Good News

Romans 8:29, 31:

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

If God is “for me” in the process of my becoming holy like Jesus, then despite all evidence to the contrary, despite all contrary influences from within and without, despite my own reluctance and sluggishness and halfheartedness, he will bring it about.

Don’t say I (and many others) didn’t warn you.

For better or worse, my posts on the election, especially re: abortion, are drawing to a close soon. But here’s another. This is a comment I posted on Abraham Piper’s blog, but I think I was too late and the thread’s pretty much died down. (Read it, though– interesting.) Since I might not get any responses there, thought I’d drop it here too.

Here’s something to think about: If one candidate wins (let’s call him Obama) is elected, the Freedom of Choice Act will very likely become law. This will eliminate all restrictions of abortion that are currently in place in many states (parental notification/consent and the like), as well as requiring gov’t (=taxpayer) funds to pay for abortions. If passed, and especially if Obama appoints the kind of Supreme Court justices we can reasonably expect he would, on a political level the pro-life movement will be dead in the water.

To those who are not voting, or voting for Obama, I’d like to hear what makes you think it’s OK not to do what we can, however small, to stop this. Personally, I don’t want to hear pro-Obama Christians (or non-voting Christians) be shocked and dismayed if and when it happens. A non-vote, or a vote for Obama, enables it. I’d love to know what other issues are important enough to trump this one.

Brilliant.

Melanie Phillips in The Spectator:

McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else.

And PS, there are good reasons to be ashamed of America. It’s just that Obama’s picked the wrong ones.

“Will Not Pray for Soldiers”?

This month’s CT has an article by Collin Hansen about several famous pastors and churches in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Among them is Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church. Boyd is an outspoken advocate of pacifism.

I was struck to learn (on p. 6) that Boyd’s church “will not pray for soldiers.” Boyd’s bad wrong on other things that are more important (he’s an open theist), but if this is true, it has him being much more harsh to soldiers than John the Baptist (who, when specifically asked by soldiers what they should do, told them to be honest, not to quit their immoral job) or Jesus (who marveled at a soldier’s faith, without ever mentioning that he should repent of having been a soldier).

Of course, like other anti-war protesters, Boyd is exercising his free speech, which was purchased and is frequently protected by the blood of the soldiers for whom his church (if I’m reading the article right) refuses to pray. Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that the church should be willing to pray for anybody.

(On pacifism, see my series “The Easy Non-Solution of Pacifism,” parts 1, 2, and 3.)

That was a close one.

The following is a post I was about to publish this morning.

***

Romans 7:4:

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

Because believers are united to Christ, we share in his death– and in his resurrection. They both count for us, because we are in him, we belong to him. This verse shows that not only are individual believers united to Christ, but all those of us who are united to Christ are also united to each other. That’s the basis for a lot of the community-oriented commandments of Scripture. And remembering this will really affect how we treat other believers, whether we know them or not.

***

Now all that’s true, except that this verse doesn’t say that. I misread a key phrase: I thought I saw “so that you may belong to one another,” not “so that you may belong to another [i.e. Christ]“. Oops.

There are at least two lessons here:

  1. Reread your post before you publish.
  2. Reread your Bible before you go off theologizing.

Things I Miss About my PC (a very short list)

I like my Mac a great deal (witness the recent burst of videos on Blue Sky). And most of the stuff that was weird at first isn’t weird anymore. But there are a few lingering things I wish I could have brought with me when I crossed the great divide.

  1. The Home and End buttons. Did you know, for example, that End takes you all the way to the bottom of a webpage, and Home all the way to the top? Also very helpful when editing type.
  2. The Control button being all the way over to the left, in a very pinky-accessible spot. I’m having real issues with my typing flow. I have to pull my hands all the way off to hit the Command key. I’ve tried to use my thumb but I think it gives me carpal tunnel or something.
  3. The number pad. I realize this doesn’t exist on most PC notebooks either, but still, I miss it. It sits there at my work computer like an old friend you know is always there for you, and then I run home every night with the hot new model. Sorry, old chum.
  4. Picasa. Although iPhoto and I are getting along better the past couple of weeks. I had a great system set up in Picasa, where everything was automatically set up in folders, one for each month. I’m sure I could do that with “events” if I wanted to, but it’d be a workaround. I’m learning that iPhoto is a ridiculously advanced program by comparison, but there’s still a good bit of Picasa nostalgia.
  5. Bibleworks. This is really my fault for not having set up an emulator yet. But come on, Bibleworks. Just delay the next upgrade a couple of years and put out a Mac edition. (I’m reviewing Accordance soon, though, so this all might be moot. But I already know Bibleworks.)

Not bad though, especially when 3 of my 5 are keyboard issues. Vive la revolución.

Donald Miller on Obama

Donald Miller is one of the better voices of the Emergent crowd. I liked most of Blue Like Jazz, and I think he’s a great writer. He led a prayer at the Democratic convention– no problem there; I would have gone if they’d asked. (They didn’t.) But he’s saying some really stupid things regarding his support for Obama.

CT interviewed Miller about being asked to pray at the convention. When asked about his stance on abortion, here are his strongest words:

The issue of abortion is a very sensitive one and it’s an important issue…  I hope the Democrats will listen to those of us who lean toward pro-life and those changes can be made. [emphasis added]

Those of us who “lean toward pro-life”? Wow, way to take on the party line.

In a more recent interview (HT: Challies), he says several things that are just flat-out wrong.

[Obama] is also standing up to his own party on the issue and moving the party forward to elevate the issue of the sanctity of life within the Democratic Party.

The best possible spin you can put on this is that Miller has no clue what he’s talking about. Let’s go over this again: Obama has a perfect 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. He has said his first act as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. He voted, at various times, either “no” or “present” on bills to protect infants who were born alive after abortion attempts. There is no sense in which he is “standing up to his party”– unless it’s to move them further to the left on abortion.

I simply do not see McCain’s stand on abortion being as strong as conservatives think it is. He changed his mind on the issue only a few years ago, in fact. I think it’s a ploy to get votes.

While I share Miller’s wish that McCain would speak more strongly on abortion, his voting record simply couldn’t be much better. He’s certainly the anti-Obama on this issue, with National Right to Life calling his voting record on abortion “one of the best in the Senate.”

I am willing to look uncool to help the first African-American become President.

Right, because supporting Obama is so uncool right now. I guess this one isn’t factually wrong so much as just stupid.

Most evangelicals polled will vote for Barack.

The myth of an evangelical migration to Obama has been repeatedly debunked. Obama doesn’t poll as well among evangelicals as Kerry in 2004. See here, here, and especially here. I have no idea why Miller thinks this statement is true.

Look, I’m all for robust discussion. And no, you most certainly do not have to be a Republican to be a Christian. But if you’re a believer supporting Obama, you really owe it to yourself to have a decent reason (just as you would for McCain). Vote for him because you believe the government should have a bigger role in health care, or because you oppose the war, or because you prefer his economic policy. But don’t vote for him and try to tell the rest of us it’s a valid pro-life move. That’s a sham, and well-informed people ought to know better.

Stupid Things I’ve Done

Not an exhaustive list.

  • Failed a class my first semester of college
  • Got into a fight with my wife over the lyrics to William Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
  • Cleaned out a coffeemaker with Pine-Sol
  • Scraped my finger repeatedly on the same place on a cabinet
  • Run over our laptop

Making a list like this can help you remember not to take yourself too seriously.

(If you’re adding to my list in the comments, be sweet. I didn’t make a list about you.)

SNL and Creativity

SNL‘s political stuff has been great ever since Sarah Palin came on the scene. But in all the skits I’ve seen (and I haven’t seen all of them) there hasn’t been a single joke at Obama’s expense. They have a guy who does a pretty good job impersonating him, but the jokes are all about things happening around him: he gets cut off at the debate, etc.

This isn’t a complaint about bias in the media. SNL doesn’t claim objectivity, and they’re free to joke however they want. But it doesn’t speak well for their creativity that they can’t bring themselves to laugh at their own side. I like Palin, and I know they can’t stand her. But the impression’s still funny. What’s wrong with poking a little fun at Obama? It would make their material better, give them a broader appeal, and show more artistic credibility.

Provocative.

Early Elton John is underrated. (Early.)

If Elton had died in a plane crash in 1980, we would think of him as one more tragic genius gone too soon.

Of course, in real life he survived to give us “I’m Still Standing.”

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