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What I Read Online – 01/13/2012 (a.m.)

13 Jan
    • Counsel for Millennials: “Roll with It”
    • Dr. Cornelius Hunter has done an excellent job detailing many of evolution’s failed predictions. I have discussed a few on this blog as well (here, here, here, here, here, and here). Not surprisingly, as more and more research is being done, more and more evolutionary predictions are being falsified. The latest one involves bats and insects.
    • [The Puritans are] a type of evangelical believer that emerged in the Church of England in the sixteenth century and reached its high peak of development in the seventeenth century in men like Richard Baxter, John Owen, Richard Sibbes, John Flavel, Thomas Brooks, Thomas Manton, Thomas Watson, Robert Traill, William Bridge, Thomas Goodwin, Stephen Charnock, Jeremiah Burroughs, John Bunyan, William Gurnall, and others of similar outlook. (J. I. Packer, Faithfulness and Holiness, 14)
    • It is something of a truism that seminaries are not great at teaching preaching.
    • some believe that preachers cannot be taught, simply improved
    • Seminary preaching needs to be supplemented with experience in the local church, at the old folks home etc.
    • Yet there is another thing that is not done well at seminary
    • pulpit prayer
    • In fact, pulpit prayer should be a vital part of the worship service.  It is at those moments that the pastor has the task of leading the people into the very presence of God.  This is an awe inspiring task, not to be undertaken lightly. 
    • and it thus requires that those leading worship pay as much attention to what they say in their prayers as they do to their sermons.  The congregation should come away from the service believing that they have met with a holy and gracious God; and public prayer is a key element of that.
    • As an antidote to this lack, ministers should spend some time each week reading the prayers of others.   The Valley of Vision is a great little collection of Puritan examples.  Spurgeon’s The Pastor in Prayer is simply amazing — that he could pray spontaneously like that speaks volumes of his private devotions.  Matthew Henry’s A Method of Prayer is also invaluable as providing guidelines on public prayer. 
    • We live in a world where casualness reigns supreme and where things like Twitter have made even otherwise thoughtful theologians sound like scriptwriters for the local fortune cookie company.
    • Certainly churches should view all “programs” that aren’t biblically prescribed as optional, and so they should hold them with a relatively open hand.
    • Programs should be means, not ends in themselves.
    • From this angle, Sunday school—especially a well-planned, content-driven model—helps a church to equip its members more thoroughly and completely than it would without the help of a structured program like this. Sunday school is a means, not an end.
    • Programs should contribute to a culture of discipleship, not compete with it.
    • Sunday school shouldn’t take the place of discipleship. It shouldn’t give the impression that discipleship exclusively takes place in Sunday school, or that Sunday school is absolutely essential to discipleship. Instead, it’s simply one means to the end of discipling Christians, and fostering an overall atmosphere in the church that nurtures discipleship.
    • Christians shouldn’t spend all their time “at church.” Christians shouldn’t live out their whole lives within the four walls of their church. We need time to be faithful in our vocations, whether mothering or mortgage brokering. We need time to disciple our children. We need time to befriend and love and evangelize our non-Christian neighbors. And there are only so many hours in the week.
    • David Powlison says that the last page or so of B. B. Warfield’s sermon “Imitating the Incarnation” “offers the most riveting description of the goal of Christian living that I’ve ever read.”
    • He was led by His love for others into the world, to forget Himself in the needs of others, to sacrifice self once for all upon the altar of sympathy.
    • It means forgetfulness of self in others.
    • So we can say of sanctification in its entirety and of all the good works of the church, that is, of all the believers together and of each one individually, that they do not come into existence first of all through the believers, but that they exist long before in the good pleasure of the Father, in the work of the Son, and in the application of the Holy Spirit. Hence all glorying on man’s part is also ruled out in this matter of sanctification. We must know that God in no way becomes indebted to us, and that He therefore never has to be grateful to us, when we do good works; on the contrary, we are beholden to God for them, and have to be grateful to Him for the good works that we do.
    • Bitesize Biographies Series
    • Central Africa Baptist College & Seminary, founded in 2006 in Kitwe, Zambia, exists to “train the next generation of servant-leaders in Africa for Great Commission living.
    • 1. You believe the heel of the loaf of bread has more nutrients in it because it is browner.

       

      2. You think that kids were made for the living room and not the living room for the kids.

       

      3. You believe that being a disciplinarian consists of using repeated commands in a professional bossy voice.

       

      4. You think that telling stories at the dinner table is weird.

       

      5. You think that laughter at the dinner table is even weirder.

       

      6. You possess a bag of carob chips, which you put into cookies made out of trail mix.

       

      7. You place a high value on “teaching them a work ethic,” but that value is not nearly as high as your “slave labor is great ethic.”

       

      8. You don’t want them to know any dumb music.

       

      9. You think dessert is for sissies.

       

      10. You want them to learn to appreciate you without you ever appreciating them.

    • Yet must of what is done in the name of contextualization isn’t contextualization at all. Two misuses of contextualization among so-called missional churches are, first, a superficial approach to culture and, second, gospel contamination that results from this approach.
    • When we become primarily concerned with church forms—building, music, service, website design—we dip below superficial contextualization into syncretism, blending Christianity with another religion, in this case consumerism. Christian consumerism gives people what we think they want, instead of calling them to what they need: repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord

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

 
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Posted by on 13/01/2012 in Current Issues

 

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