Friday, April 25, 2014

All Around the Web - April 25, 2014

Denny Burk - Russell Moore, Franklin Graham, and Ralph Reed on ABC News

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Erik RaymondAre We Expecting Too Much or Too Little from the Church?
What I have found is that most people do not filter what they looking for in a church through the Bible as much as through their previous experiences or personal ideals. Some of the most common things that I’ve seen in the last 10 years of pastoral ministry include the following:

  • Besties: People are looking for other people that they have a lot of common with.
  • Youth Ministry: People are looking for the church to provide a Christian network of friends for their kids.
  • Children’s programs: People often look for the church to be the catalyst for family discipleship.
  • Mercy Ministry: Some people want to be a part of a ministry to meet the physical needs of the community.
  • Music: People look for a musical experience during the singing time of service.
But what if none of these things were actually the church’s job? What if we are expecting far too and far too little from the church?

The church’s job is to preach, teach, and apply the Bible. We are to be faithful in preaching, discipleship, evangelism, and service. There are not directives in the Bible for various programs for children or certain types of music. None of these things are bad, however, we should be careful to place the same level of emphasis on these things as the Scriptures.

The Gospel Coalition - How Can We Increase Ethnic Diversity in Our Churches?
Q: What can Christians do to increase the ethnic diversity in their congregation?

E: I've seen a lot of churches that have had communities that have changed in terms of ethnic and racial demographic around them, but those churches haven't changed for all sorts of reasons. That is a sign of some deep sickness going on in the congregation. I think one of the things that is necessary is saying it has got to be about more than saying whatever ethnic group is the majority group within that congregation. Your people can't have the mindset of, "We are going to minister to the other ethnic groups around us." Especially when your people have the mindset of, "We are here in this primarily Latino community­­­—or it is becoming more Latino­—so let's minister to the Hispanic people in our community." That is a mindset that I think needs to change, especially among majority ethnic groups of white people of America.

White people in America are really a tiny minority in the body of Christ. We are part of a cloud of witnesses, the Scripture says, in heaven. There aren't many white people there. Abraham is not a white guy, and neither is Jesus. These are Middle Eastern, Jewish people. Augustine is an African. You go through the whole list of everyone in the history of the church and that great cloud around us. We are not the people that God has given—whoever the majority race is or ethnic group in that church is­—to bless the nations. The nations are being blessed through the seed of Abraham, which is Christ. Which means we need to change that mindset.

Gene Veith - Even secular humanism depends on Christianity
Theo Hobson, in the British Spectator, critiques the New Atheist insistence that we can have morality–indeed, a better morality–apart from religion.  In doing so, he shows that even today’s secular humanist morality, which the atheists take as axiomatic, actually derives from Christianity.

A truly atheist, Darwinistic morality would look more like Nietzsche’s nihilistic will to power.  In contrast, today’s egalitarian benevolence would be impossible without the Christian teachings of creation and grace. 

Monday Tease - The iPad is a Tease
As Apple is about to release its latest quarterly numbers, new questions arise about the iPad’s “anemic” growth. The answer is simple – but the remedies are not.
The iPad isn’t growing anymore. What happened? 

In anticipation of Apple’s latest quarterly numbers – they’ll be announced on April 23rd – the usual prerelease estimates swirl around the Web. You can find Yahoo’s summary of analysts’ estimates here; Paul Leitao’s Posts At Eventide provides a detailed and tightly reasoned history and forecast for the March 2014 quarter.

The consensus is that for the company as a whole, there won’t be any surprises: Apple will meet the guidance stated in its January 27th earnings call. Revenue will be down, as befits the quarter following the Christmas shopping frenzy, but profit per share (EPS) will be up a bit.

Boring. With one glaring exception:

How Frozen should have ended.

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