Jul 4

Seven Links for the Fourth of July

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

Our citizenship is in heaven, and yet we are embedded in the world. It’s important to know where we are and when we’re living in order that we might praise God accordingly and live wisely as those send here with the gospel.

With that in mind, here are seven articles to read over this fourth of July weekend.

9 Things You Should Know About Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence,” Joe Carter

“Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the only two presidents to sign the document, both died on the Fourth of July in 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration. Adam’s last words have been reported as ‘Thomas Jefferson survives.’ He did not know that Jefferson had died only a few hours before. James Monroe, the last president who was a Founding Father, also died on July 4 in 1831. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.”

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Kevin DeYoung

“I understand the dangers of an unthinking ‘God and country’ mentality, let alone a gospel-less civil religion. But I also think love of country–like love of family or love of work–is a proximate good. Patriotism is not beneath the Christian, even for citizens of a superpower. So on this Independence Day I’m thankful most of all for the cross of Christ and the freedom we have from the world, the flesh, and the devil. But I’m also thankful for the United States. I’m thankful for the big drops of biblical truth which seeped into the blood stream of Thomas Jefferson and shaped our Founding Fathers. I’m thankful for our imperfect ideals. I’m thankful for God-given rights and hard-fought liberty. I’m thankful I can call myself an American.”

Christians Face Abuse Around the Globe,” Robert P. George

“With media attention riveted on the Middle East, it is tempting to assume that persecution against Christians occurs almost exclusively in that region. But assaults against Christians are worldwide, transcending any one regional, ideological, or religious bent. Combating this problem entails a much broader solution. According to the findings of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), evidence abounds of persecution elsewhere.”

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Jon Bloom

“We know that our democratic republican form of government has its origins in Athens and Rome and various other Western democratic experiments. But where did this vision for the dignity and freedom of all human beings come from? Jerusalem — by which I mean the Bible.”

Pastors, Politics, and the American Republic,” Jonathan Parnell

“America and its founders. Now that’s a conversation folks can get passionate about, whether in political rhetoric or some Christian circles. However, beyond any dispute on the role Christianity played in those early days, we can say undoubtedly that public opinion in 1776 considered Christians beneficial to the American republic. In short, the consensus was that Christians bring a lot of societal good in a representative democracy. The man who led the way in articulating this benefit was John Witherspoon, founding father, Presbyterian minister and president of Princeton University, among other things. Though he flies under the radar in many history classes, Witherspoon’s influence is significant. And while he embodied the major intellectual traditions of his day, he has a helpful word on the gospel’s influence in society. Witherspoon contended that the contribution of ‘true religion’ to the public order is the morality of its adherents. Or said another way, the gospel’s influence on society comes by the means of transformed lives.”

American Equality and Ideals,” Justin Taylor

Quoting C.S. Lewis: “I am a democrat [believer in democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . . The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.”

What John Piper Said in Washington, D.C.,” John Piper

“More than ever since 9/11, Christians in America, and especially Christians in the U.S. government, should make clear that there is a radical distinction between Christianity, on the one hand, and American culture and the American political system, on the other hand. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, atheists, and all other non-Christians need to know this for Christ’s sake.”