Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have You Thanked God Today for Moe Bergeron?

Redeeming/using technology for God: Have You Thanked God Today for Moe Bergeron? – Justin Taylor:

Against the Caricature

Good point. To read between the lines mean you first have to read the lines: Against the Caricature | Chrestomathy:
"Anyone who comes away from a careful reading of the apostle Paul's teaching on marriage with the idea that the husband is 'the boss' and the wife is 'the slave' is someone not to be trusted with any text" (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 8).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Queen James Bible - A Gay Bible

Revisionists always see themselves: The Queen James Bible - A Gay Bible:
The Queen James Bible is a bible translation edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation of God's Word.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Preachers – Do You Need A Week Off?

This isn't a bad idea. Its a bit of a win win: Preachers – Do You Need A Week Off?:
Here’s how it works: you contact us and tell us about your church, and we’ll connect you with a preacher that we think will be a good fit. Take the week off and go on a vacation with your family. Or stay in town – our guys would love to take you to lunch, get your feedback on the sermon, and pick your brain on ministry. You don’t even have to pay them. An honorarium is always a blessing, but you are providing a service to them by opening your pulpit and giving them your feedback.

Why Do So Few Atheists Take Their Faith Seriously?

Not a bad point: Why Do So Few Atheists Take Their Faith Seriously? – Justin Taylor:
This is one reason why I find atheism so implausible.  If Russell could dismiss Christianity in part because he had met so few Christians who seemed to take the faith seriously, I consider atheists to be much the same. Do not tell me that we are a random bunch of atoms and then try to impose your myths on me. Do not create a morality in your own image and then try to give it some objective, transcendent status.  A random world does not give privileged status to the moral myths of an upper class English proto-hippy. Do not tell me that serial killers are morally worse than aid workers. At best, you might say that you find them personally more distasteful. If you are an atheist, have the courage to take heed of the words of Nietzsche’s Madman

Thursday, December 13, 2012

10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon

There is a link to each misconception which looks pretty good: 10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon – Justin Taylor:
Michael Kruger identifies 10 common misconceptions (or misunderstandings) about the origins and development of the NT Canon

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Free Music from Will Mackerras | The Banjo Bible

My old housemate has made a poetry CD: Free Music from Will Mackerras | The Banjo Bible:
Coming soon - the greatest story ever told, as Banjo Paterson might have told it. Hear the story of the whole Bible in rhyming verse, with metre and phrases borrowed from some of Australia's most famous bush poems - My Country, Mulga Bill's Bicycle, Waltzing Matilda, Clancy of the Overflow, The Man from Ironbark, Been There Before , Said Hanrahan, The Man from Snowy River, and A Bush Christening. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Purpose Driven Life a Decade Later: Rick Warren’s Resurrection

Coming soon to a church near you: The Purpose Driven Life a Decade Later: Rick Warren’s Resurrection - Newsweek and The Daily Beast:
This holiday season, a 10th-anniversary edition of The Purpose Driven Life hits stores, updated with two new chapters and scads of links to video and audio 
extras designed for the age of social media. Next month Warren will launch a nationwide church “campaign” (as he did with the first edition) that enables ministers to order DIY teaching kits to help spread the purpose-driven message within their own congregations. With this reboot, Warren aims to introduce a new generation to the Good News—perhaps even spark a “Great Awakening” among the grassroots, he notes hopefully.

Video: The Christmas Scale

Quite a good Christmas video: Video: The Christmas Scale | Communicate Jesus:

Anglican Church in Tasmania - Preaching page

Some helpful preaching resources: Anglican Church in Tasmania - Preaching page:
This resource is provided for the help and encouragement of those who are entrusted with the important task of preaching and teaching the Bible. Whether you are just starting out or an experienced preacher, preaching in church or at weddings and funerals, we believe you will find this resource helpful; it will also be useful for Bible study group leaders. We recommend that you drop in from time to time to check for updates and new modules.

Rob Bell’s Search for a More Forgiving Church

Interesting read. Its good to know that Bell's church stands for orthodoxy: Rob Bell’s Search for a More Forgiving Church : The New Yorker:
In the end, “Love Wins” did turn out to be a kind of farewell. The members of Mars Hill found themselves having to answer for their membership in a church that was suddenly notorious. Eventually, Bell decided that it would be best for everyone if he left the church he had founded; in September, half a year after the publication of “Love Wins,” he told the congregation that he would be stepping down. By the time Bell greeted his fans in Philadelphia, a few months had passed, but he was still considering his own uncertain future. He ended his talk by delivering a lesson on openness to change. “You have been gripping tightly to how it was,” he said. “You calm yourself, and you breathe deeply, and you open your palms, and you say, ‘O.K., God. Apparently, this is ending.’ ”

Friday, December 7, 2012

Convicted murderer promotes Bible Society's new campaign

Sounds like their campaign is working. And Moses was a murderer who skilled out of the country to avoid conviction: Convicted murderer promotes Bible Society's new campaign | B&T:
A champion boxer, nightclub promoter, a bikie and a convicted murderer are among 25 “unusual” characters featured in a new Bible Society Christmas campaign.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas is coming...with a new take on #25words starting 1 December

This video has very much tempted me to sign up: Christmas is coming...with a new take on #25words starting 1 December. on Vimeo

The Way It Is

The Way It Is:
"The indicative mood states, declares, and asserts. It is, for this reason, the fundamental mood of language; it is the fundamental mood of history; and it is also the fundamental mood of preaching. Good preaching will always tend to operate largely, although not exclusively, in the indicative mood" (Carrick, The Imperative of Preaching, p. 15).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Do You Actually Read Your Reports?

I must confess I don't read every word of church reports: Do You Actually Read Your Reports? – Kevin DeYoung:
Getting no response, I upped the ante. The next month I developed a drinking problem which became evident one Sunday in the pulpit. Everybody was very nice about it, but one of the Elders had to complete the sermon. I felt that I was at the point where I needed treatment. How should I go about getting it?

Monday, December 3, 2012

World's Biggest Bible Publisher? China

I didn't guess this: Christianity Today Gleanings: World's Biggest Bible Publisher? China:
Only one company is authorized to print Bibles in China—and it appears to be taking full advantage of the opportunity.
Last week, Amity Printing Company chairman Qiu Zhonghui announced that the publisher had printed its 100 millionth copy of the Bible in July.
The milestone means China is now the biggest publisher of Bibles worldwide.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5 Myths about Jubilee

This is a good look at the Jubilee, I thought it always meant a forgiveness of debt: 5 Myths about Jubilee – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
It is clear in the Old Testament text and to many commentators that in Leviticus 25, Jubilee does not involve forgiveness of debt, at least in the way we normally use the term. There is no debt forgiven because it has already been paid. Let me explain.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good News of Great Joy by John Piper Daily Readings for Advent

Free advent book for 2012: Good News of Great Joy by John Piper Daily Readings for Advent - Desiring God:
Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent is designed especially for Advent 2012. With readings beginning Sunday, December 2, and going through Christmas Day, this book of Advent devotionals aims to put Jesus at the center of your holiday season. These short meditations are excerpted from the ministry of John Piper and correspond to the daily readings in Desiring God's free devotional app called Solid Joys (available in the iTunes store).

Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years

Just what we need, enforced religion. That always works out well in the long run: Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years - ABC News:
Anybody who knows Oklahoma District Court Judge Mike Norman probably yawned at the news that he’d sentenced a teen offender to attend church as part of his probation arrangement, and that the judge’s pastor was in the courtroom at the time.

Anti-Santy Ranty on Vimeo

Glen Scrivener has a good video for Christmas: Anti-Santy Ranty on Vimeo

My Daughter’s Beauty

Some good advice for fathers with daughters: My Daughter’s Beauty > The Village Church:
How do I raise my daughter to know the true definition of beauty in a culture such as ours? How do I cultivate an image in her that is rooted in the beauty of Jesus and not the allure of a distorted sexuality?
Here are three points that I have found helpful in my journey

Monday, November 26, 2012

Squeezing Harder Than That

Wilson response to NT Wright's comments on the CoE's decision not to ordain women bishops: Squeezing Harder Than That:
Now I can understand a vote against women bishops as a preliminary move to try to undo the ordination of women priests. And I can understand a vote for women bishops as the next logical step after having established the practice of ordaining women priests. What I don't get is the affirming the ordination of women priests and opposing them as bishops. The pig, once swallowed by the python, has to move on down the line.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Church of England Rejects Women Bishops In Vote

I thought they would have gone the other way: Church of England Rejects Women Bishops In Vote:
The Church of England voted on Tuesday against allowing women bishops after it failed to win the support of enough lay members for the reform, leaving the Church facing more internal strife over an issue that has divided it for years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Best Humorous Argument for God

Looks water tight to me: Best Humorous Argument for God:
1.Beers that exist are greater than beers that do not exist, and as such existence is a great-making property.
2. If God exists, God is the greatest conceivable being.
3. Let’s assume the greatest conceivable being does not exist.
4. If (3) than there is something greater than the greatest conceivable being.
5. (4) is a contradiction, so (3) is false.
God exists and we know this because of great beers.
Contrary to Kant, every philosopher I know believes that beers that exist are greater than beers that do not exist. It would be offensive to humanity, the Rolling Stones, and your grandmother to deny Premise 1.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Multiply Movement

Another good site for Bible study leaders: Multiply Movement:

Spiritual Classics: 25 Books Every Christian Should Read

Not a bad list: Spiritual Classics: 25 Books Every Christian Should Read:
Throughout the centuries certain books have had a tremendous influence on Christians across traditions and cultures. The ideas expressed in these seminal works have shaped the history not only of Christianity but also the world.

Bluestocking Feminism

Another damning review of this new Biblical Womanhood book and how the author doesn't understand the Bible: Bluestocking Feminism:
So we may conclude from this aspect of it that when Rachel Held Evans set up shop to teach us what the Bible says about womanhood, it took her about ten minutes to start producing Talmudic arcana and extra rules instead of straight Bible. Not only extra rules, but dumb ones.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

321 - The story of God, the World and You

A guy who used to attend my church is behind this site. It's worth checking out: 321

Review: A Year Of Biblical Womanhood

It's a book review about Biblical womanhood, but it is also a primer on how to read the Bible, written by Tim Keller's wife: Book Reviews | Review: A Year Of Biblical Womanhood - The Gospel Coalition:
The best way to accomplish both of your goals would have been to attempt to live by all the commandments the Bible genuinely addresses to Christian women, while discussing the rules of responsible interpretation along the way. I would have been glad to read a book like that, whether I agreed with its conclusions or not. However, that is not the book you wrote. Instead, you began your project by ignoring (actually, by pretending you did not know about) the most basic rules of hermeneutics and biblical interpretation that have been agreed upon for centuries.

Reformation Day Free Download: R.C. Sproul's Luther and the Reformation

10 free classes and a study guide on Luther by R.C Sproul: Reformation Day Free Download: R.C. Sproul's Luther and the Reformation by Nathan W. Bingham | Ligonier Ministries Blog:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Is My Wife's Job Harder Than Mine?

I'm not in ministry, but I think this is true with my job and my wife's looking after a small child: Is My Wife's Job Harder Than Mine? | Challies Dot Com:
There was one thing C.J. said that generated a fair bit of discussion between the two of us. When talking about Carolyn, especially in the days when she was a stay-at-home mom with several young children in her care, C.J. said how he often commended her because her job is harder than his. He made this point stand out—Husbands, your role in life is easier than your wife’s and you ought to make sure she knows this. This is not an original sentiment; I can’t count how many men I’ve heard say this to their wives or how often I’ve read people commending this kind of statement: “My job is easy compared to hers.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Koinonia: Except for Adultery - Matt 5:32

Obvious, but a good point: Koinonia: Except for Adultery - Matt 5:32 (Monday with Mounce 159):

First of all, if someone claims that the Greek says something that none of the translations say, dismiss their idea and walk away. Perhaps if they are commentary writers or scholars, their argument might have some validity; but I am always suspect of someone who bases their interpretation on any basis that you are not able to check. An appeal to the Greek can be this type of baseless appeal.

Community Group Training

Nice, free training resources for Bible study leader: Community Group Training | Mars Hill Church:
It’s people living life together and helping one another throughout our cities to serve our cities. Each week, thousands of people meet in hundreds of small communities to learn about God, pray, eat, laugh, and live. We call these Community Groups—and they’re the heart of our church.

New City Catechism

This looks alright, one question a week and there is a kids version as well: New City Catechism:

catechetical instruction is less individualistic and more communal. Parents can catechize their children. Church leaders can catechize new members with shorter catechisms and new leaders with more extensive ones. Because of the richness of the material, catechetical questions and answers may be integrated into corporate worship itself, where the church as a body can confess their faith and respond to God with praise.

Friday, October 19, 2012

How to lead young men

The Resurgence are good at building up men. Here is a good article on that: How to lead young men | The Resurgence:
"The first step toward fruitfulness in a young man’s life is that he needs to realize that he is not meant to live life for himself, but for God. Bringing young men to that place needs to be a priority in church, especially when the world preaches the opposite message. Here are some insights on how to lead young men toward being selfless lovers of God (Eph. 5:1–2)."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conversion Talks for 9Marks at Southeastern

More free talks: Conversion Talks for 9Marks at Southeastern | 9Marks:
"If you had not heard elsewhere, I wanted to make sure you saw that the 9Marks at Southern Seminary talks are now online. "

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Bible for Bloggers

A long post, but it has some good points for people who blog:  The Bible for Bloggers - The Gospel Coalition:
I hope the following discussion of biblical principles will make all of us who engage in internet communication more conscious of applicable biblical principles---and also a bit more reflective before hitting the "post" button.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Top Ten Arguments against God

This looks to be a good series: Top Ten Arguments against God: #10 (Jeff Cook):
This post begins a set of two Top 10 lists: for and against God-belief. I write these lists as a theist, as one who believes in God (though that may change by the end), and the arguments below are the ones from which I feel the most pull and seem to capture the rationality for rejecting God belief best.

Audio And Video Now Available — 2012 Fall Conference

More free audio, but you have to stream it: Audio And Video Now Available — 2012 Fall Conference by Nathan W. Bingham | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
We are now pleased to announce that the audio and video from each session is available either to purchase or stream for free

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ESV New Testament - English Standard Version (Dramatized): Bible: MP3 Downloads

Free stuff is good: ESV New Testament - English Standard Version (Dramatized): Bible: MP3 Downloads:
ESV New Testament - English Standard Version (Dramatized)

Is this the best way for Church to 'sell' Jesus? Angry worshippers hit out at Christmas poster campaign

This seems like something out of the movie Dogma. Click also to see the poster: Is this the best way for Church to 'sell' Jesus? Angry worshippers hit out at Christmas poster campaign | Mail Online:
But a Church of England-backed campaign to raise awareness of Jesus Christ – by portraying him as a toy doll – seems to be trying to spread the word just a little too hard.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh, Behave! Conduct Worthy of the Gospel in Corporate Worship

I have said (sarcastically) in church before "Come early to get a seat at the back": Oh, Behave! Conduct Worthy of the Gospel in Corporate Worship – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Park far, sit close.
This is one practical way to count others more significant than yourselves, and look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4). Parking far leaves the better spots in the lot for those arriving after you, and sitting close leaves the seats near the doors easily accessible

The Far Less Sensational Truth about Jesus’ ‘Wife’

Interesting: The Far Less Sensational Truth about Jesus’ ‘Wife’ – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
This new manuscript---aptly titled the Gospel of Jesus' Wife---is a fragment of a fourth-century codex written in Coptic (Sahidic) that in one place reads, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife . . . she will be able to be my disciple.'" The fragment is quite small (4 x 8 cm), with faded writing on the back. The main text is written in a cramped, semi-literate hand. Most notably, Karen King of Harvard University has suggested that while the manuscript is fourth century, the original composition should be dated back to the middle of the second century.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Corinthians 15:1-11 The Resurrection

A few Sundays ago Con Campbell spoke at my church, and it was one of the best talks on the resurrection that I had heard: Corinthians 15:1-11 The Resurrection

Articles | Love And Subjugation

Turns out marriage is between two people: Articles | Love And Subjugation | Phillip Jensen:
Sydney Anglicans are accused of speaking a lot about the submission of the wife and the difference between the spouses, but not of the sacrificial love of the husband and the equal rights of the spouses. It is an accusation that does not ring true to my experience, where most wedding sermons on passages like Ephesians 5 major on both Christ’s sacrifice rather than the church’s submission, and on the husband’s responsibility rather than the wife’s response.These accusations are the result of selective listening.
This is hard to understand because English doesn't have a middle voice, which is used in the "submit" passages:
While the Bible calls upon the wife to submit it never calls upon the husband to subjugate or subdue his wife. It is never his prerogative or responsibility. Hers must always be her own willing, Spirit filled, response to the Saviour, never a response enforced by her husband. All forms of coercion – physical, economic, social, psychological, spiritual – are inappropriate and wrong for a husband to use on his wife. Some, such as physical abuse, are criminal and should be dealt with by the courts. The Christian husband’s duty and solemn vow is to follow the example of his Lord and lay down his life for his bride. This will always put her interests before his own at whatever cost it is to him. This will mean never using or even threatening force. To subjugate his wife is a complete denial of what he promised.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scrambled Eggs

Some common sense advice: Scrambled Eggs:
Most people want some magic prayer or answer as to how they can make it like it never happened. In other words, how do I unscramble the eggs that I scrambled?  They don’t like the consequences of the choices they made in the past and don’t want those consequences to impact the present or future. Here’s the hard truth: We reap what we sow. It’s in The Bible and apparently churches aren’t teaching this to their people outside of the financial context. Preachers will often use the concept in terms of money, yet fail to extrapolate it to the whole of life. 
If you never pay attention to your spouse, if you have an affair, if you sleep with a dozen different people and get an STD, guess what? You reap the negative consequences. But, if you spend time with your spouse, stay faithful in your marriage, remain a virgin and live monogamously, you reap the positive consequences. Amazing how that works!

The Chocolate Milk Test

Some interesting points in this, and a concerning one about a restaurant that gives you a discount for openly wearing a gun: The Chocolate Milk Test:
You have a right to marry, and they do not." But "marry" is not an unspecific verb with no direct object. I have the right to marry a woman, and so do they. A man and a woman together is what marriage is. The fact that they don't want to marry a woman is their look out. I have a right to own a gun and so does your spinster Quaker aunt. The fact that she doesn't want to own a gun is perfectly acceptable. But what she is not free to do is redefine everything, and say that gun ownership is very important to her, but that for her, gun ownership means owning a quilting rack.

When Should My Children Be Baptized?

Not a bad attempt at all: When Should My Children Be Baptized? | Challies Dot Com:
One of the ongoing discussions among Baptists relates to the age at which children can or should be baptized. Many children raised in a Christian home—perhaps even most of them—profess faith at a young age. Many parents then ask, Should my child be immediately baptized? Here is my attempt to answer this question.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Counterfeit Gods || Spoken Word || Jefferson Bethke

Another good poem by the I Hate Religion but love Jesus poem guy: Counterfeit Gods || Spoken Word || Jefferson Bethke - YouTube

Gender & Toys: Monkey Study Suggests Hormonal Basis For Children's Toy Preferences

Well this is strange... I wonder about the size of their sample: Gender & Toys: Monkey Study Suggests Hormonal Basis For Children's Toy Preferences:
When offered the choice of playing with either a doll or a toy truck, girls will typically pick the doll and boys will opt for the truck. This isn't just because society encourages girls to be nurturing and boys to be active, as people once thought. In experiments, male adolescent monkeys also prefer to play with wheeled vehicles while the females prefer dolls — and their societies say nothing on the matter.

Sinning Against Our Own Bodies

Sinning Against Our Own Bodies:
Many people don’t want to follow God’s design about sex because they’re afraid they will miss out on something; God wants us to follow His design precisely because He doesn’t want us to miss out on something.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Is Bigger Really Better? The Statistics actually Say “No”!

This is interesting. I wonder if bigger churches have a "come see" attitude rather then a "go tell"  attitude...: Is Bigger Really Better? The Statistics actually Say “No”! |
A global survey conducted by Christian Schwartz found that smaller churches consistently scored higher than large churches in seven out of eight qualitative characteristics of a healthy church. A more recent study of churches in America, conducted by Ed Stetzer and Life Way Ministries, revealed that churches of two hundred or less are four times more likely to plant a daughter church than churches of one thousand or more. The research seems to even indicate that the pattern continues—the smaller the size of the church the more fertile they are in planting churches.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Inspect but Don’t Introspect

There are some good quotes on this page, but I think Piper does the best with few words: Inspect but Don’t Introspect – Justin Taylor:
“Periodic self-examination is needed and wise and biblical. But for the most part mental health is the use of the mind to focus on worthy reality outside ourselves.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What is Most Needful in our Pulpits?

There is, however, yet one thing lacking- courage. It is safe to say that most church members in most evangelical churches have at least heard the good news that Jesus came to save sinners. It is even more certain that everyone attending the preaching of the Word in an evangelical church is well aware that he is a sinner. It is absolutely certain, however, that no one at the service is sufficiently aware of the depth, the scope and the power of his sin, nor sufficiently aware of the depth, the scope and the power of the grace of God. We know not what we have been saved from nor to what we have been saved.
What is Most Needful in our Pulpits? by R.C. Sproul Jr. | Ligonier Ministries Blog

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Asked: Which Is the Real Ten Commandments?

A good question: You Asked: Which Is the Real Ten Commandments? – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
The late Christopher Hitchens would mockingly cite what appears to be the "second" ten commandments in the Bible in Exodus 34, that on the surface appear to be radically different than the original ten in Exodus 20. This has bothered me from a lay perspective as I haven't heard many sermons or found many commentaries explaining what this difference is all about. Can you help me reconcile these two passages, and understand which one is which and what the difference is?

A Message to Itchy Ears

Quite a very good poem: A Message to Itchy Ears – Justin Taylor

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Multi-Site Churches: Paving the Road to a “Cult of Personality”

My thoughts as well: Multi-Site Churches: Paving the Road to a “Cult of Personality” « Blood Stained Ink:
When it comes right down to it, if we are going to make an argument for “one church on many campuses,” why is there only one element – the charismatic preacher – that is common to all the sites, while everything else involved in the practice of communal worship is passed off to be handled at the local level?  What is so vital about his (or her) contribution?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?

This is worth a watch. Keller is quite good, making "the Gospel" mean more than just salvation/justification: Did Jesus Preach the Gospel? – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Wanna get more done?

I haven't heard Driscoll in while now. I am a little concerned about the emphasis of this conference. It sounds a little less reformed than I though Driscoll was: Wanna get more done? Join us. | The Resurgence

Friday, August 3, 2012

Return from Greece

some good advice from Greear: Return from Greece:
If you’re rushing down a sidewalk to help rescue people from a burning building and someone is trying to stop you to engage in an argument you say, “I don’t have time for that foolishness right now.” I know that is a little oversimplified, but the bottom line is a lot of Christian bloggers should probably just go spend some time in an unreached people group, because the subjects they write so vociferously about now would probably look different when they got back. I don’t mean that to be self-righteous. I feel that way having just gotten back from being overseas. Given time and distance, my own heart will forget the urgency of first things and fixate and secondary and tertiary ones.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Sex is never safe, its always risky: A VIEW FROM A POINT: Risky Sex:
Sex, by its very nature is not safe. It is the ultimate act in giving your whole self away to another person. It requires vulnerability that no other relationship asks for. It is to be fully exposed to another human being. It’s putting your full naked self out there as a gift – that’s risky.
When one offers himself or herself to another there are always the questions they ask, “Does he really want me?” “Does she really love me?” “Will he accept me?” “Will she be here when I wake up in the morning?” "Does he think I'm beautiful?"  These and a million other questions are hanging out there between the two who are fully exposed to the other - what’s safe about that?

This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal

Another Atheist blogger moves to Christianity based off moral laws: This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal:
This post isn’t the final word on my conversion.  I’m sure there’s a lot more explaining and arguing to do, so be a little charitable in your read of this post and try to give me a little time to expand my ideas over the next few weeks.  (Based on my in-person arguments to date, it seems like most of my atheist friends disagree two or three steps back from my deciding Morality is actually God.  They usually diverge back around the bit where I assert morality, like math, is objective and independent of humans.  As one of my friends said, “Well, I guess if I were a weird quasi-Platonist virtue ethicist, this would probably convince me”).

Stylish same-sex campaign glosses over real issues

Strong concluding words by Peter Jensen in the SMH Stylish same-sex campaign glosses over real issues:
Same-sex marriage is not inevitable. It is not even possible. It would be better for us all if the law reflected the truth human beings have always known. Social engineering cannot change realities as basic as these. But the consequences of an attempt may still be painful.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sexegesis – A Short Review

Sounds like a good read: Sexegesis – A Short Review | Dipendente:
I am particularly impressed by Gordon Preece’s graciousness as he introduces the book and the issues that are faced within the Anglican Church today. The writers interact in a gracious manner with the concerns raised by FUP and the thing that impresses me the most is there isn’t a hint of vitriolic attitude but rather a solid expounding of Scripture and a genuine concern for pastoral care that is expounded by all contributors. Some may read this book and still go away with the view that Evangelicals are “homophobes” but that will not be because of any anti-homosexual people beliefs or arguments mounted in the book but rather an unwillingness to actually enter into a discussion.

An Indonesian Book Burning

Doug comments on people burning his book in Indonesia: An Indonesian Book Burning:
There is currently a ruckus over in Indonesia over a book I wrote, 5 Cities That Ruled the World. The publisher there (Gramedia) has formally apologized for their role in it, and has burned their copies of the book.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The One Indispensable Rule for Using Social Media

Some good advice: The One Indispensable Rule for Using Social Media – Kevin DeYoung:
It’s amazing what some people post online. Do we forget that a thousand other folks are reading this intimate declaration of marital affection or this lambasting of all that their family holds dear? I wonder if people realize that what we post is who we are to hundreds or thousands of people. So no matter what we think we are like in real life, to most people who know of us, they only know us as that guy obsessed with Ron Paul or that girl obsessed with dieting or the pastor who seems to hate everyone or the cynical college kid or the older checking out strange things through Socialcam.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When the Gospel Comes to Life

Good on Carson. The Gospel is not just justification. Although he doesn't mention much about the OT: When the Gospel Comes to Life - Desiring God:
The gospel rightly, thoughtfully, and in biblical faithfulness expounded, will not only win sinners to Christ but it will also shape the lives of Christians to greater conformity to Jesus.

Does Christianity Have a Masculine Feel?

Good point: Does Christianity Have a Masculine Feel? | Challies Dot Com:
I believe it is a category mistake to say that Christianity is either masculine or feminine just as it would be a category mistake to say that Christianity is Caucasian or African-American or young or old. It exists beyond or outside of such categories. I affirm that male headship is clearly laid out in the Bible, that God assigns church leadership to qualified men, and that God has given to men certain traits or virtues that allow them to lead well. However, it does not follow from these facts that the Christian faith ought to feel more masculine than feminine. 

IVP Responds to Review

Wow. IVP took to hear Carl Truman's blog review and took the book out of print to be revised: IVP Responds to Review - Reformation21 Blog:
Nonetheless, we as the publisher take full responsibility for them. Therefore, as of the beginning of June, IVP has taken The Roots of the Reformation out of print and will no longer be shipping orders of this edition. Our goal is to publish a carefully revised second edition of the book by the end of August, in time for Fall semester classes. Further, IVP will offer a complimentary copy of the second edition, including free shipping, to everyone who has already purchased the current edition.

Old Testament Law and The Charge of Inconsistency

Keller writes a good article on a common claim about picking and choosing rules from the Bible: Newsletter -
I find it frustrating when I read or hear columnists, pundits, or journalists dismiss Christians as inconsistent because “they pick and choose which of the rules in the Bible to obey.” What I hear most often is “Christians ignore lots of Old Testament texts—about not eating raw meat or pork or shellfish, not executing people for breaking the Sabbath, not wearing garments woven with two kinds of material and so on. Then they condemn homosexuality. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what they want to believe from the Bible?” 
It is not that I expect everyone to have the capability of understanding that the whole Bible is about Jesus and God’s plan to redeem his people, but I vainly hope that one day someone will access their common sense (or at least talk to an informed theological advisor) before leveling the charge of inconsistency.
One way to respond to the charge of inconsistency may be to ask a counter-question—“Are you asking me to deny the very heart of my Christian beliefs?” If you are asked, “Why do you say that?” you could respond, “If I believe Jesus is the the resurrected Son of God, I can’t follow all the ‘clean laws’ of diet and practice, and I can’t offer animal sacrifices. All that would be to deny the power of Christ’s death on the cross. And so those who really believe in Christ must follow some Old Testament texts and not others.”

Polygamy in the Bible: A sordid tale

There is a lack of Biblical understanding out there: Polygamy in the Bible: A sordid tale | The Briefing:
Something similar happens when it comes to the Bible and polygamy. Sure, the narrators never pause to say, “Oh by the way, please, don’t be a polygamist.” But why should they? The stories make the point all by themselves. As Peter Jensen–one of the interviewees in the TV segment I linked to above–pointed out, stories about polygamy in the Bible, time after time, result in disaster.

God Desires All to Be Saved, and Grants Repentance to Some

Interesting messing of two verses: God Desires All to Be Saved, and Grants Repentance to Some - Desiring God:
Therefore, our prayers for the unbelievers we love, and our evangelism, should be driven by this one and only hope for their salvation: “God may perhaps grant them repentance.” Since he alone has the power to overcome spiritual deadness and Satanic blindness, we lay hold in prayer and witness on the truth: “God may grant repentance.” That is our only hope.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wretched: False Prophet Fiasco

Quite a good twist happens: Wretched: False Prophet Fiasco. - YouTube

Theological Primer: The Attributes of Scripture

A nice framework to remember: Theological Primer: The Attributes of Scripture – Kevin DeYoung:
God’s word is needed.
God’s word is enough.
God’s word is understandable
God’s word is final.

How ‘Love God and Others’ Is a Backward Gospel

Interesting observation: How ‘Love God and Others’ Is a Backward Gospel | Mars Hill Church:
Sometimes you hear people say that the gospel message is “Love God, love others.” It sounds nice, but it’s all backward. “Love God and love others” is not a summary of the gospel—it’s a summary of the law.

The Book of 2 Corinthians in 42 Tweets

I like when they do this. It helps to get the main ideas out: The Book of 2 Corinthians in 42 Tweets - Desiring God:
The letter is structured around these many related and connected themes, and what follows is my fallible attempt to break this infallible book into 42 thematic tweets.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?

That's right. So many Islamic states are quite accepting of the Jews today and allows them to practice their religion freely and without fear...: So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews? | The Jewish Chronicle:
Jewish cultural prosperity in the middle ages operated in large part as a function of Muslim, Arabic cultural (and to some degree political) prosperity: when Muslim Arabic culture thrived, so did that of the Jews; when Muslim Arabic culture declined, so did that of the Jews.

Tim Keller’s top 10 evangelism tips

Not a bad list: Tim Keller’s top 10 evangelism tips « salternlite:

  1. Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
  2. Ask friends about their faith – and just listen!
  3. Listen to your friends problems – maybe offer to pray for them
  4. Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
  5. Give them a book to read
  6. Share your story
  7. Answer objections and questions
  8. Invite them to a church event
  9. Offer to read the Bible with them
  10. Take them to an explore course

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is it Bigotry to Advocate Gay Marriage but Oppose Polyamory?

Turns out the Greens aren't as progressive as they have us believe: Is it Bigotry to Advocate Gay Marriage but Oppose Polyamory?:
If you are gonna say that marriage is about “love not law,” and cannot be restricted by “religious prejudices” or “get your religion out of my bedroom” – to quote the standard mantras – then the same apparent bigotry of opponents of gay marriage is committed by opponents of polyamory. It is grossly hypocritical to be in favor of gay marriage and yet to be opposed to polyamory because the same arguments for gay marriage can (and will be) used for polyamory.

Monday, June 4, 2012

10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Dad

Not a bad list at all: 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Dad | Daniel Darling, Author, Pastor, Speaker:
Before I became a dad, I thought I would be a pretty good dad. After all I grew up in a nice, Christian home, I read a few parenting books, and heard quite a few messages on biblical parenting. So I was set. The kids I would raise would be fortunate to have me as their father.

Because He Wrote a Book

Another good clip that didn't make it into Collision. How can you say you know what God wants?: Because He Wrote a Book | The Resurgence:
A few years ago, a documentary called Collision was made where Douglas Wilson debated Christopher Hitchens on Is Christianity Good for the World? Hundreds of hours of footage was shot and edited down to 90 minutes of solid debate and conversation. The clip you see above didn't make into that 90 minutes. Consider it deleted scenes. This is the first time it's being released, and we have it here for you to learn what it means and looks like to make a defense for your faith. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

By way of clarification--atheism and hate

Getting together to ridicule: dangerous idea: By way of clarification--atheism and hate:
If someone, from the pulpit, were to say "keep mocking homosexuals, ask them if they really have sex with people of the same sex" would they be condemned as homophobes fomenting hatred?

I am not a Catholic and don't believe in transubstantiation. But if I did, Dawkins' "do you really believe that" would not provide any reason whatsoever to reject it. God, being omnipotent, could, so far as I can tell, cause the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Jesus. The point is, ridicule is not, never was, and never will be an argument.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

John Piper interviewed by Steve Morrison at Engage 2011 KCC

KCC is putting up some of their content for free: John Piper interviewed by Steve Morrison at Engage 2011 KCC - YouTube

Does quake reveal when Jesus died?

Now we know... until another discovery... maybe: Does quake reveal when Jesus died? - Technology & science - Science - -
Geologists say Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was most likely crucified on Friday, April 3, in the year 33.

Next 2012

Talks from the last Next Conference are now online. They should be worth a listen: Resources | Next 2012:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sydney Standing Committee motion on Gippsland ‘breach of trust’

So much for submitting to authority: Sydney Standing Committee motion on Gippsland ‘breach of trust’ : Anglican Church League, Sydney, Australia:
The resolution continued “Standing Committee considers that Bishop McIntyre’s earlier appointment of a practising homosexual to a ministry office and his May 18, 2012 statement represent –
(a)        a departure from the teaching of Scripture,
(b)        a departure from the Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998,
(c)        a departure from Faithfulness in Service §7.4,
(d)        a breach of the Australian Bishops’ Protocol agreed to by all Australian bishops (including the Bishop of Gippsland) in March this year,
(e)        a breach of trust and fellowship at a profound level which deeply grieves us.

Does God's Law Change? by R.C. Sproul Jr.

A helpful separation in laws, but it still may seem a bit arbitrary: Does God's Law Change? by R.C. Sproul Jr. | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
The distinction between positive and natural law, of course, is not always easy to make. We are not free to simply dismiss the outward at will. Consider Nadad and Abihu who apparently thought positive law was this kind of fire and natural law was just fire. Things did not go well for them. One way we can know the difference, however, is when the Bible itself calls for the change. Jesus said the bread was His body broken, the wine the cup of the New Covenant. Jesus told Peter to eat the pork. This is the same Jesus who told us that not one jot or tittle would pass away from the law.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His natural law reflects not only the nature of things, but His own unchanging nature. Circumstances may change. Our Lord does not. Neither then does our obligation to obey whatsoever He commands.

Leadership in 3D

John MacArthur via a video speaking on how you can not lead via video. Leadership in 3D

Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games

Worth reading the whole thing: Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games - Desiring God:

Pornography promises orgasm without intimacy. Video warfare promises adrenaline without danger. The arousal that makes these so attractive is ultimately spiritual to the core.

The answer to both addictions is to fight arousal with arousal. Set forth the gospel vision of a Christ who loves his bride and who fights to save her. And then let's train our young men to follow Christ by learning to love a real woman, sometimes by fighting his own desires and the spirit beings who would eat him up. Let's teach our men to make love, and to make war . . . for real.

20 Quotes from Father Hunger

20 Quotes from Father Hunger - Desiring God:
So what is it then? What is masculinity? Simply put, masculinity is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility. A man who assumes responsibility is learning masculinity, and a culture that encourages men to take responsibility is a culture that is a friend to masculinity. When a culture outlaws masculinity, they soon learn that such outlaws are a terrible bane to them, instruments that destroy civilization with their mutant forms of masculinity. Every society needs masculine toughness, but it needs a toughness that lives and thrives and is honored within the boundaries of the law. And if we want this kind of toughness in the men, we have to teach it to the boys, and cultivate it in them. Like a concrete foundation, masculine toughness has to lie underneath masculine tenderness.

In Which I Ask Ann Voskamp's Forgiveness...

Authors are people too: In Which I Ask Ann Voskamp's Forgiveness... | Challies Dot Com:
I did poorly here and I can see that I need to grow in my ability to critique the ideas in a book even while being kind and loving to its author. There was reason for the shame I felt when I saw that name in my inbox. I had put effort into reading the book and understanding and critiquing it, but no real effort into showing love and respect for the author. I had assumed poor motives and in arrogance and thoughtlessness had squelched useful discussion of the book’s strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The atheist fundification of believers.

I do think the Atheists and Fundies read the Bible in the same way: dangerous idea: The atheist fundification of believers.:
He added the problem with an Atheist insisting on a fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture to a non-fundamentalist Christian is he the atheist in a sense has to put on the hat of a Fundamentalist Religious Apologist and try to convince his opponent to adopt a view of Scripture both already reject before turning around and offering an Atheist criticism of the Fundamentalist view. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Matt Chandler - Entertainment generation

We are the most entertained generation than ever before and yet we are still bored: Matt Chandler - Entertainment generation - YouTube

Anglican and Catholic Dioceses of Bathurst to enter into Covenant

I wonder if it will be awkward if they have communion together: Anglican and Catholic Dioceses of Bathurst to enter into Covenant : Anglican Church League, Sydney, Australia:
Anglican Bishop of Bathurst Richard Hurford and Catholic Bishop Michael McKenna will sign the covenant which will commit the two dioceses to:
• an annual ecumenical service;
• a bienniel joint clergy day;
• local services to enliven common witness to our baptism in Jesus Christ;
• exploring possibilities for sharing church plant and resources;
• cooperation in preparation for Christian marriage and Christian education; and
• openness to fellowship with other ecclesial communities.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Basics Conference 2012

Another conference that has some free audio/video up that might be worth checking out: Basics Conference 2012 - Basics Conference 2012 - Parkside Church |

I Have Friends

A good point about institutional solutions not being personal: I Have Friends by R.C. Sproul Jr. | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
“Well,” he explained, “it’s a group of men who are active in your life, that care for you enough to challenge you when you fall into sin. They watch out for you, support you, encourage you to grow in grace and wisdom.” “In that case,” I retorted, “I do have an accountability group. It’s just that I call them my friends.”

Friday, May 18, 2012

That Seamy Chain of Syllogisms

It is a slippery slope argument, but this one might be true. After all we live in a secular country, all voices should be allowed: That Seamy Chain of Syllogisms:
The reason why homosexual marriage won't end the debates (and the hate crimes of those who take up the wrong side of the debate) is that these marriage "reforms" clearly have not solved the problems of the bisexuals. With our arbitrary limitation of marital status to two and only two people, we are plainly telling the bisexual that he must choose between a heterosexual marriage or a homosexual marriage, but that he can't do both. "But I am both!" he wails . . . suppose this poor little buster wants to express all of his sexual yearnings within the holy bonds of matrimony, and the clerk down at the county courthouse, just seething with hate, won't give him a license with a place on it for three signatures. And then the Muslim guy, next in line, wants one with a place for four signatures.

Nehemiah Found!

Nice: Nehemiah Found! « With Meagre Powers:
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars found fragments (and, in some cases, fuller scrolls) of every biblical book except for Esther and Nehemiah. Until now. Torleif Elgvin (Evangelical Lutheran University College, Oslo) and Esther Eshel (Bar Ilan University, Israel) will be publishing a collection of more than two dozen previously unknown scroll fragments, including the first known fragment of Nehemiah.

Letter to a 12-Year-Old Girl About the Eternal Destiny of Those Who Have Not Heard the Gospel

I like the fact that Piper answers letters written by children. And this is a good question: Letter to a 12-Year-Old Girl About the Eternal Destiny of Those Who Have Not Heard the Gospel - Desiring God:
Does that mean that people will be saved and go to heaven if they have never heard of Jesus? No, that is not what God tells us in the Bible.

Ed Young Pastor Fashion

Turns out this site isn't a parody... which now makes it a bit of a joke: Ed Young Pastor Fashion

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Announcing Our 2012 National Conference

I wonder if Piper will cope some flack for have three women speakers. Although he did write the book on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood...: Announcing Our 2012 National Conference - Desiring God:
The conference will feature the following speakers: Kevin DeYoung, Elyse Fitzpatrick, R W Glenn, Sally Lloyd-Jones, David Mathis, Carolyn McCulley, Russell Moore, John Piper, Ed Welch, Jarvis Williams.

Not Understanding Nothing

Another philosopher takes aim at Krauss' book: Article | First Things:
Krauss’ aim is to answer the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” without resorting to God—and also without bothering to study what previous thinkers of genius have said about the matter. Like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, and Peter Atkins, Krauss evidently thinks that actually knowing something about philosophy and theology is no prerequisite for pontificating on these subjects.

The Book of 1 Corinthians in 40 Tweets

I like these tweet summaries: The Book of 1 Corinthians in 40 Tweets - Desiring God:
1 Corinthians is a book about the cross. And like with Romans, we've tried to summarize the book in a series of tweets that we'll be posting on Twitter throughout the day. As long as we've got social media, let's use it to help one another live in the power of the cross, a day at a time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who Do You Want to Follow?

Leaders need character over style or technique: Who Do You Want to Follow?:
For all those reasons, leadership is not about style or technique as much as it is about character. Want proof that effective leadership is not just about style? Notice that a number of divergent leadership styles are modeled in Scripture. Elijah was a loner and a prophet; Moses delegated duties to trusted people whom he kept close to him. Peter was brash; John was tenderhearted. Paul was a dynamic leader, even when being carried about in chains. He influenced people primarily through the force of his words. Evidently, his physical appearance was anything but powerful (2 Corinthians 10:1). All were men of action, and all used their diverse gifts in markedly different ways. Their leadership styles were varied and diverse. But all were true leaders. 
Again, I think it’s a serious mistake for Christians in leadership to pass over these biblical examples of leadership and turn instead to secular models in pursuit of style-obsessed formulae they think will make them better leaders.

Michael Horton, Gender Stereotypes, and Me

Wilson responds to an article by Horton on gender roles: Michael Horton, Gender Stereotypes, and Me:
Horton assumes that if we object to feminine traits in the wrong place, then we must somehow be bothered with then in the right place too. "Are we really ready to identify shallow sentimentalism with 'feminization' of the church? Do godly women want this any more than men?" I quite agree. Of course they don't. Godly women don't want girly preachers any more than the men do. Godly women don't like femmy worship any more than the men do. Godly women don't want the worship of the evangelical and Reformed church to get any gayer. I mean to say . . .

Must Baptism Precede Membership? Of course!

You wouldn't catch an Anglican saying this: Must Baptism Precede Membership? Of course! | 9Marks:
Must baptism precede membership? Yes. I'd even say, of course! I suppose it is possible you could have an extraordinary situation where the order might get reversed by a few weeks. Getting the order right is not a matter of ontological or salvific necessity, per se. But yes, it generally must precede it, because of what these things are.  Baptism (and the Lord's Supper) is the mechanism that Jesus has given us for declaring someone to be a member of his body, and this happens among real people in a real place called the gathering of a local church.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Christianity and the rise of western science

What was that about science and religion not working together? Christianity and the rise of western science – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
In spite of this widespread view on the historical relations between science and religion, historians of science have long known that religious factors played a significantly positive role in the emergence and persistence of modern science in the West. Not only were many of the key figures in the rise of science individuals with sincere religious commitments, but the new approaches to nature that they pioneered were underpinned in various ways by religious assumptions.

Monday, May 14, 2012

That Word

Submisson in marriage: That Word:
I begin here: this is simply the best discussion of the roles of a married couple I have read. A robust theology — christology and trinitarian thinking — is every where and it avoids simplicities that seem to find their way into discussions of roles. So here are some points from the chapter

Love Your Enemies, Huh?

Another clip that didn't make it into Collision. Love Your Enemies, Huh? | The Resurgence:
Hundreds of hours of footage was shot and edited down to 90 minutes of solid debate and conversation. The clip you see above didn't make into that 90 minutes. Consider it deleted scenes. This is the first time it's being released, and we have it here for you to learn what it means and looks like to make a defense for your faith. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

21 Words for Fathers

No a bad 7 and a half minuet clip of advice for fathers: 21 Words for Fathers | Topical

How the Church Has Changed

Scot Mcknight has listed 12 things he has seen in church that has changed in his life time: How the Church Has Changed:
I drew up a list of changes, and did my best to ponder what other churches in my hometown (Lake Wobegon, of course) were like … and I hope the following list represents a fairly accurate set of characteristics and changes. This is not really a journey into nostalgia but an exercise in comparison. But here goes, in no particular order of importance:

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

They have been saying this for years: The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage -
But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

Introduction — A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture

A nice balanced answer by Sproul: Introduction — A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture by Keith Mathison | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
...the speakers were asked this question in connection with the ongoing debate between Christians who think the universe is less than 10,000 years old and those who think it is much older. Dr. R.C. Sproul took about five minutes to answer the question, and what he said in that brief period of time should be heard by every Reformed Christian who is interested in this subject and by every Reformed Christian who is discussing and debating it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

15 Tips on Blogging from John Newton

Some good advice from old, updated for today: 15 Tips on Blogging from John Newton - Desiring God:
Here are 15 lessons from John Newton on letter-writing that will serve blog writers (all quotes taken from The Works of John Newton, 6-volumes).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"We're Starting a Record Label": Pastor Mark Interviews Jon Dunn

Christian music is bad, unless Marshill does it. Then it isn't: "We're Starting a Record Label": Pastor Mark Interviews Jon Dunn | Mars Hill Church:
Bottom line, whatever you think has defined “Christian music” up til now, you can forget it: “We don’t limit our bands to the Christian cul-de-sac of U2 circa 1987,” says Dunn. [Editor’s note: Said with all due respect to Joshua Tree and U2, who have a solid contingent of fans at the church.] In short, it’s a label defined by Christ and culture and corporate worship.

Which Has Both Pros and Cons . . .

Yes this is true, but I think there is power in the presence of someone.Which Has Both Pros and Cons . . . | Who Is Sufficient?:
"Your parishioners listen to other preachers on the radio, watch them on TV and on the Web, and download pdcasts to their iPods. Like it or not, you are not the best preacher that your people have listened to this week. Your congregation has compared and contrasted you with the best-known preachers of the day . . . People in the pews want the electronic perfection projected by the religious superstars of our day. And we cannot give it to them. The electronic media have made it easier to compare preachers today than ever before" (Edwards, Deep Preaching,  p. 6).

Was Haman Hanged or Impaled?

Some KEC talks this year from Esther touched on this idea: Was Haman Hanged or Impaled? by Benjamin Shaw | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
In the work of the Greek historian Herodotus, impalement is regularly presented as a Persian punishment (see The Histories, 1.128, 3,132, 3.159, 6.30 as examples). Given the setting of Esther, it thus seems likely that the manner of punishment for Haman was in fact impalement. In other words, the fifty-cubit “tree” built by Haman was intended to display Mordecai’s body impaled in such a way that no one could avoid seeing it. As it turned out, however, it was Haman, whose death (and the folly leading to it) was put on display for the entire population. This view is also confirmed by both recent commentaries (by Jon Levenson, for example) and by older commentaries (Keil and Delitzsch). In this case, I think the TNIV and the NLT to be more correct in their translation than the ESV or the NASB.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

By What Standard?

Not a bad clip from a debate between Wilson and Hitchens that didn't make it into the final movie: By What Standard? | The Resurgence

The Gospel of God’s Glory

Scott McNight on Chandlers book on the Gospel. One day soon I am going to read his King Jesus Gospel (I've bought it, I just need to open it when I am finished with a few other books I am reading at the moment): The Gospel of God’s Glory:
So he begins as does all the soterian gospel approaches (see my book, The King Jesus Gospel, for soterian approaches) — with God, and with “man,” and with Christ and with response, which means his gospel looks like Greg Gilbert’s (What is the Gospel?) and, to be honest, much like every soterian gospel from the days of Billy Graham and Bill Bright onwards to our day. But Chandler’s approach is not the same, and I’d like to emphasize here that these four elements in the typical evangelistic presentation are essentially biblical and important elements in the doctrine of salvation, even if there are a variety of ways of expressing them.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss: Something from Nothing, at ANU

I've seen this event online that took place at an American uni. I'm not sure how much overlap there is in this ANU recording, but it might be worth a watch: Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss: Something from Nothing, at ANU - Vision - ANU:
Critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics at this event entitled 'Something for Nothing'. This video was recorded at The Australian National University on 10 April 2012.

Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier

Erhman responding to Carrier. Both atheist, both historians. One agrees Jesus existed one doesn't: Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier « Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog:
Carrier, as many of you know, has written a scathing review of Did Jesus Exist on his Freethought Blog.   He indicates that my book is “full of errors,” that it “misinforms more than it informs” that it provides “false information” that it is “worse than bad” and that “it officially sucks.”   The attacks are sustained throughout his lengthy post, and they often become personal.  He indicates that “Ehrman doesn’t actually know what he is talking about,” he claims that I speak with “absurd” hyperbole, that my argument “makes [me] look irresponsible,” that I am guilty of “sloppy work,” that I “misrepresent” my opponents and “misinform the public,” that what I write is “crap,” that I am guilty of “arrogantly dogmatic and irresponsible thinking,” that I am “incompetent,” make “hack” mistakes, and do not “act like a real scholar.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

QandA Or Question Un-answered?

This was a good re-cap of the QandA "debate" between Pell and Dawkins: Articles | QandA Or Question Un-answered? | Phillip Jensen:
"As debaters go, Cardinal Pell was surprisingly good. Most people considered it a mismatch – for Professor Dawkins is such an experienced media debater and performer and the cardinal is not. However, it was the cardinal who rattled the professor with some classic debating tricks such as referring to precise quotes or page numbers. At some points the professor looked uncomfortable, getting angry with the audience and even confessing to jetlag. Naturally, at the end of the debate, each side claimed victory; the atheist trounced the Christian in the eyes of the atheists and the Christian beat the atheist in the eyes of the Christians. But that’s the trouble with debates; they have the appearance of rational discourse and persuasion but generally do little more than reinforce entrenched prejudices."

Did Jesus Suffer the Wrath of the Father for All Sinners, or Just the Elect?

Limited atonement laid out: Did Jesus Suffer the Wrath of the Father for All Sinners, or Just the Elect? by R.C. Sproul Jr. | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
There is a third serious problem with the notion that Jesus died for all sins of all people. Hell. If Jesus atoned for all sins, just for what are the sinners in hell suffering? Those who seek to “protect” God’s integrity by arguing He must treat us all the same end up, accidentally, affirming that God punishes the same sins twice, once on Calvary and again in hell. Some might object in turn that the sinners in hell are being punished for their unbelief. But that too is a sin, and thus would have already been punished. If all sins have been atoned for, they can’t be punished.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Multisite, the Poker Tell and the Importance of Presence

Quite a good article on multistie churches. Why is the band present but not the preacher? Multisite, the Poker Tell and the Importance of Presence - Reformation21 Blog:
"That observation strikes me as being of crucial importance not only to critics of multi-site like myself; but also something with which multi-site advocates must themselves wrestle.  It seems to me (at least on the basis of the anecdotal research which I have been able to do) that nobody in the multi-site world pipes in the music by videolink in the way that is simply assumed as legitimate when it comes to the preacher.  Yet in so doing, it seems to me that such ministries are conceding the importance of presence - of real, physical presence - to the gathering of the church.  They are also begging the question: why have a real band when the most important thing, the preaching, can be beamed in?   Or is it that the preaching is no longer the most important thing?"

Friday, April 20, 2012

How You Can Raise Up Preachers in Your Church

Some good advice. I wonder why multi-site churches don't heed these words and have live preachers in there service and not a guy on a projector screen: How You Can Raise Up Preachers in Your Church | The Resurgence:
"Let me say it again: allow other men to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to your congregation. If you want to raise up preachers in your church, you have to pry your fingers from the pulpit. Share those opportunities with others. Share leadership by sharing the pulpit. It will refresh you and bless your congregation. Train your leaders to preach. "

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Book of Romans in 45 Tweets

It took John Dickson 83 tweets to do Romans: The Book of Romans in 45 Tweets - Desiring God:
"We want to feast on this book. We want to taste the wonders of the Jesus it exalts. We want to deal with its content more and more. So what if we diced up the message of Romans into bite-sized summaries? What if we limited these summaries to 140 characters? What if we served up these summaries through Twitter?"

Infographic: Christianity in Australia

Some interesting stats: Infographic: Christianity in Australia | Communicate Jesus:

Doubting Dawkins on Vimeo

This is quite a cutting video and of cause you could probably do the same with some passages of Ecclesiastes: Doubting Dawkins on Vimeo

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Five irrational myths peddled by lazy atheists

Not a bad article at all on the Punch: Five irrational myths peddled by lazy atheists | Article | The Punch:
Esteemed cosmologist and popular atheist Lawrence Krauss wrote: “It sometimes surprises me, although it shouldn’t, how religious devotees feel the need to regularly reinforce their own convictions in groups of like-minded individuals”.

Churches in Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim leader recently issued a religious decree calling for all Christian churches on the Arabian peninsula to be demolished, a move that elicited protests from the U.S. government and undermines recent efforts in the kingdom to promote interfaith tolerance."
Churches in Saudi Arabia

Easter Faith

A good quote by NT Wright: Easter Faith:
"But if you say Jesus died and nothing happened but the disciples had some interesting ideas, then you have cut off the branch on which all classic Christianity is sitting. This generation needs to wake up, smell the coffee and realise serious Christianity begins when Jesus comes out of the tomb on Easter morning. This is not a nice optional extra for those who like believing in funny things."

Did the Apostle Paul Target Strategic Cities in His Mission Work?

So much for the "cities of influence" idea that some church planters model off Paul: Did the Apostle Paul Target Strategic Cities in His Mission Work? – Kevin DeYoung:
"(1) Most Greek cities were organized as an independent polis governing their own affairs. The “radiation” effect from one city to the next would have been limited by this independence, not to mention the natural barriers (mountains, rivers, seas) that often delimited cities."

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Biggest Announcement the Martyn-Lloyd Jones Trust Will Ever Make

More free stuff online: The Biggest Announcement the Martyn-Lloyd Jones Trust Will Ever Make – Justin Taylor:
"Starting from tomorrow, April 12th, all 1,600 recorded sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones will be available to download, at no cost, to anyone who wants to listen to them! "

Audio : Together for the Gospel

Free audio from a very good conference. These will be worth listening to: Audio : Together for the Gospel:

Twystematics - The whole of Christian doctrine, 140 characters at a time

This site is worth checking out (and following on twitter): Twystematics

Is Your Church Interested in Becoming a Part of Mars Hill?

The Mars Hill church brand is growing, your church could be one. I'm not sure I am a fan. I am a fan of renewing churches, but not ones that have to be a set brand with the preacher beamed for their sermons: Is Your Church Interested in Becoming a Part of Mars Hill? | Mars Hill Church

Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?

Piper on Jesus in Hell after the cross and before the resurrection, he agrees with Wayne Grudem: Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell? - Desiring God:
"I would say, therefore, that there is no textual basis in the New Testament for claiming that between Good Friday and Easter Christ was preaching to souls imprisoned in hell or Hades. There is textual basis for saying that he would be with the repentant thief in Paradise “today” (Luke 23:43), and one does not get the impression that he means a defective place from which the thief must then be delivered by more preaching."

An apology for the “New Atheism”

An academic journal article defending the New Atheists: International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Online First™ - SpringerLink:
"In recent years, a series of bestselling atheist manifestos by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens has thrust the topic of the rationality of religion into the public discourse. Christian moderates of an intellectual bent and even some agnostics and atheists have taken umbrage and lashed back. In this paper I defend the New Atheists against three common charges: that their critiques of religion commit basic logical fallacies (such as straw man, false dichotomy, or hasty generalization), that their own atheism is just as “faith-based” as the religious beliefs they criticize, and that their expressed disrespect for religious belief is immoral."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Questions without answers in the Kingdom of Whatever

The ABC religion page takes a shot at the ABC Q&A law night: Questions without answers in the Kingdom of Whatever – Blog – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Given the choice of panellists, last night's Q & A was destined to be what it was: the vacillation of opposing monologues, interspersed by tediously predictable questions, and smattered with a derisive and frankly disgusting twitter-feed. It is hard to shake the impression that, instead of genuinely informing and contributing to our public conversation, Q & A brazenly went after ratings. If that was the object, then as a stunt it worked magnificently.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Atheist Convert

All Dad's elaborate atheist religion, with its sacred texts, its martyrs, its church militant; all his ostentatious tough- mindedness; all his intellectual machinery; all these things turned to dust. Convinced for decades of his stoicism, he now unwittingly demonstrated the truth of Clive James's cruel remark: "we would like to think we are stoic...but would prefer a version that didn't hurt."

Already an alcoholic, he now made a regular practice of threatening violence to himself and others. In hospital he wept like a child (I had never before seen him weep). He denounced the nurses for their insufficient knowledge of Socrates and Descartes. From time to time he wandered around the ward naked, in the pit of confused despair. The last time I visited him I found him, to my complete amazement, reading a small bedside Gideon Bible. I voiced surprise at this. He fixed on me the largest, most protuberant, most frightened, and most frightening pair of eyes I have ever seen: "I'll try anything now."

Atheist Convert: R.J. Stove

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

NSW's first female Anglican bishop appointed

Sydney Anglicans will not be pleased and will still see Canberra as liberal: NSW's first female Anglican bishop appointed - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
It is a contentious issue for the church; the long list of fellow Anglican leaders at today's ceremony did not include any of the key Sydney bishops.

The Historical Evidence of the Existence of Jesus of Nazareth

Bart Ehman sounds a lot like John Dickson in the Christ Files: The Historical Evidence of the Existence of Jesus of Nazareth – Justin Taylor:
I should say at the outset that none of this literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world). Of the thousands of scholars of early Christianity who do teach at such schools, none of them, to my knowledge, has any doubts that Jesus existed. But a whole body of literature out there, some of it highly intelligent and well informed, makes this case.

30 Things to Remember in Seminary

Not a bad list: 30 Things to Remember in Seminary by Burk Parsons | Ligonier Ministries Blog:
I offer the following thoughts, in no particular order, to the end that my brothers in seminary and all believers training for ministry at whatever level and for whatever ministry purpose might find some of my comments helpful and reflect on these points and pray that the Holy Spirit would grant them wisdom and humility and that he would guard their souls and instill within them a mind for truth and a heart for God.

Selling Boxing Day: Humans As Units Of Production

Not a bad article. What is more important, family time or wealth? Articles | Selling Boxing Day: Humans As Units Of Production | Phillip Jensen:
To argue that we need to open shops on a public holiday to retain jobs is to indicate how brittle our Triple A economy is. We must be in a dire state on the verge of economic collapse! One wonders how we ever survived those years when shops were closed every weekend of the year - from Saturday at noon till Monday morning. We must have been starving!

Noah's Blog

Quite amusing: Noah's Blog | Wittenburg Door

Friday, March 30, 2012

War in the name of atheism

It now seems that world views don't affect your actions - they are only as influential to your actions as facial hair: War in the name of atheism - The Oatmeal

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flashing the Laymen

More on Harris' Free Will book: Flashing the Laymen:
What I want to chortle about in this instance is the fact that Harris is blaming conservatives for doing simply what the space/time continuum is making them do. If you have a right view of the cosmos, Harris has been arguing, you won't blame individuals for doing things that are completely outside their control, and then he proceeds immediately to the edifying task of blaming those who don't think this way.

Driscoll Steps Down from TGC Council

Despite me sometimes posting some anti-Driscoll links, I do like the guy and am a bit sad he isn't on this board any more. But there is only so many things one person can do...: Driscoll Steps Down from TGC Council – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle has recently announced he is stepping down from the Council of The Gospel Coalition. Mark let us know in advance of his intentions, part of a major reorganization of his priorities and a changing of the guard in Acts 29. We are saddened by his departure but understand that all busy people must establish priorities. 
The Council is grateful to Mark for his contributions to TGC during the past decade. In the months and years ahead, we will certainly be praying for him, his family, and the ministries he influences.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

‘A Universe From Nothing'

A philosopher (and an atheist) reviews Krausses book and it isn't pretty: ‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss -
Krauss, mind you, has heard this kind of talk before, and it makes him crazy. A century ago, it seems to him, nobody would have made so much as a peep about referring to a stretch of space without any material particles in it as “nothing.” And now that he and his colleagues think they have a way of showing how everything there is could imaginably have emerged from a stretch of space like that, the nut cases are moving the goal posts. He complains that “some philosophers and many theologians define and redefine ‘nothing’ as not being any of the versions of nothing that scientists currently describe,” and that “now, I am told by religious critics that I cannot refer to empty space as ‘nothing,’ but rather as a ‘quantum vacuum,’ to distinguish it from the philosopher’s or theologian’s idealized ‘nothing,’ ” and he does a good deal of railing about “the intellectual bankruptcy of much of theology and some of modern philosophy.” But all there is to say about this, as far as I can see, is that Krauss is dead wrong and his religious and philosophical critics are absolutely right. Who cares what we would or would not have made a peep about a hundred years ago? We were wrong a hundred years ago. We know more now. And if what we formerly took for nothing turns out, on closer examination, to have the makings of protons and neutrons and tables and chairs and planets and solar systems and galaxies and universes in it, then it wasn’t nothing, and it couldn’t have been nothing, in the first place. And the history of science — if we understand it correctly — gives us no hint of how it might be possible to imagine otherwise. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Next to Last Rock in the Avalanche

I got my hands on a ePub of this. Wilson does some good advertising for this book: The Next to Last Rock in the Avalanche:
Please note the precise nature of what I am saying. Harris is making sure that we know that if there is in fact no God, then of necessity it follows that there can be no atheists. An atheist, in case you are just joining us, is someone who affirms that there is no God because there isn't one, and not a person dealing with atheistical brain farts for no other reason than that they came to him out of the darkness of antecedent and inscrutable causes. Perfectly ingenious, and I follow his reasoning (if you can call it that, which you can't, but work with me here) exactly. I look forward to the time when Harris follows his reasoning too.