(***Addendum: I changed the title of this post because of an interaction with my friend. I decideded that "why Christians should read Harry Potter" was overstated. Whatever you choose to do, try to approach with a rich, biblically informed mindset).
We'll all die, but probably not today--R.C. Sproul Jr writes about God's sovereignty and his wife's leukemia. Having walked the cancer road with my wife 2 years ago, I can relate to much of what he says. "My calling then is to rest in, to believe, to be comforted by what He has spoken clearly. Providence is His, but there He speaks a strange language in muted tones. His Word, on the other hand is both loud and clear. We know, for starters, that God Himself is behind this. God will either defeat the cancer He has sent, or He will have sent the cancer that calls her home (Isaiah 45:7). We know that whether her time is sooner or later, it works out for the good not only for her, but for her husband and children (Romans 8:28). We know that whenever He calls her home He will at the same time heal her fully (Revelation 21:4)."
Why is it OK to mock Christianity--Timothy Dalrymple points to an article by Rex Murphy about how it is increasingly OK to bad mouth Christianity or to be openly hostile. The story of the "occupy London" folks defecating in and carving upon St Paul's Cathedral is appalling, regardless of the building or the ideology it represents. What is being seen increasingly, however, is that this sort of thing is "acceptable" to society and the media when Christianity is the target.
Preach the Gospel always, use words too--Tim Tebow has regularly received criticism for his openness about his faith. Recently, Kurt Warner, another Christian athlete, has encouraged him to tone down his public profession of his faith and to just live it out. I agree with Jared Wilson who is troubled by Kurt Warner's advice. Faith comes by hearing the good news.
What is the central message of the Christmas season?--Zach Nielsen shares some comments on the recent lighting of the White House Christmas tree. He writes, "A CNN headline says, 'Obama delivers very Christian message at Christmas tree lighting'. Here is the report on the essence of what he said:
In his remarks at Thursday's tree lighting, Obama said that Jesus 'grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful: that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.'
'So long as the gifts and the parties are happening, it’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season," he said, "and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds.'Unfortunately this (the CNN headline and Obama's words) continues to propagate what almost everyone seems to think about the essence of Christianity. And that is this: It all boils down to just following the rules.
Look at Obama's comments. What is the 'central message of this season'? It all boils down to obedience to God's commands.
But the essence of Christianity is precisely the opposite.