What I Read Online – 09/05/2012 (a.m.)

05 Sep
    • “Form the habit of reading now,” Piper says, “and never think you will outgrow it as you approach the grave.”
    • AUCKLAND – Friday 14th September – 5:00pm
       Reason and Science Society & EU – Auckland University
       Venue: To be confirmed (will be at Auckland University)
       Brett & Jay: Is Faith Reasonable? An open dialogue on the reasonableness of the Christian faith.
    • UCKLAND – Saturday 15th September
       Venue & Times: To be confirmed.
        Brett, Jay & Amy: Advanced Prolife Training Workshop
    • UCKLAND – Saturday 22nd September – 10am-4:00pm
       St Paul’s Church, 28 Symonds Street, Auckland
       Door charge $10 (includes lunch)
       Jay Watts: Does Truth Matter?
        Brett Kunkle: Is One Way the Only Way?
        Jay Watts: How to discuss your faith with others.
        Amy Hall: If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil?
        Brett Kunkle: Is Christianity Intolerant?
        Zach Ardern: Are Science and Faith compatible?
       For more information see here.
    • Christians should leave their religious beliefs at home or accept that a   personal expression of faith at work, such as wearing a cross, means they   might have to resign and get another job, government lawyers have said.
    • Calvin’s original Latin version of his Institutes has been translated into English (in full) by four translators. Three of these four translations are in the public domain and are available to download.
    • A normal relationship with the Holy Spirit should at least approximate the Old Testament experience described in Psalm 139: a profound awareness that we are always face to face with God; that as we move through life the presence of his Spirit is the most real and powerful factor in our daily environment; that underneath the momentary static of events, conflicts, problems and even excursions into sin, he is always there like the continuously sounding note in a basso ostinato
    • When I’m trying to nudge people to their left on an issue – trying to persuade five point Calvinists to become four pointers or less, commending pacifism, defending theistic evolution, or championing charismatic gifts for today – I feel radical, creative, daring, exciting, and somewhat impish. But when I’m trying to nudge people to their right about something – inerrancy, hell, gender roles, sexual ethics, biblical authority, Reformed soteriology – I feel conservative, stern, unpopular, staid, and even somewhat apologetic.
    • The things I believe are the same as the things my Dad believed a generation ago, but the church landscape has changed, making me a reactionary rather than a revolutionary
    • So the things that make me and my church stand out are now the areas where we’re conservative: a high view of the gathered church, biblical authority, an orthodox view of hell, Reformed soteriology, complementarianism, and things like that. And for some reason, pushing right on these things doesn’t feel anything like as exhilarating as pushing left on the other things.
    • It may just be me, but I think it requires far more bravery to say the things Al Mohler says than the things Brian McLaren says, even though the latter is far more likely to be admired for his courage
    • The first is to do with the youth-centred spirit of the age, in which freshness is more fashionable than faithfulness, innovating inspires people more than imitating, technology trumps tradition, and novelty is confused with creativity
    • The second is equally obvious, in some ways, but it is worth saying anyway: contemporary secular culture is well to the left of the Bible on most things it teaches. Non-Christian Britain thinks the Scriptures are backward on all sorts of topics, including judgment, evolution, tradition, war, marriage, slavery, sexual ethics, holiness, gender roles, and the idea of teaching doctrine in the first place. So when we move to the left, we are almost without exception moving closer to what the culture around us thinks, and that makes the process much more comfortable for us
    • The third factor, related to this, is that the victims of excessive rightishness are much easier to identify, and to feel sorry for, the victims of excessive leftishness. An anti-war protest is much easier to recruit for than a pro-war protest. It’s easy to make movies, or posters, about the victims of slavery and domestic abuse; not so much about the victims of abortion, since they don’t live long enough to be given names. When a couple splits up through unfaithfulness, causing massive pain to their children, the individualistic, morally leftish values that made it possible are not personified, and nobody blames the newspapers, TV shows or movies that make short-term romantic fulfilment life’s ultimate purpose. Being ostracised for challenging church dogma makes a great story, but being gradually dulled to the wonders of God because the gospel is not being preached clearly does not
    • [The devil knows] that faith is the fountainhead of spiritual life, and he therefore seeks to obscure faith in all its activity. He suddenly interjects irrational suggestions, such as, “Is all this in truth? Is not all this imagination?” He will then continually stir you up to mentally reflect upon theses suggestions and to search them out. If we then begin to listen, he gets hold of us and begins to present arguments upon which he demands an answer. And if he gets you that far that you begin to respond by reasoning, he will proceed with his argumentation and will, time and again, present new proofs. When the ability to reason fails, he then proceeds to bring you from fleeing atheistic thoughts to embrace atheism itself. You will then be grievously caught in the net and be incapable of having either comfort or peace, and will not be able to be encouraged in whatever you are doing. Therefore, be on your guard against giving heed to these initial fleeting interjections. Let them pass by, and proceed as before, relying upon the word of God.[1]
    • In my lifetime I have been often assaulted by Satan, and many times he hath cast my sins in my teeth, to bring me to despair; yet God gave me strength to overcome his temptations; and now that subtle serpent, who never ceaseth to tempt, hath taken another course, and seeks to persuade me that all my labours in the ministry, and the fidelity I have showed in that service, have merited heaven and immortality. But blessed be God that He hath brought to my mind that Scripture, ‘What hast thou that thou has not received?’ and, ‘Not I, but the grace of God, which is in me,’ with which he hath gone away ashamed, and shall no more return. And now, I am sure my battle is at an end, and that I shall shortly, without pain of body or trouble of spirit, change this mortal and miserable life for that happy and immortal life that shall never have an end.

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

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Posted by on 05/09/2012 in Current Issues


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