Wednesday, July 2, 2014

All Around the Web - July 2, 2014

Russell Moore - Questions & Ethics: Do He Need To Confess His Adultery To His Wife?
Russell Moore answers a difficult question from a husband who writes in and asks, “I’ve confessed to God and repented of adultery in my marriage, but I’m struggling with telling my wife. Is it necessary to tell her, knowing the hurt it will cause and how should I go about doing this?” Read the full transcript here.

Thom Rainer - Seven Factors Hindering Evangelism in Churches
  1. There is no priority of evangelism. I know. That sounds too self-evident. But churches that do not make evangelism a high priority are really making it no priority at all.
  2. Many laypersons believe that evangelism is what we pay the pastors and staff to do. Such a perspective is first unbiblical and, second, unproductive. Evangelistic churches always have enthusiastically evangelistic laypersons.
  3. Many churches have an excuse mentality. So pastors blame it on the laity. The laity blame it on the pastor. And both blame it on culture, the denomination, or some other external scapegoat.
  4. Too many church members do not connect prayer with evangelism. Many members are pretty good at praying for those who have physical needs. But many are woefully lacking in praying for those who have the greatest need: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  5. Too many Christians fail to be compassionate and Christ-like to others. Evangelism always ultimately includes a clear articulation of the gospel. But too many Christians never get that opportunity to share the gospel, because they fail to show Christ in their actions and compassion.
  6. Most church ministries are not intentionally evangelistic. The church should always seek to make certain any and all ministries include intentional efforts to share the gospel.
  7. Some church members are concerned that new Christians will change their church too much. I’m serious. I’ve heard that line many times. When I was a pastor, I was chastised by a church member who told me I was leading too many people to Christ. They were, she said, changing her church too rapidly.

RC Sproul - Sin is Cosmic Treason
The sinfulness of sin” sounds like a vacuous redundancy that adds no information to the subject under discussion. However, the necessity of speaking of the sinfulness of sin has been thrust upon us by a culture and even a church that has diminished the significance of sin itself. Sin is communicated in our day in terms of making mistakes or of making poor choices. When I take an examination or a spelling test,if I make a mistake, I miss a particular word. It is one thing to make a mistake. It is another to look at my neighbor’s paper and copy his answers in order to make a good grade. In this case, my mistake has risen to the level of a moral transgression. Though sin may be involved in making mistakes as a result of slothfulness in preparation, nevertheless, the act of cheating takes the exercise to a more serious level. Calling sin “making poor choices” is true, but it is also a euphemism that can discount the severity of the action. The decision to sin is indeed a poor one, but once again, it is more than a mistake. It is an act of moral transgression.

In my book The Truth of the Cross I spend an entire chapter discussing this notion of the sinfulness of sin. I begin that chapter by using the anecdote of my utter incredulity when I received a recent edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Though I was happy to receive this free issue, I was puzzled as to why anyone would send it to me. As I leafed through the pages of quotations that included statements from Immanuel Kant, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and others, to my complete astonishment I came upon a quotation from me. That I was quoted in such a learned collection definitely surprised me. I was puzzled by what I could have said that merited inclusion in such an anthology, and the answer was found in a simple statement attributed to me: “Sin is cosmic treason.” What I meant by that statement was that even the slightest sin that a creature commits against his Creator does violence to the Creator’s holiness, His glory, and His righteousness. Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is an act of rebellion against the sovereign God who reigns and rules over us and as such is an act of treason against the cosmic King.

Doug WilsonSeven Theses on Penal Substitution
1. Penal substitution defined is the doctrine that the salvation of God’s people is secured through a propitiatory blood sacrifice that He provided for us, doing this through the death of Jesus on the cross. The holy wrath of an infinitely perfect God was propitiated in the death of Jesus Christ on that cross. We are saved from the wrath of God by the love of God as these two attributes of God collided in the agony of Jesus Christ. In that collision, the wrath was satisfied, and the love entered into resurrection joy. The wrath was punctiliar and the love is everlasting.

2. Penal substitution is human sacrifice, and is a scandal. Nothing whatever can be done about this, and it is sinful to try to undo or fix the scandalous aspects of it. God made it scandalous on purpose, in order to keep our number of refined theologians to a minimum.

3. Penal substitution can be badly represented by its friends. As with the Trinity, Sunday School illustrations of the doctrine can be dangerous. With the Trinity, the illustrations, if followed out, land us in the midst of various trinitarian heresies (e.g. ice, liquid, steam is modalism, etc.) But with illustrations of the atonement, the logic of them, if followed out, frequently will land us in heretical atrocities. The cross is a scandal, but not every scandal is the cross. If the illustration is using someone as a Christ figure who is not readily identifiable as an Adam, then it is an inadequate illustration.

The Blaze - The Unbelievable Story of the ‘Greatest Act of Deception’ During World War II

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