What I Read Online – 08/22/2013 (a.m.)

22 Aug
    • NB: This is a parody, there is no “Maximus the Cantankerous,” and I never went anywhere with the CSNTM team (I should be so lucky!). I have to add this caveat because many people (usually American) often take my humor too seriously. And apologies to Matt Barrett who raises a genuine issue about the theology of Bible media in the church
    • We tend to give less to our churches, and are more likely to criticize our church’s spending habits.  So we might do well to appreciate how our consumerism—even the consumerism that masquerades as activism—can inflect our rhetoric about justice and generosity, causing it to ring hollow in the ears of an older and thriftier generation that gives a good deal more money than we do. 
    • While affirming the place of charitable giving to the poor and to para-church organizations, the evangelical left tends to be much more optimistic about the efficacy of government interventions.
    • We have to oppose the tendencies of older conservatives to dismiss the younger liberals as naïve or foolish, as well as those of the younger to denigrate the older as recalcitrant or sold-out. Are these caricatures ever partially true? Sure, in some cases. Is there more to the story than this lampoonery reflects? Absolutely.  If occasionally naïve, young liberals are also hopeful and idealistic; if occasionally stuck in a rut, the older conservatives are also prudent and experienced.  Hope and prudence are both Christian virtues.
    • The drop reverses an increase from 56 suicides in the 15 to 19 age group in 2010-11 to 80 in 2011-12, up from an average of 55 a year over the previous four years.
    • Where to get help

      Youth services: (06) 3555 906

      Youthline: 0800 376 633

      Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (4pm to 6pm weekdays)

      Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight)

      The Word

      Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (24-hour service)

      Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

      CASPER Suicide Prevention

      If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

    • That’s kind of what it feels like to be interviewed for the first time by Carl Trueman. The questions are more intelligent than my answers. I want to encourage ordinary people to be good theologians, but when I was set up even with the easy questions, my mind pretty much wiped clean.
    • It is indeed a sin to remain silent in a time of trouble
    • The sheer weightlessness of much contemporary preaching is a severe indictment of our superficial Christianity. When the pulpit ministry lacks substance, the church is severed from the word of God, and its health and faithfulness are immediately diminished
    • Expository preaching is that mode of Christian preaching that takes as its central purpose the presentation and application of the text of the Bible. All other issues and concerns are subordinated to the central task of presenting the biblical text. As the word of God, the text of Scripture has the right to establish both the substance and the structure of the sermon. Genuine exposition takes place when the preacher sets forth the meaning and message of the biblical text and makes clear how the word of God establishes the identity and worldview of the church as the people of God.
    • First, be creative. To meet more unbelievers, you’ve got to be willing to think outside the box
    • Second, be consistent. Are you willing to forsake variety and eat at the same restaurant over and over again in order to get to know its staff?
    • Third, be conscious. We need to pray for awareness of the lost that surround us
    • Fourth, be collaborative. Find ways to participate in the evangelism your congregation is already doing in the workplace and the community
    • The pastor’s unique calling and schedule certainly make this challenging, though we should also admit that often our own laziness and selfishness keep us from evangelism more than tricky circumstances.
    • In mentoring, this can happen when my idol of being needed replaces Jesus as what I am worshiping and serving in our relationship.
    • The authors of the Bible recognize that people need illustrations
    • Illustrations show your church the significance of your sermon
    • Illustrations make your church want to act on your sermon
    • It’s amazing how often people think they are giving the Christian message or have heard the gospel and yet there is nothing about sin and repentance.
    • There are more students compulsively looking at pornography at younger ages and with greater frequency than ever before.
    • In almost all of the stories I heard, this is how someone was first exposed to pornography – Google Image searching. The average age of first exposure in my experience was 9 years old.
    • While a child can look at pornography without being abused, children who have been molested by and large look at pornography and act out sexually. 
    • After speaking with a youth pastor at a camp, he said most parents live with the belief their child is the exception. Your child is not
    • The Cassini space probe that is currently in orbit around Saturn recently had a chance to photograph the earth. It appears as the tiny blue dot pointed out in the photo above. Please click on the photo to get the full-sized version. It really is magnificent. At the time the photo was taken, the earth was 898 million miles away from the Cassini space probe. Nevertheless, it appears as a vivid blue dot on a mostly dark background. In addition, if you “zoom” in close enough, you can actually see the moon orbiting the earth:
    • Fourth, that said, I will admit that dispensationalists have not all done the job we should of stressing the unity of Scripture, the vast degree of continuity, the oneness of the redemptive story. While I’ll opine that CTAs have erred in hammering flat some of the many distinctive developments in God’s plan (past and future) to suit their views of unity, I will also confess that, in reaction, we dispensationalists have sometimes overstressed the distinctives. We may sometimes be guilty of giving our folks a view of the Bible as a series of disconnected episodes rather than an overarching narrative. It’s an area in which I’ve grown myself over the years. I think that’s a fault of individuals, though, not of the system.
    • The Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry is published semiannually by the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, which is a research institute of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The BCTM exists to provide theological and ministerial resources to enrich and energize ministry in Baptist churches. Click here to visit the BCTM website.
    • Todd and Carl interview Aimee Byrd in an attempt to answer the question: can anything good really come out of West Virginia? Mrs. Byrd is the popular blogger, now published author and self-identified “Housewife Theologian.” If you’re picturing a woman – pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen – pouring over commentaries and studying Greek while mixing up a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies, you’re probably only slightly stereotyping. Aimee herself admits to being quite ordinary. In fact, she believes that everyone is a theologian and that doctrine is a very real part of everyday life. If you’re as important as Carl, then you already have a copy of her pre-released book. But in case you aren’t, you better listen in to this episode of The Mortification of Spin

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

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Posted by on 22/08/2013 in Current Issues


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