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On the Other Side of Complexity: Christian Conviction in the Late Modern Age – Al Mohler

Dr. Al Mohler recently gave the fourth annual Gaffin Lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary, and I must say that it was absolutely brilliant.  Picking up a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity,” Dr. Mohler provides a penetrating analysis of Western thought.    

While some may have a hard time following his message at points, as he does stroll through the halls post-modernity and neo-orthodoxy, as well as modernism, highlighting not only the key thinkers, but their ideas, I suspect that most will still be able to grasp the main points of his lecture.

Trust me when I say this.  The last ten minutes are worth the price of admission.  His critique of fundamentalism, as well as evangelicalism, is powerful.  And for many, the antidote he proscribes will prove very surprising.

Bell’s Hells

Here at Gentle Reformation we have made the conscience decision not to engage in endless internet controversies and cyberspace name-calling.    Self-admittedly we are reluctant to put up our dukes, and we sigh deeply when in church courts (a more proper boxing arena than the internet) we are called upon to handle conflicts.  To that end we have declared in our guiding principles we will not cry “Wolf!” very often.  Yet I feel the need to do so today.

Rambling Reviews of an Audio Scavenger

I love a full MP3 player.  And last week, my MP3 player was pretty darn full.  Ah, yes, the simple pleasures in life!

So, yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few messages lately.  It’s been a strange mixture.  A little bit of everything.  Nothing life changing, exactly, but no downright duds either.  It’s for this reason I’m going to go with the shotgun approach today.  Not a slug, but buckshot.  So here we go.  Time to ramble.

Electronic Dog Leash

Taking my daughter to a friend’s house a few times recently, I have noticed a sheltie collie at the end of one T-street on which I turn.  The little dog stands at the front edge of its fenceless yard, waiting for cars coming to its street.  As a car reaches the T of the intersection, the collie races madly to the end of the yard, then abruptly leaps and spins in the opposite direction and charges back that way, the whole time barking constantly.  As you drive past, you notice it keeps repeating this process – flying back and forth, back and forth, with non-stop barking.  Obviously it has been trained with an electric fence and collar, because it stays right on the front edge of the yard and never crosses the side edges of the property.  Indeed, the last time I went by the collie had worn a path in the snow right down to the ground.

Desiring God Interview with Tim Keller

While situated in a black leather chair in the comfort of his living room, Pastor Tim Keller answers a host of questions about his life and latest book.  It’s an interesting hour and a half.  Everything from his conversion to his early ministry to the beginnings of Redeemer is discussed.  His mild manner and approachability are certainly evident throughout, which makes for a good listen.

In the second segment, which is approximately 45 minutes long, his newest book, “Generous Justice,” is taken up.  Issues including the nature of justice, social justice, and mercy ministry are unpacked with pastoral insight.  As a deacon, I’m very much interested in getting my hands on a copy.  I suspect many of you would likewise enjoy it as well.

A Pastoral Letter to Ted Williams

Dear Ted,

Though you do not know me, I hope you do not mind me addressing you by name.  Besides, I feel like I do know you as I join the millions of others in congratulating you on your recent good fortune.  In a matter of days your rocket ride  from begging on the streets of Columbus, Ohio,  to being an internet and TV sensation has captivated us.  It has made us glad to hear some good news amidst all the bad.  What has happened to you is incredible.  You do have an amazing voice!  It is good that you recognize it as a gift from God.

Should Abortion Be Illegal? – Alan Shlemon vs. Cicili Chadwick

I never cease to be amazed at what I hear from the mouths of pro-choice advocates. 

Never wavering from calling the unborn baby a fetus, Professor Chadwick, the pro-choicer, nevertheless concedes that the fetus is a human life.  This is chilling.  For here you have an educated woman advancing, nay, trumpeting the belief that a woman has the right to end a human life, essentially because that life temporarily lives inside her.  Scary. 

And why does she cling to this idea?

Depressing Research

10% of Americans (27 million people) are on antidepressants, a number that doubled in the decade from 1996-2005.  Before I comment further, please take the following quiz, answering the statements TRUE or FALSE:

1) Those who took Flintstone Vitamins as a child are more likely to get a divorce than those who did not.