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Correcting Six Mistakes from the Same-Sex Marriage Oral Arguments Last Week

Did you miss the two and a half hours of oral arguments on same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court last week? James Phillips, visiting assistant professor of law at Brigham Young University, does a great job correcting six mistakes that were made (in some cases by the Supreme Court Justices themselves).

Error Number One: Massachusetts Marriage Rates Have Stayed the Same

Error Number Two: Because Some Men Leave Their Wives and Children, Marriage Does Not Help Keep Fathers Around

Error Number Three: The Purpose of States’ Recognizing and Regulating Marriage is to Bestow Dignity on Couples

Error Number Four: The Only Harm to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Making Marriage More Adult-Centered

Error Number Five: There Is a Parallel between Brown/Loving andLawrence/Obergefell

Error Number Six: Age Restrictions on Marriage Are Equivalent to the Definitional Element of One Man and One Woman

Phillips piece is clear, compelling, and highly accessible (no legal mumbo-jumbo). Give it a read.

How Old is the Universe?

R.C. Sproul:

To hear answers from the other speakers (and a great mix of views), see the 42:09-75:40 portion of this video.

The Importance of Our Early Years

J.C. Ryle:

Youth is the seed-time of full age, the molding season in the little space of human life, the turning-point in the history of man’s mind.

By the shoot we judge of the tree, by the blossoms we judge of the fruit, by the spring we judge of the harvest, by the morning we judge of the day, and by the character of the young man, we may generally judge what he will be when he grows up.

-J.C. Ryle, Thoughts for Young Men (available for $0.99 on Kindle)

Is Morality about Interference or Direction?

C.S. Lewis:

“There is a story about a schoolboy who was asked what he thought God was like. He replied that, as far as he could make out, God was ‘the sort of person who is always snooping around to see if anyone is enjoying himself and then trying to stop it’. And I am afraid that is the sort of idea that the word Morality raises in a good many people’s minds: something that interferes, something that stops you having a good time. In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine.”

From Mere Christianity

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Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be

Where you go is not who you will be

Frank Bruni’s new book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania looks great, especially for upper and upper-middle class parents currently biting their nails over whether Junior will get into Princeton. For the rest of you, let me explain: Over the next few weeks, tens of thousands of “fat envelopes” (acceptances) and hundreds of thousands of “thin envelopes” (rejections) will be mailed all across the country to high school seniors hoping to get into a couple dozen of the most elite universities. The belief is that if you get into one of these schools, you’re set. After four years of hobnobbing, partying, and anxiety-driven studying, you can count on a cushy job and a clear path to a corner office. While relatively few Americans live out the extreme forms of “college admissions mania,” many more have bought into some form of this pervasive mythology. The truth? How successful a person becomes, financially and otherwise, depends far more on the person than his or her alma mater.

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Why the Attraction of “Fifty Shades of Grey”?

Image result for 50 shades of greyWhy are millions of twenty-first century women drawn to a story about a rich man wooing, oppressing and humiliating a young, vulnerable woman? Don’t we live in a day in which sexual assault on college campuses and domestic abuse by professional football players fills us with indignation? Ross Douthat explain this mystery:

Viewed from one angle, the sexual revolution looks obviously egalitarian. It’s about extending to everyone the liberties–the freedom to be promiscuous, to pursue sexual fulfillment without guilt–that were once available only to privileged cisgendered heterosexual males. It’s about ushering in a society where everyone can freely love and take pleasure in anyone and anything they want.

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John Piper Answers: Do You Regret Partnering with Mark Driscoll?

John Piper draws eight lessons learned from his partnering with Mark Driscoll.

I think Pastor John is being too hard on himself when he expresses regret over not being a better friend to Driscoll. Piper’s efforts were noble, sincere, and enduring, and anyone hearing this audio can tell that Piper’s heart goes out to Mr. Driscoll in a desire to help him today.

But I respectfully disagree with Pastor John’s decision to have Driscoll speak at Desiring God national conferences in 2006 and 2008. It’s not that I think it was wrong for Piper to befriend Driscoll–I was, and am, for that. Private, redemptive engagement is worthwhile. It’s that I believe Driscoll’s readily discernible character flaws should have precluded putting him forward on the platform at a DG national event, however accurate his theology and however helpful his teaching. I agree that eventually a man’s books (his message) can be separated from the man. But not while that man is on a stage giving the message. At that moment they are inseparable. So the cons, including the additional elevation of Driscoll, simply outweighed any pros in my estimation. It may also be that the public affirmation of Driscoll somehow worked to at least partially undermine Piper’s private efforts of correction and admonition.

The No. 1 Reason Teens Keeps the Faith as Young Adults

David Briggs, writing for the Huffington Post:

Mothers and fathers who practice what they preach and preach what they practice are far and away the major influence related to adolescents keeping the faith into their 20s, according to new findings from a landmark study of youth and religion.

Just 1 percent of teens ages 15 to 17 raised by parents who attached little importance to religion were highly religious in their mid-to-late 20s.

In contrast, 82 percent of children raised by parents who talked about faith at home, attached great importance to their beliefs and were active in their congregations were themselves religiously active as young adults, according to data from the latest wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion.

Read the whole thing.

HT: @BrettKunkle

Alex & Brett Harris (Still) Doing Hard Things

Freelance writer Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra has an excellent article/interview about what Alex and Brett Harris are doing these days. Six years ago these brothers co-authors the best-selling book Do Hard Things (over 450,000 copies have sold). Today, they’re both still doing hard things, but in very different ways. Alex is in his third year of law school and Brett is caring for an ailing wife.

Both comment extensively in the article about how their background and the do-hard-things mentality prepared them for their current challenges.

“Doing hard things in one season prepares you to step into the next with momentum and purpose,” Alex said.

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How should we vote as Christians whose citizenship is ultimately in heaven?

In an excellent article for election day, John Piper takes five points from 1 Cor. 7:29–31, applying each of them to voting. These are helpful reminders, especially for those of us who get absorbed with politics at this time of year. I’ve greatly summarized his commentary here–be sure to read the whole thing.

1. “Let those who have wives live as though they had none.”

The outcomes of voting “do not give us the greatest joy when they go our way, and they do not demoralize us when they don’t.”

2. “Let those who mourn [do so] as though they were not mourning.”

“We vote and we lose, or we vote and we win.” In either case, “our expectations and frustrations should be modest.”

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