The excitement that conservatives felt over newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown comes from his pledge to oppose President Obama’s government health care, federal deficit spending, runaway economic stimulus expenditures, and backroom earmark deals to Democrats supporting the health care bill.
However, Brown’s state record on some of the same issues is not as stellar as conservatives have trumpeted. He supported Mitt Romney’s health care bill that requires all workers to carry insurance. He also supported a bill for a regional cap and trade, but has since said he regrets that vote.
Brown opposes “same-sex marriage,” but supports civil unions. He says he believes that marriage is “between a man and a woman,” the same position taken by President Obama, as he pointed out in the campaign.
On the abortion issue, he supports the various restrictions, such as parental notification and the ban on partial birth abortion, but has said that Roe v. Wade is “settled.” In the uncompromising sense of being “pro-life,” there is not much to get excited over here. Brown will probably support the Republican platform, while downplaying any support for pro-life measures that would upset the status quo.
Brown’s real position on these issues remains to be seen. I am willing to concede that Republican candidates from Massachusetts must often take a “stealth” approach to some conservative issues if they hope to be elected. The leftist supporters of Martha Coakley believe that is the case and have tried to paint Brown as “anti-abortion” and “anti-gay.” In fact, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann called Scott Brown, “an irresponsible, sexist, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea-bagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.”
You can know a man by his enemies. Since Olbermann hates Brown so much, I wanted to know whether he might secretly be an evangelical Christian.
Is Scott Brown an evangelical Christian?
I was surprised by this.
Brown and his family are active members of the New England Chapel, which is part of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The denomination is Calvinist and evangelical, although NEC has a flavor that reminds me of a “seeker-friendly” Bill Hybels style congregation. In other words, they are soft on preaching the Gospel and instead concentrate on “meeting needs” — tending toward a warm, pietistic experience of “spiritual formation,” rather than boldly calling sinners to salvation and repentance.
On the other hand, NEC is networked with a regional Christian organization called Mission E4 that works solely with evangelical churches. The senior pastor, Chris Mitchell is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which teaches biblical inerrancy and has a Reformed bent. You can hear several of the pastors’ sermons on the NEC website if you want to investigate further.
The Brown’s also financially support a local Catholic mission called Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham.
Obviously, Scott Brown doesn’t wear his faith on his sleeve, but it’s also apparent that the family has a commitment to a flavor of Christianity that includes evangelical missions and works of social compassion. Regarding the nude centerfold spread, Cosmopolitan’s “sexiest man in America” will get the benefit of the doubt from those of us who also did some stupid things in college.
Brown’s family of four have each achieved great personal success. Scott is a real estate lawyer and a champion long-distance runner, bicyclist, and swimmer. He is married to WCVB-TV reporter Gail Huff. They have two daughters, Ayla Brown, an American Idol semi-finalist and star basketball player at Boston College, and Arianna Brown, a competitive equestrian and pre-med student at Syracuse University. The family owns a 3,000-square-foot home in Wrentham, a 2,000-square foot summer home in Rye, New Hampshire, three condos in Boston, and a timeshare in Aruba.
In short, as far as left-wing Massachusetts goes, Scott Brown a political miracle. He’s right of center on fiscal issues and a moderate on the so-called social issues. He’s far better than anything we could have expected when the deceased Ted Kennedy’s seat opened up last August. In this case, we ought to take what we got thankfully.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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