Monday, September 29, 2008

The Core of the Big Apple

God is more holy,

We are more sinful,

The Bible is more preeminent,

And the Cross is more central (and shocking and appalling and glorious),

than we could ever imagine.

These are some reflections from a recent trip to New York City. Sure, I also had a rippin' good time, ate classic New York style pizza, took in some authentic live Blues, and took the stroll through Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and across the Brooklyn Bridge (among other things). But, in true God is in the Details form, I noticed some less famous and more subtle aspects of the city while I was there that I think tell an eternally relevant story, and ultimately help us articulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of a city and a culture that is beautifully diverse and authentically desperate.

The above are pictures (not all that I took myself) of some of the things that I thought I should mention, and which, by the Sovereign grace of God, match the phrase that I have repeated before as defense of the insufficient perspective of the Gospel that our culture unfortunately has. I'll explain each picture, so you understand my thought process and so that I don't miscommunicate my heart.

First, God is holy. This picture was from the front door of the Trinity Episcopal Church at the foot of Wall Street. It's the most amazing door I've ever seen. This engraving is accompanied by the reference to Revelation 4, which says, "Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.'" I looked at this door wondering how many professionals on Wall Street, or tourists, who enter that church notice that door and specifically that engraving, and I wonder if they realize the immense holiness of God in the midst of the material culture that overwhelms them.

Second, we are sinful. Obviously using this picture I do not mean to imply that those that work in the New York Stock Exchange, or certainly those in America represented by the flag, are uniquely sinful. But I do mean to imply that we are all sinful, beyond measure, and it is interesting that the financial world has become a symbol of what our sin leads to. As Tim Keller said this Sunday, if you don't acknowledge the doctrine of original sin, just give it time; you will prove yourself wrong. Whatever you think about the economic crisis, whichever politician you support, whatever bailout plan (or lack of plan) you favor, there is no denying that someone is to blame for this situation, and whoever that someone is, greed had much to do with it. And someone's greed, or some group of someones' greed, affected more than themselves. My friend, and former Goldman Sachs employee, commented that "God is humbling a very proud people." That's true everywhere and anytime; He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble; but particularly it is happening in the chaos surrounding Wall Street. I will try to do a future post on the crisis from a Christian perspective, if I can ever catch up and figure it out myself. But in the meantime, check out Albert Mohler's take.

Third, the Bible is preeminent. I escaped one day to the Morgan Library and Museum, which to many, would be considered absolutely boring. It features exhibits of ancient manuscripts and prints from music, art, history, etc. This time of year, it featured three Gutenberg Bibles, printed sometime in the 15th century. Somewhere beyond all the details of the printing, the style, the innovation, and the history that the exhibit mentioned, I was keenly focused on the words, which had been preserved and which endure beyond those of any other book in the history of civilization. It shouldn't take much convincing to see that the Bible is true, authentic, accurate, and preeminent to everything, but a few 600 year old books begin to do the trick for me.

Lastly, the Cross is central, and shocking, and appalling, and glorious. I saw a version of this picture above at a tribute to the victims outside Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. The witness to this scene, viewing via zoom lens people holding onto each other before jumping from 80+ stories to their death to escape the fires, described it as unbearable and incomprehensible. Those probably are the words I also would have used. Yet, in the end, the tragedy itself was neither unbearable, as the city has endured and the people have persevered, nor incomprehensible, as we have been exposed to the horrors and motives of international terrorism for several years now, and though we don't understand it, we accept it as reality. Even our sinful hearts break with compassion for the people and the city that experienced this nightmare. Two thousand years ago an innocent man named Jesus Christ was tortured and crucified, in a scene that was more horrific, since He was God in the flesh, than 10,000 September 11ths. He suffered and died, and bore for us the wrath that our horrific sins deserve. This, on many levels, was unbearable and incomprehensible. Yet, in the end, it was not unbearable, as Jesus accomplished the Father's will, and rose from the dead, achieving for us forgiveness of sin and new life in Him. Nor was it incomprehensible, as the hope that it offers is free and available to us who are hopelessly hanging out the window as the smoke and fire of this fallen world engulf our soul.

In appropriate fashion, I closed my weekend attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the heart of the city, and heard Pastor Tim Keller in person. As expected, his sermon did not disappoint. Listen yourself here: The Fellowship of Grace. He began a series on the parables in Luke 15, this time explaining the parable of the lost sheep. The analogy is that we are like sheep, not dogs or cats who with the right direction (or teaching) can be fine on their own. We are desperate and need the shepherd not just to come back for us, and tell us the right things to do, as a moral teacher, but actually we need him to put us on his shoulders and take us home, accomplishing for us everything needed for our salvation. We are like sheep, who would climb a hill (seek temporal dreams) eat the grass (partake in worldliness), and with no way to get down (when what we have put our hope in crumbles around us), step over the edge and plunge to our death. And the Gospel is that then, after he rescues us, God's grace brings us into an authentic and unique community established to administer mercy and justice to a broken world and all the while bring endless glory to His name.

After the service, we received the following (to the left) accompanied by whistle blows by the waitress after our dinner because one drink per person apparently doesn't cut it at Brother Jimmy's BBQ. Yeah, that's an alligator head first in there. We refrained from explaining that we had just gotten back from church and it was, after all, Sunday night, because I guess that's not normal in New York City. So we enjoyed about one-third of the mostly sugar-filled drink, and went about our night. Such a tactic probably works on a less conservative crowd, and I'm sure her tips reflect it. Her gamble fell flat with us, though the whole presentation and reaction was memorable.

In the end, the energetic yet annoying waitress, the quiet cab driver listening to Christian radio, the angry man screaming at no one at a busy corner, the young professional sending a text message while riding his bike on Park Avenue with groceries hanging off his handle bars, the Asian businessman praying before eating his sandwich at the Food Exchange, the bouncer at Terra Blues who in his excitement and intoxication can't remember the name of the members of the band playing at his establishment; need and are seeking the transforming grace of Jesus Christ, which is waiting to lead them (or has already brought them) not only into a relationship with the God of the universe, but also into a community, saved by grace, unlike the world has ever seen, of "beautiful, unified difference". A community where an old white man and a young, Hispanic, single mother can have an instant connection and fellowship thanks to the bond and the grace of Jesus Christ. May our churches look like this as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not so Par for the Course

Another Greek InterVarsity Golf Marathon is in the books. I’ve got six of these things under my belt, and in those years I cannot relate to you adequately the number of students’ lives that have been transformed, college campuses that have been renewed, and world changers that have been developed. Through the event this year, we raised over $33,000 that will go right towards the three National Conferences around the country where students will take a break from the stress of class, the distraction of campus, and the complexity of living in a fraternity or sorority, to encounter the Person of Jesus Christ in all his simplicity and glory. Isn’t that awesome?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Manger, Cross, Crown

I have a great burden with this blog, and in general with my life, to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ relevant, logical, attractive, compelling, desirable, and power for people in this generation, specifically those who may think they are getting by fine without it. In other words, one may think it is reasonably “easy” to share the good news of Jesus Christ with someone who is hurting, struggling, or facing the difficulties of life; because they are usually more open to a message of hope. However, I personally have found that it is very challenging to present and explain the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the beautiful, healthy, wealthy, successful, intelligent, funny, blessed people that are so prevalent everywhere. Why is that? At the core, there is nothing corny or undesirable about Jesus, so why should so many people presume they are too cool to surrender their life to Him?

I am sometimes tempted to believe the lie that all these people have fallen into, which is that they don’t need the Gospel - their life is fine. They’re living the dream. God is only a crutch; or a consultant at best. My heart breaks for these people, almost more than those in poverty, because their need is hidden behind the forgery of health, wealth, and prosperity, and their openness to the most important message in the world is very small, and getting smaller by the day.

What I am convicted to try to do, with the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the authority of the Word of God, is peel back the canvas that is the American Dream, not to remove it or its luxuries altogether (though those who do not leave house and family and everything to follow Christ have no part in the kingdom of God), but to reveal behind it something far more amazing, by anyone’s standards, namely, the original, authentic “painting” of redemption as revealed in the Bible. And then let God give back the luxuries (which are not innately evil) according to His will. In other words, I believe the Bible reveals a much better dream, and specifically the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers much more joy, fulfillment, pleasure, happiness, and life than every other alternative, and ultimately it’s not even a “dream”. It is a reality, and truth, and necessary for the ultimate hope and joy of every human being – those in poverty or those in million dollar homes with beautiful and successful families. The American dream and the things of this world are fantasy and will pass away. The kingdom of God will never end.

Atheist Ellen Johnson said on Larry King once something to the effect of that she can’t accept something that’s not believable (eternal life) just because the outcome is desirable. She goes on to say that we should just deal with it and work to prolong and enjoy life now instead of “living for death”. What a pity. Well, I can’t accept an outcome that’s not really believable anyway (lack of existence) when the alternative is infinitely desirable (heaven). And I can’t allow myself to risk something that’s infinitely dreadful (hell) when the alternative is not only believable and desirable, but also offers a life right now that is much more enjoyable and (praise God) shorter, than a “prolonged” life enslaved to sin. But that’s just me. As Tim Keller says, the hopes of our hearts, and the narrative lines of our lives can only be completed in Jesus Christ. Everything else is an unfinished narrative with no hope and eternal torment waiting in the wings. No American dream is worth that.

The trick, then, is to explain what the Gospel is; or be able to articulate it to both these groups of people in a way that is simple, complete, correct, faithful, effective, and brief (um, if necessary), so that they can have the opportunity to believe it and be transformed. I probably will continue this effort for the rest of my natural life. With this post, I’m only trying to start the process to help you (and me) understand and apply the wonder of our Lord and Savior to save sinners, edify saints, and bring glory to His name. This effort is a compilation of thoughts by the two pastors whom I most respect: John Piper and Tim Keller (in some cases verbatim); along with some other thoughts and ideas I have picked up along the way.

The first thing I want to do is offer an explanation of what the Gospel is. I believe there is only one Gospel, so this should be easy, but since the human mind is depraved and our hearts are deceitful, distortions have made this much more complicated, and it is important to include everything that the Bible includes about the ultimate Good News of Jesus Christ. The other reason this is not as easy as it should be is that there is no single Bible passage that includes every component of the Gospel. Matthew, Mark, and Luke speak mostly of the Gospel as the Kingdom of God; John speaks mostly about the Gospel as eternal life; the Book of Acts has a focus on resurrection; and Paul in his letters seems to speak mostly about the Gospel as justification and atonement. So how do we simplify the Gospel in one message if the Bible never did?

Then I want to offer some examples and methods of presenting this one Gospel in a way that is effective for the hearers. Though there is only one Gospel, it can and should be presented in different forms based on the audience, as Tim Keller explains, and as the Biblical examples verify. I will focus on the explanation of the one Gospel first, and the examples of presentations last. The headings in bold are the three parts of the Gospel as explained by Tim Keller, originally outlined by Simon Gathercole. Beneath each heading is more explanation on these parts, including a “theological” word to identify the part, a Christological understanding (how it involves Jesus), and then also the components of the Gospel (in italics), according to John Piper, that must be included or there is no Gospel. I hope this format makes sense.


The theological word to identify this first part of the Gospel is incarnation. In the person of Jesus, God emptied himself of his glory and became human, entered our world and lived a sinless life, perfectly portraying a life of selfless service and providing a perfect picture of God himself. From a Christological point of view, this part can be best understood from the life of Jesus. By John Piper’s explanation, the essential components of the Gospel included in this part would be that it is a plan, and an event. The Gospel is a plan: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures..." - 1 Corinthians 15:3. Jesus was the promised Messiah and the fulfillment of every Old Testament prophecy and this plan was put in place before the ages began. The Gospel is an event: "...that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day..." - 1 Corinthians 15:4. Jesus walked on earth, as part of history, and really physically died and really physically rose from the dead. If God the Son did not come to earth in the form of a baby in a manger, as fully God and fully man in the incarnation, live a sinless life, as part of an eternal plan that existed before the foundation of the world, and as part of an actual, accurate, historical event; then there is no Gospel.


The theological word to identify this second part of the Gospel is substitution. Every view of the atonement includes the fact that Jesus became our substitute on the Cross, bearing our sin and absorbing God's wrath, securing our justification by grace, not our works. From a Christological point of view, this part can be best understood from the death of Jesus. By John Piper’s explanation, the essential components of the Gospel included in this part would be that it is an accomplishment, an offer, and an application. The Gospel is an accomplishment: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." - 1 Peter 2:24. Jesus on the cross bore our sins, paid the price of redemption, endured God's wrath in our place, and completed a life of perfect obedience. The Gospel is an offer: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16. The accomplishment of the cross is offered freely to be received by faith alone apart from works of the law. The Gospel is an application: "You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God." - 1 Peter 1:23. Because of the accomplishment, and through the accepted offer of the Gospel, God applies to us regeneration (new birth), eternal life, faith, forgiveness, justification, reconciliation, adoption, and sanctification (growth in godliness). If Jesus did not die on the cross, as our substitute absorbing the righteous wrath of God that we deserve, achieving for us our justification by faith and imputing to us the righteousness of God in Jesus upon our acceptance of it as a free offer, and in turn apply to us the benefit of the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and much more; then there is no Gospel.


The theological word to identify this third part of the Gospel is consummation. After his death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven and was seated at the right hand of God, and will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and will restore creation destroying suffering of all kinds and will prepare an eternal place of joy for those who belong to Him. From a Christological point of view, this part can be best understood from the resurrection of Jesus. By John Piper’s explanation, the essential component of the Gospel included in this part would be a supremely happy future. The Gospel promises a supremely happy future: The final destiny promised in the gospel is God - regeneration, forgiveness, justification, adoption are not the final good in the Gospel - they are means to an end; the end is God himself. The Kingdom of God is ultimately forgiven people rejoicing in perfect community forever in the deepest desire of their heart, namely, Jesus Christ, who is the glory of God. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, overcoming for us the power of sin and death, and through God the Holy Spirit deposit to us the hope of ultimate, eternal consummation of not only our physical bodies, but also the entire material world where there will be no more sin, or tears, or suffering, or injustice, or imperfection at all, providing for us a supremely happy future with Him as our center; then there is no Gospel.

"A church that truly dwells in the Biblical gospel will look quite unusual. Because of the upside-down kingdom / incarnation aspect, the church will put great emphasis on deep community, cell groups or house churches, and will emphasize radical giving and sharing of resources, spiritual disciplines, racial reconciliation, and living with the poor. Because of the inside-out kingdom / substitutionary atonement aspect, the church will put great emphasis on personal conversion, experiential grace renewal, outreach, and church planting. Because of the forward-back kingdom / restoration aspect, the church will put great emphasis on seeking the welfare of the city, neighborhood and civic involvement, cultural engagement, and training people in "secular" vocations out of a Christian worldview. Very few church movements are able to integrate and inter-relate these ministries and emphases because of a comprehensive view of the Biblical gospel."
The first problem with this explanation, you might say, is what about sin? Don’t you have to explain sin when presenting the Gospel? The answer is yes, but this was not a Gospel presentation, but the Gospel itself. When presenting the Gospel, you have to figure out how to explain sin based on who you’re talking to; in other words, use different forms of the same Gospel based on your hearers. This is what all the followers of Jesus did. Please read this Tim Keller article, or listen to this sermon, to see where I'm getting this from. I'll quote him verbatim here because I could no better explain it myself.

Four things to do when preaching The Gospel in all its forms:

1. Don't put all the gospel points into any one gospel presentation.
2. Use both a gospel for the "circumcised" (traditional, moralist) and "uncircumcised" (postmodern, relativist)
3. Use both a "kingdom" and an "eternal life" gospel.
4. Use all the forms and let each group overhear you preaching to the others.

"Won't this confuse people? No, it will stretch them. When one group - say the postmodern - hears a penetrating presentation of sin as idolatry, it opens them up to the concept of sin as grieving and offending God. Sin as a personal affront to a perfect, holy God begins to make more sense, and when they hear this presented in another gospel form, it has credibility. When more traditional people with a developed understanding of moral guilt learn about the substitutionary atonement and forensic justification, they are comforted. But these classic doctrines have profound implications for race relations and love for the poor, since they destroy all pride and self-justification. When more liberal people hear about the kingdom of God for the restoration of the world, it opens them up to Christ's kingship demanding obedience from them in their personal lives. In short, every gospel form, once it hits home in the hearts of its "target" audience, opens them to the other points of the gospel made more vividly in other forms.

"When you preach several different gospel forms with some regularity, you are more true to the Bible, you make your own listeners more balanced and mature in their understanding, and you make your own church more diverse. Instead of having a homogeneous group taken from just one slice of our pluralistic society, you have a mixed body of people from across the cultural spectrum.

"Today there are many who doubt that there is just one gospel. That gives them the warrant to ignore Paul's gospel of atonement and justification. There are others who don't like to admit that there are different forms to that one gospel. That smacks too much of "contextualization", a term they dislike. They cling to a single presentation that is often too one-dimensional. Neither of these approaches are as true to the Biblical material, nor as effective in actual ministry, as that which understands that there is one gospel in several forms in the Bible."


Monday, September 8, 2008

The Politics of Jesus

I am curious and surprised (and worried) by the fact that my last post generated no comment. I am already beginning to indulge in the excess of media commentary (and silliness) surrounding the intense flurry that is the American political process. And such indulgence is not necessarily healthy. I can’t wait until it’s all over, but in the meantime I am humbly praying that I don’t stray from the original purpose of this blog, which is exposing the simple truth of the Gospel to a complex culture. My logic is that it is an election year, and clearly politics make up a considerable portion of our culture’s complexity, so I have to participate in order to be faithful to my call. But, if I haven’t mentioned this yet, I welcome and depend on accountability from my readers, and at the end of the day I boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ, and acknowledge that my words and perspective are utterly meaningless outside the truth of His Word as revealed in the Bible.

A couple posts ago, I referenced an intelligent, though secular, publication that I try to frequent: The Economist. Though I still respect its economic and foreign policy perspectives and reporting, its downright disregard for any religious or spiritual competence is plain offensive. It scares me to think of the darkness and godlessness that may dominate much of England (it is a British publication). You might have to read it consistently to see this reality. The basic attitude of this publication seems to be a bit modern, in that it implies that to hold a Christian worldview is ignorant, and we should know better. It would make more sense (in the 21st century) to be postmodern, and imply that to hold any definite worldview is ignorant (even a secular one). Either way, it’s not breaking news that Christianity is kind of a big deal, and even if you don’t believe it, to refuse to acknowledge its impact on culture, and especially America, is simple stupidity. This is what got me going:

“The Palin appointment is yet more proof of the way that abortion still distorts American politics. This is as true on the left as on the right. But the Republicans seem to have gone furthest in subordinating considerations of competence and merit to pro-life purity. One of the biggest problems with the Bush administration is that it appointed so many incompetents because they were sound on Roe v Wade. Mrs Palin’s elevation suggests that, far from breaking with Mr Bush, Mr McCain is repeating his mistakes.”

Seriously, that’s absurd. This comes from an article that criticizes the appointment of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate, claiming that it reflects poor judgment, something not favorable in a Presidential candidate. Questioning her experience and ability to run the country in the situation that McCain is unable, is perfectly legitimate, though I have fewer questions about it than most. Centering your argument that her selection was poor judgment on the basis that she defends the sanctity of a human life is not only appalling, but also pretty poor judgment itself. And claiming the main reason the Bush Administration was unsuccessful was because of their “pro-life purity”? Come on.

Can I be political for a second? The pro-choice argument can be very illogical. Read this article, by a physician, who claims that Sarah Palin is hypocritical for having the test for birth defects in advance, and then deciding to have her baby Trig with Down syndrome, because her pro-life stance would deny another woman the right to make the same choice. I know, I can’t even explain it. I felt guilty and sad, but had to laugh, when I saw a fellow blogger appropriately quote the movie Billy Madison in response to this article,

“Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

I’m trying to be open-minded here; can anyone defend that this argument makes any sense? I saw this same craziness on The Daily Show, where they were mocking the fact that Sarah Palin (and now her daughter) were making the choice to have a baby; a choice, they say, would not be given to other women after the reversal of Roe v Wade. Are people really that ignorant to the emphasis of the pro-life movement, even now? Pro-life is not anti-choice; it advocates choosing life! (To be fair, the pro-choice movement isn’t always necessarily pro-abortion, but advocates the right to choose). Is everyone joking? Oh, I see. They’re joking. Ha ha.

I ask Almighty God for patience as I wait for (and plead with) people in our culture to understand the fact that abortion is not a political issue. Every party should not only be opposed to the option, but should seek to overturn the outrage that is Roe v. Wade. And lest you think I am insensitive and care only about the unborn but not the already born, please read this very well-said outline by D.A. Carson of the practical ways to address the abortion issue, which I agree with, to understand my heart. The pro-life movement does not just offer empty words about the horrors of abortion, but just as importantly offers hope, love, and service, to those affected by the choices that come with crisis pregnancy situations. It would be insane and hypocritical for someone to passionately pursue the defense of the unborn without also loving women before, during, and after these types of decisions. Jesus Christ is able and willing to heal physically and spiritually at all levels and we should be his agents of love in all of those levels.

It also is crucial to understand (for me also) this issue in the larger context of all abortions, and not be ultimately distracted by the hard cases (rape, etc.) that are very difficult to handle (and very rare in comparison). D.A. Carson explains this much better than I could. It is in these cases that the pro-life movement should focus specifically on showing Christ-like love and selfless service to those affected, so people would know what we are really about, while at the same time not compromising our ultimate stance on the issue (it is possible to do both).

Speaking of judgment, please understand that even though I defend the sanctity of human life, still my only hope for salvation in front of The Judge of the Universe is the righteousness of God imputed to me graciously through the blood of Jesus Christ. I pray, on my knees, that those who neglect the defense of the “least of these” in the womb know, or hear something about and believe in, this Jesus, or their fate is beyond regrettable, and something I wish not on my worst enemy. Of course, the fact that they neglect these unborn in the womb would not be the ultimate reason for their fate; mine would be the same were it not for Jesus.

For the record, I do stand behind what I stated in my last post: I truly believe that if you harbor the attitude that this type of monstrosity is acceptable, or even an option, then there is no telling the horrors that you are ultimately capable of; in policy domestic, foreign, or otherwise. What I mean by this is that at the end of the day, policy, even experience, does not matter as much as virtue. This Christianity Today article that I have linked to before, refreshingly confirmed this in my mind. Barack Obama would fervently disagree with me. I wonder if he’s read this article (or is reading my blog)?

If you aren’t willing to passionately defend the most helpless members of our society, how can I trust that you will defend anyone else in our country, who may be struggling as a result of a bad economy, or lack of health care, or terrorism, or natural disasters, or lack of quality education, or whatever? If your moral framework can actually look point blank at the vivid description of partial-birth abortion, and still be ok with it, why the heck would I trust you to handle decisions every day that hold the life of millions of people in your hands? If you are negligent towards life that has yet to have the capacity to make up its mind, how negligent and brutal will you be towards life that has made up its mind, and disagrees with you? If you consider a baby "punishment", what do you consider a gift? All this does not even mention the power and ugliness of indwelling sin, which even present in the most faithful pro-life believer could unleash disaster outside of the continuous (daily) sovereign grace of God through Jesus Christ. As Albert Mohler says, "At our best, we are sinners whose sin contaminates our highest aspirations and most noble actions."

Am I exaggerating?

I am not saying that the President of the United States should be required to be an authentic born-again believer washed by the blood of Jesus (though wouldn’t that be wonderful!) – good, noble Presidents have not been - that type of requirement would not work in the structure of our country. But I am saying that the sanctity of life is such a fundamental matter that I have a right to use it as a barometer of how trustworthy, and how pure, and how logical, and how compassionate, and how competent, a person’s judgment is, especially if that person has intentions of leading the free world, where honesty, purity, logic, compassion, competence, and judgment are kinda important. To me it is a much better barometer than the details of some pie-in-the-sky reform policy, for example. And contrary to The Economist, I think it is a fine barometer to use, and evidence of good judgment, in selecting a vice president; maybe the best.

The good news is that God is Sovereign; despite politics, opinions, and even our sin. Please keep reminding me of that. And Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven by which we are saved, and everyone who calls on Him will be saved. My words are no doubt inadequate. In addition to His Word (the Bible), I would lead you to two amazing resources, that I plan to devour in order to better sort out the quagmire of integrating Christian faith in politics.

The Politics of Jesus

Culture Shift

Whew. I didn't even really tackle traditional marriage, care for the poor, the environment, or teaching of creationism in school (in addition to the "theory" of evolution); or taxes. Oh my. God willing, my next post will be my follow-up on how to specifically articulate what the Gospel is. That's way more important anyway.