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DHD: Russell’s return; Iran issue; French on UMC; Carter dissects ‘most pro-life’ pres; Mohler’s Briefing on abortion; Advance Conference

Greetings!

I’m coming off a great experience last night, as I worked the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder game, Nov. 9. I’ll share more in this week’s DHD, but I am glad I was able to experience the event in person.

Thanks for reading!

  1. Russell’s return

The icon of the foundational years of the Oklahoma City Thunder made his return to face his former squad. Now playing with the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook received a well-deserved acknowledgement during pre-game. A great video presentation preceded the announcement of Russ in the Rocket’s starting lineup, followed by roaring cheers from Thunder fans.

The introduction fulfilled my expectations. It felt like a playoff game, but it was something more. As great as playoff games are, they will happen again. What happened last night won’t be repeated.

Thunder fans needed the opportunity to celebrate what Russ did in his 11 years in OKC. There were a bunch of memorable moments, unbelievable performances and historical achievements. Most importantly, at a time when Thunder fans felt betrayed and discarded, Russ stuck around and led the team through a few more competitive seasons. He kept the Thunder relevant on the national scope and gave the fan base hope.

What happened in the introduction of the Rockets-Thunder game was a final “thank you” to Russ, and he handled it masterfully. He did all the intricacies last night that he did while playing for the Thunder, including fist bumps to the scorer’s table personnel before both halves and his opening sprint to the corner of the court, yelling and clapping to the crowd and receiving roaring cheers.

It has to be a special opposing player to interact with the “away” crowd for what Russ experienced last night.

And now the Thunder move on while exceeding expectations. The fans continue to enjoy this serendipitous season, looking like a confident contender for the postseason.

  1. The Iran issue

The controversy involving Iran keeps changing, almost daily. Last week, President Trump gave the military order that led to the killing of Iranian General Soleimani. Many feared this would lead to an extended war with Iran, but now it appears Iran’s response was a missile strike on an American base in Iraq, resulting in no fatalities.

War talk is now fizzling. So much so, that American politics appear to be returning to the eventual impeachment trial of the president. Old news is now current news.

Here are a couple of reports involving Iran you should consider reading before the country returns to impeachment talks:

  1. French’s take on UMC

On Monday, Jan. 5, David French gave his take on the recent decision to divide the United Methodist Church. His article “The Sad, Necessary Division of the United Methodist Church” is an excellent read and clears away the smoke over what is really the issue that is dividing this denomination.

“The secular media will cast the divide primarily in the terms it understands—as focused on ‘LGBT issues’—but that’s incomplete,” French wrote. “The true fracturing point between Mainline and Evangelical churches is over the authority and interpretation of scripture. The debate over LGBT issues is a consequence of the underlying dispute, not its primary cause.”

Keep in mind, the majority of French’s readership is made up of political conservatives. This almost reads like prophecy to those who don’t hold as strong of an interest in Scripture or have a full-fledged Christian worldview.

You should read in the article French’s breakdown of the “Christian triangle,” which is made up of Evangelicals, Catholics and Mainline Protestants.

  1. Joe Carter’s analogy of the ‘most pro-life president’

I love Joe Carter’s articles that provide breakdown analyses. Recently, he wrote “Who is the most pro-life president in history?” Boy howdy, this is a great read!

I’ve blogged many times about different aspects of President Trump. I try to remain objective, meaning I will not give him full blanket support but will express appreciation for specific decisions and actions I find agreeable.

This is why I appreciate Carter’s article. He is completely fair when it comes to analyzing how “pro-life” Trump is compared to previous U.S. president who historically demonstrated support for the Sanctity of Life.

Carter’s approach to his analysis is subjective, and he admits such. But all his points are important to consider.

Most importantly, I love Carter’s conclusion:

“Today, about one-third of Democratic voters (34 percent) identify as pro-life, and nearly half (48 percent) oppose elective abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy. But no Democrat presidential candidate can get elected in the current political climate if they support any restrictions on abortion. None is even willing to try.

“This is why many Christian voters who consider abortion to be a primary issue of justice continue to support whatever candidate runs on the GOP ticket. It’s not that they are necessarily looking for the ‘most pro-life president in history,’ they just feel they have no other viable choice. And if the current trend of the Democratic Party is any indication, they won’t be given a pro-life alternative anytime soon.”

  1. Mohler takes on current talks involving abortion

Al Mohler’s Tuesday, Jan. 7 edition of The Briefing is “must-listen” or “must read” for those who value Sanctity of Life. He addresses Michelle Williams’ acceptance speech at the recent Golden Globes, especially the part she mentions how “choice” had a big part in her acting career.

Mohler said about Williams and her speech, “She is talking about the destruction of a baby in the womb, the intentional strategic determined destruction of a baby, a living human baby, a living human being in the womb. And furthermore, she actually in her own way, declared that her career is dependent upon the fact that she has had at least one abortion.”

He shared much, much more, and it’s a fabulous dissection of what Williams said on that public stage to millions watching.

His other topics on Tuesday’s Briefing also involve abortion issues, especially in the political realm and how this topic will be an important one of the upcoming presidential election.

  1. Advance Conference

For the Jan. 23 Baptist Messenger, I am planning to write a feature article on the upcoming Advance Conference for Oklahoma Baptists, which will meet Jan. 27-28 at Del City, First Southern.

This is the same conference that previously identified as the State Evangelism Conference, but I plan to give an explanation of the event’s name change. Basically, “Advance” is the action descriptor of how Oklahoma Baptists are involved in evangelism.

This will be a great two-day gathering of Oklahoma Baptists, as it always has been. Great speakers are scheduled, including, one of my favorites, Ed Stetzer and recently-elected president of Southwestern Seminary Adam Greenway.

Read up on the Advance Conference by visiting www.oklahomabaptists.org/advance

Chris Doyle

Author: Chris Doyle

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