Around the Horn: 2.16.12

February 16, 2012

A Question of Character
From Carl Trueman: We tend on the whole to take character on trust.  My observation is that intellectual accomplishments are less significant compared to numbers of converts or what one might call ‘contextual skills’ which I find difficult to describe without sounding as if I am being pejorative.   Yet in both cases, character is arguably a much neglected category.

The Numbers Game
Where Bridges particularly helps us is in identifying the nature of gospel fruit and the character of ministerial success. If I might borrow a tentative analogy from the dark art of textual criticism, Bridges counsels us that fruit must not only be counted but weighed, evaluated not just quantitatively but also qualitatively. It is at once a richer, fuller and more satisfying assessment, enabling us to consider whether or not we, or others, are really as fruitful as we might be, ought to be, or claim to be.

Old Hymns for Our Day
Over the last few years, hymns have made a comeback in many churches. From Mars Hill Church to Sovereign Grace, to campus ministries and worship bands, many Christians have discovered the same richness and depth of the hymnal. Great music is being written and recorded for “retuned” hymns—traditional lyrics with new melodies.

The Intolerance of Tolerance
An interview with D.A. Carson: Many leading institutions today boast of “tolerance” as their most cherished virtue. College campuses, courts of law, and businesses educate their employees and us about the need for tolerance—religious, sexual, ideological, and otherwise. However, recent developments have exposed the darker side to this tolerance. What many tout as tolerance ends upintolerant of Christian teaching.

Obituary for the American Church
From time to time I will have the people I’m discipling write out their own pastoral obituary. I ask them to write out how our enemy would take them out, rendering them unable to serve their family and communities. As you can imagine, the answers vary, but always serves as a really helpful exercise as they are forced to confront issues of character, etc.

Scholars and Leaders Line-up to Protest Mandate
The statement below was put out by the Beckett Fund, and it says that President Obama did not “accommodate” religious liberty concerns in his recent “compromise.” The healthcare law still requires religious groups to pay for chemical abortions and contraception. I want you to notice the names on this list. It is signed by 160 scholars and leaders, and signatories include D. A. Carson, Albert Mohler, Robbie George, Russell Moore, Danny Akin, David Dockery, and many others.

Gambling and the Common Good
But gambling isn’t merely a “values” issue. Neither is it primarily a “moral” issue, at least not in terms of what we typically classify as “moral values” issues. Gambling is a form of economic predation. Gambling grinds the faces of the poor into the ground. It benefits multinational corporations while oppressing the lower classes with illusory promises of wealth, and with (typically) low-wage, transitory jobs that simultaneously destroy every other economic engine of a local community.


3 responses to Around the Horn: 2.16.12

  1. “cough into a handkerchief and inspect the residue” uh-hmmm…you need to send out a memo, Steve.

  2. Enjoyed this post…see you are up early too! I am on still on Europe time!