A faithful five for Sunday

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A few faith-oriented links for your Sunday reading:

Catholic Seminarian Dennis Schenkel is back from his intensive language course in Guatemala. Browse back through his archives for accounts and photos of his travels. There's an entry from a couple of weeks ago about why Evangelicals are having success in Central America at the expense of Catholicism, which has been the predominant religion in the region going back to its colonization by Spain. It's interesting to read about this phenomenon from the perspective of "the other side". The most persuasive explanation came from one of the commenters: It's a matter of spiritual vitality. Success in evangelization depends on knowing and loving Christ.

Matthew has gone back to Ohio to see his grandfather, who is facing death:

More than this, I will be about the work of the LORD - serving my family in the most loving way I know: by bearing witness to the Truth, giving reasons for the Hope that I know, and fighting for my grandfather’s Soul with all that I am capable. Though his Salvation is my desire, I know the battle is the LORD's - and it is by the Grace of GOD that one comes to Faith, not my clumsy speech.

Now at his life's twilight, my dear grandfather is clinging so fearfully to his life - under the horrible distress of a great dread that he can scarcely understand in total, but still knows well enough within his heart. Despite a long life lived without knowing Christ, he knows that beyond the veil lays something he does not wish to face.

Please remember Matthew and his grandfather in your prayers.

Steve Camp has recently been added to my blogroll. He's a contemporary Christian musician, which might lead you to expect little of substance, but you'll find a great deal of depth. He's a Calvinistic Baptist, and he takes a contrarian view of Christian political involvement, saying that "evangelical co-belligerence" amounts to watering down the gospel for the sake of building alliances to fight temporal political battles. He writes today:

People who champion evangelical co-belligerence will never win the culture wars, though they might improve them some. But they will have failed miserably by sacrificing the gospel message, sound doctrine, theology, the church, and the biblical duties that the Lord has called us to all along “for a piece of political pie” with the reward of temporary fame, increased fortune and the still unrealized fantasy of a moral Christianized world without Christ and His truth at the core.

I'd like to believe that Camp is working with outdated information about the aims of Christian leaders who are engaged politically. 20 years ago, it seemed that some Christian political leaders believed that political victories could transform society. I think Christian engagement in the culture war today is aimed at protecting the innocent, particularly the unborn, and protecting religious liberty, not at achieving the transformation of society through legislation. You may not agree with Camp, but you'll find what he has to say worth your attention.

Continuing with the topic of Christian political involvement, George Grant has a fascinating and lengthy biographical sketch of William Wilberforce, the Member of Parliament who strove for 50 years to pass legislation abolishing the slave trade. One of those who encouraged him to remain in politics and persevere in pursuit of this goal was his pastor, former slavetrader John Newton.

Finally, David Bayly has banned the use of historical pejoratives in his church office. He says that calling someone a "Donatist" or a "gnostic" doesn't engage the issues at stake and doesn't win arguments.

2 Comments

Matthew said:

Thank you much, brother. The prayers of the faithful give me great heart.

susan said:

UPDATE ON TULSA ZOO "RELIGION AT THE TULSA ZOO"
Dan Hicks who attends Tulsa Bible Church and who is an architect was frustrated when he took his
kids at the Tulsa Zoo and the Tulsa Zoo had religious stories, gods in the rain forest, a god head outside the Rain Forest exhibit, the Hindu god which is fenced in, the TIME GALLERY WHICH CONTRADICTS THE BIBLE'S STORY OF CREATION,
etc. First Walt Helmerich who is a significant voice on the panel and a huge personal financial contributor to Tulsa Zoo (Friends) at first agreed to allow Dan Hicks display Creation according to the Bible
The Zoo to be fair would also allow others. You can always count on the Tulsa World to make a big stink out of something like this. They looked to a unitarian (they don't believe in the trinity) church to help protest Dan Hicks display. Even though unitarians are an extremely small number in Tulsa compared to other churches in Tulsa that do believe in the display that Dan Hicks presented before the Tulsa Zoo panel. Tulsa World sided with viewpoints raised from the unitarian group and other people that do not believe in the Bible at all. With the Tulsa World's huge publicity campaign (I calll it a Tulsa World campaign because as they are so good at using a one-sided biased approach to how they feel things in Tulsa should be they (Ken Neal) complained (Ken Neal is an editor of the editorial section) against the Dan Hicks display. One Sunday in particular, Ken Neal put all negative letters to the editor about the display. The Tulsa World saved the positive letters to the editor about the creation display to be posted on the days many don't read their newspaper.
If anyone is interested in seeing how unfair the Tulsa Zoo is on allowing other religious displays but yet won't allow Dan HIcks creation
display, pick up a copy of the TULSA BEACON. Contact them by phone and go to their website
to see how you, too, can see why Dan Hicks was
disgusted as MANY others were too that Religion at the Tulsa Zoo is shown in MANY ways. Brian Biggs has the photos so you will understand what Dan Hicks was talking about. I only wish in this
particular TULSA BEACON they had shown the beautiful artwork Dan Hicks was going to donate.
I am sure in other TULSA BEACON newspapers, they have plenty of information on this topic.
For many Oklahoma campers, BILL BIGGS, brother of one of the Biggs that helps put THE BEACON together for a family christian newspaper, Bill
was a counselor at New Life Ranch a long time ago. He later was a yearly speaker at the New Life Ranch camp chapel
and many kids (including one of W. Helmerich 's grandkids) have had some of the best summer of their lives there with loads of fun. Many churches have retreats at New Life Ranch all year long with testimonies of life changing hearts for the good. On all the beautiful acres God miraculously allowed the Hecks to start this camp many years ago. My picture is posted on the former counselors Memories exhibit in the dining hall of New Life Ranch.

My son recently took at huge trip that had a bus driver that had parents that were atheist. He told my son he did not believe in the Bible at all as his parents never took him to church and encouraged him to believe as his parents.

Realizing the bus driver loved to read, he gave him a book he brought on the trip he loved to read call Brucko (I may have spelled that wrong). It's about a guy that decides to go the
mission field even though he constantly kept getting no votes of confidence for support. Talk about Abraham Lincoln trying over and over again and finally succeeding as president, this book (Brucko) is a wonderful book to read of inspiration of how a single person can be used of God in a magnificent way. I would also encourage others to subscribe to THE TULSA BEACON
newspaper.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 13, 2005 10:34 PM.

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