Charles Barkley and Boomer Esiason on Andrian Peterson

imagesCharles Barkley, thank you for putting Boomer Esiason in his place on The NFL Today today. You are right: The Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson went too far in his discipline of his son to the point of abusing him. This should not happen to any child; this should not be tolerated by the NFL. Yet spanking a child, even with a long, spinley-thin branch of a tree, is common to African American life in our history (even though I have not experienced or administered such).

While walking through the wake of a friend’s loved one yesterday morning, the positive pictures of President Barak Obama hanging in the church reminded me that ethnic culture affects everything. I could not imagine seeing a picture of the President displayed anywhere in an evangelical church of one of my non-African American counterparts. However, I was not shocked to see the Barak Obama calendar, advertisement for a youth jobs fair sponsored by an African American member of Congress, or flyers related to the Sunday School literature produced by an African American publisher present in the foyer of this African American congregation.

Neither was I shocked to hear the lawyer of  Adrian Peterson say, ““He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.” This is not a statement whose contents should be dismissed as obvious – i.e., most people tend to discipline their children the way in which they were disciplined. Instead, the lawyer was making a statement that portrays Peterson within the context of common African American life.

Unfortunately, the call to “revisit” the issue of corporate discipline is misguided by comparisons of “1964” and “the South” to “now” and alternative parenting methods (of discipline) in use today. In reply to these calls, Denny Burk as a good post.

R. R. Reno on Ferguson, MO in First Things

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R. R. Reno on Ferguson:

It pains me to admit it, but I see nothing new in the tragic events in Ferguson, nothing new in the protests, which often blended into festivals of destruction, nothing new in the extensive coverage and the calls for our nation to confront racism. It’s an old script, often replayed.

 

Policeman Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown may have been unwarranted and even criminal. A thorough investigation is needed to see that justice is done. Whatever the outcome of that investigation, we should not turn our eyes from the fact the killing of a black teenager is a daily occurrence in America. They are six times more likely to be killed than young white men. “Young black man dies in gunfire. Mother mourns.” A journalist on the city beat writes these words again and again and again.

 

Those deaths sometimes trigger protests. Here in New York a black man, Eric Garner, was killed when a policeman put him into a chokehold, leading to a series of protests. But they’re rarely as explosive those in Ferguson. And even when they are they rarely end up changing much. Perhaps that’s because we’ve all—black and white—decided to accept the fact that the culture of poor blacks is violent, dangerous, and dysfunctional. The best we can do is keep the violence under control with aggressive policing and incarceration.

Read the whole thing here.

 

Richard D. Phillips’ Commentary on the Fourth Gospel

UnknownI am grateful to see the arrival of Richard D. Phillips’, John: Reformed Expository Commentary (P&R). Phillips’ is a tremendous expositor of Scripture. I have enjoyed using both his Hebrews and Jonah & Micah commentaries in my pulpit and classroom preparations. Phillips’ expository publishing output is significant too, as evidenced by his additional commentaries on 1 Samuel and Zechariah. He also is no mean theologian, as we have witnessed in his recent discussions surrounding the theology of sanctification.

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Jeremy Treat: The Crucified King

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I am enjoying greatly Jeremy Treat’s, The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology (Zondervan)! Treat has done a tremendous job in wedding Biblical Theology and Systematic – or Dogmatic – Theology, or rather, in seeing how the Biblical text yields the fruit of both. In particular, others have demonstrated the Markan use of Isaiah in Mark’s portrayal of Christ as King and the crucified one. But they have not done it to the degree that Treat has, neither have they shown so interdependently how “King” guards the truth of the Cross (Systematics), and that the Cross/atonement – as developed through Redemptive History – is what beautifies the role of the King (Biblical Theology). You can read the thoughts of others on Treat’s work below.

I also am most eager for the arrival of Richard D. Phillips’ commentary on John in the Reformed Expository Commentary series (P&R).

Others on Treat’s work:

Jamieson’s review at 9marks

The koinonia blog excerpt

 

 

Still Hoping Someone Will Find Relisha Rudd

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Now that 8-year old Relisha Rudd’s abduction, disappearance, and possible human-trafficking no longer is front page news, I hope she will not be forgotten. Please keep praying for her and her family, and that the authorities will bring to justice those who abducted her. Consider joining the Facebook Page dedicated to keeping her case and memory alive.

Relisha’s information at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

Burk: Correcting the Record in light of Sec. Hillary Clinton’s false statements

From Denny Burk’s blog (below).  Madam Former Secretary of State might be very intelligent, but she is not very wise.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed-in on the Hobby Lobby decision yesterday (see above), and her analysis is so egregiously in error that I could not let it pass without some comment.

She claims first of all that this is the first time that the Supreme Court has found that a corporation has religious freedom and thus that employers can impose their religious beliefs on employees. Now this is a curious characterization of yesterday’s opinion. Religious freedom does not give anyone—individual or corporate—the right to impose one’s beliefs upon someone else. Yet Clinton speaks as if the right of individuals to “impose their beliefs” has now been given to corporations. What a gross mischaracterization of our first freedom.

Furthermore, employees are still free in this country to buy contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. No one is preventing them from doing that. Yesterday, the Court said that they are not free to expect Christians and other people of conscience to pay for them. Hobby Lobby’s desire not to pay for their employees’ contraceptives is hardly “imposing” their religion onto them. Anyone who thinks that it is is either severely confused or cynically dishonest.

Contrary to what you may have read, the employees of Hobby Lobby are not being denied or coerced in any way. Hobby Lobby, however, was. The federal government was trying to coerce the owners of Hobby Lobby into violating their most deeply held religious beliefs. To miss that is to miss the point entirely.

Clinton also claims that the Court’s ruling will prevent a Hobby Lobby sales clerk  from getting contraception “because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.” Maybe Clinton is not familiar with this case. Perhaps she had not reviewed the Court’s decision when she made these remarks. If so, she should have refrained from comment because this is a demonstrably false statement.

Hobby Lobby has always provided contraception through its health plans (even before Obamacare!). Hobby Lobby simply objected to four methods that are potentially abortifacient. So Hobby Lobby is offering in their health plans sixteen out of the twenty FDA-approved contraceptive devices. Birth control pills, diaphragms, and a host of others are all included. It is simply false to say that Hobby Lobby is not making contraceptives available to their employees. Even though this was a great applause line for her, this is a misinformed statement that she should retract.

Yes: Facebook, SCOTUS, Evacuation Slide Opens Mid-Flight

imagesYes, Facebook conducted an experiment without asking permission. Yes, some of you feel violated. Yes, people should ask your permission when including you in an experiment. However, you have not closed your Facebook account as of yet. I guess you’re exercising your freedom, but hoping Facebook will not do the same?

Yes, SCTOUS made a narrow ruling in favor of small, family-owned, for-profit businesses; only some contraceptives are at issue. Yes, some of you think this allows employers to be bigoted toward women. (By this you actually mean that businesses [some of which surely will be run by women, have women on their boards, and have women customers] will be able to limit women’s freedom to have the cost of their contraceptive choices covered by the company’s health insurance.) However, you do not consider, alternatively, that the contraceptive choices of some could be forcing a business owner to pay for something for which he or she does not want to pay. Is this limiting the owner’s freedom of choice?

Yes, a flight was diverted after an evacuation slide opened mid-flight. Apparently no one on the flight screamed, “Wait! Don’t divert the flight! I have the right to fly to my destination on-time with the slide open! I paid to arrive on time! You are violating my freedom and the freedoms of all future air passengers!”

 

Related Resource: The Intolerance of Tolerance