What I Read Online – 08/04/2011 (a.m.)

    • From the Children Desiring God website:   The goal of this study is to help students to understand and rejoice in God’s good design in creating men and women fully equal in His image, yet with different roles. By showing students that male-female differences are rooted in God’s created design, students are led to acknowledge that the only way we can understand who we are as men and women is to come to terms with the Creator and what He tells us about ourselves in Scripture.  

       

       Students will be encouraged to value the members of the opposite gender, as they learn how God has uniquely designed and gifted each gender to fulfill distinct callings. It is our prayer that God uses this material to give the next generation a vision for becoming mature Christian men and women as they navigate their way through life amid the gender confusion and distorted messages they are receiving from the world

    • The way I usually answer the question is to change the subject from college to church. In my experience, it’s far more important to find a good church than to expect a college to buttress one’s faith. Of course, it’s important to find a good church when you’re raising kids in the first place. Churches and families that fail to immerse young people in the covenant of grace place an awful burden on a college—even a solid Christian one—or a good church in a college town.
    • We must not equate passion with style. But we must have hearts aflame with passion. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones famously defined preaching as, “Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! . . . Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.”

       

      The story is told that when W.E. Sangster was interviewing a candidate for the ministry, the nervous young man explained that he was quite shy and not the sort of person ever to set the River Thames on fire. “My dear young brother,” responded Sangster, “I’m not interested to know if you could set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: if I picked you up by the scruff of your neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?”

       

      Never mind his eloquence; was he himself on fire? (p.67)

    • When on Sunday morning, then, when you go out before their faces, we must walk up not worn out with misery but full of Christ, hot with Christ, on fire: burn them with the force of our belief.
    • Shouldn’t belief in total depravity necessitate profound humility? Shouldn’t belief in unconditional election preclude a spirit of superiority? And yet there is a doctrinal arrogance infecting Calvinist Christianity.
    • Why? Because it’s a depressing irony and a disgrace that many who hold to the so-called “doctrines of grace” are some of the most graceless people around. The extent to which your soteriology is monergistic—most Calvinistic nerds know what I’m talking about here—is the extent to which you ought to know that your pride is a vomitous affront to God.
    • To suspend judgment on these and other issues may strike some people as encouraging unity and furthering dialog between opposing ecclesiological persuasions, but what is sacrificed in the process is the specificity of the church as presented in Scripture and experienced in reality. Any ecclesiology worth its salt must be faithful to Scripture—all that it affirms about the church—and oriented toward reality rather than merely theoretical.
    • First, for the last several decades evangelical ecclesiologies have for the most part concentrated on the functions of the church, and thus neglected to their bane the identity—the nature and attributes—of the church. For me, it is not possible to consider what the church should do until a prior matter—what the church is—has been settled.
    • Second, the issue of church discipline has been neglected
    • Speaking of mission, neglect of the missional characteristic of the church by ecclesiologies has led to confusion over what the gospel is; how the church’s mission relates to broader matters such social justice and the kingdom of God; why evangelism and missions are not just matters for a church committee to handle; and how the church is to engage in missional endeavors in the midst of cultures that are becoming increasingly post-Christian or violently anti-Christian.
    • As this four-part video series concludes, don’t miss their parting words for pastors who handle God’s Word. You’ll be tempted to carve out a niche that sets you apart from other teachers. The danger is that you’ll become known for this “thing”—a helpful catchphrase or burst of spiritual insight, for example. Instead, seek to leave a legacy of God’s Word as your one and only thing. Cultivate respect for the whole counsel of God. Aim to leave behind an infectious passion to study the Bible and live in light of all its teaching.
    • Martin quickly learned that marriage means sacrifice, looking out not only for the needs of yourself but also of your wife and family. 
    • But the ongoing noise of Luther’s household was not only due to their children but also to the many friends and students who were constantly at Luther’s doorstep. One of the most outrageous examples occurred on the night of Martin and Katie’s wedding. At eleven o’clock there was a knock at the door. It was Carlstadt, who was fleeing from the Peasants’ War, seeking a place to stay. Of course, the Luthers took him in. Carlstadt would not be the last. The Luthers took in the sick on many occasions. Most impressive, however, was the love the Luthers had for orphans. Martin and Katie adopted four orphaned children from their relatives, making a total of ten children (!) in the Luther household. Known for an open door, at times the Luther family had up to 25 children and student boarders under their roof. Needless to say, this was no small task for Katie. Even the mealtimes in the Luther household were occupied. Martin’s famous Table Talk came from the table where the Luthers had their supper. Students were always at his table asking questions into the late hours of the night. But the exhaustion was overwhelming, so much so that one night, when Martin was talking at the table, Katie went up to her room and literally passed out.
    • Life was hard. Family life was hard. Marriage was hard. And yet, Martin and Katie loved each other tremendously. They viewed marriage as a school of character, whereby God uses the hardships of daily family life to sanctify us.
    • The rearing of children is a trial for both parents. To one of his youngsters Luther said, “Child, what have you done that I should love you so? You have disturbed the whole household with your bawling.” And when a baby cried for an hour and the parents were at the end of their resources, he remarked, “This is the sort of thing that has caused the Church fathers to vilify marriage. But God before the last day has brought back marriage and the magistracy to their proper esteem.” The mother of course has the brunt of it. But the father may have to hang out the diapers, to the neighbors’ amusement. “Let them laugh. God and the angels smile in heaven.”
    • Here I list not necessarily the most scholarly commentaries but what I consider to be the three best for students, teachers, and pastors.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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About Joe Fleener

Lover of Christ & His Gospel, Husband to Mandy, Father to three wonderful children, Servant to the Local Church, Bible College Lecturer
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