What I Read Online – 10/16/2012 (p.m.)

17 Oct
    • Government will be most successful, Milton Friedman contended, when it acts as an umpire or referee enforcing the formal procedural rules of the game. When it begins to attempt to affect substantive outcomes through active interference, it sets citizens against each other and threatens the social cohesion necessary for the broader society. 
    • [The] journey from Word to world is fraught with peril even as it is ripe with potential. Bridges built between God’s Word and our world are susceptible of carrying traffic in both directions . . . most of the traffic has been moving in the wrong direction. Twentieth-century people have allowed the cognitive constraints and the psychological conventions of our own day to limit what the Bible may say. This reverses the proper situation. It is the Bible that deserves to prescribe the cognitive horizon for the twentieth century, just as it has been for every century.
    • If you have a PhD in psychology, counseling, or social work and a “Sunday school degree” in Bible and theology, anybody can guess what will exercise the greatest influence in your work. Prior training in biblical counseling, especially a developed theistic epistemology and biblical psychology, is a minimal prerequisite. Even better would be a seminary degree.
    • These sins, of course, are spiritual.
    • Is it possible that the body can make us more vulnerable to temptations? Absolutely. Anyone who has ever been cranky because of little food, little sleep or PMS reminds us that the body can be a stumbling block. But those same people confess their crankiness rather than blame it on their bodies.
    • There are ways that mania creates intense and unique temptations for people, and I think that many of us would not do well in the midst of those temptations. When you begin to understand mania you become more patient with those who experience it. But we know this: the Spirit of God can sanctify manic people even if their mania persists.
    • Indeed, one of the most compelling features of Tolkien’s work is the sweeping, grand, and refreshing vision of the moral character of its heroes.  It is not just the lack of bad language and sexuality, but the positive presence of attributes like conviction, loyalty, integrity, and courage.  There is an “other-worldliness” about the heroes of the Lord of the Rings.  They seems to come from a distant time and place where people still behaved like we know they ought—and they way we wished they would.
    • Sam Gamgee is the classic example.  A gardener by trade, he finds himself drawn into an adventure that he did not choose. He would rather cook than fight.  But, in the end, it is Sam’s loyalty, honor, courage, and faithfulness that allow Frodo to complete the quest.  He is the most unlikely of champions.  Never in Sauron’s wildest imagination did he envision that he would be overthrown by a hobbit gardener from the Shire.  He is the quintessential example of biblical humility.  He is the tiny mustard seed that grows into a tree.
    • This is the attraction of Christian biographies.  We look to the stories of others not because they are perfect but because they are a reminder to us that what we believe is real.   They remind us that there is power in the gospel.  It really does change lives.

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

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Posted by on 17/10/2012 in Current Issues


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