Monday, March 10, 2014

All Around the Web - March 10, 2014

HT: Everyday Theology

John StonestreetBaking Cakes for Caesar | Best line: “tolerance” ends exactly where the right to say “no” begins.
The call for tolerating same-sex marriage has become a demand for compliance. Cases like Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado and Elane Huguenin’s New Mexico photography business have shown us that “tolerance” ends exactly where the right to say “no” begins. And so people, businesses, and non-profits are forced to choose between their livelihoods and their convictions.

Some fellow Christians are giving this new state of affairs a thumbs-up, including Kirsten Powers, whose fearless stand against abortion I admire, and Skye Jethani, a friend I respect greatly.

They argue that Christians who won’t participate in gay “weddings” are “applying Scripture selectively.” If you object to baking a cake, shooting photographs or playing music for a ceremony for two men or two women, they say, you should also object to serving anyone with an unbiblical lifestyle. But since no business owner can do a background check on every client’s personal life, Powers and Jethani conclude that any religious objections to doing business are illegitimate.

Plus, they say, baking a cake or providing floral arrangements doesn’t mean that a Christian is participating in or affirming gay “marriage.” They’re only conducting business.

Desiring God - Is Tim Keller Weak on Wrath
I may have been the first blogger to accuse Tim Keller publicly for what I perceived to be his passive (and weak) view of God’s wrath in the wake of his book, The Reason For God (2008). My response was swift and stinging, and Keller got a taste of my own blog wrath. I vividly remember writing lines like: “It apparently is no fearful thing to fall into the hands of the god of this book,” and other jabs of critique. I hit publish, and ten minutes later a close friend contacted me and asked that I pull my blog post for its uncharitable tone. I did, but rather reluctantly.

That night the Spirit worked such a deep conviction I have rarely experienced since. I was brought to tears over the resentment I felt in my heart that led me to write what I did. The next day I awoke from a very poor sleep and wrote a clear and succinct apology email to Dr. Keller, asking for his forgiveness on my post and for my tone (a post he likely never would have seen given my trivial blog platform). In either case, I informed him what I said, and he kindly responded with forgiveness.
That experience forever shaped how I communicate online, but it has not changed the fact that I have been on the front lines of the blogosphere in the preservation of the relevance of God’s judgment. If we do not protect God’s wrath, we lose the bad news, and if we lose the bad news, we lose the good news — we lose the gospel.

But can we trust Keller here?

Since 2008, I’ve read all of his books with a critical eye for this truth (maybe too much so). But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began working through his 35-year sermon corpus at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. What I found in those archives has changed my view of Keller’s ministry, specifically on the point of God’s activity in judging sinners. And while I wouldn’t cross every “t” or dot every “i” the way Dr. Keller expresses God’s judgment, I have come to the inescapable fact that when Tim Keller steps up to the pulpit, the reality of God’s active wrath is real, it’s essential to the faith, and it’s at the forefront of his consciousness.

Kevin DeYoung - Monday Morning Humor

John Stonestreet - The Great Wall 
The Great Wall of China is one of history’s greatest achievements. Soldiers, convicts and ordinary citizens spent years laboring to complete a project that lasted over several generations. Workers were born on the wall, grew up on the wall, worked on the wall, married on the wall, had children on the wall, died on the wall and are now buried in the wall. Others would have done so, except that building accidents cut their lives short.

But the wall failed. By some accounts, human sin led to its failure when guards accepted bribes to open its gates. Now much of the wall is in ruins. A fortification built to keep foreigners out is now a tourist attraction that brings them in. This is an important reminder to us. “What are we building?” Are we constructing a legacy of life that will fail because of time or sin? Or are we seeking first the kingdom of God, knowing that it will never fall?

Farnam Street - Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 Rules For Reading
1. “The room for choice is so limitless that to my mind it seems absurd to try to make catalogues which shall be supposed to appeal to all the best thinkers. This is why I have no sympathy whatever with writing lists of the One Hundred Best Books, or the Five-Foot Library [a reference to the Harvard Classics]. It is all right for a man to amuse himself by composing a list of a hundred very good books… But there is no such thing as a hundred books that are best for all men, or for the majority of men, or for one man at all times.”
2. “A book must be interesting to the particular reader at that particular time.”
3. “Personally, the books by which I have profited infinitely more than by any others have been those in which profit was a by-product of the pleasure; that is, I read them because I enjoyed them, because I liked reading them, and the profit came in as part of the enjoyment.”
4. “The reader, the booklover, must meet his own needs without paying too much attention to what his neighbors say those needs should be.”
5. “He must not hypocritically pretend to like what he does not like.”
6. “Books are almost as individual as friends. There is no earthly use in laying down general laws about them. Some meet the needs of one person, and some of another; and each person should beware of the booklover’s besetting sin, of what Mr. Edgar Allan Poe calls ‘the mad pride of intellectuality,’ taking the shape of arrogant pity for the man who does not like the same kind of books.”
7. “Now and then I am asked as to ‘what books a statesman should read,’ and my answer is, poetry and novels – including short stories under the head of novels.”
8. ”Ours is in no sense a collector’s library. Each book was procured because some one of the family wished to read it. We could never afford to take overmuch thought for the outsides of books; we were too much interested in their insides.”
9. “[We] all need more than anything else to know human nature, to know the needs of the human soul; and they will find this nature and these needs set forth as nowhere else by the great imaginative writers, whether of prose or of poetry.”
10. “Books are all very well in their way, and we love them at Sagamore Hill; but children are better than books.”

Why we cry

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