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What I Read Online – 07/03/2013 (a.m.)

03 Jul
    • The Mens Christian Convention is run annually in Christchurch by the Gospel Training Trust. Its aim is to support local churches across the South Island of Aotearoa by encouraging and equipping men to live wholeheartedly for Jesus in every sphere of life. We set about doing this by providing world class Bible teaching, great music, and the fellowship of meeting together as brothers in Christ.
    • Finally, there is the view of Genesis 1 as mere myth, of a piece with other ANE mythic literature.  Mohler rightly dismisses the last as inconsistent with an evangelical doctrine of Scripture
    • Out of these 20 questions, Davis wasn’t asked once to explain the difference between infanticide and late-term abortions.

       

      Precisely one question (credit to David Gregory) dealt with the substance of the bill. Gregory prodded Davis to explain why the 20-week ban isn’t “reasonable” and “acceptable,” but he didn’t follow up when Davis’s answer made no sense.

    • Max McLean encourages Christians in the arts to integrate their faith in every step they take. “Make your faith the source of your art,” he says.
    • One can assume I am also not the only woman in America who is really tiring of the Wendys of the world claiming to represent “women’s rights” in their quest to mainstream a medical procedure—elective late-term abortion—that most of the civilized world finds barbaric and abhorrent. In many European countries, you can’t get an abortion past 12 weeks, except in narrow circumstances. Gallup reported in January that 80 percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal in the third trimester, and 64 percent think it should be illegal in the second trimester.
    • Following Jesus is about knowing him. It’s about enjoying the only one who can satisfy every longing of our hearts. We don’t follow him for what he gives us. We follow him because of the greatness of who he is. In the end, discipleship is not truly risky. We are giving up that which will never satisfy for the One who is our satisfaction!
    • the most important question we must ask ourselves with social media is “Why?”
    • Unless you are intentional, social media can devour your days and ultimately your ministry. Keep asking yourself “Why?” and so much else will fall into the right place and proportion.
    • Omit needless words, and be clear
    • Nominalizations are nouns that derive from verbs. Try to use verbs instead of the related nouns when possible
    • In general, use the active voice rather than the passive voice. There are exceptions when the passive voice is better, but it should be the salt and pepper of a meal, not the steak.
    • Spurgeon was concerned about the emphasis of telling children to love Jesus rather than trust Jesus.
    • Trust is more concretely demonstrable for children than love. A little child can be told to jump from the fourth step and daddy will catch him.
    • Emphasizing a child’s duty to love Jesus more than emphasizing the need to trust him may cause a distortion of love into a set of deeds
    • On the other hand, sooner or later, we will need to help our children realize that saving trust in Jesus has love for Jesus in it. And true love for Jesus has trust in Jesus in it.
    • [One can’t help but think of the absurd number of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic visions at the box office this summer. Pop culture may be a relatively innocuous gauge, but clearly our collective imagination–American and otherwise–has taken a dark and dire turn of late.]
    • But suicide is not an economic problem or a generational tic. It’s not a secondary concern, a sideline that will solve itself with new jobs, less access to guns, or a more tolerant society, although all would be welcome. It’s a problem with a broad base and terrible momentum, a result of seismic changes in the way we live and a corresponding shift in the way we die—not only in America but around the world.
    • Every year since 1999, more Americans have killed themselves than the year before, making suicide the nation’s greatest untamed cause of death. In much of the world, it’s among the only major threats to get significantly worse in this century than in the last.
    • The result is an accelerating paradox. Over the last five decades, millions of lives have been remade for the better. Yet within this brighter tomorrow, we suffer unprecedented despair
    • an almost 20 percent rise in the annual suicide rate, a 30 percent jump in the sheer number of people who died, at least 400,000 casualties in a decade—about the same toll as World War II and Korea combined.
    • The fact is, self-harm has become a worldwide concern
    • Throughout the developed world, for example, self-harm is now the leading cause of death for people 15 to 49, surpassing all cancers and heart disease.
    • Around the world, in 2010 self-harm took more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, stealing more than 36 million years of healthy life across all ages. In more advanced countries, only three diseases on the planet do more harm.
    • the suicide rate has declined among teens and people in their early 20s, and it’s also down or stable for the elderly. Almost the entire rise—as both the new CDC and GBD numbers show—is driven by changes in a single band of people, a demographic once living a happy life atop the human ziggurat: men and women 45 to 64, essentially baby boomers and their international peers in the developed world.
    • With people relinquishing life at its supposed peak, what does that say about the prize itself? What’s gone so rotten in the modern world?
    • Sociologists in general believe that when society robs people of self-control, individual dignity, or a connection to something larger than themselves, suicide rates rise.
    • On the contrary, suicide’s Venn diagram is composed of circles we all routinely step in, or near, never realizing we are in the deadly center until it’s too late. Joiner’s conditions of suicide are the conditions of everyday life.
    • Maybe Facebook is not “making us lonely,” as Stephen Marche argued in an Atlantic cover story last spring. But Facebook doesn’t help. “The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are,” John Cacioppo, a professor at the University of Chicago and the world’s foremost expert on loneliness, told Marche. The opposite is also true: more face time, less loneliness.
    • But then again so is everyone. The trends in suicide in both America and abroad are mirrored by devastating changes in behavior and mental health. In the last two decades, for example, there’s been a 37 percent increase in the years of life lost to clinical depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, and other disorders of the mind, according to the batch of previously unpublished GBD data provided to Newsweek. As a group, these disorders are the leading cause of disability in the world, vexing developing countries in particular, and the United States most of all. In the land that commercialized positive thinking and put pill bottles in every drawer, depression has emerged as the most debilitating condition we face.
    • But Joiner believes there may be a side door to fearlessness: exposure to violence in media. Remember this debate? Well, it’s basically over. “The strength of the association between media violence and aggressive behavior,” the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded in 2009, “is greater than the association between calcium intake and bone mass, lead ingestion and lower IQ, and condom nonuse and sexually acquired HIV infection, and is nearly as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.” In one of the studies reviewed, a social psychologist showed students pictures of a man shoving a gun down another man’s throat, among other images. The people who had been exposed to more violent media didn’t respond. They were numb.
    • self-harm is now the leading cause of death for people 15 to 49, surpassing all cancers and heart disease.”
    • the church has more to contribute here than just community (though embodied grace does go a long way). We can talk about hope that is rooted outside of us and our instincts, beyond prizes and striving and all that–hope that acknowledges the depth of human suffering, self-inflicted and otherwise, yet doesn’t end there. Then again, it feels pretty callous to use these numbers to prove some theological point. Perhaps it is enough simply to ruminate on the clear-as-day reality that what we think brings us happiness and what actually brings us happiness are two very separate things.”
    • Carson’s caution about the “minimalist expectation” of Christ and culture does not demonize Christians who attempt to merge the gospel and the arts; instead, he gently reminds them that all study must be subordinate to the lordship of Christ. In fact, he acknowledges that “doing good to the city . . . is part of our responsibility as God’s redeemed people in this time of tension between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet'” (218).
    • We abstain from figuring out ways to fix or “redeem” contemporary art but instead accept it. Likewise, we don’t ignore the art world but instead pursue Christ within it so that others might come to know him through the relationships we build with members of that community.
    • Therefore, we make art well by the standards that have been set forth in academia, art history, and the art world
    • We stop avoiding contemporary art out of suspicion or fear. If creation and general revelation reflect the Creator, then there is merit—somehow—to contemporary art, even if not easily ascertainable
    • We, as Christian intellectuals, must teach and discuss art within secular art institutions while reflecting the gospel in our lives as we proclaim the good news
    • In a vital way, nothing changes. Jesus is still our living Lord. As Russell Moore has said, the gospel doesn’t need family values to flourish: “Real faith often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it. That’s why the gospel rocketed out of the first-century from places such as Ephesus and Philippi and Corinth and Rome.”
    • The recent decisions of the Supreme Court in no way restrict our freedom to marry, have children, and love each other. If anything, recent decisions should prompt us to rededicate ourselves to Christ-like love in marriage
    • First, we should tend our marriages, steadily regarding our spouse as God’s great gift (Prov. 19:14).

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

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Posted by on 03/07/2013 in Current Issues

 

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