TGC Spotlight 02.27.15

Editors’ note: 

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

Facebook, Moms, and the Last Day | Nikki Daniel

Facebook and Twitter, rightly used, can be tools that promote intercessory prayer and encouragement. But they are not without their perils.

 

Why Racial Reconciliation is a Gospel Issue | Jeff Robinson

Jarvis Williams argues that race and racism are issues that strike at the heart of the gospel.

 

Open Roof Hospitality | Melissa Kruger

Am I willing for my home to be filled, refashioned, and torn asunder so that people can meet with Jesus?

 

Does Your Youth Ministry Mess With Christ’s Bride? | Jon Nielson

If youth pastors aren’t preparing students for this kind of future for their faith, they aren’t doing their jobs.

 

More, But Not Less, Than a Carpenter | Tom Nelson

Jesus’s humble service in the workplace was the training ground for that glorious display of servanthood in an upper room in Jerusalem.

 

Featured TGC Contributor Articles

A Crash Course on Influencers of Unbelief: Karl Marx | Justin Taylor

These are notes based on an essay by Peter Kreeft, author of Socrates Meets Marx: The Father of Philosophy Meets the Father of Communism (St. Augustine’s Press, 2012).

 

Keeping His Commandments | Kevin DeYoung

Calvin understood this seeming inconsistency and provided a wonderfully balanced response.

 

“Christ and Culture” – An Overview of a Christian Classic | Trevin Wax

H. Richard Neibuhr’s Christ and Culture is one of the most significant theological and missiological works of the 20th century, offering a memorable categorization of the ways Christians have related to culture throughout history.

 

You’re not crazy | Ray Ortlund

Serving Christ gets hard. Harder than we expected. Harder than we can endure, even for one more day. We are tempted to think, “No way can this turn out well. My life – the only one I have – is going to end up on the junk pile.

 

A Prayer For Letting Go Of The Desire For Revenge | Scotty Smith

Dear heavenly Father, in view of the increase of kidnappings and human trafficking, the proliferation of pornography and the spirit of jihad, I find myself growing angrier and angrier.

 

Coming Next Week at TGC

When You Are No Longer a Pastor’s Wife | Anonymous

The wife of a fired pastor asks the question ‘How do I respond?’

 

4 Reasons to Beware the Goodness Gospel | Christine Hoover

Christine Hoover warns against approaches to Christianity that amount to works righteousness and do not rest in the hope of Christ’s righteousness.

 

8 Reasons We Need the Puritans | Jeff Robinson

Jeff Robinson extols the virtues of the Puritans, their theology and ethics, and argues that we need to study them in the church today.

 

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

Obama Calls for Expansion of Human Rights to Combat Extremism Peter Baker, New York Times

President Obama on Thursday called on nations around the world to expand human rights, religious tolerance and peaceful dialogue as they struggle to combat a spate of terrorism that has recently struck places as far afield as Australia, Canada and Europe.

Here’s Why Wonder Woman Isn’t Getting A Movie Any Time Soon Leslie Loftis, The Federalist

Inquiring fans want to know. Feminist fans suspect conspiracy. But the real answer may be that Hollywood has no idea how to write a female superhero.

Bioethics

Let’s call physician-assisted suicide what it is Karin Klein, L.A. Times

The number of words we can’t use without offending is ever growing, and if the supporters of the right-to-die movement have their way, it will stretch yet again to include the word “suicide.” At least when that suicide is the result of a dying patient taking a lethal dose of drugs to avoid impending mental and physical anguish.

Three-Parent Embryos: Harming Women to Save Lives Jennifer Lahl, Public Discourse

The UK has passed a bill that allows for genetic engineering of children through nuclear transfer technology and germ-line modification. Young women will be needed to supply their eggs. But egg donation—or more accurately, egg selling—is risky business.

Christianity and Culture

Mixing faith and finance: Churches put faith in followers’ creditworthiness Rebecca Robbins, Washington Post

Here’s how it worked: McCarthy’s church offered funds as collateral so she could qualify for a loan through the Virginia United Methodist Credit Union. McCarthy agreed to repay the loan at an annualized interest rate of about 6 percent – meaning monthly payments of $25 for about 2 1/2 years, drawn right out of her bank account.

How TV made Christianity radical again Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post

“The Americans,” along with the History Channel’s “Vikings,” has done something that almost nothing else in pop culture dares to attempt: It depicts Christianity as a seismic force, something capable of producing profound transformation in both individuals and society.

Frequent Church Attendance Highest in Utah, Lowest in Vermont Frank Newport, Gallup

Slightly more than half of Utah residents say they attend religious services every week, more than any other state in the union. Residents in the four Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas are the next most likely to be frequent church attendees, with 45% to 47% reporting weekly attendance. At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, where 17% of residents say they attend religious services every week.

Crime

Unlikely Cause Unites the Left and the Right: Justice Reform Carl Hulse, New York Times

Usually bitter adversaries, Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress have found at least one thing they can agree on: The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

Rape in the American Prison Maurice Chammah, The Atlantic

In 2003, Congress passed legislation to eliminate sexual assaults against inmates. One young man’s story shows how elusive that goal remains.

Family Issues

Families Armed With Books Repel The Effects Of Poverty Allison Kieselowsky, The Federalist

Families that read together build strong bonds and ward off poverty. Here’s what you can do to encourage love for books in your community.

How Many Kids Grow Up With Their Married Mom and Dad? Leslie Ford, The Daily Signal

It’s not normal these days for a teen to live with their married mom and dad. Fifty-four percent of U.S. teens 15-to-17-years-old do not live in a home with their married mother and father, according to the Fifth Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection released this month by the Family Research Council.

Even in Unsafe Neighborhoods, Kids Are Safer in Married Families Nicholas Zill, Family Studies

Children’s rates of exposure to neighborhood violence depend not just on where they live, but whom they live with.

Same-Sex Parenting: Unpacking the Social Science John B. Londregan, Public Discourse

For some people, scientific research on the subject of same-sex parenting is irrelevant. A new volume is meant for those who still approach the topic of parenting and sexuality with open minds.

Health Issues

In 2013, measles killed more kids than car accidents or AIDS Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

Measles killed 82,100 children under age 5 in 2013, ranking the disease at No. 7 on the list of the top causes of child death, according to recent statistics from the Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet.

International Issues

Army of Assyrian Christians aims to fight Islamic State Therese Apel, Crux

Assyrian Christians in the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, with the help of a group of Americans, are building a fighting machine to stand toe-to-toe with the Islamic State group to preserve their homeland, their history and their heritage.

Islamic State ‘abducts dozens of Christians in Syria’ BBC

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 90 men, women and children were seized in a series of dawn raids near the town of Tal Tamr.

Marriage Issues

The Implications of Extending Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples Gerard V. Bradley, John Finnis and Daniel Philpott, Public Discourse

It is morally indefensible for Catholic institutions to recognize and incentivize same-sex marriages by extending marriage benefits to employees who declare themselves legally married to a person of the same sex.

Racial Reconciliation

Southern Baptists try to diversify churches — but will it work? Heidi Hall, Religion News Service

How tough is it to create a racially diverse denomination? Consider a recent luncheon organized by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Religious Liberty

‘Relationship with Jesus’ doesn’t justify florist’s refusal to serve gay couple, judge rules Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post

A Washington state florist who refused to provide flower arrangements for a gay wedding “because of [her] relationship with Jesus” violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws, a judge ruled Wednesday.

A florist loses religious freedom, and much more Denny Burk, CNN

Stutzman is the Washington florist who has been sued for living out her Christian beliefs. In 2013, a long-time friend and customer came to her flower shop and asked her to provide flowers for his gay wedding. Stutzman had known this man and had done business with him for about nine years. Nevertheless, she told him that she could not participate in his wedding “because of my relationship with Jesus.”

Supreme Court to hear religious freedom case Ariane de Vogue, CNN

Samantha Elauf was apprehensive to interview for a sales job at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch in 2008 because the 17 year old wore a headscarf in accordance with her Muslim faith. But a friend of hers, who worked at the store, said he didn’t think it would be a problem as long as the headscarf wasn’t black because the store doesn’t sell black clothes.

Sexuality Issues

New secretary of defense: transgender soldiers should be able to serve openly in military German Lopez, Vox

Newly confirmed Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Sunday suggested transgender people should be allowed to openly serve in the military.

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