Around the Horn :: 3.01.12

March 1, 2012

Theology Refresh
Theology Refresh is a new, short, podcast from Desiring God Ministries, that examines an aspect or question of theology.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
This Academy Award & Oscar nominated film reveals Japan, both the beauty and the terror of nature here in the events of last year.  As we know, God has a purpose in all of nature.  Please pray as we approach the first anniversary of the disaster on 3/11.  Pray for God’s purpose to be done in Japan. Please pray for Japanese hearts to bloom like the cherry blossoms in the warmth of Christ’s love this spring.

The Spiritual Gift of Discouragement?
Some people in the church seem to have the spiritual gift of discouragement.  It’s all that guy can do – discourage others. Truthfully, we are all “that guy” far too often. We find it far easier to complain and view circumstances negatively than positively. So, when a person embodies encouragement, we notice.

Evaluating Movies in Light of Scripture
From Randy Alcorn: Good movies are hard to find. I know, we’re supposed to pretend that movies have no influence on us, or our children. That way we can be cool and go with the popular drift of culture and prove that not all Christians are uptight and moralistic.

The Santorum Predicament: A Sign of the Times
From Al Mohler: When moral conservatives reveal their reasoning, the elites hear the launch of a new Inquisition. It is simply incomprehensible to them that sane, rational, educated people might still believe in the Father of Lies. When Catholic Rick Santorum speaks theologically at Catholic Ave Maria University, the secular elites go into toxic shock. The same would be true of an Evangelical politician who would speak theologically of such issues at a truly evangelical college. Speak on love and you will not be in much trouble, but admit that you believe in the Devil and the press corps will go into apoplexy.

The Underestimated Pastoral Power of a Proper Doctrine of Conversion
From 9Marks:  A proper doctrine of conversion will give you pastoral power. Let me jump right in with an illustration. I once confessed a wrongful desire to a friend of mine, and I explained that, frustratingly, my theology knew it was wrong, but part of me was tempted to justify it because it felt “woven into the very fabric of my person” and “part of the very wiring of my soul.” Those were the words I used to explain how much the desire felt like me.

U.S. vs U.K.
From Stuff Christians Like: The recent popularity of the hit show Downton Abbey has inspired a whole new generation of people to ask the question, “Is that what life is really like in England?” And the quick answer is, “Yes, yes it is. Almost exactly.” In addition to trying to keep my countless footmen, valets and housemaids in order, we Brits are also under tremendous pressure to make sure words like “Downton” are spelled and pronounced correctly. (Be honest, how tempting is it to spell that word as “Downtown?”) Although I can’t speak to every nuance to British life in this post, I think I can clear up a few differences about church. After growing up in the U.K. and moving to the U.S. two years ago, I’ve noticed quite a lot of differences in how church is done on a Sunday. Here’s a (not so) cultural guide for both countries: