Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All Around the Web - January 14, 2014

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Albert Mohler - The Pastor as Theologian - Part 1 
The transformation of theology into an academic discipline more associated with the university than the church has been one of the most lamentable developments of the last several centuries. In the earliest eras of the church, and through the annals of Christian history, the central theologians of the church were its pastors. This was certainly true of the great Reformation of the sixteenth century as well. From the patristic era, we associate the discipline and stewardship of theology with names such as Athanasius, Irenaeus and Augustine. Similarly, the great theologians of the Reformation were, in the main, pastors such as John Calvin and Martin Luther. Of course, their responsibilities often ranged beyond those of the average pastor, but they could not have conceived of the pastoral role without the essential stewardship of theology.

The emergence of theology as an academic discipline coincides with the development of the modern university. Of course, theology was one of the three major disciplines taught in the medieval university. Yet, so long as the medieval synthesis was intact, the university was always understood to be in direct service to the church and its pastors.

The rise of the modern research university led to the development of theology as merely one academic discipline among others — and eventually to the redefinition of theology as “religious studies” separated from ecclesiastical control or concern. In most universities, the secularization of the academy has meant that the academic discipline of theology has no inherent connection to Christianity, much less to its central truth claims.

The Gospel Coalition - Preventing Sexual Abuse in the Church

Denny Burk - Marrying a man addicted to pornography?
In the most recent issue of JBMW, Heath Lambert answers this question: “Should a woman marry a man who has a problem with pornography?” The essay is really practical and helpful in my view, and I commend it to you. Here’s how Lambert begins his answer to the question:  

First, the short answer. There is a clear and concise response for a woman wondering whether she should marry a man after discovering he struggles with pornography: no. She should not do it. Marriage is too important and too exclusive to enter into it with a man who is cultivating desires for women beyond the one to whom he is married. You need to be in a relationship with a man who is cultivating exclusive desires for you. That’s the short answer.

Joe Carter - Is Recreational Marijuana Use a Sin?
What does the Bible say about Marijuana?
Like abortion, nuclear weapons, and many other modern controversies, the Bible does not specifically mention marijuana. However, some defenders of marijuana do appeal to the Bible - indeed, to the very first chapter - to make their case:
And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding see that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (Gen. 1:29)
Since marijuana is indeed a seed-bearing plant we can legitimately consider whether God gave it to us for "food." Before we do that, though, we should note how this claim undercuts the most popular form of recreational marijuana use: smoking. There are no other foods - even smoked salmon -- that we consume by smoking them. So this defense can only apply to using marijuana that can be constituted as food and consumed in an edible.

Presumably, no one adds marijuana to brownies because it improves their flavor. The reason to add this particular plant to foodstuffs is because of its affect on senses other than taste. However, let's assume that someone really does enjoy and gain some nourishment from eating marijuana leaves. Would that be a sin?

Pastors Today - The Absolute Best iPhone Apps for Pastors 
I love my iPhone. It is easily one of the most powerful ministry tools a pastor can have.

If you are a pastor with an iPhone, like me, you are probably always looking for the best apps for your iPhone to make it even better.

I am completely obsessed with finding the absolute best apps for pastors in the iTunes store. Because of this, I am constantly searching for new apps. Here is my current list of favorites.

Johnny Cash and the Making Of American Recordings

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