Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All Around the Web - July 15, 2014

Trevin Wax - Who God Says I am in Christ
"I keep a list of these positional promises on my desk to remind me who I am declared to be in the Word of God. Even though I do not always feel this way, these Scriptures remind me of who I am in Christ.”

LifeSiteNews - This is Mindy: And this is how I destroyed her life by making her a porn star
When you tell a person what they can’t have, they’ll often try to convince you that you’re wrong.  This is especially true for the college-aged, who have recently left the safety of the nest to try their wings out on their own for the first time.  When recruiting new porn actresses, I understood this very well and used it to my advantage.

I worked from a nice home, and I often let the house and our lifestyle do the selling for me. A new prospect would arrive after having driven through one of the better neighborhoods in town and, prior to sitting down to interview in my home office, would be shown around the property like a valued guest.  My girlfriend and I had things the interviewee didn’t have. The photos of us were taken at vacations spots where the girl likely hadn’t been, and the “famous” people with whom we posed were people she’d recognize but likely hadn’t met.  

There were psychological reasons for this:  I not only wanted her to feel comfortable in a warm, non-threatening environment, but I also knew she’d start painting herself into the picture.  “Porn can give me this lifestyle?” she’d ask herself.  “No, dear girl, this lifestyle isn’t for you,” I’d say, “You can’t handle this business.  What if your dad finds out you’re working for me?”  The more a college-aged girl was presented with questions like this, the more she’d argue that I was wrong and this life was something she could handle.  When her life began falling apart, I could pat myself on the back for having warned her against getting involved in the first place.

Canon and Culture - Recovering an Engaging Doctrine of God for the Church’s Moral Witness
A.W. Tozer famously said “The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.” (Knowledge of the Holy) If this is the case, then it seems the modern West seems to be in a bit of a jam.

According to much ballyhooed Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, we live in what ought to be described as “a secular age” (A Secular Age). Taylor’s main thesis is not so much that godless atheism is ascendant, soon to wipe out backwards religious traditions in the cold light of pure reason, as the old secularization thesis would have it, but that we have reached a point culturally where belief in God is no longer the default. Five hundred years ago in the West you were born a believer. Now, it is a choice made only after deliberation among various live options.

Thom Rainer - When Is It Time for a Pastor to Leave a Church? Seven Scenarios
  1. “I had a strong sense of call to another church.” This response was articulated in a number of different ways, but the essence was the same. Slightly over half of the respondents left because of the “pull” rather than the “push.”
  2. “I became weary and distracted with all the conflict and criticisms.” What leader has not been here? What pastor has not been here? It is often a death by a thousand cuts.
  3. “I no longer felt like I was a good match for the church.” One pastor shared candidly that he felt like the church outgrew him. He said he had the skill set to serve a church with an attendance of 150. But when it grew to 500 after eight years, he felt that his leadership skills were not adequate to take the church any further.
  4. “I left because of family needs.” One pastor moved closer to his aging parents who had no one to care for them. Another indicated his family was miserable in their former church location.
  5. “I was fired or forced out.” This story is far too common. Of course, some of the other factors in this list overlap with this one.
  6. “I was called to a different type of ministry.” Some left to take a position other than lead pastor in another church. Others went into parachurch or denominational ministry. I am among those who left the pastorate for denominational work.
  7. “I was not paid adequately.” I related my own story above. Let me be clear. The pastors with whom I spoke were not seeking extravagant pay, just adequate pay. And like me, most of them were uncomfortable broaching the issue with any leaders in the church.

Roger Olsen - Arminianism FAQ 1 (Everything You Always Wanted to Know…)
Today begins a summer series on Arminianism and Arminian theology. Over the past twenty plus years of promoting a correct understanding of classical Arminianism I have been asked numerous questions about the subject. There seems to be much misunderstanding about it. Here, in this series of blog posts, I will try to answer every “frequently asked question” about classical Arminianism. My aim is to keep the questions and answers clear, concise and crisp.

For those of you who are not sure about my credentials for answering questions about classical Arminianism with any authority, I can only say I have been an Arminian all my life and have dedicated the past twenty years (at least) to studying and explaining it—including in my book Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (InterVarsity Press).
This is not from The Onion

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