What I Read Online – 08/01/2013 (p.m.)

02 Aug
    • The bottom line — children with a fixed and consistent bedtime performed better on tests of cognitive abilit
    • So, if you needed scientific research to validate your instinct about bedtime, now you have it. Sorry kids, bedtime matters. Handled rightly by a Christian parent, it matters even more than secular researchers can understand.


    • Showing that inconsistency has persuasive value (given that all people know God and unbelievers suppress that truth) and constitutes an argument against it
    • This points to the fact that it’s not possible to be consistent, biblically and theologically, as an Arminian
    • So can an Arminian employ a covenantal apologetic? If he’s consistent with his theology, the answer is no. Why would he want to when he has already granted such a large swath of (presumed) autonomy to himself and his interlocutors? Given such autonomy, one cannot stand on the monergistic power of the gospel to change people; that has to happen via the initiative of the unbeliever
    • We’re not called to make theists out of people,” you’ve remarked. “Theists go to hell.”
    • This universal knowledge of the true God is the epistemological foundation of unbelief
    • By definition, a foundation is that which one cannot get “beneath” or “behind.” Therefore, the proof of a foundation’s existence and authority stems from that foundation—and thus cannot lie behind it. If its proof were behind it, then that proof would be the foundation’s foundation, and on it goes.
    • Inherit the Wind was an anti-anti-communist play
    • The trial was a publicity stunt
    • Scopes wasn’t a martyr–he was a co-conspirator
    • Darrow wasn’t the first choice
    • Bryan wasn’t the lead prosecutor – and he knew the defendant
    • The prosecution’s “Bible expert” believed in the day-age theory
    • 7. Teaching evolution . . . and eugenics — The biology book that was used by Scopes was George William Hunter’s Civic Biology. Although a standard biology text, it included the author’s championing of eugenics and white supremacy, his contempt for people with disabilities, and his dislike of charity for the “inferior.”


    • The defense wanted to lose the case
    • The ruling was reversed, but no one wanted to retry the case
    • One of the key mistakes of young preachers (and a mistake I still make!) is to take all that they have learned during their sermon prep and to put it in their sermon
    • Put simply, preachers need to make a distinction between mining and sifting.  Mining is the hardcore research that draws the raw material of a passage together. Sifting is the hard work of picking the jewels out of that material that are needed by your congregation. We do mining because we are textually-oriented. We do sifting because we are people-oriented. Good preachers do both. 
    • Engaging Japan with the Gospel: An Interview with Michael Oh
    • The mission of CBI Japan is to ENGAGE Japanese society with the gospel, EQUIP leaders in the gospel to reach Japan, and EXPAND the kingdom of God through planting gospel-centered churches
    • Historically speaking, we are talking about a nation with the longest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world, with a centuries-long global isolation, and its entire population residing mainly on one island. Change does not and will not occur easily
    • The dominant chord that ties all the practical admonitions of Ephesians 4–5 together is the self-sacrificial nature of authentic, Christlike love
    • Are Christians in positions of authority exempt from the command to value others more highly than self? By no means
    • Here’s a simple guideline: When there is an opportunity to render service or give honor, the godly person will defer to others. Those who would lead should act as servants
    • Because of our foundational beliefs in the reality of sin, Satan, and human depravity, we should understand well why people in positions of authority are easily corrupted. In fact, the more thoroughly we understand the biblical doctrine of sin, the stronger our commitment will be to genuine leadership accountability.


    • The church elders should model for the entire church the one-another commands, including admonishing and exhorting one another. To hold one another accountable for sin is Christlike love in practice. To fail to admonish one another demonstrates not love but cowardice and selfishness.


    • Godly leaders recognize that they may be misguided or in error, so they welcome constructive criticism and correction
    • From the time of the Reformers, in order to distinguish between a true church and a false church, theologians have described three “marks” of the church: the proper preaching of the Word of God, the proper administration of the sacraments, and the proper administration of church discipline.
    • Discipline is not a “final straw” where judgment is pronounced. Biblical church discipline is a culture of accountability, growth, forgiveness, and grace that should permeate our churches. Each member of a church has a responsibility to help others as they struggle with sin—not through judgment and criticism, but rather with gentleness and an eye toward restoration, knowing that he too is subject to temptation (Gal. 6:1). Matthew 18 does not describe some kind of alternative to litigation; it is a primer on how we lovingly engage one another, patiently exhausting lesser steps (for example, going in person) before moving to greater ones (for example, taking it to the church)
    • First, church discipline exists to reclaim the sinner to the church, and ultimately, to the Lord
    • Second, discipline is necessary to maintain the purity of the church and its witness before a watching world
    • Finally and most importantly, church discipline is done for the glory of God
    • But God doesn’t discipline us “as seems best”; rather, He “disciplines us for our good” in order that “we may share his holiness.” There’s no question here as to whether God knows what He is doing.
    • We must not miss this pivotal point. The Hebrew Christians are urged to be “trained” by their sufferings. In other words, if the discipline is to have its desired effect, they are not merely to endure what they suffer. They must be “trained” by their suffering
    • Growth in personal holiness is largely determined by our progress in self-discipline. Without this foundational discipline, there can be no advancement in grace. Before other disciplines can be administered, whether in the home, business, or church, there first must be self-discipline.


    • The opposite of self-discipline is a self-indulgent lifestyle that produces “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21). Any lack of self-control will inevitably result in sinful deeds. But where self-mastery exists, there is a strong resistance to sensual appetites and sinful choices. Self-rule brings every thought, word, and deed captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Any advance in personal holiness demands self-control.
    • This mindless mantra is found in today’s self-help movement and prosperity gospel, chanting, “What the mind can conceive, the will can accomplish.” The ability of self-discipline, they claim, is within us
    • This syncretistic approach assumes that man has some ability to save and sanctify himself. A person must supply his willpower in partnership with God. In this joint venture, God and man are co-contributors to self-discipline. God gives a measure of grace, but man supplies the rest.
    • Every Christian is responsible to pursue holiness, yet God must work within us to produce personal godliness (Phil. 2:13– 14). Augustinian teaching rightly understands that only God can produce authentic self-discipline in the believer.
    • Paul urges, “Train yourself for godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). To pursue holiness, a believer must hear biblical preaching and teaching, and participate in corporate worship, the Lord’s Supper, Bible reading, meditation, prayer, and fellowship. Further, he must deny many legitimate pleasures if he is to win the prize
    • Believers have liberty in Christ to pursue what is not forbidden in Scripture. But we cannot afford for anything to gain mastery over us. Victory always comes at a price. The Christian life is no different.


    • Discipline is activity that takes place in the “moment” but always for the sake of “later.”
    • Scripture places the responsibility of disciplining children squarely on the shoulders of parents, especially fathers
    • The job of raising children does not belong directly to the school, society, church or the youth group. It belongs to parents
    • The use of such discipline is not child abuse. It has nothing to do with angerinduced violence. Such mistreatment of children is abhorrent and should be repudiated by everyone who has even a modicum of common sense and decency. Biblical discipline and child abuse are two completely different species. The latter, if carried to its logical extreme, results in death, yet biblical discipline that employs a rod (or paddle) to administer a measure of discomfort is nowhere on that continuum. The child who experiences the kind of discipline the Bible promotes “will not die” as a result.
    • God has given a significant safeguard to prevent the discipline he commends from ever degenerating into abuse, namely, the use of the second tool—instruction. Parents are teachers and the instruction that they are to give their children requires talking. Lots of talking. The whole book of Proverbs is an example of how parents ought to regularly be teaching their children the wisdom of God through the various experiences and situations—both good and bad—that life offers.

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

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Posted by on 02/08/2013 in Current Issues


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