RSS

What I Read Online – 11/20/2012 (a.m.)

20 Nov
    • “Throughout American history, the most successful church movements have not been the ones that kept up with contemporary culture, but the ones that were confident enough to tug hard against it.”
    • The eminent philosopher Thomas Nagel would call it something else: an idol of the academic tribe, perhaps, or a sacred cow: “I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense. . . . I would be willing to bet that the present right-thinking consensus will come to seem laughable in a generation or two.” Nagel is an atheist; even so, however, he does not accept the above consensus, which he calls materialist naturalism; far from it. His important new book is a brief but powerful assault on materialist naturalism.
    • I am talking about something much deeper—namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. . . . It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.
    • Among younger pastors, the talk is less about therapeutic and managerial professionalization, and more about communication or contextualization.

       

      The language of “professionalization” is seldom used in these regards, but there is quiet pressure felt by many pastors: Be as good as the professional media folks, especially the cool anti-heroes and the most subtle comedians.

       

      This is not the overstated professionalism of the three-piece suit and the power offices of the upper floors, but the understated professionalism of torn blue jeans and the savvy inner ring.

       

      This professionalism is not learned in pursuing an MBA, but by being in the know about the ever-changing entertainment and media world.

       

      This is the professionalization of ambience, and tone, and idiom, and timing, and banter. It is more intuitive and less taught. More style and less technique. More feel and less force.

       

      If this can be called professionalism, what does it have in common with the older version? Everything that matters. The way I tried to get at the problem ten years ago was to ask some questions. Let me expand that list. Only this time think old and new professionalism.

    • It is worth reflecting on the progress here. Evangelicals now make up a significant proportion of those with the technical expertise to tackle a subject like this, and some of them had an intellectual firepower on the subject considerably exceeding that of the Harvard professor. I was contacted by Christians in touch with the media and was able to refer them to Simon Gathercole, a leading evangelical expert on apocryphal gospels. The rapid and informed response by Christians probably went a considerable way to deflating the story
    • I think that of all the five points of Calvinism, limited atonement is the most controversial, and the one that engenders perhaps the most confusion and consternation
    • I prefer not to use the term limited atonement because it is misleading. I rather speak of definite redemption or definite atonement, which communicates that God the Father designed the work of redemption specifically with a view to providing salvation for the elect, and that Christ died for His sheep and laid down His life for those the Father had given to Him.
    • This does not mean that a limit is placed on the value or the merit of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It’s traditional to say that the atoning work of Christ is sufficient for all. That is, its meritorious value is sufficient to cover the sins of all people, and certainly anyone who puts his or her trust in Jesus Christ will receive the full measure of the benefits of that atonement. It is also important to understand that the gospel is to be preached universally. This is another controversial point, because on the one hand the gospel is offered universally to all who are within earshot of the preaching of it, but it’s not universally offered in the sense that it’s offered to anyone without any conditions. It’s offered to anyone who believes. It’s offered to anyone who repents. Obviously the merit of the atonement of Christ is given to all who believe and to all who repent of their sins
    • “Preaching is God speaking in the power of His Spirit about His Son from His word through a man.”

       

    • Total depravity does not mean “utter depravity.” Utter
    • Theologians speak of total depravity, not only in terms of “total inability” to come to God on our own because we’re spiritually dead, but also in terms of sin’s effect: sin corrupts us in the “totality” of our being
    • While it is gloriously true for the Christian that there is nowhere Christ has not arrived by his Spirit, it is equally true that there is no part of any Christian in this life that is free of sin. Because of the totality of sins effect, therefore, we never outgrow our need for Christ’s finished work on our behalf–we never graduate beyond our desperate need for Christ’s righteousness and his strong and perfect blood-soaked plea “before the throne of God above.”
    • Because of total depravity, you and I were desperate for God’s grace before we were saved. Because of total depravity, you and I remain desperate for God’s grace even after we’re saved.
    • Lack of sleep
    • Lack of exercise
    • Lack of spiritual attention to his own’s soul
    • It is perhaps for this reason that the study of ancient biblical manuscripts is a lost art in many circles today.  We tend to forget that it was these manuscripts that delivered God’s word to us.  And rather than being a “husk” around the word that can be easily discarded, these manuscripts hold intriguing clues about the origins, development, and reliability of these books which we hold so dear.  To study them is to study the history of God’s word.

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

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 20/11/2012 in Current Issues

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: