Monday, May 27, 2013

All Around the Web - May 27, 2013

Chad Owen Brand - Is Christianity Today the New Christian Century? |

Mark Galli of Christianity Today has just published an assessment of Rob Bell's theology. While he offers some critique, his evaluation is largely affirmative. Even the little aside comments in his analysis are actually kind of scary. In the opening paragraph he writes of Bell, “He believes the Bible is authoritative at some level–that is, he always tries to understand his life in light of his reading of the Bible.” Does that sound like the ringing endorsement of the authority of Scripture that evangelicals have traditionally affirmed? When commenting on whether Bell believes in divine judgment, that is, whether Bell is a universalist, Galli states, “He says people who abuse and exploit others and creation will not participate in the glorious restoration of heaven on earth.” I get the first part of that statement, but does the second part mean that if I don't recycle, that I will not participate in the resurrection to life in Bell's view?

At several points the article gets really dicey, but one in particular. Galli offers several quotes from Bell's new book, What We Talk Abut When We Talk About God, including this one: “So, when we talk about God, we're talking about our brushes with spirit, our awareness of the reverence humming within us, our sense of the nearness and farness, that which we know and that which is unknown” (page 91). Galli's comment? “Bell believes our knowledge of God is grounded not in doctrine, not in the Bible, the preached Word, the sacraments, our institutions, or even what Jesus revealed (all ways theologians ground our knowledge of God), but in our experiences and our intuitions–especially that sense that many have that there is a deeper reality in, with, and under this life. This is an appeal to general revelation, how God makes himself known naturally to the world.” In the course of the rest of the assessment, Galli indicates that he has no serious problem with such intuitive forms of spirituality, indicating that he wrote an endorsement for Margaret Feinberg's book, Wonderstruck.


Fox News - Duck Dynasty' CEO in the No Spin Zone |





Eric Metaxas - Be a Heroic Dad |

When was the last time you saw the media portray a strong father, maybe even a Christian dad, in a positive light? You’re far more likely to see dads shown as clueless, rigid, or the butt of constant jokes. The unspoken assumption in film, on TV, and in the culture, is that fathers are expendable. But statistics tell another story, and it’s no laughing matter.

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative: “Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. Children born to single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers.

“Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.” Being raised without a dad “raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree. There is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with both their mother and father.”

Yikes!


Mental Floss - 15 TV Plot Points That Angered Viewers | I actually enjoyed the LOST series finale.

After all of the flashbacks, flashforwards, and flash-sideways, LOST fanatics were expecting a stellar ending that answered the many questions posed by the series. But the final episode didn't deliver all of the answers; even the ending isn't exactly clear, and there have been many interpretations as to what it meant. Fan reactions immediately after the finale were all over the map, and many are still annoyed.





Kevin DeYoung - If All You Have is a Hammer |

What do I have in mind? No one in particular but lots of things in general. The Christian who blames everything on fundamentalism and relates every story to their upbringing where they had to wear long skirts and watch Lawrence Welk. The feminist who sees the oppression of woman in every tweet. The conservative who can only sound the alarm of cultural declension. The Presbyterian who relates everything to the regulative principle. The church critic who sees every weakness as an expression of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. The gospel-loving saint who smells legalism in every exhortation against vice and in every celebration of virtue. The philosopher who has concluded that every problem boils down to epistemology or the one and the many or whatever. The academic who thinks everything that ails the church finds its roots in whatever he wrote for his dissertation. The revisionist who is confident that the church is all out of sorts because of Greek thinking, Constantine, or Old Princeton. The wounded soul who can’t see past his own hurts or makes it her life mission to rage against the machine. The liberal who can’t stop talking about tolerance and dialogue. The Sunday school teacher who finds a reason in every class to beat on Charles Finney. The peacemaker who sees every conflict as a third way waiting to happen.

Some of us have one main thing we want to say to the world. If that one thing is true, clear, and winsome, praise God. Say it again and again. But we shouldn’t say that same thing in every situation. And we shouldn’t stop with that one true thing. The Bible is a big book and God has placed us in a big world. There is much to celebrate, much to affirm, much to correct, much to enjoy, much to lament, and much to proclaim. There are a lot of nails sticking up that could use some pounding. So pound away. Just realize they don’t all call for the same hammer.


An example of sportsmanship:

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