What I Read Online – 08/22/2012 (a.m.)

22 Aug
    • Almost everything about J. I. Packer is counter-cultural. When asked a question, his answers tend to be 7-8 minutes long, and come out in full paragraphs. One of my favorite quotes from Packer is where he warns against the spirit of this age, which holds that “the newer is the truer, only what is recent is decent, every shift of ground is a step forward, and every latest word must be hailed as the last word on its subject.” Packer represents the opposite. He is “old school.” Listening to him talk is sometimes akin to hearing someone speak in your second language. You might understand what is being said, but you have to lean in and listen because the cadence and vocabulary are not your mother tongue. But I am convinced that we ignore the biblical, historical, theological, practical wisdom of this octogenarian to our peril.
    • Here’s an interesting dynamic I’ve noticed in our neck of the theological woods. Because we rightly desire to be together for the gospel, we are content to hold strong convictions about theological and denominational particulars that don’t necessarily divide us from gospel partnership. Many of them relate to how we “put the Bible together” (baptism and Sabbath being two issues that come to mind). And for those who are academically inclined, there’s always an impulse to say something new rather than to rehash old debates. The result, it seems to me, is that we are seeing less truth-in-love, iron-sharpening-iron, intramural debates and discussions on these important issues.
    • A helpful illustration:  



      A church member who had been devoutly active for many years suddenly was absent. One cold winter evening the pastor knocked at his door. Actually, the pastor and the church member had been long-time good friends.





      As they watched the wood burn in the fireplace, the minister mentioned the parishioner’s absence from church. The man candidly confessed that he had decided he was just as well off without the church as with it. The minister didn’t say a word. He took the tongs from the rack, reached into the fire, pulled out a flaming ember, and laid it down by itself on the hearth. He still said nothing.




      Both men sat in silence and watched the glowing ember lose its glow and turn slowly into a crusty, black lump. After some moments of thoughtful silence, the man turned to his pastor and said, “I get the message, my friend, I see what you mean; I’ll be back next Sunday.” And he was.




      Commitment begins with decision, but commitment is never a once-in-a-lifetime decision.

      Charles R. Leary, Mission Ready! CSS Publishing Company



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

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Posted by on 22/08/2012 in Current Issues


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