Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something Changed on the Internet

Earlier this year, John Dyer, author of From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology, published a blog post titled: Someone on the Internet is Wrong: The 10 Stages of Internet Controversy. In the original post he accurately and insightfully describes the pattern of how controversy on the internet unfolds through the various stages of instigation, reporting, defending, commenting, accusations, affirmations, blame and the like.

Recently, he updated the post with a new 11th stage which reflects a recent controversy that had an the unexpected (but much appreciated) outcome. Something Changed. Someone broke the cycle and God is Glorified. -- Check it out:


11. Something Changes

In the last few days, the “next big thing” happened in a back and forth between Jared Wilson, Rachel Held Evans, and Douglas Wilson (and lots and lots of others) over some very mature and sensitive subject matter. As I scanned the seemingly endless posts, I found myself growing very cynical, thinking to myself that it seemed as if the entire Christian blog world had agreed ahead of time to follow the 10 steps above as closely as possible.
But then something happened that surprised my saddened, but dismissive attitude. This time, Jared Wilson broke the cycle and apologized for hurting people with words.
In the coming weeks, I’m sure there will be plenty of painstaking analysis of the entire debacle (Step 12?), so it’s probably not worth pointing out things like how inattentive we are to the way the Internet’s speed and anonymity effectively control and guide these kinds of battles. At this point, I’m just happy to see that every once in a while Christians on the Internet behave differently and, hopefully, our good God is glorified in some small way."
What an awesome way of reading this controversy and seeing the redemption in the end. And thank you, John and Jared!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free e-book - Sanctification in the Everyday

This looks excellent. Free from the Desiring God Blog:
How does the cross and victory of Jesus affect your everyday sanctification?
Over the past 30 years John Piper has preached several messages that equip listeners to apply the Bible in their daily lives. Stretching three decades, this e-book includes three of those sermons that intend to mobilize the church in the fight against sin and the walk of faith. In addition to these sermons, there is a practical appendix of acronyms Pastor John uses in his own life and commends to others.
Whether fighting a specific sin or walking by faith amid stressful circumstances, the aim of this e-book is to add to your arsenal for the everyday work of sanctification, for the glory of God.
To download Sanctification in the Everyday, click on the following format options:
Note: To load the ebook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device and then to click the download option.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Root of Sin vs. its symptoms

From Tony Reinke at the Desiring God blog, quoting  Rick Gamache's sermon “Whiter Than Snow”:
"I think it is absolutely amazing and very telling, given what we know about the situation, that David never mentions sexual sin in Psalm 51. He’s not mainly praying that the Lord would provide him with good accountability. He’s not mainly praying that God would give him self-control and protect his eyes and his mind. Those are all good things. But David does not mention them here because his sexual sin — and every sexual sin — is the symptom of the disease not the disease. Sexual sin is a symptom of lack of fullness of joy and gladness in Jesus. It’s a symptom of a lack of being ravished by the love and kindness and mercy and goodness and beauty and excellence and majesty and glory and honor and power of God.
"And so David confesses."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's Not Cut Christ to Pieces | Christianity Today

Let's Not Cut Christ to Pieces | by Michael Horton at Christianity Today

This latest article by Dr. Horton is a five stars piece! Bravo, sir!

He writes about how the doctrine of sin and redemption is simple, but not simplicitic and describes our sin nature this way:
"If sin were just a behavior, we could stop it. If we had done it a lot, we might need some help in stopping it, but eventually—if we tried hard enough—we could. However, sin is not just a behavior. Long before they made any choice about what to do with it, people were predisposed toward same-sex attractions. Affirming original sin, Christians don't have trouble accepting this. We reject the Pelagian reduction of sin to an action that one can overcome with enough will-power. We are depraved (warped) in every respect: spiritually, morally, intellectually, volitionally, and physically. Long before genetics became a flourishing field, Christians have spoken about sin as an inherited condition. Furthermore, we can inherit specific sins—or at least tendencies—of our fathers and mothers. Then add to that the ways in which people are sinned against by the attitudes and behaviors of others, especially in childhood. So even before we actually decide to take that first drink, place that first bet, unleash our first punch, or fool around with our best friend, we are already caught up in the tangled web of solidarity in sin. At the same time, we are responsible for our choices, which reinforce or counter the specific sins toward which we are especially disposed."
He goes on to make some awesome statements and to provide key insights into the nature of sin and redemption:
"The gospel frees us to confess our sins without fear of condemnation. Looking to Christ alone for our justification and holiness, we can finally declare war on our indwelling sin because we have peace with God... If there is no biblical basis for greater condemnation, there is also no scriptural basis for greater laxity in God's judgment of this sin."
"Unwilling to embrace the paradox of being 'simultaneously justified and sinful,' we reject either justification or sanctification. However, a simplistic view of sin as acts requires as its solution nothing more than red-faced threats or smiling therapies for getting our act together. 'Just stop doing it,' says the simplistic anti-gay position. 'Just embrace it,' says the simplistic pro-gay position."
"Conformity to Christ's image can only be driven by the gospel. And yet it is directed by the specific commands and exhortations of God's word."
"We dare not try to cut Christ in pieces, as if we could receive him deliverer from sin's guilt but not from its dominion, or as Savior but not as Lord. Nor can we cut ourselves in pieces, severing our body from our soul—as if we could give our heart to Jesus and keep the title deed to our body."
He also references 1 Cor. 6:13-20, where Paul draws the analogy of sexual immorality  as uniting the body of Christ to that of a prostitute. (I can't help but wonder, given the title of the article, whether Judges 19 --perhaps the most difficult passage in the entire Bible-- might be an even more appropriate analogy. Now, go ahead and look it up, lol. Maybe I should write a post in the future about that, hmmm...)

Well, there is much more meat over at the site where the article is published than just these excerpts. Hope you read it, too!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In the Temple (the Glory of God) - Paige Benton Brown



In the Temple: The Glorious and Forgiving God (1 Kings 8)

Plenary Session - The Gospel Coalition 2012 National Women's Conference
Paige Benton Brown | Jun 22, 2012
Awesome, awesome, awesome! What an amazing God we worship. Thank you Paige.
HT: TGC

On Brokenness

One of my favorite bloggers recently mentioned his concern with the widespread use of the term 'broken' in association with the nature of sin. While I do agree that the word 'broken' may be used at times in an attempt to soften the prick of sin in the conscience, I also believe there is a bigger problem, stemming from our culture's overly simplified approach to vocabulary and language in general.

If we simply take a look at some various things that 'brokenness' can describe, we will notice that the word is actually very dynamic, including the following:
 Calling us ever to remember the fulfillment of His promises in Isaiah 53:
"4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Joyous!

Captive to the Word of God

An awesome read by John Starke -- The Page That Changed HIs Life @ The Gospel Coalition blog!

Excerpt:

Luther replied, "Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simply reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason---I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other---my conscience is captive to the Word of God.