Friday, December 19, 2008

Blips on the Blogosphere 17

(image at right from MSNBC News)

Obama and Rick Warren, Together Again
President-elect Obama picked Rick Warren to say the prayer for his invocation as President, a controversial choice that has upset liberals as well as his gay constituents.

La Shawn Barber offers her take on this, in
Obama Picks Socially Conservative Rick Warren for Invocation

Al Mohler, as always, offers a perceptive analysis, noting in his article "The High Cost of Being (and Staying) Cool -- Rick Warren in a Whirlwind" that the day has already arrived when any evangelical who publicly states opposition to homosexuality or gay marriage is immediately rejected as "uncool" in the popular marketplace, "no matter how much good work you do nor how much love and compassion you seek to express."

Mohler says that he would not have accepted an invitation to give the prayer invocation at Obama's inauguration ceremony (though he notes he wasn't invited), given Obama's pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as President and also to reverse Bush administration policies regarding embryonic stem cell research.

Mohler writes,

Knowing the intentions of this President-elect, I could not in good conscience offer a formal prayer at his inauguration. Even in the short term, I could not live in good conscience with what will come within hours. I could not accept a public role in the event of his inauguration nor offer there a public prayer, but I will certainly be praying for this new President and for the nation under his leadership.

Christless Christianity
The Washington Post ViewPoint section recently interviewed Michael Horton about his new book, "Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church". Though I haven't yet read the volume, I did read an excerpt (Chapter 1) and also a review by Tim Challies. Horton has provided what appears to be an timely, incisive and insightful critique of the state of Christianity in America, sounding a call to reformation of evangelicalism according to the biblical gospel.

Horton has also done a fine job promoting the book. There's a website-- Christless Christianity-- that provides excerpts and related resources, including this article that appears in Modern Reformation journal, the magazine for which Horton is the Editor:

Christless Christianity: Getting in Christ's Way by Michael S. Horton

Grunge Christianity?
Though the article featured in Pulpit Magazine is already two years old, "Grunge Christianity? Counterculture’s Death-Spiral and the Vulgarization of the Gospel" by John MacArthur still seems like a timely and relevant topic-- how to engage our culture without compromise. In the article MacArthur challenges the idea that Christians must adopt culturally hip, but often crass and superficial attitudes/language to communicate effectively to postmoderns. He points to Paul, as an example for us today:

We could learn from the example of Paul, who engaged the philosophers on Mars Hill. But far from embracing their culture, he was repulsed by it. Acts 17:16 says, “while Paul waited for [Silas and Timothy] at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.”

When Paul spoke to that culture, he didn’t adopt Greek scatology to show off how hip he could be. He simply declared the truth of God’s Word to them in plain language. And not all of his pagan listeners were happy with that (v. 18). That’s to be expected. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

In other, less controversial news, I've continued to tweak and add new resources to my Netvibes site, Check out the new look.

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