Should We Pray for ISIS to Be Converted or Defeated?

“We sometimes forget that we are called to be a people of both justice and justification, and that these two are not contradictory.”

Recently Russ Moore wrote an excellent article discussing the proper Christian attitude towards ISIS.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX USA (2642870a) Hayat Boumeddiene, far rig

Like many other American Christians, at times I feel conflicted. ISIS is a malignant, evil organization, yet it is made of men (and some women) for whom Christ died. I pray for their defeat in the battlefield; I also pray for their salvation.

Moore reminds us that, however conflicted we may feel, these two prayers are not, in fact, at odds with each other. The Cross demonstrates that justification and justice are not contradictory. The problem, he explains, is that we often have a very therapeutic notion about forgiveness–one that absolves the wrong “as though it were all a misunderstanding.” Moore continues:

“The gospel does not say, ‘Don’t worry about it; it’s okay.’ The gospel points us to the cross where sin is absorbed in a substitute. God’s righteous condemnation of sin is there. He does not, and cannot, enable wickedness. And God’s mercy is there in that he is the One who sends his Son as the propitiation for sin. He is both “just and the justifier of the One who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). The gospel doesn’t leave sin unpunished. Every sin is punished, either a the Place of the Skull, in Christ, or in the judgment of hell, on one’s own.”

So should we pray for ISIS to be converted or be defeated? The answer is “c”, all of the above.

Cross posted at

Travel with Us to Oxford Next Summer

Join us next July as students, alumni, and friends of Southeastern Seminary travel to Oxford. Stephen Eccher will speak on Baptist and British history, Jeremy  Evans on C. S. Lewis, and Scott Hildreth on missions.

Oxford Study 2016 Chapel Slide

Dates: July 5-21, 2016

Cost: $4200

This includes travel, accommodations, meals, and tuition (if you choose to take the classes offered).

Registration Deadline is April 1, 2016.

More information and an application form can be found here.

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).