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Posts Tagged ‘tsunami’


There is a place for “bite-sized” reflections on ethical issues. Al Mohler provides just that in Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America.  I suspect this book is taken from his blog posts from 2001-2005. I read the expanded edition which contains some newer chapters from 2010-11. The chapters are short enough to read in less than 30 minutes. Mohler interacts with events and controversies, so these pieces are not abstract. As John Piper notes, he is clear-headed.

While he tackles some complex issues, I never got the sense I was in over my head. He makes the material accessible to ordinary people. He has 3 chapters on Public Law, first laying out 3 secular arguments, then 3 secular myths and finally 5 theses. Many of these chapters are still relevant, like his chapter on Offendedness. There are chapters wrestling with 9/11, the Tsumani, abortion, Darwinism and more. These are things to think about. At times you can see how perceptive he is.

“Instead, Saletan argued that the pro-abortion movement should coalesce around an agenda of lowering the total number of abortions and increasing the use of contraceptives.”

This, for instance, has been the rhetoric of our President.

But he looks not merely at personal sins, but at structures. This is not as common for conservatives. This is part of the tension between conservatives and progressives today. The one sees personal morality as the main issue, and the other public morality as the main issue so sin is found either in the individual or the structures. For a Christian, we should recognize both. And both need to be addressed.

“Sin is so interwoven in our lives and institutional structures that we often cannot even see it.”

(more…)

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I don’t think anything could prepare us for what happened in Japan.  It is a perfect storm of disaster that would make Irwin Allen proud.  I thought we’d seen the worst disasters possible, but we apparently hadn’t.  One of the most powerful earthquakes on record, a tsunami and the possibility of Chernobyl.

I’m reading a book about prayer that talks about helplessness.  This picture, sadly, captures that reality more powerfully than any I have ever seen.

We need to pray for the people of Japan.  Money does not fix something like this.  That doesn’t mean we should not provide resources for emergency relief.  But rebuilding the soul of Japan will take far longer than rebuilding the nation.  And rebuilding the nation may take close to a generation (ask New Orleans).

To put this in perspective, this was a nation that somehow recovered from WWII to become one of the most productive economies in the world.  They enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world.  But they have been brought to their knees, this time by the groaning of creation triggered by the sin of Adam.

It reveals just how close we are to the edge.  Life can change in a New York minute.  And when it does, there is not simple fix.  We all live by grace, common grace, whether we realize it or not.  We live by the sheer mercy of God.  Let us throw ourselves into the hands of a merciful and compassionate God, even as we intercede at the throne of grace for the people of Japan.  We pray to One who was torn asunder, but conquered death.  He can give hope to those on the brink of death.  He can give hope to Japan.

 

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