Archive - January, 2009

Ted Haggard’s Return To The Spotlight

This week, HBO will release a documentary by Alexandra Pelosi (daughter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) called The Trials of Ted Haggard. Haggard will also appear on Larry King Live and Oprah Winfrey’s show. He has done a two-part interview with U.S. News and World Report. Haggard’s is a sad story–the revelation that broke in 2006, the counseling he’s since received (which seems to have reinforced a victim mentality), and now his media blitz.
That’s what Patton Dodd is saying. Mr. Dodd was employed at New Life Church (where Haggard served as Senior Pastor) for eight years. Dodd observes:

“I was Haggard’s writer and editor for eight years, and I don’t know anyone who was not shocked that there was such a thing as a secret for him. Haggard’s double life was a searing revelation to his family, his church, and his closest friends.”

Dodd’s analysis:

“I was hoping — against hope — that The Trials of Ted Haggard would document his walking into the light. It doesn’t. It captures his attempt to reenter the limelight…..Anyone who cares about Haggard, as I do, must see this comeback as a continuation of his tragedy.”

Read the whole thing.

NBC Rejects Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

Shamefully, NBC has categorically rejected a positive, uplifting pro-life ad which a private organization wanted to run during the Superbowl. An NBC representative said that they are not interested in “advertisements involving ‘political advocacy or issues.'” Inconsistently, however, NBC is in discussion with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA — an advocacy group for animal rights) about how their commercial might be played, if they tone down the overt sexuality.
Here’s the rejected pro-life ad:

Brian Burch, President of Fidelis, the pro-life group which sponsored this ad, observes: “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life.” Burch responded to the rejection further by saying, “NBC claims it doesn’t allow advocacy ads, but that’s not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison.”
Send your complaints about the rejection of the ad to Victoria Morgan, Vice President, Advertising Standards, NBC Universal, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 1825 E. New York, NY 10112. Call (212) 664-4267 or fax (212) 664-6366 or email victoria.morgan@nbc.com
HT: Mike Poterma

John Piper To President Barack Obama

Be Courageous, Mr. President:

Entire sermon.

What makes abortion plausible? What makes abortion unthinkable?

Dr. Albert Mohler unpacks these questions through the lens of Jeremiah 1:1-10:

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the exile of Jerusalem in the fifth month. Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. “See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant.”

Check it out.

Get Outta My Face! (UPDATE)

Get Outta My Face.JPGRick Horne, D.Min., serves the Lord as head of the guidance department at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and directs the school counseling concentration for the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Columbia International University. He has just published a book with Shepherd Press called Get Outta My Face!, which is currently selling for less than $4.88 (65% off) at Westminster Bookstore. THIS PRICE IS ONLY GOOD UNTIL NOON EST JANUARY 24, 2009.
A few of the endorsements:
“Rick Horne has invested in teens his whole life. He has learned that he is more like them than unlike them. From years of first hand experience, he knows how to talk with them and his is not afraid of the tough ones. What you will read here is the wisdom of a man who has experienced the courage and hope that transforming grace can give to you and that hard teenager God has chosen for you to be near. This book is a call to action with biblical perspectives and practical steps that God can use to change the teenager and you as well.”
– Paul David Tripp, Paul Tripp Ministries and author of Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens
“Rick Horne knows teens—the kind that won’t talk and those that won’t stop talking. If you have a teenager, you need this book. In fact, don’t wait for the teen years! Arm yourself now with the timeless truths from this book that counsels moms and dads with gospel-hope for teenage trials.”
– Dave Harvey, Sovereign Grace Ministries and author of When Sinners Say “I Do”
“How do you reach someone who wants to be unreachable? How do you help someone who’s not looking for help? Those are questions Rick Horne addresses and addresses well. He knows from life experience how to do what seems impossible—how to connect with teens. If you care about teenagers, if you work with teens, if you live with a teen, this book will help you reach their hearts.”
– David Powlison, Adjunct Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Westminster Bookstore sold 1000 copies of this book in 12 hours. They only have 500 more copies in stock for this special price. Once those are gone, the offer expires.

Interview – Anne Hendershott – The Politics of Abortion

Today is the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In the last couple of weeks, I have been enjoying The Politics of Abortion by Dr. Anne Hendershott, Professor of Urban Studies at The King’s College in New York, NY. Having previously introduced the book by summarizing some of its themes, I was honored to subsequently correspond with Dr. Hendershott who was willing to answer a few questions for us.

What got you interested in the history of abortion politics?

When writing my earlier book, The Politics of Deviance, I had been looking closely at behaviors that had become “defined down” (Using Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s phrase “defining deviancy down”) – I looked at drug abuse which had become redefined as a medical disease rather than a moral failing, and I looked at homosexuality which had become normalized. I had planned to look at abortion which had become redefined from an evil act that involved the taking of life to one that was not only legally permissable, but now something for feminists to “celebrate.”
With all of these behaviors, there was a concerted effort by advocacy groups to define down the deviancy of these behaviors. There was so much on abortion though that I decided to devote an entire book on it – many would be surprised at the lobbying efforts that surrounded abortion in the early days – and still surround it today.

Young adults today may find it hard to believe that Democrats were once pro-life. Can you please list some of the salient data which supports this claim?

There are a number of documents that demonstrate that Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore and Ted Kennedy were strongly pro-life. For example, Ted Kennedy wrote to a constituent in 1971 pledging his support for the unborn – from the moment of conception. I document others in my book. Jesse Jackson compared abortion to slavery.

What happened in the Democratic Party? How did its leadership embrace a position that was (it would seem) at odds with at least some of their base? Did they ever lose votes on it and reconsider? Or did their base expand to outweigh any loses?
Although feminists were not in the lead in demanding abortion rights (it was really two abortion industry profiteers – Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson – who were out in front in lobbying for abortion in the early days), once feminists got on board, there was no stopping the pro-abortion train. They began to be convinced that this was the only way women could gain “full rights” in employment etc. Democrats began to see this as a lucrative source of funds for them – and a source of new voters. New York led in this area – it was legalized in New York before Roe v Wade. Bobby Kennedy – a pro-life Catholic received a great deal of support from dissident priests in helping him reformulate his abortion stance – I write about that in my book and in a recent Wall Street Journal article. New voters demanding abortion helped put democrats in power.

A large percentage of abortion clinics are in neighborhoods with a high percentage of Black and Hispanic women. Is that a coincidence?

I write about this in an article in Public Discourse (The Witherspoon Institute).

Do pro-choice advocates today argue for societal benefits to abortion (such as crime rate statistics)? Or is the main argument that government should “not interfere” in a “personal decision”?

Other than the Freakanomics author who (in an earlier pubished paper) says that more abortions mean less crime, others realize the problems with such a position. Still, this is the same position that Margaret Sanger advocated when she wrote about the “undesirable classes” or the “dangerous classes”.

R.C. Sproul – Free Streaming Video Series on Abortion

Dr. R.C. Sproul has a six-part video series on abortion that Ligonier Ministries has made freely available over the Internet.
Each episode is approximately 30 minutes in length – links below go to each individual video. The teaching is excellent (careful, logical, biblical).
What Are the Key Issues?
How Sacred Is Human Life?
When Does Life Begin?
What Is the Relationship of Church and State?
What About Those Who Demand Their Rights?
What Is Your Verdict?

Being Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President

That’s the title of John Piper’s January 17, 1993 sermon (just three days prior to President Clinton’s inauguration). The text was 1 Peter 2:13-17:

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

An excerpt:

We will honor you by expecting from you straightforward answers to straightforward questions. We would not expect this from a con-man, but we do expect it from an honorable man.
For example,
1. Are you willing to explain why a baby’s right not to be killed is less important than a woman’s right not to be pregnant?
2. Or are you willing to explain why most cities have laws forbidding cruelty to animals, but you oppose laws forbidding cruelty to human fetuses? Are they not at least living animals?

Read the whole thing.

Life: Imagine The Potential


HT: Kelly’s Musings, JT

Holiness of God Conference: In English and Spanish

The Ligonier Ministries 2009 National Conference is on the theme The Holiness of God. It will be held March 19-21 in Orlando, FL. Yours truly will be joining uber-blogger Tim Challies for live-blogging duties (including the John Calvin mini-conference — see the full schedule). Karisa Schlehr announces that Ligonier Ministries will also be providing simultaneous Spanish translation during the conference.

Conference speakers
include Thabiti Anyabwile, Alistair Begg, Donald A. Carson, J. Ligon Duncan III, Sinclair Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Steven J. Lawson, R. Albert Mohler Jr., R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Derek Thomas.
On-line registration is still open.

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