Must Read Monday: George H.W. Bush, Lauren Daigle, Angels and MoreDecember 3, 2018
First words heard in Heaven? Good question and good conversation starter today. Speculation about Heaven is the wide open door of conversation today as we remember a good man who gave his life in the service of the public good. Use what God has given in the life and legacy – and parting conversations – of a former President to lead into conversations with others about eternal things.
What a life. What a legacy. What a testimony.
Honorable. Gracious. Decent. – what former President Clinton, Bush’s political adversary, had to say about Bush 41.
Jalen Hurts and how even a football game can provide a way to get God back into the conversation. Reclaiming redemption. Redemption is a powerful word and an even more powerful reality. Use it today to reconnect the eternal with the everyday.
Angels are in the cultural conversation this time of year. Re-read Matthew 1 and Luke 1–2 for important reminders about the Angel of the Lord and the angelic host, and listen to my conversation with Michael Heiser about his books Angels and Unseen Realm.
What do you see when you look up?
We are commanded to fix our eyes on that which is above but when it comes to the figures atop many contemporary buildings, our minds are actually led away from truth to lies. Two cases in point:
Need a story to spark the imagination and engage the mind of a teenager or skeptic?
Archeologists are digging up some pretty cool stuff in the Middle East.
To be further equipped to engage with college students headed home this Christmas, plan now to join the conversation with a Ratio Christi campus apologist at The Ohio State University this Wednesday on Connecting Faith.
What’s going on at the intersections of race, gender and faith in America? Here is a sampling:
- Beth Moore on the reality of misogyny and the blowback from women
- African American progressive pastor says its on men to end sexism in the black church
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary hires accomplished African American woman to serve as first Women’s Support Coordinator
And from the culture frontlines: Lauren Daigle
Christian singer/songwriter Lauren Daigle has a new album with cross-over appeal into the mainstream culture. That, in and of itself, is extraordinary. Not surprisingly, reviews from Christians are mixed.
After she appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Daigle gave follow-up interviews to Christians demanding she prove her theological bonafides or risk public condemnation from those who should be celebrating the fact that a distinctively Christian witness has won a hearing in the culture.
When asked on the Dominik Nati Show to answer whether or not homosexuality is a sin, Daigle replied,
“I can’t honestly answer on that, in the sense of I have too many people that I love and they are homosexuals. I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God. When people ask questions like that, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out let me know because I’m learning too.”
To be fair, her answer isn’t wrong, just insufficient. Although we are not God, we do have access (by grace) to God’s Word on the matter. Like the rest of us, Lauren Daigle knows what the Bible says about His best for human relationships. We know that God calls human beings to fidelity in marriage between one man and one woman or chastity in singleness. We know that God’s best has been corrupted in many, many ways because of the sin. To suggest that a Christian doesn’t know God’s position by acknowledging that we are not God, is hedging. She didn’t speak falsehood so much as she gave a very politically astute question to a very poor question.
I think the question Nati asked misses the point of what Lauren Daigle is doing and how God may be using her. Do we recognize the extraordinary reality that in 2018 in the United States of America, a distinctively Christian WORSHIP album is having cross-over appeal into the culture? Questions about how Christians can make the Gospel visible, audible, beautiful and winsome might be the questions we should ask an artist.
Why ask her this question? As a person right on the margin of GenZ, even as a Christian, Daigle is likely to hold homosexuality in tension: to know what the Bible says and also to understand that its applicability to people living outside of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is a ridiculous standard. I’m surprised she didn’t just roll her eyes at the question. Asking the question reveals a lack of understanding about the generation to which she is sent. Issues of identity, including sexuality, are at the heart of the conversation young people are having (with one another) today. If they’re not talking about it with you, there’s a reason.
The question she was asked was too broad. A better question might have been “what does the Bible say about human identity and sexuality” or “how are you seeking to address the generational angst over identity and sexual confusion and brokenness in this project?”
So, why not ask those kinds of questions? Because they wouldn’t have yielded the intended outcome which was fodder for the Christian outrage culture.
Paul in Philippians 2 is applicable here. The entire chapter is about the nature and manner and mind of Christ and then how that is to be lived out in those who follow him. Read it in its entirety and ask yourself: how might God be using this young woman to hold out His Word of life in a generation obsessed with darkness and death? How might we fan the flame instead of seeking to snuff out the flicker of light?