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Archive for March, 2009

Concluding “Find One, Build One” Blog Tour

The “Find One, Build One” blog tour officially wrapped up on Friday. We’ve seen 46 tour-related posts to date, and we expect the conversation to continue! Our reviewers have been mothers of sons, fathers of daughters, single parents, and even singles. They’ve been pastors, homeschooling moms, teachers, and writers—just to name a few. Visit our earlier posts here, here, and here to discover how What He Must Be has impacted someone much like you.

In conclusion, allow us to direct your attention to nine more blogs:

Rebecca Stark of Rebecca Writes had a number of hesitations about participating in the tour. But she explains here.

Thabiti Anyabwile and his wife have obviously been reflecting on the subject matter of What He Must Be for some time now. Thabiti writes at Pure Church: “Baucham has put words to our angst. As we look at our daughters, we wonder out loud, ‘Who will they marry?’ The question isn’t rooted in a romantic idealizing about Prince Charming, it’s rooted in the harrowing reality that so few young men seem really to be prepared for manhood at all.” Thabiti has encouraged his readers to join in with their thoughts, questions, and reactions to the book, so keep watching.

Bible Geek Gone Wild’s Shaun Tabatt and Melissa Jackson of 5 Minutes for Books comment on the need for a book like What He Must Be and the potential for transformation that it offers. Shaun remarks, “At the very least, I hope it will show you that you don’t have to accept the cultural norms when it comes to preparing your daughters and sons for marriage.”

Bob Hayton at Fundamentally Reformed highlights an interesting passage in What He Must Be. Check out his post, Romeo, Juliet, and a Biblical Courtship Model, to read Baucham’s perspective on the famous love story.

Ray Van Neste appreciates What He Must Be because it offers a model for parents who want to get involved as their children select a mate. Ray notes, “Most of us have not seen this done, so good examples and thoughtful reflection are at a premium.” Read more at Oversight of Souls.

Carrie Brownell at Reading to Know promises a full review shortly, as does Candice Watters of Boundless Line and Beauty Unveiled’s <http://beautyunveiled.blogspot.com/2009/02/find-husband-bulid-husband.html>  Melanie Glas.

Leave us a comment on this post if you reviewed What He Must Be on your blog or if you’ve seen a review we missed. Thanks for your part in making the “Find One, Build One” blog tour a success!

March 16, 2009 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 12:43 pm | 0 Comments »

Scott Klusendorf on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

9781433503207With President Obama’s executive order repealing the policy that limited federal tax dollars for stem cell research, this month’s publication of Scott Klusendorf’s The Case for Life couldn’t be more timely.

Klusendorf is the president of Life Training Institute, where he trains pro-life advocates to persuasively defend their views. Join us as he discusses the controversy of stem cell research as it relates to the pro-life position:

1. What are stem cells and why are  scientists eager to use them in treating disease?
Stem cells are fast growing, unspecialized cells that can reproduce themselves and grow new organs for the body. All 210 different types of human tissue originate from these primitive  cells. Because they have the potential to grow into almost any kind of tissue—including nerves, bones, and muscle, scientists believe that the introduction of healthy stem cells into a patient may restore lost function to damaged  organs, especially the brain.

2. Why is stem cell research focused, at  least in part, on embryos?
Human embryos have an abundant supply of stem cells which scientists are eager to harvest in hopes of treating Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other illnesses. The practice of  securing these early cells is known as embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).  The problem is that you must destroy the embryo to secure its stem cells.

3. Does that mean Christians should oppose all stem cell research?
Absolutely not. Pro-life advocates agree that we should save lives. We also support funding stem-cell research. But, we’re opposed to one kind of stem-cell research that requires destroying  defenseless human embryos so that other humans may (allegedly) benefit. That’s immoral.

4. The President and others have stated that embryonic stem cell research is morally complex. Do you agree?
Despite claims to the contrary, ESCR is not morally complicated. It comes down to just one question: Is the embryo a member of the human family? If so, killing it to benefit others is a serious  moral wrong. It treats the embryonic human being as a commodity we trade to  enhance our own well being. If, however, the embryos in question are not  human, why not put them in the crosshairs of scientists? Unfortunately, that is precisely the question President Obama ignored when he signed an executive order designating federal funds for destructive embryo research.

5. What about the claim that embryos leftover in fertility clinics are going to die anyway, so why not put them to  good use saving lives?
True, they will die—because people want to kill them for research! Nevertheless, a 2004 study shows that most of these embryos are still wanted by their parents (who pay high fees to store them). And unless Congress wants to override parental rights, few are truly available for research.

Moreover, there are moral considerations that call into question “they’re going to die anyway” argument. Suppose you oversee a Cambodian orphanage with 200 toddlers that are abandoned. The  facility cannot care for them any longer. Water levels are critically low and food supplies are exhausted. It’s only a matter of time before starvation and disease set in. A scientist has offered to take the toddlers off your hands and use them for grisly medical research designed to cure cancer. He confronts you with the hard facts: Many of these children will die soon and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, so why let all those organs go to waste? Nonetheless, you refuse. You could never, even for a moment, consider turning  the kids over to the scientist on grounds that “these kids are going to die anyway so let’s put them to good use.” True, given your impoverished  circumstances, you are powerless to save them, but you would never be complicit in actively killing vulnerable human beings, which is what ESCR  does.

Of course, there are many other examples to consider. In short, unless one begins with the assumption that the embryos in question are not human beings, the “they’re  gonna die anyway” claim doesn’t work. All of us are going to die sometime. Do those of us who will die later have the right to kill and exploit those who will die sooner? So once again, we’re back to the question we started with:  What are these “excess” embryos? If they are human beings, I see only one morally acceptable option: Wait for adoptive parents.

6. President Obama said that ideology should  not interfere with science. What do you make of that claim?

Well, the claim that ideology should not get in the way of science is itself an ideological claim, and a highly controversial one at that. I found this the most troubling part of his speech. If he is correct that scientific progress trumps morality, one can hardly condemn Hitler for grisly medical experiments on Jews. Nor can one criticize the Tuskegee experiments of the 1940s in which black men suffering from syphilis were promised treatment, only to have it denied so scientists could study the disease. Pro-life advocates are not anti-science. We are not anti-cures. We just insist that scientific progress must be tied to moral truth.

7. You claimed in a previous interview that the President presented the nation with a false choice: medical progress versus moral considerations.

That’s exactly what he did. Not only is embryonic stem cell research immoral, but it may be unnecessary. First, numerous  peer-reviewed studies indicate that adult stem cells are more effective at treating disease than previously thought. Unlike embryo stem cell research, we can extract these adult cells without harming the donor. Critics of the pro-life view, like the late actor Christopher Reeve, insist that these adult cells won’t work. However, the evidence suggests just the opposite. So far, adult stem cells are outperforming their embryonic counterparts.

Second, new research suggests we can pursue embryo cell treatments in morally acceptable ways. Altered Nuclear Transfer (or ANT) is one new technology which seeks a morally acceptable means of producing pluripotent stem cells (the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells) without the creation and destruction of human embryos. Instead, researchers will use biological entities that have some of the properties of  embryos, but are not living organisms. In 2007, researchers in Japan and the United States, using slightly different methods, successfully coaxed ordinary adult skin cells to function just like pluripotent embryonic ones. This remarkable breakthrough demonstrated that pluripotent cells can be obtained without destroying human embryos. This should come as thrilling news for everyone in the cloning debate intent on using embryo cells.

8. President Obama said he would strictly forbid using federal funds for reproductive cloning. The headlines even said, “Obama Says No to Cloning!” Did the President ban cloning?

Here’s what’s going on. Advocates of ESCR, including the President, want us to distinguish “therapeutic cloning” from “reproductive” cloning. But the distinction is misleading because all cloning is reproductive. So-called “reproductive” cloning means allowing the cloned human to live. “Therapeutic” cloning means creating him for research, but killing him before  birth. In either case, the act of cloning is exactly the same and results in a  living human embryo.

To learn more and be equipped to engage our culture in this area, check out Scott Klusendorf’s new book, The Case for Life. Or, it may be of interest to listen to Scott as he makes a compelling pro-life case without appeal to a particular religious position.

March 12, 2009 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Culture,Current Issues,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:49 am | (5) Comments »

Gospel Coalition Drawing – Last Day to Enter

By way of reminder, today is the last day to enter for a chance to win one of five registrations to the Gospel Coalition National Conference next month.

To enter the drawing, simply email your answer to one of these three questions to blog[at]crossway[dot]org:

  1. The Plenary Sessions—led by John Piper, Phil Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell, and Ligon Duncan—will expound the book of Second Timothy. What verses in 2 Timothy have had the greatest impact on your life or ministry?
  2. Which of the conference workshops would you most like to attend and why?
  3. Many of the conference speakers have written books. Share with us how one of their books has influenced your life and ministry. (Note: It does not have to be a Crossway book!)

That’s it. We’ll announce the five winners tomorrow.

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: James Kinnard @ 4:30 am | Comments Off »

Jesus is “Substitute and Pacesetter”

By Nancy Guthrie

When I look over the table of contents of Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross, the collection of writings on the cross and resurrection by classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers that I put together, I am moved just by the titles of some of the individual pieces. That is certainly the case with the piece by John Piper, which is called, “He Set His Face to Go to Jerusalem.” Taken from Luke 9:51, this phrase is loaded with theology as well as raw emotion and determination. It draws a picture of Jesus turning to walk directly into the storm of God’s judgment—because that is what going to Jerusalem will mean for him—certain death.

Piper helps us to see that following Jesus demands from us a similar determination to die. Not on a cross, but to our own comfort. “Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is our journey, and if he set his face to go there and die, we must set our face to die with him,” Piper writes. “One might be tempted to reason in just the opposite way: that since Jesus suffered so much and died in our place, therefore, we are free to go straight to the head of the class, as it were, and skip all the exams. He suffered so we could have comfort. He died so we could live. He bore abuse so we could be esteemed. He gave up the treasures of heaven so we could lay up treasures on earth. He brought the kingdom and paid for our entrance, and now we live in it with all its earthly privileges. But all this is not biblical reasoning. It goes against the plain teaching in this very context. Luke 9:23-24 reads: ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’

When Jesus set his face to walk the Calvary road, he was not merely taking our place; he was setting our pattern. He is substitute and pacesetter.”

~~~

NANCY GUTHRIE has a passion for sharing God’s Word through her growing national and international Bible-teaching ministry. She has worked in the Christian publishing industry for more than two decades and is the author of Holding On to Hope, The One-Year Book of Hope, Hoping for Something Better, and Crossway’s Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 4:20 am | 0 Comments »

John Coleman on the Harvard Campus

9781433502712How to Argue Like Jesus, by Joe Carter and John Coleman, was reviewed this week in Harvard Business School’s The Harbus. Coleman is currently pursuing an MBA/MPA at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, where he serves as a Zuckerman Fellow.

If you’re near Cambridge, MA, join John as he will be speaking on some of the rhetorical lessons from Jesus’ life at the Harvard Coop on April 13th at 7:00pm.

March 11, 2009 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 7:00 am | 0 Comments »