I’ve blogged about Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham and the successor to D. James Kennedy as pastor of the influential Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  In the course of some struggles over his ministry, he came to a deeper understanding of the Gospel with the help of some Lutheran writers (e.g., C. F. W. Walther, Bo Giertz, Gerhard Forde, Hal Senkbeil, Rod Rosenbladt).  He has written a book about his experience and his new liberating… Read more

The Obamacare abortion pill/contraceptive mandate is so obviously a government assault on religious liberty that the courts are sure to overrule it.  Right?  I’ve been hearing that.  Eight lawsuits have already been filed.  But the legal issues get complicated, with a precedent that might let the Obama administration have its way.  There is, however, a way to trump that precedent, depending on how the issue is construed.  Journalist N. C. Aizenman gives a useful overview of how the cases will… Read more

“Politics” has become a dirty word.  As in: “It’s just politics.”  “They are just playing politics.”  “He’s just another politician.”  This is understandable, but also dangerous.  So says Alec MacGillis, an editor at the New Republic,  who examines a number of recent decisions derided as “political” by liberals and conservatives, showing that it was a good thing that lawmakers had to take the political process–that is to say, voters–into account.  Some of his comments: It’s not surprising that “political” is an… Read more

So says our Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: The Obama administration and Defense Secretary Panetta are contending that when offensive military action is needed, it does not have to go to Congress first for permission but that international agreements, the UN or NATO can override Congressional acts of authorization of war or use of force. At a hearing that was held in Washington on March 7, 2012, Sen. Sessions of the Senate Armed Services Committee… Read more

The housing market woes are having a big impact also on houses of worship, as banks are increasingly foreclosing on churches: (Reuters) – Banks are foreclosing on America’s churches in record numbers as lenders increasingly lose patience with religious facilities that have defaulted on their mortgages, according to new data. The surge in church foreclosures represents a new wave of distressed property seizures triggered by the 2008 financial crash, analysts say, with many banks no longer willing to grant struggling… Read more

I blogged earlier about the  political beliefs that characterize my beloved natal state of Oklahoma.   On Super Tuesday, Oklahoma also held its Democratic primary.  And Barack Obama only received 57% of the vote.  His main competitor for Oklahoma Democrats?  Anti-abortion militant Randall Terry! See this, with its rather questionable analysis:   Why Oklahoma is so anti-Obama – The Washington Post.  The article begs the question of why Oklahoma urban areas don’t go for Obama the way other urban areas do. … Read more

Many missionary groups in Islamic countries are using Bible translations that avoid offending Muslim sensibilities, getting rid of phrases such as “the Son of God” and “God the Father.”   All in the name of church growth.  And yet Christians in these countries, beleagured as they are, are strenuously objecting to these translations.  Mindy Belz of World Magazine reports: A team of translators with Frontiers helped produce the disputed translation of Matthew in Turkish, and SIL said some of its consultants helped… Read more

The great Anthony Esolen reminds us, in the midst of the Obamacare insurance mandate, that contraception is NOT, strictly speaking,  a medical issue: The use of estrogen as contraception is not medical at all. Quite the contrary. A couple who use estrogen to prevent the conception of a child do not ingest the drug to enhance the performance of their reproductive organs, or to heal any debility therein. Their worry is rather that those organs are functioning in a healthy… Read more

Candidates and political parties are limited in the amounts of contributions they can take.  But, according to a Supreme Court ruling, private groups can spend as much as they like to elect or tear down candidates, resulting in the formation of so-called Super Political Action Committees (Super PACS).  But not all Super PACS are about electing Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives.  The Washington Post tells about one that is dedicated to defeating incumbents of either party: In two Ohio… Read more

You’ve probably heard by now about the practice in the National Football League of paying defensive players bonuses for hits that took out or injured opposing players.  Nick Lannon at the very fine website Mockingbird examines the “casuistry”–that is, the moral rationalization–that some players are indulging in to justify the practice: The recent revelations about the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty” program have rocked the talking-head world at ESPN. The Saints, apparently, had a program, administered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams… Read more

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