Posts Tagged ‘Russell Moore’
Posted on May 16th, 2014 by Jonathan
The Church Needs More Tattoos, Russell Moore: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) often tells audiences, “Republican Party events need more people with tattoos.” It struck me, as I heard him say this, that this is kind of what evangelical Christians ought to be saying about our churches…
A Kick in the Chest, Hope for Turkey: On a weekend night in a quiet residential neighborhood of Istanbul, Pastor Baris sat in his office preparing his Easter sermon. In the small basement flat where the church meets, his office doubles as the nursery on Sundays. A sign over the front door of the otherwise unremarkable building reads “Grace Church.” Due to prior attacks with rocks and worse, the outside windows are covered with metal grates. Suddenly, the doorbell rang…
Getting Clear on Evangelism, Jonathan Parnell, Jeff Vanderstelt: We might have evangelism mixed up. When evangelism is often discussed, it tends to focus on how churches mobilize their people to get out and connect with unbelievers. But when we think in these terms, the definition of evangelism can be mistaken as a maneuver, rather than proclamation.
Posted on March 24th, 2014 by David Burnette
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear the final appeal from Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties as these corporations seek relief from a “contraceptive” mandate in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. This particular mandate would require businesses to provide health coverage for FDA-approved devices that can cause abortions (like IUD’s and morning-after pills). The case is set for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 25, @ 10:00am ET.
Denny Burk refers to this as “the most consequential religious liberty case in a generation,” and he has an excellent rundown on some of the misconceptions about the case that have already been perpetrated in the media. Here’s an excerpt from the website of the ERLC (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) of the Southern Baptist Convention with some guidance on how to pray for this important case:
As Christians who live all of life under the lordship of Jesus Christ, we are compelled to bring our vocations under the direction of our faith. The owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are making their complaint under the umbrella of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bipartisan law designed to provide extra layers of protection for citizens who believe their religious liberty has been infringed.
This is a supremely important case, and will likely set a precedent for how religious liberty is thought of and prioritized for decades to come. Because religious liberty is a bedrock constitutional principle found in the First Amendment, the integrity of this “first freedom” isn’t limited just to Christians, but to Americans of all faiths.
For that reason, Christians should pray that the outcome of these cases would result favorably toward those who wish to exercise their constitutional right to religious liberty. How should Christians pray? Here is a sample prayer guide:
- God wants people to be free to seek him and to serve him (Acts 17:24-28). Pray for a favorable outcome. The cherished principle of religious freedom should receive the strongest constitutional protection it deserves.
- God is Lord of the conscience, not government (Acts 5:29). Pray that the justices of the Supreme Court will understand the importance of the separation of the state from the church.
- God can give understanding to make sound decisions (Prov. 2:6-8). Pray for those who disagree with us, that God would help them understand and respect the consciences of people of faith.
- God can turn the hearts and minds of the justices to do his will (Prov. 21:1). Pray for the Supreme Court justices, that they would be receptive to the arguments being made passionately before them.
- God can guide the mind and speech (Exod. 4:11-12). Pray for lead attorney, Paul Clement, who will be arguing on behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. Ask God to give him clarity and wisdom, for his arguments to be persuasiveness, and for God to give him favor before the justices.
Here are some excellent resources:
- Russell Moore’s call to pray for Hobby Lobby
- A speech by Russell Moore to the Oklahoma Council of Policy Affairs
- ERLC’s Friend of the Court Brief on Behalf of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood
- The Becket Fund’s “HHS Information Central”
- Russell Moore’s helpful explanation of in a special Questions and Ethics podcast
- A recent oped in support of Hobby Lobby by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California
Posted on January 9th, 2014 by David Burnette
On the important topic of orphan care and reaching out to vulnerable children, be sure to check out the Know More Orphans Conference 2014. This conference will be held on March 7-8, 2014, at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. The speakers include:
- David Platt
- Bryan Loritts
- Rick Morton
- Tony Merida
- Michael Monroe
- Maridel Sandberg
Here's an excerpt from the website:
The Church has always been God’s plan for building his kingdom, and this includes securing justice for the poor and most vulnerable. Altar 84 desires to work intimately with the Body of Christ to care for the least of these, the orphan. On Friday, March 7th and Saturday March 8th, 2014, Altar84’s kNOw More Orphans Conference will seek to unite the church community for the call to care for orphans and vulnerable children - right here and around the world. The conference will provide AWARENESS of God’s Word and his command to take ACTION.
Go here to register. Early Bird pricing ends January 17, 2014.
Posted on December 11th, 2013 by David Burnette
In a recent article over at the ERLC , Russell Moore writes about what is lacking in our Christmas music. Here’s an excerpt:
The first Christmas carol, after all, was a war hymn. Mary of Nazareth sings of God’s defeat of his enemies, about how in Christ he had demonstrated his power and “has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Lk. 1:52). There are some villains in mind there.
Simeon’s song, likewise, speaks of the “fall and rising of many in Israel” and of a sword that would pierce the heart of Mary herself. Even the “light of the Gentiles” he speaks about is in the context of warfare. After all, the light, the Bible tells us, overcomes the darkness (Jn. 1:5), and frees us from the grip of the devil (2 Cor. 4). In a time of obvious tragedy, the unbearable lightness of Christmas seems absurd to the watching world.
But, even in the best of times, we all know that we live in a groaning universe, a world of divorce courts and cancer cells and concentration camps. Just as we sing with joy about the coming of the Promised One, we ought also to sing with groaning that he is not back yet (Rom. 8:23), sometimes with groanings too deep for lyrics.
You can read the entire article here.
Posted on August 2nd, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. Confessions of a Misguided Worship Leader by Matt Mason: Some 20 years ago, in the earliest season of serving in the ministry of musical worship, I chose songs that said good things and made my voice sound “awesome.” Really mature, I know.
2. Whatever happened to the wrath of God? by Russell Moore: Talk about the “wrath of God” kindles all sorts of images in the minds of contemporary Americans. Some immediately think of a powdered-wig Puritan, preaching about sinners dangling over hell as a spider over a flame. Some conceive of a hellfire-and-brimstone revivalist warning sinners to repent or perish. And some picture an angry cult group, protesting with signs announcing whomever God is said to hate that day.
3. 8 Email Mistakes You Make by Tim Challies: I am convinced that some day we will all have a really good laugh at ourselves for ever using a form of communication as ridiculous as email. We will laugh that we ever tried to make it do the things we make it do. It is my hope that we will soon move to more efficient forms of communication.
Posted on July 26th, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. A Few Thoughts About Being Ordinary Christians by Tim Brister: In case you did not know, there’s an ongoing debate regarding “radical” Christianity and “ordinary” (mundane/normal) Christianity. Really. [Pardon the intensifier]
2. What’s at Stake with Internet Pornography by Russell Moore: In one sense, the issue of pornography is not new at all. Human lust for covenant-breaking sexuality is rooted, Jesus tells us, not in anything external to us but in our fallen passions (Matt. 5:27–28). Every generation of Christians has faced the pornography question, whether with Dionysian pagan art, or with Jazz Age fan-dancers, or with airbrushed centerfolds.
3. When Is a Royal Baby a Fetus? by Owen Strachan: Technically, right up until the moment he’s born. And yet we’ve called him a baby the whole time. What media coverage of the recent pregnancy and birth has to do with abortion politics.
4. Is Your Child a Christian? by Brian Croft: As parents, we all wrestle with how to answer this question, and I’ve found there are usually two extremes that need to be avoided. The first is made worse by a lack of discernment shown in many churches when they routinely extend altar calls to 4- or 5-year-olds, ask them to raise their hands if they love Jesus, and then baptize them as converted followers of Christ.
Posted on June 28th, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. W4YW: Same-Sex Marriage and the American Church by J.D. Greear: On Wednesday, five members of the Supreme Court struck down a 1996 decision by the people’s representatives that had limited marriage to one man and one woman. This marks a new and tragically sad day for the United States.
2.. How Should Same-Sex Marriage Change the Church’s Witness? by Russell Moore: The Supreme Court has now ruled on two monumental marriage cases, and the legal and cultural landscape has changed in this country. The court voted to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and remand the decision of the Ninth Circuit in the Proposition 8 case, holding that California’s Proposition 8 defenders didn’t have standing. The Defense of Marriage Act decision used rather sweeping language about equal protection and human dignity as they apply to the recognition of same-sex unions. But what has changed for us, for our churches, and our witness to the gospel?
3. “Waiting for the Other Shoe” — The Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage by Albert Mohler: On the last day of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today on two same-sex marriage cases. Both are important cases, and both will go far in redefining the most basic institution of human civilization. The Court knew it was making history. A majority of the justices clearly intended to make history, and future generations will indeed remember this day. But for what?
Posted on January 29th, 2013 by Cory Varden
“When God speaks, creation obeys. When he spoke the universe into existence, it happened (Gen 1:3-26). When he speaks into the cold, dead hearts of sinners, a new creation appears (2 Cor 5:17). When preachers exposit the Word of God and announce that Jesus is the Christ, the church is built (Matt 16:16-18). Whenever God’s Word is proclaimed, something comes into existence that wasn’t there before.
Even a casual observation of the evangelical landscape reveals that much of this church-building, Christ-centered, truth-driven, gospel proclaiming, expository preaching has turned into, well, something else. If the church is going to flourish, then something needs to change
If God’s people are going to be presented “mature in Christ,” then biblical, expository preaching needs to return to the sacred desk of the local churches.”
Excerpt from A Guide to Expository Ministry edited by Dan Dumas of Southern Seminary. I highly commend this great little resource to you. This book provides an insightful glimpse into what it means to preach, listen, and live in an expository manner.
Posted on January 18th, 2013 by Cory Varden
This January is the 40th anniversary of the Roe v Wade Court decision that legalized abortion in our nation for any reason. It also opened the door to deep sorrow and regret for many who chose abortion, thinking it held the promise of “reproductive freedom.” In light of that this week’s Well Said… focuses on some insightful posts this week on this issue.
1. Why I Hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (and Why I Love It Too) from Russell Moore: As we approach next week’s fortieth anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, churches in my tradition will observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I hate that we have to. Let me explain why…
2. Thank You, Mr. President, for These Pro-Life Marching Orders from Justin Taylor
3. Away With Utilitarian Arguments Against Abortion from Jared Wilson: You have likely heard this line of reasoning from earnest pro-lifers before. The logic goes something like this: You should be pro-life because you never know if you’ve aborted the next Einstein, the next Beethoven, the next Martin Luther King, Jr., the next Pasteur or Salk, etc. What if you aborted the curer of cancer or AIDS?…
Posted on January 11th, 2013 by Cory Varden
It appears praying is the utmost controversial of issues these days. Though even the hosts of some of the most secular TV shows around can tell someone, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to you”, it’s still a particularly hot button topic. Or as we’ve seen recently, the controversy can revolve more around the individual performing the act and what that individual believes, than the actual act in and of itself. Here are three insightful articles centered on our shifting culturing tide, particularly as it relates to this topic.
1. Louie Giglio and the New State Church – We don’t have a natural right to pray at anyone’s inauguration. But when one is pressured out from a previous invitation because he is too “toxic” for simply mentioning once something universal in the Christian faith, we ought to see what we’re looking at: a state church…
2. The Giglio Imbroglio – The Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House have now declared historic, biblical Christianity to be out of bounds, casting it off the inaugural program as an embarrassment…
3. Pastor Disinvited – If you do not affirm homosexuality then you cannot be fair-minded. Affirmation of homosexual behavior is now a litmus test for President Obama and his political party…
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