Friday, December 27, 2013

All Around the Web - December 27, 2013

Truth Revolt - OH Bill Would Require Parents to Undergo State Investigation Before Homeschooling
A new bill proposed by Senator Capri Cafaro (D-Ohio) would require parents who have decided to homeschool their child to undergo an investigation by social services, who would then decide whether or not it would be permitted.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website is reporting that on December 3, 2014, Senate Bill 248 was introduced in Ohio. This bill is the latest attack against families from state legislatures who want to severely restrict choice to homeschool children.

Thom Rainer - Fourteen Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Pastor

  1. I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week.
  2. What do you do with all the free time you have?
  3. Can I have a couple of minutes before you preach?
  4. I love you pastor, but _______________________________ (fill in the blank).
  5. I like your preaching, pastor, but I really like ____________________________ (fill in the blank with television or podcast preacher).
  6. Can your wife play piano?
  7. Your kids shouldn’t behave that way. After all, they are pastor’s kids.
  8. Your low salary is good for you. It keeps you humble and dependent on the Lord.
  9. I bet you don’t spend any time preparing your sermons.
  10. Pastor ________________ (predecessor pastor) didn’t do it that way.
  11. You don’t have a real degree. You went to seminary.
  12. How much longer do you think you’ll be at our church?
  13. Did I wake you up pastor? It’s only 1:00 am.
  14. Did you hear what they are saying about you?

Biblemesh - What Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Have to Do With Christmas?
The doctrine of the Trinity seems to many Christians to be the most obscure and arcane of the Church’s dogmas. In contrast, Christmas is the holiday that more than any other stirs the emotions of followers of Jesus, regardless of denominational affiliation, inspiring them to acts of charity and service to others. What, then, could the seemingly rationalistic doctrine of the Trinity possibly have to do with the divine love we experience and celebrate at Christmas?

A pointer in the direction of answering this question may be found in the oft-overlooked second stanza of the Christmas carol, “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” The author writes, “God of God, light of light / Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; / Very God, begotten, not created: / O come let us adore Him / Christ the Lord.” Those familiar with church history will quickly recognize in this stanza echoes of the Nicene Creed from AD 325: “We believe . . . in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father . . . Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousios) with the Father.”

So why would someone think it fitting to include allusions to the Nicene Creed in a Christmas carol? The answer in brief is this: the message of Christmas is that God is with us in Jesus, and the doctrine of the Trinity tells us that it is God Himself who is with us.

Ligonier - Must Christians Believe in the Virgin Birth?
With December 25 fast approaching, the secular media are sure to turn their interest once again to the virgin birth. Every Christmas, weekly news magazines and various editorialists engage in a collective gasp that so many Americans could believe such an unscientific, supernatural doctrine. For some, the belief that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin is nothing less than evidence of intellectual dimness. One writer for the New York Times put the lament plainly: “The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time.”

Does belief in the virgin birth make Christians “less intellectual?” Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth, or is the doctrine an essential component of the Gospel revealed to us in Scripture?

The doctrine of the virgin birth was among the first to be questioned and then rejected after the rise of historical criticism and the undermining of biblical authority that inevitably followed. Critics claimed that since the doctrine is taught in “only” two of the four Gospels, it must be optional. The apostle Paul, they argued, did not mention it in his sermons in Acts, so he must not have believed it. Besides, the critics argued, the doctrine is just so supernatural. Modern heretics like retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong argue the doctrine was just evidence of the early church’s over-claiming of Christ’s deity. It is, Spong tells us, the “entrance myth” to go with the resurrection, the “exit myth.” If only Spong were a myth.

Marvin Olasky - Duck Dynasty: ‘Going to shoot him? The woman? Me?’
Where will it end?
Each month this fall has brought more attempts to kill the careers of anyone who speaks negatively about homosexuality. Novelist Orson Scott Card. Football analyst Craig James. Now Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. Boycotts. Firing. “Indefinite hiatus.”

It’s strange in one sense that the cultural left is blacklisting and attempting to purge those who think and speak differently. Many high school students learn only one thing about politics in the 1950s: “McCarthyism” and “blacklisting” were wrong. But here we go again. 

Witness, a fine 1985 movie, has a climactic scene (warning: the linked video contains profanity) in which corrupt police chief Paul Schaeffer has his gun trained on a detective played by Harrison Ford, who has been hiding out in an Amish community to protect a little boy. But that boy rings a large bell and members of the community gather. Ford’s character yells at the corrupt police chief, “What are you going to do, Paul? Going to kill me?” He pulls over an old man: “Going to shoot him?” He pulls over the boy: “Going to shoot him? Is that’s what you’re going to do, Paul? Him? The woman? Me. It’s over. Enough. Enough.”

2013 as told by Google

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