Secrecy & Transportation for Abortions from Ballard High School

After taking a pregnancy test at the school clinic, a Ballard High School student was given a pass and sent off in a cab to have an abortion. In case you were worried, the school doesn’t run the clinic–Swedish Medical Center does.

T.J. Cosgrove of the King County Health Department, which administers the school-based programs for the health department, says it’s always best if parents are involved in their children’s health care, but don’t always have a say.

Sixteen-year-old kids can’t get a drink, but they can be sent off to have their unborn children terminated without their parents ever finding out. I’ve heard it well said that Roe v. Wade established not just the abortion of children, but the abortion of the family since fathers legally have no say over the fate of the children. Now it is plain that mothers have also been aborted. The state can send kids from their “in loco parentis” education institution to get an abortion, subsidize the trip, and no parent ever finds out. Read the whole article.

What Color is that Light?

Regarding her new study that found children are more optimistic, volunteer more and get better grades who remember being spanked when they were younger, Marjorie Gunnoe was quoted in this month’s Christianity Today saying “This in no way should be through of as a green light for spanking. This is a red light for people who want to legally limit how parents choose to discipline their children.” Imagine someone distancing themselves from, say, reading to their children if it was found to produce the same results: “This in no way should encourage parents to read to their kids. It simply means the state should not outlaw it.” Phew! I thought I felt some dogmatism coming on.

Hospitality versus Entertaining

The author of the book of Hebrews says to “not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (13:2). Why is it easy to neglect hospitality? One primary reason is because we misunderstand what it is.

The phrase translated “show hospitality to strangers” is all one word in the original, the Greek word philoxenia, literally love of strangers. It could be rendered “Don’t forget the love of strangers.” This is the heart of hospitality. Although the word “entertained” is used, the idea is not to entertain in the sense of wine and dine your friends in your contemporary salon. There is also a word play going on this passage. “Entertain”, xenizo, also means to surprise or astonish. What is more surprising to a stranger than to get invited in to warm company? And yet who was ultimately more astonished, Abraham or the angels? In biblical hospitality, both the giver and recipient, host and guest, are in for a surprise. This is a wonderful adventure in every suburb of the kingdom of God. Continue reading

Child of Embarrassment

“[Theistic evolution] is really a child of embarrassment, which calls God in at periodic intervals to help nature over the chasms that yawn at her feet.  It is neither the biblical doctrine of creation, nor a consistent theory of evolution.”

–Berkhof

And isn’t evolution embarrassing enough?

Avoiding Hyper-factionalism

Douglas Wilson has a great endorsement and critique of Michael Horton’s article on NT Wright. Here is a snippet:

This is all to the good, but then, in the last column of the article, the whole thing starts to go south on Horton. He offers this complaint — “Wright also has a clear agenda to get Christians to transform the world by ‘living the gospel.'” What? Like Calvin didn’t? Like Knox didn’t? Like Cranmer didn’t? Like Beza didn’t? Like Owen didn’t? Like Edwards didn’t? Like Bucer didn’t? Like Tyndale didn’t? Like Machen didn’t? Like Kuyper didn’t? Horton has made a big deal out of Wright not being able to “footnote” his negative assessments of the Reformed tradition. But if that is the standard, Horton is not able to footnote how a radical Klinean departure from centuries of Reformed social and cultural theology is in any way consistent with being really Reformed — or, if I may dare say it, with being truly Reformed. You want a footnote on Reformed cultural theology? How about this? “See the first 400 years of Reformation history.” On this point, and it is not an insignificant one, N.T. Wright is squarely in the Reformed tradition, and Michael Horton is not.

The whole thing is worth reading as endorsement of Reformed catholicity, here.

Adam Could Not Merit

Commenting on Ps. 119:18, Thomas Manton:

“We cannot merit of God. “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?” (Job xxii.2.)  “If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?” (Job xxxv. 7.)  Whatever God doth for creatures,  it freely, because he cannot be obliged or preengaged by us. In innocency, Adam could impetrare, but not mereri; obtain it by covenant, not challenge by desert. Therefore God conferreth as freely as he createth.”

There you go. Manton, a Westminster Divine, against pre-fall merit. God could bind himself and give Adam life, but Adam could not merit it. I wonder if Manton is outside the Standards?

Old New Gospel Songs

“The gospel song came into great popularity in the middle of the last century largely through the evangelistic ministry of Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) and his musical associate Ira D. Sankey (1840-1908). It was an authentic expression of the highly emotional and individualistic religious experience which was typical of the American frontier of that day. Many Christians today do not realize what a comparatively recent development in religious music the gospel song actually is. Often when the great old hymns of the church, which have survived the centuries because of the magnificent depths of pure devotion expressed in them, are introduced in contemporary services the people complain. “Why don’t we sing the good old songs? Why must we sing new songs which we do not know?” The “old songs” to which they refer are the comparatively new gospel songs which have been put to highly singable melodies of the general type of the popular songs of the day.”

–Robert Rayburn, O Come Let Us Worship

Greater Not Lesser

I’m reading through John Piper’s very fine Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, and have come to his chapter on baptism. The pastoral thrust of this chapter is very good: “I think we need to teach our people the meaning of baptism and obey the Lord’s command to baptize converts (Matt. 28:19), without elevating the doctrine to a primary one that would unduly cut us off from shared worship and ministry with others who share more important things with us.”

Amen. One way we do this at our church is through a cooperation agreement whereby we perform both credo and paedo baptisms, and no one is allowed to throw food when it takes place. On occasion both are even performed in the same service. While wanting to cooperate and fellowship as a church, we also want to strive for like-mindedness, which is different than agreeing to disagree. We agree to love one another while pursuing the truth. So not only does our doctrine of baptism not cut us off from fellowship with other churches, we embrace this secondary difference within our own ranks. Continue reading

Power Give

Luther attacked the sacrament of ordination which is one manifestation of a false sacred/secular divide. How many pastors teach in such a way that nothing they ever affects or applies the way people behave at work? If a minister is a different sort of person altogether, saying “spiritual” things for a limited spiritual realm, then it makes sense that religion one compartment of a compartmentalized life. The faux sacrament of ordination is bad business, “designed to engender implacable discord whereby the clergy and the laity should be separated farther than heaven and earth, to the incredible injury of baptismal grace and to the confusion of evangelical fellowship. This is the source of that detestable tyranny over the laity by the clergy who, relying  the external anointing of their hands, the tonsure and the vestments, no only exalt themselves above lay Christians, anointed by the Holy Spirit, but even regard them as dogs, unworthy to be included with them in the Church. ” Outside of Catholicism, these attitudes are still prevalent where ministers think they have spiritual exaltation, preferred benefits, or entitlement access, and titular dignity above other brothers and sisters. Ironically, Luther’s greatness came from minimizing his own. This sort of power give, rather than grab, is the mark of all reformers and reformations.