Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animals feel the pain of Halal slaughter

I'm not up on Islamic practice, but this could get tricky if this article is true: Animals feel the pain of Halal slaughter - On Line Opinion - 31/5/2011:
While an inquiry has been launched by the Department of Agriculture, and progressive politicians are indeed calling for an end (or at least moratorium) to live cattle export to Indonesia, a taboo topic, which is most salient at this juncture, is being rather nonsensically ignored: These animals are slaughtered according to Islamic (Halal) tradition.

Why is it that not even the journalists of 4 Corners, with their impeccable integrity, could bring themselves to make this connection?

Algerian Christian receives five-year prison sentence for blasphemy

Yeah this is bad. Algerian Christian receives five-year prison sentence for blasphemy | Christian News on Christian Today:
The charges were brought against him after he shared his faith with a neighbour. The neighbour accused him of proselytising and making defamatory statements against the prophet Muhammad.

America Magazine In All Things

Wow I had no idea Malta made divorce illegal. I bet they are not going to be having the debate about gay marriages any time soon... America Magazine In All Things:
In a defeat for both the Catholic Church and the government, just over half of the voters of the Mediterranean island of Malta (pop. 412,000) voted Saturday to allow divorce. Malta is the last European country -- and one of the few left in the world -- where divorce is illegal.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Clinging to the Resurrection

A good quote by J. C. Ryle on the resurrection: Clinging to the Resurrection « J.C. Ryle Quotes:
There is a resurrection after death. Let this never be forgotten. The life that we live here in the flesh is not all. The visible world around us is not the only world with which we have to do. All is not over when the last breath is drawn, and men and women are carried to their long home in the grave. The trumpet shall one day sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. All that are in the graves shall hear Christ’s voice and come forth–those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. This is one of the great foundation truths of the Christian religion. Let us cling to it firmly, and never let it go.

Annoying Things To Do If You're a False Prophet: Teach High School English

I a friend (@communic8jesus) sent me a video by these guys earlier. This is their new one. I like them. YouTube - Annoying Things To Do If You're a False Prophet: Teach High School English:
If you're one of those people who totally knows the hidden will of God but then totally gets it wrong whenever you reveal that hidden will of God to the world then totally refuses to admit that you actually got it wrong, how might you use that skill in some other vocations?

Ordo Salutis

A link to an old chart that Bunyan drew up on the logical order someone experiences salvation: Ordo Salutis | The Resurgence:
The ordo salutis describes the process by which the work of salvation, wrought in Christ, is subjectively realized in the hearts and lives of sinners. It aims at describing in their logical order, and also in their interrelations, the various movements of the Holy Spirit in the application of the work of redemption. The emphasis is not on what man does in appropriating the grace of God, but on what God does in applying it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

He's not the son of God, just the support act

Islam billboard campaign in Sydney: He's not the son of God, just the support act:
The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Rob Forsyth, said it was ''complete nonsense'' to say Jesus was a prophet of Islam. ''Jesus was not the prophet of a religion that came into being 600 years later.''
But the billboard was not offensive, he said.
''They've got a perfect right to say it, and I would defend their right to say it [but] … you couldn't run a Christian billboard in Saudi Arabia.''
The bishop said he would pay for billboards to counter those of MyPeace if he could afford it, and ''maybe the atheists should run their billboards as well''

Dumpster divers on a mission to stop waste

Collecting food from bins to eat or give away... Dumpster divers on a mission to stop waste - The West Australian:
He says the practice of trying to ensure there is enough for everyone is as old as the Bible, which contains passages relating to the need to leave some of what is harvested for refugees, orphans and widows.

Dumpster diving also ties in with other issues such as supporting local farmers and reducing the greenhouse effect

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Piper-Warren Interview

This looks like it could be a good discussion. Maybe after some essays I will listen/watch this...The Piper-Warren Interview – Justin Taylor:
My aim in this interview is to bring out and clarify what Rick Warren believes about these biblical doctrines. In doing this my hope is that the thousands of pastors and lay people who look to Rick for inspiration and wisdom will see the profound place that doctrine has in his mind and heart.

Do You Have Something To Say?

A good honest quote about what goes in is what comes out: Do You Have Something To Say? - TGC Reviews:
[T]he slack lifestyle that accompanies the kind of fellow who rents ten videos for one weekend is not conducive to acquiring anything worthwhile to say. If you listen to stupid music, watch stupid moves, and read stupid books . . . well, congratulations, you’re stupid.

Advice for Slow Readers

I liked this 15min tip. Not so much the getting up early or reading two books at a time. I'm not good at those...Advice for Slow Readers – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Usually, at 10:45 a.m., I’ll stop what I’m doing and spend 15 minutes reading. After my 15 minutes is up I go back to what I was doing. I do the same at 2:45 p.m.. I can maybe get 30 pages read with both slots (I told you I was a slow reader). If I do that over every day of the week, that’s 150 pages—a small book or half of a big one.

I'm Not a Christian, But I'm Coming to Your Church This Sunday

Some good realistic tips on what a new person might think about when coming to your church: I'm Not a Christian, But I'm Coming to Your Church This Sunday | The Resurgence:
4. Don’t make a big deal of introducing me to everyone you know. I understand a couple of people, but please; don’t set up a welcoming line. I’m just there to check it out; I need a bit of space.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sexual Intercourse, Old School

Wilson defends marriage based on biological gender and socially kept records that are enforceable: Sexual Intercourse, Old School:
A marriage requires two components or elements. The first is old school sexual intercourse and the second is a socially recognized set of vows, committing the couple to a legally recognized and protected state of marriage. If one or the other is missing, then so is the marriage.

Jeff Cook to Francis Chan

Well it does seem that Chan's book on hell may also spark a little controversy: Jeff Cook to Francis Chan | Jesus Creed:
It seems to me, the central point Chan wishes to make in the ad flows from these claims and questions and I would like to advance and defend the following three critiques outlined in bold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

N.T. Wright on Rob Bell and the Reality of Hell

Why are the most prosperous nations interested in hell? N.T. Wright on Rob Bell and the Reality of Hell : Kingdom People:
My usual counter question is: “Why are Americans so fixated on hell?” Far more Americans ask me about hell than ever happens in my own country. And I really want to know, why is it that the most prosperous affluent nation on earth is really determined to be sure that they know precisely who is going to be frying in hell and what the temperature will be and so on. There’s something quite disturbing about that, especially when your nation and mine has done quite a lot in the last decade or two to drop bombs on people elsewhere and to make a lot of other people’s lives hell. So, I think there are some quite serious issues about why people want to ask that question.

Atheism: Dawkins vs. Craig

This would be a good debate. Click through to the allegation, written by an atheist that is also a good read: Atheism: Dawkins vs. Craig | Jesus Creed:
...Dawkins is under no obligation to take part in someone else’s publicity tour, but the allegation does have some force, not least because Craig has a reputation for eating atheists for breakfast.

Even Christopher Hitchens, it is generally conceded (even by atheists), lost his encounter with Craig on points….

Perhaps the atheists’ collective failure in debates with skilled believers such as Craig is only to be expected. Essentially, they have to try harder.

Foundations Journal Spring 2011

This links to the whole journal (which I have not read) but the second article on the OT and Evangelical Hermeneutics I skimmed through and it looked good: Foundations Journal Spring 2011.pdf
Genre identification is important for interpretation. Often a text will give clear signals. Just as ‘Once upon a time’ indicates that it is fairy tale and ‘On 11 September 2001’ tells us that it is history, so in Scripture ‘There was a certain man’ typically introduces a parable whereas ‘Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai’ announces that it is history. Some commentators will allow for the opinion that the book of Jonah is a parable, even though the evidence is against it, because such a view does not prevent us from learning its message. In the case of Daniel 1-6, it is much more difficult to make room for Lucas’ treatment of the genre because in this case it would undermine the text’s purpose and pastoral effectiveness: to supply encouragement to those under stress for their faith. It also runs counter to the evidence

Harold Camping: Judgment Day Did Actually Happen Saturday

Oh no... Camping didn't admit he was wrong. We have to go thru this again in October. Also his new theory sounds like an old JW one from 1914...: Harold Camping: Judgment Day Did Actually Happen Saturday - TIME NewsFeed:
"On May 21, this last weekend, this is where the spiritual aspect of it really comes through,' said Camping. 'God again brought judgment on the world. We didn't see any difference but God brought Judgment Day to bear upon the whole world. The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until Oct. 21, 2011 and by that time the whole world will be destroyed.'

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hillsong Church offshoot offers supernatural course that can 'cure cancer'

Is is a miracle that people will sign up for this course? Hillsong Church offshoot offers supernatural course that can 'cure cancer' | News.com.au:
AN evangelical offshoot of Hillsong Church has opened a 'School of the Supernatural' offering a course it reportedly says teaches the power to cure cancer, help women conceive and bring the dead back to life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hell: We can't afford to get it wrong.

This is a video preview about a book on Hell. Like Rob Bell, Francis Chan is a good communicator and they both have their own short video series. I think Chan's book might not be as controversial as Bell's, but it might be more biblical: YouTube - Hell: We can't afford to get it wrong.

Sex as a Sign and Appetizer of Something More

A quote by Peter Kreeft about joy and sex, the last paragraph is also good: Sex as a Sign and Appetizer of Something More – Justin Taylor:
I think a secularist has only one substitute left for God, only one experience in a desacrilized world that still gives him something like the mystical, self-transcending thrill of ecstasy that God designed all souls to have forever, and to long for until they have it. Unless he is a surfer, that experience has to be sex. We’re designed for more than happiness; we’re designed for joy. Aquinas writes, with simple logic, “Man cannot live without joy. That is why one deprived of true spiritual joys must spill over to carnal pleasures.”

San Jose Boot Camp

This looks like it could be a good conference, it is run by Acts 29, so I assume they will put the audio up for free. Speakers: Mark Driscoll. D.A. Carson, Matt Chandler, Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt: Acts 29 Network: Seattle, WA > San Jose Boot Camp

MRI Shows Apple Stimulates Fan's Brain Like Religion

Is this a scientific discovery of people having idols? I wonder what happens if this was done with a sports person or someone who is a hardcore fan of some band or TV show: MRI Shows Apple Stimulates Fan's Brain Like Religion - The Consumerist:
When he was looking at Apple stuff, the areas of his brain lit up in the same way as religious people's do when shown faith-based imagery.

'This suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion,' says one of the scientists.

US preacher Harold Camping should apologise over doomsday prediction

Ed Stetzer's tweets get a mention on an Australian paper: US preacher Harold Camping should apologise over doomsday prediction | Herald Sun:

Harold Camping, pls update www.family.radio.com w/your repentance statement & instructions to your now-broke followers,” Stetzer tweeted.

An hour later he tweeted again, “6pm here in Turkey. I’m standing at the Temple of Athena waiting for the Rapture. Nothing happened. ;-)”

In Australia, Christians greeted news of the end of the world with scepticism and humor before the fateful hour passed without incident.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Doomsdayers put faith in Apocalypse now redux

John Dickson gets a few quotes in on this article against Camping: Doomsdayers put faith in Apocalypse now redux - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
But Centre for Public Christianity director John Dickson is unfazed by Camping's warning, saying he will be enjoying a glass of wine with his wife on Saturday, and preaching a sermon on Sunday morning.

And though he is relaxed about his own fate, Dr Dickson is critical of such predictions because they can cause a crisis of faith for some Christians.

Bathtub Sounds

This is quite good. It shows the power of music over the same visuals. (and re-dubbing youtube clips could become a thing): Mine is Around about Here: Bathtub Sounds

God's bankers: How evangelical Christianity is taking a hold of the City of London’s financial institutions

A write up in the independent about evangelical Christianity in London.I heard William Taylor speak at an Engage conference and he was well worth listening to: God's bankers: How evangelical Christianity is taking a hold of the City of London’s financial institutions - Business Analysis & Features, Business - The Independent:
'It's often harder for young people to come out as Christians than it would be for them to come out as gay,' she says. 'Because of the vocal atheists – Dawkins and so on – people think your judgement is impaired if you say you're Christian at work. The problem of serving two masters is at the heart of it. There's a worry that Christians are up to something, that they're loyal to something other than the firm.'
William Taylor, the rector of St Helen's, is a tall, dashing fellow. An army officer before becoming a priest, he speaks in the relaxed tones of the mess hall. There is a reading from Luke's Gospel, then Taylor carries out a detailed analysis of the text, peppering his talk with whimsical anecdotes and corny jokes. The audience leaves knowing a little more about the Bible, but it strikes me that what was really useful for these City workers was to escape from their desks for a while. Groups cluster outside after, chatting in the spring sunshine.

The Brothel And The Academic

Jensen response to two articles he saw in the paper, one on a new Brothel in Sydney, the other on Hawking's statement about heaven: Articles | The Brothel And The Academic | Phillip Jensen:
"His [Hawking] opinion has less to do with his scientific expertise than his situation of facing imminent death for the last half century... His view of life after death is not a scientific view, and his eminence as a scientist is irrelevant to his opinion. Other equally eminent academic scientists, hold the opposite view to him on this subject. The media does not ask them because they are not media celebrities. Their opinion is not considered important because it is outside their field of expertise."

Teaching Children to Pray: Guiding Principles

This useful article has a series of practical tips to teach your children to pray. Teaching Children to Pray: Guiding Principles – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
In all that we teach our children, the greatest and most fundamental thing we can do is model a praying life before their beautiful little eyes and their perceptive little ears.

Missing Links? (RJS)

Evidence for transitional fossils, could sway me. This blog also links to this journal article that my work has a subscription to. Missing Links? (RJS) | Jesus Creed:
First, transitional forms are found in the fossil record, and more are being found all the time as research continues. They tend to be reported in the literature in rather specialized language. This one is particularly interesting and made at least an appearance in the more popular literature.

Not Another Sacrament

A quote by Harold Best. Is music the means by which we are close to God? Really? Not Another Sacrament – Kevin DeYoung:
I can make the mistake of coupling faith to the musical experience by assuming that the power and effectiveness of music is what brings substance and evidence to my faith. I can then quite easily forge a connection between the power of music and the nearness of the Lord. Once this happens, I may even slip fully into the sin of equating the power of music and the nearness of the Lord. At that point music joins the bread and wine in the creation of a new sacrament or even a new kind of transubstantiation.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And No Potato

Wilson can make some strong points when he wants to: And No Potato:
The U.N. has, I believe, collected and identified five genders among the children of men, and thus it is that we now have LGBT, with S in the implied background. Others have begun adding Q, just to top things off, but you may rest assured that the fetish community (F) and the animal-lovers community (A) will not rest until they too are accepted. It may take a while to get gaybashers on the list, not only because G and B are already in use, and because bigotry runs deep, but also because no one seems to understand that gaybashers get aroused when they express themselves this way. But once science has shown the existence of the moral absolute that blood flow to certain regions of the body always establishes, then we will be done. Until we discover that bigotry has found a new fortress and hideout, which it no doubt will, pretending as is bigotry's wont, that little children should be off limits.

Congregational government and missional church

Oh, Driscoll has done it again. When he came to Sydney he told them 18 things wrong with what they are doing, and it seems he had done it with Belfast. To be fair with the Sydney comments people received them rather well (video 1, 2 and 3): Congregational government and missional church « Shored Fragments:
The excellent BUGB news sweep highlights Mark Driscoll in Belfast [link opens MP3 download] offering his views on congregational government and missional church life. The headline ‘it is almost impossible to be both congregational and missional’. Some thoughts occur to me in listening, that seem worth recording just because Driscoll makes mistakes that seem to me to be endemic:

God Behaving Badly 1

This could be a good book to read: God Behaving Badly 1 | Jesus Creed:
He thinks Dawkins has his finger on a significant problem but doesn’t think he reads his Bible well.

...I have to say this: both Brian McLaren and Rob Bell have drawn attention to their ideas because of their seeming authenticity when it comes to negative ideas in the Bible — but in the process I think both shirked the hard work of bringing the negative and positive together. David Lamb, so I think, has done this hard work and I commend this book to you.

Are Multi-site Churches Biblical?

An argument for multi-site churches. I still lean towards Dever's position: Are Multi-site Churches Biblical? | The Resurgence:
In a friendly exchange, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald asked Mark Dever why he does not have a multi-site church. His response: “The word ekklÄ“sia in the New Testament means assembly.” For Dever, multi-site churches do not have biblical warrant because, according to the meaning of the word commonly translated church, all of its members must be able to assemble together, and multi-site churches are not designed for such a common assembly.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


xkcd on religions, the image mouse over points to 1 Cor 8:4-10: xkcd: Religions

Where the 12 Apostles Died

This map looks interesting (I'm a bit of a sucker for Christian historical facts): Where the 12 Apostles Died – Justin Taylor:
The map below shows where the 12 apostles are thought to have died, according to various traditions. Blue push-pins equal commonly accepted death locations; yellow ones are more disputed.

Audio for the 2011 Gospel Coalition Workshops

The main talks were good, now the audio for the workshops are now all up. Free stuff is good: Audio for the 2011 Gospel Coalition Workshops – Justin Taylor

God of the Impossible: A Personal Reflection on God’s Providence Over My Open Theism

I too used to hold on to some ideas that wouldn't have been deemed orthodox: God of the Impossible: A Personal Reflection on God’s Providence Over My Open Theism – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Today, I scan the pages of God of the Possible, and find error that maligns the glory of God written in my own handwriting. It sobers me, and it cautions me that I am still prone towards error today. It reminds me that I could have gone another way, but God in his infinite mercy and hidden will designed that in my error he would send messengers to lead me to his truth.

Reflecting on this episode instructs me to be more patient, as my counselors were, with others who are now in ostensible error

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Stephen Hawking doesn't understand about heaven

What Stephen Hawking doesn't understand about heaven - ABC Religion & Ethics - Opinion:
But I wonder if he has ever even stopped to look properly, with his high-octane intellect, at the evidence for Jesus and the resurrection? I doubt it - most people in England haven't. Until he has, his opinion about all this is worth about the same as mine on nuclear physics - namely, not much.

A template for planning a weekly schedule

A neat word doc to help manage your week, by also focusing on the people around you (replace "Rachael" with your own spouse :): A template for planning a weekly schedule | Communicate Jesus:
You can download the template and edit it for yourself here. I’ve only been using it for two weeks – I’ll review how it’s working in a few weeks time!

Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons

To take notes in a sermon or not. It is s sermon a transfer of information or something else: The Gospel-Driven Church: Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons:
I first began thinking about note-taking in relation to what preaching is when I heard Tim Keller say in a sermon, 'I don't mind if you take notes at the beginning of a message, but if you're still taking notes at the end, I feel like I haven't brought it home.' I thought to myself, 'Hmmm.'

Monday, May 16, 2011

The End is Near? The False Teaching of Harold Camping

Now we have an ETA as well as a date... (Not sure what happened the "no one knows the day or the hour..."): AlbertMohler.com – The End is Near? The False Teaching of Harold Camping:
Harold Camping is now warning the world that the Day of Judgment will begin at about 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011.

The Crisis of Conference Christians

Driscoll makes some good points (and I should disclose that I attend about three conferences a year, and download and listen to a few more): The Crisis of Conference Christians | The Resurgence:
Having spoken at conferences for various groups over the years, I’m amazed that the faces of attendees are starting to get familiar. Such conference Christians somehow make the rounds between seemingly all the big events. I have literally had a photo taken with some people at five or six different conferences in a single year. These are usually single white guys from decent families who treat preaching the way other guys do porn—obsessed with it and devoting hours to it every day. Here are my concerns with conference Christians:

The Rapture

Even this comic I read is mocking the May 21 rapture prediction: Surviving the World - Lesson 960 - The Rapture:
Supposedly the Rapture is coming this Saturday, May 21. Didn't you know? I mean, thank God someone put together two and two in time so we could all be ready. I believe the proof comes from multiplying Jesus by Isaac to the power of the burning bush.

Burrowed Into the Woodwork of Puritanism

When should a minster step down when he can't "manage his household"?: Burrowed Into the Woodwork of Puritanism:
What would I do if one of my adult children converted to Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism? No worries on that score, for all three of my kids have burrowed into the woodwork of Puritanism, but work with me here. What should my response be?

In that circumstance, I would step down from the ministry, and this is why.

Good Enough

Good parenting advice: Good Enough – Kevin DeYoung:
Most of the stuff parents do with flashcards and special drills and tutorials to hone their kids into perfect achievement machines don’t have any effect at all. Instead, parents just have to be good enough. They have to provide their kids with stable and predictable rhythms. They need to be able to fall in tune with their kids’ needs, combining warmth and discipline. They need to establish the secure emotional bonds that kids can fall back upon in the face of stress. They need to be there to provide living examples of how to cope with the problems of the world so that their children can develop unconscious models in their heads.

Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims

A study shows religion will not fade away, who would of thought: Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs:
And the Oxford study, known as the Cognition, Religion and Theology Project, strongly implies that religion will not wither away, he said.

'The secularization thesis of the 1960s - I think that was hopeless,' Trigg concluded.

Advice for Aspiring Christ-Centered Preachers

Some good points by Stephen Um: Advice for Aspiring Christ-Centered Preachers – Justin Taylor:
Really listen to other preachers. We listen to many sermons, but often we don’t hear the sermons that we listen to. In other words, we are often captivated by rhetorical and stylistic matters, important in their own right, yet fail to hear the actual content, logical flow, and biblical fabric that is at the heart of the best sermons. To really hear is to break down (not cynically but searchingly) what we hear in a sermon, to plug it into the one story plot line of the bible, and to press it into our own hearts.

Has the Gospel Been Preached to the Whole Creation Already?

I like that Piper points out his agreement with N.T. Wright on technical points they both hold to: Has the Gospel Been Preached to the Whole Creation Already? - Desiring God:
I happily note that N.T. Wright suggests the same interpretation. He writes that the usual English past-time translation, “‘which has been proclaimed,’ might seem to stand in the way of this view. But there is some question whether the aorist participle here (kÄ“ruchthentos) as has this kind of time significance. Aorist adjectival participles can sometimes be simply ‘definitional’; i.e., here, ‘the proclaimed-in-creation gospel.’”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Want to Be “Left Behind”

i've always thought that it was the bad people that would be taken away in Luke 17, which makes it mean the complete opposite to what the rapture people make it to mean: I Want to Be “Left Behind” – Justin Taylor:
Just as in the days of Noah the people were taken away by the great flood, so those who are not prepared will be taken away when the Son of Man returns.

The Four Horsemen of the Anti-Apocalypse are coming…

I still think these guys have nothing on the conferences that Katoomba run, but wait for the media attention this will get: The Four Horsemen of the Anti-Apocalypse are coming… | 2012 Global Atheist Convention:
The Atheist Foundation of Australia is excited to announce that the next Global Atheist Convention ‘A Celebration of Reason’ will feature headline speakers Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens (health permitting).

The Global Atheist Convention will be held once again at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 13 – 15 April 2012.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Shallow Small Group Bible Study

A good clip: Shallow Small Group Bible Study » Evangel | A First Things Blog:
Dissatisfied with your current small-group? You might want to check out this one. “We hate bad theology as much as the next guy. And we know the surest way to prevent bad theology is to avoid theology altogether.”

Learning to Say No

This worth a read, especially the last 5 or so paragraphs: Learning to Say No:
Do you know how many hundreds if not thousands of preachers will throw it all away this year by crawling into some woman’s pants in their church, committing adultery and destroying the ministry they have spent years preparing for and building? Why? Because when they were young they never learned to say no. Do you want your life to stink and end up struggling with commitments for the next sixty years all because you haven’t learned it?

a little perspective on this thing called church

a quote by Fancis Chan: J.R. Briggs » a little perspective on this thing called church » Attempting to behold the miracle long enough without falling asleep:
“In China I told pastors about how, in the West, we have these church buildings and how we go to services each week that last an hour or so. I told them how if we don’t like the music or the message then we can go to different buildings and services… They all broke out into laughter. They thought I was the funniest guy they had ever seen.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do we need a new Bible? - War Room

When writing a new bible, make sure you use old English... (the ESV and NIV should take note) Do we need a new Bible? - War Room - Salon.com:
A.C. Grayling, a British professor of philosophy, recently published a secular version of the Bible, 'The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.' To create his scriptures, Grayling has rewritten thoughts from many sages of the past in archaic language that evokes the King James Bible. His humanist Bible has sections titled Genesis, Proverbs and Epistles.

Seven Thoughts on the Assassination of Bin Laden

Doug Wilson makes 7 interesting points about Bin Laden's death, one is semi quoted below: Seven Thoughts on the Assassination of Bin Laden:
all of us who weigh in with our opinions about this, from Chomsky to Sheryl Crowe, should be prepared to answer and fundamental question about this. The question is, 'By what standard?' What laws, whether of men, gods, or God, govern this kind of thing? Without an answer to this question, all opinions are just aimless yelling and gesticulating at the scene after the men of action have come and gone. One of the bummers related to the triumph of secular thought is the realization that you cannot banish transcendent standards and still have them around. This is a drag because there are times when they would be handy, like now.

A Leap of Truth

Looks interesting. A doco on Evolution and Christianity. NT Write and Alister McGrath makes an appearance: A Leap of Truth | Jesus Creed

The Sins of Sodom----and Gomorrah

I wasn't aware of that sins of each city was spelled out, but it is an interesting point: dangerous idea: The Sins of Sodom----and Gomorrah:
A friend of mine pointed out, years ago, that in Dante's Inferno, the homosexuals and the usurers (people who lend money at interest), are in adjoining parts of hell. The sin of Sodom is homosexuality, the sin of Gomorrah is usury. Homosexuality is unproductive sex, usury is unproductive money.

Parenting 001

Parenting 001 – Kevin DeYoung:
I worry that many young parents are a) too adamant about the particulars of their parenting or b) too sure that every decision will set their kids on an unalterable trajectory to heaven or hell. It’s like my secretary at the church once told me: “Most moms and dads think they are either the best or the worst parents around, and both are wrong.” Could it be we’ve made parenting too complicated? Isn’t the most important thing not what we do but who we are as parents? They will see our character before they remember our exact rules regarding television and twinkies.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who Is Jesus?

Looks like this was a good Easter message by Driscoll. (He did after all pack out a football stadium for their Easter service): Who Is Jesus? | The Mars Hill Blog:
Who is Jesus? That’s the question Pastor Mark addressed in his Easter sermon. But, rather than take on all the things said about Jesus by others, he took us to the source.

Censorship at Di Tzeitung: No Women Allowed

Wow, ultra-Orthodox Jewish paper took two women out of the situation room with Obama: Censorship at Di Tzeitung: No Women Allowed | Jesus Creed

9 Myths About Sex & Relationships Among Emerging Adults

This article seems to use it as a commodity to make some points: 9 Myths About Sex & Relationships Among Emerging Adults | The Resurgence

Killing Off Marriage? Dr. Ablow Reports, You Decide

Marriage is apparently now bad for you: AlbertMohler.com – Killing Off Marriage? Dr. Ablow Reports, You Decide:
Ablow begins by quoting actress Cameron Diaz, who recently asserted that marriage is a “dying institution.” She added this comment: “I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.” Well, maybe that says a lot about her own world of experience and influence, but it is a breathtakingly audacious statement. It also reflects a view held by many among the intellectual and cultural elites, among whom marriage has been seen as a retrograde institution for some time

“Getting Disciple Making Right” e-book

free ebook on Discipleship: “Getting Disciple Making Right” e-book | Communicate Jesus:
I just finished reading the free ebook by Church Community Builder – “Getting Disciple Making Right”. You can download it here.

NT Wright on American Exceptionalism

NT Wright on American Exceptionalism:
What’s the difference between this and the recent events in Pakistan? Answer: American exceptionalism. America is allowed to do it, but the rest of us are not. By what right? Who says?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Discrimination against Atheists

Turns out stereotypes and prejudices about atheists are wrong: Discrimination against Atheists | Jesus Creed:
A growing body of social science research reveals that atheists, and non-religious people in general, are far from the unsavory beings many assume them to be. On basic questions of morality and human decency — issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights — the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious.

The Death of the Mushy Middle

a good short clip of Keller talking about the trend of Christianity (and non-Christianity) in America: The Death of the Mushy Middle | The Resurgence

The Goal of Christian Scholarship

a quote by Scott McKnight: The Goal of Christian Scholarship – Justin Taylor:
I don’t believe our goal as Bible or theology scholars is to be deemed among the finest of scholars or to find a place at the table, but to be faithful to Jesus Christ and to the gospel and to orthodox theology and to academic rigor

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Modest Proposal on Moms

Do bible colleges celebrate mothers? A Modest Proposal on Moms – Kevin DeYoung:
here’s my challenge: let me know if you’ve seen an alumni magazine from a Christian college that spotlights mothers, not mothers who also dance in the ballet and spin centrifuges, but mothers who are “just” mothers.
And a bonus challenge, this one for our fine Christian colleges: we’d love to see how proud you are of the half of your graduates putting their education to good use by helping their husbands, raising kids, serving in the church, and doing a hundred other amazing things that don’t look impressive to most people but should look impressive to us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our 10 Top Cities for Web Traffic

The next biggest city to visit the Seattle based church is Sydney... Our 10 Top Cities for Web Traffic | The Resurgence

When the Lights Go Out: The Death of a Denomination

The Church of England in England: AlbertMohler.com – When the Lights Go Out: The Death of a Denomination:
Despite a series of initiatives such as Back to Church Sunday and some improvement in the numbers of young people participating in church activities, attendance figures amongst Anglicans have dropped by some 10 per cent over the last decade. Only 1.1m people, some 2 per cent of the population, attend church on a weekly basis, and only 1.7m, or 3 per cent, once a month. This in spite of the fact that around half the population still profess themselves Anglicans.

The decline in paid clergy has been even more rapid. On the Church’s own statistics, the beginning of the new millennium has already seen a fall in over 20 per cent to barely 8,000. On present trends clergy would disappear altogether within half a century.

Diligently Lead Your Children to God

Diligently Lead Your Children to God | J.C. Ryle Quotes:
One thing, at all events, is very clear–it is never too soon to strive and pray for the salvation of the souls of children–never too soon to speak to them as moral beings, and tell them of God, Christ, right and wrong. The devil, we may be quite sure, loses no time in endeavoring to influence the minds of young people. He begins with them even from childhood. Let us work hard to counteract him.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Welcome - Biblical Counseling Coalition

A Biblical counselling site: Welcome - Biblical Counseling Coalition

Introducing The Theology App!

not bad, but I am not sure about watching 60 hours of content on a phone screen, maybe on a tablet. iTunes U has a few theological subjects for free...: Introducing The Theology App! | Parchment and Pen:
All 60 Video sessions covering our 6 courses (Introduction to Theology; Bibliology & Hermeneutics; Trinitarianism; Soteriology; Humanity & Sin; Ecclesiology & Eschatology)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love Your Enemies

I'm not sure I like their posters, but maybe that is the point: Love Your Enemies | The Resurgence:
Osama Bin Laden deserves death and eternal damnation. And so do you.

The Trial that Still Must Come — The Death of Osama bin Ladin and the Limits of Human Justice

I didn't like seeing the celebration on the streets that the media was playing: AlbertMohler.com – The Trial that Still Must Come — The Death of Osama bin Ladin and the Limits of Human Justice:
And yet, there are two troubling aspects that linger. The first is the open celebration in the streets. While we should all be glad that this significant threat is now removed, death in itself is never to be celebrated. Such celebration points to the danger of revenge as a powerful human emotion. Revenge has no place among those who honor justice. Retributive justice is sober justice. The reason for this is simple — God is capable of vengeance, which is perfectly true to his own righteousness and perfection — but human beings are not. We tend toward the mismeasure of justice when it comes to settling our own claims. All people of good will should be pleased that bin Ladin is no longer a personal threat, and that his death may further weaken terrorist plans and aspirations. But revenge is not a worthy motivation for justice, and celebration in the streets is not a worthy response.

How Should Christians Think about the Death of Osama bin Laden?

This page links to a few responses: How Should Christians Think about the Death of Osama bin Laden? – Justin Taylor

Addicted to Technology

I don't know how many times a day I check my phone for facebook/twitter/email/sms updates...: Addicted to Technology – Justin Taylor:
At City Point on April 1 [1865], Lincoln received reports and sent messages. He haunted the army telegraph office for news of the battles raging in Virginia. He was addicted to this technology.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Piper's Preaching Course Now Available

A free course on preaching by John Piper: Piper's Preaching Course Now Available - Desiring God

A Waffle Way Too Big for the Plates at IHOP

Wilson thinks Keller missed it on the issue of homosexuals: A Waffle Way Too Big for the Plates at IHOP:
The Bayly brothers have helpfully provided a portion of a transcript in which Tim Keller is being interviewed, and is asked about what the church's approach to homosexuality should be. Presented with this golden opportunity, I am afraid that Keller whiffed it.