Archive - November, 2010

Pray For Sayed Mossa

Sayed Mossa has been in a Kabul, Afghanistan jail for six months awaiting trial, although he has not been formally charged with a crime. Mossa was arrested May 31 after footage was nationally televised of Muslim converts to Christianity being baptized. In jail, he’s been regularly beaten and sexually molested, as he wrote of in a letter (scroll to the bottom). He has a wife and six children, one of whom is disabled. If he is tried for apostasy, which many of his friends anticipate, the judge may use Sharia (Islamic) law to reach a verdict because apostasy is a “crime” not referenced in the Afghan penal code.
International Christian Concern (ICC) is asking those concerned to contact the Afghan Embassy or Consulate in their country, and politely ask Afghan officials to grant Sayed Mossa a fair trial that recognizes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Afghanistan is bound.
Others believe that Mr. Mossa is requesting that people send him letters as a way of encouraging local officials to voluntarily end his ill-treatment lest trouble come from outside agencies.
Of course, we should also pray for Mossa’s release (James 5:16) and perseverance, and that these events would be used of God to spread boldness and courage among his people in Kabul and the surrounding regions (cf Acts 14:22).

Christmas Food Court Hallelujah Chorus

Wish I had been there for it:

The Cautionary Tale of a Short-Lived College

Elyse Ashburn pens a fascinating article (subscription required for full access) in this past Sunday’s issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s about a fledgling school named Founders College, in rural South Boston, Va., that fell apart within a little over a year due to financial difficulties. It’s a tale of high expectations and poor financial dealings, and of students, staff, and faculty left in a lurch.

Young Adults Abandoning the Christian Faith

In a Christianity Today article, Drew Dyck addresses the phenomenon of young adults leaving Christianity, and interacts with various sociologists and cultural observers who weigh in on this trend. While some point out that every generation sees a dip in church attendance among young adults, others consider the current exodus to be different and more alarming. Robert Putnam and David Campbell in their new book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us report that “young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five to six times the historic rate (30 to 40 percent have no religion today, versus 5 to 10 percent a generation ago).”
In addition to the more rapid decline, Dyck observes that “the life-phase argument may no longer pertain”. Marriage, career, and children (life events that tend to go with increased church involvement) are all coming much later for twentysomethings. Being out of church for one or two years is one thing; returning after a decade is something else. Thirdly, ours is a post-Christian culture, whereas former generations of young adults eventually returned to church amidst a predominantly Judeo-Christian culture.
Read the whole article for more. Dyck, the author of Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith. . .and How to Bring Them Back also recommends Essential Church?: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts by Thom and Sam Rainer, and Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them, by Ed Stetzer.

John Frame: The Doctrine of the Word of God

The latest installment in John Frame’s Theology of Lordship series, The Doctrine of the Word of God, is now available. Frame writes that it is the “last planned volume of the series.” John Piper says of Dr. Frame, “I thank God for raising up John Frame in our day. We are the wiser, the more biblical, and the healthier because of it. And because he has written so deeply and so well about such great truths about a great God, this will, I believe, be the testimony of generations to come.”

Two endorsements (among many others):
“The fourth volume in John Frame’s Theology of Lordship series, The Doctrine of the Word of God, is the best of them—and that is high praise. In a 700-page “draft” of what he hopes will be a longer and more definitive work, Frame thinks through what Scripture is, what authority means, how to understand inspiration, canon, and a host of other categories intrinsic to any responsible treatment of revelation, especially the revelation provided by Holy Scripture. Frame’s style is highly personal, occasionally sliding all the way to an almost stream-of-consciousness set of associations, but his reflections are invariably so fresh (even when he is articulating old truths) and so thought-provoking (not least where one wants to demur or introduce a caveat) that this reader, at least, overlooks the style he would otherwise have found a bit cloying. More so than the other volumes in the series, this book works hard at developing its theology, the theology of the word of God, out of Scripture itself—and without descending to vicious circularity. This is an important book, and those who write on this subject in the near future without wrestling with Frame will merely testify to their own narrowness.”
– D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL
“John Frame’s course on the doctrine of the Word of God had a profound influence on me as a student at Westminster Seminary in 1971, and it has significantly affected my understanding of theology for my entire life. I am thrilled to see that Frame’s excellent material is finally being published for a wider audience.”
– Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

Marvin Olasky Resigns as Provost of The King’s College

Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Christianity Today reports:

Marvin Olasky announced his resignation as provost of The King’s College just months after the college chose Dinesh D’Souza as president.
On January 31, 2011, Olasky will transition from provost to “presidential scholar,” handling the college’s guest speaker series. Olasky will focus most of his energies on being editor in chief of World magazine, a bi-weekly news magazine. “It will come as no surprise to you that Dinesh D’Souza and I have different ideas about some things,” he said in an e-mail to Christianity Today. “I’d like to leave it at that and not do an interview.”

Thriving at College – My Forthcoming Book

If you’re still reading this blog you may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat silent for most of the last few weeks. I was in the last stages of completing revisions to my forthcoming book, Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World! It’s due out next April from Tyndale House. In a nutshell, the book is about how Christian college students, against the backdrop of a young adult culture that values perpetual recreation and the delay/avoidance of responsibility, can launch into responsible, fruitful adulthood for the glory of God. I explore topics such as loving God with all your mind, growing in Christian character and maturity, striving for academic excellence, balancing work and recreation, finding your vocation, establishing godly friendships, handling the transition from high school to college, time management, financial discipline, and honoring parents while pursuing functional/economic independence.
I imagine I’ll have more to say about it in the days to ahead, as I hope to readjust to having a life and spending a bit more time with my family.
As it happens, I had the honor of writing an article for Tabletalk this summer on the same theme. It appeared in their November issue and can be read online.