Worth Reading - 7/29

1. Jemar Tisby from the Reformed African American Network writes for the ERLC about the nature and importance of a whole-life ethic that honors and seeks to preserve human life "from the womb to the tomb."

If Christians follow the Bible they will find themselves at times allies and at times enemies with all kinds of people. While the contribution of certain individuals and organizations during the Civil Rights Movement should never be forgotten, this advocacy is no reason to ignore the contra-biblical practices of abortion providers. Fortunately, many African Americans have consistently opposed abortion. Alveda C. King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., has been a public advocate for life. The National Black Pro-Life Coalition spearheads many pro-life efforts among minorities.
Christians of all races must be concerned with life “from the womb to the tomb” (and beyond!). This is why Christians of any race cannot support Planned Parenthood as long as it conducts abortions. Believers must do this while continuing to creatively address other important issues. The struggle is for the right to life and the right to a quality life. Love for God and his word requires both.

2. Justin Taylor highlights an important new book, which highlights the contribution of eight women in the history of the church. In truth, evangelicals have failed many females in the attempt to overzealously build a hedge around ministry. The egalitarians are wrong, according to Scripture, but the complementarians need to do better. This excerpt, which comes from the writing of Karen Swallow Prior, helps point in a healthier direction.

Both within the church and outside it, we too have treated in a similar fashion the biblical admonition against women preaching: we focus on the single thing that is off-limits and thereby fail to see the abundant opportunities and roles God has clearly offered, some of which are compellingly portrayed in the stories presented in this book. Likewise, the biblical admonition has led too often to extrabiblical limitations on women, as well as unbiblical oppression, also reflected in the societal restraints these eight women experienced during their lives. This kind of failure toward women—unjustly imposed limitations on their personhood and soul equality—has sometimes led to a secondary failure: the failure to see and tell women’s stories clearly, truthfully, and well.
Thus, there exists an abundance of works on the lives of women in the church that present readers with unrealistic saints, not flesh- and-blood women. Such accounts make good fairy tales but not just or suitable examples of the true life of faith. On the other hand, much of today’s retrospectives on women in history tend to focus, understandably and sometimes rightly, on limitations placed on women. Women have been and still are denied much, both in the church and in the culture at large.

3. Carl Ellis writes about the difference between the concept that "black lives matter" and the organization "Black Lives Matter." It's important to recognize the difference and not to second guess people that talk about the concept by accusing them of endorsing everything that is wrong with the registered organization. This is a helpful perspective from a socially conservative African American scholar.

Unless a distinction is clearly made between the two – “blm” and “BLM” – in the minds of the general public and the larger Christian community, or unless organizations issue public statements that distinguish between the two, I find myriad reasons why it’s unwise for Christians to identify with or protest under the “BLM" banner since other less compromising options are available.
For the Christian activist, a distinction also needs to be made between reform, revolution and revolt.  Reform movements seek to improve the existing order.  Revolution movements, if they are committed to truth, seek to abolish the existing order and replace it with a better one.  Revolt movements just seek to tear down the existing order.  History teaches us that without a better replacement as a goal, the result of a revolt is often a new order that is worse than the one that was demolished.  The inconsistencies, lack of accountability caused by its decentralized leadership, and moral murkiness of today’s “BLM” leave it vulnerable to becoming merely a revolt movement.
I have further concerns that the gains and strides made by those who champion “blm” will be eclipsed by the unchecked and counterproductive activities of “BLM.”  As a result, I’ve spent a good portion of this year advising those who ask me about the movement to use caution in affiliating with “BLM” ideology, or when marching under the “BLM” banner.

4. Tim Challies excerpts a book that he's recently read, showing that Eric Liddell's wife never stopped loving him. It's a heart-warming post.

“She couldn’t believe what she was seeing,” remembers Heather. Florence leaned forward on the very lip of her seat, oblivious for more than a full minute to absolutely everything except the scene played out in front of her on a twenty-one-inch television. “It was as if she was there with him, sitting in the stand,” adds Heather. As the race began, Florence was lost in the brightness of it. She even yelled: “Come on, honey. You can beat him. You can do it.”
The last frame of that film shows Liddell after his triumph. He is accepting a congratulatory handshake. The image lingers, freezing him in that pose for a while—the splendor of the man he’d once been so apparent. Florence stood up and looked at it as though in that moment she was remembering every one of the yesterdays she had spent beside him. She bowed her head, raised her hands to her face, and began to weep.

For good measure, I'm linking to footage of Liddell running in the 1924 Paris Olympics.