards And Obamacare Matt Bowman, The Federalist

The Supreme Court upheld similar applications of religious freedom in cases with very different vote margins. Why?

No Worship Services in Public Schools, New York Mayor Tells Supreme Court Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.

Resist or Accommodate Evil: There is No “Third Way” Jeffery J. Ventrella, Public Discourse

When conscience flirts with the idea of accommodating an unjust law, it must politely, yet firmly, reject the sirens of seduction

Sexuality Issues

The Strange Notion of “Gay Celibacy” Daniel Mattson, Crisis Magazine

Of late, much attention has been given in both the secular media and Christian media to those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians.” As a man attracted to men yet committed to traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality, I find the notion both of being “gay” or “celibate” strange.

State high court’s vote affecting Scout affiliation stirs debate anew Thomas Curwen, LA Times

High court voted to bar judges from belonging to nonprofit youth organizations that practice discrimination.

Meet the LGBT Americans who oppose gay marriage Aaron Blake, Washington Post

If you thought everyone in the LGBT community wanted gay marriage, you would be wrong. It’s much more nuanced than that.

Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights Brady Mccombs and Rachel Zoll , AP

The Mormon church announced a campaign Tuesday for new laws that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination while somehow also protecting people who assert their religious beliefs.