Around the Horn – 09.30.10

September 30, 2010

Five Ways to Change Your Ways
David slept with another woman. In the heat of the moment and the dark of the night David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Rather than changing his ways, he chose to cover his steps. You know the story. He had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed so he could marry her. Once married, the sin was covered and there was no need to repent (Read: change), according to David.  What David did not count on was the relentless love his Father had for him. God is good and part of his goodness motivates him to help us live holy lives. Though David was physically and spiritually deteriorating because of his unwillingness to repent, he was determined not to change.

Why Hell is Integral to the Gospel
For some, the horror of the Christian doctrine of hell—that it is a place of eternal, conscious torment where God’s enemies are punished—has led them not just to avert their eyes and minds, but to deny it entirely. “Surely,” they say, “hell is a fictional construct used to oppress people with fear; a God of love would never allow such a place to really exist.” There’s an emotional power to this argument, to be sure. No one, certainly no Christian, likes the idea of hell.  At the same time, this doctrine isn’t just drapery on the side of the Christian worldview, something with no relevance to the structure of the faith itself. Nor is the doctrine of hell an embarrassing, unnecessary, primitive wart that we believe just because we’re told we have to.  On the contrary . . .

Not in This or That Mount but in Spirit and Truth
Excellent sermon from John Piper: “It’s very important that we see the implications of this for our situation today—in regard to Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and any other religion that does not embrace Jesus as the divine Savior of the world who comes to die for sinners and rise again and become the Mediator between God and man. It’s important because the glorious, unique, supremacy of Jesus among all the religions depends on it. And because many Christians are abandoning the truth that knowing and honoring and loving and believing on Jesus is necessary for salvation.”

Chain of Grace
So my wife was running some errands this morning and drove through Starbucks to get some coffee. When she pulled up to the window, the cashier said her coffee would have been $3.05, but the guy in the car ahead of her had already paid for it. Odd, she thought, but a nice treat and blessing with a sick little girl in the back seat and a stressful day in front of her. Then the cashier went on:

Atheists Know More Than Protestants and Catholics
Not good, but not surprising:  A new survey of Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.