Brit Hume leaving Fox – cites son’s suicide and subsequent spiritual renewal

Fox News anchor Brit Hume is leaving the cable news network after 12 years, saying “Christ is a big piece of it.”

“Family is a big piece of it,” he told Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times. “And Christ is a big piece of it. And golf is a big piece of it.”

As he prepares to anchor his last presidential campaign, Hume said he’s eager to immerse himself in a more spiritual life after dwelling for so long in the secular. The anchor described himself as a “nominal Christian” until 10 years ago, when his son Sandy committed suicide at age 28.

“I feel like I was really kind of saved when my son died by faith and by the grace of God, and that’s very much on my consciousness,” said Hume, who plans to get more involved in his wife’s Bible study group.

(This is off the Fox news website)

Author of “The Shack” Responds to Criticism

Click here. I still think I learned more about the Trinity in reading The Shack than I did in seminary. Most of what I learned in seminary had to do with what bible students call the “economic trinity.” These are the various roles each person of the Trinity plays in the history of redemption. But the wonderful and rich relationship of our Trinitarian God within the plurality of his being was unimaginatively developed – or actually, not developed, if the truth be told. Actually, The Shack has encouraged me to go back and read Augustine on the Trintiy and purchase a series of dvds to deepen my reflection.

The reaction to The Shack among some evangelical leaders tells me as much about myself as about them. I am a fringe evangelical if their reaction is in any way a definition of evangelicalism. Eugene Peterson’s endorsement of the book gives me some hope that the land of the evangelicals is not completely populated by such. Evangelicalism is my home. But sometimes, as the title of a recent book reads, “home is where the hardest things happen.”

An interesting discussion at DivorceCare

Last night at the sixth session of the 13 week DC program we dealt with what the owner’s manual (the bible) says about divorce. I have always thought this teaching was a very difficult momment for people who are either not in church at all or on its edges. The teaching had to do with biblical reasons for divorce and qualifications for remarriage. This approach has always made it clear to me that DC seems to be aimed at evangelicals who are going through divorce rather than the larger public.

My observation is that no one ever chooses not to remarry because the divorce was not on biblical grounds. In my 30 years of pastoral ministry I have never met someone who did not remarry for those reasons. There are plenty who chose not to remarry but out of personal preference, not biblical mandates. The Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 7 instructs Christians that if they leave their spouse (except on biblical grounds) they are not to remarry. DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO HAS FOLLOWED THIS ADVICE???? I DON’T. I have had plenty of people tell me that they will not remarry – it’s better to be single and out of the marriage than go through the soul-deadening experience of remaining in their marriage. But eventually that choice is something they find it impossible to live with. They seek another companion.

Since almost no one follows this counsel, I wonder if this is one of those situations where the human experience makes us take another look at the Bible and ask if we really know what it says on this issue. I know that some will respond by saying that I am putting human experience above the Bible. No, I am not. But human experience can make us question whether or not we are interpreting the Bible correctly. In some areas of interpretation, we have found that the popular interpretation runs so counter to our natural humanity that we have an indicator that we must take another look at the passage.

I understand that this can be a slippery slope to subjectivism. But the reality is that if some interpretation proves itself over the long haul to be completely outside the pale of our humanity, then perhaps we have it wrong. I think that one of the proofs of the Christian faith is that it answers to the human experience, as we would expect truth to do.

The surprise is that anybody is surprised

This is a purely local story here in the Boston area. Dianne Wilkerson, a state legislator, is arrested for extorting bribes. Hercolleagues in state government are “shocked,” and “troubled.” That’s even more bothersome. But after reading Howie Carr’s The Brothers Bulger about state and Boston government, no one can really be taken by surprise by these antics.

It’s like all the evangelicals who were shocked and troubled by Jim and Tammy Faye Baker’s demise. No one looking on was at all surprised. Only the insiders were. Of course, the insiders had too much to gain to draw the natural conclusion everyone else had already drawn – these are crooks. When the TV evangelists take the big fall, the guy on the street was all along thinking it was just a matter of time.

I wonder when us evangelicals will be more willing to keep house.

Stevens vows to remain a candidate – the wrong lesson in leadership

Sen Stevens was found guilty but vows to remain a candidate for reelection. Just in case you don’t know it, those in public office “need” to be in office. It’s not about the mission. It’s about the place.

There comes a time when a leader needs to move on so the people can move on. Like John the Baptist, who understood the difference between being called and being driven, as Gordon MacDonald describes it. John’s words were, “he must increase and I must decrease.” John didn’t want to make his disciples have to choose between himself and Jesus.

I often wonder how pastors apply that truth. I don’t think I have ever seen a pastor at the top of his game voluntarily remove himself because he was getting in the way of Jesus being Jesus, not because he had a secret sin revealed but simply because he occupied too big of a place.  Thomas Aquinas did this. At the top of his influence he put down his pen and never wrote another book – not because he was tired of the work, the struggle, the frustration. He just became convinced that he had done what he was appointed to do. Henry Nouwen did this. At the top of his game he left his position of influence and signed on to serve disabled adults – giving baths, cleaning bedpans, and the thousand other things you have to do for those who cannot care for themselves. Could he have done “more good” if he had not done this? Maybe, as we count good. But he found out that following Jesus was more than guarding your gains.

The reality is that people can get really big and God really small. So God can lead perfectly healthy and useful men whose eyes have not dimmed and whose vigor has not abated up to the mount where God conducts a private burial service. And then God said to the people, “Moses my servant is dead.” They renewed covenant with God and move on to the promised land. And that is what it was always about in the first place.