Category Archives: Uncategorized

What I Read Online – 10/05/2010 (p.m.)

    • As I write this it looks overwhelmingly likely that the Church of England
      will embrace women bishops and—despite commitments made when women priests
      were introduced—will introduce women bishops without any structural solutions
      for those who disagree with the change. A structural separation is imminent.
      Those opposed to women’s ordination—Conservative Evangelicals and
      Anglo-Catholics—will leave the Church of England (unless they find a
      technically illegal mechanism to stay in, such as consecrate their own bishops,
      who would be Anglican but not Church of England). Consequently, the Church of
      England will be composed almost entirely by those who agree with, and support,
      the ordination of women and their role as bishops. Similar moves are afoot in
      other denominations in different parts of the world.

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What I Read Online – 10/05/2010 (a.m.)

    • We can certainly use the term “post-modern” to refer to many aspects of our life in the world now. There certainly are discontinuities with the recent past. But I conclude that an over-emphasis on the post-ness of our situation can lead us to celebrate the greater tolerance, the end of “Christendom,” the fall of Reason-capital-R, and the openness to the spiritual, without seeing that it is based on a kind of hyper-modernity that is perhaps more antithetical to Christianity than ever.
    • John Piper stirred up a little controversy last spring when he invited Rick Warren to the Desiring God conference. Due to family health incidents, Warren could not appear live on Friday and addressed the conference via video, but Piper is still determined to ask him questions about The Purpose Driven Life. Piper emerged from an 8-month leave so he could attend the Desiring God conference and for the inauguration of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He spoke with Christianity Today about his new book, Think, his invitation to Warren, and what he has been doing during his leave of absence.
    • We do have family devotions morning and evening at which we sing, pray, read a passage of Scripture and discuss it. We expect the children to read the Bible and pray before breakfast and before bedtime. I do regularly ask my two boys and two girls, “Have you read your Bible and prayed today?” And, when I remember, I do ask them, “What did you read today?”  However I don’t feel I’ve sufficiently guided them on what to read, or how much to read, or checked if they have read or understood what they read.
    • Preach the Word.  This is our calling.  This is how a biblical church is built. 
    • Love the people.  I continue to be amazed at the amount of pastors who think just because a church has hired them, agreed to pay their salary, and has given them an important title, doesn’t mean you have immediately earned the right for them to look to you as ”their shepherd.”  You earn that trust over time. 
    • Don’t Change Anything.  In case I wasn’t clear let me say again…DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING!! 
    • But this Saturday (October 2, 2010) Sam Storms, Crossway, and I—along with a host of helpers—were able to surprise John Piper with the gift of a 542-page book with essays from 27 friends and colleagues: For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper. I know I am biased, but the book contains a significant number of outstanding essays, from Christian Hedonism to Jonathan Edwards on the sovereignty of God to the already/not-yet phases of justification to Christus Victor and substitutionary atonement to what is means for a pastor to be worshipper, and shepherd, and counselor—and, well, you get the idea.

    • 2010 National Conference

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Posted by on 05/10/2010 in Current Issues, Uncategorized


What I Read Online – 10/02/2010 (a.m.)

    • How Al Mohler transformed a seminary, helped change a denomination, and challenges a secular culture.
    • Google Earth is a fantastic tool that combines high-resolution aerial imagery with a “flying” engine so that users can travel anywhere in the world in seconds.  The problem is that most people don’t know where they’re going.  Jay Baggett is on the way to solving this problem for students and teachers of the Bible.  His new website, Land of the Bible, features more than a dozen video tours through the 3-D landscape of Israel and Jordan.
    • Most of those who urge a reconciliation of evolution and the Christian faith do so at the most superficial level, without ever acknowledging the near-total transformation of Christian theology that must result if serious minds ask the serious questions and do the serious work of actually thinking seriously.
    • The impact of evolution on the Christian gospel cannot be reduced to “both an old earth and a loving God.” That just does not represent intellectual honesty. Those who think responsibly about these questions must deal directly with the theological implications — something totally missing from Rachel Held Evans’ article.
    • To love my wife redemptively means I should desire to see my wife being continually transformed into an increasingly beautiful bride, just as Christ desires this for the Church.
      • What’s really being asked is “Does this church gather all its teenagers on Wednesday nights, have monthly lock-ins, go on summer mission trips to Mexico, and have attractional, flashy, and really expensive winter and summer retreats?” The answer is a gentle, but emphatic, “no.” Not anymore. Why? Three reasons:

        1. Statistically, it isn’t working.
        2. Discipleship as seen in Scripture is minimal.
        3. The Holy Spirit told us to do otherwise.

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What I Read Online – 10/01/2010 (p.m.)

    • Though marriage and procreation were fundamental to the propogation of God’s people in Old Testament times, the New Testament affirms singleness as a calling for some Christians. Redeeming Singleness expounds a theology of singleness that shows how the blessings of the covenant are now directly mediated to believers through Christ.

      Redeeming Singleness offers an in-depth examination of the redemptive history from which biblical singleness emerges. Danylak illustrates the continuity of this affirmation of singleness by showing how the Old Testament creation mandate and the New Testament kingdom mandate must both be understood in light of God’s plan of redemption through spiritual rebirth in Christ.

      As the trend toward singleness in the church increases, the need for constructive theological reflection likewise grows. Redeeming Singleness meets this need, providing encouragement to those who are single or ministering to singles and challenging believers from all walks of life to reflect more deeply on the sufficiency of Christ.

    • tephen Hawkings’ The Grand Design has shot straight to the top of the New York Times list of bestsellers. The book is his atheistic answer to questions like these ones: Why is there a universe—why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why are the laws of nature what they are? Did the universe need a designer and creator? Edgar Andrews was kind enough to allow me to post his review of the book. Andrews is author of Who Made God?: Searching for a Theory of Everything, Emeritus Professor of Materials at the University of London and an international expert on the science of large molecules. Which is to say that he is well-suited to write a review of a book like this one. Here is what he says about The Grand Design:
    • “I have been teaching more decades now that I can count and if I have learned anything from all of this teaching, its this: my students…learn what I’m excited about.  So within the church of the living God, we must become excited about the gospel.  That’s how we pass on our heritage.  If, instead, the gospel increasingly becomes for us that which we assume, then we will, of course, assent to the correct creedal statement.  But, at this point, the gospel is not what really captures us. Rather, is a particular form of worship or a particular style of counseling, or a particular view on culture, or a particular technique in preaching, or – fill in the blank.  Then, ultimately, our students make that their center and the generation after us loses the gospel.  As soon as you get to the place where the gospel is that which is nearly assumed, you are only a generation and a half from death”. 
    • Of course, this will ebb and flow.  Some of the sweetest gospel lessons are in the doldrums of the Christian’s walk.  Some of the brightest rays of grace can only break through the thick, muddy clouds of providential difficulties.  But, even in our day to day routine, which the world disdains as a curse, we can begin to take delight. 
    • In other words, because of the gospel – and I mean the full-orbed glory of a whole-Bible gospel – we can begin to be excited about the right things.  That doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about other things, no matter how trivial (like college football) or amazing (like getting married or having children or going to college).  Rather, just because we are excited about the gospel will be able to rightly enjoy these other things.  Pray that you will be excited about the gospel.
    • Attraction is fun, and in Western systems of courtship and marriage, it is the way couples get started, but attraction is about me. It’s about how someone makes me feel. In that sense, attraction is rubbish. It gets people together but it is powerless to keep them together. Even more, attraction, without the addition of other forms of love, promises to separate marriages and any once-close relationship.
    • What must supplant attraction goes by different names – commitment, faithfulness, love that only death separates, covenantal love and others.
    • When we owe someone, there is a slight imbalance in the relationship. This is what “I do” means. We commit ourselves to give more than we receive.
    • This vow aims to do at least two things. It dethrones the usurper Attraction, separates it from Jesus’ style of love, and re-establishes the imbalanced nature of Christian love. Unity shows up, as it should. Unity reminds us that real love is not silent when the other spouse is loveless. We can and should speak out when the other person is aiming for lesser things, such as mere attraction.
    • For the next generation to get it right, we must loose our infatuation with attraction. We must prefer arguments about who is in debt to whom. “No, I owe you love, and I’m not listening to one more word of your protests.” I owe you more than you owe me – that’s where we go when we meditate on the love of Jesus. Then we can know exactly what we are doing when we say “I do.”
    • I believe couples ought to enter into dating relationships with the expressed goal of determining whether they should be married.
    • The potential spouse must be growing in his/her relationship with Christ.  The question of “equal yoking” does not answer once you know what the other person’s believes.  He/she must also be striving faithfully grow as a follower of Christ.
    • If you are a sinner married to a sinner, then it is very dangerous to allow yourself to coast as a couple. You simply will not live a day together where no act of thoughtlessness, self-interest, anger, arrogance, self-righteousness, bitterness, or disloyalty will rear its ugly head. Often it will be benign and low-level, but it will still be there.
    • You can have a good marriage, but you must understand that a good marriage is not a mysterious gift. No, it is, rather, a set of commitments that forges itself into a moment-by-moment lifestyle.
    • How do I and our church minister to a man who appears radically converted, desires to come to our church, but is an habitual child molester and long-time sex offender?
    • As Smith argues,the Bible is emphatic in condemning divorce. For this reason, you would expect to find evangelical Christians demanding the inclusion of divorce on a list of central concerns and aims. But this seldom happened. Evangelicals Christians rightly demanded laws that would defend the sanctity of human life, Not so for marriage. Smith explains that the inclusion of divorce on the agenda of the the Christian right would have risked a massive alienation of members. In summary, evangelicals allowed culture to trump scripture.
    • An even greater tragedy is the collapse of church discipline within congregations. A perceived “zone of privacy” is simply assumed by most church members, and divorce is considered only a private concern.
    • Professor Smith is concerned with this question as a political scientist. Why did American evangelicals surrender so quickly as divorce gathered momentum in America? We must ask this same question with even greater urgency. How did divorce, so clearly identified as a grievous sin in the Bible, become so commonplace and accepted in our midst?
    • But divorce harms many more lives than will be touched by homosexual marriage. Children are left without fathers, wives without husbands, and homes are forever broken. Fathers are separated from their children and marriage is irreparably undermined as divorce becomes routine and accepted. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin, but it is sin, and it is a sin that is condemned in no uncertain terms.
    • Evangelical Christians are gravely concerned about the family, and this is good and necessary. But our credibility on the issue of marriage is significantly discounted by our acceptance of divorce. To our shame, the culture war is not the only place that an honest confrontation with the divorce culture is missing.
    • Divorce is now the scandal of the evangelical conscience.
    • In light of the controversy regarding a recent profile of Dr. Albert Mohler in the newest issue of Christianity Today (not yet online), I thought I would rework and release a brief bio which I did on Dr. Mohler a few years ago for a website of Tennessee Baptist conservatives.
    • “It is a sad thing when a woman longs for her man to step up and take responsibility in leading the family spiritually and he won’t do it,” explains John Piper.
    • Dave Black on What Greek Teachers Won’t Tell You
    • Our worship songs should be full of truth about Jesus’ character and deeds.  Therefore we want to make every word as doctrinally accurate as possible.
    • “But if I change it to ‘You’ve declared us righteous’ that will be too many syllables – it won’t fit the rhyme scheme,” I said.  My friend responded, “Truth affects peoples’ lives.  We don’t want people thinking that somehow they can ever be righteous apart from Christ’s righteousness.   Better the song be a little less easy to sing than doctrinally inaccurate.”
    • Be diligent.  Be ruthless.  Make sure every word and metaphor is clear and accurate.  Get your pastor to look at your lyrics.  And read sound theological books like Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem.  It matters what we sing.

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What I Read Online – 09/29/2010 (p.m.)

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Posted by on 29/09/2010 in Current Issues, Uncategorized


What I Read Online – 09/29/2010 (a.m.)

    • We are drawn to order, predictability, comfort, ease, pleasure, appreciation, fun, and personal happiness. We don’t like difficulty of any kind. There are many of us who would rather have an easy life than a God-honoring one. So before we ever battle with one another, we are actually battling the Lord.
    • When you are hurt, angry, or disappointed with your husband or wife, it is not because he or she has broken the laws of God’s kingdom, and it really concerns you. No, you are most often angry because your spouse has broken the laws of your kingdom. Your spouse is in the way of what you want, and it mobilizes you to do or say something that will rein your spouse back into service of your wants, needs, and feelings.
    • This grace rescues you from the one thing that you cannot rescue yourself from—you. Reconciling your marriage begins when you begin to reconcile with God. It begins when you begin to pray this radical prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, right here, right now in this marriage as it is in heaven.” Good things happen as the result of that prayer!
    • “On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 … Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers,” Pew said.
    • About half of Protestants cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person who sparked the Protestant Reformation.
    • Yet underneath and undergirding all of these, it seems to me, is the motif of God’s grace, his perplexing favor and love to the undeserving. Don’t we see the grace of God in every book of the Bible? (NT books include the single verse that best crystallizes the point.)
    • While the object of work is destined to perish, the soul formed by daily decision to do work carries over into eternity…. This perspective on work, as a maturing of the soul, liberates the believer from undue concern over the monotony of the assembly line, the threat of technology, or the reduction of the worker to but an easily replaceable cog in the industrial machine. One’s job may be done by another. But each doer is himself unique, and what carries over beyond life and time is not the work but the worker. What doing the job does for each of us is not repeated in anyone else. What the exercise of will, of tenacity, of courage, of foresight, of triumph over temptations to get by, does for you is uniquely your own. One worker may replace another on the assembly line, but what each worker carries away from meeting the challenge of doing the day’s shift will ever be his own. The lasting and creative consequence of daily work happens to be the worker. God so arranges that civilization grows out of the same effort that develops the soul.
    • sn’t that the difficulty with true Christianity? It forces us all, women and men, to subordinate ourselves—to bow low beneath the truth that if we want to be righteous we must give up all our efforts at righteousness and submit to his.
    • I’ll admit that wifely submission is difficult. But this kind of submission, submission to an alien righteousness, a righteousness that I do not deserve and don’t really even always want, is utterly impossible. I will never, and I mean never, give up the moral high ground on my own. God must humble me and change my heart by his Spirit, compelling me to bow the knee at Calvary, or I will always remain a proud Pharisee. Here’s the truth: Sometimes I make efforts at submitting to my husband so that I don’t have to submit in this other way. Sometimes I make nice dinners and say, “Yes, dear, of course,” just so that I can assure my own heart that I’ve got a little righteousness of my own.
    • But American culture does not encourage careful thinking.
    • But I think in large part this amiable woman just didn’t want to be bothered with facts.
    • How do you give a reason for the hope that you have when the people asking you aren’t interested in reason? It seems to me one of the first tasks of evangelism today is to reintroduce the law of non-contradiction. More and more we can’t just drop the bridge diagram on people, we need to go back and tell the larger story of creation, curse, covenant, Christ, commitment, and consummation. And even before that we may have to help people simply think; help people not just find the truth, but believe that it exists, that it is inconsistent with error, and that it does automatically correspond to what we wish it to be.
    • “One day, this will be a matter of great embarrassment to you.”
    • First, how does the church enable those in such jobs to find God-given satisfaction?  It is oh-so-easy for those of us who have jobs which we enjoy doing to talk about `the dignity of labour’ when the labour we have has, in a sense, its own intrinsic dignity.  But what of the labour that does not have such dignity in and of itself?  Which is monotonous, unskilled, boring, poorly paid, and which slowly but surely bleeds any last vestige of creativity and spontaneity out from the veins?  The obvious answer is, of course, to find such dignity in extrinsic factors, supremely in doing everything to the glory of God.  But, let’s face it, it is a whole lot easier to do an enjoyable job to the glory of God than to sweep the factory floor day after day to the same.
    • It is rather to raise the point that talk of the Christian mind, of the dignity of labour, and the need to do all things to God’s glory, is very easy if you are well paid, enjoy your job, and have cool hobbies like ballet and opera.   It is not so easy if you work eight hours plus a day in a dirty, noisy factory for peanuts.  Yet even there, the Christian mind, and doing all to the glory of God must apply; it is just not immediately obvious to me how (immediately?!?  I’ve had twenty years to think about this…..).  Somebody should write a monograph on it.  It could be the textbook for an elective course on the subject at a Christian liberal arts college.

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What I Read Online – 09/28/2010 (p.m.)

    • The Story of a Kingdom (SOK) explains the Bible in a simple and understandable
      format, especially for those who have English as a second (or third) language. The
      material arose from Bible studies with International students at an Irish University.
      Though written primarily for international students, this book is suitable for new
      Christians and even young people who want to get a grasp of the Bible’s big story.
    • Stephen Hawking made headlines around the world when he announced that his M-Theory of cosmology has led him to conclude God did not create the universe and its “fine tuning” is the result of a multiverse.

      Oxford mathematician and physicist Sir Roger Penrose worked alongside Hawking in developing gravitational singularity theorems.  Roger is not himself a religious believer and is a member of the British Humanist Association.  But he believes Hawking is wrong about M-theory, and that God’s existence doesn’t need to be dragged into things.

      Alister McGrath is professor of Theology at Kings College London.  His 2008 book “A Fine Tuned Universe” claims that there is fruitful discourse between Christian faith in God and the evidence of the Universe’s “fine tuning” for life we see from science.

      They discuss where they disagree with Hawking’s book “The Grand Design”, whether God can be an explanation for our  fine tuned universe and Roger’s own CCC theory of the Universe published as “Cycles of Time: an Extraordinary new view of the Universe” 

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Posted by on 28/09/2010 in Current Issues, Uncategorized


What I Read Online – 09/28/2010 (a.m.)

    • When I was a young boy, America’s elite schools and universities were almost entirely reserved for males. That seems incredible now, in an era when headlines suggest that boys are largely unfit for the classroom. In particular, they can’t read.
    • Education was once understood as training for freedom. Not merely the transmission of information, education entailed the formation of manners and taste. Aristotle thought we should be raised “so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; this is the right education.”
    • “Plato before him,” writes C. S. Lewis, “had said the same. The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting, and hateful.”
    • This kind of training goes against the grain, and who has time for that? How much easier to meet children where they are.
    • One obvious problem with the SweetFarts philosophy of education is that it is more suited to producing a generation of barbarians and morons than to raising the sort of men who make good husbands, fathers and professionals. If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn’t go very far.
    • The secret to raising boys who read, I submit, is pretty simple—keep electronic media, especially video games and recreational Internet, under control (that is to say, almost completely absent). Then fill your shelves with good books.
    • For Dr. Steven Ellis, who directs the University of Cincinnati’s archaeological excavations at Pompeii, perhaps the most significant discovery at the site this year was iPad. Ellis credits the introduction of six iPad devices at Pompeii with helping his team solve one of the most difficult problems of archaeological fieldwork: how to efficiently and accurately record the complex information they encounter in the trenches.
    • Recognize you are not God
    • Although we are not God, a common default position in broader evangelicalism is to conclude we are unable to evaluate a person’s spiritual state.  Yet, Scripture gives us plenty of observable realties we should see in one another in the church to affirm we actually belong to Christ.  Is this person bearing spiritual fruit?  Do they love Christ, His Word, and His people?  Is there a hatred of their sin?  Is there a desire to share the gospel?  Is there a longing for the things of God?  Is there a desire to learn and grow?  Whether it is a current member or someone who comes under your watch, we are called to be watching our “life and doctrine” and a complete disregard for these things in a church member’s life should at least cause concern for them, regardless the position and power they hold in the church.
    • Know we have ways of examining the spiritual state of our people
    • Consider whether you have something personal against the individual that would sway your judgment
    • Don’t act alone
    • As I said in an earlier post, this is NOT first about music–it’s about the gospel. In other words, while I certainly don’t claim to know each and every situation in each and every local church, I don’t think a local church can experience the degree of deep, rich gospel unity that Jesus prayed for the night before he went to the cross by having a “traditional/contemporary” split in worship. I think by segregating ourselves this way we miss out on some choice blessings that Jesus intends for his one body to enjoy.
    • We certainly don’t pretend to have mastered this in any way. We’re not claiming to be experts. This is new for us too. We’re learning by making mistakes. But our gospel-informed theological convictions have compelled us to work hard at making sure we end age and style segregated worship. In fact, I hope this move of God will embolden other churches and church leaders to do the same thing for the same reasons.
    • Daddy’s Rules for Dating His Daughters
    • If there is a heartbeat of the Christian faith, it lies in the sheer intellectual delight and excitement caused by the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Here is one whom the church finds to be intellectually luminous, spiritually persuasive, and infinitely satisfying, both communally and intellectually. While Christians express this delight and wonder in their creeds, they do so more especially in their worship and adoration.

      [Alister McGrath, Heresy (London: SPCK, 2009), 17.]

    • Jesus is alive and well and reigns from the throne of God in his heavenly session. I want to suggest that all preaching and proclamation from every Christian pulpit needs to reclaim this central fact. This leads me to this thesis: in light of the resurrection of Jesus the central task of Christian preaching is to proclaim that Jesus is Lord because Jesus lives. And it is this very proclamation which makes a sermon a sermon, as opposed to a talk or an oration. Do we self-consciously preach the reality of the resurrection every Sunday in every sermon? This form of preaching is declaratory and convictional, it announces a living way for all people, it heralds truth as person in the face of all competing claims to intellectual allegiance, and it announces the fullness of life where before there was death. Christian preaching of this sort puts the stress on what Jesus is doing, not just on what he has done; on his faithfulness, his acceptable worship, his working in the world by his Holy Spirit through his Church. And in the process, it draws us up into union with Christ so that we learn to participate in his ministry, in his worship, in himself.

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What I Read Online – 09/27/2010 (p.m.)

    • But I want to briefly focus on how this works out practically, perhaps in a way that is extraordinarily easy to overlook.  Very simply put, I think most of us do not let our theology of heaven influence how we view the church.  Surely, one of the main reasons for this is the fact that the church is made up of people like us: sinful, slow to do good, quick to speak and gossip, full of envy, strife, jealousy and hatred.  That is what we are apart from Christ. 
    • This is one reason I am very allergic to the burgeoning “house church” movement here in the U.S.  Having the privilege of knowing suffering saints in actual house churches that meet in countries where saints are persecuted mercilessly, I find it almost laughable that we have such things here in the land of the free and home of the brave.  It is indicative of the anti-church age in which we live, however.
    • Here’s the rub though: you are one of those people.  The problem with the church is not the institution itself, for God has ordained it and sent his Son to die for her.  No, we’re the problem.  So before you go running to a house church here in the free West, ask yourself: am I running to Jesus or running from sinners?  You can only run to Jesus as you run with fellow sinners.  If you run away from them, you’ll be running in circles, not to Christ. 
    • “The church is glorious to Christ.  You may not see what’s glorious about the church to God but he is going to show you.  My friends, this is why it is so important for us to love the church now – with all her imperfections, all her weakness, all her failures and all her stumblings.  One day, God is going to unveil her and she is going to take your breath away.”
    • In the end it is the activity of God through the various administrations of the covenant of grace  that delivers Christ to us, and in Christ the forgiveness of sins and the New Jerusalem where at last God himself will be with us as our God. Covenant theology merely recognizes the shape of the biblical story and breathes the fresh air of truly biblical theology. It has been taught by Irenaus,Augustine and the Reformers and it needs to be taught to the church today. Because, in the current climate, if we don’t use it we’ll lose it.
    • A true masculinity is grounded in a man’s determination to fulfill
      his manhood in being a good husband, father, citizen, worker, leader,
      and friend — one who makes a difference, fulfills a role for others, and
      devotes his life to these tasks. Most of our fathers went to work early
      and toiled all day because they knew it was their duty to put bread on
      the table, a roof over our heads, and a future in front of us. They made
      their way to ball games and school events dead tired, went home and
      took care of things, and then got up and did it all over again the next
    • One of my “top five” reasons for thinking that the earth is only thousands of years old comes from studying its magnetic field. As I wrote in the post I just linked, the young-earth theory of earth’s magnetic field (often called the ‘rapid-decay theory’) not only properly reproduces the magnetic fields of the planets, it actually predicted two of those magnetic fields before they were measured. When a theory can make predictions regarding unmeasured quantities and the subsequent measurements agree with the theory, there is strong evidence that the theory is true.
    • There are several enemies of reading in the lives of boys. The educational system is largely feminized, and boys are often not challenged. We must remember that boys have always been boys, as the saying goes. There is nothing in the constitutional makeup of boys that is opposed to reading. Generations of boys grew to love books and lost themselves in stories, adventures, historical biographies, and the like.
    • The most direct enemies of reading in the lives of today’s boys are video games and digital media. These devices crowd out time and attention at the expense of reading. Spence cites one set of parents who tried to bribe their 13-year-old son to read by offering video games as a reward. Spence is exactly right — don’t reward with video games. Instead, take the games away. If parents do not restrict time spent with digital devices, boys will never learn to read and to love reading.
    • “The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likable, disgusting, and hateful.”
    • it is critical that we continue to encourage the production and reading of books.
    • If the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church in Galatia had been published in Christianity Today how would it be received by those who read that magazine? Well, what follows are the letters from readers in response to Paul’s inspired Epistle.

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What I Read Online – 09/24/2010 (a.m.)

    • The key to getting apologetics in a church is to capture the imagination of the congregation and to make it fun. Apologetics is tied inextricably to evangelism. If you can remind your congregation that Jesus commands us to evangelize the world, you can explain that we can use apologetics as a tool to doing just that. We can encourage people to talk to those of other faiths and worldviews but in order to do that you have to be able to articulate what you believe and why you believe it.
    • Give your congregation the tools they will need to help them to carry out that mission. Teach people to use the internet, books, textual criticism, Biblical exegesis, logic, and most important – prayer.
    • Another thing my Pastor has done that is really interesting is that he opens up Bible Study for anyone to ask any question they want. You are free to ask about anything you have heard or have been studying. Many times the questions are apologetic in nature. For example, “Is it okay for a person to be angry with God?”  When everyone is satisfied, we usually move on to something Pastor had prepared.
    • I hope the Lord uses the publication of John Piper’s book, Think, to ignite new interest in loving God with both heart and mind—both feeling deeply and thinking clearly.
    • This is probably the most important question. For a lot of pastors, it comes down to a desire to see gospel ministry carried on into the next generation and beyond the borders of their own influence. This, alone, is enough. It is biblical. The apostle Paul trained up leaders everywhere he went, because the growth of the gospel through the work of others was an integral element to his own view of church ministry. For me (and the amazing pastoral team I am a part of), the question becomes one of my own commitments to training, as a pastor, rather than outsourcing it to seminaries or other training programs. Put differently, where is my urgency?
    • Wicked men have already beaten us to the punch.
    • Weak people already rule the world.
    • Strong-willed men are already leading the way.
    • Well-meaning men have lost their way.
    • That said, I would challenge these types of programs in a few ways. First, they need to think about getting young men (and women who will teach other women) earlier.
    • Just start.
    • Re: Christian Broadcasting
    • That’s right — the church actually confessed the “sin” of having once stood on biblical ground, and the “sin” of exercising church discipline.

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