What I Read Online – 10/03/2013 (a.m.)

03 Oct
    • Carl and Todd are at it again! Join them as they discuss Todd’s “journey” to his new Presbyterian “tribe” from his Southern Baptist roots. Listen in and learn more about the distintives of church governmental structures between denominations. Call them “elitist” if you must, but our hosts unashamedly assert the importance of getting the right men in the pulpit, as those men are to care for peoples’ souls according to God’s standard laid out in his Word. This topic is becoming more and more explosive as churches continue to seek the coolest and hippest men to be pastors, instead of choosing the educated and qualified men. Listen to the Mortification of Spin and join the discussion!
    • gospel-saturated people who are active in gospel-empowered deeds give the spoken gospel more power.
    • A roundtable discussion on the Great Commission, sending, calling, prayer, patience, and more with the leaders of the Cross Conference.
    • As Dr. Miller points out, the main reason new pastors are not getting the M.Div is simply because their churches don’t require it of them
    • I have been involved in three pastoral ordination exams now, two of which did not have degrees from a seminary and one who did. The men who did not go to seminary were far, far behind the man who did when it comes to theological and academic skill. I don’t simply mean brain-power or the number of books read. I mean that the man who went to seminary knew how to answer questions, how to approach theological issues, how to write papers and explain his positions in public, and he had a broad knowledge of the differing views which are commonly held. He had a confident grasp of the religious and theological landscape. Oh and let’s not forget, he knew his biblical languages.
    •   It is an effort to revive an established, but struggling church.


      2)      It mandates a change in direction.


      3)      It requires patience and understanding with those there before you.


      4)      Its goal is to become a healthy, diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-generational church.


      5)      Its purpose is to display the glory of Christ to the world.

    • Reading John Calvin’s Institutes after seminary, in the midst of some trials, was easily one of the most theologically formative seasons in my life.
    • Speaking of the academy, before pure “exegetes” took over, people actually tried to get some theology done in their reading and commenting on Scripture.
    • Beyond their scholarly usefulness, Calvin’s commentaries are actually pastoral.
    • After the Holy Scriptures, I exhort the students to read the Commentaries of Calvin. . . . I tell them that he is incomparable in the interpretation of Scripture; and that his Commentaries ought to be held in greater estimation than all that is delivered to us in the writings of the ancient Christian Fathers: so that, in a certain eminent spirit of prophecy, I give the preeminence to him beyond most others, indeed beyond them all. I add that, with regard to what belongs to common places, his Institutes must be read after the Catechism, as a more ample interpretation. But to all this I subjoin the remark, that they must be perused with cautious choice, like all other human compositions.
    • Most cultures—unlike our own—expect suffering as inevitable and see it as a means of strengthening and enriching us
    • And so because Scripture makes this claim, it is less flattering to non-sufferers. Biblically, you cannot assume your good circumstances mean God is pleased with you. It may be his way of judging you, allowing you to perish in your complacency. And biblically, you cannot assume that if you’re suffering it’s a direct chastisement for some wrongdoing. See John 9 and the whole book of Job.
    • It’s profoundly realistic because it tells us suffering is inevitable. No one escapes it. We shouldn’t be surprised and shocked by it.
    • On the one hand, God is absolutely sovereign over suffering. It’s never out of his control. It’s always part of his plan. On the other hand, God has come into the world himself and actually suffered with us.
    • And my observation (not empirical) from both this and time spent with pastors is that our reading is getting lighter
    • Pastor-teachers are still avid readers, but we tend not to stretch ourselves when it comes to reading
    • When was the last time you read a book that really stretched you? Really stretched. When was the last time you read a book that challenged what you think rather than confirming your own views? When was the last time you read a book when you had to switch off the football because that was the only way to take it in? When was the last time you read a book pen or pencil in hand? 
    • One of the finest things I’ve ever read on worship is Harold Best’s contribution to Exploring the Worship Spectrum: 6 Views. In his chapter, Best pens an eloquent defense of the spiritual and musical capabilities of the printed hymnbook
    • The hymnbook is a servant of the Word of God
    • The hymnbook is remarkable diverse in style
    • The hymnbook is also musically diverse
    • The hymnbook thrives on hands-on printed material
    • The hymnbooks has been foundational in the history and development of choral music
    • The hymnbook is a working history of the church’s response to God in worship
    • The hymnbook is a tremendous tool for private devotions
    • The hymnbook is scholarly and surprisingly flexible
    • No doubt Bell will sell a lot more books with Oprah’s endorsement.  Many more people will now have this book in their hands.  That would be good news for Christians if it were actually a book about Christianity.

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

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Posted by on 03/10/2013 in Current Issues


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