Speaking in a short film produced by Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury talks about the sense of hopefulness and generosity which lie at the heart of marriage, and what this also tells us about the 'mystery' and 'delight' which can be found in this life-time commitment.
Friday, April 29, 2011
I don't mean to cut down a tall poppy, but I think the Archbishop missed the whole theological point, symbol and 'mystery' of marriage: YouTube - The Archbishop of Canterbury on the Royal Wedding:
Posted by Andrew Vella at 3:40 PM
The American ABC interviewed Keller: Prominent Religious Leaders Debate God and Government - ABC News:
"At the very least, we should be creating individuals who know how to talk civilly,' said Pastor Tim Keller, who based himself in New York City with the mission of spreading the gospel to a city better known for stone-cold competition rather than Christian brotherhood.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 11:01 AM
I have heard of a few of these: Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition : Kingdom People:
Here are a number of urban legends that get repeated in sermons. Some are more pervasive than others, even appearing in commentaries and scholarly works.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:33 AM
Quite an interesting fact in China: AlbertMohler.com – Nero in Beijing — The Communist Party Declares War on Christians:
One dimension of the Communist Party’s idolatry is that it allows no mediating institutions between its power and the individual. It greatly fears these organizations, especially the church.
One reason — Christians in China now outnumber members of the Community Party.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:30 AM
At the moment I am spending a lot of time in 1 Sam 8 for an exegetical paper and so I liked this post: Longing and Looking for a Good King – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
It’s not enough to have a king with the proper line of succession, or with the legal right to rule; people want a good king. They want a king with some dignity, who doesn’t bare a checkered past of divorce and sex scandals. And it’s not just the king’s subjects who care. Hundreds of millions around the world will be watching tomorrow.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:28 AM
A 2007 conference has just released their audio for free, including talks by Tim Keller and Dick Lucas: EMA 2007 | The Proclamation Trust:
What does it really mean to live and minister as an Evangelical in our times? Now free for the first time, Defining Times, the 2007 Evangelical Ministry Assembly is available as an mp3 download.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:25 AM
I like the book of Hebrews, this is a good table of information on the: Differences Between Jesus and the Levitical High Priests – Justin Taylor
The first book out responding to Bell: Read Christ Alone, the First Book to Respond to Rob Bell’s Love Wins:
In this highly readable and wonderfully engaging response (really, it’s a good read) to Rob Bell’s New York Times best seller Love Wins, Michael E. Wittmer examines Bell’s claims about “heaven, hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived” in the light of the Bible and historic Christian doctrine.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:11 AM
Churches that make demands of people and say what is right and wrong last longer then liberal churches: AlbertMohler.com – Why Conservative Churches Are Growing: David Brooks and the Limits of Sociology:
The only problem with “The Book of Mormon” (you realize when thinking about it later) is that its theme is not quite true. Vague, uplifting, nondoctrinal religiosity doesn’t actually last. The religions that grow, succor and motivate people to perform heroic acts of service are usually theologically rigorous, arduous in practice and definite in their convictions about what is True and False.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 7:47 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
this is pretty useful: A comparison chart of evangelistic courses | Communicate Jesus:
I discovered a comparison chart of the following 6 courses – you can download the chart here.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 11:21 AM
Blog - Redeemer City to City:
Dr. Lloyd-Jones effectively dismantles the idea that watching a video or listening to an audio of a sermon is as good as coming physically into an assembly and listening to a sermon with a body of people. It is obviously a good thing if a person who never hears or reads the Bible listens to the recording of a good gospel message and is helped by it. But the Doctor argues that people experience the sermon in a radically different way if they hear it together with a body of listeners and if they see the preacher. Watching on a screen or listening as you walk detaches you and the sermon becomes mere information, not a whole experience. There is a power and impact that the media cannot convey.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:16 AM
Variety within Calvinism | Jesus Creed:
Noticeably absent, in my opinion, among the many criticisms of Rob Bell on the part of the NeoReformed crowd was much attention to election or predestination — Rob Bell is strong on free will, but I heard very few of his critics score him on that account, and I heard no one defend double predestination, which in many ways solves most — if not all — the problems Rob Bell is seeking to resolve.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:10 AM
This is a bit western and narrow. What about people in the third world that don't even have electricity? Hal Lindsey Redux | Jesus Creed:
“The Bible says that every eye is going to see [the second coming],” Graham told “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour. “How is the whole world going to see [Jesus Christ] all at one time? I don’t know, unless all of a sudden everybody’s taking pictures and it’s on the media worldwide. I don’t know. Social media could have a big part in that.”
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:05 AM
Hell is hard to preach/talk about: For Those Who Rail Against Hell:
From the outset, let’s acknowledge that hell is a hard doctrine to digest—perhaps the hardest doctrine. It stretches our puny human minds to comprehend how divine justice responds to human guilt. We naturally resist the idea of God tormenting human beings in a lake of fire for all eternity. If you’ve never struggled with those issues, you’ve probably not thought deeply or seriously enough about hell. If you have struggled, you’re not alone; some of God’s choicest saints have shared your experience:
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:46 AM
Grudem in his Systematic Theology has a whole series of arguments coming to the same conclusion that Piper comes to: Did Christ ever descend to hell? - Desiring God:
So I don't say that phrase 'he descended into hell' when I recite the Apostle's Creed. But study it yourself and see whether you think there are other foundations for it. As for me, though, I would say that the foundation for that particular sentence in the Apostle's Creed is pretty weak biblically.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:31 AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Is our world solely material and accidental: dangerous idea: C. S.Lewis on the AFR and the Scientific Juggernaut:
...in other words, unless Reason is an absolute -- all [science] is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:47 AM
God's grace has no limits: J.R. Briggs » The Scandal of Grace » Attempting to behold the miracle long enough without falling asleep:
Who is invited to join in the kingdom of God?
“The flunk-outs and drop-outs and burned-outs. The broke and the broken. The drug heads and the divorced. The HIV-positive and herpes-ridden. The brain-damaged, the incurably ill. The barren and the pregnant too-many-times or at the wrong time. The overemployed, the underemployed, the unemployed. The unemployable. The swindled, the shoved aside, the replaced. The parents with children living on the street, the children with parents not dying in the “rest” home. The lonely, the incompetent, the stupid. The emotionally starved or emotionally dead. And on and on and on...
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:39 AM
DeYoung's Easter message, worth a read: Lest We Drift Away: A Sermon for Good Friday – Kevin DeYoung:
Do not let Good Friday pass you by like a set of airline instructions. Fix your eyes on the cross.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:36 AM
Looks interesting: Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl - Home:
In this unusual but fascinating film sequence, best-selling author N.D. Wilson gives an emotional and intellectual tour of life in this world and the final chapter that is death. Everything before and after and in between is a series of miracles--some of which are encouraging, others disturbing and uncomfortable.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:32 AM
These guys have a new website. It looks clean and simple: Christianity Explored | One life, what's it all about?
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:26 AM
Scott McKnight is slowing going through Love Wins, he has some positives to say and also some negatives: Exploring Love Wins 9 | Jesus Creed:
I am not yet convinced the God in this book is a God of justice. That may sound utterly nonsensical, but Rob has so distanced God from hell (hell is something humans do to themselves) and so distanced God from disestablishing injustice that the oppressed person may well find in Bell’s God little more than justification for the oppressors and the power of the already mighty.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:17 AM
I just got back from a large conference where Don Carson was speaking and latter this year I am going to another one where John Piper will be there: Thoughts on Marketing and Conferences - Reformation21 Blog:
The key problem for conferences in the USA is that of 1 Corinthians, i.e., superapostles. American culture is obsessed with celebrity and we need to be aware that the American church is thus likely to be very susceptible to this.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:13 AM
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wilson response to seven accusations against Atheists use against Christians. Some responses are quite good. Seven Memes for Keeping Christians in their Place:
After each meme, I have included the briefest of replies to each, all while expressing the desire that somebody would write a book on all these.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:19 AM
This probably more informed than Harold Camping's view of it happening on the 1st April 33AD: The Date of Jesus' Crucifixion - ESVSB Resources - ESV Online:
Scholars continue to debate the year and date of Jesus' crucifixion. Several pieces of evidence, both inside and outside the Bible, help historians to calculate and determine this date, and are described below.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:14 AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Offensive/graphic for the sake of being offensive/graphic. I've heard Driscoll say this type of thing. Do we need to go into great graphic detail about the act of crucifixion? “Jesus lost control of bodily functions” and other unhelpful statements « Expository Thoughts:
Whatever the reasons there is something troubling about these sort of statements when interjected into a sermon. They have no support in Scripture! Could this have happened? Well, sure, a lot could have happened but the Spirit of God decided that it was not necessary to know such details. Furthermore, such details add nothing to the meaning of the text nor do they clarify any background information to the scene. How we think about such things says a lot about our hermeneutic and whether we believe the meaning of the text is rooted in authorial intent or in our cleverness. Does stating that Jesus lost control of His bodily functions make Him appear more human? His cross more shocking? His death more real? If not, then how is this helpful?
John MacArthur looks at Bell's view of sin and punishment, without even quoting Love Wins: Rob Bell’s Unbelief in His own Words:
Rob Bell’s denial of eternal punishment goes hand in hand with a warped view of the gospel. No wonder. Each error fuels and exacerbates the other. Eliminate every hint of punishment for sin; ignore the wrath of an offended deity; dismiss the demands of divine justice, and you abolish any need for the gospel.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:09 AM
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Two interesting links worth checking out about the events around Holy Week: The “Who,” “What,” and “Where” of Holy Week: A Visualization – Justin Taylor
Posted by Andrew Vella at 12:39 PM
Lee Strobel on the resurrection: How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism - Speakeasy - WSJ:
One by one, my objections evaporated. I read books by skeptics, but their counter-arguments crumbled under the weight of the historical data. No wonder atheists so often come up short in scholarly debates over the resurrection.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:23 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
A response to a book that is yet to come out...Theological Theology: Congregationalism - real, radical, or imaginary?:
...the question remains, has Sydney Anglicanism morphed into radical congregationalism? It’s a reasonable enough question. But what does it mean?
Posted by Andrew Vella at 6:42 PM
ANTHEM: Strategies for Fighting Lust - Desiring God:
When I say 'lust' I mean the realm of thought, imagination, and desire that leads to sexual misconduct. So here is one set of strategies in the war against wrong desires. I put it in the form of an acronym, A N T H E M.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 6:40 PM
The crowds were different: Preaching Carefully on Palm Sunday – Kevin DeYoung:
There is no warrant here for the preacher’s favourite comment on the fickleness of a crowd which could shout ‘Hosanna’ one day and ‘Crucify him’ a few days later. They are not the same crowd. The Galilean pilgrims shouted ‘Hosanna’ as they approached the city, the Jerusalem crowd shouted, ‘Crucify him.’
Posted by Andrew Vella at 6:25 PM
Renaming Easter Eggs to Spring Spheres doesn't really work (and wouldn't in Australia, they will have to be Autumn Spheres), as they don't remove the holiday in the first place, which is the reason for the giving of chocolate... On Hiding “Spring Spheres” | Jesus Creed:
The elephant in the room is Easter and the PC crowd acts as if they rename things, no one will notice.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 7:55 AM
Carson to academics: Academicians: Avoid Being a Mere Quartermaster – Justin Taylor:
Yet it is possible to write learned tomes on apologetics without actually defending the gospel in the current world; it is possible to write commentaries without constantly remembering that God makes himself present, he discloses himself afresh, to his people, through the Word.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 7:50 AM
Four theories against the resurrection: Jesus’ Tomb is Empty! | The Resurgence:
Just because the tomb of Christ was empty does not necessarily mean the resurrection happened. Indeed, there have been four alternative hypotheses to resurrection that have been advanced over the years.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 7:35 AM
Friday, April 15, 2011
Forgetting your roots: AlbertMohler.com – Scientific Extremism on Display — And the Prize Goes To . . .:
The award is now simply known as the “Templeton Prize,” not the “Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.” The choice of Martin Rees this year marks something of a full transition for the prize, given his absolute lack of any religious belief at all. All he sees, he says, is “a sense of wonder at the universe.”
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:52 AM
God’s Intention Through Sickness « J.C. Ryle Quotes:
But sickness, we must always remember, is no sign that God is displeased with us; no, more, it is generally sent for the good of our souls. It tends to draw our affections away from this world, and to direct them to things above. It sends us to our Bibles, and teaches us to pray better. It helps to prove our faith and patience, and shows us the real value of our hope in Christ.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:48 AM
Thursday, April 14, 2011
i think Bob Kauflin also addressed this issue in his talk at a DG Conference on The Power of Words: J.R. Briggs » Emotion vs Emotionalism » Attempting to behold the miracle long enough without falling asleep:
How should one respond to a person who says, “Well, its just not my personality. I don’t show emotion” when you’ve seen them cheer for the Eagles and they’ve shown plenty of emotion? What would you say to them?
Posted by Andrew Vella at 10:23 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A good look at how singleness can be addressed in churches: Grow Up and Get Married | Merely Theological:
I confess that I have never met the man or woman described in most sermons or blogs on singleness and the accompanying rants against the cultural phenomenon known as “extended adolescence.” Apparently there exists a large group of 20 and 30-somethings living at home, intentionally unemployed and spending multiple hours a day absorbed in video games. I believe such a description accurately depicts the condition of some, but is it truly reflective of most singles in our churches today?
Posted by Andrew Vella at 4:25 PM
I just wish it was free, not just a 30 day free trial: New Resource from Crossway: ESV GreekTools – Justin Taylor:
If you’re at TGC be sure to go by the Crossway Exhibit Booth and see the launch of a great new tool that Crossway has developed: ESV GreekTools.
Monday, April 11, 2011
AlbertMohler.com – What He Wanted All Along: The Real Scandal of Pastor Terry Jones:
This publicity-seeking pastor of a tiny congregation deserves to be condemned in every way for his act of putting the Qur’an “on trial” and for then burning a copy in a staged act of inflammatory showmanship. The judgment is the easy part. The difficult dimension of this is the fact that even our condemnation gives this pastor what he most desires — public attention.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:04 AM
Friday, April 8, 2011
Interesting: BiblePlaces Blog: That Rope around the High Priest’s Ankle:
The notion that the high priest would tie a rope around his ankle before entering the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) so that his body could be pulled out should he be struck down is not found in any ancient source, including the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, the Apocrypha, the Mishnah, the Babylonian Talmud, or the Jerusalem Talmud.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:06 AM
Hitchens and Mohler agree on something. This was a good article: AlbertMohler.com – Rinse Not the Prose: Christopher Hitchens on the King James Version:
Since the article’s publication, several observers have noted Hitchens’ comments on faulty modern translations and gender-neutral approaches. His points are well worth noting.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:03 AM
Thursday, April 7, 2011
dangerous idea: Groothuis on Multiverses and Intelligent Design:
Can one, with a straight face, reject theism because of Ockham's razor, and then believe in the multiverse?
Posted by Andrew Vella at 3:19 PM
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Sounds like InterVarsity has some issues: IV gags the Bible at IU/InterVarsity event promoting sodomy (part IV)... - BaylyBlog: Out of our minds, too...:
But, what I cannot comprehend is the idea of InterVarsity hosting an event, inviting a speaker, having a Q & A, and then declaring that the Bible is off-limits for discussion. InterVarsity believes that the Bible is authoritative, has unique divine inspiration, and is entirely trustworthy. That an InterVarsity sponsored event could be held that expressly did not want the Bible to be brought up is horrifying. That this event could be called 'Jesus and the end of Homophobia' and yet explicitly exclude the words that Jesus said and the things that Jesus taught is horrifying. IU’s Religious Studies department would never participate in an event on Jesus and homophobia where the Bible was not allowed to be used, but InterVarsity Christian Fellowship did.
A Rob Bell parody, its edgy: Robbed Hell - C.A.S.T. Pearls Presents on Vimeo:
I also liked this one, although it isn't edited so well.
Do we really believe that the path to eternal life is narrow? So narrow that not even atheist hippy pop stars will make it in? Don your shallow thinking cap and come wander some contours of meaning in this parody of Rob Bell's Love Wins book trailer.
I also liked this one, although it isn't edited so well.
Posted by Andrew Vella at 9:16 AM
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
This conference does look good: A fresh look at mission « Gold, silver, precious stones?:
Apart from the session after lunch, this looks to be a seriously useful day conference!
Posted by Andrew Vella at 11:06 AM
Monday, April 4, 2011
Wow a long review of Daniel Dennetts book, Breaking the Spell:Article | First Things:
I would hesitate to say that Breaking the Spell is, in this sense, entirely absurd, as I doubt that it is tightly reasoned enough to merit the description. What does seem clear, however, is that, in its general form, the book's argument is one that strives (not always successfully) to preserve the shape of reason, logic, and method, even though that shape has been largely evacuated of all rational, logical, or empirical content. To put the matter bluntly, no one could mistake it for a genuinely substantial argument who was not firmly intent on doing so before ever reading the book.
Some Helps for Reading the Bible Better – Justin Taylor:
Some free, concise essays online