Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category

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An Italian organization, CoorDown, created this exceptional video of people with Down syndrome answering a question from a pregnant mother.

World Down Syndrome Day is March 21 (3/21 – get it?).

Let’s make sure people don’t just know about Down syndrome, but actually get to know people who live with it by letting the babies live, welcoming them into our churches, and letting their gifts be expressed for the glory of God and the good of God’s church.

Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind (or with Down syndrome)? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11 ESV)

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At Desiring God today they put up a post I wrote which they titled, “Four Kinds of Churches Worth Leaving.”

My original title was “Pastor, if you claim to believe the Bible and you say this to a family like mine, I will personally punch you in the nose.”

The content editors at Desiring God appreciated my passion, but wisely made the change. They also took a 1400 word post and shaved it down to 600 words. That was a good thing as well. There was a lot more heat than light in what I sent them!

I hate, to my core, the stories of churches that tell families like ours to leave – until I started thinking about the churches where that would be a kindness and came up with four.

For the churches who do dumb things out of love, I have a lot more patience. May God grant us the wisdom to see when churches and leaders are pursuing our good in wrong-headed ways out of love for God and affection for us and confidence in the Bible! And may we respond with kindness and confidence that God is good – along with a thought or two about what might actually be useful.

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At the 2014 Desiring God Conference for Pastors last week, Sinclair Ferguson offered a great vision, and challenge, to churches around communion:

Do you agree? And do you think we could actually pull this off?

The entire panel discussion can be viewed here.

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In the busy-ness of my week I nearly missed this post by Vaneetha Rendall Demski at Desiring God, and it is too powerful to miss!

Countless childhood surgeries. Yearlong stints in the hospital. Verbal and physical bullying from classmates. Multiple miscarriages as a young wife. The unexpected death of a child. A debilitating progressive disease. Riveting pain. Betrayal. A husband who leaves.

If it were up to me, I would have written my story differently. Not one of those phrases would be included. Each line represents something hard. Gut wrenching. Life changing.

But now, in retrospect, I wouldn’t erase a single line.

You can read the entire post here: When God Does the Miracle We Didn’t Ask For

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One of the most frustrating, repeated arguments I hear about killing some people – the unborn, the frail elderly, those with disabilities – is that they have no real value. Only productive people have value in that twisted view.

Writing for Bethlehem College and Seminary’s weekly update, Joe Rigney points out that NONE of us has value in ourselves – but we still have real value:

. . . Edwards knows that human sinners, in our quest for autonomy, love to affirm creation from nothing while smuggling in some notion of our own inherent value and worth. Edwards insists in the strongest possible terms that we have nothing apart from God. We have no autonomous or independent value. When it comes to God, we bring nothing of our own to the table. He gives to all things, life and breath and everything else, including value. “What do you have that you did not receive?” Paul asks (1 Cor. 4:7).

At the same time, Edwards does not leave man as a nothing. We may not have any autonomous, intrinsic value, but we do have real value. And we have value because God values us. Our worth is derived wholly from the fact that God makes us and calls us good. Even in our fallen state, we still retain the remnants of God’s image, an image that God is restoring in Christ. What’s more, in Christ God has given himself to us, so that his Holy Spirit now dwells within us and enlivens our thoughts, affections, and actions. Though we are nothing, God has invited us into his own triune life, extending his fullness and glory to us in the gospel.

Joe RigneyAssistant Professor of Theology and Christian Worldview, Bethlehem College and Seminary

God values us! God makes us! Yes, this is much better news than believing we – or any human being of any size, ethnicity or ability – only have value as long as we are productive.

On a weekly basis members of Bethlehem College and Seminary provide helpful commentary and insights from their disciplines and observations. I highly recommend subscribing to their weekly email, which you can do here.

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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.

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A wonderful nine minutes with Pastor John, David Platt and Matt Chandler on the goodness of God in suffering.

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I love this young man!

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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.

The bill would not have outlawed abortion, just stopped the practice after 20 weeks. Unlike the Texas bill, it had no exceptions for fetal anomalies.

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.

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