Saturday, November 18, 2006


I have often marvelled that the Pilgrims held a feast of thanksgiving to God while preparing to enter the New England winter when, in the previous winter, one-half of their number had died.

Abraham Lincoln's proclamation of a day of thanksgiving to God did the very same thing in 1863; honoring God and his goodness while in the midst of a bloody civil war. This was the proclamation that set aside the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom."

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed."

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

And as I am the party of the 'big tent', I don't want to exclude my secular friends. To them I say, "Happy Turkey Day!" (Although it does make me wonder... Did you kill, stuff, roast, and eat a veteran on Veterans' Day?)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Grudem on Townhall!

I was awfully surprised to see an article published on yesterday by Wayne Grudem, the author of my favorite text on systematic theology.

Excerpts from 'Memo on Prayer and the Nov. 7 Election':

"Please continue in much prayer for the election coming up November 7th." [...]

"As I think through the different branches of US government (executive, beginning with the President, then the legislative branch, and judicial branch), and think about many people in leadership at the state level, I know of many, many people who are seeking to do right for our nation and are praying earnestly that God would grant blessing and success to their efforts. Many of them openly profess their faith in Jesus Christ, and many others are unbelievers but (by God’s common grace) are genuinely seeking to do what is right for the nation and have basically good goals for the nation (or so it seems to me)."

"Particularly with regard to President Bush, I was praying this morning, asking, “Lord, if you will not help this kind of a courageous President who earnestly seeks to follow you, and continually seeks to walk in paths of righteousness, then what kind of President will you ever help?” He has been frustrated by a wayward and timid Congress, and especially by a foolish Senate rule that effectively requires 60 votes to pass anything, but he himself has steadfastly done just what I (at least) had hoped he would do with regard to:"

Grudem goes on to list 20 things for which he is thankful.

He concludes:

"I can become troubled and discouraged (and astounded) by the polls that I see in the news media, but I continue to be encouraged that God is still in control of the affairs of nations (Ps. 75:6-7; Dan. 4:17; Rom. 13:1). And so, I call out to him to have mercy on us (for certainly the sins of our nation are many) and to hear the prayers of his people for the good of this nation and of the rest of the world (Matt. 6:10; 1 Tim. 2:1-2). The Lord could certainly intervene remarkably in events and in people's hearts in the next few days."

"Please pray with me for this (if you feel the same way)."