What I Read Online – 02/26/2013 (a.m.)

26 Feb
    • The assumption in this sentence is that there is such a thing as evangelicalism and that it is presently defined theologically.  That seems to me to be a huge stretch.  Given that evangelicals disagree on everything from God’s foreknowledge to the ordination of women, it is hard to use the term in the singular in anyway other than as a descriptive term covering a very loose collection of institutions — seminaries, colleges, publishing houses, parachurch groups and churches — which have no formal principle which actually unites them all. 
    • It is really just a large group of people who assume it does exist and who each define it as looking rather like themselves, from right to left. In the next decade, institutions and organisations might break apart; but ‘evangelicalism,’ like ‘the good old days,’ is something we all assume exists but which, on closer inspection, seems rather chimerical. You can’t split Scotch mist.
    • We cannot entice them to come to us, which means that we have to go to them.
    • These brothers are convinced of the power of the gospel. They are unafraid of marginalization and persecution. They are not interested in making church sexier. Instead, they want the church to engage the world precisely by being the church: an alternative, Spirit-empowered community whose corporate life, verbal witness, and love for the world all work together to convey and commend the gospel. Newbigin and many others have been sounding these notes for more than a generation now, but Chester and Timmis serve us all by presenting the best of this type of missional thinking in a concise, applied form.
    • My only significant critique is that I think some of what they do in “gospel communities,” chiefly baptism and the Lord’s Supper, should be done in the gathering of the whole church. Chester and Timmis are careful not to downplay the corporate meeting of the whole congregation, but the functional center of gravity in their model is the “gospel community” in which “community, mission, pastoral care, prayer, baptism, Communion, and the application of God’s Word take place” (155; cf. 104). At a theological level, I think this removes the Lord’s Supper form its normative context (cf. 1 Cor. 11:18) and implicitly creates a polity structure in tension with Scripture.
    • Years later Dr. Koop explained during a Wheaton interview the way in which he would bring his Christian worldview to bear upon his own view of surgery and care for the family. He would always tell the families:


      Let me assure you that if I thought that I was walking into that operating room in my own steam, my own power, my own knowledge and was going to operate upon your child—and its survival depended upon me—I wouldn’t open the door. I believe that I am a servant of the Lord and that I am going to that operating room with gifts that he has given me. But your child is in his hands, and he will guide me, and I will let you know everything I can about the future of your child.


      Koop himself lost a child, David, who was a junior at Dartmouth when he died during a mountain climbing accident.


      Dr. Koop became Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine in 1959 and Professor of Pediatrics in 1971.


      In March of 1981 President Ronald Reagan appointed him Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), and later that year as Surgeon General.


      His tenure as Surgeon General is widely remembered for his work related to abortion, tobacco, HIV/AIDS, and the rights of babies born with birth defects and handicaps. He served as Surgeon General until 1989.

    • Moms: Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop striving to meet false expectations. Stop thinking your performance dictates your worth.


      For far too long mothers have been beaten down by the law of “do better” and “try harder.” The burden of “getting it right” threatens to crush weary souls who desire to serve their families faithfully. Christ in the Chaos brings comfort to conflicted hearts that are starved of grace and longing for the freedom in Christ the Bible promises.


      In this book, Kimm Crandall emphasizes the importance of the gospel and how Christ’s life, death, and resurrection change every aspect of motherhood. From finding our identity in Christ and understanding God’s grace to taking off the mask of acceptability and dealing with the comparison crud, this book will free you to serve your family knowing that his love for you does not change based on your performance.


      Christ in the Chaos is a “must read” for every mother who longs for what is seemingly impossible: peace and freedom in the midst of her chaos.


      About the Author


      Kimm Crandall is a mother of four kids (12, 9, 7 and 5) who is never short on examples of how God has flooded her with the excessive grace that the gospel brings. She lives in the small town of Valley Center, CA on three acres where she does her best to embrace the chaos of the non-stop adventures that dirt, rocks, chickens, and sheep can bring to a house full of kids. Kimm’s desire is, through writing and speaking, to bring the much-needed freedom of the gospel to other women who have been beaten down by the “try harder” and “do better” law. Kimm and Justin, her husband of sixteen years, serve at Valley Center Community Church, a reformed congregation in their hometown. When she is not on the basketball court, baseball field, beach, or enjoying horses she can be found blogging at and

    • Your skin is made of two layers: the epidermis (the layer you see) and the dermis (the layer underneath that contains blood vessels). When your hands and/or feet have been underwater for a long time, your nervous system tells the blood vessels in your dermis to constrict. This reduces the volume of the dermis, which in turn reduces the tension with which the epidermis is stretched. As a result, the epidermis “relaxes,” forming wrinkles.2
    • In last month’s article, I argued that Luther remains a useful source for the thoughtful Christian but that the occasional nature of his writings means that he is more easily quoted than correctly understood.  Thus, in Part Two, I want to offer some suggestions for further reading.  Of course, the literature on Luther is vast and growing every year. Thus, what I highlight here are simply the books which I consider to be the most helpful.
    • The benchmark biography of Luther in English is the three volumes by the German historian, Martin Brecht. These look rather forbidding: nearly 1400 pages of text, excluding notes. Nevertheless, the translation is very readable and the narrative moves at a good pace, such that the reader’s interest is maintained and the basic storyline remains very clear.  
    • Paul uses a word here that many would balk at today: discipline.  Let’s be honest, when we discover a Christian who exercises personal discipline (to read Scripture, or pray, or have a quiet time) we tend to be suspicious that we have a legalist on our hands.  Maybe they don’t understand grace, we think.


      But Liddell did not make this mistake.  He recognized that discipline and determination are not necessarily contrary to the gospel of grace.   Just like a runner, we can exert effort in our pursuit of Christ—effort fueled not by legalism or perfectionism but by grace.

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

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Posted by on 26/02/2013 in Current Issues


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