What I Read Online – 03/14/2013 (a.m.)

14 Mar
      • A couple of reasons why I appreciate this arrangement:


        • It’s very singable. Cheryl and I first heard this at YLC conference, and picked it up reasonably quickly.
        • It matches the words better. In my opinion, Thomas Hasting’s original “Toplady” tune and Richard Redhead’s Petra variation both sound a bit too bright and chirpy, compared with the helplessness and pathos that Augustus Toplady’s words evoke. Ruth Buchanan’s melody gets more urgent (diminutes) and lifts in pitch right at the emotional climax of the verse.
        • It suits a contemporary band better. Ruth’s melody I feel gives more space for each line of the hymn, which allows the church to think more on the words. Guitar and bass players might also appreciate the chords changing around less often.
        • It’s helped many younger Christians sing historical-redemptive theology. Toplady has packed this hymn with rich imagery, the most obvious one being that Jesus Christ is our Rock of refuge (Numbers 20:11, 1 Corinthians 10:4) and the only source of salvation. Verse 1′s line about the “double cure” helps to image both the justifying and sanctifying work of Christ on behalf of His children, and the third verse alludes to Genesis with “naked come to Thee for dress”. Ruth Buchanan’s melody continues to give wings to this hymn of the faith.


        In preparation for introducing it at church this Sunday, I put together some sheet music based on the video above:


        Rock of Ages (Ruth Buchanan) – Lead Sheet in B


        Rock of Ages (Ruth Buchanan) – Capo 2 Lead Sheet in A

      • Each book:


        • Includes an introduction to the author and work
        • Explains the cultural context
        • Incorporates published criticism
        • Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
        • Defines key literary terms
        • Lists resources for further study
        • Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview
    • If you’re single, Satan is after you.
    • 1. Avoid Trading Marital Distractions for Other Distractions
    • 2. Say “Yes” to the Spontaneous
    • 3. Practice Selflessness While You’re Still Alone
    • 4. Do Radical, Time-Consuming Things for God
    • 5. Spend Time with Married People
    • 6. Spend Time with Not-Yet Married People
    • 7. Find a Fiancé on the Front Lines
    • 8. While You Wait, Hope in Jesus More Than Marriage
    • If so, here it is: “Purgatory: An Evangelical Doctrine?”
    • The first thing to state, because it has often been denied, is that Wilson categorically denounces racism
    • As in football, so in debates and arguments, we should strive to play the ball not the man; to discuss the issue itself rather than attack the person presenting the issue. This is not easy. It requires the ability to separate the pros and cons of a particular argument or issue from the personality who is presenting them, and to subject your own arguments to the same honest scrutiny that you bring to bear on the alternative view.
    • You know you’re dealing with someone who is playing the man not the ball when he makes a straw man of your view
    • Ball-players also freely and honestly acknowledge what is good and right in the opposing view, and avoid intemperately damning the whole because of a defect in the parts
    • Playing the ball also means seeking to remain in good relationship with the person you’re disagreeing with, so that you can hopefully shake hands and share a coffee after your debate, or continue to work together on other projects or platforms
    • And even if there is no emotional hurt, the most careful and gracious disagreements still generate relational and practical implications. So imagine you and I disagreed about baptism (for example), and had a fair, reasonable and gracious discussion about the issue, without managing to persuade one another. We would hopefully still remain gospel friends and in good relationship, and cooperate in gospel work where possible, given that we agreed on everything else that was important. But we might not be able to be members of the same church or denomination, or speak at the same conferences or events—if baptism were an issue of significance in those contexts. And if our arguments were presented publicly, the outcome might affect our respective reputations or relationships with readers and observers
    • The church is weakened because the leaders do not model godliness
    • You place the future of the church in peril
    • You put your minister in a vulnerable position
    • Untheological elders are not going to be able to spot error
    • Your elders will not be shepherds of the flock
    • 6. When it comes to big decisions and attacks on the truth, the  only hope is that they’ll make the right decisions based on personal  loyalty
    • 1. A high view of Scripture
    • 2. A high view of God
    • 3. A high view of the pulpit
    • Of course, for too long successive governments have enacted and tolerated laws that are evil (such as the legalizing of abortion). What’s new in our day is that laws are being proposed and enacted that attempt to force Christians to give up core Christian doctrines (e.g. Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation) and ethics (e.g. biblical definition of marriage).


    • 1. Pluralism disobeys God
    • 2. Pluralism diminishes Scripture
    • 3. Pluralism defies logic
    • It’s not faith that saves but what or who faith is in
    • 4. Pluralism damages evangelism
    • 5. Pluralism despises our neighbor
    • 6. Pluralism denies Christ
    • 1) Based on where your people are, not where you think they should be
    • Push your congregation to grow, but not at the expense of exasperating them by trying to make them something they are not
    • 2) Based on how good and seasoned a preacher you are
    • If you are in your first year of pastoring a church, your sermons should probably be shorter, more succinct, and simpler than you probably think or want
    • 3) To leave your people longing for more, not less
    • Imagine if I assembled a group of nineteen Australian political scholars to start adding amendments to the US constitution: Stuff like it would be illegal to kiss a koala and drink Fosters while watching the movie Crocodile Dundee; Crocodile Dundee II and III would be banned; Americans would have to switch to the metric system; NFL would be replaced with AFL; the Electoral College would be replaced with a Houston vs. Boston cage fight to determine the next POTUS; vegemite would replace peanut butter; and all hamburgers would have to have beetroot added to them.
    • To create this New New Testament, Hal Taussig called together a council of scholars and spiritual leaders to discuss and reconsider which books belong in the New Testament. They talked about these recently found documents, the lessons therein, and how they inform the previously bound books. They voted on which should be added, choosing ten new books to include in a New New Testament.
    • Thus, despite the claims of this modern book to be doing something new and original, it is nothing of the sort.  The idea of a New New Testament, is an old, old idea.   One that has already been tried, and already been rejected.


    • 3. Remember the power of words.
    • a. Note the connection with the heart.
    • b. Contribute sparingly and slowly and discreetly
    • Social media demands and usually gets spontaneity and immediacy, especially in its briefer forms, prompting many and rapid contributions. The environment calls us to communicate without any real thought
    • c. Speak truly and honestly.
    • d. Avoid empty or bitter engagement.
    • e. Shun slander and gossip.
    • Now, the Word is given to us first here in the Bible, as it is written; it is given to us, secondly, from the lips of God’s own chosen and appointed ambassadors. He that despises either of these two, will soon find himself growing lean in spirit
    • The first rule comes from D.A. Carson and states You don’t have to follow Matthew 18 before publishing polemics
    • The second rule comes from Andrew Murray and states You must take full responsibility for even unwitting misrepresentation of someone’s views
    • The third rule comes from Archibald Alexander and states Never attribute an opinion to your opponent that he himself does not own
    • The fourth rule is from George Gillespie and states Take your opponents’ views in total, not selectively
    • The fifth rule also belongs to Gillespie and states Represent and engage your opponents’ position in its very strongest form, not in a weak ‘straw man’ form
    • The sixth rule is Calvin’s and states Seek to persuade, not antagonize, but watch your motives
    • The seventh and final rule belongs to each of the previous six theologians and states Only God sees the heart—so remember the gospel and stick to criticizing the theology

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

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Posted by on 14/03/2013 in Current Issues


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