What I Read Online – 10/30/2012 (a.m.)

30 Oct
    • Need books for your e-reader? In a recurring feature on YSK, we highlight free or inexpensive (less that $9) ebooks by Christian publishers. These deals will be in effect from October 29 to November 5. Also, these deals are generally available only in the U.S., so if you live in another country be sure to check the prices before purchasing.
    • Thesis One:  Martin Luther saw church leadership as primarily marked by servanthood. 
    • As busy as he was, Luther never forget whom it was he was meant to be serving.
    • Thesis Two: Martin Luther understood worship as rooted in repentance.  
    • he did not consider the primary problem of sinners that they were hurting. Quite the contrary. Their primary problem was that they were in deliberate rebellion against God and actually enjoying it.
    • Thus, worship was a constant dramatic reminder of how terrifyingly close we stand to God’s judgment and how Christ is the only person who can protect us from the wrath of the storm.   Worship is not thus not frothy celebration; it is much more serious than that
    • Thesis Three: Martin Luther did not care for the myth of cultural influence nor for the prerequisite cultural swagger necessary to catch the attention of the great and good.  
    • He knew that the world really cares nothing for nuance nor for the friendship of the church and that attempts by the church to befriend the world are always disastrous for the former.
    • Luther came to attention not because he mastered the rules of the establishment’s game but because he refused to play by them.
    • Thesis Four: Luther saw suffering as a mark of the true church.
    • Luther saw the cross as one of the seven marks of the healthy church. Suffering and being regarded as scum by the world around were to go with the territory.
    • Thesis Five: Martin Luther was pastorally sensitive to the cherished practices of older Christians
    • Simply this: he was pastorally sensitive. He knew that his task as servant (see Thesis One) meant that he could not simply impose his will upon the people in a manner which would hurt, damage and distress them. The contemporary cult of youth and innovation would have struck him as utterly wrong-headed and insensitive, a capitulation to the tastes and demands of the very category of people least likely to have anything useful or wise to contribute to how the church should go about her business
    • Thesis Six: Luther did not agree to differ on matters of importance and thus to make them into practical trivia.  
    • Luther did not allow the tastes of his own day nor the urgent need of a broad confederation to lead him to set aside what he was convinced was the teaching of scripture.
    • hesis Seven: Luther saw the existence of the ordained ministry as a mark of the church.
    • Luther quickly came to see that ordained ministers, those chosen by the church as exhibiting the moral and pedagogical abilities described by Paul, were the ones to whom the church was entrusted.
    • Luther was no Luddite; but he knew that mere media savvy did not mean one should be put in a position of influence.
    • Thesis Eight: Luther saw the problem of a leadership accountable only to itself
    • The only means therefore whereby Luther could sometimes make himself heard was by using every rhetorical tool in the box, from satire to hard-hitting polemic. He was fortunate, of course: in those days, there was no aesthetic of personal “pain” and “hurt” which allowed contemporary Christians to sidestep criticism and indeed turn the moral tables on those who criticize them.   The problem of unaccountable and influential leadership in evangelicalism is alive and well.  Oh Martin! thou should’st be living at this hour: Evangelicalism hath need of thee.
    • Thesis Nine: Luther thought very little of his own literary contribution to Christianity.
    • But it is fact precisely into this context that Luther’s solution rings out as such happy and relevant news. For, having jettisoned the idea that we might ever be guilty before God and therefore need justification, our culture has succumbed to the old problem of guilt in subtler ways that it has no means to answer. Today we are all bombarded with the message that we will be more loved when we make ourselves more attractive. It may not be God-related, and yet still it is a religion of works, and one that is deeply embedded. For that, the Reformation has the most sparkling good news. As Luther put it: ‘sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.’ Only this message of the counterintuitive love of Christ offers a serious solution. 
    • 1. Never Forget the Plight


    • 2. Meditate on Christ’s Sufficiency


    • 3. Meditate on the Spirit’s Convicting and Drawing Power


    • 4. Think of Your Joy at the Conversion of One Lost Soul


    • 5. Think of God’s Amazing Grace to You in Christ


    • 6. Act on Your Loving Desires


    • 7. Pray for God to Increase Your Love for the Lost


    • A Public Application
    • A Private Application
    • A Prayerful Application
    • The question to ask is, who do we have whom it would be good to invest time into in order to train them further in the ministry of the word of God? That is, who do we have from our ministries who are faithful, available and teachable?
    • But the key issue is that rather than being driven by a desparate need in February, we are being driven by thinking about how we can further spur keen Christians on to love and good deeds in October – November (or indeed, earlier in the year!).


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

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Posted by on 30/10/2012 in Current Issues


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