How Should Evangelicals Respond To The Inauguration Prayer Incident?

Joe Carter at the Gospel Coalition Blog has a great post out-lining three positions various evangelicals have taken over Louie Giglio’s withdrawal from the Inauguration because of a sermon he preached 15 years deemed ‘anti-gay’.

I wonder which position you would take?

Position #1: Gabe Lyons, a best-selling author and founder of Q Ideas, says Giglio is a “target of intolerance” and “reverse discrimination at its finest“:

As gays come out of the closet, are Christians meant to swap and go hide back in closets of their own? This zero-sum game is the most un-American of games.

Freedom to speak your mind and live by your convictions—a person’s freedom of conscience—is the first, most fundamental, American right. James Madison believed strongly in the freedom of conscience, even claiming, “This right is in its nature an unalienable right” in his Memorial and Remonstrance written in 1785. Maintaining and defending “freedom of conscience” protects every citizen from being coerced, cajoled, intimidated or bullied into taking a point of view that goes against their deepest convictions.

It’s a sad day in America when that right is up for debate.

 

For the other two positions CONTINUE READING HERE

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Time for Novels

Being sick at the beginning of the year meant I read some novels. I have been a great fan of CJ Samson’s tudor detective series featuring Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer living in the reign of Henry VIII. I read his first book, Dissolution in 2009 and the second book Dark Fire in 2010 (see  HERE and HERE). While sick I completed the series, reading Revelation, Sovereign and Heartstone. What makes these mysteries so good is that the ‘history’ is factual and accurate, thus putting them in the historical fiction bracket – but also Samson’s writing is engaging and a real page turner.

A real bright spot while feeling very cruddy.

Being Sick

The day after Christmas (boxing day for us Brits) I decided that I should go to the doctors and check out the cough I have had for some 3 weeks.

It’s quite ironic. My mom, back in the UK has also had a similar cold, cough for quite a while. The contrast in how the medical process unfolded here in the USA and back home, is really interesting. My mom has been telling me of the hours spent in the waiting room of her GP, only to have been prescribed antibiotics TWICE and now being told she may have to have a chest x-ray which would mean a another trip to a hospital and some more hours waiting.

On Dec 26 I drove, without an appointment, to the doctors. I left the house at 10am. I was sitting in the triage section of the doctors, having my blood pressure, weight and temp checked at 10:40am. I was then taken to one of the 11 available cubicles, with a bed and computer in it. I had taken my iPad and was reading for a while. A nurse came back and asked me to change into a gown – a technician would be in shortly to take me to have my chest x-rayed. By 11am I was waiting for the doctor to see me. A nurse popped her head round and apologized for the delay and assured me they had called another doctor to come in. The doctor comes in at 11:15am. He pulls up the x-rays on the computer. I have bronchitis and ‘walking’ pneumonia. I need three meds including antibiotics. They have a pharmacy on site, would I like to spend the $10 each prescription and he could get them now and bring them back to the cubicle. Sure I say. 11:30am, I was leaving the doctors with a diagnosis and the meds I needed to get well.

Home by lunch time.

Two hours – x- ray, diagnosis and medicine. Yes, you pay for your medical insurance. Yes I will get a bill for the chest x-ray, despite having a good medical insurance.

But the contrast is remarkable. My mom has had a doctor guess what has been going on for the past few weeks, without my mom getting better. Now, after two doctor visits, her GP is suggesting a chest x-ray and she is still not feeling well.

Remarkable. Truly remarkable.

Budget Time

My wife and I took somewhat of a risk to move State to become the Minister of a small church plant last year. We have never regretted the move. However, there are certain times when the facts of where the church is and how things are going are put down very starkly – and budget time is one of those times. This morning, over pineapple, coffee and almonds the finance committee sat down to go over the numbers in order to present to the budget to the vestry and then to the church.

The Lord has blessed us mightily and today was a blessing. Including children, over this past year, we have grown 51%. Our income is up 16%. And our expenses have not gone up too much. This meant that the meeting was not about what can we cut, but what do we want to do! And at the end of the meeting we had a budget which was not just acceptable but one which made us excited.

The Lord has been good to us this year and this morning was a great encouragement. Praise him.

National Convention Center

We took the 20 mins to drive across the river on Woodrow Wilson Bridge to visit the awesome National Convention Center… HUGE place… Sorry for the quality of the video.

 

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The myths of Bible Translation

I often find it amusing that people insist on having ‘literal’ or word for word translation, as if that is the best and only translation to have. That is of course false. A great blog post by Daniel Wallace gives the 15 myths of Bible translation. Here are the first two to wet your appetite:

1. Perhaps the number one myth about Bible translation is that a word-for-word translation is the best kind. Anyone who is conversant in more than one language recognizes that a word-for-word translation is simply not possible if one is going to communicate in an understandable way in the receptor language. Yet, ironically, even some biblical scholars who should know better continue to tout word-for-word translations as though they were the best. Perhaps the most word-for-word translation of the Bible in English is Wycliffe’s, done in the 1380s. Although translated from the Latin Vulgate, it was a slavishly literal translation to that text. And precisely because of this, it was hardly English.
2. Similar to the first point is that a literal translation is the best version. In fact, this is sometimes just a spin on the first notion. For example, the Greek New Testament has about 138,000–140,000 words, depending on which edition one is using. But no English translation has this few…

Read the whole article here.