Links to Help Your Gospel Grip (3.23.2013)

Church

An Open Letter to the Church from a Lesbian (Anonymous)

To those of you who would change the church to accept the gay community and its lifestyle: you give us no hope at all. To those of us who know God’s word and will not dilute it to fit our desires, we ask you to read John’s letter to the church in Pergamum. “I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore!” You are willing to compromise the word of God to be politically correct. We are not deceived. If we accept your willingness to compromise, then we must also compromise. We must therefore accept your lying, your adultery, your lust, your idolatry, your addictions, YOUR sins. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Eric Metaxas’ CPAC 2013 Speech on Religious Freedom (C-Span Video Archive)

“There in a few words you have the idea of Freedom of Worship.  Freedom of Worship says you can have your little strange rituals and say whatever you like in your little religious buildings for an hour or two on Sundays, but once you leave that building you will bow to the secular orthodoxy of the state! We will tell you what to think on the big and important questions. Questions like when life begins and who gets to decide when to end it and what marriage is…  And if you don’t like it, tough luck! That’s Freedom of Worship and that have that in China and they had it in Germany in Bonhoeffer’s day…” (Transcript)

Top Ten Bible Translations (via Thom Rainer)

The Christian Booksellers Association has published its list of bestselling Bible translations in 2012 for the United States. (GG:  The version I use is #5.  Where’s yours?)

Is It Time for More Positive Biblical Counseling? (David Murray)

Isn’t it beyond time for biblical counseling to become a more positive movement? Yes, of course we must continue to get involved in the mess and rubble of people’s lives. But what about forging an additional positive path? Building another brighter dimension to the movement? Adding the banjo to the violin? Getting on to the front foot and leading people proactively rather than waiting for disasters and then reacting?

Joe Thorn’s Series on Tattoos (Part I, Part II, Part III–continuing)

GG:  Joe Thorn is an SBC pastor of a church plant (a vibrant, theologically robust church plant) near Chicago.  He has spilled some good ink in a recent book Note to Self, and a new book forthcoming.  But some ink has been spilled on his personal self as well–he has a number of tattoos.  Thorn interacts with the arguments against tattoos and the Scriptures that speak of the issue.  With the proliferation both in the Christian and the sports realm (among other places), it’s a conversation we need to have.

Culture

Google Glass:  Orwellian Surveillance with Fluffier Branding (The UK Telegraph):

Everything you see, Google sees. You don’t own the data, you don’t control the data and you definitely don’t know what happens to the data. Put another way – what would you say if instead of it being Google Glass, it was Government Glass? A revolutionary way of improving public services, some may say. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’d have much success. (HT: Challies)

Young Opponents of Gay Marriage Remain Undaunted (WSJ)

They hear that their cause is lost, that demographics and the march of history have doomed their campaign to keep marriage only between a man and a woman. But the young conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage — unlike most of their generation — remain undaunted.  They identify themselves as part of the “pro-marriage movement” and see themselves at the beginning of a long political struggle, much like the battle over abortion. If they can begin shifting the terms of the debate away from gay rights and toward the meaning of marriage, they say, they have a chance to survive short-term defeats.

The New Unmarried Moms (WSJ):

Indeed, 20-somethings are driving America’s all-time high level of nonmarital childbearing, which is now at 41% of all births, according to vital-statistics data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty percent of those births are to women in their 20s, while teens account for only one-fifth of nonmarital births. Between 1990 and 2008, the teen pregnancy rate has dropped by 42%, while the rate of nonmarital childbearing among 20-something women has risen by 27%.

The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of Unwed Mothers: An Economic Mystery (The Atlantic)

That women find themselves drifting “unintentionally” into parenthood with men they have no intent of marrying creates another generation of problems. Children raised in two-parent households are more likely to go to college, more likely to be employed, and more likely to earn a high wage. The rise of unwed mothers might be logical for many of these women. But there is too much evidence that it deepens the divide between the haves and have-nots in America.

What ‘Lean In’ Misunderstands about Gender Differences (The Atlantic)

Sandberg’s goal is to liberate her fellow Americans from the stereotypes of gender. But is that truly liberating? In a 2008 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a group of international researchers compared data on gender and personality across 55 nations. Throughout the world, women tend to be more nurturing, risk averse and emotionally expressive, while men are usually more competitive, risk taking, and emotionally flat. But the most fascinating finding is this: Personality differences between men and women are the largest and most robust in the more prosperous, egalitarian, and educated societies.

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