DHD: Falwell, Born-alive bill, Conservatives clash, Mohler on newspapers, Worship in darkness, Durant keeps griping
I started this week celebrating my mother, as her funeral was Monday. Two busy work days followed, and now I’m beat as the weekend arrives.
But I have enough energy to share my thoughts on six timely topics. Thank you for reading!
1. Falwell’s follies
A Politico article came out this week attacking Jerry Falwell, Jr., leader of Liberty University, my alma mater. Apparently it was written by a fellow grad, of whom I am not familiar and have never met.
I start this week’s DHD sharing what I think about this embarrassing report. It’s not the first time I’ve heard negative reports on Jerry, Jr., and I predict that more will follow.
I don’t know Jerry, Jr., but I do know his late father who founded Liberty and was quite visible on campus while I was a student and in the seven years that I worked in the LU athletics department after graduation. There is much to criticize and disagree when discussing Dr. Falwell, but I do believe he was a good man with good intentions. He did great things as a preacher of the Gospel and had great vision, which resulted in building a major Christian university. Falwell loved people, even those who did not share his views and perspectives. He was very personable, and God gave him a passion to build a university that would train “young champions for Christ.”
One thing I know about Jerry Jr. is he knows how to make money and has been instrumental in building up Liberty to where I didn’t even recognize the campus when I visited about four years ago. I do have sources who have shared stories about Jerry Jr., and the stories would be in line with what was shared in the Politico article.
What I don’t like about the Politico article is the overall tone and shady presentation. Multiple times the writer mentioned anonymous sources. I am aware that Jerry Jr. is very controlling and insists his subordinates keep things in house, but using anonymous sources when reporting, especially as excessively as they were used in this article, hinders credibility.
For the most part, I agree with David French who gave a good response to the Politico article. He wrote, “Time and again, powerful Christian men create or nurture powerful Christian institutions — only to fall prey to the temptation to equate the advance of those institutions and their own power with the advance of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.”
2. Blocking Born-Alive Bill
It would be beneficial for you to read up on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission offers a current report of this important bill being blocked by U.S. Congress.
The ERLC article is a good one, and I appreciate how it concludes, sharing how the One World Trade Center in New York City (ironically since New York approves of infanticide) memorializes those who died during the 9/11 terrorist attack, including those who were expectant mothers “and her unborn child.”
3. Conservatives clashing on role of government
I enjoyed reading Jonathan Leeman’s article “Conservatives Clash on the Goal of Government.”
It’s a deep read, regarding politics, but the article communicates well the importance of justice over liberty. And I like how Leeman expresses the need for two conversations—one just among those who follow biblical principles and the other with presenting a pragmatic approach.
Leeman wrote, “…private hallway conversation one among Bible-believers provides us universally true biblical principles. Public meeting conversation two then requires us to exercise wisdom both in persuading people who don’t share our biblical starting point and in determining how to apply those principles from place to place.”
There has been a recent clash among Conservative Christians even in Oklahoma. Leeman’s article gives great guidelines on how to approach political issues. I loved how he explained common covenants through Adam and Noah and special covenants through Abraham, Moses, David and Christ. “Different covenants provide different terms by which people must render judgment—do justice,” Leeman wrote.
More can be said, but I would encourage you to read Leeman’s article.
4. Mohler and today’s newspapers
Al Mohler’s podcast “The Briefing,” is regularly cited in DHD. This week, Mohler brought up a topic that relates to my profession as a newspaper editor. Check out The Briefing’s Wednesday’s edition and listen to the opening topic “No More Newspapers? Christians Face Today’s Changing Media Landscape.”
Mohler’s assessment of modern newspapers is correct. It’s a difficult day for many reasons in the newspaper business. But he is right that from a national spectrum there are only three newspapers that fully apply. They are USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Other papers have some clout, but to the level of these three.
Mohler also summarizes the history of media ecology, explaining how people through the years received news. And Mohler explains how the control of the media by the secular mindset causes a major disadvantage for those with a Christian worldview.
“This puts convictional Christians at a significant disadvantage in our society because when you look at the people who are shaping the news and who are influencing the flow of information in the main coming from elite media sources, they have very little knowledge of us in general, they have very few conversations with us, and if the truth be known, they are probably not very interested in us, not until they have to be.”
5. Darkness in worship services
The church curmudgeon in me will be expressed in this DHD topic. A family member shared on Facebook an article from 2018 titled “Why is the Church Going Dark?”
I have to confess, I’m not a fan of dark worship services, especially on Sunday mornings. The article’s writer brings up great points of contrasting light and darkness spiritually, and I think it would be beneficial to demonstrate in at least some of our church worship services.
I get that it is appealing to younger groups, but I find it hard to believe they would be turned away if worship through music was observed with lights, especially when worshipping the Light of the world (John 8:12).
Just like the author of this article, I welcome a discussion of the importance of darkness in church worship services.
6. Durant keeps griping
Kevin Durant is in the news again complaining about the Oklahoma City Thunder. I had to think how long ago it was that he left. We’re going on three years since his departure.
I just think it’s fascinating that Durant won two league titles with Golden State, and he still seems to not find contentment in life. Whenever he is interviewed about the Thunder or OKC, he brings up a new narrative. It’s never the same story. I don’t know what he thinks he will accomplish by bringing up a new gripe.
It’s a new day in Oklahoma City. The Thunder will begin a new chapter, and even though many don’t know what the new chapter will entail, I think it’s safe to say we have moved on. It’s a shame that Durant, even with all the accolades he obtained after leaving the Thunder, has not.