What I Read Online – 04/04/2013 (a.m.)

04 Apr
    • The fundamental theological problem with the “attraction-as-foundation” approach to dating and marriage is that the approach grossly distorts the biblical definitions of “love” and “marriage.”
    • And that’s essentially selfish. I don’t mean that such an approach involves malice or the intent to hurt anyone. I simply mean that such an approach is self-centered
    • Marriage is incredibly fun; it’s also incredibly hard. For most people it is the greatest act of ministry and service to another person that they will ever undertake
    • The practical problem with letting “attraction” lead the way in finding a spouse is not profound: It doesn’t work. If everyone demanded that their quirky, secular notions of attractiveness or chemistry be perfectly fulfilled before they would agree to marry a person, no one would marry.
    • I could hold back no longer. Without really thinking, I responded, “You’re looking for a ’10’? But, brother, look at yourself. You’re like a ‘six.’ If you ever find the woman you’re looking for, and she has your attitude, what makes you think she would have you?”
    • I, on the other hand, am not sure. He is not my picture-perfect guy on the outward appearance, but he has a heart of gold, and I’m in love with his personality and his never-failing love for God. There are no red flags and nothing that causes me to have a legitimate concern, yet I am not sure if he is “the one” I am supposed to marry. I don’t have that same peace or sense of knowing he is “the one” as he has for me.
    • If your only hesitation about marrying this guy is some aspect of his physical appearance, and that alone keeps you from moving forward in the relationship, then you have veered into personally and spiritually immature and unbiblical thinking in your approach to finding a husband.
    • First, and most importantly, such an approach is profoundly unbiblical in the sense that its priorities are the opposite of Scripture’s (which is to say God’s) priorities.
    • Second, making a marriage decision based on the way someone looks to us is a wholly selfish (or at least self-centered) concern, and “selfish” is exactly the opposite of the way the Bible pictures love or marriage.
    • Third, as a practical matter, basing a marriage decision on physical appearance is short-sighted.
    • Finally, this approach is just unkind
    • Among the realities of this digital world is a whole class of web sites known as discernment blogs or watchblogs. These are sites ostensibly dedicated to keeping out a watchful eye for conflict and heresy
    • The first is that discernment blogs are too often marked by neither truth nor love.
    • The second lesson is one I am surprised I did not see before: Discernment bloggers often operate by fear
    • There is a paradox in the way they behave and it has been so clarifying for me to see it. They bemoan a leader’s lack of love and respond by defaming him. They act as if they are humble truth-seekers but have a tabloid-level threshold for their own scurrilous accusations. They give an appearance of being engaged in investigative journalism but bear a far closer resemblance to tabloids. Worst of all, you and I are reading and believing them. We participate in their gossip and intimidation tactics every time we read their sites.
    • The Sermons of Charles Spurgeon: Vol. 1 (1-200)


      Available for free download in ePub and Kindle .mobi formats

    • Whether Christians should even use the label LGBTQ for persons or groups who do not explicitly self-identify with the initialism is debatable. But what is clear is that Christians must reject the underlying assumptions about gender and sexuality that the term represents. The Christian worldview is, in the parlance of Queer Theory, heteronormative. The Bible clearly presents gender and heterosexual sex within the bounds of marriage as part of the goodness of God’s created order. Outside of the God-ordained form of man-woman marriage, all forms of heterosexual and homosexual sexual engagement (as opposed to temptation to same-sex or opposite sex desire) are clearly forbidden by Scripture. This is not in dispute, despite the attempts of many of our fellow Christians who are attempting to ignore or twist the Word of God to make it more palatable
    • Somehow, according to Blair, ‘Elton John singing “Candle in the Wind” and doing it rather brilliantly’ was ‘in keeping with Westminster Abbey.’  Well, yes, if Westminster Abbey is simply a stage, a shrine to the Real Absence on which any romance may be produced.
    • Second Nature is a new online journal, launched today, dedicated to critical thinking about the impact of modern media on habits of thought and behaviour, particularly in the religious sphere.   The editorial board includes an encouragingly eclectic group of thinkers, including the inimitable Presbyterian stalwart and verbal pugilist, T. David Gordon.   This is surely one journal to watch.
    • In fact,  the English Reformation was dead in most parts of the Sceptred Isle by  the time the Princess died, at least if measured by the ambitions of  Cranmer: biblical literacy, gospel preaching, pastors in every parish,  reverent and thoughtful worship.  But it was not being replaced by Roman  Catholicism.  The scenes of hysteria and then of unctuous  sentimentalism which came in the immediate aftermath of the fateful  Parisian car crash were signs that English life was firmly embedded in  the celebrity culture which claims intimacy with strangers and,  divorcing friendship from personal contact, creates fictional characters  out of real, flesh-and-blood human beings
    • Recognize that, as a minister, you are a sinner, first and foremost
    • The second follows from the first. If I am as sinful as the Bible says I am (and all of us are), then whence pride? Whence the defensive posture? Surely it’s madness to think that I am really as great as I am convinced other people think I am
    • Remember the words of Samuel Rutherford when a woman praised him after a Lord’s Day service: “Woman, if you knew the blackness of my heart, you would gather your children and run.”
    • we do pastoral ministry in union with the risen Christ
    • Fix this firmly in your mind: our work as ministers will largely be forgotten when die, save for a few family and friends and souls we have ministered to. Another will take our place. Praise God, the next one will do better than us!
      • Read the full roster and bios of more than 80 speakers and see what events they’ll lead throughout the conference.
      • Quickly orient yourself to Rosen Shingle Creek by using detailed maps we’ve created just for TGC13.
      • Browse all your dining options on the grounds.
      • See the full list of TGC13 exhibitors and their booth locations.
      • Track #TGC13 on Twitter, including conference announcements from the @TGC team.
      • Browse the complete schedule with the option to add notifications for certain events. 
    • First, there is a great need for preaching the Pentateuch in our churches to give our people a well-rounded diet of the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
    • Second, we must preach the Pentateuch because these books are the foundational books for the rest of Scripture
    • Third, we need to preach the Pentateuch because the stories within it are exciting, riveting, and heart-pounding. This is the backstory to the drama of Jesus.
    • Fourth, we need to preach the Pentateuch because our Lord taught His disciples that He is the sum and substance of these books (Luke 24:27, 44)
    • 1. Remember that God has a plan, and He is still at work.
    • 2. Focus on your identity as a missionary, no matter what.
    • 3. Get used to serving when it’s hard and you’re heart’s not in it.
    • 4. Remember this is only for a season.

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

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Posted by on 04/04/2013 in Current Issues


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