What I Read Online – 12/25/2011 (p.m.)

    • While Britain is formally Christian, its pursuit of “moral neutrality and passive tolerance” has been every bit as strong as Australia. It is the only nation where I have been reported to the police and chased by journalists for reading the Bible at a public meeting!  Mr Cameron is quite clear that the move to make Britain a ‘value free’, liberal, secularist, multi-cultural state just hasn’t worked. As he says “Those who say being a Christian country is doing down other faiths…simply don’t understand that it is easier for people to believe and practise other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity.”
    • Why is our society so embarrassed about the Christian foundations of our culture? From the inanity of “Seasons Greetings” and “Santafest” to the stupidities of academics insisting on the nonsense called BCE (Before Common Era) instead of BC (Before Christ) – we are disowning, discrediting, and denying our culture. And how can a prodigal society regain the social capital of an inheritance they have wasted?
    • We don’t really understand the significance of “Immanuel: God With Us” unless we crawl inside the story of Israel. From the very beginning, God created the world for the purpose of dwelling in the midst of it, particularly in the midst of the people he created in his own image for covenantal fellowship
    • So Jews had a good reason to be a little concerned about God just showing up all unannounced. On one hand, they knew that they were nothing without God’s presence—that was the whole point of the covenant. On the other hand, they knew that God’s presence was not benign; it meant either unspeakable blessing or unimaginable destruction.
    • It’s the delicate tension between this ultimate blessedness and ultimate danger of God dwelling in our midst that we observe throughout the biblical drama. The early Reformed theologian Wolfgang Musculus put a fine point on it: “So here we are, faced by terror of divine Majesty on one side and the need of our salvation on the other.” Only in this context are we ready to understand the significance of the Temple.
    • The Temple was the focal point of biblical faith. It was both Law and Gospel. As God’s holy residence, it was a constant reminder of Israel’s sinfulness, but it also provided the way of salvation through cleansing and forgiveness.
    • John’s Gospel begins with the eternal Word as God made flesh, pitching his tabernacle no longer outside the camp but in our midst. God would be with us, not only on the edges of the camp to avoid destroying his people in wrath, but “in our midst.” God came to our neighborhood. He became one of us, in fact. The most amazing thing about the first Christmas is that nobody died. Sinners gathered to behold the glory of the Creator of heaven and earth and lived to tell about it.

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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