There was a short list of decisions to look for the US Supreme Court to make before the end of June. Earlier this week they decided the New York law making concealed carry permits virtually impossible to obtain was unconstitutional. This does not mean that all New Yorkers and their guests can now carry firearms. It does mean they will have to draft legislation and put a policy in place that allows the license process to be fair moving forward. Forbidding anyone to carry is a violation of 2nd amendment rights but it doesn’t throw the door open to everyone being armed in public. The decision came down just yesterday that overturns Roe v. Wade. Both sides need to consider what that decision really means. The Supreme Court has not outlawed abortion, nor can they do so. Their decision is based on an interpretation of the Constitution that does not believe abortion is a protected right for all Americans. It removes the federal government from the issue and makes abortion a state’s rights issue. About half the nation (in terms of the number of states) have laws in place that will almost immediately restrict or eliminate abortion. Those 24 states are where you would expect them to be, in the central and southern parts of the country. States like California and New York will continue to have the most liberal abortion laws in the nation, just as they have for the past 50 years. While I agree that both of these decisions are the right ones, I’ve already heard voices from both sides that exaggerate the implications. The timing is unfortunate on these issues as well, considering how divided our nation is politically at this time. When I wrote Where’s the Middle back in 2008, I was so hopeful things might get better than I couldn’t imagine how much worse they would get instead. Again, to be clear, these are decisions that I believe are right but honestly never expected the Court to make. And if you are celebrating victory please realize that it’s about to get ugly. Hunker down, because far from over the real fight is just about to start.Continue reading
This episode begins with a reflection on the invitation as part of evangelism. Discussion is on the ways Michael has changed over the course of his Christian journey.
Father’s Day is tomorrow. Perhaps this is a PSA for some but it’s not too late. Look at the picture. I’ve often said that Mother’s Day means taking Mom out to some place nice then on Father’s Day everyone expects him to grill out. Instead of being served a nice meal, he has to cook for everybody. I say that and most people smile and mention how right that is. Truth be told, it’s a very dad thing to do. Stereotypes exist because they are based on some element of truth to them in most instances. I do go to sleep on the couch watching TV and then claim “I was watching that” when someone changes the channel. I could wear a different tie every day for a month (even though I seldom wear one at all anymore). And talking me into cooking out on the grill is not very hard to do at all. The grill I have now was a Father’s Day gift four years ago. I can take a hint.Continue reading
Speaking on blogging at Asbury; housebreaking Maisie; defining post-evangelical for his friend Clark Bunch; listening to old fashion evangelical preaching while reading NT Wright’s Surprised by Hope.
There are 151 stops on the World Champions Trophy Tour in recognition of 151 years of Braves baseball. It was only 81 degrees in Calhoun last night, the sky was overcast with a light breeze. On Thursday 600 people turned out to see the trophy in Cartersville where they had to wait in line in the hot sun. The tour continues through the summer with stops not only in Georgia but also Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina. Here’s a link. Speaking of the Braves winning things… they are currently on a nine game winning streak with a 32 – 27 record. They continue their series with the Pirates today at 4:10.Continue reading
Looking into a new dog; spoiler alert, it will be Maisie. Baseball season; Michael would be devastated by the 2022 Cincinnati Reds. You can read The Happy Enough Protestant but ignore the introductory paragraph about responding, particularly via email. Discussion of race, Jeremiah Wright and the single pastor model of leadership.
At the end of Jesus’s earthly ministry, he issued what we most often call the Great Commission for his followers to go into all the world and share the Gospel. Acts 1:8 is often cited as the biblical basis for sending missionaries but it echoes the Great Commission command to go to the whole earth and bear witness. It is a basic tenant of the Christian faith that believers are to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
In The Great Digital Commission: Embracing Social Media for Church Growth and Transformation, Caleb J. Lines begins by addressing the continued need for evangelism in the world today. Many congregations are in decline, particularly in mainline Protestant denominations, because too many churches have become social clubs or platforms for political agendas. Our main concern as Christian communities needs to be what it always has been, sharing the good news that Jesus welcomes all and is the only path to salvation. Evangelism needs to make a comeback in both personal, face to face contact in the real world and online using every social media platform. Lines points out that 84% of American churches have a website and/or a Facebook page so most recognize the need to reach a digital audience. Some of those websites are dated and many Facebook pages are used sporadically or often not at all. Fewer congregations can be found using Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.Continue reading
James Earl Jones is fine. He’s not dead, he’s not even sick, the article is about his role in the Disney+ series Obi Wan Kenobi. For everyone that saw the most recent episode on Wednesday, this information was hardly news on Thursday. He has been the voice of Darth Vader since 1977, most recently on the big screen in Rogue One and in the animated Rebels series. But when the link above appeared in people’s Facebook news feed, people stopped scrolling because they thought it was going to say Jones had died. The vast majority of the comments were from people complaining about a few seconds of panic before reading the headline.Continue reading
Robert Alter’s translation of Psalms; sermon by Fleming Rutledge; getting people in the door but shrinking the Gospel; Michael reflects on pastoring in this post and expounds on the value of mentorship in this episode.
This article is not new and I’m not exactly sure why I came across it this week. It’s a reminder that the world’s idea of success and failure, winning and losing, are often not the same as God’s. Jesus provided us with many examples of how things should look when done correctly. Read more here.Continue reading