A brief primer on why pro-lifers and religious communities oppose the health care law.
In response to the cover story of July’s issue of The Atlantic magazine, Jennifer Marshall explores how young, single, Christian women can and should navigate through a sea of competing cultural narratives and expectations:
Liberation, power, and choice have been the feminist creed. But liberation to what end? Power for what purpose? Choice for what outcome? These are not ends in themselves, and for that very reason the feminist manifesto continues to leave women unsatisfied—even, apparently, women like Anne-Marie Slaughter who make it to the top only to ask the same questions. Friedan pointed out some serious problems about unreflectively following the cultural flow but failed to give women adequate criteria to evaluate their purpose and direction in life. Without a fixed reference point outside ourselves, it’s tough to be confident about our route through shifting cultural preferences as well as the season changes of our own lives.
A question for those of us who love sound doctrine: are we more eager to police other Christians’ theology, quietly gleeful when we diagnose error, or are we more eager to rejoice in what we have in common with other Christians? Both are crucial. Neither is negotiable. But which is our deepest joy and instinct?
On John G. Paton’s mission to the community of cannibals at the New Hebrides islands:
John G. Paton (1824-1907) met opposition when he decided to take the gospel to the peoples of the New Hebrides islands. He had experienced ten fruitful years of ministry in Glasgow, but was prepared to leave it all for the mission of Christ. One man objected saying, “The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!” He wasn’t joking. About twenty years earlier two missionaries went and were cannibalized (Piper, “You Will Be Eaten by Cannibals”). He responded to this man’s protest saying:
“Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.” (Ibid.)
“Novelist and War of Art author Steven Pressfield gets at the crux of this conundrum in his excellent new book, Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work. I was particularly struck by his distinction between “the artist” and “the addict,” wherein the former is living out a productive, creative career, while the latter is caught in an endless loop of aspiration and yearning that never gets backed up with meaningful action”:
The addict is the amateur; the artist is the professional.
Both addict and artist are dealing with the same material, which is the pain of being human and the struggle against self-sabotage. But the addict/amateur and the artist/professional deal with these elements in fundamentally different ways.
When we’re living as amateurs, we’re running away from our calling – meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves.
Addiction becomes a surrogate for our calling. We enact the addiction instead of the calling. Why? Because to follow a calling requires work. It’s hard. It hurts. It demands entering the pain-zone of effort, risk, and exposure.
Sanity & Matrimony
Most people believe that the principal objections, or even the only objections, to the drive to legalize homosexual “marriage” spring from religious faith. But that is not true. I can offer ten objections that have nothing to do with any religion at all, except insofar as the great religions of the world reflect the nature of mankind. In this essay, I present the first six of these objections; in a follow-up, I will present the remaining four.
These objections spring from three sources. The first is a commonsense observation of man—his needs, his shortcomings, and his aspirations. The second is history: our own recent history, and the history of those who once committed the mistakes we are committing now. The last is logic.
The objections should make everyone uncomfortable, both those who call themselves conservative and are busy destroying the heritage of Western civilization, and those who call themselves liberal and are busy curtailing and denying every freedom but that of the zipper.