Sexual Identity and the Christian

This Thursday (11-12-15) the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture hosts Mark Yarhouse as he speaks on “Sexual Identity and the Christian: Reflections for Ministry in a Changing Culture.” Dr. Yarhouse, Professor of Psychology at Regent University, directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity.Dr Mark Yarhouse He has authored Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends; Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation; and Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministers.  His most recent book is titled Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture. 

Dr. Yarhouse is known for his balanced yet principled approach to counseling in matters of sexual orientation. Here is a brief clip in which he explains his “three-tier distinction” to understanding homosexuality.

Dr. Yarhouse will speak first during the chapel service at Binkley Chapel (at 10 am). Then he will present his lecture at the Bush Center (2nd floor of Patterson Hall) that evening (at 7 pm). Seating is limited, please be sure to register soon (Eventbrite registration can be found here).

The Rebirth of Scientific Racism

recent article in the Washington Post warns that “‘scientific racism’ is creeping back into our thinking”. The story reports of a woman who filed a “wrongful birth” lawsuit after delivering a biracial baby conceived through artificial insemination.midwife She sued, claiming that the mixup created hardship and injury to her and her family. The argument made by her suit called up the specter of eugenics–the science of racism so prevalent 100 years ago but since discredited. The article explains the thinking behind scientific racism:

Here’s how the argument goes. Some people are born with outstanding talents, easily mastering basketball, mathematics, languages or piano, if given the right environment in which to grow. What biologist or social scientist could argue with that? But alongside that genetic understanding, an old and pernicious assumption has crept back into the American conversation, in which aptitudes are supposedly inherited by race: certain peoples are thought to have rhythm, or intellect, or speed or charm. That’s a fast track toward the old 19th- and early 20th-century problem of “scientific” racism.

The article continues by recounting examples where eugenics is currently rearing its head. At one end of the spectrum there’s Dylann Roof, who wrote, “Negroes have lower IQs, lower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in general. These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior.” Ironically, he (allegedly) followed up these words by killing nine people during a Bible study in an African-American church in Charleston, SC. At the other, more respectable end of the spectrum are academic articles which claim that genetic differences are the primary causes of ethnic conflict.

As evolutionary psychology and socio-biology become more accepted, so shall “scientific racism” also. Darwinism is an ideology that, when carried to its logical conclusion, has devastating cultural and social consequences. The Gospel stands squarely against this. All are created in the divine image, and all have sinned. Christ died for all, and all the redeemed are brethren in the family of God (Gal 3:28; Eph 2:11-22). Racism must be rejected, even when it wears a scientific veneer.

Cross posted at

In Case You Missed It

Recently at TGC, Trevin Wax published an article giving tips for reading better while retaining more. In his article Trevin writes:

Last week, I posted a video to my Facebook page in which I gave some tips for reading faster, better, and wider. Also last week, Hubworthy released book recommendations from people associated with The Gospel Coalition. (My list of “essential reading” is here.)

With so many good books to read, it’s natural to want to read better and wider. Here is my response to a few questions that were sent to me on Facebook, prompted by the video.

In a guest post on Art Rainer’s blog, Sam Morris gives five helpful tips for becoming a better public speaker:

Whether it is a sermon full of ‘umms’ or a prayer spoken at the speed of sound, if the audience has lost track you are not communicating effectively. As a pastor, this could quite literally be the difference between redemption and condemnation.

There are a myriad of reasons why a pastor should always continue to develop as a public speaker. Here are  five communication tips for pastors to consider.

Elizabeth Wann published an article earlier this week at Desiring God explaining the hidden ministry of motherhood. Elizabeth writes:

[T]he main role God calls us to as wives and mothers is our home and family. God made women to bear and nurture life and men to provide for and protect the lives of women and children. The heart disposition in these matters manifests itself in where our priorities lie.

At the Baptist Press, Don Whitney explains how he started praying the Bible:

It was the first of March 1985. I remember where I was sitting when it happened.

I was pastor of a church in the western suburbs of Chicago. A guest preacher was speaking at a series of meetings at our church. He was teaching on the prayers of the apostle Paul in his New Testament letters, and encouraging us to pray these inspired prayers as our own.

Then, at one point he held up his Bible said, “Folks, when you pray, use the prayer book.”

In that moment I suddenly realized, “The entire Bible is a prayer book. We can pray not only the prayers of Paul in Ephesians, we can pray everything in the Book of Ephesians.”

Chris Martin recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Russell Moore about his latest book ‘Onward’.

I do not count it coincidence that a leader as articulate and gracious as he has been made the leader of one of the most influential Christian organizations in Washington, D.C. amidst our present culture context. The Lord knew what he was doing when he led Dr. Moore to lead the ERLC, and I’m thankful for that. People who get on TV to represent Christianity sometimes make Christians look silly. Dr. Moore has done quite the opposite, and I’m thankful someone like him represents evangelicals on CNN and other places.