Monday, May 26, 2008

Good Liberal Web Sites

At times it seems that the knee-jerk liberal reaction to any real or imagined problem is to propose a new mandate, regulation, subsidy or tax. Accordingly, it's refreshing to find folks who appear to be liberals building web sites that take a free-market approach to solving such problems.

Two such sites I've learned of this year are:

Catalog Choice - Save a tree without hugging it: Sick of receiving unwanted catalogs in the mail? Simply plug in your name and address, select the catalogs you don't want anymore, and in some mysterious way this web site will notify the companies sending them to cease and desist from doing so. So far it seems to have worked for the ones I plugged in. (h/t Lynne)

Free Rice - Learn stuff while feeding the hungry: This site tests your vocabulary. For every word you get right, the sponsors will donate 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. In other words, you get to feel good about playing games. I doubt the free rice approach will do anything to drive down high rice prices, but hopefully some of it will get to the folks most in need. Even if it doesn't, at least we can all learn some new big words. (h/t NPR)

Do you know of any other "good liberal sites" you'd recommend? If so, leave a comment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Together for the Gospel

Smokey and I are enjoying listening to the free audio recordings of the Together for the Gospel conference during our commute to work. I commend them to you.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Together for the Gospel, our pastor, who attended this year's conference, provides a good description on his blog. Here's an excerpt:

The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” This good news of God’s salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is revealed in Scripture. Sadly however, Satan is constantly working to distort, diminish, and decentralize the power, hope, and riches of the gospel. This is tragically evidenced in many churches where the clear, precise, bold, authoritative, and gracious proclamation of the gospel no longer holds central place in the life of the church. As one saint from the past has said, “the main thing about the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Well, THE main thing is the gospel, and the church in every age must labor diligently to keep the main thing the main thing!!

To that end, one of the marvelous works God is doing in our day to help us keep the main thing the main thing surrounds a conference known as “Together for the Gospel” (”T4G” for short). This is a bi-annual conference that was first held in April of 2006 in Louisville, Kentucky, and then again this past April 15-17. The purpose and heartbeat of the conference grew out of the deep friendship of four men who share a common passion for the gospel: Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Mark Dever, Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, and C.J. Mahaney. Their vision has been to champion the centrality of the gospel, and to encourage friendships among believers, pastors in particular, who share a common passion for the gospel (even though there may be differences in secondary areas of doctrine and understanding). Each of these men spoke at the conference, along with messages from Dr. John Piper, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. R.C. Sproul, and Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile.

I had the privilege of attending this year’s conference with my son Zach. Additionally from our church, Chuck Meadows, and with his son Ryan and son-in-law Dan attended. We joined about 5500 other people, mostly pastors, who attended the conference. Suffice it to say that the conference was profoundly refreshing and impacting. But rather than trying to describe it all for you, I would encourage you to go to the T4G website at There you can learn more about the men who spoke at the conference, see pictures, read the T4G statement of affirmations and denials concerning the gospel, and also listen to and/or download the messages. I was encouraged, convicted, and helped by all of the messages.