Was Adam Real? And Four Other Interesting Things I Read This Week

Fear and Courage on D-Day, 30 Years After an Iconic Michael Jordan Play, Gerald Ford and Navigating Justice Issues with Scripture

Our family just got back from a week in Florida. It was a fun and restful time with my kids. I watched a lot of NBA Basketball playoffs.

I read two books from start to finish. The first is a bit of research for The Characters of Creation, which I’m in the midst of writing. I’m going into this chapter with pretty strong convictions on the importance of a literal Adam, but I wanted to read all the arguments for and against, so Four Views on The Historical Adam was a beach read. I came away from it learning a lot from all of the contributors, but with my view essentially unchanged. I think a plain reading of the Scripture intends to communicate that Adam and Eve were real people and the first humans. Philip Ryken’s essay on the importance of this to the gospel narrative, at the back of the book, is worth the price of the book. I’m also really pumped to write a chapter on Adam and explore the many themes in Scripture that flow from his life.

President Ford, Unfiltered

The second book I read was also fascinating. It was a book by journalist Thomas DeFrank, Write it When I Die about the life of the 38th President of the U.S. Gerald Ford. DeFrank had an agreement with Ford that allowed DeFrank to publish everything he heard or saw from Ford, but not until after Ford passed away. It was really an unfiltered look at the life of a man thrust into the spotlight and into power at a critical time in U.S. History. There are some surprising revelations and mostly a look at his short presidency and his lengthy post-presidency.

DD-Day - 77 Years Ago

Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy 77 years ago. I don’t know about you, but for me, these men are absolute heroes to me, giving their lives for the sake of our freedom. I loved Matt Smethursts’s tweet with a Winston Churchill quote:

And I think you absolutely must listen to Ronald Reagan’s speech in France on the 40th anniversary:

30 Years(!) Since An Iconic Jordan Play.

Can you believe this was 30 years ago? Lebron is an all-time great, but in my book MJ is still the goat.

Justin Giboney on The Lies That Serve Us

This was super helpful. Justin Giboney urges Christians to apply Biblical truths to issues of race and justice:

Some Notes:

Lifeway asked me to write this piece about adjusting to life post-COVID. I think the same theology of the imago Dei that shaped our response to the pandemic should shape our respond after it. "Your Neighbor Is Not a Virus

Baptist Press asked me to comment on social media and our words in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.

Podcast

This week I had Pastor Don Wilton on my podcast. He has a new book out, Saturdays with Billy talking about his time serving as a pastor to evangelist Billy Graham. Listen here.

FYI: This is the free version of One Little Word. But did you miss this week’s paid version, where I shared some insights on leadership? Here is a snippet:

Institutional leaders really need to prioritize relationships. The higher up the executive ladder you go, the more intentional you need to be about cultivating key relationships across your industry and within your constituency. For those in denominational leadership, this is across the denomination. For those in parachurch ministry, this is both among the donor base, among your most active constituents, and among peer organizations. Not all opposition can be disarmed by a phone call or a visit, but quite a bit can. And there are some relationships that must be engaged with by the principal of the organization instead of being outsourced to a deputy. A CEO’s time and energy must be managed well. His or her staff must work to make sure they are not filling up his or her plate with unnecessary tasks that keep the CEO/President from their best and most important work. And yet that same staff also needs to help the principal engage in conversations and relationships that require his or her attention. This kind of engagement doesn’t require capitulation on key aspects of an organization’s mission. This doesn’t mean pandering to the loudest critics. This doesn’t mean the loss of a prophetic voice. But nurturing and maintaining key relationships is key to giving the organization space to fulfill its mission. This is the difference between mere gifting and actual leadership.

You can read the whole thing by becoming a paid subscriber.

photo credit: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Wenzel Peter, Vatican Museum, photo by faungs photos