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The Briefing 10-29-14

1) Reinstatement of Rev. Frank Schaefer a failure of United Methodists to maintain own doctrine


Toyota's relocation to Plano was supported by an investment from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). In one of the largest TEF awards ever, the TEF will award Toyota $40 million to build its new North American headquarters. The TEF was created by the Legislature in 2003. Since then, the TEF has awarded more than $575 million, creating nearly 77,000 jobs and more than $24 billion in capital investment in Texas.

2015 The Gospel Coalition National Conference April 13-15, Orlando FL

Our 2015 National Conference seeks to stir longing for our ultimate home in heaven as we explore the sweep of redemption from creation to consummation, Genesis to Revelation. Our plenary speakers will unfold the Bible's teaching on eschatology, a topic of burning importance today. Along with these nine plenary sessions we've planned more than 50 workshops and focus gatherings led by speakers addressing topics including evangelism, homosexuality, student ministry, sexual abuse, faith and work, and much more. Join us as we worship God together in word and song with joyful hope that Jesus is returning soon. 

Jimmy Carter Flip-Flops On Nationwide Same-Sex Marriage

"I don't think that the government ought to ever tell the church to marry people, if the church doesn't want to. I'm a Baptist and the congregation of our church will decide whether we have a man or a woman as pastor, and whether we'll marry gay people or not," Carter, the first elected evangelical Christian president, told WFAA-TV .

5 The Daily

The Daily, by updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.

Why We Still Go To Church

And yet we return to our somewhat harrowing Sunday mornings, week after week after week. We go to church because we believe in Jesus, and one way we express that belief is through worship and confession. But we could worship and confess on our own without asking our children to behave themselves. We also go to church because we believe that God is known through the diversity of the people around us—old and young, able-bodied and walking with a cane, rich and poor and in the economic middle, brown skin and white skin and every other color too. We know God better through that diversity of divine expression. And because God is a God of love, of giving and receiving, we know God more fully when we do not only receive, but when we also are asked to give of ourselves. Church asks more of us than our hike in the woods. In time, I believe it gives more to us also.

New Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies

No doubt, phrases like “only begotten Son” (John 3:16) and “firstborn of all creation” (Col. 1:15) have led others in history to hold these views, too. In the fourth century, a priest from Libya named Arius (c.250–336) announced, “If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning. … There was a time when the Son was not.” The idea, known as Arianism, gained wide appeal, even among clergy. But it did not go unopposed. Theologians Alexander and Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt, argued that Arius denied Christ’s true divinity. Christ is not of similar substance to God, they explained, but of the same substance.

8 The TC Apologetics Daily

The TC Apologetics Daily, by TC Apologetics: The latest news and thoughts for the apologetic-minded Christian.

Stanford publishes a report on the balanced use of fracking

To frack a formation, you have to use ~80% of the lithostatic pressure at the depth being fracked. Using much more could lead to problems of cracking beyond where you want to go. The rest of the pressure needed comes from the resource itself in the shale. This is carefully monitored since it isn’t profitable to have things go where you don’t want them to. The ‘anecdotes’ of damages to water wells and from earthquakes is mostly BS. It is not impossible to have an unexpected problem with any industrial process, but the rarity of it can be confidently stated by noting that fracking of conventional reservoirs has been going on since the first well was fracked in Kansas in 1947. We’ve only heard all the outrage and ‘anecdotes’ in the last half a dozen years when the greens learned about this venerable process when the success with shales got into the news. You can be sure that the greens main concern was accelerated production of cheap fossil fuels.

WORLD | Pilgrims passing through | Marvin Olasky | Nov. 1, 2014

As you age, is singleness harder or easier for you? It’s different. You go through the first wave of friends getting married and babies, and now you’re in the second wave of those babies getting married. It’s a fear shift. When you’re younger it’s, “I’m not going to have the life I want.” When older you get tempted with, “There’s nothing left to look forward to.” But no matter where you are in life it’s the same battle because the enemy hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. “Has God really said?” Does He really care? Does He have a good plan for you? It feels different in different seasons, but it’s essentially the same thing: trusting Him. The answer is always the same: We aren’t meant for this life. We’re passing through the land of the dying into the land of the living.

What to Do About Angry Christianity

So I wonder how taking pride in being part of an angry mob reflects a life transformed by the healing power of Jesus. That may be a harsh assessment of the anonymous person in front of me. (I’m guessing if I met her she might well be the kind of person who volunteers at a food pantry, runs a business with high ethical standards, sends money each month to an orphanage in Guatemala, and prays regularly for a neighbor stricken with a terminal disease.) Maybe her life has been radically transformed by God’s love. And thank God we live in a society where you can express yourself freely and use your family SUV as a mobile conveyance device for your political views and other things you’re angry about.

How Do You Really Forgive Someone Who Hurt You?

I understood that forgiveness is MUCH DEEPER than a feeling (if we wait until we feel like forgiving we will never actually forgive) but rather a choice I have to make over and over again when the pain from what was done to me hits me out of nowhere.

Loving Kids Run Through New York City Asking Everyone to SMILE – Acts of Kindness That Will Touch Your Heart!

WOW! What a powerful video telling all of NYC that you are truly "never fully dressed without a smile." After watching what these beautiful kids do, you will definitely be grinning ear to ear.

IRS Has Been Seizing Bank Accounts of Law-Abiding Small Business Owners

Using the powers granted under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, which was designed to help federal agencies catch drug dealers, terrorists and other criminals, the IRS has been legally seizing the bank accounts of law-abiding business owners who have consistently made cash bank deposits less than the federal bank reporting minimum of $10,000.

Left Behind in America: Following Christ after Culture Wars

This leaves American Christianity pondering the path forward from here. The alternative that many will find is some form of a siege mentality. Some will retain the illusion of a previously Christian America, and will grow all the angrier, thinking that we have lost something that rightly belonged to us. And some will wish to simply absorb into the larger culture in their secular lives, while carving out counter-cultures in their churches to hold fast to the gospel. I would argue though that the cultural tumult around us is no cause for either the clenching of the fists or the wringing of the hands.

State Dept. Claims It Has No Plans to Bring Ebola Victims to US, Despite Memo; Australia's Travel Ban on Ebola-Hit Countries Slammed as 'Discriminatory'

The West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus outbreak have called Australia's recently imposed travel ban "discriminatory," arguing that it will not help in the fight against the epidemic. The U.S. meanwhile continues debating its own response, with the State Department denying that it's considering plans to bring over non-citizens for Ebola treatment.

God's Not Dead: Science Discovers Truths the Bible Revealed Long Ago: God is the Foundation for Science

Rational pre-commitments assist in directing one’s investigation and analysis of the data (as well as its interpretation and communication). This admission is often difficult to get from some atheistic inquirers to acknowledge. What worldview can furnish the a priori necessities and rational tools for science, analysis and research? Christian theism can deliver the epistemic ground for the a priori immutable universals utilized in rational enquiry; in principle, materialistic atheism cannot furnish the aforementioned ground. What is obligatory to account for scientific analysis is a first principle that has the ontological endowment to not only ground it, but to account for it and its preconditions—all the universal operational features of knowledge. The loss of the immovable point of reference, in principle, leaves the ungodly bereft of a resource necessary to construct the analytical enterprise. Without God, one cannot hoist the necessary a priori operation features of the intellectual examination of evidence. The Christian worldview supplies the fixed ontic platform as the sufficient truth condition that can justify induction, immutable universals, attributes, identity, and the uniformity of the physical world.

WORLD | An Election Day homily | Marvin Olasky | Nov. 1, 2014

How much government do we need? Our Constitution’s preamble states that the federal government is to “provide for the common defense.” Given both radical Islam and the desire of oligarchs throughout the world to steal from others rather than build wealth through slow but steady work, we sometimes need to fight. The preamble then stipulates that the federal government should “promote the general welfare,” and that’s the great variable. 

Bringing Order Out of Chaos, One Dirty Job at a Time

I haven't always intuitively classified my work as image-bearing, but as I've thought about it, I've seen that bringing order out of chaos reflects the image of God. When I get to a job, it can be filthy everywhere. By the time I leave it, though, it's clean. I make clean what is filthy. We see God doing that all over the place in Scripture. In creation, he creates order out of chaos by speaking creation into existence. As sinners, he takes the chaos of our lives and makes order through Christ. At the end of a job, there's a great deal of satisfaction knowing that God has used the work of my hands to make clean and new what was once dirty.

Hulu Will Soon Start Streaming Your Favorite Old Nickelodeon Shows

Y our Ren & Stimpy and Hey Arnold! binge-watching sessions can begin shortly. Streaming content provider Hulu has just struck a massive new deal with Viacom, meaning soon you’ll be able to stream content from their family of networks including BET, MTV Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and others. Most importantly, this means you will soon finally be able to re-watch the cartoons of your childhood to see if they still hold up ...

New study: being raised by married parents has huge positive effect on economic well-being

I think a lot of kids of my generation should be reading studies like this and wondering “what did the party of premarital sex, no-fault divorce, abortion and gay rights do for me?”. If your political party embraces policies that encourage people to see sex as recreational instead of a way of producing creatures who then become the responsibilities of parents, you are in the wrong political party. The Democrat party is the part of selfishness, and that’s why they attack marriage. Marriage is about restraining adults so that children benefit, and every selfish Democrat policy that damages marriage damages children.

The Briefing 10-29-14

1) Reinstatement of Rev. Frank Schaefer a failure of United Methodists to maintain own doctrine

Church of Scotland welcomes back recovered Moderator – Premier Radio

Rev Dr Angus Morrison has made a full recovery from illness to be the moderator designate for the Church of Scotland.

Murder confession followed IHOP church's 'exorcism session'

What Led Up To Micah Moore’s False Confession As with any unexplained death, after Bethany Deaton was found, she was transported to the medical examiner’s office for examination and he concluded her death was a suicide. Meanwhile, law enforcement notified her next-of-kin, which included her husband of just two months, Tyler Deaton. Over the next several days, more information about Bethany’s troubled mental state was revealed to those outside the small “community” in which she lived, including leadership at the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a local religious organization which all members of the community belonged. The community, as it was referred to, comprised a group of approximately 20 young people, many from Texas and graduates of Southwestern University, a small college in Georgetown, Texas, living in a communal type arrangement in Grandview, Missouri. Spread between four homes – a men’s home, a women’s home and two married homes – the group led a very structured existence under Tyler’s charismatic leadership, from sharing meals to household expenses to dedicated worship times and date nights and control over free time.

More Brits believe in aliens than God, says poll – Premier Radio

Premier consists of Premier Christian Media Trust registered as a charity (no. 287610) and as a company limited by guarantee (no. 01743091) with two fully-owned trading subsidiaries: Premier Christian Communications Ltd (no. 02816074) and Christian Communication Partnership Ltd (no. 03422292). All three companies are registered in England & Wales with a registered office address of 22 Chapter Street, London, SW1P 4NP.

Pugilistic Pastors

Having watched the fascinating 'Fight Church,' guest contributor Mark Moring asks: Are Christianity and cage fights compatible?


There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. Just as the Reformers protested the corrupt teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, so today evangelicalism itself is in need of a modern reformation. In What Is Reformed Theology?, Dr. R.C. Sproul offers a comprehensive introduction to Reformed theology. Simply put, it is the theology of the Protestant Reformers and the heart of historical evangelicalism. As C.H. Spurgeon once said, Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.

28 "The Railway Man": Forgiveness is more powerful than hate

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29 What's the State of Theology in America? | HeadHeartHand Blog

But if we compare the findings to almost every other country in the world, the picture suddenly looks a lot brighter. I’d be delighted if some of these statistics were true in places like Scotland or England – it would be considered a revival! I’d be surprised if most Western European countries would even make it into double figures compared to these quite stunning American statistics:

The Difficulty of Designing an Error-Correcting Code

The theory of error-correcting codes dates back to Claude Shannon's work in 1948. He worked on random noise, with each bit having an equal chance of disruption. Today, with hacking and terrorism on everyone's mind, the "more stringent case" of "adversarial noise" is attracting the attention of computer scientists. They feel that if you can minimize that, you can minimize random noise at the same time. How might one go about it?

Catholic charity outlines Ebola priorities – Premier Radio

Catholic charity CAFOD has been telling Premier that containing Ebola, treating the infected and raising awareness are the main priorities as the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) begins an appeal for West Africa.

Elton John: Pope is 'my hero' – Premier Radio

Gay singer Sir Elton John called Pope Francis 'my hero' at his annual AIDS benefit event.

Argentine pastor survives murder attempt – Premier Radio

Premier consists of Premier Christian Media Trust registered as a charity (no. 287610) and as a company limited by guarantee (no. 01743091) with two fully-owned trading subsidiaries: Premier Christian Communications Ltd (no. 02816074) and Christian Communication Partnership Ltd (no. 03422292). All three companies are registered in England & Wales with a registered office address of 22 Chapter Street, London, SW1P 4NP.

Local Knowledge of Jesus’ Empty Tomb | Reasonable Faith

Yet I noticed that - at least in the works I read - a specific argument was seemed not to be addressed, which my New Testament professor, who does not believe in the empty tomb, once used against a bodily resurrection of Jesus. The argument was: If the location of the tomb of Jesus was known to the disciples, it would have been remembered and would have likely become some sort of an early pilgrimage destination. Yet there is no evidence for any such thing, thus, it is unlikely that the disciples knew the tomb, therefore, they could have not known whether the tomb was empty or not.

35 What Led You To Become An Atheist? Some Surprising Answers | HeadHeartHand Blog

My reason for leaving Christianity and becoming more of an agnostic did start during high school and solidified during college. I was mainly lead there by much, much thinking along with some emotional reasons as mentioned above. My main idea is this; Everyone in life believes in any number of things, from numerous religions to science to the Universe, and so on. I grew up in Christianity and I looked at other religions. People of all religions firmly believe that their religion is the right one, and I believe that they feel a connectedness and passion just like Christians..if they weren’t getting something out of it, then why would they continue practicing that religion? I see many young Christians go on and join church merely because that’s what their family has always done, and/or their friends and family would view them as ‘lost’ or a ‘sinner’ having been raised ‘right’ and yet still leaving the Church. My life experiences have put me in touch with all sorts of people, and each one, Christian or not, were amazing people. They all have hopes, dreams, beliefs, traits that are beautiful and traits that are bad.


The ERLC Leadership Network is a movement of men and women — leaders, pastors, and lay people — who desire to join the ERLC’s efforts to apply the gospel of the kingdom to the major cultural issues of our day.

37 Let Them Have Sermons

If they want sermons, let’s give them sermons. For the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Pope Francis: ‘Evolution...Is Not Inconsistent with the Notion of Creation’

Pope Francis on Monday (Oct. 27) waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not contradict the role of a divine creator, but even required it.