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

10 Sep
    • Who Is the Ultimate Good Samaritan?

      Who Is the Ultimate Good Samaritan? avatar



      Don Carson answers:

    • There is nothing more godly about being a pastor than a politician or being a preacher than a policewoman. All are able to serve and honour God through Jesus in whatever sphere of life they find themselves.  These are beautiful truths.
    • And yet it is precisely the beauty and joy of these truths that leads to the problem. Because they are so precious, we are wary of anything that smells even remotely like clericalism. Any attempt to challenge the way that these truths have come to be applied over the centuries feels like an attack on the very foundations of Protestantism.
    • The heart of the problem lies in the constant connection between vocation and career. Keller’s piece is illustrative of this virtually unchallenged assumption that when the Reformers spoke about vocation, they were speaking about the jobs that we do. The simple fact is that they weren’t.
    • Hopefully, thinking about 1 Corinthians 7 has helped you to see why Luther said what he said. In a world desperate to find holiness and acceptability with God through special religious practices, Luther wanted to tell people that they could be holy and serve God wherever they were, that true holiness often looks a lot more like being godly in the daily situations of life than crawling up the steps of a cathedral on your knees, or celebrating a special feast day, or bowing down and worshipping human institutions.
    • Our problems stem from the fact that we have taken his teaching and slowly (and probably unwittingly) twisted it. We have twisted it by only ever applying it to jobs. By only speaking about vocations as things like being artists or teachers or preachers or musicians, we have flattened out the biblical teaching. God’s word tells us that our vocation is much broader than that. To give just a basic list, my vocation includes: husband, father, son, brother, pastor of Unichurch, member of St Matthias Anglican Church (I am part of another church where I am not the pastor!), friend, member of Pagewood soccer club, next door neighbour and Australian citizen. I could go on, but you get the point. And the point is very important.
    • If my job is my calling, then I must be committed to doing that thing with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. But if the whole of my life is my calling and I am called to live out my life for Christ, then my job becomes just one piece of a large puzzle.
    •         In the late 90s, I served as an elder on session at Bon Accord Free Church of Scotland in Aberdeen, where Iver Martin was minister and the legendary Dr. Ian MacDonald served as session clerk.  My sons were very young then and avid readers of the Free Church’s children’s magazine, The Instructor. Neither glossy nor slick, it was still good stuff for children, at least for those reared in a pre-XBox environment.  It was — indeed, still is — edited by Irene Howat, wife of the Rev. Angus Howat, a former moderator of the Free Kirk.

      • 5-10 year olds: The Jesus Storybook Bible. Every Bible story finishes with a couple of paragraphs explaining how it points to Jesus. The exquisite illustrations are far beyond the normal standard for children’s Bibles, and the writing is dynamic and appealing. For good and ill, the repeated idea in this Bible is the “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love of God”.

      • 4-8 year olds: The Big Picture Story Bible. Instead of concentrating on individual stories, this Bible gives the overall story of God’s saving plan – “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule” – cleverly using pictures and words to show how it is fulfilled by Jesus. I like the way this Bible subtly hints at some important theological concepts along the way, like the creation of the world by God’s word. It’s engagingly told, brilliantly illustrated, and big enough to read to a group.
    • Is the work we do as Christians part of God’s overall work of redemption in this world?

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

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Posted by on 10/09/2013 in Current Issues


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