What I Read Online – 06/06/2013 (a.m.)

    • They’re narcissistic. Apathetic. Pampered. And addicted to their four-inch screens.
    • To attend seminary is a privilege
    • Seminary is merely the beginning of lifelong learning
    • To really study and know God requires serious discipline
    • As much as you know, there’s always more to learn
    • Studying theology is an act of worship
    • Interesting thoughts from Jewish atheist Ira Glass, host of “This American Life”:
    • Although it is important to investigate the charges thoroughly before drawing conclusions, I question the wisdom of putting these men in prominent and influential positions while these grave allegations hang heavy and unresolved. Further, I wonder why, in the seven months since the lawsuit was originally filed, we have heard little to nothing from those who have close ties with Mahaney and SGM concerning the severity of what is potentially the largest sex abuse scandal in American evangelical history.
    • It is worth noting Ruth’s position in the Hebrew Bible. It is placed directly succeeding Proverbs. As the book of Proverbs illustrates the wisdom of a righteous man, it concludes with chapter 31—the description of the virtuous woman. Ironically, Boaz is wisdom personified. He is a wise man, who acts with respect and dignity even in the most tempting situation. Interestingly, Ruth, a Moabitess, is personified as the godly woman. In fact, the very language used to describe the Proverbs 31 woman of character whose “works praise her in the gates” (Prov. 31:31), is used regarding Ruth in 3:11, which literally reads “all the gate of my people knows that you are a woman of worth.” It is as if the compliers of the Hebrew Bible placed the book of Ruth directly after Proverbs to describe the marriage between the wise man and the virtuous woman.

       

    • When most of us hear the word purity our minds automatically think of abstinence or virginity, but purity is far greater than the two. A person can be a virgin and still not be pure. A person can be married and never have an affair but still not be pure. On the other hand, a person can be pure even with a sexually promiscuous past. Purity is not just saying no to sex before marriage. Purity is not just saying yes to sex in marriage. Purity is saying yes to godliness.

       

    • Almost every Monday, I wake up feeling as if the world ought to end. It lacks lustre. It is blue and gloomy. I have no drive to do anything and have to literally kick myself out of bed. This is not the day when I should be told to go visit the sick and dying. I am one of them!
    • I mean, this sounds crazy, but it really happens almost every Monday “to the clock”. On Monday, I’m ready to put in my resignation letter and quit the ministry altogether. Come Tuesday, my spiritual engine is raving. I feel as if being a preacher is the best job on earth
    • So, for the last few years, when the dark clouds of my Monday blues begin to gather over my head, I simply keep saying to myself, “Conrad, don’t believe it. That is how you feel. But the reality out there is totally different. Don’t do anything stupid. Wait until tomorrow.”
    • In the past ten years the single most memorable event in embryonic stem cell research has been setting a world record for scientific fraud. In 2004 and 2005 Science published two papers by Hwang Woo-suk, a South Korean scientist. He claimed that he had successfully isolated human embryonic stem cells. Korea printed stamps in his honour and he was feted as an international celebrity. But he was a charlatan, his results were bogus and he had obtained human eggs unethically.
    • Ten years on.

       

      Thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of lives killed under microscopes.

       

      Not one cure.

       

      Not one apology.

       

    • Notice also that there is great specificity to the good news that Paul records. The good news is not merely about God in general or how we can have a relationship with him. Instead, it’s about Christ in particular. Christ is not presented as a groovy teacher or one who offers moral clarity. He’s not presented as a helpful guide to get us through life’s difficulties. There’s nothing here about him being “chicken soup for the soul.”

       

    • Rather, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. This is what the gospel is. It’s both Christ-centered and cross-centered. The gospel is the good news associated with an event regarding the person of Christ
    • This gospel was not merely Christ-centered and cross-centered, it was also Scripture centered
    • The series of Christian Biographies for Young Readers was born in response to a need for simple but accurate and informative books on men and women of church history, emphasizing God’s preservation of His church and doctrines rather than moral samples to follow. Masterful illustrations capture the imagination of readers, and photos help them to realize the reality of these stories.
    • Commercial surrogacy severs procreation from the one flesh union. Commercial surrogacy also commodifies women and children. There are some things that shouldn’t be for sale, and the womb is one of those things. Women and children aren’t objects to be commercialized, but persons to be respected
    •  

      What I fear is that the message this sends is one that is nothing more than divorce preparation. When a relationship becomes an accessory that can be added, changed, or removed without much effort, it plants a seed. That seed comes up much later in their marriage where someone better looking comes along, when they realize the feelings aren’t there like they were, or when they just tire of the relationship. Because there’s such a long history and pattern of breaking commitments, it makes it that much easier to end a marriage. I’ve dealt with several married couples who treated their marriage vows like two 8th graders at a dance acting like they’ll never break up.

    • Don’t date anyone you couldn’t see yourself marrying
    • Focus on developing friendships
    • Wait until you’re mature enough to handle a big commitment (marriage)
    •  

      Steve and Candice Watters, at a conference for high school students, made the argument that young people should wait to date until they are about a year away from being willing to be married (http://www.sbts.edu/resources/conferences/important-general-session-3/)

    • Involve your parents, their parents, and your church/es
    • Pursue Christ first and foremost as your only true satisfaction
    • Set limits to your time & dedication – Importance of boundaries
    •  

      The book Sex, Dating & Relationships by Hiestand & Thomas lays out the claim that until marriage is decided on and a proposal is given/accepted, the relationship is one of “neighbor,” which involves purity, boundaries, and expectations that you would show towards a friend. So until marriage is the plan, it is wise and best to set limits to time and dedication

    • Involve others if you do decide to date – Avoid “Alone Time”
    • Guys – Be intentional; Girls – Be pursued
    • Ladies, be pursued. Don’t always make the effort and do all the work. If he’s more focused on playing X-BOX and hanging out with his buddies, never has a plan for your time together, or has trouble committing to things, chances are he’s a boy who can shave rather than a man.

       

    • Pray for your future spouse
    • For biblical counselors, an overarching principle still applies: psychiatric diagnoses can open our eyes to see real human struggles, and these same diagnoses can distract us from Scripture’s insights and spiritual causes or contributions.
    • The DSM V will help you to see hoarding, but it might blind you as well. It’s not just about throwing things away. The rescue and encouragement of a person’s soul is the most obvious way to the deepest form of help
      • Churches whose postcards and websites feature only the prettiest people.  Like retailers, churches seem to think attractive people will attract people.  Such a philosophy might make good marketing sense, but theologically it is a bankrupt and gospel-void belief.
      • Similarly, churches that advertise with images of model families who seem to have it all together.  I’m not sure when “a happy, white-teethed family” became the goal of our faith.  It’s certainly not biblical.  In fact, I cannot think of happy family in the Bible.  The gospel neither requires nor leads to a happy and attractive family.
      • Worship teams populated only by the pretty.  I’ve often wondered why it is that ugly people evidently cannot sing.  Especially in very large churches, it seems that only the thin, attractive and stylishly dressed can lead worship.
      • Pastors who make a fashion statement.  Everybody has to wear something, so I get that pastors would not want to look like a slob in the pulpit (or on the stage, as the case may be).  But some pastors seem to take style to a level beyond what is appropriate.  Whether it’s a Southern Baptist preacher in a $4,000 dollar suit with $500 cufflinks, or a trendy mega-church star who looks like he’s ready for the catwalk in Paris, or the grunge guy sporting flannel and the world’s longest beard, the message that gets sent is, “You can trust what I am saying because I look the way you’d like to look.”
    • Christian worship should be biblical
    • Christian worship should be biblical
    • Christian worship should be biblical
    • Christian worship should be biblical
    • Christian worship should be dialogic
    • Christian worship should be dialogic
    • Christian worship should be dialogic
    • Christian worship should be dialogic
    • Christian worship should be covenantal
    • Christian worship should be covenantal
    • Christian worship should be covenantal
    • Christian worship should be covenantal
    • Christian worship should be covenantal
    • Christian worship should be trinitarian
    • Christian worship should be trinitarian
    • Christian worship should be trinitarian
    • Christian worship should be trinitarian
    • Christian worship should be trinitarian
    • Christian worship should be communal
    • Christian worship should be communal
    • Christian worship should be communal
    • Christian worship should be communal
    • Christian worship should be hospitable, caring, and welcoming
    • Christian worship should be hospitable, caring, and welcoming
    • Christian worship should be hospitable, caring, and welcoming
    • Christian worship should be hospitable, caring, and welcoming
    • Christian worship should be “in but not of” the world
    • Christian worship should be “in but not of” the world
    • Christian worship should be “in but not of” the world
    • Christian worship should be a generous and excellent outpouring of ourselves before God
    • Christian worship should be a generous and excellent outpouring of ourselves before God
    • Christian worship should be expectant of an encounter with God
    • Of course, the thought experiment helps us to realize that home-run-hitting, exciting and important as it is, is merely one good among many in the game of baseball considered as a whole. Activities like the use of performance-enhancing drugs trouble us morally—not merely because of the conventions of the game—but more significantly because they violate the overarching goodness of the unity of the game’s goods, considered as a whole.

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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