Thursday, February 20, 2014

All Around the Web - February 20, 2014

Danny Aiken - 12 Reasons for Using Sermon Ilustrations
  1. Illustrations inform and instruct. Our goal as gospel heralds is to teach our people the ways of God. The use of illustration recognizes that people more readily grab hold of pictures and images than they do propositions. However, the purpose of a picture or an image is to shed light on the proposition or principle that undergirds the picture.
  2. Illustrations explain and clarify. Explanatory power resides in good illustrations that make the truths of the Bible apparent. Good illustrations will evoke an “Aha” moment or provide a “Now I see” experience.
  3. Illustrations can help the preacher connect and identify with his people. Good communicators learn how to touch the souls of their congregation and take hold of their hearts. This personal touch is a natural component of good illustrations. You and your people come together as you weigh the issues of real life that touch all of us.
  4. Illustrations are a tremendous aid to memorization and recall. People remember stories. Remembering our stories or our striking and memorable statements will pave the road back to our exposition and aid in its recall.
  5. Illustrations help to capture and regain attention. The average mind begins to wander after extensive and lengthy discourse. Good illustrations help refocus attention on the message. My friend Alistair Begg says if he has a really good illustration, he allows it to “float” along with the message until it is needed to recapture the attention of his congregation. Having listened to Alistair many times, we do not think he struggles to keep the attention of his audience. Still, his point about the usefulness of a powerful illustration is right on target.
  6. Illustrations motivate, persuade, and convince. Illustrations are not meant merely to clarify; they are primarily meant to motivate. Scripture teaches us that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27; Deut 6:5). Engaging exposition with good illustrations moves the whole person as the Holy Spirit through biblical truth impacts that person’s total being.
  7. Illustrations allow for mental relaxation. The mind naturally shifts gears when listening to a story. The need for intense concentration is lessened, and listeners are allowed to catch their “listening breath.”
  8. Illustrations help our people see the immediate relevance of the biblical text for their lives. The Bible is relevant. We do not have to make it relevant. However, making it relevant and showing it to be relevant are two different things. “Does God have a word for me today?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” Good illustrations will make this answer abundantly clear.
  9. Illustrations personalize and particularize the general/universal truths revealed in the Bible. When we structure and outline the biblical text, we want to capture that which is true any place, any time, and under any circumstances. Illustrations allow us to take universal and eternal truth and show how it impacts and changes lives now. Illustrations reveal how God’s truth changed the lives of others and how it can change our lives as we respond to the same truth in repentance and faith.
  10. Illustrations make biblical truth believable. Sometimes the Bible seems otherworldly. However, God is in the business of changing lives and making things new today (2 Cor 5:17). Stories of real life transformations reveal the beauty of God’s amazing grace found in King Jesus.
  11. Illustrations create interest. The experience and stories of others fascinate people. A good illustration can capture the ear of a listener who had every intention of tuning you out and taking a nap.
  12. Illustrations explain biblical doctrine and personal duty in an understandable and compelling way. Good preaching impacts the whole person. It recognizes that the mind, heart, will, and emotions are intertwined and interrelated. It understands that what impacts the heart and emotions can and should find its way to the mind and the will. It provides what I call a visual commentary on the inspired text. It allows us to see what God is doing.

Trevin Wax - What Expiation Means for You (4 Things)
1. Expiation Means My Scars Don’t Define Me

My pastor in college would always remind us, “we all operate out of our pain.” That’s true, until our pain is healed. We hurt others the way we were hurt by others. It’s pop psychology truth that we are likely to scar our kids the way we were scarred by our parents. That is, unless the scars are removed.
Expiation means that the pain of sin committed by us or by others against us no longer has to define us. He has cleansed us (1 John 1:7), healed us. He got scars to free us from ours.

2. Expiation Means I Don’t Have to Be Ashamed

Because Jesus says we’re clean, we are. The addict is no longer “the addict.” The drunk no longer “the drunk.”

Shame is our emotional response because of sin. We hide in it or we take pride in it (as many are apt to do today), but it’s still shame. Expiation means that Jesus was shamed so I could be accepted. He was sent out so I could be brought in (Rev 1:5b).

3. Expiation Means I’m Clean

If Jesus is truly my expiation, then I no longer bear the marks of my sin. In Christ, neither do you. Neither does the young woman after church. The gift of expiation is a clean conscience. And if Jesus dirtied Himself and took my sin to declare me clean, then clean I am.

4. Expiation Means I Can Be Bold

Because Jesus has clothed us with righteousness (Is 61:10) then we should be bold. Not brash or rude, but bold — secure in our identity as forgiven, restored children of God.
Because of expiation, we can pray boldly (Heb 4;16), live boldly, and speak the good news of the gospel boldly (Acts 4:29) to a world that needs so desperately to hear it.

C. Michael Patton - Six Factors that Do Not Affect Inerrancy
1. Use of Hyperbole and Exaggeration
2. Speaking According to Cultural Convenience
3. Bad Grammar
4. Round numbers
5. Summaries of Events
6. Recording Wrong Theology

Gospel Coalition - 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Motivate Your Son to Use Pornography
1. Non-Romantic Marriage
2. Instant Gratification
3. Non-Communicative Couples
4. No Consequences for Actions
5. Critical Community in the Home

Associated PressAPNewsBreak: New gender options for Facebook users
You don't have to be just male or female on Facebook anymore. The social media giant is adding a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them.

Facebook said the changes, shared with The Associated Press before the launch on Thursday, initially cover the company's 159 million monthly users in the U.S. and are aimed at giving people more choices in how they describe themselves, such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.

"There's going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world," said Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who worked on the project and is herself undergoing gender transformation, from male to female. On Thursday, while watchdogging the software for any problems, she said she was also changing her Facebook identity from Female to TransWoman.

The Amazing Spiderman 2

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