What I Read Online – 04/24/2013 (a.m.)

24 Apr
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    • Stocks plunged briefly Tuesday after a fake tweet from the Associated Press’ Twitter account said there had been two explosions at the White House and President Obama was injured.


      The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 128 points in seconds, but quickly recovered when the tweet was found to be a hoax.

    • What’s at the root of all this is an unbiblical view of vocation, the wrong idea that only ministry callings are divine callings, that only ministry work is real work, that only overtly Christian work is worthwhile work.
    • The ministry is not the highest calling. The work God has given you is the highest calling. 
    • Staring down at Matthew 18:15-20, I would argue with the dissenters that Jesus places the keys squarely in the hands of the local church—wherever two or three are formally gathered in his name. In Jesus’ narrative of discipline, the ekklesia—the assembly—provides the last court of appeal when a person’s profession does not match his or her life.
    • So what exactly are these keys of the kingdom for binding and loosing? I have argued elsewhere that the keys represent the authority to build the church on earth on Jesus’ behalf by declaring what and who belong to the kingdom of heaven—what is a right confession of the gospel, and who is a right confessor
    • What all this means is, each local church is independent from every other church on earth because Christ has given each assembly the authority to declare before the nations the what and the who of the things of heaven.
    • To baptize someone is to identify them by name with the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. To give someone the Lord’s Supper is to affirm their membership in the body of our Lord.
    • The ordinances should be practiced in the context of the gathered assembly.
    • Baptism is ordinarily into membership. With the exception of settings in which a local church does not yet exist (e.g. the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8), it is irresponsible (and unbiblical) to baptize an individual—thereby affirming his profession of faith before the nations—and then leave him unaccounted for within a local body
    • Christians should belong to local churches. Christians do not have the authority to declare themselves Jesus’ representatives. The church has this authority, which it ordinarily exercises by dispensing the Lord’s Supper to its members
    • Churches should examine those whom they receive as members, and maintain oversight for the sake of meaningful discipline
    • Discipleship works best in the framework of accountability, which means discipleship works best in the context of the local assembly
    • Churches gather around right preaching of the Word
    • Churches should establish a clear statement of faith
    • Churches should choose their pastors
    • Church membership should be treated as an office. It is a job. It is not a casual connection with a voluntary society like a country club, where you come for the benefits so long as the dues are not too high. It is citizenship, and citizenship is an office of governance. Once a church has affirmed an individual as a Jesus Representative and a member, that member becomes responsible for overseeing other confessors of the faith.
    • A church’s basic work is to equip the saints to do the work of this office
    • Chastened by the wonder of his glory, I’m now able to tell you about a Savior who wasn’t ashamed to condescend to love and rescue a woman like me. A woman at his feet—a woman of the cross.
    • If a student does not trust the Bible as God’s Word, ministries will have a hard time giving them any confidence in the truths of Christianity; the Bible serves as the authority and foundation for all Christian doctrine.
    • Youth ministers need a balanced, scriptural theology that neither amplifies homosexuality as worse than other forms of sexual sin nor permits it any more than we condone pornography or adultery. Equally important, they need a humble, gentle, and compassionate tone in dealing with the issue.
    • When teaching Scripture, I make a point to connect the content to the broader context of biblical narrative. It reinforces for kids the belief that a good, sovereign God rules the course of human history, as well as the events of their individual life, at a time when they desire it.
    • Consequently, those ministering to teens need a theological understanding of how sin originates from the human desire to live independently from God and to be the “god” of our own lives.
    • Our salvation does not simply save us individually but also makes us a part of a greater body of intimate connection. Having a fuller understanding of salvation in both individual and corporate terms will help a person ministering to teens offer the gospel in a way that appeals to their high view of fellowship and need for loving acceptance.

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

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Posted by on 24/04/2013 in Current Issues


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