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What I Read Online – 06/07/2013 (a.m.)

07 Jun
    • Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre   for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to   believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world   was created with a purpose.
    • “If we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think   they would believe in God.”
    • The Attributes of God MP3 Series) by Wayne Grudem

       

       

       

       

      profile.jpgThe following series on the attributes of God is drawn from his 116-part Systematic Theology MP3 series given in Scottsdale Arizona.

    • William Tyndale’s New Testament
    • How do we sift through all these claims? How do people know what to think about relationships, morality, God, the origins of the universe, and many other important questions? To answer such questions, people need some sort of norm, standard, or criteria to which they can appeal. In other words, we need an ultimate authority. Of course, everyone has some sort of ultimate norm to which they appeal, whether or not they are aware of what their norm happens to be. Some people appeal to reason and logic to adjudicate competing truth claims. Others appeal to sense experience. Still others refer to themselves and their own subjective sense of things. Although there is some truth in each of these approaches, Christians have historically rejected all of them as the ultimate standard for knowledge. Instead, God’s people have universally affirmed that there is only one thing that can legitimately function as the supreme standard: God’s Word. There can be no higher authority than God Himself.
    • This conviction of sola Scriptura— the Scriptures alone are the Word of God and, therefore, the only infallible rule for life and doctrine—provided the fuel needed to ignite the Reformation.
    • They misunderstand sola Scriptura to mean that the Bible is the only authority rather than understanding it to mean that the Bible is the only infallible authority. Ironically, such an individualistic approach actually undercuts the very doctrine of sola Scriptura it is intended to protect. By emphasizing the autonomy of the individual believer, one is left with only private, subjective conclusions about what Scripture means. It is not so much the authority of Scripture that is prized as the authority of the individual.
    • The Reformers would not have recognized such a distortion as their doctrine of sola Scriptura. On the contrary, they were quite keen to rely on the church fathers, church councils, and the creeds and confessions of the church. Such historical rootedness was viewed not only as a means for maintaining orthodoxy but also as a means for maintaining humility. Contrary to popular perceptions, the Reformers did not view themselves as coming up with something new. Rather, they understood themselves to be recovering something very old—something that the church had originally believed but later twisted and distorted. The Reformers were not innovators but were excavators.
    • In order to lead the church back to sola Scriptura, we must realize that we cannot do so only by teaching about the doctrine itself (although we must do this). Instead, the primary way we lead the church back is by actually preaching the Scriptures.
    • The Word of God is of supreme importance in the life of the Christian, containing as it does God’s revelation of his Person, his will and his ways.
    • That said, the astounding observation has been made as to how little use is made of Scripture in the worship services of most evangelical churches. The irony of course is that those who claim most strongly to stand on the Bible have so little of it in their worship.
    • The Word of God helps to bring us to the point where our approach to God in worship is possible
    • God has done everything to make our approach in worship possible, and in his Word he extends the invitation (yea, command) to draw near
    • The fact of the matter is that every aspect of the service should serve to reflect and honor the Word of God
    • The Word as the Material for Worship
    • Worship must be guided and channeled by truth
    • Preaching is part of worship, and leads to worship
    • The Word should rightly be exalted in our worship (because it is the Word of God), but not as an end in itself.
    • Once you see that, you see the bankruptcy of evidentialism as an apologetic. You see that granting that assumption is the whole game. You see that ultimately the only sufficient response can be, “But I don’t assume that. And since you have no transcendent reason for doing so, I call you instead to assume that God’s word is sufficient and compelling, that God alone is sufficient judge, and that Jesus was the truth, is the truth, and spoke the truth, and that He is alive and coming as Judge of the living and the dead.  Assume that, and…”
    • One of our most precious pursuits, that of a life-long partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and Facebook pokes, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. It’s wrong
    • When people in the world are expecting less and less of each other in dating, God isn’t — so among the single we have to work harder in our not-yet married relationships to preserve what marriage ought to picture and provide.

        

    • If Christian dating, the intentional, selfless, and prayerful process of pursuing marriage, sounds like slavery, we don’t get it. If low-commitment sexual promiscuity sounds like freedom, we don’t get it. Jesus may ask more of us, but he does so to secure and increase our greatest and longest-lasting (sexual) happiness.

        

    • There is a reason the Bible doesn’t have a book devoted to how to choose a spouse. It was not an oversight on the part of the God of all history, as if he couldn’t see into the 21st century. The qualifications are wonderfully clear and simple: 1) they must believe your God (2 Corinthians 6:14) and 2) they must be of the opposite sex (Genesis 2:23–24; Matthew 19:4–6; Ephesians 5:24–32).
    • That said, many of us need to be reminded that God’s perfect person for me isn’t all that perfect. Every person who marries is a sinner, so the search for a spouse isn’t a pursuit of perfection, but a mutually flawed pursuit of Jesus
    • Many will try to deny that, but the divorce statistics are enough to establish that marriage asks more of you than most could have ever imagined on their wedding day. Most of my married friends would say that what seems fun and pretty and unbreakable at the altar did not feel as clean or easy even days into their lives together. It’s still intensely good and beautiful, but it’s costly, too costly for small aims.
    • While the great prize in marriage is Christ-centered intimacy, the great prize in dating is Christ-centered clarity. Intimacy is safest in the context of marriage, and marriage is safest in the context of clarity. The purpose of our dating is determining whether the two of us should get married, so we should focus our effort there
    • This is a throwback to a previous post. The idea is to look for love in the right places. Focus on the harvest, and you’re bound to find a helper. Instead of making it your mission to get married, make your mission God’s global cause and the advance of the gospel where you are, and look for someone pursuing the same. If you’re hoping to marry someone who passionately loves Jesus and makes him known, it’s probably best to put yourself in a community of people committed to that.
    • “He told me he loved me.” “She said she would never leave.” They’re the seemingly priceless sentences that don’t always cash. They’re often said with good intentions, but without the ring — and without a ring, the results can be devastating. Guard your heart and imagination from running out ahead of your current commitment.

        

    • Some of our best friends in the battle will be the boundaries we set to keep us pure
    • If we’re honest, we much more often like to error by wading into love too far rather than waiting too long to take the next step. You will be hard-pressed, though, to find a couple regretting the boundaries they made in dating, while you will very easily find those that wish they would have made more. As followers of Christ, we really ought to be the most careful and vigilant.
    • Dating is a matter of doing your best to discern a person’s ability to fulfill God’s vision and purpose for marriage with you
    • No, I am not encouraging you to date not-yet believing men or women. When I say missionary dating, I mean dating that displays and promotes faith in Jesus and his good news, a dating that is in step with the gospel before the watching world. I want us to win disciples by dating radically, by confronting the world’s paradigms and pleasure-seeking with sacrifice, selflessness, and intentionality.

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

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Posted by on 07/06/2013 in Current Issues

 

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