What I Read Online – 07/03/2012 (a.m.)

03 Jul
    • If this mystifies you, it shouldn’t. In fact, it is quite common in science. Once an idea becomes well-established in the scientific community, it is hard to get rid of. As studies start showing problems with the idea, they are often disregarded as flawed themselves or just special cases that don’t hurt the overall applicability of the idea. Because of this, it often takes a long time to get rid of a bad idea in science. In addition, the more influential the idea, the longer the process takes.
    • So, preachers, shall we eschew the abuse of the rhetorical question and the overuse of the interrogative? Shall we save rhetorical questions for the occasions when they appropriately and fruitfully demand that our congregations fill the void they leave? Shall we learn from Christ himself, and from Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Paul, and John, and Peter, to use our questions with restraint and place them with precision? Shall we stop begging our congregations to agree with everything we say in the act of saying it, and return to the business of speaking the Word of God with humble authority, as true heralds?
    • In the church we are so programed to programs, that when something comes along encouraging us to de-program, we can’t help but treat it as a program. So we read it, discuss it, rave about it, but once we get to the last page we subconsciously tick that resource off our list and look for what else we can take our leaders or members through.


    •  There is nothing in the above that I really disagree with except the last sentence, but I think there are two distinct points being made. (1) An element of faith is involved in accepting that the original texts have been preserved more or less faithfully; and (2) Even if we were sure we had the original ‘as-written’ texts of Scripture it requires faith to receive them as the Word of God rather than simply the words of men.


      In the case of (1) I say ‘an element’ of faith since (as you yourself imply) such matters can be studied by historical and historiographical research. Unfortunately different scholars come up with different answers, so that the interpretation of any factual research findings often depends on the interpreter’s preconceptions (‘faith’?).  


      In the case of point (2) faith is, of course, fundamental. Do we or do we not accept the original Scriptures as constituting  God’s Word — that is, God communicating with us (and thus revealing Himself to us) through the instrumentality of human writers?  And if we do accept this proposition, is our faith rational or irrational? You continue:

    • One further point before I come to the biblical definition of faith. When we ask “is faith rational?” we must take into consideration not only objective evidence (from such things as the fine-tuning of the universe to the historical evidence of Christ’s bodily resurrection) but also subjective evidence (the evidence of a personal experience of God). Ultimately, biblical faith is of the latter kind since objective evidence, no matter how strong, can always be explained away and rejected
    • I heartily agree that it is good to recognize a power greater than our own. But the gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to know that power as a Person, and that surely is far better!


    • Is it biblical or preference
    • Is it the right time
    • Is it worth the possible consequences
    • For example, I would not split the church over a plurality of elders/pastors, or purging an inflated membership role in the first few years at a church.  Those are changes that can come later with good teaching and patience.  However, I would risk being fired over confronting a deacon found in open adultery, or an attack on the deity of Christ, whether the church was ready for it or not

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

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Posted by on 03/07/2012 in Current Issues


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