Best stories of 2013

December 26, 2013

Why Christian parents should not want good, happy, safe kids by David E. Prince

It is not uncommon for Christian parents to begin with good intentions then subtly fall into serving the dream of what they want for their children’s lives rather than what God would want. Rather than loving God by loving their children, they begin loving their vision of what raising successful children will look like. A child successfully living out the parents’ aspirations can grievously become the way parents validate themselves. Parents who make decisions based on how others will perceive them and their social standing are tragically treating their children like props in a public relations campaign.

ERLC and Guidestone united in protecting pastors’ housing allowance by Staff

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and GuideStone Financial Resources stand together in opposition to a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin, who ruled unconstitutional a provision in US tax code that allows for ministers to deduct their housing allowance. The plaintiffs in this case are the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation and the defendants are U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel. This ruling affects clergy in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Some thoughts on Pope Francis by Russell D. Moore

It’s another week and thus another interview with Pope Francis. This one, I’m sorry to say, is more than just confusing. It’s a theological wreck…If Pope Francis wishes to reclaim the primacy of the gospel, he must simultaneously speak with kindness to those outside of its reach and speak of the need for good news. What these interviews seem continually to do is what evangelical theologian Carl Henry warned Protestants of in the 20th century, of severing the love of God from the holiness of God. God is, Henry said against both the liberal Social Gospel and obscurantist and angry fundamentalism, the God of both justice and justification.

Is football too violent for Christians? by David E. Prince and Jimmy Scroggins

There is no doubt football has become America’s sporting obsession. Football games are huge events where fans dress up, chant, cheer and tailgate. Even though a football team only has a handful of home games each season, the atmosphere and pageantry of football attracts countless people who are fans of the spectacle more than the nuances of the zone read, Tampa 2 or the wing-bone offense. No other game combines brute force and elegant choreography the way football does…But there are those who question the acceptability of a physically combative sport like football. They consider the game barbaric or a blood sport. Author Malcolm Gladwell, who is calling for the abolition of college football, refers to football as the human version of dog fighting.

The Bible speaks on family by Staff

Family life today is under siege. Families are beset by divorce, a crisis in roles, absenteeism of parents, a breakdown of authority, preoccupation with things, inadequate time together, financial pressures, and a host of other problems. The Bible teaches that the institution of family is of divine origin and purpose. The Bible also provides guidelines for good relations within the family. A commitment to the Bible’s teachings and principles provides today’s best hope for the recovery of family life.

Why do pastors receive a tax exemption for housing? by Joe Carter

A federal judge recently ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances is unconstitutional. In her ruling U.S. District Court Judge Crabb claims that, “Some might view a rule against preferential treatment as exhibiting hostility toward religion, but equality should never be mistaken for hostility.”…Despite the judge’s claim, appealing to “equality” is not enough to make the action non-hostile nor is it in line with previous court decisions. 

Four reasons you might be aborted: An open letter to fetal humans by Joe Carter

To my fellow humans who are entering that most precarious stage of human development…Let me begin by congratulating you on making it through the embryonic stage. Too many of our fellow humans don’t even make it as far as you have now. Many died of natural causes. Others were cut down prior to implantation by an abortifacient. Still others are trapped in the freezers of IVF clinics, in suspended animation awaiting their fate…You have made it to the second stage of life. But you’re not out of the woods, as they say, until you’re out of the womb.