Archive - 2012

Supreme Court Will Rule on Gay Marriage

Last Friday the Supreme Court announced their acceptance of two cases related to same-sex marriage. Scholar Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog anticipates that hearings for both cases will occur in March. Joe Carter of the Acton Institute breaks down the possible outcomes:

1. Overturn the 9th Circuit ruling and uphold Prop. 8. This outcome would leave the definition of marriage to the individual states and its voters.

2. Uphold the 9th Circuit ruling, but do so in a way that limits the ruling to California’s Prop. 8 legislation.

3. Dismiss the appeal on the grounds that the sponsors of Proposition. 8 had no legal standing to defend it in court. This outcome would prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on the merits of the case. It would also leave the outcome of the legislation unclear since it would also vacate the 9th Circuit’s ruling.

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Transitioning from Home School to College

Roy Hayley writes a poignant account of his daughter’s transition from home school to college in The Old Schoolhouse.  Page Hayley completed her high school studies a year early and was able to take a “gap year” for personal study and growth.  She sat down with her parents and set an ambitious set of goals for the year — a wise move, since “free” time can easily be wasted if we’re not intentional. Her goals included part-time work in the field she hoped to study in college (science), piano and voice lessons, theater, and the college search process (applications, visits, etc.).

Page was able to gain real-world research experience in the University of Kansas Medical Center (quite an accomplishment!) and was later accepted at Wheaton College. I was deeply encouraged to learned that Thriving at College proved a useful resource for Page and her parents during this time of transition.

Check out her story. (You can zoom in with a left click, and if you hover your mouse on the right or left side of the page, about half-way up, you can advance to the next page.)

Sen. Jim DeMint to Head Heritage Foundation

Daniel Henninger, reporting in the The Wall Street Journal:

“In an interview preceding the succession announcement, Sen. DeMint said he is taking the Heritage job because he sees it as a vehicle to popularize conservative ideas in a way that connects with a broader public. “This is an urgent time,” the senator said, “because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections.” Mr. DeMint, who was a market researcher before he entered politics, said he plans to take the Heritage Foundation’s traditional research plus that of think tanks at the state level and “translate those policy papers into real-life demonstrations of things that work.” He said, “We want to figure out what works at the local and state level” and give those models national attention.”

Read the whole thing.

3 Christ-Centered Graduate Degrees, 2 Comprehensive Scholarships—Study from Home

This sounds like a pretty good deal for anyone looking for advanced theological or ministry leadership training:

Knox Theological Seminary and Logos Bible Software have teamed up to offer three innovative graduate degrees—the online Master of Arts (Biblical & Theological Studies), online Master of Arts (Christian & Classical Studies), and the blended Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Teaching.  These degree programs allow you to study from home, on your own schedule, without giving up your job, community, and commitments. And with the $25,000 Billy Graham Scholarship (MABTS) or $18,000 John Piper Scholarship (DMin), you can earn your master’s or doctorate for FREE.

  • The MABTS explores the Bible’s grand narrative, training you in systematic theology, church history, ethics, apologetics, hermeneutics, and more. You’ll learn to communicate Christ and his Gospel, as well as the centrality of that Gospel to every aspect of Christian life and ministry.
  • The MACCS teaches you how the West thinks, and why. It prepares you for modern ministry with the Great Books’ classical training—you’ll learn from Plato, Augustine, Aristotle, Aquinas, Shakespeare, Luther, Dante, Dostoyevsky, and others, all in a Christian cultural context.

Anti-Santy Ranty – Santa Claus vs. Jesus Christ

A well-written and funny poem contrasting St. Nicholas (a.k.a., Santa Claus) from God the Son coming to earth:

HT: Justin Taylor

Love Lost Over Love Wins

Rob Bell, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI and author of the controversial book Love Wins, recently sat down with The New Yorker. As the Christian Post reports, Bell told The New Yorker that the publication of his book resulted in a 3,000-person decrease in membership at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI, which he founded in 1999.

HT: Steve McCoy

Charles Murray – Coming Apart

Dr. Albert Mohler interviews Dr. Charles Murray about his new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. You can read, listen, or download the interview. The publisher’s description:

In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apart demonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.

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The Skeptical Student – Tim Keller

This short e-book by Tim Keller releases today. I’ve got it, and have started clicking through it on my Kindle.  In the front matter, Keller writes:

This essay is based on the first of a series of talks I gave in Oxford Town Hall in Oxford, England in 2012. A campus group asked me to speak for five nights to students–most of them skeptics–exploring encounters that Jesus Christ had with five individuals in the gospel of John. I could not imagine a more exciting project.

Of The Skeptical Student, the publisher writes,  “The Skeptical Student applies biblical wisdom to life’s biggest questions through the inspiring story of Nathanael’s life-changing encounter in the Gospel of John.”

It’s only $1.99, and includes an excerpt of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work (which I previously reviewed).

It’s Not IQ: It’s Grit, Curiousity, and Character

This looks like a very interesting new book. Sean Blanda sets up an interview with author Paul Tough:

From 1962 to 1967 researchers selected students with low-income and low-I.Q. parents at the Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti, Michigan and divided them into two groups. One group received a special high-quality education, while the control group used the school’s normal curriculum.

The students that received the high-quality education showed short-term gains in I.Q. but by the third grade, they were again even with the control group. The experiment was seen as failure – until the researchers followed back up with the students later in their lives. The students that received the high-quality education were more likely to graduate high school, more likely to be employed at age 27, and more likely have a salary over $40,000 at age 40. If the gains in I.Q. didn’t stick, then what happened to make the students more successful?

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Fools Need Experience

Crawford Loritts:

“Experience is not always the best teacher, but it is the only school a fool will attend.”

From his book Never Walk Away: Lessons on Integrity from a Father Who Lived It.

There are many things we don’t have to do to know they’re dumb.  One aspect of wisdom is being willing to delay gratification–to say no to an immediate pleasure because of the long-term consequences.  One aspect of foolishness is the seemingly uncontrollable need to do what we feel like doing–to be impulsive, impetuous, and focused on the short-term, not the long-term.

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