What I Read Online – 07/10/2013 (a.m.)

10 Jul
    • The fact that churches on different sides of the globe are so similar yet so different is what we should expect when the gospel is proclaimed in diverse places. There is a glorious, diverse sameness. And we should be satisfied with nothing less
    • The regulative principle is the conviction that everything we do in corporate worship must have warrant in Scripture, either by direct command or implication
    • Of course we should offer our entire lives as worship unto the Lord. But when we gather together as we’ve been commanded to, we should anchor ourselves in the elements God has given us in his Word. This isn’t a burden that restricts us, but a relief that frees us. We are freed to worship according to God’s means instead of human whim. This sameness unites us with churches all across the globe
    • The worship gatherings of the churches I’ve mentioned are very similar, yet very different. They faithfully obey God’s clear commands in Scripture to sing the word, pray the word, and preach the word. But as you can tell from my descriptions, they are far from identical—and I don’t think they should be. This diverse sameness is glorious! We should be praising God for it and praying for more of it.
    • My heart would be broken if I visited a church in China and the worship gathering looked exactly like my church’s in Washington, D.C. One of the glories of the gospel is that it penetrates all nations, tribes, tongues, and cultures. 
    • So why can we interpret a CAPTCHA when the most sophisticated automated system that exists today cannot? Because our brains can process visual stimuli so that the information is both selective and invariant. Right now, the best of human technology cannot match such a feat. Of course, as we learn more about how the brain produces both selectivity and invariance, our automated systems will become better, because the designers of the automated systems will be able to copy (in a crude way) the design of the Ultimate Engineer.
    • Presuppositional apologetics, I would argue, is the most misunderstood way of thinking about apologetics.
    • Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous, yet even the man which in himself is impious, full of iniquity, full of sin; him being found in Christ through faith, and having his sin in hatred through repentance; him God beholdeth with a gracious eye; putteth away his sin by not imputing it; taketh quite away the punishment due thereunto, by pardoning it; and accepteth him in Jesus Christ, as perfectly righteous, as if he had fulfilled all that is commanded him in the law: shall I say more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole law? I must take heed what I say: but the Apostle saith , “God made him which knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God himself. Let it be counted folly, or phrensy, or fury, or whatsoever. It is our wisdom, and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, That man hath sinned, and God hath suffered; that God hath made himself the sin of men, and that men are made the righteousness of God. (ibid., 6)
    • As we have seen, we are all sinful waiting creatures. We don’t know everything, we are in an ‘in-between’ time where things are incomplete, and we can often be sinful and/or prideful which just compounds things
    • If you are in the midst of doubt, please do talk to someone
    • Doubt is a bit like that, it is something we should be looking to work through, not wallow in.
    • Look into your questions! Sometimes doubt has a big hold on us simply because we haven’t done the hard work of thinking through our faith. Because Christians have been doubting for a long time now, it is extremely likely your questions (or very similar ones) have been worried about before
    • [M]ost natural communicators—whether scripted or not—tend to do most of these things by instinct.


    • This means that if we think about people according to the Bible, we won’t be Gnostics or behaviorists. We’ll believe that both the body and the soul are good, and be willing to do effective ministry to both
    • This is not an obscure observation. The Journal of the American Medical Association, to cite just one source, released a study showing that the actual pharmacological benefit of antidepressant medications for most people is basically non-existent and often worse than a placebo. This means that what happens when you take psychiatric medication to help with sorrow is very different than what happens when you take insulin to help with diabetes. Whereas insulin conveys a physical and medical benefit, psychiatric meds typically work—when they work at all—because we want them to work
    • We need to be honest about what we know and what we don’t know. Most Christians who write about mental illness and psychiatric medications know far less about the science behind such things than the experts who deal with them every day. Our role as counseling instructors is to teach those paying attention to us about the complex nature of issues at the intersection of body and soul, and to be humble when their knowledge about these complexities is at an end
    • Unhappily, even in the church we seem to have lost the vision of the majesty of God. There is much shallowness and levity among us. Prophets and psalmists would probably say of us that ‘there is no fear of God before their eyes’. In public worship our habit is to slouch or squat; we do not kneel nowadays, let alone prostrate ourselves in humility before God. It is more characteristic of us to clap our hands with joy than to blush with shame or tears. We saunter up to God to claim his patronage and friendship; it does not occur to us that he might send us away.

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

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Posted by on 10/07/2013 in Current Issues


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