Friday, May 27, 2016

Saying Shibboleth

I love this scene from The West Wing episode "Shibboleth." In this episode, a number of Chinese Christians are seeking asylum in the United States claiming they are under persecution. As the clip below shows, the White House is concerned that they may not really be Christians. The President, Josiah Bartlett, decides to interview one of them to see if he truly understands Christianity.

Such a scene is rare in American television today. The message and beauty of Christianity is made clear from the lips of a persecuted, and orthodox, sect of Chinese Christians.

In other news, please pray for the persecuted church.

For more:
Christianity and the Small Screen: The West Wing

All Around the Web - May 27, 2016

Russell Moore - Why Social Media (and the Church) Is Making You Sad

Trevin Wax - Why The Culture Wars Rage On

Chuck Lawless - 10 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Church’s High School Graduates

James K. Allen - Pastors: Preach, Don’t Rant

Telegraph - Exodus: churches lose 11 worshippers for every new member

The Blaze - Study: More Millennials Living With Parents Than With Spouse or Partner

Thursday, May 26, 2016

All Around the Web - May 26, 2016

Joe Carter - 9 Things You Should Know About China’s Cultural Revolution

Eric Metaxas - Liberal Censorship

Tim Challies - 3 Priorities for Christian Parents

Gentle Reformation - The Backside Blessings of Blogging

Erik Raymond - How Exaggeration Can Undermine Your Joy in the Gospel

Kevin DeYoung - Don’t Waste Your Summer

A pro-adoption commercial. I'll take it.

First and Second Adam Contrasted

In his sermon, Straight Answers About Creation, John MacArthur offers a series of contrasts between the first Adam and second Adam (Christ) I thought worth exploring. Though we could certainly add dozens more of these, I thought MacArthur's list was an insightful one. I will first offer them in bulletpoint form and then offer the full quote afterwards.
  • The first Adam was given life. The second gives life.
  • The first Adam brought death. The second conquers death.
  • The first Adam lost paradise. The second gains paradise.
  • The first Adam is earthy. The second Adam is heavenly. 
Here is the quote in full:
Romans, chapter 5 – just a couple of things to read you as I try to make this point clear – Romans 5: “So then through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience, Adam, the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” You have Adam and Christ, Adam and Christ, the first and the last. Adam is such a picture of Christ.

First Corinthians 15 says the first Adam was given life. Adam: the first Adam was given life. The second Adam gives life. First Corinthians 15 says the first Adam brought death, the second Adam conquers death. Revelation says the first Adam lost paradise, the second Adam gains paradise.

First Corinthians 15, the first Adam is earthy, the second Adam is heavenly. First Corinthians 15, the first creation is in the likeness of God, the new creation again is in the likeness of God. First Corinthians 15, the first creation of bodies diverse, the new resurrection creation of bodies diverse. The juxtaposing of Adam and Christ, and Adam and Christ, and Adam and Christ all through the redemptive story; all these are salvation analogies drawn out of Genesis 1 to 3, all of them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

From Spurgeon's Pulpit: Go Over Hedge and Ditch

From the sermon "How to Read the Bible" (sermon #1503):
That sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the top and the bottom, is a sort of sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, but might make the angels of God weep if they were capable of such emotion! You remember the story I told you of the Welshman who heard a young man preach a very fine sermon—a grand sermon, a high falutin, spread-eagle sermon—and when he had done, he asked the Welshman what he thought of it. The man replied that he did not think anything of it. “And why not?” “Because there was no Jesus Christ in it.” “Well,” he said, “but my text did not seem to run that way.” “Never mind,” said the Welshman, “your sermon ought to run that way.” “I do not see that, however,” said the young man.

“No,” said the other, “you do not see how to preach, either. This is the way to preach. From every little village in England, it does not matter where it is, there is sure to be a road to London. Though there may not be a road to certain other places, there is certain to be a road to London. Now, from every text in the Bible there is a road to Jesus Christ and the way to preach is just to say, ‘How can I get from this text to Jesus Christ?’ and then go preaching all the way along it.” “Well, but,” said the young man, “suppose I find a text that has not got a road to Jesus Christ.” “I have preached for 40 years,” said the old man, “and I have never found such a Scripture. But if I ever do find one, I will go over hedge and ditch and I will get to Him, for I will never finish without bringing in my Master.”

All Around the Web - May 25, 2016

Nancey Pearcey - Do Biological Facts No Longer Matter?

Thom Rainer - Seven Ways Church Outreach Has Changed in 15 Years

Collin Hansen - Why I’m No Longer a United Methodist

Sam Storms - 10 Things You should Know about Satan

The Blaze - Church of Scotland Makes Major Change to Allow Pastors Who Are in Gay Marriages — but There’s a Twist

Priceonomics - What is the Internet’s Favorite Book?