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What I Read Online – 10/23/2012 (a.m.)

23 Oct
    • What I’m interested in, however, is the disturbing rise of the number of young evangelical Christian couples I know who have been married for years and have only a cute puppy to show for it.
    • What I’m interested in, however, is the disturbing rise of the number of young evangelical Christian couples I know who have been married for years and have only a cute puppy to show for it.
    • Now the first two reasons are laudable, in a sense; it’s good to exercise fiscal prudence and there’s nothing wrong with travel. However, these two responses, as well as the third, all betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the Bible’s view of children. They all seem to assume that children are a burden to be borne, rather than a blessing to be enjoyed.
    • In fact, one will search in vain for any Biblical passage that treats children as anything other than a blessing.
    • There really are no good Scriptural reasons to avoid childbearing. If you are providentially hindered from having children, perhaps the Lord is calling you to adopt children. Either way, as Christians, we ought to delight in seeing children in our congregations, our homes, and our circle of friends. It seems to me that a number of Christian couples are missing out on this blessing for rather poor and unscriptural reasons.
    • The driving force – again, in my limited experience – for Christian couples to delay or forgo children usually boils down to the desire to be free.
    • From start to finish, having another image bearer of God dependent on you is not an easy task. But it is not a joyless task either. It is a blessed task to which God calls his children (!), a task that is there from the opening chapters of Genesis. Like every other human endeavor, it is tainted by sin, but the joyful labor of childrearing is not to be shunned but encouraged in the church of Jesus Christ.
    • “I can’t see the connection between a nurses union and the definition of marriage. We think the union is misrepresenting its members and the members of the union who have contacted us (are) very annoyed about this (and) also feel that they’ve been misrepresented,” he said.

       

        He said the Nurses Organisation has a duty to represent its members accurately.

       

        “You’ve got to ask yourself the question, what is the connection between the definition of marriage and nursing? We’d say there’s not a direct connection and this is an issue outside of their authority to try and represent their members on.”

    • A vicar in Carlisle told the researchers: “I have to work on the basis that if   I say ‘no’, it’s because I think Jesus would. I hardly ever say it.”
    • Vicars should stop telling people not to do things. The congregation may be   asked to turn mobile phones off at the start of the ceremony, but vicars can   set a more positive tone, by reminding them to turn them on again at the end.
    • For Calvin, things that are political or earthly are things that are temporal, secular, or passing away. Things that are spiritual or heavenly are things that are eternal
    • On the other hand, Calvin passionately and consistently argued that, short of Christ’s return in glory, believers should expect nothing but life under the cross. Although “in the resurrection there is a restoration of all things,” and although “supremacy belongs to [Jesus] in all things,” in the present age, the kingdom is realized properly only through the spiritual government that Jesus exercises in the church, as he transforms the body of believers in voluntary obedience to him.(3) While Christ will return all things to their proper order when he returns, in the meantime Christians are to devote themselves to service to God and their neighbors with a mindfulness that the institutions, possessions, and glories of this life will pass away. Calvin even went so far as to argue (repeatedly) that God purposely makes Christians suffer more than the rest of the world as a means of conforming them to the image of Jesus. Further, Calvin argued that God did this in order that they might put their hope entirely in the future return of Christ. Believers are to live as pilgrims whose hope is in Christ and in their future heavenly glory.(4)
    • At the heart of Book Four (Chapters 8-12), Calvin explains that the spiritual government of the church consists in three areas: the church’s 1) teaching, its 2) discipline, and its 3) ordering of worship. He specifies that his concern at this point is not with the church’s political power (or the magistrate’s political power over the church) but with “the spiritual power, which is proper to the church” (4.8.1).
    • The teaching ministry of the church is inseparable from the word because it is a ministerial expression of Christ’s spiritual government rather than a discretionary exercise of rule appropriate within the political kingdom
    • But while Calvin does not believe the political kingdom can be conformed to the freedom of the gospel he nevertheless believes that civil government is necessary to preserve outward order and piety in the age before Christ’s return
    • Now like I said, I have no idea how reliable such studies are. However, let’s just assume that this one is correct. What does it indicate? To me, it seems to indicate that a person’s “gut instinct” is to think according to design and purpose. While a lot of education can fight against this tendency, when pressured, even those who have received an enormous amount of education still fall back on that kind of thinking. The authors of the study, of course, say that such thinking is an impediment to the advancement of science. Thus, they view the fight against this “gut instinct” to be an important part of education.
    • Nowhere is the discussion of elder authority in Acts or the Epistles tied to the kingdom (that I’m aware of) or to the keys. And nowhere in Matthew 16 or 18 are elders mentioned. Exegetically, in other words, there’s no reason to think that the authority of the keys is the authority of oversight.

       

    • The congregation, like the state, has an earthly sanction (“Whatever you bind on earth…”). Where the state has the power of the sword, the church has the power of the keys. It its severest form, this means the state can take a life, while the church can excommunicate a person. The elder cannot excommunicate a person; instead, he must appeal to the church to make use of its authority to excommunicate a person. And the church, if it’s properly submissive, will obey.

       

    • “Catechism—with OUR kids?” Years ago that was my response when someone suggested that we begin doing a catechism with our very young, very active boys. But, to my amazement, it was a truly wonderful experience.

       

       

       

       

    • These kids know nothing whatsoever about God, or Jesus, or sin. They’ve never even heard the words, except as curse words. We’re building a framework in their minds of words and ideas and concepts, so that when we DO tell them about sin and the Savior who came to die for it, there is a way for them to understand what we are saying.
    • Teach about Paul’s instruction to sing Psalms
    • Have someone sing a Psalm in the service
    • Sing Psalms put to familiar tunes
    • In the daily service of shepherding Christ’s flock, I often find myself turning to my spiritual forefathers for answers to the most difficult matters in the church’s life and doctrine. Even though our forefathers are at home with the Lord, by our mutual faith they provide us with words of comfort, encouragement, and caution

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

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Posted by on 23/10/2012 in Current Issues

 

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