What I Read Online – 05/28/2013 (a.m.)

28 May
    • The book has been widely-praised and has received hundreds of positive reviews, but surely people have simply failed to understand that Batterson has committed a grave error. He begins with Honi, an character who appears in books that are not (and have never been) regarded as inspired by God. He takes Honi as an authentic character who performed an authentic, God-ordained miracle indistinguishable from the characters and miracles of the Bible, and then reads what he learned from Honi back into the Bible. Rather than interpreting Honi through the lens of Scripture, he interprets Scripture through Honi so that from drawing circles he inevitably moves to marching circles and goes to Jericho, asking questions like “What is your Jericho? What promise are you praying around? What miracle are you marching around? What dream does your life revolve around?” He even reads Honi back into church history, looking to Christians of days past and saying that they were drawing Honi-like prayer circles.
    • I ask that everyone who reads this policy to pray regularly for the protection of children. We know this is very near the heart of God (Matt. 18:6) and our discomfort with the subject should not rob these children of our prayers.


      Policy in PDF Form: Response Plan for Sexual Abuse Against a Minor at XYZ Church



    • Some days I’m glad that the Bible speaks so honestly about suffering.
    • To be sure, as grateful as I am to the Rev. Stanley for the offer to pastor my children and for providing me with fascinating insights into the philosophical convictions my long-suffering wife, I cannot help but see this as a remarkably naïve piece of muddled thinking.
    • And that is ultimately the saddest aspect of the Andy Stanleys of this world. It is not their patronizing attitude to others. It is not their arrogant assumption that they represent the culture or that they have the right to tell the rest of us how we should think. It is not the sloppy way they bandy words like ‘culture’ and even ‘happiness’ around without ever offering a definition of what they think they mean. It is not their crass prioritization of raw numbers. It is not their complete lack of imagination regarding the moral possibilities of ‘culture.’ Rather, it is the fact that what they confidently present as radical insights are really nothing but lazy, insipid, prosaic, and predictable capitulations to the values of the spirit of the age. In short, they are simply dressing up their society’s tastes as absolute truth. Unimaginative, respectable, lazy and lethal. The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, is it not?
    • Purity is not just or primarily about avoiding certain things – although it does involve that – but is at heart the pursuit of something
    • Christian sexual ethics takes for its principle something much greater than us, and is framed and ordered by realities that transcend us: God, creation, human nature, the body of Christ, the eschatological kingdom
    • Further, as we have not attained to the full level of maturity in Christ, the form of Christian ethic has not yet been internalized, which means that it can still come to us as an external command. While the ethical instruction and direction that we provide to children and teenagers have deeper integrating rationales, they are often not yet able to grasp this. This doesn’t make the ethic any less integrated. It just means that the integration of the ethic hasn’t yet been subjectively apprehended. Of course, we labour towards that end, but in the meantime, the moral imperative of ethical commands as yet not fully subjectively integrated is still present.
    • This is important when it comes to the question of a purity ethic, which will often have to be addressed to people who do not yet truly grasp its integrating principles. We want teenagers to understand why it is wrong for them to engage in sexual intercourse outside of marriage, and why it is important to comport and clothe themselves in a non-sexualized manner, but the fact that many do not yet appreciate why does not negate the ethical coordinates of the situation. In our laudable desire to communicate the integrating rationale of Christian sexual ethics, we should not neglect the objective force of those ethics. This may take the form of telling teenagers that certain actions are wrong and forbidding them to engage in them, even when they do not yet understand why.
    • While it is important to criticize the unchristian abuses of the purity culture, we must do so precisely because they are un-Christian, not because they don’t square with the convictions and ideologies of modern liberalism and the feminist movement. We must recognize that sexual ethics in Scripture are not primarily about feeling good about and self-realized in our bodies, but that sexual behaviour has profoundly personal implications, relating to us as selves and divine image-bearers, not merely as those with a duty to nourish and care for our own flesh. The reframing of purity ethics in terms of some self-oriented liberal ethic of the depersonalized and autonomous body, where sexual behaviour ceases to impact upon our very selves, is a development we should firmly resist.


    • First, the Northampton pastor was a breathtakingly imaginative thinker, by which I do not mean “harmfully extra-textual” as it might sound (though he did love creativity), but rather that Edwards was able to capture biblical teaching in all its glory and nuance and breadth
    • Second, Edwards consistently pointed up the power of God in Christ
    • Third, it is positively breathtaking how swiftly Edwards, especially in his sermons, can travel from the farthest reaches of the theological cosmos to the day-to-day life of the sin-fighting Christian. The application sections of the pastor’s sermons are regularly remarkable

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

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Posted by on 28/05/2013 in Current Issues


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