DHD: Andrew Luck, Austin Carr, Ryan Smith, J.D. Greear, Albert Mohler twice
Thank you for reading Doyle’s Half Dozen. These are six topics that involve current events or issues that have been recently discussed through social media.
I hope you enjoy your Labor Day Weekend, and I always welcome any responses to whatever I cover in DHD.
1. No Luck at all
I was over at my brother’s house last Saturday, watching ESPN, when “Breaking News” streamed across the bottom of the screen. Andrew Luck announced he is retiring as quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts.
It was staggering news, considering that Luck appeared to be in the prime of his career and had been touted in previous years to be potentially one of the NFL’s all-time QB greats.
But numerous injuries led to Luck deciding it was time to hang up his cleats as a 29-year-old. Fans booed him, but football experts and other professional athletes gave him no criticism and understood why Luck made his decision.
Ted Kluck shared how he thinks Andrew Luck demonstrated common grace in his retirement press conference.
Kluck wrote, “’Andrew Luck must have received a heaping dose of common grace,’ I texted to a Christian friend.
“What I meant was that clearly he’s gifted as a thinker and a communicator, and that he shows evidence of a soft, teachable heart. Not to mention his freakish combination of height, weight, speed, and arm strength. Yet Luck’s greatest accomplishment may have been that he survived young fame and money, and came out the other side with what appears to be real humility. As we see even in church circles, this rarely if ever happens.”
2. NFL player shares ‘NFL success doesn’t make you happy’
Before this week, I never heard of Austin Carr. Now I hope he has a breakout season with the New Orleans Saints.
A third-year wide receiver out of Northwestern University, Carr made a powerful application in a testimony he shared on The Gospel Coalition website this week. Titled “When NFL Success Doesn’t Make You Happy,” Carr’s article reflects the conclusions found in Ecclesiastes. He basically was saying his football career had become an idol.
Carr concluded his article by comparing the Christian life to the solar system.
“In the same way that all the planets would go completely haywire were the sun to be replaced by a star half its size, our lives go haywire when Christ isn’t at the center. The ‘planets’ that fill our lives—finances, relationships, energy, interests—all are in their proper place when orbiting Christ. What or whom is at the center of your life’s solar system?”
I read up on Carr after reading this piece and found out he could be facing the cut deadline this weekend with the Saints, but what could keep him on the squad is a strong endorsement by Quarterback Drew Brees. Let’s see if we hear more about Carr this season.
3. A story on a story about a story
Fellow WordSlingers blogger Ryan Smith beat me to the punch, but I’m glad he did.
I was planning to mention in this week’s DHD Brett McCracken’s Q&A piece with Becket Cook, “From Gay to Gospel…” I recommend you read this interview with Cook who lived the homosexual lifestyle and gained much Hollywood success but was impacted by a group of Christians whom he happened to meet one day in a coffee shop.
In his blog “From Gay to Gospel: The Story Inside the Story,” Smith drew out a very important Christian discipline that could be overlooked in the original article. Cook’s life changed because he noticed Christians having a Bible study, and they invited him to church.
“Never doubt the value of the little things in God’s economy,” Smith wrote. “Your small act of daily obedience may be the turning point in someone’s life.”
4. My disgruntlement with ‘open-mindedness’
Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear gave a challenging perspective in his blog this week titled “Three Ways We Go Wrong When Discussing Homosexuality.”
I agree with all three points Greear makes and recommend you check out his blog.
There is one phrase that Greear uses in the article that is not one of my faves. He wrote, “If we look humbly and open-mindedly at what the Bible says, then we see three ways we’ve gone wrong in the church when it comes to talking about homosexuality.”
Perhaps it’s my fundamentalist upbringing that makes me cringe when I hear people talking about being “open-minded,” but I think there could be a lack of clarity when the phrase is used. Being “open-minded” means to be tolerant and unprejudiced, and there are situations when that can be a good thing. But does “open-minded” convey a definite boundary?
When Greear suggests to look at the Bible with an open mind, does he know for certain that his readers believe he is saying the Bible is teaching an absolute truth with one definitive message, or could they conclude he is saying passages of Scripture are up for interpretation and can mean whatever they want it to mean? The latter is a common view of the Bible, unfortunately.
Of course, the opposite is not good either—narrowmindedness. Nobody wants to be described as being narrow-minded.
Instead of “open-minded,” I prefer using words like “discernment” or “objective.” If I understand Greear correctly, he wants to encourage Christians to have reasonable dialogue and have the perspective that, possibly, some people’s conclusions of Scripture have been remiss.
I remember a former pastor explaining it this way. Don’t be either narrow-minded or open-minded, but be “truth-minded.”
“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21—NASB).
5. Mohler on representative democracy
Albert Mohler had some great content this week on his daily podcast The Briefing. I enjoyed every edition this week. One in particular is his Wednesday Briefing and his final topic, “Is United States a Republic or Democracy?”
This is a fantastic lecture on Civics, and I loved how Mohler discredited the New York Times, saying the paper’s conclusion was “absolute nonsense” when describing representative democracy as “a closed domain for a select privileged few.”
Scroll down or listen to Part IV of Mohler’s Wednesday’s address.
“The fact is that many Americans simply don’t know the distinction between a democracy and a republic… In a direct democracy, whoever is qualified to vote votes on everything directly. Now, that would be an insane form of government… Instead, (the American founders) wanted to create—and they did create— a representative democracy, which means that we elect members of Congress, and we elect, constitutionally, electors who elect the president of the United States… And by the way, while we’re doing a little bit of truth telling, the people who cry for democracy don’t actually want a democracy. They just want a political order that minimizes the importance of the states and leads to what, by their definition, would be a more direct democracy. But we have to recognize that that would not be a mere or minor constitutional change; that would be a major modification, indeed a repudiation of the American conception of government as representative democracy going back to the founding.”
This is good stuff!
6. More Mohler
There’s much more great Mohler content from this week, especially on current issues involving abortion, which he also addressed in the Wednesday Briefing. His take gives warning about Planned Parenthood recruiting 136 pop stars and bands to promote abortion.
Mohler provided clarity when addressing Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s response to a man who asked O’Rourke if his life had value the day before the man was born.
“The man asked if his own life had any value the day before he was born. We’re not just talking about late-term abortion, we’re talking about the day before he was born. He doubled down on that himself in asking the question by pointing out that he was born on September the 8th of 1989, so he specifically referenced the day before, September 7th, 1989. That is the day that Beto O’Rourke answered his mother should have had the right to kill him in the womb. It should have been her decision alone. There should be no outside interrogation of her decision. There should be no governmental intervention to prevent her decision.”
In Monday’s briefing, Mohler addressed actress Alyssa Milano admitting she had two abortions in one year.
Finally, Mohler’s briefing on Thursday, all of it, is necessary reading or listening about education in America, specifically in New York City, and the shortcomings of government’s influence with no regard to Christianity.
It would be worth 25 minute for you to hear it or read the transcript.
“The optimal place for children to be raised is in a family that follows the pattern of Scripture. Outside the family and the extended family is the community. And the closer the community, the more able it is to meet the needs. So a neighborhood is better than a city government; and a city government is better than a state government; and a state government, believe it or not, is better than a national government.”