Monday, October 6, 2014

All Around the Web - October 6, 2014

Joe Carter - 9 Things You Should Know About Atheism
1. Atheism is the belief that there is no God or gods. But because that belief can be held dogmatically or conditionally, some atheists refer to positive atheism (also called strong or hard atheism) and negative atheism (also called weak or soft atheism). The terms positive and negative atheism were popularized by the philosopher Anthony Flew (an atheist who became a deist):

Whereas nowadays the usual meaning of 'atheist' in English is 'someone who asserts that there is no such being as God', I want the word to be understood not positively but negatively. I want the originally Greek prefix 'a' to be read in the same way in 'atheist' as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as 'amoral', 'atypical', and 'asymmetrical'. In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.

2. In the West, atheism did not emerge into an unequivocally expressed belief system until the late Enlightenment. David Berman claims the first avowedly atheistic work was Baron d’Holbach’s The System of Nature published in 1782. Thereafter it became much more common to hear atheists admit their unbelief. For instance, by 1791 the Marquis de Sade wrote "There is no God. Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author" and in his personal will said that he was "atheistic to the point of fanaticism."

Thom Rainer - Nine Ways to Make Your Ministry Resume Stand Out
  1. A highly qualified person proofread the resume for grammar, style, and appearance. I am amazed at the number of resumes that were rejected because of poor grammar and style. One leader on a search committee said, “If they are sloppy on their resumes, we assume they will be sloppy in their ministries.” This factor, by far, was number one. Simply having your resume carefully proofread will make it stand out from the crowd.
  2. There are no gaps in dates of employment. If you had a season of unemployment, it is best to explain it on the resume. Any unexplained gaps may cause your resume to be put aside.
  3. The resume had a great photo. First, the leaders with whom I spoke very much wanted to see a photo on the resume, either an individual or family shot. Second, the quality of the photo must be excellent. Again, a photo of poor quality communicates that the applicant is sloppy and uncaring. One search committee member told me that two-thirds of the resumes included “terrible quality” photos.
  4. The resume presented statistics clearly and truthfully. While most of those with whom I spoke really appreciated seeing such statistics as attendance, receipts, and others, they said that often the statistics could not be confirmed with other sources.
  5. The applicant only sent what was requested. If only a resume was requested, send only a resume. Those in the search process are often put off by unrequested supplemental information.
  6. The resume included a narrative of accomplishments, rather than just positions with dates of employment. Those in vocational ministry are often reticent to “brag” about accomplishments in ministry. Don’t be shy. Those on the receiving end desire to hear from you about these matters. Many good resumes, I was told, label this part of the resume “God’s Work at ABC Church.” That approach provides a good summary of the accomplishments while giving credit and glory to God.
  7. The order of the details on the resume reflects the priorities of the organization more than the applicant. So an applicant for a professorship at a seminary might begin with academic credentials. An applicant for pastoral ministry might begin with ministry experience.
  8. Most of the resume uses the active tense. I personally use the passive tense in some of my writings, but resumes sound better in the active tense. “I fulfilled the assignment” thus sounds better than “The assignment was fulfilled by me.”
  9. Good resumes avoid “cutesy” attempts to stand out. One rejected resume had five different font sizes. Another used four different font colors. And even another sent the entire resume as a QR code. All were rejected.

John StonestreetThe Unseen Pain behind 'Gay Marriage'
To judge by media coverage, the legalization of same-sex marriage is an unalloyed good. Pictures of happy couples kissing and otherwise celebrating leave the impression that the only people who are unhappy about all of this are bigots and grumps.

Well, Janna Darnelle would beg to differ.

Seven years ago, Darnelle’s husband of ten years told her that he was gay and that he wanted a divorce. As she wrote in The Public Discourse, “In an instant, the world that I had known and loved—the life we had built together—was shattered.”

9Marks - Twenty-Two Problems with Multi-site Churches
I love my gospel-loving friends in multi-site churches—both leaders and members! But as Christians we work continually to reform our churches in light of Scripture. So I trust a little push back on the multi-site structure serves everyone, assuming my concerns turn out to be valid. Below are 22 misgivings I have about the multi-site model. All of these apply to churches that use a video preacher. Over half apply to churches who employ a preacher on every campus.* Some of these are grounded in biblical or theological principles; some are matters of prudence.

1. There’s no clear example of a multi-site church in the New Testament, only supposition. “Well, surely, the Christians in a city could not have all met…” (but see Acts 2:46; 5:12; 6:2).

Weekly Standard - 60 Percent of Voters Want Obamacare to Be Repealed
A new poll finds that three-fifths of likely voters support the repeal of Obamacare.  A large plurality — 44 percent — wants to see Obamacare repealed and replaced with a conservative alternative. A much smaller group —16 percent — wants to see it repealed but not replaced. Less than one in three respondents — 32 percent — would like to keep Obamacare, whether in its current form or in amended form.  So, with a conservative alternative in play, 60 percent of Americans support repeal, while only 32 percent oppose it.

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