What I Read Online – 07/04/2012 (a.m.)

04 Jul
    • In terms of how much time is given to various facets of the work of the ministry, I am presupposing the primacy of preaching among the public duties of the ministry
    • in the wisdom and purpose of God, the primary means ordained by God for the gathering out of his elect and the edification of his people is that of the preaching and teaching of the word of God.
    • “It is in the pulpit that the fight will be lost or won. To us ministers, the maintenance of our power in the pulpit should be our great concern.”
    • “The great appointed means of spreading the good tidings of salvation through Christ is preaching–words spoken whether to the individual or to the assembly, and this, nothing can supersede.
    • When a man who is apt in teaching, whose soul is on fire with the truth which he trusts has saved him and hopes will save others, speaks to his fellow men, face to face, eye to eye, and electric sympathies flash to and fro between him and his hearers, till they lift each other up, higher and higher, into the intensest thought, and the most impassioned emotion–higher and yet higher, till they are borne as on chariots of fire above the world,– there is a power to move men, to influence character, life, destiny, such as no printed page can ever possess.”
    • TA: Founders exists to encourage the recovery of the gospel and the biblical reformation of local churches. The ministry was begun in a prayer meeting that was held November 13, 1982, in a hotel room in Euless, Texas. Those were the early days of the “Conservative Resurgence” within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). While that movement received a great deal of attention in denominational and even national media, another recovery movement was quiet ly beginning to emerge. God was beginning to awaken a few Southern Baptists to the biblical teachings on sovereign grace. Seven men—all Southern Baptists who had come to this “new” understanding— met to consider what could be done to encourage this movement. After hours of prayer, singing, reading Scripture, and talking, we decided to host a conference where the teaching would be based on the doctrines of grace.
    • So, for example, Southern Baptists heard much about Lottie Moon’s self less, sacrificial service as a missionary in China but nothing about the fact that she used the Shorter Catechism to evangelize Chinese children or that she reined in her deep affection for C.H. Toy and rebuffed his marriage proposal because she judged his theology defective. Another example: the fact that 293 delegates met in Augusta, Georgia, in 1845 to found the SBC was widely taught, but what was not taught is the fact that each one of those delegates came from churches or associations that held to the decidedly Calvinistic Second London Baptist Confession of Faith.
    • Today, with the easy access to primary historical sources through republications and trustworthy websites that make available such documents, anyone who has a computer, Internet access, and thirty minutes can easily discover that the cradle in which the SBC was rocked is evangelical Calvinism.


    • TC: I always get in trouble when I speak to America, so you’re putting me in an awkward spot. But here I go. America has justly deserved her reputation as a nation that believes it knows what is best, not just for itself but for others as well. America is known to walk with a bit of a swagger, whether politically, militarily or spiritually. And to be fair, America has a lot to commend it in all of those regards. Still, when a Canadian hears that a group of Americans is coming to Canada to do a service project or to plant a church there’s often a bit of hesitation, wondering what drama will come from it. What I mean is that America has brought to the world a lot of assumptions that reflect herself, but not necessarily the church in other places; America assumes that American Christianity is the purest, normative form, that it is the real deal and that the rest of the world ought to do things the same way.
    • America is a very practical nation, Americans are a can-do people, and like solving problems. However, problems are rarely solved at the extremities. Simpler solutions are found there, but usually not the right ones.
    • I would suggest that one of the greatest dangers to the church today is thoughtlessness
    • (1) Antinomianism
    • Preaching becoming too academic and less evangelistic
    • Militant homosexuality is not going away
    • I’d like to see more Christians re-discovering the joy of keeping the Lord’s Day holy. The main obstacle to that is sport-idolatry
    • The worst thing is all that preaching takes out of you. Preaching is soul-baring and exposing and that brings about a kind of fatigue, a kind of post-performance weakening, that I haven’t ever experienced elsewhere
    • Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is both one with the Father and yet distinct from the Father. The doctrine of the “eternal generation” plays an important role in securing both points. This doctrine teaches that the Father eternally communicates the divine essence to the Son without division or change so that the Son shares an equality of nature with the Father (sharing all the attributes of deity) yet is also eternally distinct from the Father.


      Although the eternal generation of the Son is affirmed in early confessions such as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed (AD 381) and post-Reformation statements like the Westminster Confession, several prominent evangelical theologians object to this doctrine on the grounds that it lacks biblical support. Evangelicals who reject this doctrine frequently point out that the Greek word monogenes (John 1:18; 3:16) does not mean “only begotten” but rather “unique.” Since the mistranslation of monogenes (allegedly) represents one of key lines of biblical evidence, one should dispense with eternal generation as a theological relic of a bygone era.


      In light of this, how should we think about eternal generation?


    • It happens when I hear the gospel proclaimed in such a way that it pulls my eyes away from my sin and calls to me: “Behold, your God!” It happens when I sit, unworthy, at the feast spread at the Lord’s Table and realize, as Isaac Watts wrote, “Here peace and pardon bought with blood is food for dying souls

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

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Posted by on 04/07/2012 in Current Issues


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