The Cross Is Where True Social Justice Is Found

cross_the_passion

by John Ellis

Luke chapter fifteen is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible; which is to say, one of the most beautiful passages in all of literature. As the chapter opens, we meet a group of grumbling Pharisees and scribes who are accusatorily saying of Jesus, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” With his response, Jesus reveals his love, his heart, and the reason for his incarnation.

The self-centered, self-righteous revelation of the Pharisees and scribes’ hearts finds a contrast and, more importantly, an antidote in the three parables that Jesus told in response. Instead of defending himself against the charge of receiving sinners and eating with them, Jesus confirms the accusation and explains that that is exactly what he came to do. Jesus’ telling of “The Parable of the Lost Sheep,” “The Parable of the Lost Coin,” and “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” reveals to us his desire to see sinners saved and reconciled to God. The readers of the Bible shouldn’t be surprised.

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Date Night: The Joshua Tree Live

the joshua tree

by John Ellis

This evening, U2 stops in Washington DC on the band’s The Joshua Tree tour. Released thirty years ago, en route to selling over 25 million copies, The Joshua Tree propelled U2 to superstar status. Containing the singles “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “Where the Streets Have No Name,”[1] The Joshua Tree is one of the greatest albums in rock history. Depending on the day, it’s also my favorite album of all time; it’s biggest competition being Achtung Baby, another U2 album. In fact, when asked, I usually name U2 as my favorite band of all time. All that combined has left me as giddily excited as a ten-year-old on Christmas Eve as I impatiently count down the remaining hours before tonight’s concert.

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National Teacher Appreciation Day

teacher

by John Ellis

This year, National Teacher Appreciation Day is being observed on May 9, which is today. Over my life, I’ve had many excellent teachers. I’ve also had the privilege of working with and befriending many excellent teachers. I’m thankful for all of them. In fact, I’m even thankful for the “bad” teachers that I had, because I learned quite a bit from them, too (to be fair, I wasn’t always the easiest student to have, and the “bad” teachers generally exhibited far more patience and grace than I deserved). However, and surprising no one who knows me, one of those teachers occupies far more space in my memory than all of my other teachers combined. That teacher is my mom, of course.

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The Most Popular Posts on A Day In His Courts

blog-writing

by John Ellis

When I was a kid, I loved baseball cards. Specifically, I loved looking at the stats on the back of the baseball cards. I still know Andre Dawson’s stat line from 1987: 49 homers and 137 RBI’s, leading the league in both, while batting .287. I also used to love to construct imaginary stat lines for, well, myself for when I would inevitably play for my beloved Chicago Cubs. I would usually give myself a twenty-one or twenty-two year career. Of course, by the time my career was ended, I had set MLB records for hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI’s, batting average, on base percentage, and, obviously, golden gloves won (I would also create stats for my lengthy career as a pitcher). That love of looking at numbers and playing with numbers has never left me.

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I Didn’t Want to Become a Christian

hiding-from-god

by John Ellis

“A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.”[1]

The above quote is from Lorainne Boettner’s seminal book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, which I am currently reading. Why it’s taken me so long to finally read this great book is a question that is irrelevant. Why I’m reading it at this point and time is relevant, however. Recent conversations with a brother in Christ from my church about Calvinism prompted me to begin writing an article titled, “Why I Believe in Limited Atonement.”[2] That was a month ago.

(Edit: “Why I Believe in Limited Atonement” is finished and can be read here.)

The article is taking longer than I anticipated, which, ironically, doesn’t surprise me. Considering the topic, I want to be thorough; being thorough includes washing myself with robust and God-honoring articulations of the topic. Hence, the Boettner book. While reading The Reformed Doctrines of Predestination, the quote above reminded me of a topic that my friend and I briefly touched on during one of our conversations, and I thought that it would make a good “tune-up” article, whet appetites for the coming, much longer, and much denser article, and, Lord willing, be edifying and encouraging[3].

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Bob Jones University, Abercrombie & Fitch, and PJ Media

bju-campus_1

by John Ellis

This month marks a year since I was hired as a staff writer for PJ Media. For those who are unfamiliar with PJ Media, the website is a medium sized political news and opinion site – from a deeply conservative perspective, to be clear. Over the last couple of years, the site has expanded to include Faith, Lifestyle, and Parenting sections. I was initially hired to write for the Faith and Lifestyle sections, but over the last year, I have been given the opportunity to branch out and write about politics and parenting, too.

But what does my time with PJ Media have to do with Bob Jones University and Abercrombie & Fitch (which is probably the reason the majority of the readers clicked on this article to begin with)? Well, change. Specifically, change in me.

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My Favorite Articles of 2016

journal-writingby John Ellis

Between this blog and PJ Media, I wrote almost 150 articles, well over a quarter of a million words, and have had millions of people read what I’ve written over the last twelve months. I have been mocked and excoriated by NPR, The Village Voice, and Richard Dawkins’ website, to list three out of many. In terms of writing, 2016 has been a banner year for me[1]. I praise God for that, and look forward to continuing my writing for as long as He allows. As I begin the new year, and taking a page from other blogs and sites, I’m going to rank my articles. Unlike most other sites, though, I’m not going to rank my articles by popularity; I’m going to rank my articles based on my affection for them. Below are the sixteen articles that I’m am most proud of having written this past year[2].

Thank you for reading, both here at A Day In His Court and at PJ Media. If there are any topics that you think that I should tackle in 2017, please let me know.

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