Archive - August, 2009

Open Letter to Tim Tebow’s Fans

Ted Kluck, co-author of Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion, gives a good reminder to Tim Tebow fans (and the rest of us) on the dangers of heaping excessive adulation on the devout Christian and stellar athlete (winner of a Heisman trophy and two national titles). Excerpt:

So keep enjoying him, like I will. Cheer for him if you like the Gators, and cheer against him if you don’t, even though he’s a Christian. This is okay. And pray for him, his sanctification and his ministry, if you think about it. Pray that as Christians we would be always boasting in the cross of Christ. Pray that we would worship our Creator, and not the creation—even if that creation (college football, the spread offense, Tim Tebow) occasionally allows us a glimpse of greatness.

C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia

A free, 55-minute biographical drama of C.S. Lewis.
HT: John Piper

The Privilege of Suffering: Jesus is Worth it

The To Every Tribe Mission Conference this October 29-31, 2009 is entitled The Privilege of Suffering: Jesus is Worth it. The speaker line-up includes Dr. Erwin Lutzer, David Sitton, Dr. Timothy George, Dr. Hershael York, Dr. David Sills, Fred Zaspel, Rod Corner, and Ron Sanford.
The official invitation:

Spearheading the gospel into unreached regions is risky!
Join us this Reformation Weekend, October 29-31, 2009 as we consider the daunting personal price that is sometimes required of those that take Christ into tough places. Yet, even more than that, consider the incredible privilege we have to be carriers of his great Name to the nations
God calls all believers to be imitators of Christ and to live lives worthy of his Name. There is nothing more powerful in evangelism than a life humbly laid down for Christ.
The ultimate imitator of Christ is a missionary martyr.
When: October 29 – 31, 2009
Where: NorthWest Georgia Trade & Conference Center – Dalton, GA
Cost: $79.00 if registered before October 1, 2009. ($89.00 after October 1, 2009.)

I first heard David Sitton when he came to the 2006 Bethlehem Baptist Church pastors conference entitled How Must a Pastor Die? The Price of Caring Like Jesus. Listen to Mr. Sitton’s powerful message here.

Choosing Thomas

A powerful video of a Christian couple, T. K. and Deidrea Laux, who chose to have a child they knew had a terminal genetic disorder (Trisomy 13). Children with this disorder generally live only a few hours or days. In Deidrea’s own words:

“We didn’t not terminate because we were hanging on to some sort of hope that there was a medical mistake or there was gonna be some sort of medical miracle. We didn’t terminate because he’s our son.”

HT: JT and Denny Burk

Ezekiel Emmanuel and the Rationing of Health Care

Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel is a health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He is also the brother of Mr. Rahm Emmanuel, White House Chief of Staff. He has been in the news of late because of the end-of-life counseling provisions found in the House version of the health care reform bill, but dropped from the Senate version. Over the last 16 years, Dr. Emmanuel has regularly published his thoughts on the allocation of health care resources, on the importance of controlling costs, and in looking out not just for an individual patient’s interest, but for the societal or communal interests as a whole.
Betsy McCaughey (Chairman of Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York), writing for the Wall Street Journal, gives a good overview of Dr. Emmanuel’s statements on these mattters, quoting from his medical journal articles and op-ed pieces since 1993. An excerpt:

As he wrote in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change.”
True reform, he argues, must include redefining doctors’ ethical obligations. In the June 18, 2008, issue of JAMA, Dr. Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the “overuse” of medical care: “Medical school education and post graduate education emphasize thoroughness,” he writes. “This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath’s admonition to ‘use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment’ as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others.”
In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient’s needs. He describes it as an intractable problem: “Patients were to receive whatever services they needed, regardless of its cost. Reasoning based on cost has been strenuously resisted; it violated the Hippocratic Oath, was associated with rationing, and derided as putting a price on life. . . . Indeed, many physicians were willing to lie to get patients what they needed from insurance companies that were trying to hold down costs.” (JAMA, May 16, 2007).

Another excerpt:

In the Lancet, Jan. 31, 2009, Dr. Emanuel and co-authors presented a “complete lives system” for the allocation of very scarce resources, such as kidneys, vaccines, dialysis machines, intensive care beds, and others. “One maximizing strategy involves saving the most individual lives, and it has motivated policies on allocation of influenza vaccines and responses to bioterrorism. . . . Other things being equal, we should always save five lives rather than one.
“However, other things are rarely equal—whether to save one 20-year-old, who might live another 60 years, if saved, or three 70-year-olds, who could only live for another 10 years each—is unclear.” In fact, Dr. Emanuel makes a clear choice: “When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get changes that are attenuated (see Dr. Emanuel’s chart nearby).
Dr. Emanuel concedes that his plan appears to discriminate against older people, but he explains: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination. . . . Treating 65 year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not.”

McCaughey’s conclusion:

Dr. Emanuel has fought for a government takeover of health care for over a decade. In 1993, he urged that President Bill Clinton impose a wage and price freeze on health care to force parties to the table. “The desire to be rid of the freeze will do much to concentrate the mind,” he wrote with another author in a Feb. 8, 1993, Washington Post op-ed. Now he recommends arm-twisting Chicago style. “Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda,” he wrote last Nov. 16 in the Health Care Watch Blog. “If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration’s health-reform effort.”
Is this what Americans want?

Read the whole thing.

Can A True Believer Embrace The Prosperity Gospel?

John Piper says yes:

How To Sell ObamaCare

Charles Krauthammer is eerily incisive in his column today — a column I hope the President and his party’s leaders are not reading. In short, a case is made for how ObamaCare 2.0 can be sold to America, with little in the way of immediate cost growth. For those wondering how universal coverage paves the way to rationing, this is the piece to read. Krauthammer unpacks five steps:
(1) Forget the public option.
(2) Jettison any reference to end-of-life counseling (as the Senate has already done).
(3) Soft-pedal the idea of government committees determining “best practices.”
(4) More generally, abandon the whole idea of Obamacare as cost-cutting.
(5) Promise nothing but pleasure — for now (universal coverage, no denial for pre-existing conditions).
Read the whole thing.

The National Debt Road Trip

Illuminating and instructive (for the record, I agree that Bush and his GOP-led congress were driving too fast):

HT: Matt Perman

BibleWorks, Logos, and Accordance

Keith Mathison of Ligonier Ministries compares BibleWorks, Logos, and Accordance. (I have Logos on a PC and I like it, but it is a tad slow sometimes.)

COLLISION – Doug Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

Now available for pre-order, the movie COLLISION: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson will release on October 27, 2009. The film is a 90-minute video encapsulation of the series of debates between these two intellectual heavy weights. It should be quite good. More information is available at the official movie site. And here’s an extended 13:45 minute preview:

“Collision: Hitchens vs. Wilson” – EXCLUSIVE 13 minute preview from LEVEL4 on Vimeo.

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