Must Read Monday: Reading the headlines through a Gospel worldview 2-10-2020February 10, 2020
The Nuclear Family was a Mistake The headline is total clickbait, right? It’s not about abandoning the institution of the family but actually rediscovering and recommitting ourselves to the multigenerational mess family was always intended to be. It’s the nuclear family (which was too fragile and fractured into single family and then to no family) that’s the problem, not family per se. Think for a moment about the messy beauty we all discovered when the Robertsons allowed us all into their lives on Duck Dynasty. That’s family. David Brooks is actually appealing for the same thing Yuval Levin proposes in his new book, A Time to Build: from family and community to Congress and the campus, how recommitting to our institutions can revive the American dream. Listen to my conversation with Levin here
Making the connection: How do I define family? Do I experience the church as family? How big is the table I set for others?
Attacks on houses of worship have left congregations grappling with how to respond.
Here’s some LifeWay Research on the topic: Most Churches plan for potential gunman; divided over armed congregants
Making the connection: Does your church have an active shooter plan? Do you know the details of that plan and would you be prepared to do what’s expected of you? Does your church allow congregants to carry concealed weapons? Does that make you feel more or less safe?
What’s on the minds of America’s pastors? Barna Research is rolling out the 2020 State of the Church report(s).
Life and human identity/sexuality issues in the news:
On behalf of Ireland’s unborn — if we could go back and be the church in 1973 following the passage of Roe v Wade, knowing what we know now, how might we have approached the entire conversation differently? That’s the opportunity Christians in Northern Ireland now have. Watch for news of efforts to fan that flame!
Bernie Sanders sees no place in Democratic party for pro-life people – and yes, he actually said so.
Belgian court acquits doctors of manslaughter for euthanizing 38 year old female patient with mental illness. I’m pro-life from conception to natural death. This is not natural death and this is the future of the pro-life debate in America where an increasing number of states allow for physician assisted suicide. If you thought the abortion debate was complex, just wait for the unanticipated complexities related to the end of life.
Florida lawmakers consider ban on gender altering surgeries on children. The fact we’re even at a place in our culture where this conversation – let alone legislation – is necessary is horrifying. But here we are.
There was a LOT this past week at the intersection of faith and politics: from religious themes in the State of the Union address to the National Prayer Breakfast to the ongoing conversations about whether or not you can be a Christian and vote for ___________ (fill in the blank). There’s been no shortage of vitriol and frequent calls for civility – and even love of enemies. As we enter into the 2020 race, let us consider that Christians will find themselves all over the place when it comes to the political conversations of the day. I am thankful God’s got Christians in both parties – and standing outside those parties. I am also committed to continuing in conversation with those who are Red, Blue, Purple and agnostic when it comes to the political theatre and theatrics of the day. I found this piece helpful this week: Andrew Walker explaining Why Religious Conservatives would vote for Trump
Today, I talked about Arthur Brooks’ speech at the National Prayer Breakfast and with Adam Carrington about how conscience is formed and exercised by people of faith.
On Tuesday, I’m talking with Justin Giboney about his piece posted in The Hill on civility.
The New York Times (subscription)
Ethiopia is staking its hopes on its $4.5 billion hydroelectric dam. Egypt fears it will cut into its water supplies. President Trump is mediating. NYTimes summary: “without the Nile there is no Egypt.”
Making the connection: When we consider the possibility of an existential threat to our existence, what makes that list? Is access to water even on our radar? What else might we be taking for granted that is part of God’s providential created design?