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What I Read Online – 05/21/2013 (a.m.)

21 May
    • While granting that biblical interpretation isn’t always easy, this volume seems to go out of its way to stress that Scripture doesn’t speak directly to our ethical behavior. It begins with three essays that frame the way the Bible has been and should be used in forming ethical opinions. These essays stress that Scripture alone isn’t sufficient for doing ethics. Granted, ethical questions do arise that aren’t directly addressed in Scripture, but Christians have historically affirmed that the Bible stands at the authoritative center of our ethics.
    • The dictionary’s ensuing entries vary significantly in outlook, as might be expected. The entry on “Sanctity of Human Life” offers a robust affirmation, though the entry on “Abortion” is less clear. The immorality of prostitution, pedophilia, and abuse of various sorts is also explicitly affirmed, though less clarity exists on topics like euthanasia and assisted suicide. There appears to be a general reticence to stand on clear biblical mandates (see, for instance, the entry on “Evangelical Ethics”)—a tendency particularly observable in the volume’s entries on sexual ethics.
    • Today’s historic vote effectively means that the traditionalist position holds, but congregations will be able to choose themselves to have a minister in a civil partnership if they wish to do so.

      Such a move will require certain Church regulations to be written and voted on at the 2014 General Assembly.

    • Church commissioners backed his motion to “affirm the Church’s historic and current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality, (but) nonetheless permit those Kirk Sessions who wish to depart from that doctrine and practice to do so”. Today’s historic vote effectively means that the traditionalist position holds, but congregations will be able to choose themselves to have a minister in a civil partnership if they wish to do so.
    • My guest for this interview is Prof. Edgar Andrews, Emeritus Professor of Materials Science at the University of London. With his book “Who Made God?” as our focus, we explore the explanatory limits of the natural sciences and discuss how his concept of the God Hypothesis offers a coherent explanation of reality. Prof. Andrews also expresses his concern about the increase in atheistic propaganda in the mainstream media, and shares his experience of debating Richard Dawkins at the Oxford Union in 1986 on the motion: “That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution.”
    • For the last 23 years, The Master’s Seminary Journal has been publishing articles and book reviews related to biblical and theological studies and we are looking forward to ongoing decades of publishing. The seminary has decided to adopt a more “open text” method of distribution and in the future be providing the journal electronically in PDF format completely free of charge. You can sign up by clicking subscribe above.
    • Prior to considering the redemptive-historical purpose of the civil law, as it pertains to Galatians 3:13, it will be beneficial to consider the other purposes of the civil law given to Old Covenant Israel. God gave Israel civil law in general-and the death penalty specifically-to reflect His justice among the covenant people and the nations
    • The law always was, in and of itself, powerless to change the heart of the sinner
    • The limited restraining influence of the civil law served the redemptive-historical purposes of God. By its limited restraint, the nation could continue until the Redeemer came. In this sense, the civil law given to Israel was given to preserve the nation for the coming of the Redeemer; but it was also meant to prepare the nations for the Redeemer and His saving work through typological elements. The civil law, like the moral law was given to show men what they deserved for their sin, and set the stage for the punishment that Christ would endure in the place of His people. 
    • In the NT, the apostles apply case laws from the Old Testament spiritually to the life of the church precisely because of their understanding of the relationship between the law and the saving work of Christ
    • The typological nature of the civil law given to OT Israel finds it’s fullest expression in the execution of Christ at Calvary
    • While we may not have committed civil crimes by which we would incur the death penalty, we all deserve “the death penalty” from the Divine court for the sins that we have committed against the infinite and eternal God. If the punishment fits the crime, then the punishment for sin against an eternal God is eternal punishment
    • When Christ hung on the cross, He became a curse for us. The tree was a sign of God’s righteous judgment. In the case of Christ, the tree was a symbol of death. 
    • We live in exciting pedagogical times, and the arrival of many more options in distance learning via the Internet really is exciting — and promising. At the same time, people are still the same as they always were, and one of the things that people have always done with new technologies is draw false inferences. Sometimes the next big thing isn’t, as those with vintage 8-track collections might be able to tell you.

       

    • First adapters can be visionaries or idiots, and it is sometimes hard to tell
    • Jonathan Edwards explains the former: “Every vessel that is cast into this ocean of happiness is full, though there are some vessels far larger than others; and there shall be no such thing as envy in heaven, but perfect love shall reign throughout the whole society.” Could the parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11-27) imply that some believers will rule over more cites in the new heavens and earth? If so, this would mean that under our “great reward” (enjoying God himself) there are various roles and responsibilities. I am not certain this will be the case, but I see nothing inherently problematic in holding to this as a possibility.
      • Philosopher William Lane Craig shares the paradox of the Grand Hotel (a veridical paradox developed by mathematician David Hilbert in the 1920s):

         

         

        Craig uses illustrations like this to show that actual infinities are impossible, supporting the second premise of his version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument:

         

           

        1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
        2. The universe began to exist.
        3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
        4.  

             

            

         

    • <p>A full-length audio podcast in which Professor Edgar Andrews is interviewd by Julian Charles on his 1986 Huxley Memorial Debate with Richard Dawkins and on the scientific aqnd biblical issues arising from his book “Who made God? Searching for a theory of everything”. 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font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";<br/> mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;<br/> mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;<br/> mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";<br/> mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;<br/> mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;<br/> mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;<br/> mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";<br/> mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}<br/>&lt;/style><br/>&lt;p>&lt;![endif]–></p><br/><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; color: black;"><a rel="nofollow" href="http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/206-int-17"><span style="color: windowtext;">http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/206-int-17</span></a></span></p><br/><p class="MsoNormal"></p>
    • First, he and his colleagues studied all the retracted articles indexed by PubMed as of May 3, 2012. In all, there were 2,047 retracted papers, and according to their results, most of them were retracted because of some form of “misconduct.” Furthermore, the most likely form of misconduct was either fraud or suspected fraud. They also noted the following:1
    • students were the least likely to be the ones committing the fraud! Postdoctoral research fellows (those who have a PhD but do not have a faculty position) were more likely to commit fraud than the students, but the most likely people to commit fraud were the professors (those who held a faculty position
    • When a scientist views his or her work as a mission to learn more about the mind of God, I think the scientist will treat it with more reverence
    • While the fact itself is true—early Christians did read and use many writings not in the canon—the conclusions often drawn from this fact are often not.
    • It is important to note that while Christians often cited and used non-canonical literature, they only rarely cited them as Scripture.  For the most part, Christians were simply using these books as helpful, illuminating, or edifying writings
    • Another often overlooked factor is the relative degree of frequency between citations of New Testament books and citations of non-canonical books
    • In sum, Christians need to memorize this simple fact about the New Testament canon: early Christians used many other books besides those that made it into our Bibles.  But, this should not surprise us.  For, indeed, we still do the very same thing today even though we have a New Testament that has been settled for over 1600 years.

       

    • How should a pastor (and his wife) view his salary, knowing that it comes from the tithes of the church members? He should be thankful for the Lord’s provision that he is able to minister full-time and receive compensation. He should guard his heart from
       entitlement that comes from many working hours (some times, too many working hours). He should budget his money to show he is being a good steward. He should have reasonable expectations of what it means to provide for his family. He should be generous proportionate to his capacity.
    • When a man does that a congregation should appropriately support him so that he is not tempted unnecessarily towards bitterness and discontentment because of how poorly they support him.  When they support their pastor(s) so that he does not have be distracted by the provisions for his needs it ends up freeing him up to be more focused on pastoring his family and his people

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

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Posted by on 21/05/2013 in Current Issues

 

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