By / Apr 30

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss Biden’s joint address to congress, India and the coronavirus tsunami, no need for masks outdoors, COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant women, and the 2021 NFL draft. Lindsay gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including Seth Woodley with “How literature teaches us about leadership: Cultivating virtue reading,” Josh Wester, Jordan Wootten, and Brent McCracken with “Why we desperately need wisdom in this age of information,” and Ericka Anderson with “Why a second chance for incarcerated men is important.”

ERLC Content


  1. Biden promotes sweeping agenda in speech
  2. FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes
  3. Fact Sheet: The American Families Plan
  4. India’s COVID-19 death toll tops 200,000
  5. CDC: If You’re Vaccinated, You Don’t Need To Mask Outdoors
  6. Coronavirus cases are finally falling
  7. Preliminary Findings of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Women
  8. The NFL draft is this week
  9. Bill Belechick’s WFH draft


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  • Brave by Faith: In this realistic yet positive book, renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg examines the first seven chapters of Daniel to show us how to live bravely, confidently, and obediently in an increasingly secular society. | Find out more about this book at
  • Every person has dignity and potential. But did you know that nearly 1 in 3 American adults has a criminal record? To learn more and sign up for the virtual Second Chance month visit
By / Sep 11

In this episode, Josh, Lindsay, and Brent discuss west coast wildfires, Disney’s Mulan, the ongoing opioid crisis, the Tokyo Olympics, the return of the NFL, and SheSheds. Lindsay also gives a rundown of this week’s ERLC content including a piece by Catherine Parks with “Are we teaching our children civility with our lives? Putting ourselves in another’s shoes,” Dan Darling with “5 things I learned about work from working remote,” and Jeff Pickering with “Why I’ve looked forward to church outside during COVID-19.” Also in this episode, the hosts are joined by Meagan Smith to talk about the last six months since the start of quarantine.

ERLC Content


  1. California’s Bay Area wakes up to disorienting orange skies
  2. At least seven dead as swath of wildfires rage across California, Oregon, Washington, other western states
  3. Disney’s live-action Mulan released worldwide after months-long delays
  4. Disney’s ‘Mulan’ faces criticism for filming in China’s Xinjiang region
  5. The Opioid Crisis, Already Serious, Has Intensified During Coronavirus Pandemic
  6. New York City to resume indoor dining at restaurants
  7. West Virginia University becomes the latest school to backtrack on in-person classes after a spike in COVID-19 cases
  8. Tokyo Olympics will go ahead ‘with or without COVID-19′ says IOC vice president
  9. Special report: The NFL is back and weirder than ever
  10. Americans are buying, building, converting backyard sheds into home offices

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  • Caring Well Hiring Guide – Download your free copy now and strengthen your efforts to make your church safe for survivors and safe from abuse.
By / Mar 21

As a lifelong fan of the NFL in general and the St. Louis Los Angeles Rams in particular, the months of March through July are not my favorite sports cycle. There are still, however, things I look forward to from my favorite sport in its offseason–the drama of the draft, the excitement of free agency, and the revealing of the upcoming season schedule. When it comes to giving its fans fun and entertainment off the field, few organizations do it quite like the National Football League.

But yesterday, Roger Goodell and the league made me wish football had been a bit quieter this spring.

News broke on Sunday that the league has threatened the city of Atlanta with losing its potential bid to host a Super Bowl, if Georgia passes House Bill 757. HB 757 is a religious freedom bill which stipulates that pastors and other religious clergy cannot be sued for refusing to perform services (such as a same-sex wedding) that violate their religious beliefs. The bill also extends this protection to “faith-based organizations,” closely held, IRS-designated religious institutions that would likewise possibly be pressured to lend services to events or products contrary to a confession of faith.

This law is, of course, a response to recent court cases that have found bakers, florists, and other professionals liable in discrimination suits because they would not create for or participate in a same-sex wedding. Similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, HB 757 is designed not to empower discrimination against particular groups but to preemptively protect religious organizations and individuals. There is absolutely nothing in HB 757 that enables public services to deny access for LGBT citizens. Rather, the law would force the government to demonstrate a compelling interest when seeking to punish conscientious Georgians.

The NFL, however, disagrees. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the league publicly implied that passage of HB 757 would disqualify Atlanta from hosting football’s biggest night.

The statement from league spokesman Brian McCarthy reads, “NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”

As a pundit on Twitter paraphrased it: “Lovely representative democracy you have there, Georgia. Shame if someone manhandled it.”

To be fair to the league, their statement doesn’t explicitly deny that there’d be a Super Bowl in a state where religious liberty is taken seriously. But the NFL’s statement was in fact a reply to a question posed by the Journal-Constitution, and it’s difficult to read it as anything but a veiled threat against the state. It would have been quite easy (and very NFL-like) to not comment publicly on ongoing legislation, or to simply observe that the league doesn’t itself dictate political beliefs to its 32 teams and owners.

And it would have been much better for the NFL to have done that. The league’s moral grandstanding here borders on the ridiculous.

First, it should be noted that the NFL’s appeal to its own policies is hypocritical at best. Current NFL policy, for example, prohibits the use of recreational marijuana. Yet the NFL continues to field teams and host events in states where recreational marijuana is legal, like Colorado (which hosts the newest NFL champion Denver Broncos) and Washington (home to the recent Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks). The NFL has shown no urgency to make sure its internal policies align with state law up until now. I highly doubt this is an earnest change of heart.

Secondly, by implicitly threatening religious liberty, the NFL is turning on many of its most legendary and important people. Pro football has benefited enormously from the platforms of religious athletes, whether old-timers like Reggie White, Herschel Walker and Tony Dungy, or younger players like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. Indeed, the NFL, far more than major league baseball or the NBA, depends on the employment and performance of religious players and coaches throughout its organization. The Atlanta Falcons, like other teams, have featured their chaplains in their organizational literature and PR. There’s no question that the NFL and its member companies have marketed themselves as friendly to the people they now imply may be bigots.

Third, the league is really not in a position to lecture taxpayers about their ethics. Pro football owners are notorious for passing along the costs of exorbitant new stadiums onto cities, while the NFL, which makes sure to get its cut of everything licensed by the “shield,” files with the IRS as a “non-profit” coalition of 32 individual businesses. In other words, the NFL reaps the financial harvest that comes when taxpayers–the same taxpayers who elect representatives, who then sponsor and pass legislation like HB 757–are asked to subsidize pro football, and don’t see any of the enormous profits come back to them via taxes.

If the NFL wants to criticize Georgia’s politics, it should first profusely thank Georgia and several other states for essentially sponsoring pro-football at taxpayers’ expense and the owners’ (and commissioner’s) profit. As it stands, if the NFL wants such a one-sided relationship with cities, it should probably abstain from farcical moral grandstanding on representative politics.

Lastly, pro football is not really in any position to wax ethical about…well, anything. This is the league, after all, that is facing a tumultuous legal and cultural battle over concussions, and recently settled with former players over accusations that the league withheld information about the effects of concussions on mental health. This is the league, after all, that until 2 years ago repeatedly turned a blind and apathetic eye towards domestic abuse, changing their tune only when media pressure was applied in the Ray Rice case. The NFL is good at entertaining and competitive sports, but it’s lousy at giving lectures on morality and decency.

As a football fan, I enjoy the league, even while I have criticized its flaws and hypocrisy. If the NFL wants to learn from its past failures, I am happy to hear it. What I am not happy to hear are lectures from an organization that profits from people with a conscience and taxpayers who let it skate. If the league wants to make leftist culture warring its newest offseason activity, count me out.

Article originally published here

By / Oct 1

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated repeatedly his opposition to legalized gambling, asserting that the league’s opposition will not change because of vigilance in protecting the integrity of the game on his watch. After hearing the commissioner’s comments, one would assume that he is morally outraged by the incessant commercials from FanDuel and DraftKings urging fans to participate in fantasy football gambling. After all, the sales pitches they make are not exactly nuanced and subtle:

“Daily fantasy sports for cash!”

“Chris Prince from Detroit has won $724,938!”

“We're huge – $75 million+ paid out to winners a week this season.”

“You can win a shipload of money.”

Nevertheless, Goodell, the guardian of the integrity of the game, says he does not consider these leagues gambling. Goodell said, “We don’t put fantasy football in that [gambling] category at all…Fantasy has a way of people engaging more with football, and they do it in a fun, friendly, in this case, a family manner.” The commissioner would have us believe that his implicit support of these fantasy football operations has nothing to do with the ratings and money fantasy football generates for the NFL; it is merely about building stronger families.

In reality, these fantasy football gambling leagues are affecting families by relentlessly catechizing an entire generation watching these NFL games on the acceptability and excitement of sports gambling. How does the NFL get around the reality that these leagues constitute gambling? These fantasy leagues for cash debuted in 1997 and exist basis on the basis of a legal technicality. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) defines bets and wagers to include bets for contests, sporting events, games predominantly subject to chance. In other words, these fantasy sports gambling operations hide behind the notion that they are games of skill, not chance.

Instead of calling these fantasy leagues’ bluff on the dubious assertion that they do not constitute gambling, the NFL has aided these leagues with legal support. NFL lawyers have argued in legal proceedings, “Sports betting combines both skill and chance, but the element of chance, though perhaps significant, is not 'dominant.’” That argument would open the door to the acceptance of almost all forms of sports gambling, not simply fantasy leagues. Thus, the NFL officially takes a hard stance against sports gambling while at the same time reaping the benefits of fantasy football gambling interests and advocating for gambling behind closed doors.

These fantasy sports leagues are not a small industry. According to a September 16, 2015, report in Forbes, “Draftkings spent more on television commercials than any other company in the U.S. this past week.” Traditional fantasy football is harmless, enjoyed by millions, involves drafting a team at the beginning of the season, but in gambling fantasy leagues, you can draft a new team every day with daily cash payouts. Who knows?; you may get lucky, or as they would have us believe, get skill tomorrow if you lose today? Forbes continues to explain, “Eilers Research CEO Todd Eilers estimates ‘that daily games will generate around $2.6 billion in entry fees this year and grow 41 [percent] annually, reaching $14.4 billion in 2020.’”

Fantasy sports likely began with Harvard University professor William Gamson developing what he called “The Baseball Seminar,” which later came to be known as “Rotisserie baseball” and now “Fantasy baseball.” The hobby fit well with statistically minded baseball fans and had a small but loyal band of followers until the phenomenon of Internet in almost every home accelerated its growth in baseball and all other major sports.

Gambling entrepreneurs have turned a geekish and fun hobby into a relentless, daily, predatory lure of fast cash and easy money. The NFL relationship with these fantasy gambling leagues is so cozy USA Today recently reported, “FanDuel, the nation's biggest daily fantasy sports company, has signed multi-year sponsorship agreements with 15 NFL teams.” This should deeply trouble those of us who love Jesus and delight in sports as a good gift from God.

Simply put, gambling is a societal evil that preys on those most in need. While some may say, “You don't have to participate in gambling, so it’s nothing to be concerned about,” that way of thinking does not hold for one who desires to follow Christ. Our Lord does not call us to love ourselves; rather, we are to love him and to love our neighbor (Matt. 22:37-40).

The biblical witness is clear that one of the vital ways we love God is by loving our neighbor. Gambling appeals to greed, and there is simply no way for a follower of Jesus to gamble to the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. Proverbs 28:25 says, “A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.” Anyone who has ever witnessed the devastation wrought by people who gamble their future away, attempting to get something-for-nothing, knows well the expansive tornadic path of destruction gambling greed produces.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is on the other side of the gambling question from me, but we both agree in assessing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the fantasy football gambling issue, “Hypocrisy, thy name is Roger Goodell.” Roger Goodell officially opposes sports gambling in the name of the integrity of the game, because he is concerned about a loss of profits in the long term, while endorsing re-named gambling that helps him to leverage profits in the short term, and worst of all, he has the audacity to do so in the name of wholesome family bonding.

A word of advice Commissioner Goodell, gambling that people are too gullible to see the NFL’s hypocrisy on your watch, is a bad bet.

By / Oct 1

Multiple domestic violence cases in the NFL in the past few weeks have caused outrage in the media, throughout the league, and among the fan base. Many fans and media outlets appear to be just as outraged by the way the Commissioner initially handled the earliest reports of the recent domestic violence cases. Consequently, the Commissioner’s critics continue to call for his resignation, which he currently refuses to give.

Far too many women suffer from domestic violence regardless of their race, social status, or geographic location. Growing up as a child, I witnessed my mother in my early pre-teenage years suffer domestic violence at the hands of her husband—who was not my father. I witnessed firsthand the ugliness of this gross sin and the emotional trauma that it causes a child. However, I also know very well that the fundamental solution to the sin of domestic violence, which is not limited to the NFL, is not merely policies, procedures, training, rules and regulations.

The solution to domestic violence, just as any form of discrimination and injustice, is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As I saw my mom beaten by her husband, there was no law or policy that could make his spiritually dead heart want to stop kicking her in the head after he threw her on the ground, or from smacking her in the face, or from hitting her till she was severely bruised. Even when people in my family came to my mother’s rescue with violent threats and defensive actions against this coward of a man, he eventually returned to his violent actions against her after protective family members were no longer a threat to him. The only solution to his cowardice, to his rage, to his violence, and to his sin against my mom was the transforming power of the gospel—a gospel which this man did not personally embrace and obey.

And the gospel of Jesus Christ is the real solution to the problem of domestic violence in the NFL.

As I listen to and watch the talking heads offer various criticisms and solutions to the problem of this domestic violence, I have heard very few offer ridiculous excuses for the players (e.g. bad social environment, difficult home life, etc.). However, I have heard both unhelpful and helpful solutions to rectifying this problem within the league. I have not yet heard anyone on ESPN or in the mainstream media offer the gospel of Jesus Christ as the solution to this egregious problem.

Regardless of how much money NFL football players make, how famous they are, how difficult their childhoods were, and how much God-given talent they have, we must remember that they all are totally depraved sinners and guilty before God because of their sin, just as every other son and daughter of Adam and Eve. Many of these men are simply spoiled, violent, entitled, and self-worshipping idolaters, just as Adam, Eve, and their descendants (e.g. Gen. 3:1-7; 4:8). And many of them overtly practice the sins within their own hearts by doing what is right in their own eyes because of their spiritual deadness (Gen. 6:5; Eph. 2:1-10).

As a result, these men do not fundamentally need rehabilitation or parental or marital classes—although these things can be helpful—as though these actions will by themselves change the evil within their violent hearts and that shows itself via their violent actions toward women. Instead, they need to hear, believe and be transformed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They need to hear and respond by faith to the gospel message that a Jewish Messiah violently suffered the wrath of God on the cross and resurrected from the dead for sinners who were alienated from God and one another so that those same sinners would be peacefully reconciled to God and one another by faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:11-22).

These men need to repent of their sins, embrace Jesus Christ as Lord by faith, and seek to live in faithful obedience to him in their social interaction with the women in their lives.

The reason some of these men in the NFL beat their wives, beat their girlfriends, are bad fathers, and live as irresponsible citizens is not fundamentally because of their race, their society, or their environment, but rather because of the spiritual deadness of their own hearts (Eph. 2:1-10).

Yes, one’s environment affects how one acts, but sin makes one’s environment sinful. The gospel can radically transform these men. If the gospel can transform a violent persecutor of the church like Saul of Tarsus into the greatest missionary in the history of Christianity (Acts 7:58-8:3; 9:1-31; Gal. 1:12-16), it can transform an unregenerate domestic violence offender in any sports league.

To clarify, my point is not that the NFL is filled with domestic violent offenders. There are many good men in the league (e.g. Peyton Manning). Furthermore, my point is neither that only Christian NFL players are law-abiding citizens. There are non-Christian players who love their wives and their kids. And my point is not that one’s embrace of the gospel will automatically result in peaceful relations with one’s wife. Christians fail daily to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Unfortunately, some Christian men have even sinfully committed domestic violence against their wives.

The point that I’m accentuating is that the gospel of Jesus Christ will transform the human heart that is dead in sin.

It provides the solution to the problem of sin and the provision for how sinners can be saved from God’s wrath (Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-4:25; 5:6-10). It will supernaturally enable Christians to pursue love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) and put away enmity, strife, and fits of anger (Gal. 5:19). By the Spirit, it will enable Christians to avoid the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:10), one of which is domestic-violence.

I hope the NFL will quickly take the appropriate actions to rid its league of domestic violence offenders. In addition, I hope that the league will take the measures to allow their Christian chaplains to have even more freedom to preach boldly and freely the gospel of Jesus Christ to these men so that they will be transformed and be divinely enabled to love and follow Jesus and to love their wives as Christ loves his church (Eph. 5:21-33). And I hope that gospel-believing players, coaches, and owners will use the horrible reality of domestic violence in their league as an opportunity to proclaim the violent gospel of Jesus Christ that accomplishes peace with God and with one’s fellow-man. It’s the only eternal solution.