The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Fugitive Slave Clause Passed

August 29, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes) Summary A committee was formed to consider Article 16. A fugitive slave clause was passed to be added to the end of Article 15. Influences on the Delegates Although not an example of an influence, I think the following passage from Virginia’s Edmund Randolph regarding trade puts the lie to the claim that Ben Franklin’s call to prayer had some immediate impact to bring the delegates together. Here we are in late… Read more

Church of South India Pulls Out of State Council of Churches Over Admission of Believers’ Church

The Church of South India was a charter member of the Kerala Council of Churches in India. However, according to a news report in The Hindu, CSI has pulled out of the KCC in response to the admission of K.P. Yohannan’s Believers’ Church into the KCC. The background of the move involves the insistence by the CSI that Yohannan (also the CEO of Gospel for Asia) was not consecrated officially as a bishop and has no authority as such. The… Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Judges, State Powers and Fugitive Slaves

August 28, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes) Summary The delegates continued tweaking the judiciary and spent much time on details of state powers. Influences on the Delegates The delegates did not refer to other nations or refer to specific influences today. I want to point out one exchange initiated by the delegates from South Carolina. On the discussion of extradition between states, Colonel Pinckney wanted to include runaway slaves. Article XV reads: ARTICLE XV. Any person charged with treason, felony… Read more

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech

Delivered 54 years ago today… Read more

Faith Leaders Hold Press Conference on Racism After Charlottesville; Fail to Call Out Arpaio Pardon

UPDATE: A video of the press conference and follow up Q & A is here. I watched the video of the press conference. Some of it I couldn’t hear due to audio problems. What Should We Do? Generally, the suggestions from the panel were what one might expect from a group of clergy: pray, fast, trust God. Several Trump supporters were there but Trump’s mixed messages and hurtful actions were not called out (thinking specifically of the Arpaio pardon and… Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – The Judiciary

August 27, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes) Summary The delegates voted to make the president commander chief of the militia when called to defend the nation. The delegates fine-tuned the judiciary today. Influences on the Delegates Britain again was the model for the question of removing judges for an offense. Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS thought it a contradiction in terms, to say, that the Judges should hold their offices during good behaviour, and yet be removeable without a trial. Besides, it… Read more

Exit: The Appeal of Suicide Movie is Really an Evangelism Effort

I wrote about this movie in late July when the star of Exit: The Appeal of Suicide Ray Comfort appeared on the David Barton’s Wallbuilders Live show. I didn’t think highly of what they had to say about depression at the time but withheld judgment about the movie because I hadn’t seen it. I watched it recently and cannot recommend it. On balance, I don’t believe it is a helpful movie about suicide or something I can recommend for those who… Read more

Politico: It’s Good to Be a Falwell at Liberty University

It is good to be a Falwell at Liberty University. At least, that’s the impression I got from reading today’s Politico article by Brandon Ambrosino about dealings at the largest Christian college in the U.S. According to Ambrosino, the son of LU’s president got a nice deal on his home and the elder Falwell gave the younger Falwell $4.65-million to buy a very shady hostel in Miami Beach. It has long been known that Jerry Falwell, Jr. has a different set… Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – What Biblical Principle Inspired Protection of the Slave Trade?

August 25, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes on the day) Summary The delegates approved a provision on debt and allowed for the common defense. The big news was that the delegates decided to prohibit Congress from abolishing the slave trade until 1808. Influences on the Delegates One reason I started this series was to test David Barton’s claim that every clause of the Constitution has a biblical foundation. My efforts have not substantiated that claim. There are many influences… Read more

An Open Letter from Christian Scholars on Racism in America Today

Although my name won’t show up for awhile, I just added my name to the signers of the letter below. It appears to me that the letter is clearly aimed at Donald Trump, his evangelical defenders and particularly Trump’s ambiguous response to the racist protests in Charlottesville. The letter was posted this morning at the Gospel Coalition blog and reblogged by John Fea, which is where I saw it. Below the letter is reproduced in full and I have taken… Read more

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