What I Read Online – 08/01/2012 (a.m.)

01 Aug
    • Second, I do not think that evangelical unity is particularly important or something to which we should aspire.  Christian unity is; but Christian unity, if it is to be achieved this side of glory, will be a churchly unity.  Evangelicalism is a non-churchly category.   It does not organize churches.  It does not ordain people.     It does not disciple people.  All these things are done by specific churches in specific places under specific leadership (both in terms of structure and personalities).   The church is a creation of God; the parachurch is not.    And Christian unity, if it is ever to be achieved on earth, requires churches talking to each other as churches.
    • In fact, to the extent that evangelical groups see themselves as instruments of moving churches along towards the achievement of true Christian unity (as opposed merely to providing support for churches and a forum for limited co-belligerence), to that extent they are playing a trick with gospel-centred smoke and mirrors.  
    • Third, I see the desire for a great leader to unite Christians as irrelevant, an imposition of Carlylean or celebrity culture thinking on the Bible.  The New Testament knows of no such thing.  When facing the end of the time of the apostles, Paul does not tell Timothy to look for the dynamic individual to whom all can look for leadership; rather, he tells him to appoint ordinary, respectable, competent members of the church community as overseers.
    • To clarify: at the risk of tautology, without an evangelicalism to lead,  evangelicalism’s leaders would have nothing to lead.  The evangelical leader seminary professor would just be a seminary professor, albeit one that is widely read and influential; and the evangelical leader church pastor would just be a local church pastor, albeit one whose website receives above the average number of hits and whose sermons are a source of encouragement to many. And the free floating, self-appointed evangelical leader/pundit/life coach would, hopefully, disappear entirely.  It might require some rethinking of strategic philosophy and it might dent a few egos but I do not think that would be a major setback to the kingdom or to the cause of church unity. In fact, quite the opposite.
    • Before I list some of these different axes, I should acknowledge that balance is not always a virtue. For example, when Scripture commands us to love God with our whole being (Deut 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-30), it does not add, “Of course, all things in moderation: one must balance love for God with other priorities.” Applied in the wrong contexts, the appeal for balance may be a mask for moral indifference and spiritual compromise. But let me assume that we have heeded the warning and turn to some of the different axes around which we need to maintain balance.
    • High Stakes: Insider Movement Hermeneutics and the Gospel
    • For these reasons and more, John Piper delivered a biographical message on Andrew Fuller at the 2007 Conference for Pastors. Standing as the emblematic “rope holder,” Fuller’s life is once again put on display for our encouragement and example in this new ebook, Andrew Fuller: I Will Go Down If You Will Hold the Rope!


    • Pearl denies the doctrine of original sin and thus believes that children have no need to be justified and, further, until they are older cannot be justified. This puts him radically at odds with the vast majority of Evangelical Christians
    • He believes that children are born sinless and unformed just as Adam and Eve were. Their younger years are a context for spiritual development that allows the parents to train them for when they become personally accountable to God somewhere around their early teens
    • Why do I belabor this point? Not only because Pearl denies what the vast majority of Evangelical Christians hold to, always something to make note of, but because this unbiblical belief is absolutely foundational to his child-rearing technique. The technique he teaches reflects this unbiblical view of humanity’s sinfulness. Understand this: If you heed Pearl’s counsel, you are following a technique that denies the sinfulness of your children and their need to be justified by the work of Christ. It passes by their hearts in order to condition their behavior.
    • Do you see what he has done here? He has taken all the language of the gospel and applied it to a parent’s spanking. A parent who strikes his child with a rod removes the child’s guilt, cleanses his soul, instructs and strengthens him, and gives him assurance that his debt has been paid.
    • So, here was a manuscript that technically has no material on which it is written (except for the thin layer of skin for a small portion), because the material has vanished. All that is left is the shadow of letters, in mirror image, on another manuscript. I hesitate to call this unique; there may be other manuscripts that went through a similar process. But of the hundreds of biblical codices I have examined, this was a first for me.

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

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Posted by on 01/08/2012 in Current Issues


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