In Case You Missed It

Yesterday, SEBTS English professor Matthew Mullins published an article at First Things magazine about the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Dr. Mullins writes:

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. But with the 2016 elections just over a year away, the passing of the VRA has taken on new meaning. In June of 2013, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court invalidated key provisions of the VRA. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts declared the section of the Act requiring “preclearance” from certain states and districts unconstitutional. This ruling allows these jurisdictions to make changes in voting laws with greater ease. Many have already done so, and some of the results suggest that we may have more reasons to mourn the passing of the VRA than to celebrate its passage.

Karen Swallow Prior published a story earlier this week at Think Christian about mourning Mark Zuckerberg’s miscarriages in the shadow of Planned Parenthood. In her article Karen raises an interesting point around potential life and actual life:

I can’t help but think that the contradictory ideas society holds about unborn children (who are considered babies when wanted and something else when not) owes in part to our tendency to conceive of child bearing as product- rather than process-oriented. The very term reproduction reflects such thinking. Our tendency, even within the church, to think with the product – rather than the means – in mind has dulled our understanding of a crucial distinction between potential life and actual life.

On his blog, Chuck Lawless gives 10 reasons pornography has power.

I suspect most if not all of the readers of this post know somebody who has struggled with pornography. From the teenager struggling with new desires to the senior pastor recently caught in sin, even believers wrestle with this sin. Perhaps if we understand why pornography has so much power, we would know better how to fight against it.

Thom Rainer posted an article about which books he would keep if he could only have 25 books in his minister’s library.

I began the process thinking it would be a simple exercise. I was wrong! I had great trouble narrowing the list to 25. Here are some of the parameters I used.

  • I didn’t hesitate to choose books that were simply personal preferences.
  • I decided at the onset I would strive to choose a variety of issues and topics, rather than just the 25 best books.
  • I was sufficiently lacking in humility, and put two of my own books on the list.
  • I really struggled eliminating many commentaries of individual Bible books.

Selma Wilson writes a reminder to parents: Building a yes home prepares your children to say yes to God.

Sure, children need direction and discipline. Along with boundaries, however, children crave a place to exercise physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. A yes home, with clearly established boundaries, gives them room to stretch, run, and grow with you close by.

Jesus, the True and Better Samson

J.D. Greear recently published an article discussing how Jesus is the true and better Samson. Many people have a hard time understanding what Jesus has to do with Old Testament books like Judges, however as J.D. explains:

The hints are there if we know how to read them. Many of the stories in the Old Testament provide the shadow for which Jesus is the reality. They are the outline, he is the substance. What they begin, Jesus finishes. I was struck by this recently when reading Samson’s birth story. When an angel comes to promise Samson’s miraculous birth, he says that Samson will “begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). Begin. That’s a strange way of saying it. Who is going to finish it? Samson, after all, is the last judge in the book. The author is intentionally clueing us in: for the end of this story, you’re going to have to look beyond this book. And for those of us who know the end of the big story, it should be obvious: Jesus completes the salvation that Samson could only start.

To read the entire post, head over to J.D.’s blog.

Kingdom Diversity Podcast: Matthew Hall

In episode No. 2 of the Kingdom Diversity Podcast Dr. Matthew Hall is interviewed by Walter Strickland. They discuss Dr. Hall’s dissertation, how the Cold War and threat of Communism shaped how Southern Baptists constructed and interacted with ideas about race, theology, the Gospel and church. They also discuss how international missions challenged race relations in the Southern Baptist Convention during the Civil Rights Movement. Subscribe to the Kingdom Diversity Podcast here.

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