In Case You Missed It

At the Gospel Coalition, Rosaria Butterfield shared a reminder that we should love our neighbor enough to speak truth.

If this were 1999—the year that I was converted and walked away from the woman and lesbian community I loved—instead of 2016, Jen Hatmaker’s words about the holiness of LGBT relationships would have flooded into my world like a balm of Gilead. How amazing it would have been to have someone as radiant, knowledgeable, humble, kind, and funny as Jen saying out loud what my heart was shouting: Yes, I can have Jesus and my girlfriend. Yes, I can flourish both in my tenured academic discipline (queer theory and English literature and culture) and in my church. My emotional vertigo could find normal once again.

 

Maybe I wouldn’t need to lose everything to have Jesus. Maybe the gospel wouldn’t ruin me while I waited, waited, waited for the Lord to build me back up after he convicted me of my sin, and I suffered the consequences. Maybe it would go differently for me than it did for Paul, Daniel, David, and Jeremiah. Maybe Jesus could save me without afflicting me. Maybe the Lord would give to me respectable crosses (Matt. 16:24). Manageable thorns (2 Cor. 12:7).

 

Today, I hear Jen’s words—words meant to encourage, not discourage, to build up, not tear down, to defend the marginalized, not broker unearned power—and a thin trickle of sweat creeps down my back. If I were still in the thick of the battle over the indwelling sin of lesbian desire, Jen’s words would have put a millstone around my neck.

 

Earlier this week Dr. Bruce Ashford and Josh Wester shared: “Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton: An Evangelical Assessment.” Dr. Ashford writes:

Electing a president is a decision of great consequence. Every four years, the American people face the task of determining our nation’s leader. The process is always difficult. But this year that difficulty is compounded by the fact that the nominees of both major political parties are historically unpopular.

 

As a result, many citizens are being forced to ask more fundamental questions. And conservative evangelicals are no exception. Most of us have deep reservations about Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton.

 

During this election cycle, significant controversies have surrounded both candidates and their respective campaigns. Indeed, Bruce has briefly critiqued both Sec. Clinton (here and here) and Mr. Trump (here and here). But as November 8th draws near, a question we often encounter in conversation, in the classroom, and in public venues is: how does one evaluate a presidential candidate?

 

In this article, we provide an assessment of both major party nominees. After considering each candidate in view of four criteria, we offer our conclusions for consideration. Our assessment is an evangelical evaluation (not the evangelical evaluation); our hope is that, even if a reader disagrees with aspects of our analysis or our conclusion, the article will still be a beneficial contribution to the broader exercise of evaluating political candidates or platforms from an evangelical point of view.

 

Jonathan Petersen at Bible Gateway interviewed College at Southeastern Professor Dr. C. Ivan Spencer about his new book, Tweetable Nietzsche: His Essential Ideas Revealed and Explained.

Though he died in 1900, Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical sway on modern thinking persists, inspiring numerous movements that weave the tapestries of contemporary culture: existentialism, theology, nihilistic culture, Nazism, 20th century film and art, atheism, ethical egoism, deconstruction, the hermeneutics of suspicion, and the postmodern age. His stark prophecy that “God is dead, and we killed him” thrives in this accelerating secular age where postmodernists lionize him as a prophetic voice of a new era.

 

Bible Gateway interviewed Dr. C. Ivan Spencer (@scizen) about his book, Tweetable Nietzsche: His Essential Ideas Revealed and Explained (Zondervan, 2016).

 

Edgar Aponte posted right here at Between the Times on Monday sharing his thoughts on the U.S. Election from the perspective of a foreign-born Southern Baptist. If you missed it earlier this week, be sure to check it out.

I was born and raised in a developing country with a fairly stable presidential democracy. I got involved in politics at the age of 15, and in partisan politics when I was 18. Many of my political and policy positions are different today from those I held 20 years ago. As a non-Christian and then as a Christian, I supported and voted for candidates who I felt did not fully represent the kind of character and policies I wanted to champion.

 

Jonathan Howe shared a post at Dr. Thom Rainer’s blog on five social media practices to avoid, and how to guard against them. Jonathan writes:

In days of yore, we followed current events through newspapers, radio, and television. In our current digital landscape, those industries look to social media for the latest information—and so do we. Social media is ubiquitous in our culture. We use it; our employers use it; our parents use it; our kids use it.

 

Over the past year, I’ve written a great deal about how you and your church can use social media most effectively. I’ve also shared insight into the common mistakes that are made. Today, I turn to practices to avoid altogether as well as helpful ways to keep from falling into their traps.

 

While these may seem to be general in nature, the application of these guidelines for pastors and church leaders can make a difference in how effectively you shepherd and minister to those under your care. The simple act of adjusting how you engage others online can dramatically alter your ministry effectiveness.