What I Read Online – 03/05/2013 (p.m.)

06 Mar
    • By using the Psalms creatively, both with and without singing, we communicate that singing is simply one way to join in the broader activity of prayer and praise
    • Thoughtful planning of a service will use singing with a particular purpose in mind
    • Church leaders must think intentionally about how to communicate the purpose of singing as part of the broader devotional life of the congregation.
    • The purpose of musical accompaniment is to enable the congregation to sing. Nothing more, nothing less
    • Use other means of corporate participation
    • Change the way we talk about singing in church
    • It also got me thinking about Tim Chester’s very useful posts about Facebook which are now in a book, Will you be my Facebook friend. Short, punchy and also thought provoking (without the bad language and sex!). We’re also running a seminar on the pastoral implications of technology at this year’s EMA led by Ed Brooks and Pete Nicholas: really, really important stuff for every pastor. You can book online now.  
    • First, it is important to recognize that the most common understanding of “allegory” today differs from the way the reformers—and their predecessors—understood it. Most of us likely assume that allegory allows preachers to make the text say whatever they want. We understand allegory to be an arbitrary metaphor that finds a symbolic meaning of some spiritual truth in certain features of a biblical passage without any regard for the context or meaning of that passage.
    • This simple distinction between allegory, which ignores history, and typology, which is based on history, is currently being challenged, particularly because interpreters throughout history did not refer to “allegories” or “types” in this way.
    • The reformers certainly did not disallow the practice of discerning “what you should believe” from Old Testament passages. Rather they retained the components of the fourfold sense by relocating them within a more expansive understanding of the literal sense that contained a message concerning what Christians should believe, do, and hope. Sometimes they connected the teaching of the Old Testament to the teaching of the New Testament by allegory. But they did not assume that allegory had to be disconnected from the literal or historical sense. That was in fact what they abhorred about the way it had been used.
    • Calvin and other Reformed interpreters allowed for and approved of allegorical interpretations, but only if they were simple, useful for instruction, and consistent with the New Testament
    • These are just a few cases where Calvin offered symbolic interpretations not explicitly identified in the New Testament or connected to historical matters. Calvin and other Reformed interpreters used several methods to connect Old Testament texts to the larger divine context in order to explain how they pointed to Christ and his church. Sometimes they made these connections by teaching that the words further symbolized a greater truth.
    • In fact, good preaching mandates that we do more than simply recount a historical sense of text, but rather we must also proclaim how this particular word from God teaches us what to believe, what it calls us to do, and where we should place our hope. The real issue—both today and in Calvin’s time—is that we avoid arbitrary and completely subjective readings of the text. But rather than following a modern redefinition of “allegory” that makes it pejorative and forces us to rule out the practice altogether, perhaps we need to refine our approach to allow for identifying simple, useful, and suitable representations in the text that symbolically point to a greater truth.
    • A Beginner’s Guide to Reading Over Your Head
    • The journal aims to help anyone involved, in any way, in preaching or pastoral ministry – students (actual or prospective), those considering gospel ministry, as well as those who are in pastoral office and/or with active preaching ministries.
      • In part two, Michael Horton explores nine more key Christian teachings through the four “coordinates” of Drama, Doctrine, Doxology, and Discipleship. The teachings include:

        • Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification
        • Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
        • The Visible and Invisible Church
        • Last Things and Everlasting Life
    • The trend of exalting youth and sidelining the elderly stems from a deeper problem summed up in the expression, “Newer is better.” We celebrate the new and innovative while looking down on the past and tradition. There is a compelling vitality to youth and to new ideas, but that does not mean there is no wisdom to be found in the past.
    • As we need the wisdom of the elderly in the body of Christ, we also need the wisdom of the past. Newer isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s worse; sometimes it’s wrong. As the church, we are a people with a past. The Holy Spirit is not a gift unique to the church in the twenty-first century. We ignore or disdain the past to our detriment.


    • We need to help youth see that their value derives from being made in the image of the Creator and of the Redeemer
    • Respecting elders begins with parents
    • Reformational Christians recognize that good and necessary consequences always arise from particular scriptural commands. The command to honor one’s father and mother, when applied more broadly, means that we also are to respect all individuals who exercise God-ordained authority over us.
    • More churches need to be intentional about ministry to elderly members, especially widows and widowers
    • Previous generations were known for a commitment to sacrificial work and the deferral of gratification—one need think only of the men and women who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. The present generation, however, is known for its virtually religious attachment to instant gratification
    • How, then, can older generations in the church nurture these counter-cultural principles in younger generations? One of the most important things that elderly and mature believers can do is to remind younger believers of our present riches in Christ and the glory that awaits us. They should model what it looks like to live out the present in light of these future realities
    • The Scriptures make it clear that the older generation has a God-given responsibility to seek to influence the younger generation in the direction of godliness and spiritual maturity
    • First and foremost, our lives must clearly demonstrate our genuine attachment to Christ as our Savior and Lord.
    • Love them genuinely and patiently
    • Share with them what is most important for you
    • Invest in them
    • First, as already stated, the fact that the Bible recognizes and addresses believers at different stages of life should be considered as a church plans its ministries
    • Second, a church must guard against establishing specific age-sensitive ministries that unintentionally undermine the church as a family
    • Finally, a church that ministers effectively to all age groups will keep the gospel alone as the foundation for church life and unity
    • Few influences affect a man’s heart for God more than his wife, for better or for worse
    • Has the Lord given you such an excellent wife? Do you see how she is specifically suited for you? Do you recognize how she has increased your effectiveness for the Lord? Then give thanks to God for such a woman in whom your heart trusts
    • In today’s culture, we are more pragmatic than reflective

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

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Posted by on 06/03/2013 in Current Issues


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