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What I Read Online – 09/06/2013 (a.m.)

06 Sep
    • In what he described as “an act of public service,” Prime Minister John Key last night ate a roasted specimen of New Zealand’s national symbol live on Parliament TV.
    • “Pesky Calvinists,” the sort who frequent the Passion Conference and The Gospel Coalition, prompt Scot McKnight’s e-book A Long Faithfulness: The Case for Christian Perseverance. Concerned with their core doctrinal belief—what he calls the “meticulous sovereignty view”—McKnight aims to sever the nerve that energizes resurgent Calvinism’s teaching that God determines everything, including “who gets saved.”
    • Calvinists ought to heed McKnight’s pastoral concern about turning divine election into a cause célèbre. Lamentably, headiness and reduction of Calvinism to logical syllogisms around the “five points” allures many fresh devotees for whom zeal tends to exceed understanding and wisdom. Too easily, advocates—especially novices—exaggerate divine election disproportionate to its proper biblical-theological magnitude, place, and function. Such a view turns God’s unconditional election and foreordination of all things into a systematic-theological boilerplate for preemptively assigning causation of natural disasters to God’s inscrutable purposes—even while people are perishing. Wisdom calls for judicious, timely, and pastoral appeal to God’s sovereignty as divine consolation, not as a cudgel of logic—particularly in the wake of calamity.
    • McKnight’s e-book is accessible in price, content, and form. My disagreements dont restrain me from encouraging wide readership, for McKnight is right when he affirms: “For the classical Calvinist and the Arminian—and I know this may sound like a bundle of hooey to many—there is precious little difference when it comes to the necessity of perseverance. Both believe that perseverance is necessary” (847-849). Amen!
    • While it’s set in the Bible’s storyline, the New World Gospel Presentation is so user-friendly that it is simply not Christian enough. I would imagine that Roman Catholics and even Mormons could use this material within their doctrinal framework without violating their convictions. While helpful in some points, the New World Gospel Presentation simply lacks the main ingredients of the gospel. I would not recommend this program for use in your church.
    • Have I understood him correctly?
    • Have I given this enough time?
    • Have I prayed about this?
    • Is this just personal preference or biblical principle?
    • Have I thought about the best time and way to communicate?
    • Am I doing this out of the right motive?
    • Am I focused or just spraying pellets?
    • Have I considered the possibility that I may be one of many others doing the same?
    • Am I prepared to listen to his explanation and concede I was wrong?
    • Is it in the context of previously expressed appreciation?
    • What sounds jarring to our 21st century ears is Hodge’s emphasis on theology as science. If I were writing a systematic theology, would I introduce “science” as my all-encompassing metaphor? Probably not. But in a hundred years will Christian theologians compare their theological approach to drama or dance or jazz or mystery? Doubtful. Will people look back at our day and wonder if our fascination with entertainment and stories  overly influenced our theological method? They may. And they may be right, just like we are right to wonder if Hodge went too far to emphasize theology as science.
    • The Bible, for Hodge, was not a periodic table of religious elements to be analyzed and quantified. It was a precious deposit of truth which would shine even brighter when arrayed in all its God-given splendor. The Bible is indeed a store-house of facts—soul-thrilling, experiential, coherent, gospel-laden, Christ-exalting facts. What could be more important than to arrange those facts so we can see how they all relate to each other? You may call that drama. Hodge called it science. Sounds pretty good to me.
    • I can’t recall ever finishing a chapter without my daughter begging me to keep reading.
    • Themes include servant leadership, protecting the weak, courage, responsibility, loyalty, mercy, and love. I don’t think there are any objectionable elements (unlike Harry Potter),
    • We just released a new interview with Russell Moore on religious liberty and ethics. In it, Dever and Moore discusses Moore’s new role, rap, relevance, and why “it’s even worse than it appears, but it’s alright.”

       

      Yes, that is a Grateful Dead quotation. A 9Marks first, if I’m not mistaken. What more reason do you need to listen?

    • Additionally, the dangers of error, the devastation of betrayal, the disorientation and debility caused by pain, and the disappointment and embarrassment of public ridicule are presented with unvarnished sensitivity. These letters clearly portray reality. They show Spurgeon could be beautifully sharp in response to perceived injustice toward himself, and honest amid sickness—all the while being supported by humble resignation to God’s providence.
    • This conflict should teach us that nothing positive is gained for the kingdom when we seek unity at the expense of vital truth or think error will voluntarily go away.
    • He understood the mysterious interaction of body and soul and was able to interpret the depression of his spirits with a knowledge of the oppressive nature of pain. His depression always drove him to God in prayer and dependence—not into an isolation from the spiritual exercises and convictions that supported his public ministry. He maintained a productive schedule of accomplishing his many duties and a clear awareness of God’s purpose in affliction even during times of deep soul weariness.
    • Many students find they don’t need to get into heated argument or even say much at all in defense of their faith. They merely apply the law of non-contradiction to criticism. Sometimes they ask a simple question of clarification.
    • A student who knows the logical principle of non-contradiction may ask, “Why are you being so intolerant of intolerance?”
    • Logic is a friend to people of faith and can be an aid for students to maintain their faith. But it is not the only factor in maintaining religious convictions. Joni, whom I mentioned earlier, was convinced that the grace of God preserved her relationship with Jesus. “In so many ways,” she said, “I really don’t know how I got out of college in one piece.” For Joni, her “logic flowed from her faith.” She cited G. K. Chesterton: “You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.”
    • Seeing it in indicatives takes some of the punch out of it. But it does remind us that these are not mere questions, but emphatic declarations of reality in the form of rhetorical questions.
    • The argument of Romans 8:32 is that if God did the hardest thing in the world, giving up his own Son, and if he did that as a gift for us, then it will be easy and logical for him to give us everything we need in Christ.
    • How is it imaginable that God should withhold, after this, spirituals or temporals, from his people?

       

      How shall he not call them effectually, justify them freely, sanctify them thoroughly, and glorify them eternally?

       

      How shall he not clothe them, feed them, protect and deliver them?

       

      Surely if he would not spare this own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever he should, after this, deny or withhold from his people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them.

    • Charles Spurgeon often worked 18 hours a day.

       

      His collected sermons fill 63 volumes (the largest set by a single author in church history).

       

      He read six books a week and could recall their contents.

       

      He read through The Pilgrim’s Progress more than 100 times.

       

      14,460 people were added to his church’s membership, and he did most of the membership interviews himself.

       

      He trained 900 men to the pastorate.

       

      He founded an orphanage.

       

      He edited a magazine.

       

      He produced more than 140 books.

       

      He received 500 letters a week to respond to.

       

      More than 25,000 copies of his sermons were printed each week.

       

      He often preached 10 times a week in various churches.

       

      He did all this while suffering from gout, rheumatism, and Bright’s disease—living only to the age of 57.

       

      And his wife was ill most of that time.

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

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Posted by on 06/09/2013 in Current Issues

 

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