— Thursday, May 30th, 2013 —
Five years ago today my oldest son, Benjamin, was born. Five years ago on June 19th my middle son, Timothy, was born. I missed both days. I didn’t send out any “It’s a Boy” notices. I didn’t deliver flowers to my wife. I don’t even know what I was doing on those days in May and June of 2001, except probably writing away on my dissertation. It’s not that I was a deadbeat dad five years ago. I just wasn’t a dad. I missed my sons’ births because I didn’t know they were born. Keep Reading…
— Sunday, May 26th, 2013 —
Few would think of television’s Mad Men series as religious programming. The show, set in the 1960s era of cutthroat Madison Avenue advertising business, is almost a high-class soap opera, saturated with adultery, substance abuse, and backstabbing. The program’s worshipful aspects might have been recognized, though, by a turn-of-the-century Dutch politician and theologian.
In his new (and groundbreaking) intellectual biography of Abraham Kuyper, historian James Bratt examines Kuyper’s interaction with the challenges of modern secularism, especially in his later travels abroad, including to the United States. Kuyper recognized a loss of authentically Christian identity in the so-called “Christian” countries of Europe and North America. Keep Reading…
— Friday, May 24th, 2013 —
The Supreme Court of the United States is set to hand down a set of decisions this summer that could advance a cultural and political shift in the way marriage is defined in this country. Is your church ready for this?
By that, I don’t mean whether your church has a position on the definition of marriage, or whether your people are ready to express their opinions or vent their outrage on social media or talk radio. All that’s easy. The question is whether our churches are ready to create marriage cultures that matter, regardless of the cultural moment. Keep Reading…
— Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 —
Mother’s Day is a particularly sensitive time in many congregations, and pastors and church leaders often don’t even know it. This is true even in congregations that don’t focus the entire service around the event as if it were a feast day on the church’s liturgical calendar. Infertile women, and often their husbands, are still often grieving in the shadows.
It is good and right to honor mothers. The Bible calls us to do so. Jesus does so with his own mother. We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable. This is not because these women are (necessarily) bitter or covetous or envious. The day is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good. Keep Reading…
— Monday, May 6th, 2013 —
I want to live long enough to be a burden to my children.
I heard a Christian thinker I respect say that years ago, and it embedded in my mind, shocking as it is to our sensitivities. After all, isn’t this the shocking reverse of the received wisdom we hear, and say, all the time? Isn’t it selfish to want to be a burden to one’s children?
This sentence came to mind again this weekend when reading this article in The Guardian by Giles Fraser. Fraser writes that he is not enamored with the pain and indignity of death. But caring for others, and being cared for, is love. We are not “brains in vats,” he notes but persons who live in communities and families. Keep Reading…
— Friday, April 26th, 2013 —
George Jones has died, and I am afraid a lot of people will think he was a hypocrite. George Jones was no hypocrite. He was the troubadour of the Christ-haunted South. The raw emotion, and even whispers of torture, in his voice can teach American Christianity much about the nature of sin and the longing for repentance.
Jones is easy to caricature as a hypocrite, to be sure. He performed some of the greatest songs in country music history. I would fight anyone, metaphorically speaking, who denies that “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is the greatest country song of all time, but Jones was known for more than his songs. His failed marriages, most notably from fellow country music star Tammy Wynette, and his life-long skirmish with substance abuse, were always in the headlines. Few people knew of George Jones who did not immediately think of the anecdote of his riding a lawn mower to the liquor store after the authorities, and his long-suffering wife, took away his freedom to drive a car. Keep Reading…
— Friday, April 26th, 2013 —
Recently Christian rapper Shai Linne took on America’s prosperity gospel teachers, by name and without apology. He was challenged by the son of prosperity teacher Paula White, and responded with a dose of gospel power and light.
This week Shai was in town, making his way through the country on The Black Out Circuit tour, and I couldn’t wait to have him in the studio. In this episode of “The Cross & the Jukebox,” Shai and I talk about the prosperity gospel, why it’s dangerous, and why it shows up in so many places, including in America’s theological export to the African continent. We talk about how the prosperity gospel isn’t just on TBN, but lurks within every heart, including too often mine and, I’ll bet, yours.
Listen to this episode of “The Cross & the Jukebox” and let me know about any songs that you would like us to examine in the weeks and months to come.
— Thursday, April 25th, 2013 —
I need your help.
On June 1st, I will start as president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Shortly thereafter, we’ll be unveiling a brand new podcast, dealing with cultural, social, and political issues from a gospel and kingdom perspective. This will be talk that seeks to get behind the issues to the deeper questions of the meaning of life and the mission of the people of God. That will mean talking about everything from human cloning to wedding ceremonies, from orphan care and religious liberty to Mad Men TV to hip-hop music.
Here’s where I need your help.
What should we call it?
I’ve got some ideas, since I like to title things. But I’ll bet you’ve got better ideas. Submit your top pick to title my new show here or email me at email@example.com. The winner will get a cool reward and my permanent indebtedness of gratitude.
— Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 —
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This sermon, “The Weight of Twelve Stones: Reflections on a Grateful Goodbye” (Josh. 4:1-24), was originally preached at Alumni Chapel at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. This was Dr. Moore’s final chapel sermon as Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration. You can find more sermons and other audio from Dr. Moore here.
— Friday, April 19th, 2013 —
I love Brad Paisley. I love LL Cool J. I don’t like “Accidental Racist.”
The song, part of Paisley’s new album Wheelhouse, has provoked controversy in media outlets around the country, with some suggesting the song is hokey and some suggesting it’s actually racist.
I don’t think Brad or LL are in any way racists of any sort. I just think the song awkwardly trivializes the real issues it raises, making it the musical equivalent of Michael Scott’s “diversity day” presentations on a rerun of The Office.
But I could be wrong. And that’s why I pulled in a pastor/scholar/author I respect, Thabiti Anyabwile. I love Thabiti’s work across the board, but I thought of him particularly because some of the issues raised in this song are remarkably similar to a recent conversation he had with pastor Douglas Wilson about the legacy of the Civil War.