Friday, December 31, 2010

The Jesus that John Knew Pt 51

 'And he came back seeing!' We come now the account of the actual healing of the man born blind. It is one of the New Testament's loveliest pieces of street theatre. Watch carefully when as Jesus draws in allusions from creation to show himself as the Light of the World.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 10 News Stories of 2010

The events, people, and debates of the past year that have shaped, or will significantly shape, evangelical life, thought, or mission.
  1. Aid groups rush to help an already-hurting Haiti after its 7.0-magnitude earthquake, raising $750 million in a mere five weeks. But scandal over Baptist missionaries' efforts to move 33 children to the Dominican Republic becomes a major plot line and raises questions about "amateur" aid.
  2. Thousands of global evangelical leaders gather in Cape Town to discuss missions, highlight evangelicalism's global diversity, pray for religious liberty, and build relationships that will likely bear unexpected fruit in the decades to come.
  3. In a closely watched case, World Vision wins its employment case at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 2–1 that the organization can fire employees who aren't orthodox Christians. A loss would have caused turmoil for faith-based organizations' hiring rules.
  4. Midterm elections halve the number of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives. Activist groups say the vote is a backlash against March's health-care reform bill, which also prompted new state abortion funding restrictions and the rise of the tea party (whose social concerns are still unclear).
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Hastings College of the Law chapter of the Christian Legal Society, saying the school's policy that student groups must open all positions to all students—even those who oppose the group's core values—"is a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition."
  6. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill shifts the creation care debate. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary dean Russell Moore calls it a "defining moment" comparable to Roe v. Wade, and oversees sbc resolution calling for "full corporate accountability."
  7. American evangelicals find themselves at odds with African Christians over Uganda's proposed anti-gay bill, which would punish homosexual acts with life imprisonment or even the death penalty.
  8. Prominent Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke resigns from Reformed Theological Seminary under pressure amid debate on the historicity of Adam. "If the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution," he said in a video for BioLogos, "to deny that reality will make us a cult."
  9. Christian musician Jennifer Knapp announces she is in a same-sex relationship, spotlighting questions of pastoral response to gay Christians.
  10. Terry Jones, the pastor of a small church in Gainesville, Florida, sparks worldwide condemnation when he threatens to burn a Qur'an. He later promises never to burn one.
Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Glory to God in the highest,
and peace on earth to all men

God’s glory is in the highest heavens,
but his high state is now found in the stable,
what was lowly has now become sublime.
God’s glory is on the earth,
it is the glory of humility and love.
And even more: the glory of God is peace.
Wherever he is, there is peace.
He is present wherever human beings do not attempt,
apart from him, and even violently,
to turn earth into heaven.
He is with those of watchful hearts;
with the humble and those who meet him at the level of his own "height",
the height of humility and love.
To these people he gives his peace,
so that through them, peace can enter this world.

Benedict XVI

The Church Snuggie

Friday, December 24, 2010

Back from the Dead, Reborn Into the Light

They called a time of death on Jeff. Then, his doctor heard the Lord say, 'Pray for him.'

Didn't These People Ever Go to Sunday School?

By Gary DeMar

With Christmas not too far away, we will hear the inevitable revisionist version of the Nativity story: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph exemplify the poverty stricken homeless family that needs the government to help them. Jesse Jackson was the first to turn Joseph and Mary into a "homeless couple" when he claimed that Christmas "is not about Santa Claus and `Jingle Bells' and fruit cake and eggnog" (true) but about "a homeless couple" (false).1 He continued the fabrication in 1999 by repeating the biblical sleight of hand.2 Barbara Reynolds, a former columnist for USA Today, following Jackson's early lead, scolded the Christian Right for opposing government welfare programs: "They should recall," she wrote, "that Jesus Christ was born homeless to a teen who was pregnant before she was married."3 Hillary Clinton, in comments critical of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's homeless policies, sought to remind all of us that "Christmas celebrates ‘the birth of a homeless child.’"4 What does the Bible actually say?
  • Mary did not engage in premarital sex. Her circumstances, to say the least, were unique (Luke 1:26–28). We don't know if Mary was in her teens.
  • Mary went to live with her cousin Elizabeth upon hearing about her pregnancy and "stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home" (Luke 1:56). Presumambly her parents owned a home and did not throw her out when they learned of her pregnancy.
  • Mary and Joseph were actually married at the time she learned she was pregnant even though a formal ceremony had not taken place. Joseph is called "her husband" (Matt. 1:19).
  • Joseph was a self-employed carpenter (Matt. 13:55).
  • An edict from the centralized Roman government forced Joseph and Mary to spend valuable resources to return to their places of birth to register for a tax (Luke 2:1-7). This meant lost wages and unplanned expenses because of a mandate by the State.
  • Typical of governments that make laws without considering the consequences, there was not enough housing for the great influx of traveling citizens and subjects who complied with the governmental decree (Luke 2:1).
  • Mary and Joseph had enough money to pay for lodging, but "there was no room in the inn" (Luke 2:7).
  • Joseph and Mary owned or rented a home. It was in their home that the wise men offered their gifts: "And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh" (Matt. 2:11).
Isn't it curious how politicians and social critics are quick to quote and misquote the Bible when they believe it supports their quirky political views but are shocked when conservatives appeal to the Bible in support of their causes. If a conservative were to quote the Bible pointing out the evils of abortion and homosexuality, we would hear the cry of "separation of church and state" on talk shows from coast to coast.
1. As reported in The Atlanta Journal/Constitution (December 28, 1991), A9.
2. Jesse Jackson, "The Homeless Couple," Los Angeles Times (December 22, 1999).
3. Barbara Reynolds, "These political Christians neither religious nor right," USA Today (Nov. 18, 1994), 13A.
4. Cited in "Washington" under Politics in USA Today (December 1, 1999), 15A.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Leaders reject covenant to hold Anglicans together

In Good Faith: In Good Faith: Christianity, Judaism, Islam and World Religions

DECEMBER 2, 2010

The Associated Press reports:
Conservative Anglican leaders have rejected a proposed covenant to hold their global communion together just as the Church of England gave preliminary approval to the plan.
The covenant, backed by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, aims to contain deep splits in the Anglican Communion over sexuality, the role of women and the authority of the Bible.
The communion is a fellowship of churches with ties to the Church of England in more than 160 countries.
Last week, the Church of England's governing General Synod voted to approve draft legislation that could lead to a final vote on the covenant in 2012. The covenant will now be referred to dioceses for consideration.
But in a statement, traditionalist leaders representing the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the GAFCON movement, dismissed the covenant as "fatally flawed." The plan also has been attacked by liberals within the church.
The conservative statement was endorsed by archbishops from West Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Australia and Anglican Church of North America, a breakaway group from the Episcopal Church.
Long-developing divisions among Anglicans broke wide open in 2003, when the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire elected an openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop.
The draft covenant would commit national churches "to act with diligence, care and caution in respect of any action which may provoke controversy."
Disagreements would be referred to a panel of Anglican leaders, which could declare a proposed action to be incompatible with the covenant. National churches would be free to withdraw from the covenant at any time.