What I Read Online – 10/17/2012 (p.m.)

18 Oct
    • So the first reason to produce multiple catechisms is that they must serve the whole people of God, and that has always meant catechisms for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learners. There were simple catechisms for very young children, more intermediate ones for those being admitted to the Lord’s Supper, and advanced ones for adults and Christian ministers. For example, Calvin’s Geneva Catechism (1541) was accompanied by the Little Catechism (1556).
    • A second reason is that catechisms have always been connected to the “mission of the church.” This may be surprising, since today we think of catechesis as strictly a form of education for Christians. It is that—but of necessity catechisms are selective in how much time is devoted to each aspect of Christian teaching. It is quite evident—if you take the time to read through many catechisms—that each seeks to fortify against the ascendant theological errors in the culture at the time.
    • Gopnik accuses Paul Ryan of reasoning like a mullah and rejecting any distinction between church and state. Ryan did no such thing, of course. Instead, Ryan stated the obvious — “Our faith informs us in everything we do.” Any faith of substance will inform every dimension of our lives. It is hard to imagine that Adam Gopnik would have complained or even taken offense if a similar statement had been made, for example, by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., concerning his advocacy for civil rights.
    • Chillingly, Gopnik limits human dignity to “conscious, thinking life.” This is the life “that counts,” he claimed.
    • The great Francis Schaeffer gave us a nice example on this important point. A fearless, tireless, and brilliant defender of biblical inerrancy, he said the faithful hold a “full” or “strong, uncompromising view of Scripture.” He never said “literal view” because to say so is literally not true.
    • The thing that impressed me most is the number of times Deuteronomy talks about “being careful to do.” That translates a verb shamar, which appears 65 times in Deuteronomy. I have often felt that carelessness is the mother of sin. Overt disobedience isn’t usually triggered by a deliberate decision to disobey but by carelessness resulting in a slow slide into sin.
    • The urgency of holiness is expressed in many ways, notably in the treatment of defeated nations who are “devoted to destruction.” We see no compromise to sin, and to sources that influence us to sin.
    • nd there is nothing more thrilling, more joyful, more meaningful, more satisfying than to find our niche in the eternal unfolding of God’s glory. Our gift may look small, but as a part of the revelation of God’s infinite glory it takes on stupendous proportions.
    • Until recently it never occurred to me that I was a woman serving. I simply thought of myself as a person attempting to be a servant. I have never felt sidelined as an active member in the worship team, children’s ministry, and campus ministry and evangelism.
    • The debate over gender roles can distract women from serving with all their might in the church. It’s tempting to focus on one aspect of church involvement closed to women rather than rejoice over the hundreds of ways we can and should be serving. If I am not a pastor, does that mean my service means less? Not so, according to Paul, who teaches us to take joy in working hard for God in every way he has gifted us, for the benefit of the body and to God’s glory.
    • The difference is practically often difficult to discern.  The public act of subscription is the same in both cases. A vow is taken to uphold a set of doctrines which the subject believes. It is thus arguable that in some sense both types sign with sincerity.   The difference lies not in anything written on paper but in the attitude of mind of the one subscribing; and I would suggest that one of the most pressing problems for confessional churches lies in precisely this difference.  I would also argue that a failure to address this issue will prove lethal to the confessional churches in the medium to long term.  I wonder: do good churches go bad because they appoint closet liberals to the ministry?  Or do they go bad because they appoint good people to the ministry who do not understand the nature and importance of confessional subscription and who will therefore, wittingly or unwittingly, help to water down the very mechanisms established by the church to preserve the gospel for the next generation? 
    • Fathers play a decisive role in the development of their children. Sons, however, need fathers most of all so they have someone to model themselves on.
    • A prerequisite for the engagement of the father is the cooperation of the mother, who must give the father enough room to manoeuvre. It is important that she trust him to take care of the child when it is an infant and that he build his relationship with the child differently than she.


        While time spent with a daughter is equally important, all activities that fathers and sons do together have an additional function. The father is always a model and rival for a son who learns his own strengths by jousting with his father.


        This is especially easy when the relationship is close. If the relationship is missing, the boy seeks an idol in a video or a computer game and that can be dangerous, said Nelles.

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

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Posted by on 18/10/2012 in Current Issues


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