Thursday, June 6, 2013

All Around the Web - June 6, 2013

Owen Strachan - Jonathan Edwards: Why Read Him? |

First, the Northampton pastor was a breathtakingly imaginative thinker, by which I do not mean “harmfully extra-textual” as it might sound (though he did love creativity), but rather that Edwards was able to capture biblical teaching in all its glory and nuance and breadth. Your average superhero movie is fantastic on a normal screen; when you watch it on IMAX, though, it’s a whole other ballgame. So it is with Edwards and his work. The biblical mind and imagination lives and breathes. The Bible seems living and active in Edwards’ hands. Of course, as historian George Marsden has pointed out, Edwards became an excellent writer over the course of his life, and so to read him is to read a marvelously gifted stylist, which is pleasurable in any field.

Second, Edwards consistently pointed up the power of God in Christ. This isn’t, interestingly, to say that he consistently gave the kind of quick biblical-theological summary of redemption now common in evangelical preaching. Jesus, however, was the ideal, the apex, and the key of Scripture. Not only Scripture, though—all of nature. When you read all the way through Edwards’ Miscellanies you’ll discover the man found Christ in moths. Beat that.

Third, it is positively breathtaking how swiftly Edwards, especially in his sermons, can travel from the farthest reaches of the theological cosmos to the day-to-day life of the sin-fighting Christian. The application sections of the pastor’s sermons are regularly remarkable. They’re not pure application by a long shot, but rather what you could call theological spirituality, or heavily theological application. Warning: you may read these sermons and weep, so rich is the diet of Edwards’ preaching compared to many modern pulpits.

Thom Rainer - Seven (Plus One) Deadly Sins of a Church Website |Some of the worse websites out there are church websites.

  1. The website is dated in both design and content. You are communicating an uncaring attitude and a sloppy approach to ministry.
  2. The website was built cheaply and looks like it. From a ministry perspective, the church is missing many opportunities. From a stewardship perspective, one guest who becomes a member will pay for the cost of a good site. Though some web designers and builders are too expensive, it makes absolutely no sense to try to get by with a cheap-looking site.
  3. The service times are either hard to find or non-existent. This information is probably the first information a guest tries to find. If the times are not clear and apparent, you probably have already lost the guest.
  4. The physical address of the church is either hard to find or non-existent. Most of your guests will likely put the address in their GPS system. They won’t be seeking your church in the Yellow Pages. You are probably missing out on the majority of your guests if you don’t have a clearly marked physical address.
  5. Not enough information on childcare. You’ve lost your young families with this omission.
  6. Minimal information on your staff. Guests want to know as much as possible about the staff of the church. The best sites I’ve seen include personal statements from the staff along with their photos.
  7. No place to listen to recent sermons. A number of your prospective guests will listen to an entire sermon before deciding to visit. They may assume that you are not very proud of the preaching ministry of the church if you don’t have podcasts easily available.

Liberate - Pastor Tullian on Suffering and the Good Life |

Adrian Warnack - Will a Christian who commits suicide go to heaven? |

Anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide and worries about their eternal state should take comfort in Romans 8, possibly the most robust place for us to go to rest when we are faced with the worst storms this world can throw at us.  It begins “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Our confidence comes then not from our sinlessness, but from being IN CHRIST. What a security this gives us! What surety of our salvation, for if we are hidden “in Christ” nothing can snatch us away from him!

As Paul concludes,
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
. . .  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This passage is very clear, if we are truly in Christ, nothing, not even death itself can separate us from him. It doesn’t say, nothing, except suicide.

Of course, for a Christian to commit suicide is a sin. Nobody should feel they can plan such an act in the cold light of day and presume upon God’s grace. But most suicides don’t happen that way,  in any case. As mental illness gets worse, and the torment increases, suicidal impulses are part of the illness itself. A Christian will resist such impulses more strongly than someone who believes death at your own hand is sometimes an honorable thing. But, the impulses to kill yourself can get so strong it is simply impossible to fight them.

Christian Science Monitor - Clinton leads 2016 poll in Iowa, but Rand Paul is close (+video) | In case you care. None of this matters at this point.

Husband Bill says, "Relax." Let his wife enjoy a bit of a private life for the first time in two decades.
But as far as the pollsters are concerned, the 2016 race is underway. And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is certainly acting like he's in the race.

The latest poll out of Iowa has former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton beating Florida Sen. Marco Rubio handily (48 vs. 37 percent), but could face a tougher race against Senator Paul (46 vs. 42 percent), according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University.

The poll says that Iowa voters would give the race to either Senator Rubio or Senator Paul, if the Democratic Party candidate was Vice President Joe Biden.

This is the greatest thing ever. And yes I'm a child who grew up in the late 80s and 90s.

HT: The Blaze
Post a Comment