What I Read Online – 04/18/2013 (a.m.)

18 Apr
    • The conversation also reminded me of one of the supreme ironies of the contemporary politics of homosexuality.  A movement originally built upon the idea of transgression, the breaking of taboos and the crossing of boundaries has become one of the most intolerant and conformist movements ever to emerge within liberal democratic societies.  The current debate about marriage equality points to precisely this oddity. 
    • you can’t build community by trying to.
    • But here is the crucial point: we cannot directly pursue community and love at the same time. It must be one or the other. If we are in pursuit of community for its own sake, we will be driven to marginalise those who make community different. We will create circles of community, and hierarchies, and in-and-out, and even those who are in will start wondering what is required to stay in, and honesty and vulnerability will fly out the door, and we will keep asking ourselves ‘do I belong?’ and, well, the whole thing will remain bright and brassy on the outside but corrupt and rotten on the inside till it collapses under its own weight.
    • If, on the other hand, we pursue love, community comes along for the ride. How do we love one another? By seeking one another’s good. By conforming one another to the likeness of our master. By serving, encouraging, teaching and rebuking. In short: through discipleship.
    • How, then, do we build community? By not building it.
    • Is it okay for a preacher to speak to a Christian gathering via a screen? Or is it important that he be physically present with them?
    • The first kind concerns the congregation, the assembly. It’s generally better for a church to have a preacher physically present with them
    • What’s more, the preacher cannot teach and preach authentically without loving people
    • It’s hard to see how regular preaching through a screen lends itself to sharing life in love. (In the same way, a bodily present preacher who comes from the study to the pulpit only to retreat immediately back to the study withholds love from the people to whom he preaches.) I may benefit from a screen preacher’s words, but I cannot know he loves and cares for me except in a shallow and general way.
    • The second kind of reason concerns the authenticity of the preacher
    • Additionally, John said face-to-face fellowship makes joy complete (2 John 12), and Paul hoped he and the church in Rome would be “mutually encouraged” when they met (Rom. 1:12). We too ought to regard all forms of bodily distance as less than the ideal and the norm.
    • With no students to teach Steve Nichols joins Todd and Carl on Mortification of Spin to discuss Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Was Bonhoeffer an Evangelical, was he even a Christian? At what point are his writings helpful for us? Steve demonstrates that Dietrich Bonhoeffer is clearly an important Christan thinker whose life and death lend weight to his writings. Whether we agree, disagree, love or hate him, Bonhoeffer has earned the right to be heard.
    • Tonight history has been made in New Zealand: the New Zealand parliament voted to pass into law the Marriage Amendment Bill, making ‘gay marriage’ a legal reality. But did this move truly express these three values of liberty, fraternity and equailty?    
    • Each of the other three freedom movements had Bible-believing Christians at the forefront of championing them. 
    • So William Wilberforce led the drive to abolish the slave-trade, which led to the abolition of slavery.
    • Kate Sheppard, who championed the cause of women getting the vote in New Zealand (making it the first country to give women universal suffrage) founded the Women’s Christian Temperance Union whose motto was ‘For God, For Home, For Humanity’.
    • The leader of the Civil Rights movement in the US of course was the Rev Dr Martin Luther King – who of course was a Baptist pastor.     
    • Like any of us, Pope Francis can only be humble—truly humble—if he first attributes to God “the supreme honor, praise, prerogatives, rights, privileges, worship, devotion, authority, submission, and obedience that He alone deserves.” Yet Roman Catholic doctrine, and especially doctrine related to the papacy, steals from the honor, rights, prerogatives and authority of Jesus Christ and attributes them instead to the Pope. By definition and by Catholic dogma, Francis is no humble Pope.
    • According to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, the most fundamental claim about the Pope is that he is the Vicar of Christ. “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” A vicar is a substitute (as we see in the word vicarious), which means, according to James White, that the Pope “functions in the place of Christ as the earthly head of the Church as Christ is the heavenly leader.” The Pope claims to be Christ’s representative on earth, left here to rule the Church. Yet this claim demeans the role of the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit to whom Christ has entrusted his church. As White says, “The truth of the matter is that the Holy Spirit’s role has been taken over by the hierarchy of the Church, and the individual Christian is subject to that authority as a matter of his eternal salvation.” Pope Francis proclaims that he is Christ’s Vicar on earth and that he, like Christ, has supreme and unhindered authority on earth.
    • The humble Pope must declare his own fallibility and instead call upon the church to examine in the light of God’s Word every word he speaks and every word his predecessors have already spoken.
    • The humble Pope must revoke the church’s anathemas against the doctrine of justification by faith alone and instead affirm what the Bible so clearly teaches to be true.
    • We admire those who do good things, who choose poverty instead of riches, who prefer prisoners to priests. Yet I am concerned that as Evangelicals we are already raising up this man as an example of the virtue of humility.
    • In the face of this claim, “Humble Pope” is an oxymoron.
    • There are many historical/factual statements throughout this section that are highly questionable. 
    • When it comes to choosing the books for this “new” canon, it is clear that Taussig is using a particular methodology.
    • Taussig offers a reason for adding these documents, namely that they “can make a real difference in the spiritual lives of ordinary people” (489)
    • In sum, Taussig has produced a new set of Scriptures to accommodate his new theology.  And thus he has reversed the normal order of things.  While theology usually comes from Scripture, Taussig has used his theology to create a new Scripture.  It’s man-made religion at its best.
    • This doesn’t mean your game-plan is easy. There’s a cross to take up here. The path from frozen storage to birth is difficult, whether through bearing those children or making an adoption plan for them into loving families. But these are not things; these are persons, worthy of love and respect and sacrifice.
    • Why would Eratosthenes do this? Well, like all ancient natural philosophers (including the Christian ones who would come a few hundred years later), he understood that the earth is a sphere. If you are under the mistaken impression that most ancient people thought the earth was flat, you need to realize that this is a textbook myth that is repeated over and over again but is nevertheless quite false.
    • In today’s culture, we think of ancient people as ignorant savages, but in fact, many of them were incredibly intelligent

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

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Posted by on 18/04/2013 in Current Issues


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