DHD: Wax, French, Duke & Young Life, Bennett, Mission Trips, ‘Country Music’
Another week, another DHD. Thank you for taking the time to read my through my thoughts on six timely topics.
1. Wax on ‘Reasonableness’
Everybody should read Trevin Wax’s article “Reasonableness in an Age of Outrage.” There is a lot of extreme verbiage spewed on social media, and Wax’s article is a constructive response, especially for Christians.
“The way Christians stand out in a contentious environment,” Wax wrote, “is by being a voice of reason, by spreading grace in a culture of judgment. Posture matters as much as principle.”
Wax said we focus more on hyperbole and away from reasonableness. I wholeheartedly agree.
Also, I don’t always need to get my point across. Sometimes, it’s more important to try to understand those who oppose my view, not that I don’t have confidence in my views (believe me, I do) but rather to seek genuine dialogue. If all I do is talk over people, getting into a shouting match, what have I accomplished?
“The joyful Christian who models reasonableness is someone who knows there is nothing to lose,” Wax said. “We have nothing to prove. We are free to bear with people longer than others think we should. Gracious people are not easily offended.”
I need to be more gracious.
2. French vs. Ahmari
Speaking of Wax, he recently recommended a New Yorker article that featured the clash between David French and Sohrab Ahmari.
For the most part, I am a David French fan, even though I don’t always agree with him. I’m not to the level of being anti-Trump that he is. But French is a solid Christian conservative writer who makes many good points on numerous current issues.
By the way, just to clarify, I am not anti-Trump. I have mentioned in the past that I did not vote for Donald Trump in the previous presidential election, but he has done some things I find favorable as well as some things that cause me to be disappointed (mostly his Twitter comments).
However, French and Ahmari are both social conservatives who have debated through written articles mostly on a recent issue of a library hosting a “Drag Queen Story Hour.” French believes shutting down such reading event is against the First Amendment and would cause other groups and entities to clamp down on Christian groups wanting to meet in similar settings. Ahmari believes exposing young children to a transgender in such setting is harmful. Even though I get French’s viewpoint, I have to agree with Ahmari (in the New Yorker article, Al Mohler is referenced disagreeing with French too).
The article gives an objective view of both men. I learned a lot about French, and even more about Ahmari, since I never heard about him before the recent squabble between both men. It’s a worthy read.
3. Duke vs. Young Life
Speaking of First Amendment rights, reports broke this week that Duke University’s student government senate unanimously rejected a Young Life chapter because the Christian organization “appeared to violate a guideline that every Duke student group include a nondiscrimination statement in its constitution.”
Young Life’s policy allows for those who engage in sexual misconduct or those who practice a homosexual lifestyle to be “recipients of ministry,” meaning they could participate in Young Life activities, but they are not allowed to serve as staff or volunteer workers.
I did not know that Young Life has expanded to be a college ministry. I remember the organization being involved with middle school and high school students. I’ve heard great things about Young Life and have friends who served with the ministry.
Similar conflicts have happened at other colleges across the country, including the University of Iowa, and the Christian ministries have been successful when challenging the schools. Duke, however, is a private university, so this may not be as easily resolved.
On his Wednesday edition of The Briefing, Mohler considered the Duke student senators were cowardly for rejecting Young Life.
“When I say that this decision is cowardly,” Mohler said, “it was very easy for the young senators of the Duke student government to turn down Young Life and to do so unanimously declaring that it did so because of the policies of Duke concerning student organizations and the necessity of non-discrimination as it is described here. You’ll notice that the very same student government fails to acknowledge that if they are and were consistent, they would have to disaffiliate organizations that are affiliated with the Roman Catholic church, because after all, you do not have to be very good with Google — and trust me, the students at Duke are very good searching the internet — to find out what the Roman Catholic church officially teaches.”
4. Bennett is ‘blessed,’ turns down raise
Shifting to a different ACC school, Virginia men’s basketball coach, Tony Bennett made the news this week, announcing that he turned down raise and said he is “blessed beyond what I deserve.”
Sports Spectrum, a Christian sports journal, reported on Bennett’s raise rejection that he wanted to help other programs in the athletic department.
Bennett also gave this comment on 2018 Sports Spectrum podcast:
“The Lord is more than ample. He’s enough. In Him there is all sufficiency. In Him there is great joy and great rest, regardless of what the world is screaming at you through great success or through failure.”
5. Cancelling mission trips?
Last week, I read Darren Carlson’s article “I’d Probably Still Cancel Your Short-Term Mission Trip.”
I discussed this article with a co-worker, and we both agree that Carlson makes good points and offers great suggestions, but his approach was not good.
Carlson does not acknowledge that God is the One in control of mission work, even if those on the trip don’t have proper motives. A friend of mine changed his whole perspective when he went on a mission trip. As a videographer, he went with a group to Haiti and considered he was not the one involved in the work but was just to document what others were doing. He view changed greatly, and now my friend has a deep passion for missions.
I do agree with Carlson’ list of eight ways to make short-term mission trips more fruitful.
6. Loving ‘Country Music’ documentary
Have you been watching Ken Burns’ documentary “Country Music” on PBS? Burns is known for his previous series on Civil War, Baseball and National Parks, and I think he meets the same level of quality in this latest series.
There’s a lot I didn’t know about the history of Country Music, and this documentary reveals how the genre developed and affected American history. Shows start again on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. on OETA Channel 13 in Oklahoma City.