Archive - March, 2012

Seven Christian Motivations For Excellence in Work

Matt Perman unpacks seven Christian motivations for work:

1. The glory of God
2. The good of others
3. Enjoyment of the work itself
4. To earn money to support yourself, give, and enjoy

Perman does a great job here in showing that financially supporting yourself is a legitimate motivation in work, it just shouldn’t be the first motivation or the primary one. I deal with this a lot in Thriving at College, and as a college professor. Remarkably, 80% of college students say that “income potential” is the primary thing they hope to gain from a college degree. On the one hand, that’s somewhat understandable, given the high cost of a college education. However, it sometimes leads students to pursue careers for which they have little chance of success. More commonly, it causes them to bring a crass utilitarianism to the classroom — as if every 50 minute period is supposed to correlate directly to their future earning: “When are we ever going to use this stuff?”

5. Hope
6. The gospel
7. Adorning the gospel

Read the whole post – it’s excellent!

How an Affair Begins

Andrée Seu:

A friend of mine told me that now she understands how adultery begins.

She went to a woman’s house to drop off a package as a favor to someone, but the woman was not home. The husband was, and they exchanged pleasantries for a few moments. My friend noticed the carpentry project the man was working on and commented on his artistry. She asked him a few questions about it, and it didn’t take much to encourage him to spill forth for an hour and a half about every aspect of the work. It was fun.

Read the rest of Seu’s insightful commentary.

HT: Denny Burk

Prenups for Cohabiting Couples

Sounds like a boon for lawyers:

A growing number of unmarried couples are seeking similar legal protections through cohabitation agreements. These legally-binding contracts, which are drawn up by an attorney, protect each person’s assets, address child custody issues and determine support obligations, much like prenuptial agreements do.

“We’ve seen a real dramatic increase,” said Ken Altshuler, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, or AAML. “A lot more people are delaying, or forgoing, marriage and people are realizing as you get older, you have more things to protect.”

I suppose this is a logical progression: In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married, and today just 51% are.


Intellectuals and Society – Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell’s latest book is now in trade paper edition, and somehow I got on their list and they sent me one — a 680 page tome called Intellectuals and Society. This book takes aim at the bias that often pervades the highest levels of the academy, and other domains of “intellectuals” in our society. On this book, the Washington Times reports, “Mr. Sowell builds a devastating case against the leftist antiwar political and intellectual establishment.”

My wife read an earlier version of this book and found it riveting. Sowell is brilliant at explaining powerful concepts and ideas in a compelling, logical manner. Here’s a 30-minute interview with Sowell about the book:

Khan Academy: The future of education?

A great segment on a great man with a great mission. As an educator, I fully affirm what Khan is doing. Active learning far exceeds passive learning. Students need to get information out of class, then come to class to master it — and master it at their own pace, with facilitators assisting them in the process, providing one-on-one interaction, to the extent possible, on the exact issues which those students are failing (after their own efforts) to fully grasp. And I love that he makes it free.

The Most Significant Theological Issues Facing Christian Higher Ed?

Phil Ryken (President, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL) lists what he sees as the three biggest challenges:

• Human sexuality and a Christian understanding of marriage and sexual behavior.

• Human origins as it relates particularly to the historicity of Adam and Eve, but more generally questions related to Christianity and evolution, creation and evolution.

• Not losing our zeal for evangelism, particularly for proclaiming the gospel in words as well as witnessing to the gospel in deeds.

From an interview in Christianity Today, conducted by Timothy Morgan, featuring Phil Ryken and D. Michael Lindsay (President, Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts).

Matt Chandler The Explicit Gospel

I just received the advance proof of Matt Chandler’s first book and look forward to diving into it.

“If you only read one book this year, make it this one. It’s that important.”
—Rick Warren, #1 New York Times best-selling author, The Purpose Driven Life; Pastor, Saddleback Church

“This book, like the gospel itself, is clarifying, convicting, comforting, and compelling all at the same time. I wholeheartedly invite you to read it, to be overwhelmed by the mercy and majesty of God in the gospel, and then to spend your life making this gospel explicit in every facet of your life and to every corner of the earth!”
—David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

“People who come face-to-face with death make the best evangelists. I have to believe that’s why my friend Matt Chandler is so passionate about a clear, biblical presentation of the gospel. Life is short. Eternity is long. May this book drive you to greater clarity in preaching the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ.”
—James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word

“That the gospel is not clearly taught in classic liberalism is disheartening but not surprising. That frequently the gospel is not taught in evangelical congregations is both disquieting and surprising. Evangelicals will not deny the gospel, but they may assume it while talking about everything else—and that is tragic. Matt Chandler issues a robust call to make the gospel an explicit and central part of our preaching, and takes pains to show what that looks like. Amen and Amen.”
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Matt Chandler presents the gospel in a way that is balanced, hope-filled, and very, very serious, all the while presented with Matt’s trademark humor. Even more faithful than funny, Matt insults all of us (including himself) in a strangely edifying way, and in a way that I pray will make you treasure Christ even more.”
—Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

No Clear Path to Victory for Romney

I’ve always enjoyed numbers, so the delegate contest in the GOP presidential race has been interesting. Romney is now telling the media it would take a miracle for anyone else to get to the required 1,144 delegates.  And that’s true, if current trends persist. The problem? At the current rate, it appears he, too, would fall short. As John Avlon and Ben Jacobs explain:

If Mitt wins every remaining all-or-nothing state but one, and half of the remaining proportional delegates, he would likely still fall short of the magic nomination number of 1,144—which would force him to rely on unpledged delegates, the Republican version of the infamous Democratic super-delegates in 2008, to claim his party’s mantle.

Even if Mitt somehow won every delegate in every coming contest, he still wouldn’t clinch the nomination until Oregon’s primary on May 15.

And if Romney musters only 40 percent of the proportional delegates going forward—equivalent to his share of the popular vote total to date—it would mean the first Republican race undecided when the convention opened in a generation.

Read the whole thing.


Thriving at College Leader’s Guide

Tyndale House has developed a Leader’s Guide for Thriving at College, available as a free download.

John Piper and Tim Keller on “Race and the Christian”

On March 28 John Piper and Tim Keller team up in New York City for a conversation, moderated by Anthony Bradley, about the gospel and race. Piper is the author of Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian.

Register for the Event in New York

If you live in NY or are planning to be in NYC on March 28th, registration opens today at 2pm EST. The event is free, but there are limited seats available. You will be able to register here.

Watch the Live-Stream

For those of you who won’t be in NYC, the event will be live-streamed at this URL from 7:00–9:00 PM (EST).

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