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What I Read Online – 05/16/2013 (a.m.)

16 May
    • Among examples cites was that of the organist in Scotland who had fallen out   with some of the elders in the Kirk but got his own back by inserting a   thinly disguised rendition of “Send in the Clowns” as they processed in for   a Sunday service.
    • One organist who responded confessed to playing hits by Oasis, Billy Bragg and   even Kylie Minogue in services but added: “Nobody notices – I do it all the   time.”
    • ‘What’s the difference between an organist and a terrorist?   -you can negotiate with a terrorist’.
    • “Mess with him at your peril – he will pull out all the stops to get his own   back.”
    • I don’t find any of these ideas particularly remarkable. It’s the idea that he’s left out which I find truly remarkable. He talks about magazines, publishing houses, blogs, social media, conferences, and schools, but he never mentions the church
    • Throughout the history of Christianity, the local congregation, often partnering with other local congregations, has been the primary vehicle for accomplishing the things that Driscoll wants done. He wants more people to hear about Jesus. Why would he ignore the biblical and historical instrument which delivers Christ’s gospel to the world? A blog and a Twitter account can’t do the work of the church in either its local or universal manifestations
    • It sounds like Driscoll is describing a pastor. Have pastors suddenly become irrelevant to Christianity? Obviously not because most of Driscoll’s name dropping concerns prominent pastors. But he’s marginalized the church, so its leader must be recast as “tribal leaders
    • I find this distasteful. The church is the body of Christ. From the church’s institution, the office of pastor has been of central importance. Christianity has its own traditions, language, and culture. Why would Driscoll jettison those things in favor of trendy jargon? Tribes and tribal chiefs. Sounds decidedly pagan to me
    • I’ve criticized Driscoll quite a bit in this piece. I suppose that I’ve just solidified his position as a “tribal chief” by fulfilling his fourth characteristic for him. Let him have his tribe. I’m rooting for the church
    • In this post my goal is to utilize the issue of homosexuality as a case study to demonstrate that the “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” approach to sanctification is not merely an academic wrinkle, but an error of such prodigious import that it threatens the very essence of the Christian church.

       

    • I’m disappointed, but not particularly devastated: this kind of thing really is an inevitable result of the non-foundational, democratic, and relativist worldview that America has been cultivating for decades
    • In these verses Paul clearly states that thieves, drunkards, and homosexuals (and a bunch of other sinner-types) will not inherit the kingdom of God. This does not mean that believers who feel acutely the temptation to steal, drink to excess, or to act homosexually are barred from heaven, but it does mean that anyone who unashamedly and persistently self-identifies as a thief, a drunkard, a homosexual, etc., is unconverted, should be excluded from membership in the Christian church, and must be handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1 Cor 5:5).
    • Paul does not allow Christians to self-identify as sinners. The church is not comprised of thieves, drunkards, homosexuals, etc.; instead, the church is comprised of Christians who once were thieves, drunkards, homosexuals, etc., but who are no longer what they once were. The church is to be populated by new creatures in Christ who have become “spirit people”—people who still sin, but whose dominant trajectory of life is upward
    • Of course we are rightly chastened by Paul’s reminder that we too were once enslaved by such sins. As such we should expect unbelievers to be thieves, drunkards, homosexuals, etc., and should treat them no differently than any other sinner—there’s nothing here to suggest that more sanitary sinners such as “the greedy” will fare any better than homosexuals at the Great White Throne. Further, we are sobered by Paul’s observation that all believers have lingering sinful tendencies (like stealing, drinking to excess, and acting on homosexual impulses) that need to be addressed with exhortation, discipline, encouragement, and love. There is no room here for sequestering particular kinds of sins as more contemptible or “yucky” than others. The church must surely learn this virtue and quickly.
    • But those churches who would accept sinners “as they are” (whether homosexuals or any other variety of sinner) into their memberships, and who would encourage such sinners to ponder the glories of justification rather than repent, engage in a great evil
    • But this newer and more foundational challenge is not about whether the words of the Bible are true, but whether we have the words of the Bible at all
    • But the original text is not a physical object. The autographs contain the original text, but the original text can exist without them. A text can be preserved in other ways. One such way is that the original text can be preserved in a multiplicity of manuscripts. In other words, even though a single surviving manuscript might not contain (all of) the original text, the original text could be accessible to us across a wide range of manuscripts.  

       

    • Providentially, when it comes to the quantity of manuscripts, the New Testament is in a class all its own. Although the exact count is always changing, currently we possess more than 5,500 manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek alone. No other document of antiquity even comes close
    • But it is also possible that God may have not wanted the autographs to survive. One can imagine how easily (and quickly) such documents would become objects of veneration, if not worship.
    • As the video above shows, however, wind turbines do have an environmental impact – they can kill flying animals
    • Using the amount of wind power produced in the U.S. in 2012 as his benchmark, he estimated that 573,000 birds would be killed by wind turbines each year! 83,000 of those birds would be raptors, which includes endangered or threatened species like the the California Condor and the Northern Spotted Owl
    • Dr. Smallwood’s paper also estimates the number of bats that will be killed by wind turbines, and those numbers are equally alarming. He estimates that 888,000 bats will die from wind turbines every year. This is especially troubling, because there are many endangered bat species. Ironically, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a single Indiana bat (which is endangered) found in Georgia has caused the delay of $459 million worth of road work, but no wind turbine installations are being delayed over worries about endangered bats!
    • I think it was interaction with our local Reformed pastors and good friends. The wise counsel and encouragement I got from them really helped. I remember a friend taking me out for lunch one day to discuss this important issue. The missions conferences at Kabwata Baptist Church also played a big role and greatly challenged me to make a decision
    • After going through this experience, I think the responsibility lies with the person feeling or sensing the call to ministry to share with his elders and good friends. Having said that, I also think the elders of local churches should be on the lookout to identify and provide counsel to men who they think are in this dilemma

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

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Posted by on 16/05/2013 in Current Issues

 

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