Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category

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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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.

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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.

The Subtle Art of Destroying Humans

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.

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