Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pray for the unborn in North America

I'm not under any disillusionment that my teeny space on the web here will influence American voters. But it can influence a handful of people to pray, and prayer (and fasting) is what we need at this point. I'm not going to tell people what to pray for, just what to pray about. Pray about the future of the unborn in America. We are weeks away from seeing a pro-abortion individual of the most reckless kind entering into one of the most powerful positions in the world. If you don't believe me read Robert George's latest essay: Obama's Abortion Extremism. If you want to read a succinct summary of the essay, read Justin Taylor's.

A few quotes, just to wreck your appetite:
Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.
It is as if Obama is opposed to stem-cell research unless it involves killing human embryos.
What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama’s America is one in which being human just isn’t enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama’s America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the laws. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: “that question is above my pay grade.” It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator’s pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy—and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.

New online Bible study resource

There's a great website dedicated to biblical arcing. Arcing is a helpful strategy for determining an author's flow of thought. Biblical arcing helps us do what many commentators (and preachers!) fail at: following a biblical author's flow of thought.

John Piper has a very useful booklet explaining the process or arcing. I would encourage all serious readers of the Bible to download it for free and use it.

HT: Justin Taylor

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The ocean in a nut-shell

In an effort to please C.S. Lewis, who instructed us to avoid "chronological snubbery", I've been reading some 18th century Jonathan Edwards sermons. Talk about a different world and a different language, but also an older world. Or a younger one--you know what I mean. Edwards knew God and experienced God; and he preached God.

Here are some lines that hit me from his sermon on Psalm 46.10.
What are we? and what do we make of ourselves, when we expect that God and his ways should be upon a level with our understandings? We are infinitely unequal to any such thing, as comprehending God. We may less unreasonably expect that a nut-shell should contain the ocean: Job xi. 7. "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." If we were sensible of the distance which there is between God and us, we should see the reasonableness of that interrogation of the apostle, Romans ix. 20. "Who are thou, O man, that replies against God?"
The sermon ends with even less foolin' around:
You shall consider it; you shall know it; God will make all men to know that he is God. You shall either know it for your good here, or to your cost hereafter.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Media chuckle

A lesson that can never be remembered often enough: read the media with a well-tuned baloney detector. Here are two (more) reasons why.

Roger Bolton writes a piece about Codex Sinaiticus. Sample:
For those who believe the Bible is the inerrant, unaltered word of God, there will be some very uncomfortable questions to answer.

Dirk Jongkind (the guy who wrote the book) responds. Sample:
What can we say about this article? It took me till the seventh paragraph before I found a paragraph without a factual mistake (oops Roger Bolton, this is even for sensationalist journalism rather poor).

Then there's the U.S. veep debate between Biden and Palin. The media were quick to record Biden's factual superiority of the two. But see the pieces by Ann Coulter and Jonah Goldberg (HT Douglas Groothuis), remembering that the point here is not about the potential veeps themselves, but rather the majority in the mainstream media who were so impressed with Biden's command of the "facts".

[Jongkind also responds to Bolton's BBC programme.]