Pastor Kempton, father of Christian and the man on the cover of Just the Way I Am, praying yesterday. It is about 2 1/2 minutes.
A wonderful nine minutes with Pastor John, David Platt and Matt Chandler on the goodness of God in suffering.
I love this young man!
Yesterday voters in Albuquerque, NM voted down a measure that would have protected babies after 20 weeks from being aborted. One of the few late-term abortion clinics (at least one that operates openly) can continue to abort babies at any stage of development within that city.
After seeing that bitterly disappointing news from New Mexico this morning, God kindly had Greg Lucas point to this video of a baby, born 3.5 months prematurely, and how he progressed through his first year.
Babies older than Ward was when he was born will be aborted today. The evil around us is simply breathtaking.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus! And give us the strength today to stand for the little ones – and their mothers and fathers – and against a culture that says it is ok to kill them.
Dianne and I watched this great video honoring Al Mohler’s 20th year as president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
So, what does this have to do with disability?
In one sense, nothing. He doesn’t mention disability at all (to my recollection).
But if you watch the video you’ll see that after just a few decades, the God-centered purpose and principles of the founders of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were already being challenged. By the 1980′s many faculty were openly defying those principles.
The video explores a little of what happened after Al Mohler became president. Through his principled leadership and with God’s help, he turned the institution back to its foundation on God and his Word. It is an amazing story!
So in that sense, it has everything to do with disability ministry.
We need our institutions who are preparing the next generation of leaders in the church to guide them on the right course! If our leaders are taught to be ‘clever’ or ‘insightful’ or ‘relevant’ over giving us the truth of God’s Word, we have nothing in which to hope except our own feeble capacities – and that is no hope at all.
This is not merely a hypothetical possibility. Just a couple of weeks ago I was reading a journal article by a so-called scholar on disability and theology who denied the necessity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ – not unlike what was happening amongst the faculty at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary before Al Mohler became president.
She had succumbed to the temptation to view God and his Word through the lens of her own experience and education rather than trust that God’s promises and his Word are so much greater, deeper, and wiser than her limited perception of reality. I’ve seen it more times than I can count. And her article ended up being very sad and small, with nothing ultimately to offer in terms of hope except in our own intellect.
There are certainly hard things in the Bible, things that take a great deal of study and thought and prayer for help from the Holy Spirit for understanding. And that’s exactly what I want from my pastors and leaders – careful, prayerful, dependent, hopeful study for the sake of helping God’s church understand more about who God is and what his Word has to say.
I don’t need clever. I don’t need people apologizing for or rewriting God’s Word to make it more palatable to narrow audiences. I don’t need God’s Word ‘reimagined’ to become acceptable to a particular political or cultural movement.
I need God.
Thank you, Al Mohler, for stewarding a whole generation of leaders and future leaders into the truth and strength and beauty and careful study of God’s Word, for the good of God’s church, and for the joy of all those who are called to live this different life of disability.
With apologies to C.S. Lewis for copying his style, my attempt to expose evil. I’m grateful that Desiring God gives me these opportunities.
I am glad to see you are finally learning to be subtler in manipulating your human. As I had warned you, I was concerned that your boisterous assault on the unborn vermin with the rare chromosomal makeup (the “disabled,” as the other vermin call them) was going to expose all our plans to destroy them.
So I congratulate you on the recent article in The New York Times, “Breakthroughs in Prenatal Screening.” I can see your skills developing. We must continue on this path as it does two important things for us: 1) it further blinds the humans to our real schemes; and 2) it rids us of having to deal with those foul, weak, “special” children that the Enemy calls “indispensable.” We mustn’t lose our grip here.
A great word from Jon Bloom on God’s Bright Design for Your Bitter Providences:
“God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
God tells us everything we need to know to live godly lives (2 Peter 1.3). But sometimes we wonder.
The unexpected, unexplained twists and turns our lives take create all kinds of apparent uncertainties for us. And the profound pain we endure can be so perplexing. There is so much God doesn’t tell us — so much we think we would really like to know.
But as Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.”
This means that as creatures we must learn to live contentedly with what God intends to be mysterious to us and grab hold of the revealed things with everything we have.
Friends forwarded this blog post from the father of a young man named Isaiah: Isaiah’s upcoming mission trip.
His mission field? The hospital in Portland where he is getting surgery to get metal rods in his back.
His tool? An iPad where he watches videos of Pastor John preaching. Isaiah is 7 years old.
I didn’t think my respect or affection for Pastor John could increase any higher, but reading this blog post took me to a new level, with tears of gratitude for the 28 years he served as my pastor, for how he lead us through suffering by pointing us to Jesus, and for the kindness he extended to a boy and his parents in Portland, Oregon.
Please, read that post and let us pray for Isaiah next week.
Thabiti Anyabwile takes on a hugely important and difficult question about suffering.
Tim Keller answers the New City Catechism question 52: What hope does everlasting life hold for us?
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, ESV)