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What I Read Online – 08/23/2012 (a.m.)

23 Aug
    • The radical change in my heart calls for a radical change in my pursuits, which brings me back to the decision my husband and I had to face. I personally could not be Clair and pursue my law degree while still trying to care for my husband, care for my home, and serve my children. Yet I couldn’t be June: I work part-time, I’m not ironing my husband’s underpants, and when I wake up I have a fight that the fictional character didn’t have. I fight my selfish flesh by the word of God and through his grace. I needed to look to God’s word for direction, not to the world.
    • This is a miracle that only God could do in my heart. I had to (and continue to) fight not only the world, not only feminist thoughts, but a culture that would say I sold out
    • Was early Christianity a culture of textuality (even though most were illiterate)?  Absolutely.   For one, it was defined by and founded by the Old Testament writings.  Christians were committed these books from the very beginning.   Even illiterate Christians could receive these written texts when they were orally proclaimed—through preaching, teaching, and catechetical instruction.  Indeed, oral proclamation is the primary means that written texts were delivered.  There was a symbiotic relationship between the two.
    • Every pastor will have to answer the question, “What happens to infants who die?” Sadly, many pastors respond with varying degrees of ambiguity. By relegating it to an area that the Scripture is unclear about, pastors dispense doubt and cause anguish rather than comfort and solace. This forced ambiguity actually causes people to question the character of God, and in many cases leads grieving parents to question God’s care for them
    • The first exception is if your church is drifting into serious doctrinal error, like denying the Trinity, or the inspiration and authority of Scripture, or salvation by God’s grace alone through faith alone. If that’s the case, you not only can but must work to change your church.

       

    • But here’s the thing: if a pastor isn’t willing to personally lead change, that change will never stick at the level of the whole church
    • Patel highlights the effort of some evangelical pastors to broker inter-faith dialogues with Muslims.  I believe in such dialogues.  When we talk to one another we discover that people are people and sometimes there much in common.  Dialogue makes a lot of sense and tends to make a lot of friends when done well.  I’m grateful for the many Muslim friends the Lord has given me both in the U.S. and in the Middle East.  Christians, of all people, should excel at loving their neighbors.  Sounds like something Jesus once said.
    • On the face of it, we’d have to conclude that to the extent Muslims look to bring a society under sharia then to that extent it remains incompatible with the non-establishment and separation clauses
    • If the issue is simply whether or not we’ll love our Muslim neighbor, then Patel rightly encourages us to actually talk with them and get to know them.  But if the issue is whether or not Muslims are accepted in American circles of political power, then question becomes: Is sharia compatible with American-styled Democracy?  Patel’s piece blurs these two very different discussions
    • In my opinion (which won’t get you your favorite latte at Starbucks), Islam and sharia pose significant threats to American-styled political discourse and practice.  I say that not because I’m a zealot for preserving “western” values and civilization, or because I think any individual person from a Muslim background needs to be suspected or opposed.  I write this because I think most westerners continue to be uninformed and unsuspecting regarding the internal dynamics of Islam.  Pluralists and political liberals tend to respond not with knowledge of the faith and its import for political philosophies, but with obfuscating platitudes about “accepting everyone.”    The issue is not should we accept our Muslim neighbors and friends, but whether we should unknowingly slide toward a very different political and cultural vision of society and freedom.  Patel confuses these two things.  We need a more careful meeting of the minds
    • If I’m correct (and I’d be interested in your feedback), then there’s much to critically evaluate while we show ourselves loving.  Love doesn’t eliminate the need for discernment, and discernment should not stunt our love

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

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Posted by on 23/08/2012 in Current Issues

 

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