Reading the Headlines through a Gospel worldview | August 3, 2020
Rioters in Portland burned an American flag and a stack of Bibles. Flag burning, book burning and Bible burning have histories and none of them are good. It is hard to know what the individuals who set the American flag aflame or who collected Bibles only to burn them in the street were seeking to accomplish. Headlines? They have those. A winsome witness that would draw others to their cause? Not likely. The local media coverage of the events on the 64th night of protests/riots in the city of Portland gives a better window into what’s happening at street level. I offer this as a #PraytheNews item because the devolution of the city of Portland portends nothing good for the nation. There are legitimate conversations to be had about racism and poverty and homelessness and mental illness and addiction and human trafficking and the foster care system and criminal justice reform and immigration… but ANTIFA and others who would use violence are not sowing peace nor seeking to make peace – but war.
On the other end of the culture of death we have a growing trend toward assisted suicide in Canada. If you do the math, hundreds of Canadians have been euthanized primarily because they are lonely. That is a damning critique of the church and a sign of the breakdown of society at its most basic level.
First Lady, Melania Trump, is focusing her Be Best campaign on children in foster care – with the goal of identifying a forever home for everyone.
Ross Douthat’s NYTimes Op/Ed was so good, others republished it. If you want to know the racist history of abortion’s leading provider, Planned Parenthood, this is the one article you need to read.
So many good conversations happening right now around discipleship. I talked with pastor Dean Inserra about his new book, Without a Doubt, last Friday along with the Billy Graham Center’s Josh Laxton about discipleship reframed at the convergence of the Missio Dei and Imago Dei. Then there’s this from Aaron Earls: Whose Really Discipling Your Congregation – and, I’ll add, your kids?
Several recently released research studies are worth consideration.
- The American Bible Society 2020 State of the Bible survey
- Pew Research’s The Global God Divide
- Barna has a number of research projects worthy of consideration. This one is now downloadable for free: Where do we go from here? Race in America.
- LifeWay Research on the confidence and confusion many American Christians have over the Bible
Worthy watch: President George W. Bush speaking at the funeral of Congressman John Lewis
Also worthy of watching, Emmanual Acho’s Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
Finally, just type “UFO” into your search bar and click on “News.” Apparently there’s more actual evidence – physical items retrieved from crash sites that are described as being made of materials not found on this planet and technologies not in the US or any other known arsenal on Earth. The conversation is getting interesting. And Christians must stand ready to acknowledge that God is a great Creator and may well have made other worlds inhabited by other forms of intelligent life and…they may well be unfallen.