Thursday, July 3, 2014

All Around the Web - July 3, 2014

Albert Mohler - Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis
Western society is currently experiencing what can only be described as a moral revolution. Our society’s moral code and collective ethical evaluation on a particular issue has undergone not small adjustments but a complete reversal. That which was once condemned is now celebrated, and the refusal to celebrate is now condemned.

What makes the current moral and sexual revolution so different from previous moral revolutions is that it is taking place at an utterly unprecedented velocity. Previous generations experienced moral revolutions over decades, even centuries. This current revolution is happening at warp speed.

As the church responds to this revolution, we must remember that current debates on sexuality present to the church a crisis that is irreducibly and inescapably theological. This crisis is tantamount to the type of theological crisis that Gnosticism presented to the early church or that Pelagianism presented to the church in the time of Augustine. In other words, the crisis of sexuality challenges the church’s understanding of the gospel, sin, salvation, and sanctification. Advocates of the new sexuality demand a complete rewriting of Scripture’s metanarrative, a complete reordering of theology, and a fundamental change to how we think about the church’s ministry.

Joe Carter - 9 Things You Should Know About Anglicanism
1. Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising the Church of England and churches which are historically tied to it or have similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures. With a membership estimated at around 80 million members worldwide, the Anglican faith (including both those within the Anglican Communion and Anglicans outside of it) is the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

2. The Anglican faith is often considered a reformed Catholicism, a hybrid between the Catholic and Protestant faiths. (For instance, one key dividing point between Anglicanism and Catholicism is the issue of absolute authority.

3. The Anglican Communion is an international association of churches consisting of the Church of England and of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with that mother church. The status of full communion means that there is mutual agreement on essential doctrines and that full participation in the sacramental life of each church is available to all communicant Anglicans. There are also groups, such as those aligned with the Continuing Anglican movement or the Anglican realignment, whose relationship to the worldwide Anglican Communion is still being negotiated.

Thom Rainer - Eight Ways to Help Your Pastor Have a Good Vacation
  1. Pray that your pastor will really rest while on vacation. Too many vacations are often more stressful than restful.
  2. Pray for your pastor’s family on vacation. They too need rest and uninterrupted time.
  3. Have someone responsible for the leadership of the church during the pastor’s vacation. The congregation should know that the pastor is on vacation and that time is being protected. The members should be aware of who the primary contact is in the pastor’s absence.
  4. Don’t call your pastor on vacation if at all possible. This issue may be the toughest one for the members. After all, any church family can have an emergency need; thus there is the likelihood that some type of urgent request will be made. Hopefully, the emergency can be handled by someone other than the pastor.
  5. Don’t connive while your pastor is on vacation. Many pastors have shared with me terrible stories about malicious work and planning by members that took place during the vacation. Thus the pastor returned home to malcontents and crises. One pastor told me he refuses to take a vacation for that very reason.
  6. Let your pastor have the Sundays off around the vacation time. Sermon preparation is incredibly time consuming. A pastor can’t have a true vacation if there is still the need to devote time to sermon preparation.
  7. Provide vacation gifts. Many pastors don’t have the money to take a decent vacation. Sometimes it may be appropriate and gracious to provide the pastor’s family with a something that will allow them to take the vacation. When I was a pastor, I was blessed that a family gave me their beach condo for a week.
  8. Make certain that work is accomplished while the pastor is away. “I don’t want to take a vacation, because the work piles up while I’m gone,” a pastor recently shared with me. Church members can find creative ways to make sure ministry and work is done in the pastor’s absence.

Tim Challies - The Bestsellers: Crazy Love
Francis Chan was born in San Francisco in 1967, the son of Chinese immigrants. After professing faith at a young age, he attended The Master’s College and The Master’s Seminary, graduating with Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees. In 1994, he and his wife Lisa founded Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California. Though the church began with only thirty people, it grew quickly and within six years numbered over 1,500.

In 2005 Chan released a video titled Just Stop and Think that quickly went viral while also setting him up for the release of his first book: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. Published in 2008, the book is a call for Christians to live an authentic faith, and it was marketed behind language like this: “Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts — it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.”

Breitbart - State Dept. Honors Advocate of Destruction of Marriage
Last Thursday the State Department hosted its now annual Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies Pride day.

One of the speakers was journalist and LGBT activist Masha Gessen, who has been an outspoken critic of the Russian government on LGBT issues. She has written a book about Vladimir Putin, for a time headed the Moscow office of the US Radio Liberty, and has been a prolific contributor to New York Times blogs.

Secretary of State John Kerry introduced her: “The government in Moscow may look at Masha as a troublemaker to contend with, but here in the United States, we know that she is a wonderful person – a mother, a journalist, an extraordinary human rights defender – and we are honored by her presence here.”

Kerry, however, did not show a YouTube clip of Gessen calling for the destruction of marriage and stating that this is the inevitable intention of those calling for same-sex marriage

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