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Edith Schaeffer (1914-2013)

Edith Schaeffer, widow of renown apologist Francis Schaeffer, went home to be with the Lord today. Alongside her husband, she was instrumental in running the day-to-day operations of the L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland since its founding in 1955. The name “L’Abri” came from the French word for “shelter.” L’Abri was a large home that people could come and stay to discuss God and the meaning of life, along with other spiritual questions. 

One of the Schaeffers’ many legacies was helping others see that the Christian worldview was intelligible–it wasn’t just a leap in the dark. On the contrary, Christianity made good sense, and it could satisfyingly and reliably explain the world and everything in it, including suffering and evil.  Another legacy was hospitality, something Edith was particularly known for.

Edith ultimately wrote or co-wrote eighteen books (see below), including Affliction, a book on suffering, and the autobiographical The Tapestry: the Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, each of which received the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (in 1979 and 1982 respectively). Those looking for a good biography on Francis Schaeffer should consider Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life by Colin Duriez.  To my knowledge, there is no book-length biography of Edith Schaeffer.  The best way to benefit from Schaeffer’s work is to pick up The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview (5 Volume Set), which, at over 2000 pages, is well worth the price.

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Doug Wilson, Race and Slavery

Thabiti Anyabwile has written an excellent summary of Doug Wilson’s controversial book Black & Tan: A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America.  In the days to come Anyabwile will interact with Wilson’s view, but for now here’s a summary of the summary:

Wilson rejects racism, but on slavery argues that:

1. The Bible speaks authoritatively about slavery and Christians are duty-bound to obey its teaching (p. 14, 37).

2. The slave trade was an abomination and is clearly rejected in the Bible (1 Tim. 1:10; Exod. 21:16). 

3. The slavery regulated in the Mosaic law differs from slavery in pagan empires like Rome.

4. Christians must denounce as a matter of biblical principle any racism, racial animosity, or racial vainglory involved in American slavery or any other race-based system of slavery.

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President Clinton Flips on DOMA

Want an indication of how quickly the cultural landscape has shifted on the issue of same-sex “marriage”? In a Washington Post op-ed today, President Clinton flipped on DOMA, arguing that the law he signed 17 years ago, opposed by only 81 of the 535 members of Congress, is in fact unconstitutional.  The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is one of two major marriage-related cases to be heard by the Supreme Court in the near future. The other has to do with the Proposition 8 law passed in the state of CA in 2008, and is scheduled for oral arguments later this month.  Emily Belz explains the significance of both cases. Excerpt:

The lead-up to the high court taking these two cases parallels the lead-up to the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion. At the state level in the decades before Roe, voters blocked referendum after referendum to legalize abortion by sizable majorities. But then the Supreme Court stepped in and overturned many state-level restrictions on abortion with one decision. Similarly, in the last decade, 38 states have passed traditional marriage laws, either by referendum or in legislatures. The Supreme Court could upend those laws with these cases.

One difference is that public opinion against same-sex “marriage” is weaker than it was against abortion at the time of Roe. In the last 15 years, opposition to gay marriage has dropped by 20 points according to the Pew Research Center, down to 43 percent this year. In 1972, a Gallup poll showed that 66 percent of Americans opposed elective abortions. The court, of course, enjoys ignoring public opinion in all of its cases.

The court will likely hear both cases in late March, according to court expert Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog.

Republicans and Their Faulty Moral Arithmetic

This weekend Gov. Romney and his wife returned to the national stage with a lengthy interview on FOX news.  Why did his campaign fall short?  In a sentence:  Only one in three voters sensed that Mitt Romney “cares about people like me.”  Fair or unfair, perceptions shape elections.

In today’s WSJ, Arthur Brooks pens a devastatingly accurate assessment on why Republicans are struggling to connect with voters.  He notes that “citizens across the political spectrum place a great importance on taking care of those in need and avoiding harm to the weak.”  Then he writes:

Conservatives are fighting a losing battle of moral arithmetic. They hand an argument with virtually 100% public support—care for the vulnerable—to progressives, and focus instead on materialistic concerns and minority moral viewpoints.

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Why Are Conservatives Losing The Marriage Debate?

Rod Dreher quotes a young adult who supports gay marriage:

Your conception of marriage, the traditional one, is that a man and a woman get married for the purpose of procreation. Marriage isn’t really about romantic love in this conception, but rather a framework for the rearing of children. If we take for granted that this is what marriage is, then I don’t think it’s bigoted at all to not have gay marriage, so long as the coupling is respected.

The problem for people my age is this: your definition of marriage was displaced prior to our lifetime. I have no memory of when that definition was true. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has lived their entire lives under a culture that believes marriage is an expression of romantic love between two people.

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Howard Hendricks (1924-2013)

Denny Burk offers a great testimony to the life and legacy of Dr. Howard Hendricks, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary for over 60 years. Hendricks was a masterful, passionate teacher, and a remarkable mentor to many.

Dr. Ben Carson – Message at National Prayer Breakfast

Dr. Benjamin Carson addressed the National Prayer Breakfast this past Thursday morning. He’s the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the author of America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great (currently the #1 book on Amazon). It’s a phenomenal speech in many ways, covering an array of topics–political correctness, personal responsibility, the value of education and hard work, even the federal deficit, national debt, tax policy, and health care.

Andrew Peterson – You’ll Find Your Way

The other night my wife and I were able to hear Andrew Peterson at the TruthXChange conference. I was so glad that he played You’ll Find Your Way, from his new album Light for the Lost Boy.  It’s a song many parents can relate to. Andrew wrote it for his son when he turned 13, basing it on Jeremiah 6:16:  “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’”

Technology and Raising Boys

Heads Up on being Heads Down

HT: Traci (who has additional commentary) via Tim Ellsworth

David Platt – Follow Me – Trailer

Another one is here.

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