Morning Mashup 09/30


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A Quick and Easy Guide to the Planned Parenthood Videos – Shameful silence from the mainstream media. Mollie Hemingway helps them do their jobs.

I Don’t Want Your Good Vibes. I Want Prayer. – Megan Hill: “There’s no substitute for our communion with the Father.”

Speak for the Unborn Leader Pleads for Life – Great look at the work of Andrew King and Speak for the Unborn.

Every Living Thing Matters – “The Every Living Thing Campaign invites Christians to celebrate the wonder and beauty of God’s creation and commit to compassionate living by signing the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals.”

Lies, Carly Fiorina and Abortion – Ross Douthat: “There has been an impressive amount of angry liberal commentary, which has spilled over into the mainstream press coverage (or do I repeat myself?) of the issue, about how in the last Republican presidential debate Carly Fiorina allegedly cited an entirely imaginary video in order to make a crazy claim about Planned Parenthood’s brain-harvesting ghoulishness that’s totally unsupported by the facts.”

Pope Francis Met Privately with Kim Davis – “The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C.”

Chipotle Church and the Problem of Choice – Brett McCracken: “Imagine if God were as fickle and restless as we are. But he isn’t. God’s covenant faithfulness to his people, even when the relationship is messy and embarrassing, should be instructive to us. A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage: it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and non-consumerist covenant.”

When You Get Home…? – Consider asking your spouse what they want in those first few minutes you get home from work.

4 Tips for Using a Study Bible Well – Helpful article from Justin Taylor. If you use a study Bible, be sure to check it out.

If a preacher isn’t first preaching to himself, better that he falls on the pulpit steps and breaks his neck than preach that sermon. –John Calvin

Morning Mashup 09/14


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Don’t Let the Media Control Your Experience of Election 2016 – Trevin Wax: “When Christians fall captive to clickbait and jump from candidate to candidate depending on the polls, we abandon our responsibility as thoughtful and convictional people.”

5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship – Tim Challies: “Dating has become the most difficult thing in the world, probably because they’ve got a million books and web pages telling them how. They can’t just do it—they’ve got to do it by the book. And along the way they are ruining their dating relationships.”

Greetings from Heaven – A very helpful infographic detailing the recent phenomena of near-death experiences.

5 Ways to Talk to Your Children about Death – As a children’s pastor, I’m always looking for helpful advice in speaking to children about difficult issues. This is great.

On the Viral Rise of Divorce Selfies – Tragic.

Planned Failure – Jim DeMint: “The fight to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood will be just that: a fight. And like all the struggles to return sanity and respect for human life and decency to our government, it will be a tough one.  But conservatives should fight to win, not plan to fail.”

Keeping the Spotlight on Planned Parenthood – Stephen Heaney: “Do not be distracted by misdirection. Do not let the horror of abortion be the main issue. Stick to the pertinent facts: Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of fetal parts. Planned Parenthood is routinely violating federal law. Planned Parenthood does not care about women.”

A Calvinist Evangelist? – Keith Mathison: “The fact of the matter is that Calvinism is not inconsistent with evangelism; it is only inconsistent with certain evangelistic methods.”

Djokovic Clinches 2nd US Open Title – This was a great match for a couple sets. Federer lost momentum. A thing you just can’t lose against Djokovic.

NFL Scores (Week 1) – Scores from Week 1 NFL action.

Before the throne absolved we stand / Your love has met your law’s demands –Edith Margaret Clarkson

Morning Mashup 08/28


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IMB to Make Cuts – The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is planning to cut as many as 800 positions “for the sake of short-term financial responsibility and long-term stability.”

Donald Trump Plans Meeting with “Evangelical Leaders” – I am seriously starting to wonder just how fluid the term “evangelical” actually is. One of the evangelical leaders to meet with Trump is Paula White. Paula White…an evangelical. My head is spinning.

Darryl Dawkins Dies at 58 – Sad to see the passing of this great basketball legend.

Ashley Madison and the Death of Monogamy – Albert Mohler: ““Life is short,” said Ashley Madison. “Have an affair.” The Sexual Revolution continues, aided and abetted by modern technology. And with that revolution comes hurt and pain beyond calculation, but our sex-obsessed culture proudly denies the obvious, and moves on.”

“My Pastor is on the Ashley Madison List” – For some churches across the world, this will be a true statement. Where are these pastors and churches to go from here? Ed Stetzer offers helpful advice.

A Coalition of Dust Bunnies – Once again, Douglas Wilson does the job of challenging my thinking. Like, this article really challenged my thinking.

Congregationalism Doesn’t Stop at 8 PM – Sam Emadi: “One of the great benefits of congregational polity is that it forces congregations to remember that taking responsibility for other Christians isn’t just something good for you like eating your vegetables—it’s what makes you a church. Congregationalism means the whole congregation oversees the whole life of the church, all the time.”

The Shrug that Scares Me to Death – I stand in full agreement with Trevin Wax’s horror at the apathy of so many with regard to the Planned Parenthood videos.

Organic Food, Essential Oils, and the Gospel of Grace – “If we find our conversations continually revolving around our current pet issue, it’s time to ask whether that issue has become too important in our lives. If we’re constantly passing others information about the way we eat, treat illness, or school our kids, a red flag should be raised in our minds about what we’re really putting our hope in.”

The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express that same delight in God which made David dance. –C.S. Lewis

Morning Mashup 08/26


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9 Things You Should Know About Margaret Sanger – Should you be outraged, appalled, and disgusted by the actions of Planned Parenthood? I’d be concerned about the stability of your sanity and moral conscious if you weren’t. But should you be surprised? A brief look at the ideologies of Margaret Sanger will leave you saying, “No wonder.”

Don Carson on The NIV Study Bible – The NIV Study Bible just released. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. This inside look shows why.

In You, the Orphan Finds Mercy – “If I am called to live a Christ-like life, then I must show mercy to the orphan. Beyond the orphan’s need to receive mercy, if I am to be faithful, I must show him mercy.”

Be Aware of Subtle Threats to Religious Liberty – A word for pastors to stay on their toes. “History has not given the church examples of exile from a nation founded on Christian ethics. Therefore, the days we are entering will truly be uncharted waters.”

Fasting for Beginners – I needed this word from David Mathis. Timely in my life, but will be helpful for you no matter where you are.

Trump-ward, Christian Soldiers? – I appreciate the Trump-blasting, but this NY Times opinion writer rakes all professing evangelicals in a pile to burn as lights on Trump’s campaign trail. One question for this writer: “Does the word nuance mean anything to you?” Apparently not.

3 Ways to Build a Legacy – Great piece from Darrin Patrick on building a legacy through children.

Don’t Read Sermons – Excellent critical piece on expositional commentaries and the reading of sermons for sermon prep.

I’ll close this edition of Morning Mashup by leaving you with the eighth video from The Center for Medical Progress on the abortion practices and trafficking of baby parts of Planned Parenthood. Continue to pray for this organization, and that we would soon see an end to not only the funding of such a monster, but also the death of legalized abortion.

We are against the perverse doctrine that a woman’s dignity depends upon her right to destroy her child. –Richard John Neuhaus

Morning Mashup 08/24


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9 Parenting Truths from John Piper – Tim Challies outlines nine parenting principles John Piper gave in a recent Ask Pastor John podcast.

John Piper’s Prayer at Planned Parenthood – Don’t miss Piper’s moving prayer in the protest of Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, Minnesota. When you’ve listened to the prayer, check out his reflections on the protest.

Do All Infants Go to Heaven? – Sam Storms with some biblical and theological options in favor of an affirmative answer to this emotionally powerful question.

The “Evangelicals” Who Support Donald Trump – Penetrating piece from Thomas Kidd that makes me say, “THANK YOU!”

Saying Goodbye to My Child, the Youngster – “Parenthood offers many lessons in patience and sacrifice. But ultimately, it is a lesson in humility.”

7 Ways the Internet Can Make Preaching More Difficult – Clear observations that are important to realize, but if you preached yesterday you may want to avoid this proposed problem which is totally absent of a solution. I enjoy posts from Chuck Lawless and Thom Rainer because they are great discussion starters, but I wish they offered a bit more wisdom for how to approach the issues they highlight.

If the fountain of living water does not flow from the mountain of God’s grace on Sunday, will not people hew cisterns on Monday, broken cisterns that can hold no water? –John Piper

Morning Mashup 08/19


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Our Theology is Meant to Flatten Us – A message we all need to hear from John Piper.

Walking Along the Beach with the Lord – This is hilariously awesome!

Divorce and Spousal Abuse – I usually roll my eyes at statistics mostly because they are often used to skew reality. And while I think the implied and explicit conclusions drawn here are for the most part weak sauce, it is helpful to see what pastors and churches across America are thinking when it comes to divorce.

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains – I read a section of John Frame’s The Doctrine of God aloud while holding our four month old, Jude, yesterday. Does that qualify as a bedtime story? Maybe not. Still, parents, get to reading!

45 Ways to Avoid Using the Word “Very” – Gah! I needed to read this article very, very, very badly!

Planned Parenthood and the Eugenics Movement – Lengthy, but excellent article if you have the time. “There is a haunting familiarity to the arguments defending Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies for medical research: an echo of another era of medical innovation amid moral ambiguity. Then, as now, the response of cultural leaders — especially religious leaders — is a story about the corruption, and potential renewal, of Western civilization.”

Teens Think Calling People on the Phone is Awkward – What do teens know anyway though, right? Or, do they have a point? “Researchers found that kids these days primarily think of their phone numbers as being for texting. When it comes to actually vocalizing sentences, however, teens may as well be saying, ‘LOL, bye.'”

No “Deflate Gate” Settlement – Despite a judge’s attempt to get both parties to settle, Tom Brady will go to battle with the NFL in court. I’m curious to see how this turns out.

25 Weird Things Said to Pastors – Yeah, weird doesn’t quite capture the nature of these statements.

For thou hast never said, “Seek ye me in vain.” –Valley of Vision

Abortion Kills Babies: Why It Matters That We Know What We Are Doing


Guest Post by Logan Hurley


Mutter und KindOver the past weeks, a number of videos were released showing Planned Parenthood executives not only admitting that the parts of aborted fetuses could be sold, but offering negotiation on the price for these parts and suggesting that abortions could be performed later or differently to provide adequately developed and unharmed parts. The videos caused a lot of outrage among Christians and have even proved hard for pro-choice advocates.

Why?

Early in 2013, John Piper gave insight into why that would be the case: we collectively know as a culture that what is being killed in an abortion is a human child. I encourage every believer to read Piper’s article and his 1989 article on Biblical justification for protecting unborn life. In light of the presence of solid biblical warrant for protecting our children it can only strike me as odd that some people will concede that, indeed, a fetus may be a human child, but that ultimately this life shouldn’t be protected.

In order to understand why this clarification must be central to the Christian response to abortion, let’s see three reasons why understanding the nature of what is killed in abortion should shape our response to abortion as an action and as an institution.

1. It Shows Abortion as Truly Sinful

I sincerely believe that we wouldn’t be appalled by the notion of Planned Parenthood’s organ mongering if we didn’t on some primordial level know that what was being killed was in fact a child. Every person I know applauds the research and development going into 3-D printing human tissues and organs from a patient’s own genetic material. The narrative of medical treatment gets turned on its head once stealing the body of babies comes into play, though. Romans 2:15-16 shows why this knowledge seems to be universally troubling: on some level, every person knows that killing a human made in the image of God for selfish gain is wrong.

This issue becomes obfuscated when we don’t talk about aborted children as just that: children. This is why a lot of pro-choice advocates usually toe the line at asserting that what is being aborted isn’t human. When we know that it is, though, the people of God have to respond accordingly, with an instinct to protect what God has deemed most precious, the life of those bearing his very image.

Pro-life stances don’t and shouldn’t focus only on the child, though. There are two humans, equally created by God in his image, in this equation. In fighting over the fate of children who would be aborted, its easy for us to take no pity on the mothers who choose to seek abortions, but the human dignity we afford to children must also be afforded to mothers who are suffering. We as Christians must seek to prevent and end suffering where we find it, just as our Savior did for us.

We must be concerned for all kinds of suffering, especially eternal suffering. If abortion is a sin because what is being killed is human, we owe mothers a voice of warning, pleading and begging them to not enter into this especially gross condemnation, and simultaneously offering hope and love with the people of God and God himself. Knowing that our inaction may allow a mother to become guilty of a heinous sin should move us to radical compassion and care.

2. It Shifts the Debate to Moral Grounds

In a nation of laws, the issue of abortion will in some way be decided in the legislative chamber as much as it is in our pulpits and on the streets. This can cause a muddling of discussions about abortion causing some to claim that only those directly affected (pregnant women) should have the ability to decide whether they ought to or ought not have an abortion.

If it is in fact a reality, though, that abortion is the killing of the child, the cultural discussion on abortion is not a matter of personal preference, but of moral stance. To illustrate what this means, take another example that I, as a white, middle class, non-police officer am relatively unaffected by: the very high incidence of police shootings of unarmed, poor, black men. The fact that I am neither of the persons in the previous sentence invalidates my reasonable right, even duty, to be concerned about it. If I love lower class black men because of the image of God which they bear, I absolutely must advocate for reforms to society to help protect them from undue violence. Applied to abortion: if I genuinely love those made in the image of God, I am bound by duty to advocate for their protection at any age, even before birth. There is no other sphere of moral reasoning where those who are not directly affected by injustice are uninvited from seeking justice for victims.

The policy line of thinking also causes people who are against having abortions themselves to punt the issue, saying that they would not want to impose their personal belief upon mothers in this difficult situation. This stands well enough so long as no question of morality is at stake. I really dislike the taste of beans, but this is a matter of taste and forbidding beans or other unpopular tastes makes poor legislation. When a human life hangs in the balance, though, the equation shifts. Violating a contract to steal a widow’s life savings is morally repulsive and there is good reason for it to be illegal. Putting another driver’s life at risk by speeding to get to a party on time is reckless and evil. It is also illegal, as it should be. Murder, theft, sexual assault, and child abuse are all illegal because of their repulsive moral quality, a quality they share because of the harm they involve to others. Once we see that abortion is about human life and protecting victims, and thus a question of morality rather than taste, we lose the convenience of punting. We have to answer hard questions about restraining others in law, and Christians have to answer that question by trying to protect the vulnerable.

3. It Forces Us to Consider Rights

Central to the pro-choice movement is the extension of the rights of bodily autonomy. A key argument of abortion-rights activists to try to negate the importance of knowing that the victim of an abortion is in fact a child rests on bodily autonomy. It goes like this: There is no situation in which you could be compelled to save another’s life by having to give them a kidney or blood infusion or other transplant of your body. Your right to the use of your body is grounded upon the right of bodily autonomy. Thus, they conclude, a pregnant woman’s right to end her pregnancy is inseparable from her dignity as a human in her bodily autonomy.

The answer to that argument must be founded in a consideration of the rights inherent to a human being made in the image of God and the ordering of those rights.

A pregnant woman has no less bodily autonomy than any other person, but another human life has become actively integrated into her life. If I by any action of my own ended another human life, I would be a murderer and in some cases I would be subject to a death penalty, my own life being forfeit for the sake of the life I took. Why do we take murder so seriously? Because it is the permanent deprivation of the highest right which God gives to man (Gen. 9:6).

If abortion deprives a human of its right to live, it must be stopped to protect that victim. It must be stopped at the expense of depriving lesser rights. When we understand that what is being killed in an abortion is a baby, we understand that abortion must be stopped.


Logan Hurley is a member of Broadway Baptist Church in Lexington, KY and senior at the University of Kentucky where he studies Communication, Arab & Islamic Studies, and Philosophy.  He desires to attend seminary in Fall 2016. You can follow him on Twitter @loganmhurley. 

Morning Mashup 08/10


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What Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Really Do – Contra Planned Parenthood, this article shows how the defunding of this abortion giant in women’s “health care” is really a sign of progress for women.

Planned Parenthood if Hopeless, But We Are Not – Owen Strachan writes, “But abortion is hopelessness made tangible. It is a sickness, a cancer that grows in our stomach, undiagnosed and untouched. It has dulled our emotions. It has seared our conscience. We have lost sight of redemption. Someone falls, and we instinctively think, There’s no use picking them up. They’re gone.”

Calvinism and the Problem of Evil – Helpful post from Derek Rishmawy.

Nothing We Cannot Do – Tim Chester: “There is nothing that God expects you to do that you cannot do. The sin that defeats you need not defeat you. The fears that consume you need not consume you. The people who terrify you need not terrify you.”

Don’t Know What a Fetus Is? – Justin Taylor quotes and summarizes philosopher Peter Kreeft’s discussion of the logical possibilities of what a fetus is.

Where Do We Go From Here? – Jarvis Williams is a rising voice on race and the gospel. When he writes on race, you would do well to read every word.

I believe many pro-abortion people know the science has turned against them & their days are numbered. Keep fighting. –Eric Metaxas

Morning Mashup 08/07


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Lots and lots and lots of articles. Including two videos. An extended mashup of articles and videos for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


 

What’s It Like to Abort Your Own Child? – I almost teared up just reading the title. The story will beckon your tears fall. I’m thankful for Bethany Jenkins for telling it.

3 Reasons the Campaign on Planned Parenthood is Winnable – Doug Wilson with reasonable encouragement for the pro-life movement. “Think of it this way — Planned Parenthood is serving as the designated victim. This is not scapegoating, or unjust in any way, because in this case the scapegoat really is guilty.”

Trump Gets Spotlight, But it Might Burn – We can only hope that the more Trump speaks, the more voters will see how outlandishly insane he is. If Trump cared at all about the GOP winning the White House, he would drop out or back off. He doesn’t. He won’t.

News for Democrats…It’s a Baby! – Kristen Powers at USA Today shows how Democrats are on “the wrong side of history” when it comes to Planned Parenthood and abortion.

There is No Pro-Life Case for Planned Parenthood – Ross Douthat does it again. Don’t miss this important piece: “Tell the allegedly “pro-life” institution you support to set down the forceps, put away the vacuum, and then we’ll talk about what kind of family planning programs deserve funding. But don’t bring your worldview’s bloody hands to me and demand my dollars to pay for soap enough to maybe wash a few flecks off.”

Shocking Videos and the Art of Looking Away – Important consideration for those of us denouncing videos of Planned Parenthood, yet ignoring videos of police brutality.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions – Whoa. Interesting and important perspective. We in the West can be so blindly arrogant. “Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from ‘The Lion King’?”

Ray Rice on NFL Return – Ray Rice expresses desire to return to the NFL, and hopes a team will give him a chance to “hang them up the right way.”

The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever – I was directed to this article by Albert Mohler in yesterday’s edition of The Briefing. It was written in 2013, but is very important in light of the Planned Parenthood defense of their actions.

Obama on Killing Humans and Harvesting Organs – He called it an “atrocity” while in Africa discussing the tribal killings of a particular sect of people and the harvesting of their organs for ritualistic purposes. Obama was disgusted by this practice, all the while ignoring an eerily similar situation in his own country. My heart weeps for his blindness. Lewis’ idea of “chronological snobbery” comes to mind with Obama’s simultaneous rejection of tribal killings and support of scientific killings.

If Planned Parenthood Goes, Where Do Women Go? – Answer: many places.

How Not to Pray Against Cultural Decline – Christian historian Thomas Kidd offers advice grounded in colonial America on how to engage the culture with prayer.

Should the Church Divorce from the State in Marriage? – Rick Phillips gives six reasons why the church shouldn’t jump ship just yet.

The Sound of Silence – Kevin DeYoung gives ten compelling reasons why congregational singing may be absent in your church, I love reading DeYoung because he just makes sense.

The Gospel and Porn – Good stuff from Fred Zaspel: “Godliness is not attained by zaps. There is no switch to pull that brings us immediately to perfection — well, not on this side of the grave, that is.”

7 Pieces of Advice for Young Pastors – I don’t love everything Ron Edmonson says or writes, but this is pretty good.

Check out this video that does an adequate job dispelling Planned Parenthood’s 3% abortion myth.

And just in case you missed it, here is the 5th undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood. Please, watch the video. I am afraid many people are coming to solid conclusions about the videos without actually watching them. Watch and share.

We need some standard or rule from outside of us to help us sort out the warring impulses of our interior life. –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 08/05


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Chip Kelly’s Image Problem – More than one traded player has accused Chip Kelly of having issues with black players or at least players from a particular culture. USA Today’s Jarrett Bell breaks it down for us.

Pro-Life Dems See Path to Defund Planned Parenthood – Monday’s vote showed us that the defunding of Planned Parenthood will definitely take bipartisan support. Some pro-life democrats see a way for this to happen.

Senators Who Voted to Continue Funding Planned Parenthood – Just so you know, and can maybe make some calls. For the record, McConnell’s no vote was procedural.

Psalm 94 and Planned Parenthood – Excellent. Honest. Pastoral. Helpful words from J.A. Medders.

Satan and Sodomy – John Piper with some very strong, poignant, and convicting words.

John Newton Birthday Bash Book Giveaway – Tony Reinke and Crossway have a generous book giveaway. Reinke has the details at his blog, but the prize is the entire set of the Theologians on the Christian Life series up to date. I’ve entered, so I hope you don’t win.

Kentucky Officer Sued for Handcuffing Child – Wrongly restraining any child can and has led to death. This was unwise, to say the least.

We need some standard or rule from outside of us to help us sort out the warring impulses of our interior life.  –Tim Keller