Wednesday, February 26, 2014

All Around the Web - February 26, 2014

HT: Everyday Theology

Albert Mohler - The Christian Leader in the Digital Age
The Digital Age is upon us. In the span of less than three decades, we have redefined the way humans communicate, entertain, inform, research, create, and connect – and what we know now is only a hint of what is to come. But the greatest concern of the church is not a technological imperative, but a Gospel imperative.

The digital world did not exist a generation ago, and now it is a fundamental fact of life. The world spawned by the personal computer, the Internet, social media, and the smart phone now constitutes the greatest arena of public discussion and debate the world has ever known.

Leaders who talk about the real world as opposed to the digital world are making a mistake, a category error. While we are right to prioritize real face-to-face conversations and to find comfort and grounding in stable authorities like the printed book, the digital world is itself a real world, just real in a different way.

Real communication is happening in the digital world, on the Web, and on the smart phone in your pocket. Real information is being shared and globally disseminated, faster than ever before. Real conversations are taking place, through voice, words and images, connecting people and conversations all over the world.

If the leader is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world, and that population is shrinking every minute. The clock is ticking.

Justin Taylor - An Interview with David Wells

The Cripplegate - Are Tongues Real Languages?
If we consider the history of the church, we find that the gift of languages was universally considered to be the supernatural ability to speak authentic foreign languages that the speaker had not learned.

In the early church, the writings of Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Hegemonius, Gregory of Nazianzen, Ambrosiaster, Chrysostom, Augustine, Leo the Great, and others all support this claim. Here are just a few examples:
Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 329–390): “They spoke with foreign tongues, and not those of their native land; and the wonder was great, a language spoken by those who had not learned it. And the sign is to them that believe not, and not to them that believe, that it may be an accusation of the unbelievers, as it is written, ‘“With other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people, and not even so will they listen to Me” says the Lord’” (The Oration on Pentecost, 15–17).
John Chrysostom (c. 344–407), commenting on 1 Cor. 14:1–2: “And as in the time of building the tower [of Babel] the one tongue was divided into many; so then the many tongues frequently met in one man, and the same person used to discourse both in the Persian, and the Roman, and the Indian, and many other tongues, the Spirit sounding within him: and the gift was called the gift of tongues because he could all at once speak divers languages” (Homilies on First Corinthians, 35.1).
Augustine (354–430): “In the earliest times, ‘the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spoke with tongues,” which they had not learned, “as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ These were signs adapted to the time. For it was necessary for there to be that sign of the Holy Spirit in all tongues, to show that the Gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth” (Homilies on the First Epistle of John, 6.10).
In reaching this conclusion, the church fathers equated the tongues of Acts 2 with the tongues of 1 Corinthians 12–14, insisting that in both places the gift consisted of the ability to speak genuine languages.
The Reformers, similarly, regarded the gift of tongues as the supernatural ability to speak real foreign languages. By way of example, here is John Calvin’s treatment of 1 Corinthians 12:10:
John Calvin: “There was a difference between the knowledge of tongues, and the interpretation of them, for those who were endowed with the former [i.e. the gift of tongues] were, in many cases, not acquainted with the language of the nation with which they had to deal. The interpreters rendered foreign tongues into the native language. These endowments they did not at that time acquire by labor or study, but were put in possession of them by a wonderful revelation of the Spirit.” (Commentary on 1 Cor. 12:10)
To the names of the Reformers, we could add the names of the Puritans, and the names of theologians like Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, Charles Spurgeon, and B.B. Warfield among many others.

Liberate - Does Baptism Wash Away Sin Itself?

Phillip Bethancourt - Dad is Fat 
Have you ever wondered what parents in your church are thinking as they experience the joys and trials of raising young kids? In the fast and funny book Dad Is Fat, well-known comedian Jim Gaffigan offers that insight as he recounts the ups and downs and the ins and outs of raising five kids in a two-bedroom, walk-up apartment in New York City.

Gaffigan provides a humorous (and at times humiliating) inside look at married life with young children. And this account could even help evangelical churches love and serve this culturally endangered species. Though Gaffigan is a nominal Catholic, and the work contains some vulgarity in both word choice and subject matter, Dad Is Fat offers a window into the common American family experience that can help evangelicals evaluate their ministry to families.

Several themes shaping Gaffigan’s portrayal of American families can frame an appraisal of evangelical family ministry. First, Dad Is Fat highlights the cultural oddity of kids. Whether it’s through the comments of people about how many children he has (“Don’t you know what’s causing that?”) or the reactions of onlookers as they hustle their horde of kids onto a packed subway train, Gaffigan repeatedly reveals how contemporary culture sees children as strange. As birth rates drop, many see children as a luxury item to enjoy only if they don’t disrupt personal pursuits. As churches minister to families, then, we must find ways to highlight the countercultural glory of children.

Signs and Symbols by Beautiful Eulogy

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