Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

Faith & Culture Archive

Sunday

30

August 2015

0

COMMENTS

Reflections on Katrina Ten Years Later

Written by , Posted in Devotional, Faith & Culture, Uncategorized

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On Sunday, August 28th 2005, the First Baptist Church Gonzales, La.  gathered for worship with a foreboding outlook on the next 24 hours. As we closed the worship service, I addressed the congregation by stating the obvious, namely that the radar and forecast were troubling, and that we should make final decisions regarding the storm. My last comment was one leading to a closing prayer for God’s protection and provision, I shared with our church that Katrina promises to be a future pseudonym for disaster, and I am confident that it will change south Louisiana in a very profound way. I challenged our people that with such destruction coming our way, we could count on unprecedented opportunities for ministry.

For five hours on Monday, August 29, Hurricane Katrina battered the major Gulf Coast cities, and when all was said and done there were 1833 deaths and $108 billion dollars in damages.  Douglas Brinkley in his comprehensive and impressive chronicle, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,  writes, “The storm-surge flooding, which submerged a half million homes, creating the largest domestic refugee crisis since the Civil War. Eighty percent of New Orleans was under water, as debris and sewage coursed through the streets, and whole towns in southeastern Louisiana ceased to exist.”

Gonzales, being some 60 miles west of New Orleans along the route of Interstate 10, would escape the higher winds and the devastating flooding of our friends in New Orleans.  By being one of the first major exits on I-10 west out of New Orleans, Gonzales became a city of refugee for many fleeing Katrina. (more…)

Friday

21

August 2015

1

COMMENTS

Life is Short, Don’t Have an Affair

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Faith & Culture

One can only imagine the panic Tuesday’s revelation brought throughout the world when hackers announced that they were going to post online the client data from Ashley Madison, a web company that facilitates adulterous connections globally. This data leak is now available for download and includes: full names, street addresses, email addresses, and financial information of some 37 million users.

Make no mistake about it, the fallout will be devastating to millions of families, and serves to remind us of the dangerous secret lives that are being lived out in epic proportions on the Internet. We could rightly call this week’s Ashley Madison debacle a category 5 with regard to moral storms, and its effects most certainly will be catastrophic.

The explosion of Internet immorality into multi-billion dollar business seems to have come together like a perfect storm as spiritual decline coupled with the jettisoning of biblical truth merged with the rapid advance of the Internet.
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Monday

9

December 2013

2

COMMENTS

Kirsten Powers and the Miracle of the New Birth

Written by , Posted in Devotional, Faith & Culture, Theology

insider_powers_0In recent weeks, I have read with great interest and joy the testimony of Kirsten Powers.  Her journey of grace was posted on Christianity Today’s website on October 22, 2013. Since then her story has gone viral and has been the source of much media attention.

Powers possesses quite a resume that includes an appointment to the Clinton White House, as well as established credentials as a journalist with such news outlets as Fox News and The Daily Beast. Throughout her career, Powers has been known as a progressive, secular, and atheistic liberal who expressed a pronounced contempt for all things Christian.

However, seven years ago, through the witness of a boyfriend and the consistent preaching of a faithful pastor, Powers was confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ.  Over the span of eight months of attending church and Bible study, the thick crust of resistance began to breakdown. (more…)

Tuesday

24

September 2013

0

COMMENTS

Slavery Right in Our Backyard

Written by , Posted in Faith & Culture

bangladesh1In a special needs orphanage in East Asia, a little boy rested on a pallet with eyes wide open. An oxygen tube provided necessary assistance to maintain his breathing. He rested peacefully, but was lethargic.

After looking into his eyes, we asked the orphanage caregiver, “What is his birth defect?” She responded, “He doesn’t have a birth defect. He was taken by human traffickers as an infant and placed in a storage container. Because of lack of oxygen, he has permanent brain damage. We don’t think he is going to be with us much longer.” Sadly, by the end of the year, her prediction was correct.

Upon returning to the United States, the temptation for us was to compartmentalize this atrocity as an incident that occurs only in far off places, but the truth of the matter is that human trafficking is a global scourge that does not discriminate based on any criteria. The lives affected by modern day slavery are not only in third-world settings, but are in fact occurring in our own backyard.  (more…)