Archive - July, 2009

The Altar: Not the Finish Line

Boundless has published a new essay I wrote called The Altar: Not the Finish Line. The opening:

I am convinced that for most men, a godly wife will bring blessings that nothing else can. But those blessings are not secured without hard work. I’m talking about the inevitable adjustments which all successful marriages require.
Marriage is not about two single people moving into one house but otherwise continuing to live their lives as before. Marriage is about the complete unification of two very different individuals — two sinners who, no matter how strong their attraction to one another, no matter how strong their Christian commitment, will get on one another’s nerves in the years to come in ways no other person will.
Survival depends on making adjustments — changes, compromises, sacrifices. But here’s the thing, guys: The more you are aware that adjustments must be made, that you will need to be flexible, the easier it will be to move quickly to compromise and together define how your new family will operate. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the more rigid you are, the more you fight for things to be exactly as you always expected them to be, the more work it will be to break bad habits and heal relational damage.

Here’s the rest.

The Snake Oil of Obama’s Health Care Plan

The editors of the National Review write a helpful essay, dissecting President Obama’s Wednesday night press conference (which seems to have mercifully misfired):

But in the end, the president does not in fact seem capable of persuading the public that he and congressional Democrats have found the magic cure-all for our health-care ills. Increasingly, the American people aren’t buying what Obama is selling. Support for his approach to health care has begun to fall below 50 percent in recent polls, as worries about cost, harming the quality and availability of health care, displacing millions who are satisfied with their insurance, increasing the tax burden on employers in the midst of a recession, and creating an enormous new entitlement are adding up.

But also discussing what comes next, and offering suggestions. Their conclusion:

The next few weeks are clearly crucial to the fate of these misbegotten plans. Obamacare is in trouble, but it is by no means down for the count. The Democrats control both houses of Congress quite comfortably and are keen to avoid embarrassing their new president or appearing feckless and divided. They are trying to rush a bill through in the hope that no one pays too much attention to the details and that they can claim victory before the smoke has cleared.
But the politics of health care has clearly changed for the better in the past month. Passage of an Obama-style plan is now by no means inevitable, and the more time passes the greater the obstacles to passage appear. Republicans should make it clear that they do not intend to abet the approach the Democrats are contemplating, and that better options are available which would harness consumer choice to control costs and therefore to broaden access to health insurance.
President Obama and the Democrats have given Washington Republicans the perfect opportunity to illustrate for the public what it means to stand for fiscal responsibility, economic growth, individual liberty, and free markets, and how that combination can also point the way to creative and constructive policy solutions. The public is growing wary of the Democrats’ approach and eager to be shown a better way. Republicans should oblige: Stop Obamacare, and make the case for conservative health-care reform.

Read the whole thing.
HT: Jeff Mooney

Obama, Professor Gates, and Sergeant Crowley

Interesting perspective from John Hinderaker at The Power Line. Upshot:

“The conversation that Obama intends to have with Gates and Crowley over a beer could get a little tense if Gates (and Obama?) think they are working on the issue of racial profiling, while Crowley thinks they are working on the issue of privileged people with connections in high places acting abusively toward police officers who are trying to do their jobs.”

Is The Gay Marriage Debate Over?

Mark Gali, writing for Christianity Today, explores how an individualistic worldview compromises the Christian witness on the issue of heterosexual marriage. He makes many of the points that I’ve raised here (see my posts citing Maggie Gallagher) and in With One Voice, citing folks like David Blankenhorn (particularly on the societal implications of marriage). The article is also a good, brief overview of the history of the legal battles in the USA on this matter.
Excerpts of Gali’s article:

“While stopping short of abortion, we have not given much thought to our easy acceptance of artificial contraception. I’m not arguing for or against contraception here, only pointing to the reality that contraception has separated sex from procreation. That, in turn, has prompted most couples, evangelicals included, to think that sex is first and foremost a fulfilling psychological and physical experience, that a couple has a right to enjoy themselves for a few years before they settle down to family life.”
“In essence, we have already redefined marriage as an institution designed for personal happiness. . .
We cannot very well argue for the sanctity of marriage as a crucial social institution while we blithely go about divorcing and approving of remarriage at a rate that destabilizes marriage. We cannot say that an institution, like the state, has a perfect right to insist on certain values and behavior from its citizens while we refuse to submit to denominational or local church authority. We cannot tell gay couples that marriage is about something much larger than self-fulfillment when we, like the rest of heterosexual culture, delay marriage until we can experience life, and delay having children until we can enjoy each other for a few years….
In short, we have been perfect hypocrites on this issue.”

HT: Denny Burk

Charles Spurgeon on Idolatry

A prayer of Charles Spurgeon:

Lord Jesus, take from us now everything that would hinder the closest communion with God. Any wish or desire that might hamper us in prayer remove, we pray You. Any memory of either sorrow or care that might hinder the fixing of our affection wholly on our God, take it away now. What have we to do with idols any more? You have seen and observed us. You know where the difficulty lies. Help us against it, and may we now come boldly, not in the Holy place alone, but in the Holiest of all, where we should not dare to come if our great Lord had not torn the veil, sprinkled the mercy seat with His own blood, and asked us to enter.

Quoted in You Are The Treasure That I Seek by Greg Dutcher.

Obama Overexposure

Peter Baker has an illuminating NY Times article (yes–the NY Times):

It has become his common lament. Challenged about difficulties with his economic or legislative programs, President Obama complains about the tyranny of “the news cycle,” pronouncing the words with an air of above-it-all disdain for the impatience and fecklessness of today’s media culture.
Yet after six months in office, perhaps no other president has been more attuned to, or done more to dominate, the news cycle he disparages. Mr. Obama has given roughly three times as many interviews as George W. Bush and held four times as many prime-time news conferences as Bill Clinton had by comparable points in their terms.

Read the whole thing.

D.A. Carson on Christian Universities

D.A. Carson, “Can There Be a Christian University?” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 1:3 (1997): 20–38.

Excerpt of With One Voice

The good folks at Boundless have posted an excerpt of my book With One Voice.

On Vacation

We’ll be back sometime during the last week of July. Blessings!

Youngest Person To Solo Sail Around the World

Zac Sunderland is a 17 year old homeschooled Christian.

Zac Sunderland.JPG

Inspired by the best-selling book Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, Sunderland has now become the youngest person to ever sail around the world. He arrived back in Los Angeles, CA this morning after the 13 month journey.
Here’s a feature story that ESPN did about him:

I’m assuming that Zac’s website will be available later. (It probably is being crashed right now by excessive traffic.)
(HT: Image from The Rebelution)

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