One of my favorite columnists is Michael John Gerson. He is an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, a visiting fellow with the Center for Public Justice, and a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as President George W. Bush‘s chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006, as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006. His column in this morning’s Post caught my attention because it involves two of my areas of interest, i.e., the intersection of politics and religion (and for me in mentioning religion I mean a faith-based worldview that drives how people live in society), and leadership in the Christian community. I, personally, cannot agree with much of Catholic theology and doctrine but greatly respect Catholics for many of their practices. Consequently I was interested in this Gerson article dealing with Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” wherein he deals with rampant consumerism and an idiology that deifies “the market” and economic growth and gives no room for government to play a role humanizing the markets. Perhaps you’ll appreciate Gerson’s take on the article. If such things interest you it will certainly give you pause for thought. Following is a link to Gerson’s article. RMF
Pope Francis and the argument for compassionate capitalism
Check out this great NBA commercial. Even the secular world longs for immortality! The music is Live Forever by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. RMF
Click here for link to YouTube video.
I have always been fascinated by war and warfare. That is why I was thrilled to be selected to attend the National War College in 1987-1988. And, it is not just the physical type of armed combat that interests me — it is also spiritual warfare that is a compelling subject to me. And, in studying the two it is amazing how many similarities and parallels there are between the two. Anyway, the following is a great listing of books on warfare that appeared on The Art of Manliness blog this morning. The listing and commentary on them was written by Ryan Holiday, a “manly” guest contributor. I believe you’ll appreciate the post and if not that’s ok. War is an unspeakably terrible thing and perhaps that is a good thing lest, as Robert E. Lee said, we grow too fond of it. Oh, one other thing — please note that the listing includes the following book:
Here is Holiday’s characterization of the book:Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram. One of the greatest fighter pilot instructors who ever lived made his mark not in the air, but on the ground. Boyd, a master strategist and thinker, essentially reinvented our understanding of maneuver warfare. (His plans were used for the overwhelming victory in the First Gulf War.) The lessons in this book are incredibly valuable for anyone fighting against a bureaucracy, against inertia, against doubters and ass-kissers. It’s considered a classic and read by most strategic thinkers across the armed forces today for a reason.The reason I single out this one book is because it’s subject, Col. John Boyd (RIP), was the father of dear friends and fellow members of New Life Christian Church, Mary Ellen and Jeff Boyd. In addition to this particular book, other books as well as TV documentaries have featured Col. Boyd’s career and accomplishments. The following is a link to The Art of Manliness article. RMF
43 Books About War That Every Man Should Read
I was able to catch some of the speakers at the most recent The Gospel Coalition conference via webcast. My favorite message was one from Luke’s Gospel (Luke 22:39 – 23:49) delivered by Gary Millar. This is the very best message I’ve ever heard on the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Luke’s account of the events drawing near to the execution slow down making us pause, think, linger, and gasp as he painstakingly explains the significance of the unthinkable tragedy unfolding before our eyes. The richness of Luke’s account contains constant echoes of the Old Testament, but is carried along by Jesus’ final encounters with people – friends, enemies and strangers – as the Messiah dies in our place, that we might taste life with him. I especially love the magnificent way it portrays Jesus as totally in command while everything else was going amiss. And Gary Millar captures and describes Jesus’ actions and the events surrounding Him in a way that thrills me and leads me to an even greater appreciation of Jesus’ glory.
Gary Millar is principal of Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, where he teaches Old Testament, biblical theology, and preaching. Prior to his move to Brisbane he pastored a pair of Presbyterian churches and taught at the Irish Bible Institute in Northern Ireland. He is deeply passionate about equipping people to preach Christ from the whole Bible. RMF
Here is the link to the video of professor Millar’s message: Jesus Betrayed and Crucified.
The Gospel Coalition Conference
My church, New Life Christian Church, just completed a series of messages based on current popular movies. My favorite was the message on The Life of Pi which was preached by Patrick Dennis, one of the New Life volunteers. My Shirley and I had seen the movie and found it really challenging in that it dealt with spiritual topics that run athwart Christianity. My concern with the movie was not that Shirley and I couldn’t see through the many flaws and false or misleading premises that were on display but that folks who don’t have a firm grasp on either reason or a mature faith in Christ would be deceived or seduced into thinking that all religious faiths were equally valid or that atheism might be the way to go. I believe you’ll agree that Patrick does a masterful job of demonstrating the fallacies depicted in the movie and explaining the rationality in the Christian faith and its exclusivity. HERE is the link to the message. RMF
Some years ago I read Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It contained much information about ways we can build habits into our lives which will help us live with fairness, integrity, and honesty and give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. One of the most valuable parts of the book for me was information on what I now know is known as the Eisenhower Matrix. The Art of Manliness blog just posted an article about it which is worth reading. Check it out HERE. RMF
General Dwight David Eisenhower
Do you sometimes feel like you spend all your time managing crises? That your life is basically spent putting out one proverbial fire after another?
At the end of the day do you feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet can’t point to anything you accomplished of real significance?
Then you, my friend, are probably confusing the urgent with the important. Continue reading
Shirley and I recently hosted a Life Group study called The Truth Project
featuring our “tour guide,” Del Tackett. The study was presented from a Christian perspective and covered the role of truth in all areas of life and society and made me much more sensitive to the need for truth as it really is. The following James Emery White* article which appeared on his Church & Culture
blog adds some wisdom to the discussion regarding truth, especially as it regards truth as determined by popular opinion or majority vote.
Is Google God?
By James Emery White*
James Emery White
Columnist Thomas Friedman posed this question in The New York Times in June of 2003. Quoting the vice-president of a Wi-Fi provider, Friedman writes that “Google, combined with Wi-Fi, is a little bit like God. God is wireless, God is everywhere and God sees and knows everything. Throughout history, people connected to God without wires. Now, for many questions in the world, you ask Google, and increasingly, you can do it without wires, too.”
Now Friedman’s question seems prescient. Taken from “googol” (the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros), signifying how much information Google initially hoped to catalog, “Googling” has now become synonymous with the search for information.
Interestingly, when Tim Berners-Lee first imagined the web as its inventor, he named it “Enquire,” short for Enquire Within upon Everything, a “musty old book of Victorian advice I noticed as a child in my parents’ house outside London. With its title suggestive of magic, the book served as a portal to a world of information, everything from how to remove clothing stains to tips on investing money.” Continue reading
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Tagged Chuck Kelley, Dr. Del Tackett, Google, James Emery White, John Seigenthaler, Lawrence Lessig, Mecklenburg Community Church, Stephen Colbert, The Truth Project, Thomas Friedman, Wi-Fi, Wikiality, Wikipedia