Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Here's a brief but highly informative article on the story of David and Goliath and the parallels to the life and work of Christ:
Far from merely being an exciting children’s story from which we may teach our little ones how to be courageous in the LORD, the record of this battle comes at the half-way mark in redemptive history–reminding us of the battle promise of Gen. 3:15 and urging us to look forward to the fulfillment of it when our Lord Jesus Christ defeated the evil one at the cross. The points of comparison are striking. . .Nicholas Batzig lists eleven of those points. And thanks to Charles Savelle for the link.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Appeal for perspective
Monday, March 14, 2011
The list is a couple of days old, but it's very informative and helpful: Japan Tohoku Earthquake Prayer List.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Ray Ortlund: "May God give us pastors today the high privilege of being aglow with the Spirit. As we preach, may we put away all thoughts of church problems, think only of Christ, and be lifted up."
Bob Spencer has noticed something about a lot of contemporary preaching in the U.S.:
I think that much preaching is in this mistaken mode: appeals to the broken and hurting in which (or, because) everyone is defined primarily as broken and hurting. Thus, Bible texts are chosen for their ability to comfort the broken and hurting. These turn out to be the most successful sermons (that is, they elicit the most emotional response) and so the preacher learns to return to the theme frequently.Too true, I think.
In all this it is not disciples who are not being addressed, but simply folks with problems.
But hey, isn't everyone broken and hurting? Even disciples? Yes, yes, but what I have noticed is that this sort of preaching winds up having the effect not so much of healing them than of encouraging people to continue to self-define as victims. Just what the wider culture does! It's as if this self-definition (hurting and broken victims) were inescapable, and church then becomes primarily a place of momentary solace or an interlude of hope rather than a place of equipping.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
God has a way of letting your pride swell up, and then letting the bottom drop out. This is because the Pharisee in you must be dealt the death blow. You must be broken so that Jesus can come out of the plastic, prideful shell you feel so proud about. Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves (Romans 3:20).
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Royce Ogle writes about human freewill vs. God's sovereign choice and comes down on the side of . . . both:
What am I then. I am a 65-year-old who has studied the Bible for about 50 of those years. I have concluded that I do not have the luxury of cherry picking what parts of the Bible I will believe and accept as God’s truth to me. My place is to believe all of it the best I can with my limited understanding. So I choose to not pick a side, other than God’s.Amen, brother.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
Update: Rob Bradshaw emails that he has now removed copies of the Asia Journal of Theology from the extensive online collection he offers free at BiblicalStudies.org.uk. Rob's site is still a wonderful online resource. You can access the entire biblical studies collection here.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Why do churches so often assign their most important job (teaching children) to their most inexperienced and unprepared teachers?
We think that kids don’t listen, when in reality, kids do listen. In my experience, it’s the adults that don’t pay attention. Kids hold onto things. Oh, be careful what you say to a child from the Bible. Your stupid remarks may turn a kid from the Lord for eternity.Too true.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Jeff Weddle reminds Christians that the Lord's people aren't supposed to even mention the names of other gods.
At Commentary Peter Wehner offers insights on the dangers of oversimplifying the relationship of biblical theology to public policy:
Scripture provides a moral framework through which people can debate particular public policies. On some matters, like the slave trade and genocide, the “right” Christian position may be obvious (though what policies one should support to oppose them isn’t always). But in the vast majority of cases, and certainly when it comes to the federal budget, what we are talking about are prudential judgments about competing priority. And to pretend that the budget Jesus would bless just happens to be at the current discretionary spending levels rather than, say, what they were in 2008, is close to offensive.It's an excellent article, and thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link.
The Christian ethicist Paul Ramsey wrote, “Identification of Christian social ethics with specific partisan proposals that clearly are not the only ones that may be characterized as Christian and as morally acceptable comes close to the original New Testament meaning of heresy.”