Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sydney Anglicans and the threat to world Anglicanism

Run to the hills, a conservative church isn't wearing its old garb and the AFES is run out of, wait for it...Sydney. The plot thickens...: Sydney Anglicans and the threat to world Anglicanism – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
It was not viewed with concern, however, because it seemed to inhabit an isolated, inward-looking world of its own. And it was still recognizably Anglican, requiring prayer book services, liturgical robes and the other hallmarks of traditional Anglicanism. Not any longer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On Biblicism | Jesus Creed

Scott McKnight doesn't like DeYoungs (and others) review on a book about Biblicism: On Biblicism | Jesus Creed:
None of these reviews engages the issue at hand. None of them thinks biblicism is a problem. None of them thinks that what we believe about the Bible (in our biblicistic framing of how we view the Bible) should not create the problem it does. None of them, in other words, thinks pervasive interpretive pluralism undermines biblicism. Evidently, then, pervasive interpretive pluralism is fine and what we get when God gives us a Bible. None of them, in other words, is dealing with the problem.

Watch R.C. Sproul Teaching Series for Free

Three free series that you can watch online (can't download): Watch R.C. Sproul Teaching Series for Free

Media-Hyped Religious Surveys and the Bad News Bearers

Wow, in regard to western culture, America is an anomaly: Media-Hyped Religious Surveys and the Bad News Bearers – Justin Taylor:
The national news media yawned over the Baylor Survey’s findings that the number of American atheists has remained steady at 4% since 1944, and that church membership has reached an all-time high. But when a study by the Barna Research Group claimed that young people under 30 are deserting the church in droves, it made headlines and newscasts across the nation—even though it was a false alarm.

Related in Their Turn to the Primordial Bicycle

"To argue that the Ford Taurus evolved from the Model T because they each have four tires is a dubious procedure. Maybe four tires is just a good idea, and anybody who wants to build a car should use it. Maybe a pig liver does the same thing that a human liver does, and for similar reasons. A Chevy and a Ford both have tailpipes, and I am entirely in favor of this. There is no doubt a common reason for it, and we need not resort to the explanation that the two cars are cousins, sharing a common ancestor" (God Is, p. 16)
Related in Their Turn to the Primordial Bicycle

Picking An Idol

Idols in Church: Articles | Picking An Idol | Phillip Jensen:
So when does a work of art become an idol? The old litmus test was to remove it – if nobody complains it holds little significance for them and can be returned but if people complain it probably is an idol. Of course it depends on the nature of the complaint. But when people say that they cannot worship God without the object it certainly has become an idol for them. That is why ‘religious’ art in church buildings, which are associated with a concept of worship, is considerably more dangerous than the same artwork hanging in a public gallery.

Things Getting Old in Church

There are some pretty good things on this list: Candid Christianity: Things Getting Old in Church | Antwuan Malone:
3. Spending more money on technology than on helping the poor. Satellite broadcast? Absolutely. Eight cameras to capture the right angle for the live internet feed? Obviously. Two million dollar stage lighting set? Heck, Yes. Soup kitchen? Isn’t that somewhere downtown?

ONE: Live streaming available

This is kinda cool, would be better if you could time shift it, ie download for later...ONE: Live streaming available - Katoomba Christian Convention:
ONE will be streamed live on a public stream via our Facebook page . If you cannot access this, try streaming it from our website

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Gospel and Poverty

It’s trendy now for churches to put less emphasis on the Gospel and more emphasis on service. I’ve even heard Christians almost brag that their outreach efforts don’t include any proselytizing at all. This is tragic. Billions of dollars of “service” won’t change hearts and lives. We know that now. In fact, those very billions may very well numb the human heart to the gravity of its sin.

Striking Similarities Between Two Extraordinary Expositors

Interesting comparison: Striking Similarities Between Two Extraordinary Expositors « Expository Thoughts:
Lloyd-Jones and MacArthur have proven to be, arguably, the premier expositors of the last two generations. What Lloyd-Jones was to the middle of the twentieth century, MacArthur has become to the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries. Though these two luminous preachers would never meet, and each would be his own man, many striking parallels can be identified between their pulpit ministries. The common ground shared by these two gifted preachers should serve as a positive example for all preachers to pattern their ministries.

Why Do I Doubt Detractors of Biblical Archaeology?

I just wrote an essay on the evidence for Solomon, this was a good article on archaeology and the bible: CADRE Comments: Why Do I Doubt Detractors of Biblical Archaeology?:
So, if the Bible is historically accurate the accuracy is irrelevant, but if the Bible is historically inaccurate the inaccuracy is relevant. Thus, under these views the archaeological record is not important as long as it supports the Bible, but when the archaeological record seems contrary to the Bible, atheists and Bible doubters want to jump all over the archaeological record as critical to the Biblical claims.

No offense, but you cannot have it both ways.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Real Culprit

"Religion kills, but so does cancer, old age, hunting accidents, radiation from the sun, other predatory species, too much mayonnaise, and the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber. Actually, we need to use the wide-angle lens and admit that it is Evolution that kills"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

‘Deselecting’ our children

Wow, Denmark doesn't want any more Down syndrome people in their country: ‘Deselecting’ our children - The Globe and Mail:
Here’s a recent Danish headline: “Plans to make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society.” The Danes want to promote aborting fetuses with Down syndrome, so their society will be free of such people around 2030. One bioethicist describes it as a “fantastic achievement.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

False Start? The Controversy Over Adam and Eve Heats Up

There have been a few posts on the existence of Adam and Eve in America: – False Start? The Controversy Over Adam and Eve Heats Up:
The denial of an historical Adam and Eve as the first parents of all humanity and the solitary first human pair severs the link between Adam and Christ which is so crucial to the Gospel.

If we do not know how the story of the Gospel begins, then we do not know what that story means. Make no mistake: A false start to the story produces a false grasp of the Gospel.

The Myth of Mutual Submission

This 11-page chapter (available for free as a PDF) concisely and convincingly explains why the phrase “mutual submission” is unhelpful at best

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Whole Sweep of Scripture - NT Wright

This clip is worth a look, NT Wright's accent make me believe anything he says: The Whole Sweep of Scripture - NT Wright - YouTube

Eleven Theses on Private Spirits

If you read any of this, be sure to read all of it. Or, failing that, if you read only part of it, be sure just to read the parts you agree with, which should help us keep the comments down. Now then . . .

Sinful Means to a Glorious End

Tim Challies also wrote another good article on the Mahaney situation, link in the first paragraph of this article: Sinful Means to a Glorious End | Challies Dot Com:
What I have not seen in the discussions about the now-infamous document leak is a compelling Scriptural case that this method of exposing a fellow Christian is consistent with the Bible. What I have seen, though, is many appeals to the good or potential good being brought about by it. In other words, the action of leaking the documents is considered to be good because it accomplishes good. This is dangerous, dangerous ground to tread and appears to me to show the influence of pragmatism.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Is Pluralism More Tolerant Than Christianity?

I'm not sure I would go so are as to call pluralism a religion: Is Pluralism More Tolerant Than Christianity? | The Resurgence:
As it turns out, the reasons for subscribing to religious pluralism—enlightenment, humility, and tolerance—actually backfire. They don’t carry through. Religious pluralism isn’t enlightened, it’s inaccurate; it isn’t humble, it’s fiercely dogmatic; and it isn’t really all that tolerant because it intolerantly blunts religious distinctives. In the end, religious pluralism is a religion, a leap of faith, based on contradiction and is highly untenable. Christianity, on the other hand, should respect and honor the various distinctives of other religions, comparing them, and honoring their differing principles–Karma (Hinduism), Enlightenment (Buddhism), Submission (Islam), and Grace (Christianity). In the next and final post, I will examine Jesus’ exclusive claim, and the charge that his teachings in Christianity are unenlightened, arrogant, and intolerant. In particular, we will examine the unique principle of grace.

John MacArthur Drops the Booze Bomb

A very healthy response to John MacArthur on drinking, written by some guy who also wrote "What would Jesus Drink?" which has been endorsed by Doug Wilson. This post might have swayed me, it's long but a good read: John MacArthur Drops the Booze Bomb |
In order to nip these YRR hops in the bud, MacArthur first tries the old “guilt-by-association” trick. He placards every non-conventional or even extreme behavior which a member of the YRR crowd may or may not be associated with, and which may make the whole movement look questionable in the eyes of more traditionally conformist Christians (read, MacArthur’s swiftly graying Baptist and mostly fundamentalist audience)—tattoos, tobacco, and, to use his phrase, “lots of explicit talk about sex.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can We Trust the Text of the New Testament?

wow this looks like a very good debate. One (Wallace) is the guy who teachers NT Greek and has written the textbook that most students use. The other (Ehrman) is a professor who once believed the bible and then looked into some of the details and considers the text unreliable: SMU Debate: Can We Trust the Text of the New Testament? Daniel B. Wallace & Bart D. Ehrman:

The Brouhaha over the Brew

Maybe I am getting old, but I do like that John MacArthur is cutting through the trendiness that is seen in some circles: The Brouhaha over the Brew:
Just in case you missed John’s point in the dust-up (not only in our comment thread, but in other playgrounds as well), here it is: It’s irresponsible and wrong for YRR leaders to make beer/wine-drinking one of the badges of the YRR movement. That’s it. So, if that shoe fits you, wear it; If it doesn’t, let it pass.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Laughable, Right?

We should throw ourselves into the work of ministry. When we do this, some things will fall off or break, of course. The purpose of the church is not to be well-organized. The purpose of missions is not to be well-organized. The purpose of the church is to do the work we are called to, with organization being a means of keeping our tools sharp. When the organization decides that the best way to do that is by keeping them all in the tool box, the problem I am talking about has manifested itself.
Doug Wilson, Laughable, Right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The New Philistinism

Yet another pretty harsh op-ed assessment on the new Atheist, this time by a Catholic philosopher: The New Philistinism — The American Magazine:
The intellectual frivolousness of the New Atheist literature is by now an open secret. Philosopher and prominent Darwinian Michael Ruse has said that Dawkins’s book made him “ashamed to be an atheist” and that Dennett’s book is “really bad and not worthy of [him].” Another atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel, has described Dawkins’s “amateur philosophy” as “particularly weak,” and his attempts to counter the philosophical difficulties inherent in his own position “pure hand-waving.” Literary critic Terry Eagleton—yet another atheist, and a Marxist to boot—characterizes Dawkins’ writings on religion as “ill-informed,” “shoddy,” and directed at “vulgar caricatures.” The list of the New Atheists’ fellow intellectuals and even fellow atheists who are critical of their work could easily be extended.

The Heart Of Growing Christianly

The world takes a census, of our numbers, size and influence but it does not know what it is counting. For the institutional size of a Christian denomination or church tells you little about its growth or impact. We will not have greater effect in Australia by being in a bigger organization, but by being a more Christian one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is It Humble To Think All Paths Lead to God?

Truth claims are exclusive and whatever world view you put forward you are bringing down another: Is It Humble To Think All Paths Lead to God? | The Resurgence
When religious pluralism says that there are many ways to God, it is not humble. It actually carries an air of arrogance about it. How? Religious pluralism insists that its view—all ways lead to God—is true while all other religions are false in their exclusive teachings. Religious pluralism dogmatically insists on its exclusive claim, namely that all roads lead to God. The problem, as we have seen, is that this claim directly contradicts many religions like Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity. The claim of the religious pluralist is arrogant because it enforces own belief on others. It says to other religions: “You must believe what I believe, not what you believe. Your way isn’t right, in fact all of your ways are wrong and my way is right. There isn’t just one way (insert your way) to God; there are many ways. You are wrong and I am right.” This can be incredibly arrogant, particularly if the person saying this hasn’t studied all the world religions in depth and makes this blind assertion. Upon what basis can the religious pluralist make this exclusive claim? Where is the proof that this is true? To what ancient Scriptures, traditions, and careful reasoning can they point?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Problem of Biblicism 7

Put simply there are ambiguities in the Bible, and pretending there aren’t won’t make them go away. Biblicism believes the Bible is clear on everything, accessible on everything, understandable on everything, coherent on everything, and complete on everything — but it isn’t. The so-called “perspicuity” of the Bible is not about every passage and every line but about the big idea of the Bible, the regula fidei, the story that leads us to Jesus Christ.

Evangelicals and the Gay Moral Revolution

In less than a single generation, homosexuality has gone from something almost universally understood to be sinful, to something now declared to be the moral equivalent of heterosexuality—and deserving of both legal protection and public encouragement. Theo Hobson, a British theologian, has argued that this is not just the waning of a taboo. Instead, it is a moral inversion that has left those holding the old morality now accused of nothing less than “moral deficiency.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Want to see somebody talk about the gospel in the media? Check this out

This minister does a good job on Sunrise. Before you hear the ministers answer you should pause it and think "what would I say in response?": Want to see somebody talk about the gospel in the media? Check this out | St. Eutychus

Love for the Big and the Small

DeYoung gives a balanced view on the issue of the size of your family: Love for the Big and the Small – Kevin DeYoung:
And yet, any pastor paying attention to the hearts and hurts of his church, will tell you that there is a lot of tension around the size of our families. Here is an opportunity for the devil to work discord among us. But here also is a wonderful opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves and open wide hearts and affections to families that look different than ours (Matt. 22:39; 2 Cor. 6:11-13).

Think of all the trouble we get into in the church, and on this issue in particular, because we assume the worst. Big families assume smaller families are being selfish. Smaller families assume big families are out to prove something. Parents assume their children are rejecting their choices when they make different ones. Children assume their parents would have acted like them if they were more spiritual. And everybody assumes everybody else is assuming something about them!

Growing Up: Becoming a Real Man

This whole is worth a read: Growing Up: Becoming a Real Man:
That’s the main mark of true manhood Paul singles out: doctrinal stability—and along with that are some clear implications: you need to be certain of what you believe. You need to understand it. You need to be able to defend it against everything—ranging from the changing winds of whatever happens to be in style at the moment all the way to human trickery and the cunning craftiness of Satan himself. Because the enemy will offer all kinds of counterfeit doctrines that look good and sound OK—false doctrines where the error is so carefully nuanced it's hard to put your finger on what's wrong with it. He will tempt you to set aside what is precise and carefully defined in place of dumbed-down doctrinal formulas that don't necessarily sound dangerous—but are.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don’t Provoke Your Teenage Children to Anger

CS Lewis on parents to teenagers: Don’t Provoke Your Teenage Children to Anger - Desiring God:
We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the rising generation. I am an oldster myself and might be expected to take the oldsters' side, but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of parents to children than by those of children to parents.

Who has not been the embarrassed guest at family meals where the father or mother treated their grown-up offspring with an incivility which, offered to any other young people, would simply have terminated the acquaintance?

No More Mars Hill “Campuses”

I think churches should also have a resident real life personal preacher: No More Mars Hill “Campuses” | The Mars Hill Blog:
Referring to our locations as churches rather than campuses helps articulate our theology (what we believe about God and his Word), our ecclesiology (what we believe about church), our ministry, and our mission.

Evolution Refuted: Check This Out

A short clip on the non-scientific grounds of evolution. I think they lean a bit too much on observable events for it to be science, I know some people doing science on things that can not be observed...: Evolution Refuted: Check This Out (6 animated mini-videos) - Answers in Genesis

Monday, August 8, 2011

Divine determinism, human freedom, and the consequence argument

If I had time now I would probably read this article. I'm linking to it so I can go back to it: SpringerLink - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Online First™:
In this paper I consider the view, held by some Thomistic thinkers, that divine determinism is compatible with human freedom, even though natural determinism is not. After examining the purported differences between divine and natural determinism, I discuss the Consequence Argument, which has been put forward to establish the incompatibility of natural determinism and human freedom. The Consequence Argument, I note, hinges on the premise that an action ultimately determined by factors outside of the actor’s control is not free. Since, I argue, divine determinism also entails that human actions are ultimately determined by factors outside of the actors’ control, I suggest that a parallel argument to the Consequence Argument can be constructed for the incompatibility of divine determinism and human freedom. I conclude that those who reject natural compatibilism on the basis of the Consequence Argument should also reject divine compatibilism.

Barna’s Newest Study: Church Changing 3

This link has a whole series of interesting stats about men and women and faith in America: Barna’s Newest Study: Church Changing 3 | Jesus Creed

An Elder Qualification We Often Forget

Hospitality is a good quality maybe we should all invest in more: An Elder Qualification We Often Forget - Desiring God:
What are the qualifications for elders in the New Testament? Chances are hospitality doesn't make our quick list, though it's listed in both 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Story of Everything

A four minute clip of the overview of the Bible. It makes you think what would you put in there?: The Story of Everything – Justin Taylor

Everyone Has a Big But

A good edgy post about Christians who think they are the exception to the rule: Everyone Has a Big But:
As Christians we sit in churches Sunday after Sunday, year after year and hear the truth of this message proclaimed and then we put our big but in: But that husband of mine is so mean and hurtful—God would never expect me to be loving to him! But my wife doesn’t give me sex enough, therefore I can watch porn and masturbate to fill my need. ...But we don’t have the money to give right now because we are going to Disney on vacation. But I can’t tithe because we have too many other expenses. But I am so busy. But my schedule doesn’t allow it. But I can’t volunteer on Wednesday because that’s American Idol night and I don’t have Tivo…and the buts keep getting bigger and bigger.

Come on, at least admit that you don’t want to follow the truth, that you intentionally choose to disregard the ways of God in lieu of your own thinking

TGC Welcomes Two New Council Members

I'm not sure what difference it really makes, but I like both Chandler (who has already spoken at TGC conference) and Baucham. TGC Welcomes Two New Council Members – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
The Gospel Coalition welcomes to its Council two new members with a track record of gospel-centered ministry in highly diverse contexts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Q&A: Is Seminary Necessary?

A good clip about the pros and cons of attending bible college: Q&A: Is Seminary Necessary? | The Village Church : From Our Pastors

Make God’s Word Your ‘Thing’

A good series of clips on preaching from the bible. The last video deals with the balance between application, biblical theology or historical context:Make God’s Word Your ‘Thing’ – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Kicking off this final video installment on biblical authority and interpretation, Tim Keller adds a word about application.

Nile's bully tactics do Christians no favours

A nice article by Simon smart about religion and ethics classes in public schools: Nile's bully tactics do Christians no favours - The Drum Opinion - Christianity's efforts to improve its position in the PR stakes won't have been helped by Fred Nile's manoeuvres this week. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Christianity, if it is true, ought to be robust enough to stand up to scrutiny, criticism, and competition, even persecution. It always has. In fact, it's usually done far better from a position outside the power structures than from within them. The Christian message need not be promoted by bully tactics and coercion. Indeed, it must not be.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomb of St. Philip the Apostle Discovered in Turkey

One of the Apostles tomb may have been found, although the news source is Fox News...: Tomb of St. Philip the Apostle Discovered in Turkey -
A tomb believed to be that of St. Philip the Apostle was unearthed during excavations in the ancient Turkish city of Hierapolis.

Content with Being a Mere Repeater of Scripture

I am content to live and to die as the mere repeater of Scriptural teaching—as a person who has thought out nothing and invented nothing—as one who never thought invention to be any part of his calling, but who concluded that he was to take the message from the lips of God to the best of his ability and simply to be a mouth for God to the people—mourning much that anything of his own should come between—but never thinking that he was somehow to refine the message or to adapt it to the brilliance of this wonderful century and then to hand it out as being so much his own that he might take some share of the glory of it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A confident secularist society would tolerate school religion

Interesting point. Who has the most influence?A confident secularist society would tolerate school religion:
Can a half-hour chat about God really warp children's minds? Listening to Australia's increasingly irate secularists, you could be forgiven for thinking so.

Even the most fervent nun or red-eyed pastor would struggle to indoctrinate children in such time-restricted weekly hook-ups.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The NIV and the Southern Baptists

Southern Baptists reject the NIV 2011 translation due to gender neutral language: The NIV and the Southern Baptists | Jesus Creed:
RESOLVED, That we cannot commend the 2011 NIV to Southern Baptists or the larger Christian community.

A Table for the Riff-Raff

A good lesson on grace by Doug Wilson: A Table for the Riff-Raff:
Grace is not a theology-word only, grace is a reality that invites you to drop everything and come. You must drop your sins, which is what repentance is, but having sins to drop is not a disqualification in the slightest. Are you an adulterer? Then come. Are you a thief? Then come. Have you had an abortion? Then come.

“Wait, wait,” someone will say. “Don’t you need to say ‘drop your sin’ with every invitation?” Don’t you need to mention true repentance every other sentence? Not really. Grace is not something you can turn to without simultaneously turning away from that which is not grace. And all sin is not grace.

John MacArthur Wants Us to Grow Up

A good article about a series MacArthur is currently posting: John MacArthur Wants Us to Grow Up | Challies Dot Com:
John MacArthur is in the midst of penning a series of articles that will address (and encourage and scold) the Young, Restless, Reformed movement—this thing they call the New Calvinism. I have one great concern about this. I will tell you what it is, but only after I give a brief overview of what MacArthur has said so far.

Stott: Substitution is Not a “Theory of the Atonement”

A good quote by John Stott on the atonement: Stott: Substitution is Not a “Theory of the Atonement” – Kevin DeYoung:
So substitution is not a “theory of the atonement.” Nor is it even an additional image to take its place as an option alongside the others. It is rather the essence of each image and the heart of the atonement itself. None of the four images could stand without it. I am not of course saying that it is necessary to understand, let alone articulate, a substitutionary atonement before one can be saved. Yet the responsibility of Christian teachers, preachers and other witnesses is to seek grace to expound it with clarity and conviction. For the better people understand the glory of the divine substitution, the easier it will be for them to trust in the Substitute.

Making Sense Of The Senseless | Phillip Jensen

Jensen on the Norway attacks: Articles | Making Sense Of The Senseless | Phillip Jensen:
Could a Christian commit such atrocities? Yes, of course a Christian could. Not as a result of commitment to Christ but rather in defiance of his Saviour. It would be an appalling denial of his Lord. But yet, in keeping with the Bible’s teaching on the universality of sin, anybody is capable of terrible wrongdoing. For the Bible warns that all people are sinful.