Wednesday, August 20, 2014

All Around the Web - August 20, 2014

USA Today - Kirsten Powers: Obama's inattention to Iraqi Christians
It's starting to seem as if the Obama White House operates on a time delay. In the case of Iraq's religious minorities, the results have been deadly.

On June 10, the barbaric extremists called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the city of Mosul. By mid-July, they issued an edict to the Christians who remained to "convert, leave or be killed."

The White House said nothing.

Beginning on July 22, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., took to the House floor six times to plead for attention from the Obama administration as a genocide threatened Iraq.

Not a word from the president.

Ligonier - What’s the Difference between the Ontological and the Economic Trinity?
Do you know the meaning of the word Trinity? In all likelihood, most of those reading this are familiar with this word and its meaning in theology. But what if I were to ask you to distinguish between the “ontological Trinity” and the “economic Trinity”? If I said, “Please describe for me the difference between the ontological Trinity and the economic Trinity,” could you do it? The distinction is very important.

Ontology is the study of being. When we talk about the ontological Trinity, we are referring to the fact that God is three in one. There are three persons in the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who together are one being. The ontological structure of the Trinity is a unity. When we speak of the economic Trinity, we are dealing with roles. We distinguish among the three persons of the Godhead in terms of what we call the economy of God. It is the Father who sends the Son into the world for our redemption. It is the Son who acquires our redemption for us. It is the Spirit who applies that redemption to us. We do not have three gods. We have one God in three persons, and the three persons are distinguished in terms of what They do.

In orthodox Christianity, we say that the Son is equal to the Father in power, in glory, and in being. This discussion rests heavily on John 1:1, where we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This verse indicates that the Father and the Word (the Son) are different and are one. In one sense, the Son and the Father are identical. In another sense, They are distinguished. From all eternity the Father sends the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. The Son doesn’t send the Father; the Father sends the Son. So even though the Father and the Son are equal in power, glory, and being, nevertheless there is an economic subordination of the Son to the Father.
John Stonesreet - What Ever Happened to Cultural Relativism?
Not too long ago, the most common complaint about Christians was that they imposed their beliefs on others. Many were upset that Christians claimed a corner on objective truth, swimming against the modern embrace of moral relativism, which said that truth and morality vary from person to person or culture to culture. The only unforgiveable sin left was to impose or even propose your beliefs to someone else.

But now the shoe is on the other foot. Now that a different set of values—like radical environmentalism and support for same-sex marriage—have become the norm, many cultural relativists have no problem imposing these views on others.

Thom Rainer - Seven Positive Ways Christians Can Use Social Media
  1. Pray before you post. If I have learned anything about social media, I have learned that I’m not the smartest guy around. I need God’s wisdom to communicate in such a way that brings honor and glory to Him. That is why I must begin with prayer.
  2. Encourage others in social media. Some of the greatest encouragements I receive come from people on social media. I am so thankful for the many Christians who use this platform in obedience to the Word of God: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  3. Respond with a gentle spirit. Let our desire be to win hearts rather than to win arguments.
  4. Remember who is watching you in social media. The words we Christians say to one another and to others are on display for the world to see. This platform is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ in action, which brings us to my next suggestion.
  5. Use social media as an opportunity to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. God is doing great works through those in social media who strive to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit every time they post: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self control” (Galatians 5:22).
  6. Create a prayer ministry through social media. Make it a point to pray for many of those you read or watch on social media. Let them know you are praying for them. At this blog, I ask Christians across the world to pray for a specific church every Sunday (use this form to submit a church).
  7. Seek to create unity in the body of Christ through social media. For sure, there are many who are divisive. But even more of us can be a mighty force for God to bring unity to Christians across the world. Paul said it well: “Above all, put on love – the perfect bond of unity” (Colossians 3:14).

Kevin DeYoung - Bio, Books, and Such: Collin Hansen
During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays. I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.

Today’s interview is with Collin Hansen,  author and Editorial Director for The Gospel Coalition.

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