Political Correctness Gone Crazy!

A children’s story based on the tale of the Three Little Pigs, entitled The Three Little Cowboy Builders, was rejected for an award after judges worried it would offend Muslims. It was also criticized for its potential to offend builders. The judges’ remarks included this question: Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?

Click here to read the full story from The Times of London


The issue of Calvinism within the SBC continues to frustrate me. Not because of the issue itself, but because of the number of Southern Baptist leaders simply lying about the facts. I want to believe it is out of ignorance but surely they know better.

I'm hoping and praying they will begin showing some integrity on the issue. Although, no doubt there are those on both sides of this issue that need to present a little more grace and integrity.

We get that you don't agree but at least let your reasons be based on facts. Calvinists are NOT anti-missionary or evangelism (what about William Carey, Adonirum Judson, or Spurgeon?) and are NOT necessarily anti-invitation, although reducing regeneration to simply raising your hand or walking the aisle is problematic for a number of reasons.

The most misunderstood aspect, and usually the most misrepresented, is the fact that there will not be anyone in hell who truly desired Christ, and there won't be anyone in heaven who didn't want to be there.

The thing I find most troubling is something I've witnessed personally. I've experienced a person's very Christianity being questioned because of their position on this issue. Unless someone is blatantly refusing to accept the essentials, then I fear for anyone with such an unloving attitude toward a brother or sister. Timmy Brister over at Provocations & Pantings puts it best:

"Young Calvinists in the SBC are not expecting you to agree with Calvinism or be a “five-point Calvinist.” We are not even asking you to go back and appreciate your Baptist history and what God did through the founders of the SBC. But what we (if I can speak for the younger generation) are asking is to cease misrepresenting the truth and attempting to rewrite history.... the trouble that young Southern Baptists have is not that you have a trouble with TULIP but that you have trouble with those who believe the TULIP." (referring to current SBC President Frank Page's inaccurate book Trouble with the TULIP).

Grace and peace to you all!


Piper's Response to "The Common Word"

Watch John Piper respond to "The Common Word Between Us and You", written by an Islamic Amman, and the response to it from 300 Christian scholars. These call for Muslims and Christians to come together to acknowledge their supposed similarities. Unfortunately, as you'll see when you see the names on the response, many respected Christian leaders have given their support.

HT: Justin Taylor



Over at Parchment & Pen Michael Patton has posted a couple very personal posts within recent days about the suicide of his sister Angie and the toll it has taken on members of his family. I would recommend reading them as well as previous ones that provide more of the history.

Why do I recommend them? It is something I don't talk about much but my mother committed suicide when I was 10 years old (1980). I didn't know this until years later but my mother had been diagnosed with brain cancer. She went to the doctor alone and nobody knew about the diagnosis until after her death. Her rationale was that she didn't want to be a burden to her family.

I don't resent God and really have never found myself asking him why. Of course I have tried to understand why she did it (other than the reason she gave) and have wished on occasion that she was around to witness the big events of my life. However, I have never once felt bitterness toward God or hatred toward my mother, even during times when others around me may not have felt the same way. I give God glory for that and do not pat myself on the back.

Another reason I recommend these posts is because of the personal nature based on first hand experience. He is a good writer and you can feel & see the results of such a tragedy in Michael's writing. Patton has laid bare in detail how his sister's decision has impacted each member of his family in the years following her death.

My concern is that the church often ignores the reality of mental illness and the person falls through the cracks. It is obvious, Angie's case is a good example, that there are times when even our best efforts cannot prevent someone from taking their life. But, I pray that church leaders and laypeople alike will educate themselves on this issue and realize that mental illness isn't the plague or leprosy.

Finally, maybe you or someone you know is considering taking your life. I would urge you to seek help because there are many people who care even if it doesn't seem like it. Here are some helpful resources:

  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255) - 24 hour help line for immediate assistance.

  • CLICK HERE to find a trained biblical counselor near you.
Grace & peace to you!


The SBC & Calvinism, Part II

Several folks have written good posts in recent days concerning the SBC and Calvinism. On the heels of my previous post I thought it would be good to share those links with you:

Provocations & Pantings (Timmy Brister) - "Evangelism, Calvinism, and the SBC"

Founders Ministries Blog (Tom Ascol) - "Southern Baptist Evangelists Lament the Recovery of Calvinism"

Baptist Press - "Evangelists Lament Calvinism, SBC Trends" (the story prompting the posts by Brister & Ascol)


Dr. Mohler, the SBC, and Calvinism

It is now old news that Dr. Al Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will be nominated for president of the SBC at the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, IN. He is the third announced candidate behind Wiley Drake and Bill Wagner.

I predicted when the news first broke that Dr. Mohler's position on Calvinism will become an important issue leading up to to the Convention. It seems as if my predictions are becoming reality already. The current edition of The Western Recorder, the state baptist paper for Kentucky, discusses Mohler's position on this issue at length in its story announcing his candidacy.

I guess it is no surprise really. The rising controversy within the SBC on this issue makes it an important part of the story, at least among many in the SBC. Unfortunately, I fear that the closer we get to the Convention the more we will see Calvinism misrepresented in an attempt to try and sway the vote away from Mohler; I hope I'm wrong.

I'm not stumping for his presidency necessarily. I am, however, stumping for integrity within the convention when it comes to the facts of this doctrine. Regardless of which theological cloth you are cut from we must resist the temptation to misrepresent each other.


No top ten list for me...just thankful

It seems that the proper thing for bloggers to do during these early days of 2008 is to create a 'top 10' list of some kind. For seminary students or professors it seems to be mostly their favorite books.

I just want to thank God for a wonderful year in 2007. He was there with me and Michelle through some trying times as well as times of great ease & comfort. We praise Him for abundant grace in all of our experiences.

Personally, the most trying experience for me during 2007 was the complications my dad experienced following knee replacement surgery. I don't know if it was the fact that he could have easily died, or if I just can't accept the fact that he is no longer the strong, healthy man I remember from my childhood... probably both.

It forced me face the reality that we are all dying slowly each day and that every breath we take is a gracious gift from God. I am thankful things turned out the way they did, but I know my dad would've been at the feet of his Savior if things would have turned out differently. This has made me more thankful for him in general.

At 75 years of age the prospect of death for him is getting closer than I want to think about. There are more years behind us than there will be to come. But, those years are full of wonderfully happy memories.

He will leave a wonderful spiritual legacy and he taught me more than I could ever list here. In particular, he taught me by word and deed to show respect, work hard, and do the right thing even when it isn't easy or popular. Most importantly, he taught me about Jesus. Thanks dad!

As 2008 picks up steam and we get back into the hustle and bustle of our daily routines I pray that we all will seek to honor Christ in everything. Trust in His grace and don't take anything for granted.

Blessings on you!