Tuesday, April 8, 2014

All Around the Web - April 8, 2014

Together for the Gospel - Live

Denny Burk - Does the Bible Drive Away Would-be Christians?  
Last week after World Vision announced its intention not to recognize same-sex marriages, those in the so-called progressive wing of “Christianity” were predictably unhappy. They chastised evangelicals who hold fast to traditional marriage. They said it was a mistake to hold on to the Bible’s teaching about marriage because that position is driving millennials away from the church. Implication? Those who hold the biblical line are doing damage to the church and are keeping people out who would otherwise be in.

To wit, Tony Jones:

A lot — and I mean a lot — of younger evangelicals watching this unfold on social media. Many of those already have one foot out the door of the church. They’re looking for — even hoping for — some advance on the issue of rights and love and equality for GLBT persons. That’s what will keep them in the Christian faith. Without that, they’re gone. They’re the new Nones. What WV did yesterday, on a large, public scale, pushed scores of younger people out of the church and out of the faith. Some of them for good. There are many tragedies about how this all went down, not the least of which is the message that Christianity is a faith that is run by ideological bulli

The Gospel Coalition - How to prepare Your Teen for College
You're convinced that "thriving at college begins in the home." What's the hardest thing about preparing teens for college today?

Though every teen is unique, I think protracted adolescence and narcissism (pervasive in young adult culture) represent the most difficult hurdles for godly parents and pastors to overcome. Too many teens prefer to linger in the no-man's-land of adolescence rather than complete the journey to full-orbed adulthood. And while a very low self-esteem is often unhealthy (certainty of failure easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy), too many teens have the opposite problem: they think they're great, but haven't yet done anything great. If you think you're better at something than you really are, you expect it to come easily. This view makes you less likely to work hard, less likely to succeed, and more likely to be surprised and disappointed when you don't. But college is harder than high school, so teens need to go in with the right mentality.

In short, to succeed in college our kids need to assume responsibility for their lives, embrace a realistic assessment of themselves (see Romans 12:3), delay gratification when necessary, and work hard to achieve a clear set of goals. These things need to be happening progressively during their teen years—before they get to college.

You argue that moral purity is essential to spiritual flourishing. How can parents broach this potentially awkward subject with their teens in a constructive manner?

I think it's a series of conversations beginning around puberty where we help them see that their new desires for romantic and sexual intimacy can either lead them into sin or lead them to greater fellowship with Christ and (probably) to a future spouse. The self-control we hope our children learn before puberty will play a huge role here. Moral purity is about delaying gratification—it's about saying no to a lesser pleasure now for the sake of a greater pleasure later.

We err if we deny the lesser pleasure is real. And we also err if we fail to warn them that this lesser pleasure is followed by pain, because God wired us to experience physical intimacy in the context of a lifetime commitment. God wants us to be happy. Therefore, he forbids that we express ourselves sexually outside the context of marriage. And the Holy Spirit can empower obedience in this area.

WORLD Magazine - An Open Letter to Sandra Fluke
Dear Ms. Fluke:

This may seem hard to believe, but we have a lot in common. We both like a sense of security, and at the same time we like to have options: Freedom to grow and explore and yet have a place to come home to—isn’t that what just about everyone wants? Where we differ most, perhaps, is in what that looks like.

To you, one aspect of freedom means pursuing meaningful relationships without the burden of, shall we say, reproductive consequences. You’ve probably felt frustrated with conservative Christians about this: What is it with these people? They’re against abortion, so why aren’t they all over contraceptives? Better to prevent a pregnancy than kill a baby, right?

Jim Hamilton - John 7:53–8:11 Should Be in a Footnote, Not in the Text
Have you noticed the double brackets in the ESV that surround John 7:53–8:11? Those double brackets mean that the ESV’s translation committee does not consider this passage to be original to John’s Gospel. You also find double brackets around Mark 16:9–20.

Do you know what it means that these passages are marked off–correctly–as not coming from the authors of these respective Gospels? If John did not write what is enumerated as 7:53–8:11, that means it doesn’t belong between John 7:52 and 8:12 because it does not come from the author who was “carried along by the Holy Spirit.” If John did not write this passage, it isn’t Scripture because it was not “breathed out by God.” If it isn’t Scripture, it shouldn’t be in the text, and pastors shouldn’t preach it.

That’s what those double brackets mean about these passages. I submit that if a translation committee has come to the conclusion that they should put double brackets around these texts, they would serve pastors and Bible teachers better by putting these texts in a footnote rather than in the text. Those double brackets are too easy not to notice. The ESV puts John 5:4 in a footnote because the editors do not think John wrote that verse. The same should be done with Mark 16:9–20 and John 7:53–8:11.

What is the evidence for such a conclusion? In what follows I will only present the evidence for John 7:53–8:11, evidence that comes from the New Testament manuscripts (external evidence) and from the flow of thought in John’s Gospel (internal evidence). [If you're interested in the Mark 16 issue, I discussed that passage also from the pulpit].

Breitbart - Gap Between Super Rich 0.1% and Poor Grows
The rich keep getting richer -- and the gap between the super rich and poor has widened even more under President Barack Obama.
According to a report from Sadoff Investment Research, the "average household in the top 1% pulled in earnings of $1,264,065 in 2012," which is "41 times greater than the $30,997 average income of Americans."

But the top .1% did considerably better than the top 1%, posting "average earnings of $6,373,782, or 206 times the average families' income."

According to the report, nearly a quarter of the .1% work in the financial industry, 40% are "executives, managers and supervisors," and a "vast majority of the 0.1% live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C. or Houston."

So this is why they make you take vows.

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