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An Invitation to Park Circle

September 18, 2014 — 1 Comment

Around-the-Horn[1]Regarded as ‘Intolerant Haters':  What’s New?
In a letter to emperor Trajan, Pliny the Younger lamented the “stubborness and unyielding obstinacy” of Christians. In other words, he was angry over their intolerance.

Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis
From Albert Mohler: 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.

One of The Main Ways The Earliest Christians Distinguished Themselves
in the second century, as Christianity emerged with a distinctive religious identity, the surrounding pagan culture began to take notice.  And it didn’t like what it saw.  Christians were seen as strange and superstitious–a peculiar religious movement that undermined the norms of a decent society.  Christians were, well, different.

Man Up (1 Cor 16.13)
We’re told relentlessly that we have to be always agreeable no matter what—seeker-sensitive, gender-neutral, effervescent, transparent, sentimental, and delicate in everything we say and do. Those sound like rules for figure-skaters, not warriors in the army of Christ.

You Should Feel Embarrassed Reading Books for Children
From Slate: The once-unseemly notion that it’s acceptable for not-young adults to read young-adult fiction is now conventional wisdom. Today, grown-ups brandish their copies of teen novels with pride.

Did John Calvin Believe in Free Will?
Eavesdropping on theological conversations is one of my favorite things to do. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t set out to eavesdrop . . . it just happens.

The Death of Thomas Cranmer
Finding the courage he had lacked over those previous months, the emboldened Reformer announced to the crowd of shocked onlookers:

When You’re Tempted to Be Annoyed at The Weakness of Others
God saves all kinds of people, puts them together in his church and says “Now love one another.” The family of God includes those who have walked with God for years and those who are still rubbing their eyes in amazement that God saved them two weeks ago. God joins weak and strong, and tells us to live together in a way that will glorify him.

From Eric Geiger:

A local church is on the planet to make disciples, not merely help people “make decisions” for Christ and then leave them alone and uncared for.

Sadly, in some churches people are led to “receive Christ” but are not challenged to grow in their new journey with Him. In these churches, leading someone to faith is treated like “the end,” as if the church has fulfilled her responsibility when someone becomes a Christian. But the moment of salvation is “the beginning” of new and eternal life, the beginning of living in a new kingdom and serving a new King, the beginning of knowing Christ.

Thankfully, the Lord continues to raise up leaders who are committed to shepherd people beyond the moment of salvation. They understand that the Lord uses the body of Christ not only in the moment of justification but also in the process of sanctification. There are two essentials for a local church to have effective ministry to new believers:

Read the rest.

Looks like an interesting series.

From Christianity’s earliest days, the Scriptures have had their critics. Porphyry, a third-century neoplatonic philosopher, was particularly aggressive in his attacks on the historical veracity of the Gospels, often pointing out what he deemed to be their inconsistencies, contradictions, and historical problems . . . .

Thus, I am beginning a new series here at Canon Fodder where I invite evangelical scholars to respond to some of the critical issues raised in Pete Enns’ “Aha moments” series.  Scholars who have agreed to participate include Craig Blomberg, Greg Beale, Darrell Bock, Andreas Köstenberger, and Don Carson. Other names will be added as we go along.

Read it all and bookmark the site.

From The Aquilla Report:

I love Jesus. I am a Presbyterian who can stand up in church every Sunday and recite the Apostles’ Creed with full integrity. But lately I’ve been wondering if there isn’t a body of myths that’s being passed around by fellow Evangelicals without any concern for verification . . . .

The other day I saw a post on Facebook that claimed the Lord Himself revealed the name of the Antichrist. In Luke 10:18 Jesus says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” The post explained that the Aramaic word for “lightning” is “baraq,” while the Hebrew word for height (hence “heaven”) is “o-bama.” Therefore Jesus has revealed to us that Barack Obama is the Antichrist. Without going into a language study, this is all utter nonsense.

There seems to be a widespread belief that sometime in the future, in fulfillment of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, Russia will invade Israel on horseback because it wants the mineral content in the Dead Sea. This is a very arid region, so they’d better bring lots of water and oats for those horses.

Read it all.

Around-the-Horn[1]The Op-Ed (Oprah Edited)
As the weeks passed, Starbucks continued printing Oprah quotes trumpeting a Disneyfied gospel of self-actualization. Then I realized that the solution was right in front of me. Oprah’s quotes weren’t that bad; they just needed a little editing.

Crash the Chatterbox
His message seems to be less about what Jesus has done for you and is doing in you, and more about what you are doing to unlock, release, and call down God’s blessing and realize your life potential.

9 Things You Should Know About Intimate Partner Violence
The issue of intimate partner violence has been in the news recently after the National Football League suspended Ray Rice for hitting his finacee. A video from an elevator camera surfaced in which Rice is seen punching Janay Palmer in the face, knocking her unconscious. Rice and Palmer were wed the day after he was indicted on aggravated assault charges.

Why I Am An Amillennialist
From Sam Storms: 10 reasons.

“Joan Plays Heaven!” Really?
The inescapable fact is that the western world simply assumes the truth of universalism. The suggestion that those who left this life in unrepentant denial of Jesus Christ are eternally separated from God and subject to his judgment is regarded as elitist and inexcusably insensitive.

What I’ll Tell My Daughters About Modesty
Our culture is becoming increasingly comfortable with a highly sexualized version of womanhood. The pornification of society is showing up everywhere, from Miley Cyrus performing in front a national audience, to the magazines that show up in grocery stores. As my daughters grow older, they will be increasingly encouraged to use their bodies in ways which don’t please the Lord. So what will I say to my daughters when I talk to them about modesty?

The Abomination Of Desolation?
What is the abomination of desolation referred to in Matthew 24?

Africa Needs A Whole Lot Less Of Joel And A Whole Lot More Of Rick
Two very different people who call themselves Christians have gotten a lot of media time recently.

Act Like Men: What It Means To Fight Like A Man
One of the reasons many churches struggle is they’re not a friendly place for men.

Should Christianity Try To Be Cool?
Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity,  argues that there are intrinsic contradictions inherent in the various attempts to make Christianity “cool.”

Can’t make this stuff up.  From Jenn Johnson, teaching at Bethel.  Pick up the video at the 4.40 mark.

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A short, thoughtful post from Doug Wilson:

A church building is a staging area, designed for God’s people to use in fulfilling the mission. The mission is the evangelization of the world – for the universal church – and the evangelization of our locale, for the local church. As a staging area, we have to be able to see past it. Marshaling and assembling the troops is not the same thing as sending them out to battle.

This means that if we build our building, and within a year or so it is not big enough to contain us all, that is not a sign of poor planning. It is a sign to us that we are beginning to accomplish the mission. Our goal should not be to have a sanctuary big enough to hold us all, so that we might then settle into our long, slow glide plane into cultural irrelevance . . .

Read the rest.