Wednesday, August 22, 2012

All Around the Web: Links For Your Wednesday - August 22, 2012

Andy Naselli - John Frame’s Advice: 30 Suggestions for Theological Students and Young Theologians | Here are a few:

1. Consider that you might not really be called to theological work. James 3:1 tells us that not many of us should become teachers and that teachers will be judged more strictly. To whom much (biblical knowledge) is given, of them shall much be required.
2. Value your relationship with Christ, your family, and the church above your career ambitions. You will influence more people by your life than by your theology. And deficiencies in your life will negate the influence of your ideas, even if those ideas are true.
7. A theologian is essentially a preacher, though he typically deals with more arcane subjects than preachers do. But be a good preacher. Find some way to make your theology speak to the hearts of people. Find a way to present your teaching so that people hear God’s voice in it.
16. Don’t become known as a theologian who constantly takes potshots at other theologians or other Christians. The enemy is Satan, the world, and the flesh.
17. Guard your sexual instincts. Stay away from Internet pornography and illicit relationships. Theologians are not immune from the sins that plague others in the church.
18. Be active in a good church. Theologians need the means of grace as much as other believers. This is especially important when you are studying at a secular university or liberal seminary. You need the support of other believers to maintain proper theological perspective.
28. Young theologians often imagine themselves as the next Luther, just as little boys imagine themselves as the next Peyton Manning or Kevin Garnett. When they’re too old to play cowboys and Indians, they want to play Luther and the Pope. When the real Pope won’t play with them, they pick on somebody else and say, “You’re it.” Look: most likely God has not chosen you to be the leader of a new Reformation. If he has, don’t take the exalted title “Reformer” upon yourself. Let others decide if that is really what you are.
30. Don’t lose your sense of humor. We should take God seriously, not ourselves, and certainly not theology. To lose your sense of humor is to lose your sense of proportion. And nothing is more important in theology than a sense of proportion

RC Sproul - The Grounds of our Justification | We could also say that the Reformed/Pauline view of justification and what seems to be everyone else's view is the difference between Christcentric justiciation (Reformed/Pauline) and anthropocentric (all other options).

The Roman Catholic view is known as analytical justification. This means that God will declare a person just only when, under His perfect analysis, He finds that he is just, that righteousness is inherent in him. The person cannot have that righteousness without faith, without grace, and without the assistance of Christ. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, true righteousness must be present in the soul of a person before God will ever declare him just.

Whereas the Roman view is analytical, the Reformation view is that justification is synthetic. A synthetic statement is one in which something new is added in the predicate that is not contained in the subject. If I said to you, “The bachelor was a poor man,” I have told you something new in the second part of the sentence that was not already contained in the word bachelor. All bachelors are men by definition, but not all bachelors are poor men. There are many wealthy bachelors. Poverty and wealth are concepts that are not inherent in the idea of bachelorhood. So, when we say, “The bachelor was a poor man,” there is a synthesis, as it were.

When we say that the Reformation view of justification is synthetic, we mean that when God declares a person to be just in His sight, it is not because of what He finds in that person under His analysis. Rather, it is on the basis of something that is added to the person. That something that is added, of course, is the righteousness of Christ. This is why Luther said that the righteousness by which we are justified is extra nos, meaning “apart from us” or “outside of us.” He also called it an “alien righteousness,” not a righteousness that properly belongs to us, but a righteousness that is foreign to us, alien to us. It comes from outside the sphere of our own behavior. With both of these terms, Luther was speaking about the righteousness of Christ.

WORLD Magazine - Study: Less religious states give less to charity | This is news? Really?

BOSTON (AP)—A new study on the generosity of Americans suggests that states with the least religious residents are also the stingiest about giving money to charity.
The study released Monday by the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that residents in states where religious participation is higher than the rest of the nation, particularly in the South, gave the greatest percentage of their discretionary income to charity.

The Northeast, with lower religious participation, was the least generous to charities, with the six New England states filling the last six slots among the 50 states.

The study also found that patterns of charitable giving are colored in political reds and blues.
Of the 10 least generous states, nine voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president in the last election. By contrast, of the 10 most generous states, eight voted for Republican John McCain.

Paul Tripp - Don't Settle for Your Mediocre Preaching

There simply is no way that you can begin to think about a passage for the first time on Saturday afternoon or evening and give it the kind of attention that it needs. You will not be able to understand the passage, be personally affected, and be prepared to give it to others in a way that ontributes to their ongoing transformation. As pastors, we have to fight for the sanctity of preaching, or no one else will. We have to demand that our job descriptions allow for the time necessary to prepare well. We have to carve out time in our schedules to do whatever necessary for each of us, given our gifts and maturity, to be ready as spokesmen for our Savior King. We cannot become comfortable with patterns that denigrate preaching and degrade our ability to represent a glorious God of glorious grace. We cannot allow ourselves to be too busy and too distracted. We cannot set low standards for ourselves and those we serve. We cannot be self-excusing and self-accommodating. We cannot allow ourselves to try to squeeze a thousand dollars worth of preparation into dime moments. We must not lose sight of the excellent One and the excellent grace we have been called to represent. We cannot, because we are unprepared, let his splendor appear boring and his amazing grace appear ordinary.

The culture and discipline that surrounds our preaching always reveals the true character of our own hearts. This is exactly where confession and repentance needs to take place. We cannot blame our job descriptions or busyness. We cannot point the finger at the unexpected things that show up on the schedule of every pastor. We cannot blame the demands of family. We have to humbly confess our preaching is mediocre, not rising to the standard to which we have been called. The problem is us. The problem is that we have lost our awe, and in losing our awe we are all too comfortable with representing God's excellence in a way that is anything but excellent. Ministry mediocrity in any form is always an issue of the heart. If this describes you, then run in humble confession to your Savior and embrace the grace that has the power to rescue you from you, and in so doing, give you back your awe.

World Net Daily - Bill Gates: World Needs Fewer People | The earth has plenty of resources to feed, house, and take care of everybody. The problem isn't with the earth, but with dictators and sinners in general.

Software billionaire Bill Gates, who previously has advocated the reduction of the human population through the use of vaccines, and his wife Melinda marked the 100th year since the First International Eugenics Congress in London with a “family planning” summit with abortionists and the United Nations.

The July 11 event, co-hosted by the United Kingdom Department for International Development, included organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes International and the U.N. Populations Fund, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Out of Ur - Ur Video: Tim Keller on Gay Rights |

Gallup -Swing-State Voters Say They Are No Better Off Than in 2008 | This isn't good for the Obama administration.

PRINCETON, NJ -- A majority of voters in key 2012 election swing states say they are not better off than they were four years ago; 40% say they are better off. Swing-state voters' assessments of their situation compared with 2008 have varied little since last fall.

The Hill - Ryan propels Romney to the lead in Wisconsin | This is two conseqative polls that put Romney ahead of Obama in Wisconsin. This is significant as Wisconsin was considered a safe Democratic state. Expect this to trickle down to other states. The negative side for the Romney/Ryan ticket is that Wisconsin is only 10 electoral points which is much lower than Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. I believe that Romney will win Wisconsin, North Carolina, Colorado, New Hampshire and other swing states. Good news for Romney.

Paul Ryan has propelled Mitt Romney into the lead over President Obama in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin, according to the latest survey from liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling.
Romney edges Obama 48 percent to 47, according to the poll, which has a 2.7 percent margin of error. 
That’s a 7 percentage point gain for Romney, who trailed Obama 50 to 44 in the previous PPP poll, taken in July, before Rep. Ryan (R-Wis.) was added to the GOP ticket.

Politico - Romney leads in cash on hand by $62m | This is significant. The money race is as big as anything else in big elections. Romney has an astounding lead against an incumbant President and that is almost unheard of. Rare at the very least.

When the Romney campaign announced its July fundraising haul of $101.3 million, it also put out this impressive cash-on-hand figure for the campaign, the RNC and their joint fundraising account: $185.9 million.

The Obama campaign shared its full fundraising information this afternoon and came up with this combined cash-on-hand figure: $123.7 million.

That puts Obama at an imposing disadvantage, especially for an incumbent president, and underscores (as if it needed underscoring) the pressure on Democratic donors to ante up for the final months of the race.

USA Today - Obama campaign's spending outpaces its fundraising | The same thing happened last month. The President is quickly running out of money as he spends more than he makes. Its simply too early to be burning through so much campaign cash. It seems the strategy for the Obama campaign is to determine Romney's image early in the race. A risky strategy and one that might severally limit him financially as the race comes to an end in late September, October, and early November.

WASHINGTON – As Election Day approaches, President Obama is burning through campaign money faster than he can collect it — exceeding his spending pace at this stage of the 2008 contest as he expands his field operation and trades combative ads on the airwaves with Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Last month alone, Obama spent nearly $59 million through his main campaign account — $10 million more than he raised, financial reports filed late Monday afternoon show. The cost of his campaign so far: more than $325 million, not counting spending by the the Democratic Party committees aiding his re-election.

By contrast, President Bush had spent $205.4 million to retain the White House at this point in the 2004 election.

Reformation Theology - No Compromise, Ever: Episode 1 | For those who remember the Elephant Room 2 controversy over TD Jakes and his modalistic view, here is a video of three Reformed leaders - Carl Truman, Phil Johnson, and James White - who discuss it.

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