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I suppose being counter-cultural is fading out of style in today’s Christian world.  But there’s some things to which we should just say, “over my dead body.”

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Of First Importance

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First Event: Roe v. Wade Memorial Rally

Date: Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, OR

Schedule: 2:00 to 3:00 P.M.

Second Event: “Come What May” showing:
Date: Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 – 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Location:
Rolling Hills Community Church
3550 SW Borland Road • Tualatin, OR 97062

Schedule:
5:30 pm – The lobby is open for visiting display booths run by numerous
outstanding pro-life organizations, including Abort73.com

6:30 pm – The auditorium is open for a special panel discussion with the
makers of “Come What May”. (Director George Escobar of Virginia and local
actors Austin Kearney and Victoria Emmons)

7:00 pm – Begin showing Come What May, winner of the 2008 Redemptive
Storyteller Award.

8:40 pm – Distribute handouts written by award-winning author Randy Alcorn.
These include: 50 Ways to Help Unborn Babies and their Mothers,
Communicating the Prolife Message, and Biblical Perspectives on Unborn
Children.

This is an age-integrated family event. All our children have enjoyed the
movie and give it thumbs up. If you would normally hire a babysitter,
call them up and invite them to come as your guest.

Come What May PDX is a free event. Get your free ticket today at http://comewhatmaypdx.com.

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I know, especially among undergrad Christians, its really popular to be anti-denominational.  That’s good in a sense because it reflects a sincere desire to be united and affective in shining forth Christ to our world.  But sometimes it seems like it’s just a fad, a pet cause, a way of rebelling against the system.  Church historian Carl Truemen captures the tension well:

The problem comes, of course, from the fact that denominations often exist for very good reasons; because people have strong opinions about things that matter. They may be wrong, but they have strong opinions about things one should have strong opinions about. J. Gresham Machen…talking about the dispute between Luther and Zwingli on the Lord’s Supper in the 16th Century said, ‘it was a tragedy that Protestantism split over a disagreement on the Lord’s Supper, but it would have been a much greater tragedy if Protestantism had been united because neither Luther or Zwingli thought the Lord’s Supper was really that important.’

Trueman has always been one of my favorite authors/lecturers.  His sharp, witty style is always fun to read as well as keenly insightful, and he has an ability to analyze history and make it relevant to today.

Like in these lectures.

He blogs here.

Good reads: 

Trapped in Neverland

From the Versace Vacuum to the Brand of Brothers

Goodbye Larry King, Hello Jerry Springer!

Newsweek on Gay Marriage

A Good Creed Seldom Goes Unpunished

On Meeting Joe Frazier: The Missing Element of Modern Theology

A Little Bit of Comfort for Machen’s Worrier Children

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There hasn’t been much going on here recently.  Bryce and Emily have had finals week to deal with and the birth of their first child.  And I have been working on storing up new posts, and have also just plain forgotten in all the business.   Rest assured though, we are resolved to make a comback in the near future.

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Eric Redmond Living Soli Deo Gloria Under Obama.  Note: If, like me, you struggled with whether or not to even vote at all, this article provides decisive wisdom, not in our favor.

Dan Phillips on two different kinds of election.

Shelby Steele: Obama’s Post Racial Promise. Note: Very intellectually honest.

Scott Klusendorf: Pro-Life Advocacy in the Obama Era.  Note: Particularly challenging to evangelicals who did not think that Obama is as Pro-Abortion, or would influence the number of Abortions.

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Russell Moore recently preached a Message entitled Joseph is a Single Issue Evangelical: The Father of Jesus, The Cries of the Helpless, and Change You Can Believe In.  I found myself in tears at multiple points in the sermon.  If you are reading this blog, please take 40 minutes of your time to listen to this sermon. Here is the transcript.  Here is the audio.  Here’s a quote:

As these words are spoken, there are children in this very city who are looking at bruises all over their arms as they hear their mother or father explaining to the social worker why this “will never happen again.” Brothers and sisters, these things are not incidental. There is a rage against children that is bigger than sociology or history; it is about spiritual warfare. Joseph sees the darkness around him and is obedient to the word of the Lord, a word that draws him and drives him toward life.

At the same time, in the midst of all this tumult in the present day, there are churches and evangelical leaders who are saying to us, “We ought not to be single-issue evangelicals. We ought to be concerned about more than simply abortion.” Which means, of course, that we ought to be willing to support and vote for candidates who will support legalized abortion, who will deny the personhood of children who are still in the womb, because we resonate with them on other issues. “After all,” many of them say, “abortion has been going on so long, and it still hasn’t been stopped.” Many of the people saying this are pastors who are in a desperate quest to say to their congregations, “I’m not Jerry Falwell.”

Many of them even believe it missional to speak to people while silencing or blunting a witness about the life of children so that they can reach them with the gospel and bring them in line with all these other issues later. Yet a pastor who will tell you something like that is simply repeating the same mantras as did some pastor in a powder blue leisure suit in the late 1960’s about divorce. And how is that working for you?

It certainly did not lead to a revival of the gospel. Instead, that reasoning led to a generation of people who are now unable to understand what the Scripture means when it says the union between a husband and wife is like the union of Christ to his church.

Likewise, in our day, how are we to speak of Jesus who gives us “life abundantly” in a world that hates life when we act as if the sword given to the state in Romans 13 to be wielded against the wicked–one, bear in mind, that we the people of a democratic republic bear responsibility for–is wielded instead against the innocent. Some people will tell us that there are many other issues–economics, global warming–issues I am very worried about too. But previous generations have used that same argument.

Previous generations of preachers have stood in the pulpit and preached until they were red in the face about card-playing, movie-going, tobacco-smoking, and a thousand other issues, but would not speak to the fact that there were African-American brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ whose bodies were swinging from the trees outside. And the judgment of God lies upon that.

Joseph sees the work of the evil one through divine revelation, yet in faith he obediently carries out the mission given to him by his Lord, even in the midst of all this tumult. I wonder if we are willing to do the same in our own prayers, in our own tears when we know that aborted babies cannot cry, “Abba.” Indeed, one day we will stand in judgment and be told, “as you have done to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40). Joseph is an unlikely demon-fighter. He is not celebrated. He is simply told, “Take this child. Protect him from Herod’s sword. Go into Egypt,” and, in faith, Joseph walks.

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