Here’s the monthly roundup of articles and resources from the web for February 2019.
Politics and Social Issues
Infanticide Debate Reflects a New Era for Abortion Politics. Pro-lifers must name infanticide everywhere it occurs, then. We speak with intensity and urgency because we recognize the efforts to make it more plausible, which others are willing to downplay or overlook.
Should Religious Belief Inform Public Policy? No one has suggested that abortion should be limited or outlawed simply because Psalm 139 says so. Nor has anyone contended that policies mistreating migrant families should be undone simply because Leviticus and Deuteronomy or James say so. The question is whether both a person’s religious beliefs and public responsibilities both have moral components, requiring consciences that are accountable to something, or Someone, more than just one’s power.
3 Principles for Christian Political Engagement. The reforms throughout history pertaining to slavery, civil rights, orphans, care for the poor, AIDS in Africa, and now abortion and sex trafficking were and are the result of seeing these problems as gospel issues requiring the moral compass of the church to speak boldly and prophetically
The Power of the Gospel and the Meltdown of Identity Politics. Intersectionality and identity politics breed division. These ideologies atomize society and drive humanity away from its core and essential commonality. This is where Christians must counter with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture. Only the gospel secures peace and establishes truth. Only the gospel will unite a fractured society. Only the gospel can stem the tide of modernity’s downward spiral into chaos and decay. Identity politics is bad enough in the culture. In the church, it denies the gospel altogether.
Marriage and Christian Living
Marriage: A Covenant, Not a Contract. Marriage is intended to be commitment to which we maintain trust and fidelity until separated by death. In a covenant, we put the needs of the relationship ahead of our own needs, humbly serving each other much as Christ serves the church
Don’t Put Your Hope in Date Night. With a holistic view of married love and an understanding of the way our union fits into the ultimate redemption story, spouses can labor together for the gospel—when we get a date night, and when we don’t.
Church and Ministry
The Christian Life Is More Like a Bus Ride Than a Motorcycle Ride. Life in the church is like life on a bus. We are in this together and are called to make room for others, defer to others, help others, even to serve others. But, in our efforts to make the church as convenient as we can, we have tried to market her more as a motorcycle instead of the bus that she really is.
To Be Cool or to Be a Church? That is the Question. Every church will soon stand trial in the high courts of modernity. The secular storm will leave no place to hide. Hillsong gave its answer: it would rather be cool than convictional. The nod towards cultural relevance leads to theological confusion—a deliberately marketed confusion.
Desperately Seeking Transcendence. Weekly worship is less like a rock concert and more like a hike in the Swiss Alps. It is less like a podcast chat and more like a thunderstorm. It is less like group therapy and more like the lift-off of the Space Shuttle. Weekly worship blesses us with what we do not have, and gives us what we cannot offer: transcendence. A fresh vision of the holiness of God. An encounter as the covenant people of God with our God. This is an experience that is not like anything else. There is no corollary to the corporate worship of the living God. There is no parallel. There is no way to make it like other things because it is not like other things
Bible and Theology
How Do We Explain Talking Donkeys and Burning Bushes? The world is filled with fairy tales, but there is one grand tale that gives them all meaning. The God whose words brought time, space, matter, and energy into being, the God who in the fullness of time took on human flesh—the God who, after being crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb, stood with one foot on death and the other on the great deceiver—is worthy of your trust. Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? Indeed, it’s the greatest fairy tale ever told. And it’s all true. Every word.
Mitch Bedzyk serves as a teacher and worship leader at Elmira Christian Center. He received his Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and works in IT for the NY Office of Mental Health. He and his wife, Sarah, have two sons, Oliver and Micah, and are foster parents. In his spare time he enjoys reading, coffee, guitar, following the Bundesliga and MLS, and playing fantasy soccer. You can follow him @mitchbedzyk