Christianity Tag Archive

SolaWednesdayFinal

1) “You Can’t Use the Bible to Prove the Bible” . . . And Other Stupid Statements

In the end, the story of Christ has plenty of independent documentation, all of must prove or evidence the rest. So in this sense, we must use the Bible to prove the Bible or else we are not being historians, but religious zealots, fighting to keep hold of our unbelief through stupid statements.

2) Is It Good News That Cohabitation Rates Are Stalling?

“Another possibility is that cohabitation has become so common and socially accepted that it now is following the same pattern as marriage,” Shah writes. Those who wish to avoid commitments are now “shying away from cohabitation the same way they might avoid marriage.”

3) Why Men Have Stopped Singing in Church

And so the church has returned to the 14th century. Worshippers stand mute as professional-caliber musicians play complex instruments, sung in an obscure language. Martin Luther is turning over in his grave.

4) 10-Year-Old Banned From Writing About God By Memphis Teacher, Told to Remove Paper From School Property

A Memphis-area mother is angry with her daughter’s elementary school after a teacher told her 10-year-old she could not have God as the subject of her class assignment to write about her idol.

5) Challies Best Commentary Series

Series Introduction: I live in a small house. I work in a small office in a small church. For those reasons and others I will never have a huge library. When I add a book I almost always remove a book, a practice that allows me to focus on quality over quantity. Over the past couple of years I have focused on building a collection of commentaries that will include only the best volumes on each book of the Bible.

SolaWednesdayFinal

Well, I’m married.

Since I already posted one “Sola Wednesday” listing my top 5 read posts so far of 2013, I figured I should follow up with 5 of the least read posts so far. Have you read them all?

1) They Were the Best of Times, They Were the Worst of Times

My first post. The one that started it all.

2) Love-Fueled Bible Study

My Bible Study series was largely left unread. Here is the final post in the series – have you read them all?

3) From the Vault: Thomas Cranmer

I’ve really been enjoying discovering new dead guys to post on the blog. This might be my favorite so far.

4) Languages, Part 3

I wrote a three-part series on the purpose behind studying the original Biblical languages. I really enjoyed writing this up for people to read!

5) Undeserved Grace

Sometimes I feel most in communion with God when I write, rather than speak, my prayers to Him.

SolaWednesdayFinal

“Sola Wednesday” is going to look a little different for the next two weeks.

As many of you know, I’ll be getting married this Saturday (WOO HOO). Then I’ll be on my honeymoon next week.

So this week I give you a list of the top 5 read posts of 2013 so far. I’ve been at this thing since April 2013, and there are already plenty of posts with quite a few hits!

Have you read them all? Please comment on and share your favorites!

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1) Bacon, Jesus and the New Covenant

“Being the complete nerd that I am, I couldn’t help but think about the relationship between bacon and my faith as a Christian. Which naturally led to me thinking about what it must’ve been like to be held in bondage under the law as the Jews once were (and many still are). From there I began to think about how many times in our current culture I’ve heard Christians being blasted as hypocrites for eating pork (and/or shellfish). After all, doesn’t the Bible say we can’t eat them? The common analogy I hear is that Christians treat the Bible as if it is trail-mix, picking and choosing the parts that we like or don’t like. We’ve all seen it right? The email-chains being forwarded around about all the commands in the Bible Christians don’t keep (especially those from Leviticus), the blasts on Facebook about how we’re hypocrites and Jesus just wants us to be nice to one another (is a half-truth still truth?).”

2) Why the Marriage Debate has Already Destroyed Us

“Let me begin by simply stating the premise of this article: I am issuing a desperate plea for rationally-based, hope-filled, tolerance-understanding, people-loving discussion on the subject of marriage not only in the United States, but across the globe. I truly believe that we are currently in the middle of an issue that has our culture more polarized and divided than any other in history. I realize those who lived through the civil-rights movement may disagree with me, however with the spread of technology and social media we are now able to relay information and arguments faster than ever before causing the polarization of people to increase at never-before-seen rates. My fear is that, because of the rapid spread of information and growing trends in our society, we have officially lost the ability to have calm discussion and solve problems together.”

3) Man of Steel: Our Modern Desire for a Savior

“I was recently talking to a friend (thanks, Tom) about the level of gospel-related imagery present in many Hollywood movies today. We specifically talked about the latest Batman trilogy – one of the reasons everyone loves Batman is that he’s the unlikely hero who is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of others. Isn’t that why we love the idea of heroes today? One of the subplots in last years Avengers was that Tony Stark wasn’t a true hero until he learned what it meant to sacrifice himself and put his own life on the line. Captain America is the selfless boyscout who, despite being mocked and humiliated by his peers, continually demonstrates that others lives are more valuable than his. Selflessness, humility, sacrifice – things we love to see in our ideal heroes – are all things that Christ demonstrated through his earthly ministry and ultimate death on the cross.”

4) Judge Not, Lest Ye Be a Hater

“The truth is, everybody want’s Jesus on their side. We live in an age where the majority of the population is Biblically illiterate, and rather than investigate what they hear for themselves they trust the first thing they hear that already agrees with their beliefs. Those who hold to the belief that Jesus’ followers aren’t to judge anyone will often reference either John 8:7 (“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”), or Matthew 7:1 (“Judge not, that you be not judged.”). From a plain reading, one might conclude that Jesus did in fact teach that his followers are not to make any judgment whatsoever. The Bible has a lot to say about judging one another – but since even non-Christians like to quote Jesus to make their point, let us look specifically at these verses in their appropriate contexts to see what Jesus really had to say about judging people.”

5) Macklemore’s Mackled Love

“It has been requested of me for some time to address the song Same Love by Macklemore. I don’t really listen to Pop-radio, so I am both blissfully ignorant and culturally unaware of the music circulating today. At first I denied the request to write on this issue – after all I’d already waded in the boiling water with this post, so two posts on a similar subject seemed too close to beating on the aforementioned dead horse. However, after some brief discussion and further thought on this song, as well as the recent DOMA/SCOTUS decisions, I’ve decided to once again put my thoughts out there for the interwebs to read. It is my hope and prayer that this will contribute to the discussion on both sides, and that it will be edifying to anyone who reads it regardless of their position.”

SolaWednesdayFinal

1) Twelve Myths About Calvinism

“Calvinists to do not believe that people are robots or puppets on strings. Calvinists believe in freedom and, properly defined, free will. While Calvinists believe that God is ultimately in control of everything, most are compatibalists, believing that he works in and with human freedom (limited though it may be). Calvinists believe in human responsibility at the same time as holding to a high view of God’s providential sovereignty.”

These are helpful notes for anyone new to the idea of Calvinism.

2) Are You Needed in Your Church?

“A lot has been written lately about people in my age demographic leaving the church. Some have suggested reasons for this, others countered with other possibilities. Solutions have spanned the spectrum. We’re told our generation is wary of anything that hints at consumerism, and then in the next breath we’re given reasons for attending church that center on what we can get out of it. It’s no wonder we are leaving the church–we’re not even sure what it’s for.”

The Church isn’t about what you get, but what you give of yourself.

3) Redoubling Failing Efforts

“But Franklin admitted no Savior, no God who was personally present in his world, so he had no choice but to look within and to continue his efforts. With his notebook full of holes, rubbed through by all these evidences of his depravity and inability, he bore down all the more. ‘He transferred his charts to ivory tablets that could more easily be wiped clean.'”

Even the most intelligent of man may never “get it.”

4) The Amalekite Genocide

“One of the standard ways that the New Atheists attack Christianity is by using some of the Old Testament war passages to argue that God is violent and petty. One of the favorite passages for this is the so-called Amalekite Genocide of 1 Samuel 15. But difficulties with passages such as this are not restricted to atheists. In 2009, the popular website Ship of Fools ran a feature called Chapter and Worse. Readers were invited to submit their least favorite Bible passages, and an evangelical acquaintance of mine submitted 1 Samuel 15:3.”

This is very helpful exegesis on a relatively common brought up issue.

5) Seminary Wives: 10 Encouragements for the Journey

“My husband and I have enjoyed the privilege of ministering to seminary students for the past 12 years at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s an honor to watch the Lord train up church leaders and to be involved in their lives for this special season. In particular, my heart is always concerned for the wives, knowing the sacrifices they bear and the quiet yet powerful service they give behind the scenes as they support their husbands. Of course, many women attend seminary as well, and that’s a wonderful thing! But if you’re a seminary wife who isn’t a student, here are some words of the encouragement as you partner with your husband in the seminary journey.”

My wife-to-be said she teared up as this helped her realize the profound impact she could have on my life. This is an excellent article.

6) Ten Things Pastor’s Like Most About Their Jobs

“1. Seeing lives transformed. This response was an overwhelming number one. You could almost feel the enthusiasm for this aspect of their ministry as they responded. These pastors feel that God call them to lead toward transformation of others, and seeing that happen is their greatest joy in ministry.”

Unfortunately, personal discipleship is number 10.

7) An Interview with Anthony Weiner

“Smith: Do you feel like you’ve damaged her place in that world?

Weiner: I feel that what I’ve done has hurt her, yeah. It’s hurts her professionally. It’s hurt her personally. We made a decision that these things were behind us and we made a calculated gamble on the question of whether or not citizens would be more interested in their family’s future than in my personal failings that are behind me. She’s gotten roughed up and it’s been completely unfair in my view.”

Seriously, this guy seems so nonchalant about his behavior I can’t believe he hasn’t been forced out of the race yet. Disgusting.

8) California Law Protects Rights of Transgendered Students

“A new law requires public schools to allow pupils from kindergarten to the 12th grade to access male or female toilets according to their preference.

The legislation also allows transgender schoolchildren to choose whether to play boys’ or girls’ sports.”

We live in an age where anything goes – as long as it makes you happy.

9) The Beginner’s Guide To Interpreting Old Testament Law

“For Christians, the interpretation and application of the Old Testament law doesn’t begin with the law—it begins with Jesus. The law points us to him (Luke 24:44). The law is fulfilled in him (Matt. 5:17). And the law takes on a new meaning for us today in him (e.g., “You have heard that it was aid…but I say to you…”). For us to interpret the law rightly, we need to understand it in light of Jesus.”

Super, super helpful words on reading through Old Testament law.