This and That 11-18-11

Bob Jones III, on Obama, Asks ‘Where Is the Evidence That He Is a Christian?’ – In an interview with National Journal, Bob Jones III — chancellor of the fundamentalist Christian university with the same name — offers a wide-ranging interview on the GOP field and questions President Obama’s Christian credentials.  “I have a great distrust for him,” Jones said of the president. “I’ve no reason to think he’s a Christian. … Anyone can say he’s a Christian. Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be. I say, ‘Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?’ ” – ABC News

Ask RC: Do all those who die in the womb go to heaven? – I, though I agree that all and only the elect will enter into heaven, and that the judge of all the earth will do rightly, embrace none of these positions. In the end I believe that the texts cited do not warrant the conclusions drawn from them. Thus my bold response- I don’t know. What I am persuaded of is this. All humans, from conception, are sinners and stand guilty before a holy God. Their only hope is the work of Christ applied to them. That work is applied always and only through faith, and that only the faith of the one saved.  Babies in heaven are there not by virtue of their age, nor their election, nor their parents. They are there by virtue of Christ, applied to them by their Spirit-given faith. – R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Congress Pushes Back On Healthier School Lunches, Fights To Keep Pizza And Fries – In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration’s efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools.  The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts.  The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that. – Huffington Post

What Forgiveness is and isn’t – When we forgive, we are confessing that vengeance is God’s (Rom. 12:19). We don’t need to exact justice from a fellow believer because justice has already fallen at the cross. We don’t need to exact vengeance from an unbeliever because we know the sin against us will be judged in hell or, more hopefully, when the offender unites himself to the One who is “the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2). – Russell Moore

You Asked: Should Churches Perform Altar Calls? – So why wouldn’t I give an altar call? In short, I believe that this particular man-made practice, this 19th-century innovation, has produced more bad than good for Christian churches in the West. The altar call relies on the powers of emotion, rhetorical persuasion, and social pressure to induce people to make a hasty and premature decision. And producing professions is not the same thing as making disciples. Surely a number of factors are responsible for the many nominal Christians that typify Christianity in the West, but I believe that the altar call is one of them. – Jonathan Leeman

A Conversation With Doug Wilson – I had the distinct pleasure to speak with Doug Wilson about the book he co-authored with Christopher Hitchens, “Is Christianity Good For the World.” We talked about Mr. Hitchens’ approach as an atheist to the subject, Doug’s approach as a Christian, and how we ought to engage atheists in general. Although Doug deservedly receives a lot of doctrinal criticism, he has a mind to be reckoned with, to be sure.  – Scott Oakland (Follow the link to download the audio of this interview)

We’re All Harry Blackmun Now — The Lessons of Mississippi – The confusion and scare tactics were real enough, but we dare not miss the central truth of this defeat. Voters in what is believed to be the most pro-life state in the union overwhelmingly voted down a statement that declared personhood for every human being from the moment of fertilization onward. The horrifying reality is this — the scare tactics used by abortion rights activists included some truths that even pro-lifers evidently do not embrace. While it is not true that doctors would be prosecuted for saving the life of the mother in the case of something like an ectopic pregnancy, it is true that a consistent pro-life position would mean the end of stockpiling and eventually destroying human embryos in IVF clinics. While this would not criminalize or restrict non-abortifacient contraceptives, it would outlaw birth control that does not prevent the fertilization of the egg.  In other words, the amendment straightforwardly stated the central logic of the pro-life movement — and even those who considered themselves pro-life balked, blinked, and ran for cover.  Evidently, the increase in pro-life sentiment that resulted from the miracle of the ultrasound image doesn’t apply when the image is that of a fertilized egg or a developing embryo. For many who consider themselves pro-life, the moral impulse is, apparently, to save “babies,” and not every unborn child at every stage of development.  Well, this means that a vast number of pro-lifers are not really as pro-life as they think, or that we had hoped. The political calculations about the wisdom of such amendment efforts aside, the undeniable fact is that the voters turned the amendment down, soundly. Furthermore, it was not, in the main, because they misunderstood its meaning. They seem to have understood it all too well. – Al Mohler