What I Read Online – 10/11/2012 (a.m.)

    • And I think there is something instructive in this public wrestling with the sentence. Could it be that this is something of the image of God and his holiness shining through in our public discourse? In situations like this, we see that no matter what we might say that we believe, we want a God who punishes people for their sins. There’s something unsatisfying about the notion that Sandusky can just die and thereby escape the consequences of his actions forever.
    • 5 characteristics of church revitalization:

       

      1)      It is an effort to revive an established, but struggling church.

       

      2)      It mandates a change in direction.

       

      3)      It requires patience and understanding with those there before you.

       

      4)      Its goal is to become a healthy, diverse, multi-generational church.

       

      5)      Its purpose is to display the glory of Christ to the world.

    • You have to care
    • Invite them into your life
    • Demonstrate repentance
    • Call them to a purpose, but not their purpose
    • Expect a lot, and don’t apologize for it
    • Live in the light
    • Don’t sugarcoat
    • Be someone worth following
    • Counseling success means fruitfulness and change into the image of Jesus.
    • Because counseling is ministry, both the goals (“success”) and the means (the roles of the Holy Spirit and of the counselor) are described in Scripture.
    • Spiritual maturity means skillful love for God and others. Wisdom is skillful living. Wise counseling is a skillful form of love
    • But, understanding Scripture and understanding yourself, other people, and life circumstances (as they are in God’s eyes) is the key. Many other human endeavors may contribute something to your knowledge, but they can never give you the essentials or the framework.  
    • What’s the biggest challenge pastors’ wives face today?
    • Tim Keller: We who are Calvinists that believe in the free offer of the gospel regularly ask people to seek something only God can give. Not only would we say only God can give salvation, but we would say that you can’t even want salvation unless God gives it. Yet we call people to repent and believe. I see no reason why we can’t call people to seek gospel renewal and revival even though only God can give it.

       

    • yes, I do think individual salvation needs to be kept central
    • So rather than saying—as many do—that the main point of the gospel is cosmic salvation, and our individual salvation(s) are just part of that, it might be more accurate to say it’s the other way around. It may be that cosmic renewal is a fruit of our individual, personal salvation.

       

      Because I read Romans 8 the way I do—I see substitutionary atonement and justification as not something that comes along with the bigger story but as the point of the spear of the Big Story.

    • What I mean is that a genuinely persuasive argument does not merely tell you that you are wrong about everything. It doesn’t just beat on you from the outside. It comes inside your belief system, as it were, and affirms something you believe strongly. And then it says—well if you believe this (A) then why in the world can’t you see that B is true?
    • I’m good with saying that the mission of the church is basically to “make disciples.” I like it because it safeguards the centrality of what the church alone can really do—bring people to faith in Christ. But I might differ with others on what those disciples look like.
    • I’d say you haven’t discipled someone if they only have been equipped to evangelize and bring people to church.  If they are truly discipled, they must be motivated and equipped to love their neighbors, to do justice and mercy.  And they also must be equipped to integrate their faith with their work, namely, to engage culture
    • Put another way—the job of the institutional church gathered is not to change social structures/culture, but to create disciples (who comprise the ‘organic’ church dispersed) who will change social structures and the culture
    • A Conversation with a Woman of Whom the World Is Not Worthy
      A Conversation with a Woman of Whom the World Is Not Worthy avatar

       

       

      An hourlong interview of Joni Eareckson Tada by Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

    • The findings, released October 9, 2012, report that this group has grown over the last 5 years from 15% to just under 20%. Dubbed the “nones,” this growing demographic is not only unchurched but doesn’t even identify with any particular religion
    • According to this story, we came from nowhere and are going nowhere but in between we can make something of ourselves. To the extent that we see the basic trajectory of this process in evangelical circles today as well, we should not be surprised to discover in the latest report that the sharpest rise among the “nones” is among evangelical as well as mainline Protestants. Accommodating ourselves to the culture of modernity, we can no longer use the old growth-versus-decline argument as an anti-mainline polemic
    • Conversely, it is not merely the recovery of sound doctrine that will fortify our churches and families—and our own lives, but the routines that presuppose a different reality, in which we are God’s creatures, fallen in sin, and redeemed by Christ awaiting his return in glory to restore all things.

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

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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