A few weeks ago it became clear that there were not enough faculty members available to chaperone the senior trip for the graduates of our local Christian school. Since my wife is considered “a party waiting to happen” by our daughter and her peers, she and I were asked to help chaperone the trip. So here we are in Myrtle Beach, SC, enjoying the beach and the time with a really great group of Christian kids. Imagine our surprise, then, when we see that our little school is making national news. For some reason Democrat congresswoman, Katherine Clark, from Massachusetts chose to single-out a small, Christian school in Indiana in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing with Secretary of Education, Nancy DeVos (details here).
I’ve just come home from taking the assembly at our local primary school and it struck me that the American readers of our blog in particular might be interested – if not downright astonished – to hear something about it. Even UK readers – indeed, even some Northern Irish readers – might be encouraged by the liberty and opportunity that exists for sharing the gospel in a state school in Northern Ireland. Also, there aren’t a lot of good resources for Pastors who take assemblies, so perhaps something I’ve done will help spark off other ideas.
Mossley Primary School has a deeply committed and evangelical headmaster and vice principal, not to mention a majority of Christian members of staff. The school is not a Christian school, but it has the Bible on its crest, and has always given a high place to the Word of God. Parents of prospective pupils are told on open nights that while academic work is important, character is even more important, and that the character traits the school seeks to teach are the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. The headmaster will tell the parents that each child is unique and precious because he […]
What Is Technology Doing To Us?
Privacy And Security
Sam Harris is one of America’s leading atheists, and he hosts a very popular podcast called Waking Up. I almost always find his interviews interesting. Two recent episodes are especially exceptional. Naturally the titles will tell you something about the subject matter of each, but do yourself a favor and surprise yourself. Just click and start listening. You will be glad you did.
History on Fire: Featuring Dan Carlin
Here is a conversation between two avid historians that interested me greatly. Note especially their struggle with judging cultural norms and practices in history.
The Reformation: Return to Truth or Tragic Mistake?
One of the better discussions on Unbelievable. James White converses with Roman Catholic apologist, Peter D Williams. The level of transparency and degree of communication is what makes this conversation so good.
Are Christians Free To Express Their Faith?
If you haven’t heard Joe Boot before, give this episode a listen. I just love his clear, strong Christian voice on matters cultural.
To start things off, the boys open the mailbag and get excited. They discover there are such creatures as English Presbyterians, and one has even listened to every 3GT episode. Another listener responds to our Lord’s Day episode with an encouraging testimony in the workplace.
Then Aaron rewinds to Episode 22 and brings us back to the issue of abortion and the pro-life movement. Should Christians be content with small steps of progress? Or should our simple aim be to outlaw this awful practice? And does the Bible speak to our approach? With little lives on the line, we must keep this issue ever before the church without losing the gospel in the process.
Thank you to the Westminster Conference for sponsoring this episode! Being held September 8-9, 2017, at RPTS, this year’s theme is “Post Tenebras Lux: Celebrating 500 Years of Martin Luther’s Influence.” Be sure to register early as space is limited! Also, listen for how you can win a digital anthology of all the past Westminster Conferences.
You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!
With all the attention given to the movie The Shack, it would be good to take a careful look at the book it is based upon. The author, William P. Young, wrote The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity (Newbury Park, Calif.: Windblown Media) in 2007. Below is review of the book by Dr. Michael LeFebvre, pastor of Christ Church Reformed Presbyterian in Brownsburg, Indiana, and author of Singing the Songs of Jesus: Revisiting the Psalms and Exploring Ecclesiastes: Joy That Perseveres.
The Shack is a modern day allegory of the Christian life. Like John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, William Young’s The Shack is a vivid tale designed to teach the reader about the way of salvation. But Young’s vision, while helpful in points, ultimately presents a different kind of salvation than that of Bunyan’s classic.
Bunyan’s pilgrim labors under the burden called “sin,” and he only finds freedom from its guilt by receiving forgiveness at the cross. Young’s protagonist is cast in a more postmodern image. The Shack’s central character is Mackenzie Phillips, whose struggle is not with sin and guilt; Mack’s burden is “the great sadness”—the accumulated emotional baggage from his abusive childhood and the death of his daughter. Rather than seeking his own forgiveness, Mack’s […]
With so many protests and so much in the news about the president’s immigration ban, here are a few articles hopefully to encourage calm, reasoned thinking on the matter.
Trump’s order is a balm for Christians, not a ban on Muslims | Carol Swain
An opinion piece on CNN that comments on the actual text of President Trump’s order.
Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban | Kate Shellnut
This article features the difficulty that agencies like World Relief have following the president’s actions and, despite its title, offers perspectives from leading Christians on both sides of the issue.
Ten Theses on Immigration | Ross Douthat
This New York Time article brings some fascinating insights from social science research to this issue.
Exclusive: The letter Russell Moore will send Trump about the refugee order | Russell Moore
Dr. Moore already sent his letter but it is worth reading, especially as an example of addressing our leaders on this matter.
The Immigration Crises May Be a Providential Call to Make a Move | Jennifer Oshman
Become an immigrant yourself? May sound crazy, but when I read this link at Tim Challies’ site I understood.
On Monday night Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue University, led a discussion with J.D. Vance, the author of the extremely popular Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. The book is a powerful telling of Vance’s own story of growing up in extremely dysfunctional homes, yet moving upwardly in society to become a Marine, college graduate and Yale-trained lawyer. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it, especially as a way to begin to understand a group of people not usually in contact with anything approaching a healthy church.
Here are a few of the highlights of the conversation.
It’s been a good week in the world of podcasting. Lots of juicy episodes and discussions.
Here are a few that just might interest you:
Policing is Racially Biased – Intelligence Squared Debates. Listen in as four qualified people debate the question of discrimination in police activity.
Should Christians Embrace or Reject Theistic Evolution? – Unbelievable. This is a very instructive debate. Listen carefully to Mr. Alexander’s (the theistic evolutionist) theological rationale for suffering and evil. It is truly incredible- which is to say incredibly weak.
An Evening with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris (part one and two). I believe that it is vitally important to hear and understand what the New Atheists are saying. They continue to shape the minds of many Americans, especially the younger generation. If we are not familiar with their way of thinking, we will not be prepared to intelligently engage it.
If you haven’t watched the 3 minute video released by Live Action earlier this week, take the time and do so (http://liveaction.org/abortioncorporation/). It reveals empirically yet another aspect of Planned Parenthood’s deliberate efforts to deceive the public about what it does. I am not sure that Planned Parenthood actually deceives that many people, but they do try to provide some type of moral cover for those who would support their horrific efforts to blot out life in its most vulnerable stages.
The following article is a guest post by Brad Johnston, pastor of the Topeka Reformed Presbyterian Church. In sharing this news about a national confession of faith by the country of Poland, we at Gentle Reformation want to be clear that we are not advocating Roman Catholic doctrine, as Brad’s article states several times and this recent post shows. Rather, this rather remarkable situation provides a challenge for the Protestant church to pray greatly for the kingdom of God to be further manifest through nations coming to Christ.
You may have heard the thought-provoking news that a former Soviet-bloc country in Eastern Europe has confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as King and Lord. This type of confession is what Christians pray for when they recite or sing Psalm 67: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth” (Psalm 67:4).
This notable event took place on the 1,050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland when the Polish prince embraced Christ in the year A.D. 966. A millennium later in the past century, Poland found itself pressed by Nazi Germany on the west and Communist Russia on the […]