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Here’s another addition of Doyle’s Half Dozen. Thanks for checking out my thoughts of six timely topics.

  1. Bible on slavery

I read a great piece that probes a popular debate involving the Bible. Many antagonists quickly spout off that the Bible favors the horrible practice of slavery.

“Slaves obey your masters” is a common command in New Testament passages. Paul mentions it twice in his epistles (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22).

Gavin Ortland wrestles this topic of in his piece “Why It’s Wrong to Say the Bible is Pro-Slavery.” I have said before that I enjoy these apologetic-type discussions and really enjoyed Ortland’s analysis.

A key to a topic like this is making sure to have a focus on the Gospel, which is much more important than even “winning” the debate. Ortland was excellent in sharing the story in Philemon, as Paul writes to the slave owner about receiving his runaway slave as a brother in Christ. That’s a powerful example of both the Gospel as well as showing Biblical teaching does not support slavery.

  1. Biblical prepping for college students

There are a number of topics people use to discredit the Bible or Christian faith. And there is not a more challenging setting than on the college campus. Many high school graduates seem to have their faith crumble once they are fully involved in their college years.

Cameron Cole provides answers to six hot issues that Christian college students may face. Check out Cole’s article that helps college students be ready when asked.

  1. Religious liberty eats cake

This week’s started with big news from the Supreme Court. Baker Jack Phillips won a big case on behalf of religious liberty, as the highest court favored him, 7-2, after he was charged for refusing to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.

My favorite part of the ruling is Justice Anthony Kennedy coming down on the Colorado Commission for accusing Phillip’s religious liberty claims to be “despicable piece of rhetoric.” Many are scrutinizing this verdict, but I am pleased to see, as Russell Moore confidently claimed, “The Supreme Court got this one right.”

David Prince also gave a great post-ruling analysis. Read it here.

  1. More from Moore on religious liberty

A friend of mine shared on Facebook an article Russell Moore wrote in 2015. Check out “Debunking 4 Myths About Religious Freedom.”

All four points could relate to the SCOTUS ruling this week.

  1. Patterson will not preach

I just found out Paige Patterson announced to Southern Baptist President Steve Gaines he will not preach the sermon at the SBC Annual Meeting in Dallas next week. Baptist Press reported Patterson’s withdrawal.

The now-former president of Southwestern Seminary has been under a lot of heat the past few months, after reports of Patterson using poor communication about women and mishandling rape reports, and I am appreciative and relieved to hear him announce this decision.

Patterson said his decision has been done in “an effort to do what I can to contribute to harmony within the Southern Baptist Convention.”

This will not completely douse the flames heading into next week’s SBC meeting, but I pray it is a good sign that God may do a powerful work among Southern Baptists.

  1. Celebrities suicide

I found out this morning about Anthony Bourdain’s death from apparent suicide. This of course comes a few days after fashion designer Kate Spade took her life.

I know little about both. I know Bourdain had an international travel show on CNN, and I don’t know if I even had any familiarity about Spade. I am sorry to hear that both successful personalities chose to leave this world.

WordSlingers blogger Christi Roselle gave an excellent assessment on Thursday, regarding Spade’s suicide. May this be a sobering call to all Christians that time is fleeting. We must be diligent in sharing the Gospel.