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What I Read Online – 09/04/2012 (a.m.)

04 Sep
    • While Jesus refused to answer the Jews’ question about his authority, realizing that they knew well where his authority came from, he demonstrated that his kingdom is not in inherent conflict with the institutions of this world – whether government or the family – because it is of another age.
    • hrist is king but the order of creation, fallen as it may be, continues.
    • The reformers argued that Christ governs and expands his kingdom through the ministry of the word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, the reasoned, he does so in such a way as not to nullify the order of creation or the institutions that God has created to govern that order, most importantly those of civil government and the family. 
    • Only the two kingdoms doctrine, he insisted, could distinguish the secular purpose of the sword from the spiritual means by which the gospel is to go forth into the world. 
    • Calvin gradually articulated an understanding of the spiritual government of the church in distinction from the political government of this world. For Calvin, in contrast to both Luther and the Zwinglian branch of the Reformation, the church was to have its own pastors and elders who practiced church discipline ministerially and organized the basic elements of worship according to the word of Christ. In addition to the pastors and elders, Calvin argued for deacons who, in a spiritual manner distinct from that of civil government, cared for the needs of the poor
    • Although Reformed Christians never arrived at unanimity on the political implications of the doctrine, it became absolutely foundational to their distinctive theology of the church.
    • Any Protestant doctrine deemed too conservative, or too tolerant of the status quo, was minimized or abandoned. The kingdom of God, it was said, was to transform all of the institutions of this life, and this was to be the goal of all Christians in all their vocations, including politics.
    • They have rightly recognized that the institutional expression of the kingdom in this age is the church, not the state, the family, or any other created institution. 
    • His willingness to challenge the way in which Protestants simplistically conflate their own political preferences with the teachings of Scripture makes him an unpopular but needed correction to the hubris of Christian activists on both the right and the left.
    • One of the emphases common to both Hart and VanDrunen is the importance of recognizing the importance of the church as the institutional expression of the kingdom of Christ in this age. The kingdom is otherworldly in the sense that it is future and its full consummation awaits Christ’s return. The way in which we access that kingdom, they argue, is through the regular means of grace, specifically preaching and the administration of the sacraments. When we emphasize all of life as kingdom activity, just as when we view all of life as worship, we lose sight of what is distinctive and vital about the church itself. 
    • Good men there have been and are who could do far more service for God and his church by their pens if they would write less and write better
    • Young man, earnest in spirit, if you have any power with the pen, make up your mind to cultivate it. Do your best every time you compose. Never offer to God that which has cost you nothing.
    • Tell us something well worth knowing when you write. It is folly to open your mouth merely to show your teeth; have something to say, or speak not at all: ink is better in the bottle than on the paper if you have nothing to communicate
    • More seriously, pastors who are not great with children should also remember how much their Lord loved them, how familiar he was with their games and habits, and how readily children came to him, and how safe they felt with him. It may not be a natural strength to all, it may not develop readily, but those who wish to minister like their Master should take pains to understand, be approachable to, and care for their young charges. That is a year-round, Sunday by Sunday, week by week investment.
    • Let me offer a few reasons that you ought to be willing, eager even, for people to invite themselves into your home.
    • Your house is not your own
    • Your time is not your own
    • Your home is not your own

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

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Posted by on 04/09/2012 in Current Issues

 

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