What I Read Online – 12/05/2013 (a.m.)

05 Dec
    • What you see above is the largest true-color photograph of the night sky ever created, shot by 28-year-old amateur astrophotographer Nick Risinger using six astronomical cameras. It’s not just the view of the sky from one location, but is instead a 360-panoramic view of the sky taken by trekking 60,000 miles across the western United States and South Africa starting in March 2010. The final image is composed of 37,000 separate photographs. Check out the massive zoomable high-definition version of the photo here:
    • But it wasn’t until the Gospel of Jesus began to thaw our legalistic  logical world and the winter of cultural fundamentalism began to melt away to the spring of life-giving Gospel light that we began to realize that when we heard their philosophy of music and worship we were hearing harmful teaching that stymied spiritual growth, hurt missionary endeavors, and incarcerated innocent souls too weak to resist the waves of smart-sounding rhetoric in a prison community of prideful superiority over all other parts of the Body of Christ.
    • “The conversation is never over… ” she repeated, emphasis on “never.”


      The problem was becoming clear, and I jumped in with a diagnosis. “I can’t even fathom being forced to talk to my husband, my mother, or even my best friend every day like that! No wonder the guy needs a break. He’s sick of you.”


      That might have been a little harsh, I admit. Tears began to fall.

    • I’ve certainly seen it again and again on this side of the fence — the ruin of a perfectly good match due to the constant contact generated by texting. Even stranger is when these couples really DO break up but still can’t stop texting each other. Not to mention the problem of one or both of the parties preferring to discuss the more serious issues in their relationships via text instead of in person because it’s easier.
    • The friend could clearly see that I was reading her texts because my daughter’s phone was sending her “read receipts” telling her that the texts had been seen. But because I wasn’t replying, she thought that my daughter was mad at her. Needless to say I battened down the hatches and instigated an intervention STAT. Numero Uno? NO MORE READ RECEIPTS.
    • Just a few minutes ago, in a stunning about face, Janet Mefferd disclosed that she removed the interview with Mark Driscoll that prompted charges of plagiarism. She also removed all of the visual evidence of plagiarism and apologized to her audience for her conduct during the interview. Saying she should have gone to Tyndale House first, she expressed regret that the matter had become a controversy among Christians.


      For most of the morning, observers on social media had noted that her blog was down and her twitter feed had been purged of references to the controversy.


      In her brief announcement, Mefferd did not indicate what triggered the change of mind.


      It strikes me that the horse is already out of the barn on this.


      Ironically, her 4pm guest is slated to discuss Christian celebrity culture.

    • It now sets a legal precedent which declares that being denied the opportunity to kill an innocent human being before birth is an act which causes injury to the persons who would have procured the killing if they had been afforded the opportunity to do so.
    • Recently I was asked to participate in a panel discussion at a Reformed Worship conference. In that discussion the panelists were asked to address the subject of Christian rap music (which I took to mean rap music primarily in the context of a local church worship service). To my regret, I spoke unadvisedly on an area of music that I know little about. It would have been far wiser for me to say nothing than to speak unwisely. Please forgive me. I also wish to publicly disassociate myself from comments that judged the musicians’ character and motives.


      —Joel Beeke

    • Is journalism no longer considered a legitimate Christian calling? Or is the task of the Christian journalist simply to strengthen the hand of the vested interests?
    • A free press is basic to the health of democratic culture in the civil sphere because it offers one line of public accountability for those in public office. Those who perform immediate public acts should expect to be subject to immediate public scrutiny. And what is true for the culture at large is also true for its various subcultures. A free Christian press is also important for the Christian subculture: it keeps leaders and organizations accountable.
    • Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd are back at it! In this edition of Mortification of Spin: Bully Pulpit they discuss the importance of accountability specifically in church leadership. Leaders must accept and embrace the right to free speech, even when that speech is critical or unwanted. No one can be above accountability, even high-profile church leaders who bring in lots of money. Listen in as they discuss this important and timely issue!
    • The gospel is the great news of what God has graciously done in Jesus Christ, especially in his atoning death and vindicating resurrection, his ascension, session, and high priestly ministry, to reconcile sinful human beings to himself, justifying them by the penal substitute of his Son, and regenerating and sanctifying them by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, who is given to them as the down payment of their ultimate inheritance. God will save them if they repent and trust in Jesus.
    • The proper response to this gospel, then, is that people repent, believe, and receive God’s grace by faith alone.
    • The entailment of this received gospel, that is, the inevitable result, is that those who believe experience forgiveness of sins, are joined together spiritually in the body of Christ, the church, being so transformed that, in measure as they become more Christ-like, they delight to learn obedience to King Jesus and joyfully proclaim the good news that has saved them, and they do good to all men, especially to the household of faith, eager to be good stewards of the grace of God in all the world, in anticipation of the culminating transformation that issues in resurrection existence in the new heaven and the new earth, to the glory of God and the good of his blood-bought people.
    • The gospel is, first and foremost, news—great news, momentous news
    • The gospel is, first and foremost, news about what God has done in Christ
    • On the other hand, the gospel has both purposes and entailments in human conduct. The entailments must be preached. But if you preach the entailments as if they were the gospel itself, pretty soon you lose sight of the reality of the gospel—that it is the good news of what God has done, not a description of what we ought to do in consequence
    • First, “what God expects of us” (his subtitle) is, by definition, not the gospel.
    • Second, even while acknowledging—indeed, insisting on the importance of highlighting—the genuine needs that Mr Stearns depicts in his book, it is disturbing not to hear similar anguish over human alienation from God
    • Third, some studies have shown that Christians spend about five times more mission dollars on issues related to poverty than they do on evangelism and church planting. At one time, “holistic ministry” was an expression intended to move Christians beyond proclamation to include deeds of mercy. Increasingly, however, “holistic ministry” refers to deeds of mercy without any proclamation of the gospel—and that is not holistic. It is not even halfistic, since the deeds of mercy are not the gospel: they are entailments of the gospel. Although I know many Christians who happily combine fidelity to the gospel, evangelism, church planting, and energetic service to the needy, and although I know some who call themselves Christians who formally espouse the gospel but who live out few of its entailments, I also know Christians who, in the name of a “holistic” gospel, focus all their energy on presence, wells in the Sahel, fighting disease, and distributing food to the poor, but who never, or only very rarely, articulate the gospel, preach the gospel, announce the gospel, to anyone. Judging by the distribution of American mission dollars, the biggest hole in our gospel is the gospel itself.
      • A great series produced by Westminster Theological Seminary, filmed onsite during the Calvin500 conference, which I attended, in 2009.
      • Not something you hear/see every day. 🙂
      • The Gospel Coalition just released the latest issue of Themelios, which has 200 pages of columns, articles, and book reviews. It is freely available in three different formats:



        1. PDF (ideal for printing)

        3. Logos edition (ideal for research and mobile access)

        5. web version (ideal for interacting and sharing)

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

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Posted by on 05/12/2013 in Current Issues


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