What I Read Online – 09/12/2012 (a.m.)

12 Sep
    • In other words, having the right motive, the right standard, and the right goal are the three necessary and sufficient conditions for good works according to the Bible.


    • Christian values are the problem. Hell will be filled with people who were avidly committed to Christian values. Christian values cannot save anyone and never will. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a Christian value, and a comfortability with Christian values can blind sinners to their need for the gospel
    • Parents who raise their children with nothing more than Christian values should not be surprised when their children abandon those values. If the child or young person does not have a firm commitment to Christ and to the truth of the Christian faith, values will have no binding authority, and we should not expect that they would
    • Human beings are natural-born moralists, and moralism is the most potent of all the false gospels
    • The language of values is all that remains when the substance of belief disappears
    • What we must understand is that Latter-day Saints (LDS) believe these things for the same reason that people everywhere believe the things they do: they want to believe them. Very few Mormon converts become convinced by rational arguments of the prophetic office of Joseph Smith. Indeed, Mormon missionaries don’t ask one to do so; instead relying on a “burning in the bosom” that the claims of Smith are true.
    • evangelicals should take more than a scattershot approach to knocking down Mormon claims (although this is necessary). We must also present a counter-story to the Mormon story: one that resonates with the beauty of truth and holiness
    • Evangelical “how-to” sermons are not going to reach our LDS neighbors. Neither are anti-theological churches that major on Christian experience and piety disconnected from doctrinal content. Instead, we must present the gospel the way the apostles did in the aftermath of Pentecost: as a “mystery” that now explains everything in terms of God’s purposes in Jesus Christ.
    • For an example of how to proclaim the gospel to Mormons, we should pay attention to Paul’s proclamation of the gospel to a cultural milieu that closely resembled that of Salt Lake City: the pagan enclave of Ephesus
    • We need not just ask whether Mormons believe things that are untrue and dangerous; they do. We must ask also why they believe these things, and counter them with the revealed truth.
    • Yes, we need apologetics directed toward Mormons. And, whatever some evangelical leaders may say, we must not back away from the sad reality that Mormonism is not even remotely Christian.  But we must remember that we will not convince Mormons with rational arguments alone.
    • We must remember this when we welcome our LDS neighbors over for dinner, or when we lovingly spend an evening with diligent Mormon missionaries. When divine revelation is presented in all of its Christocentric glory, there is a longing within us for this story. That’s because it is true. And more than that, it is the truth, and the way, and the life.  That is good news for Latter-day Saints, and for old-time sinners like us.
    • Having been made an overseer by the Lord Jesus Christ,


      affirmed as such by His Church,


      and enabled solely by His grace,




      I commit to live in a manner worthy of His calling,


      loving Him with all my heart, soul and mind,


      always on guard for myself that I maintain a testimony that is above reproach;




      I commit to preach His Word,


      standing ready in season and out of season,


      never shrinking to declare to you the whole counsel of God,


      reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with great patience and instruction;




      I commit to shepherd His flock,


      whom Christ purchased with His own blood,


      exercising oversight with humility, leading by example,


      and equipping His saints for the work of the ministry;




      I commit to be found faithful as His steward,


      looking to Christ alone for both judgment and praise,


      that in all things He might have the preeminence;




      And by His grace,


      I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls


      because He, the Chief Shepherd, spent Himself for me.


      To Christ alone be the glory.







    • Children do this to you. Being a college professor is fun, because you get to problematize and nuance the cartoonish views of your students. Being a parent, however, means that you have to do the hard work of sketching the rough draft that someone else will someday take gleeful delight in lampooning. Worse, your own children might foster their emerging adult identities by smugly seeing through the inadequacies of what you taught them while focusing on food preparation.


    • Christ calls us to become like children again. Counterintuitively, part of what this might mean is that there comes a time to get over our mocking, knowing, puncturing phase and learn to be true grown-ups. This is the maturity that once again allows us to proclaim truth in all simplicity, to be like children. To say it another way, true grown-ups can parent.


    • My students are often Christians who are old enough to mock mercilessly the people that gave of their time sacrificially to disciple them when they were young but who are not yet mature enough to be able to disciple others. I often find them quick-off-the-draw-ready with a forceful and sophisticated critique of most any traditional religious belief or practice.


    • They can be sadly flummoxed, however, by a simple request to explain what is true. If I wonder, “What are some problems with the doctrine of the atonement?” hands fly up all over the room, but if I straightforwardly ask, “What is the gospel?” the room falls strangely silent, and I find myself staring at rows of students quietly avoiding making eye contact.


    • The philosopher Paul Ricoeur spoke of a “second naiveté.” Jesus said we need to be born again. A truly mature faith is one that — having imbibed all the critiques and traced all the nuances — is not afraid once again to risk childlike simplicity
    • The embryo was frozen in liquid nitrogen when Gabriel and Callie Fluhrer found it. They didn’t know whether that embryo would grow to be a boy or a girl, or whether it would even grow at all.


    • Anna Fluhrer was born in December 2010: from a frozen embryo to a healthy baby girl.

    • It’s estimated that there are more than 600,000 embryos frozen in storage in the U.S., but it’s not clear how many of those are available for adoption.

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

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Posted by on 12/09/2012 in Current Issues


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