Saturday, July 19, 2014

All Around the Web - July 19, 2014

Albert Mohler - ‘Get with the Program’ — The Church of England Votes to Ordain Women Bishops
Writing about the age of John Milton, the British author A. N. Wilson once tried to explain to modern secular readers that there had once been a time when bishops of the Church of England were titanic figures of conviction who were ready to stand against the culture. “It needs an act of supreme historical imagination to be able to recapture an atmosphere in which Anglican bishops might be taken seriously,” he wrote, “still more, one in which  they might be thought threatening.”

Keep that in mind as you read the news that the General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday to approve the consecration of women as bishops of the church.

The votes came less than two years after a similar measure failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote before the same synod. The election of women as bishops had sailed through the bishops and the clergy, but opposition from lay members of the synod had blocked the measure late in 2012.

Denny Burk - Are Christian Colleges free to be Christian?
Are Christian colleges still free to be Christian in this country? You may think that an unserious question, but if you’ve been paying attention to recent events surrounding Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, you know it’s a very pressing question indeed.

Last month, Gordon College President Michael Lindsay added his signature to an open letter asking President Obama to include a religious exemption in a forthcoming executive order. The executive order will bar federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Thus any group receiving federal funds would be subject to this order. Those who signed the letter—including Rick Warren, Gabe Lyons, and several others—are concerned that the president’s executive order would prevent some religious organizations from requiring employees to hold to a Christian sexual ethic.

I don’t think anyone at Gordon College anticipated the backlash that would result from President Lindsay’s signature on the letter. Today, and Op-Ed in the Boston Globe says Gordon College is “dressed in a cloak of bigotry they refer to as religious freedom.” Some of Gordon’s own students and alumni are unhappy, and there is now an online petition calling on President Lindsay to remove his signature from the letter. The school’s accrediting agency has announced its intention to investigate whether Gordon College meets requirements for diversity and non-discrimination. The mayor of Salem has terminated a contract with Gordon College now that the college “advocates for discrimination against the LGBT community” (see video below).

Thom Rainer - Five Reasons Your Church Might Consider Using eBay to Increase Giving
  1. Such an approach has biblical foundations. The above passages are indicative that biblical stewardship includes the selling of our possessions for ministry needs.
  2. It provides a new source of ministry income. Indeed, if the process is organized and promoted well, it may provide a significant source of funding for ministries locally and beyond.
  3. It gets more people involved in the ministry of the church. In my limited awareness of this approach, I have heard that this emphasis draws more people to the ministry that were previously uninvolved.
  4. Members are able to divest themselves of material things and possessions and lead a simpler life. Such has been the testimony of some who gave to this emphasis. They were thus able to focus better on those areas of life that really matter.
  5. This approach can be a great unifier in the congregation. Some church members have shared the amazing stories of transformation and greater unity in the church as more people were focused beyond themselves

Radical - What if Someone Asks Me a Question I Can’t Answer? (Part 1/2)
One of the reasons some Christians offer for not being more intentional in sharing their faith is that they fear being asked a question they cannot answer.  While this is not a legitimate excuse for refraining from witnessing, this reality exists among many churches.  Today’s post is the first of two in which I wish to address this matter.

I recall early in my walk with the Lord that I believed that I had to have an answer to every question an unbeliever asked.  While I was not afraid of being asked a question I could not answer, I believed that I had to give an answer immediately, even when asked a question that I did not know the answer to.  I felt that showing my ignorance would embarrass the Lord.  I believed that a lack of knowledge would reveal weakness.

While there is no excuse for remaining ignorant and not growing in our knowledge of the Scriptures and how to better respond to people’s tough questions, we must understand that no one knows everything. This is a different matter than “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15, ESV).  All believers should be able to give witness to the gospel and call others to repentance and faith.  All believers should be in the process of “being prepared” to better defend the truth.  However, difficult questions will come.  And we should study the Scriptures to know the truth of God’s word, and to know how to respond appropriately to the tough questions.

Marvel ComicsMarvel Proudly Presents Thor
Marvel is excited to announce an all-new era for the God of Thunder in brand new series, THOR, written by Jason Aaron complimented with art from Russell Dauterman.

This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of the “big three” of Captain American, Iron Man and Thor. No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR.

Who is she? Where did she come from and what is her connection to Asgard and the Marvel Universe?

“The inscription on Thor's hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it's time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute - she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

I'm not a Jeter or a Yankee fan. But this is a cool commercial.

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