What I Read Online – 10/02/2013 (a.m.)

02 Oct
    • As a result, perhaps we should not be surprised that the pastors and theologians of the patristic age opposed nudity in art; it was not a cultural element open for “redemption” by Christians.
    • Scripture and history indicate that nudity in art (and now film) is not actually the domain of the mature, the wise, or those engaged in “redemptive activity.”
    • Rather than redemptive, promotion of nudity in art and film by Christian educators and leaders is destructive; it is folly, not wisdom.
    • To reject nudity in art and film is no denial of artistic ability, nor of created beauty. It is a realistic, careful, humble acknowledgment of God’s redemptive work in Christ and His precepts for a grace transformed, holy, happy life in a fallen world. This includes the need for covering nakedness.  Real redemptive activity seeks to preserve and rescue from sin by pointing men and women to Christ and His Word.
    • By contrast, many in these camps who align themselves with social and communitarian ethics would take umbrage at the charge that they downplay individual salvation, since they acknowledge that individuals must repent and believe. Nevertheless, the focus of their frame of reference is one or another of these large visions, usually tied to a distinctive understanding of the kingdom, heavily leaning toward societal transformation (either of the entire society or, in the Anabaptist heritage, the ecclesial society). Individual supporters of these movements tend to emphasize different needs: the overwhelming challenges of poverty, of AIDS and other diseases, of abuse of power, of ecological responsibility, of reconciliation of various sorts (racial, ethnic, religious).
    • One wonders why, if Paul had been focally concerned about being a good steward of creation in his own time, he did not say a bit more about cleaning up the horse poop in Rome. There is plenty of biblical warrant for thinking through our stewardship of creation on the broadest canvas, but one should be careful to make the first things the first things.
    • In much of the contemporary discussion, there is an alarming lack of eternal perspective—or, better put, a mere tipping of the hat toward the eternal, but not any acknowledgement that viscerally and powerfully affects conduct and priorities.
    • The news coverage of the Bushes’ attendance at the same-sex wedding points to a reality that must be understood—and fast. Attendance at a wedding is not a neutral act. The history and context of the wedding ceremony identify all those present as agreeing to the rightness of the marriage and acting as witnesses to the exchange of vows. This is why the venerable language of The Book of Common Prayer, used in the overwhelming majority of Christian weddings, calls upon anyone with knowledge that the proposed union is invalid to speak, “or forever hold his peace.” Anyone remaining silent at that point is affirming the rightness and validity of the marriage, and all who are present are counted as both witnesses and those who celebrate the union.
    • The fundamental difference between Calvinists and Arminians is this: Calvinists believe that human beings repent and believe because God causes them to do so by choosing them to be saved. Arminians believe that the ultimate reason people believe is our free will.
    • Fierce Women is the kind of book a feminist will hate because it affirms God-ordained differences between men and women and because it pushes women to live for the good of others, to esteem others higher than themselves. It affirms a woman’s strength, but shows the biblical way to use that strength is to direct it in love toward others. It’s a book I highly recommend.
    • ne of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books.
    • Armin Baum has argued that the historical books of the New Testament (gospels and Acts) were intentionally written as anonymous works in order to reflect the practice of the Old Testament historical books which were themselves anonymous (as opposed to other Old Testament writings, like the prophets, which included the identity of the author).[1]  Thus, the anonymity of the Gospels, far from diminishing their scriptural authority, actually served to increase it by consciously placing the Gospels “in the tradition of Old Testament historiography.”[2]
    • If by the first century Chronicles was regarded as the final book in the Hebrew canon,as some scholars have argued,then Matthew’s gospel would certainly be a fitting sequel.
    • Bible timeline (Traditional Chinese version)
    • Bible timeline (Simplified Chinese version)

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

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Posted by on 02/10/2013 in Current Issues


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