“We unbelievers are entitled to regard the Bible as magnificent literature. More is demanded from the faithful. Yet these days, even some soi-disant Christians would claim that the miraculous elements of the New Testament are only metaphors. To me, that is agnostic slop. Faith is more than literature. Faith is an epiphany of abasement, ardour and rigour, in the hope of grace, redemption and joy. But there is an entrance fee. If you do not believe in the literal truth of the Incarnation and the Resurrection, you are not a Christian.”
~Atheist, Bruce Anderson
Friday, December 31, 2010
A nice quote by an atheist: Broken clocks and such « Expository Thoughts:
Posted by Andrew Vella at 5:30 PM
I agree with the problems pointed out here, and this modified might be alright (pdf link down the bottom of the article) Two-Year Bible Reading Plan – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
This program involved reading a section of the Old Testament, a section of the New Testament, and either a Psalm or some verses from Proverbs.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 4:37 PM
Friday, December 24, 2010
Doug Wilson has a bit of a rant: The Reformed Card and Gift Shop:
What issues am I talking about? Here is a sampling, a representative list of issues that the respectable part of the conservative evangelical world is currently handling very badly -- headship and submission in marriage, women's ordination to the ministry, women's ordination to the diaconate, women enrolled in seminaries, women in combat roles in the military, evangelicals ceding control of what constitutes legitimate discourse about sodomy over to the perpetually offended, the legitimzation of sodomy as a federally protected vice, the delegitimization of opposition to said vice-nurturing, women doing everything an unordained man can do, pervasive hostility to genuine masculinity within the church, puff-translations of the Bible that cater to the heresy of feminism, complementarians becoming complimentarians, and the spectacle of effeminate homosexuals fighting for what they believe in a far more manly way than Christians do. How's that for starters?
Now I know that my reception at the great banquet of evangelicalism resembles, as the fellow once said, that of badly dressed leper. Quite all right. I won't stay long. I just had this message to deliver, and I'll be on my way.
The IRS have declared that a church has to have a meeting with people to be a church. Internet/radio churches do not count. Looks like they know a thing or two: Federal Court, the IRS and Internet Churches | 9Marks:
The court's ruling in the case gives guidance - and warning - to churches that use newer technologies to broadcast sermons and other religious messages to reach a wider, and perhaps younger, audience. To maintain 'church' status with the IRS, churches that take advantage of technological advances should ensure they are holding regular communal worship services for congregations that are physically present, and that such communal worship is not merely incidental to virtual activities
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:46 AM
A pretty interesting article to see on Cracked (it is also 3 years old). A little pragmatic (and long) but interesting to read: 10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On | Cracked.com:
The war that's coming between the fundamentalist Christians and the hard-core Atheists probably won't be the most violent of the holy wars. But it has the potential to be the most annoying. Well, I'm going to try to stop it.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:40 AM
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Its a bit of a worry... As Driscoll would say, these guys have missed the big E on the top of the eye chart: 2010 Christmas greeting from Anglican and Lutheran leaders:
In their 2010 Christmas video, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada celebrate the gift of music.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Some links to a journal article and responses to it on marriage and gay marriage. The articles are long but I think it might be worth reading both sides of the argument: What Is Marriage? Gay Marriage vs. the Conjugal View – Justin Taylor:
The dialogue is detailed, but the arguments are relatively clear. The above will take you to the best arguments on both sides.
An alright 10min clip about the meaning of Christmas: What Is the Meaning of Christmas? – Justin Taylor:
An evangelistic short film (10 minutes) from St. Helen’s Bishopgate in London on whether or not the Christmas story happened and what it means—featuring New Testament scholar Paul Barnett
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:49 AM
Strong words by Carson: TGC Asks Don Carson: When Has a Preacher Crossed the Line into Plagiarism in His Sermon? – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Taking over another sermon and preaching it as if it were yours is always and unequivocally wrong, and if you do it you should resign or be fired immediately.
Wanna learn all of Philippians before Easter next year? I have doubts I can achieve this, maybe it just a matter of giving it some time: Partnering to Remember | The Resurgence:
Starting in 2011, we are beginning a project called P2R (Partnering to Remember). The goal is to memorize the entire book of Philippians by Easter Sunday (April 24, 2011) through partnering with other believers using the memory moleskine. Paul praised the church in Philippi for their partnership in advance of the Gospel, and in the spirit of that partnership, this project intends to bring Christians together for the deepening work of God's Word in their lives. Simply put, we are partnering to remember.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:27 AM
Monday, December 20, 2010
This journal article looks interesting: SpringerLink - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Online First™:
To suggest that Daniel Dennett is a deist is to invite ridicule. Dennett is both an avowed atheist and defender of naturalism in philosophy. Yet if we pay heed to the entirety of Dennett’s claims a curious picture emerges. My suggestion is that Hegel and Marx represent the rival responses to what we might call the modern predicament: what is the nature of existence in a world which seems a mechanism? Dennett’s response to this question is Hegelian, and involves a commitment to a religiosity which might surprise those otherwise receptive to his arguments.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 12:10 PM
Tim Keller get the award for the most "Unique" Manuscript: Preaching Notes Series Introduction - Joshua Harris:
The men we've obtained manuscripts from so far include:
- Mark Dever
- Mike Bullmore
- C.J. Mahaney
- Ray Ortlund, Jr.
- Tim Keller
- Mark Driscoll
- Joshua Harris (me)
Posted by Andrew Vella at 12:05 PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
Penn also says that he did like going the church and hanging out with the people there, the only drag was there is no God: YouTube - The Biggest Hypocrites Since the Vatican's Interior Decorator - Penn Point:
Penn feels intense compassion for several ministers who have come out of the closet as Atheists. Apparently, they actually read the Bible and realized how immensely ludicrous it all is
Posted by Andrew Vella at 4:09 PM
Christmas Is for Those Who Hate It Most – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Christmas is really about the gospel of grace for sinners. Because of all that Christ has done on the cross, the manger becomes the most hopeful place in a universe darkened with hopelessness. In the irony of all ironies, Christmas is for those who will find it the hardest to enjoy. It really is for those who hate it most.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 12:13 PM
Stats from Switzerland: A Father’s Role in His Children Going to Church When They Are Adults – Justin Taylor:
if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular).
The results are shocking, but they should not be surprising. They are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be; but they simply confirm what psychologists, criminologists, educationalists, and traditional Christians know. You cannot buck the biology of the created order.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 12:07 PM
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I thought the bible pretty much said no one know the day or the hour: Bridgeton billboard: World will end in May 2011 | NJ.com:
They bear the message, “Judgment Day, May 21, 2011, THE BIBLE GUARANTEES IT”, in addition to a crossed out “2012”.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 4:31 PM
Interesting facts. I don't know if Australia would be the same...: Guests at Church: 10 Mind Blowing Facts to Fuel Your Hospitality Ministry – Will Mancini:
Every month for the last decade, the Auxano team conducts ministry observations during weekend services. We call itthe Guest Perspective Evaluation. Here is why I keep this strategic component in Auxano’s toolbox. Okay, each reality by itself may not be mind blowing, but when you put them all together the case is staggering and couldn’t be more compelling.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:34 AM
OF the five books these guy listed, I have read 2 and a half and have 4 of the 5. Maybe I should get on with reading some of them...: The Agony of Scarf-Shopping and the Ecstasy of Great Books – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Of course, the ultimate Christmas present for the theology nerd is—wait for it—books.
the King James is 400 years old next year : EV News :: Radio 4 to devote day of reading of King James Bible:
The 28 Bible passages, each 15-minutes long, will be introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Simon Schama and Will Self, and recorded by actors including Samuel West, Emilia Fox and Hugh Bonneville.
The readings will be broadcast on January 9 and will follow three programmes that will explore why King James decided on a new translation of the Bible and its continuing influence on British culture.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
A tricky question: Can I Be Saved If I Am Living in Constant, Secret Sin? – Justin Taylor
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:39 AM
If it feels right and both agree, what then is the problem: Special Parking Privileges:
So, a professor at Columbia has been charged with some kind of incestuous relationship, and everybody was apparently a consenting adult, and so we are, again, face to face with the public incoherence of our rudderless sexual ethic
So those who can follow an argument need to come to grips with how this will play out for them. Do you object to a guy bonking his sister? You, my friend, are clearly filled with hate.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:07 AM
Monday, December 13, 2010
Piper and Lennox will be speaking at this event, and you can also get free talks (but you do have to give them your email address - nearly Katoomba, your close to offering free, no strings attached content): Oxygen 11 - Conference for Pastors & Leaders
Posted by Andrew Vella at 5:46 PM
‘The Things You Have Heard Me Say in the Presence of Many Witnesses Entrust to Reliable (Blank)’ – The Gospel Coalition Blog
More on translation and gender issues, is it "faithful men" or "faithful people"? ‘The Things You Have Heard Me Say in the Presence of Many Witnesses Entrust to Reliable (Blank)’ – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Though not quite the flash point that 1 Timothy 2:12 has become in the gender debate, 2 Timothy 2:2 presents a challenge for contemporary translators.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 11:45 AM
A nice observation: A Gift Idea:
...as Charles Spurgeon once noted in a sermon, “I consider that one of the great lacks of the Church nowadays is not so much Christian preaching as Christian talking.” In fact, a preacher may invest more time in carefully thinking about the words he will use in one sermon than most of us will invest thinking about the words that will come from our lips all year.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:52 AM
Friday, December 10, 2010
I good statement I think: What makes a great preacher? « Expository Thoughts:
Is your favorite preacher a great pastor to his sheep? Do you even know how he treats his congregation? Do you know if his fellow leaders respect his work amongst the sheep? .... The more I have reflected on this in my own life and ministry, it seems that the men who are exemplary in shepherding and preaching are rarely on tour. They’re not out building ministries their doing ministry.Your more likely to find them sweating it out every week in their own pulpits and with their own congregations.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:18 AM
Thursday, December 9, 2010
When I was young I wasn't allowed a Christmas tree, now I am older I don't care much for them, and I am not sure they really work in Summer in Australia (besides fake ones). Also I think attributing the Christmas tree to Luther is a bit of a stretch (maybe I should also say "bah humbug" as this post is a bit grumpy): Those pagan Christmas trees … | The Mars Hill Blog:
No one knows exactly how this got started, but legend has it that the protestant reformer Martin Luther was walking home one Christmas Eve and was struck by the beauty of the stars twinkling through the evergreen tree boughs.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:01 AM
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
DeYoung talks about one verse in the new NIV translation: Assuming Too Much about “Assume” in 1 Timothy 2:12 – Kevin DeYoung:
At the very least, it’s odd that the NIV thinks the meaning of authentein has gotten less clear from 1984 to 2010, when the scholarship that’s taken place in the last 25 years suggests the NIV got it right back then.
Many complementarians object to the new NIV translation, not only because egalitarians have been pushing for this rendering (as Burk points out), but because “assume authority” communicates something different than “exercise authority.”
If “exercise authority” is the best translation, then authority is the problem. If “assume authority” is the best rendering, we are dealing with the inappropriate assumption of authority. This change’s Paul’s prohibition considerably.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 7:58 AM
I have no idea if this is that same for Australia: AlbertMohler.com – The Retreat from Marriage — A Recipe for Disaster:
Economists report that the wealth deficit of the unmarried as compared to the consistently married is as much as 75 percent. The unmarried are less healthy, less wealthy, and less stable in relationships as compared to married couples. And, to no one’s surprise, the ill effects of this condition are extended immediately to the children of unmarried unions and to generations to come.
America now faces a “marriage gap” that can only be described in stark terms. The moderately educated are now less likely to get married, to stay married, and to reserve children for marriage. These Americans are now less likely to form lasting marriages, while the more highly educated are now more likely to do so. For those moderately educated Americans who do marry, their marriages are now declining in measures of quality and stability. Divorce rates are now lower for the more highly educated and higher for the moderately educated. The moderately educated middle class is now “dramatically more likely than highly educated Americans to have children out of marriage.”
Posted by Andrew Vella at 7:50 AM
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This is a bit of a challenge to me as I don't really do fruit. Although, the other month, I did have an apple pie for dessert, as I didn't want to say no to the new rectors wife...:Allergic to Other People:
If you think that every cook in the body has a bounden obligation to drop every other ingredient from her recipes if you are coming over, then perhaps you are waiting for the wrong person to make the sacrifice. Why don't you make the sacrifice, and just eat it?
Monday, December 6, 2010
Interesting thought with Christmas coming up: You Didn't Have To . . .:
When was the last time you heard a caution against being too stingy in your gift giving? And how many warnings have you heard about a consumerist tendency to spend way too much? Now I grant that throwing a bunch of money around is not the same thing as true, open-handed generosity, and we do have a good bit of that. It is not as though that is a non-existent problem.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 1:59 PM
My phone can take ePub formats: Free Electronic Version of Edwards' Religious Affections - Desiring God:
..the unabridged text of Jonathan Edwards' seminal work Religious Affections and turned it into an electronic book
More free audio from a 9marks conference: The Gospel and Personal Evangelism Conference Audio | 9Marks
This was a good talk (and conference)The Advantages of the Small Church:
In a large church the opportunity is excellence, but the challenge is relationships. In a small church the challenge is excellence, but the opportunity is relationships.
Friday, December 3, 2010
On love: Falling in and out of love by Mark Gungor:
One can fall in the toilet or in a ditch or off a ladder. You can even fall on your face…but you do not fall in love.
Love is a choice—it is not a feeling and you do not fall in and out of it. The word of God makes it very clear what love is and is not.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 3:10 PM
A mixed response to this question. The first guy is the quote below, but the other guys I think I side with. It seems it's not ok to verbally serve the church, but its ok if you can play an instrument and support it in it's worship... sounds like a bit of a cop out... TGC Asks: Do Non-Believers Play a Public Role in Your Church Services? – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
..it would be unloving for us to have a non-believer sing songs or recite creeds about things they simply do not believe. But we do enjoy having non-believing instrumentalists offer their gifts in ways that greatly enhance the worship of God in our community.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:56 AM
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The NIV might have shot themselves in the foot with their new version that called the same as their old one. Those who were looking for a reason to change might see this (or it may mean churches will change to the 2010 and then everyone in the church will also change over time): The Sola Panel | Something funny is happening to our Bible readings:
...every church who uses the NIV will have to make a decision whether to change over to the 2010 NIV, or whether to swap to another English version like the ESV or HCSB altogether for their public reading and preaching of Scripture.
Some good Chesterton quote: Chesteron on Thanksgiving – Justin Taylor:
"When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?”—G. K. Chesterton
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:56 AM
I like free stuff and Carson, you cant go wrong: The God Who Is There - The Gospel Coalition:
In February 2009, Don Carson presented a 14-part seminar entitled “The God Who Is There” at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.
Full audio and video are now available for free for the
entire 14 part series
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Some advice for ministers: Why Pastors Should Embrace the Pleasant . . . Unpleasant Moments in Ministry – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Before convincing you why we as pastors should embrace this paradox we experience in ministry, I suppose I should define what I mean by a “pleasant . . . unpleasant” conversation.
A good reminder: Dear Arminians – Justin Taylor:
Whatever issues relevant to salvation we disagree upon, let us agree on this: the Calvinist and the Arminian are brothers in Christ. Both belong to the household of faith. The issue of debate is not between belief and unbelief but rather which of two Christian perspectives better represents the biblical portrayal of the divine-human relationship in salvation and the contributions of both God and man in human history.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:04 AM