Friday, March 21, 2014

All Around the Web - March 21, 2014

Russell Moore (TGC) - Should a Parent Attend Their Atheist Daughter's Wedding?
I remember several years ago I was serving a church, and I had a lady who came up to me after the service, and she whispered, and she said, "Could you pray for my daughter. She has gone to college, and she has become an atheist." And I said, "Why are you whispering?" And she said, "I don't want anyone to overhear me, because then they will know that I am the mom of that atheist girl." And as I started talking to her it became clear, she thought somehow that that would make people think that she has done something shameful in her own parenting.

That's crazy. We have got to eliminate that within the church. Throughout the Bible, you have family after family after family—it's hard for me to think of a family in the scripture that doesn't have a prodigal somewhere in the family. So we don't say that because a child is going through some rebellion that that means that the parents are deficient. Not at all! And also we need to recognize that parents love their children, and families are to stay together, and we are to maintain those avenues of connection with our children as much as possible and to provide a means for those prodigals to come home. And prodigals do come home. These rebellious times don't always last forever. And sometimes you have someone who is just going through a time of questioning, a time of confusion. Keep those avenues open.

Thom Rainer - Seven Do-Overs Pastors Wish They Had
  1. Said or wrote something out of anger. “I wish I could have waited a few hours before I responded. I think everyone needs to put a heated email in the draft folder and wait 24 hours before choosing to respond or not to respond.”
  2. Obsessed with one or a few critics. “I spent way too much time worrying about and responding to just a few negative people in my church. I now realize that my ministry lost its focus, and I neglected the healthier members of the church.”
  3. Failed to admit a mistake. “All I needed to do was to say I made a mistake and apologize. Instead, I dug in and let my pride take control. My ministry at that church never recovered. It was the primary reason I left less than a year later.”
  4. Neglected a family member for a church need. “It seems like I was always able to justify neglecting my children or wife by saying that the church members’ needs were God’s work. But the Bible is clear that I am to take care of my family first; they are God’s work too. I failed too many times.”
  5. Pushed an initiative rather than getting buy-in.  “The building program became about me rather than God’s work at the church. The members voted for it because they love me. But they never owned it for themselves. As a result, we have no momentum to move forward.”
  6. Left a church too soon. “I am guilty of the ‘grass-is-greener’ syndrome. I now live in regret about leaving my former church. I wish I could stop asking ‘what if?’ “
  7. Focused on/obsessed over another church in the community. “For over two years I stayed mad about a new church starting near us, and a megachurch taking families from us. I know I was not the leader I should have been. My obsessions often caused me to have bad attitudes about my own church members.”

Thabiti Anyabwile - Spoken Word Monday: “Deadbeat” by Jackie Hill

Tim Challies - John Piper: 12 Features of the New Calvinism
1. The New Calvinism, in its allegiance to the inerrancy of the Bible, embraces the biblical truths behind the five points of Calvinism (TULIP), while having an aversion to using the acronym (or any other systematic packaging) along with a sometimes-qualified embrace of Limited Atonement. The focus is on Calvinistic soteriology but not to the exclusion or the appreciation of the broader scope of Calvin’s vision.

2. The New Calvinism embraces the sovereignty of God in salvation and all the affairs of life and history, including evil and suffering.

3. The New Calvinism has a strong complementarian flavor (as opposed to egalitarian) with an emphasis on the flourishing of men and women in relationships where men embrace a call to robust, humble, Christ-like servant-leadership.

4. The New Calvinism leans toward being culture-affirming, as opposed to culture-denying, while holding fast to some very culturally-alien positions on issues like same-sex practice and abortion.

John Stonestreet - Camels vs. Scripture
Researchers from Tel Aviv University recently used radio carbon dating to study camel bones found near the Dead Sea. They concluded that camels were first domesticated in the Middle East around the 10th century BC.

But Genesis says that Abraham owned camels almost one thousand years before those found by the researchers. Media outlets worldwide declared it the last straw for the Bible. “Camels Had No Business in Genesis,” read one headline. “Camel archeology contradicts the Bible,” trumpeted another.

But does it really? Recent papers by evangelical scholars point out that depictions of people riding camels from elsewhere in the Middle East date to well within Abraham’s time.

Gordon Govier at Christianity Today reminds us that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Past archeological finds have repeatedly embarrassed critics who too quickly dismissed the Bible’s history.

A lost Johnny Cash tune from 1980s.

HT: The Blaze
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