Wednesday, February 19, 2014

All Around the Web - February 19, 2014



HT: Everyday Theology


The Gospel CoalitionCarson Explains What Makes a Good Commentary
What makes for a good commentary? How ought an average pastor determine which commentaries to purchase?

Good all-round commentaries help readers think their way through the text—which requires adequate handling of words, sentences, flow of thought, genre, theological presuppositions, knowledge of historical setting, and, ideally, a commentary writer who is humble and of a contrite spirit and who trembles at God's Word. But most commentaries do not do all these things (and other things—e.g., interaction with some other commentaries) equally well. That is one of the reasons one is usually wise to consult at least two or three commentaries with different emphases.


Most commentaries (though there are some exceptions) are quite poor at integrating exegesis of the text at hand with whole-Bible biblical theology. This is a huge lacuna. If you run from exegesis directly to application, you will often get things wrong and tend to drift toward privatized applications. In other words, it is important to understand any part of God's Word in terms of the book, corpus, and entire canon, to grasp how texts drive toward Jesus and the gospel, before too much application is attempted.

More broadly, most commentaries can't do much toward faithful and telling application. Although the biblical text (explained by the commentary) ought to have a major say in shaping your sermon outline, few commentaries will help you at that point—and most of those that try to do so are not very good. Reading commentaries will not necessarily turn you into a good exegete: that requires more focused reading of the text itself.

What are some common pitfalls to avoid in the use of commentaries?

To name a few: (1) If you read the commentaries too soon in the process, instead of wrestling with the text itself, you will not become a skilled reader, and all your material will feel secondhand. (2) If you read the commentaries too late in the process, or, worse, not at all, you are failing to tap into generations of stimulating thought undertaken by Christians and others who have come before you, so you may overlook important things that you should not miss. (3) If you rely too heavily on commentaries at the expense of continuing reading in biblical, historical, systematic, and pastoral theology, your sermons will tend to be reduced to running commentaries, instead of carrying the weight of the burden of a message from the text at hand. (4) Avoid using commentaries as a substitute for careful reading and importunate intercession. One of the things we need in our preaching is unction—and commentaries, in themselves, cannot provide that.

Thom Rainer - Seven Problems with an Activity-Driven Church
  1. Activity is not biblical purpose. Certainly some activities can move a congregation toward fulfilling her biblical purposes. But busyness per se should not be a goal of a healthy congregation.
  2. Busyness can take us away from connecting with other believers and non-believers. It is sadly ironic that local churches are often a primary reason we do not connect on a regular basis with people in our community and in the world. We are too busy “doing church.”
  3. An activity-driven church often is not strategic in its ministries. Leaders do not think about what is best; they often just think about what is next on the activity list.
  4. A congregation that is too busy can hurt families. Sadly, some church members are so busy with their churches that they neglect their families. Our churches should be about strengthening families, not pulling them apart.
  5. An activity-driven church often has no presence in the community. Christians should be Christ’s presence in the communities their churches serve. Some Christians are just too busy doing church activities to have an incarnational presence in the community.
  6. Activity-driven churches tend to have “siloed” ministries. So the student ministry plans activities that conflict with the children’s ministries that conflict with the senior adult ministries, and so on. Instead of all the ministries and activities working together for a strategic purpose, they tend to work only for their particular areas.
  7. Churches that focus on activities tend to practice poor stewardship. Many of the activities are not necessary. Some are redundant. Others are sacred cows. Ministry effectiveness can often be enhanced with less instead of more.

Hershael York - 5 Reasons Why We Preach Expositional Messages
1. WE PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY FORM OF PREACHING THAT TAKES THE WORD OF GOD AS IT IS WRITTEN.
2. WE PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY BECAUSE IT RELIES ON THE PROFITABILITY OF ALL SCRIPTURE.
 3. WE PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY BECAUSE IT HAS A HIGH VIEW OF PREACHING.
4. WE PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY BECAUSE IT FORCES US TO BE HARD THINKERS.
5. WE PREACH EXPOSITIONALLY BECAUSE IT LIMITS ITSELF TO THE AUTHORS INTENT FOR MAXIMUM AUTHORITY.

National Post - Vancouver baby becomes first person to have three parents named on birth certificate in B.C.
A Vancouver baby has three parents named on her birth certificate, the first under new B.C. legislation that allows up to four legal parents.

Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards, three months old, became the legal daughter of a lesbian couple and their male friend after finalizing the registration process last week.

They are among the first Canadians to achieve this without using litigation, under British Columbia’s new Family Law Act passed last year.

When they decided to have a child, Anna Richards and wife Danielle Wiley both agreed that they wanted a father figure, rather than an anonymous donor.

Daily Caller - Despite tough month, Chris Christie breaks fundraising records for GOP | In politics, money talks louder than anything.
Despite a tough month back home in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie broke fundraising records in January as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, an aide told The Daily Caller.

“This January, with the help of Chairman Christie and all of our Republican Governors, the RGA raised $6 million,” RGA communications director Gail Gitcho said in a statement.

“That is more than twice as much that has ever been raised during the same month in RGA history, and twice as much that was raised in the last comparable cycle (2010) in the same month,” Gitcho said.

Christie continues to face questions over the so-called bridge-gate scandal, specifically why members of his administration closed lanes to the George Washington Bridge bridge last year.
Because of that scandal, critics are questioning whether Christie should continue leading the RGA during the bridge-gate aftermath.

So, Bill O'Reilly once did a piece for a local news studio about the Umbrella Man.



HT: Slate
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