Daily Archives: April 25, 2014

Do Not Be Surprised…This ‘n’ That (25 April 2014)

  • James White discusses Vines’ book here.
  • Well, if Pat Robertson said it, then it’s probably true. (If by “true,” you mean completely ridiculous.)
  • This is what I want my birthday cake to look like next year. (Go Cubs Go!)
  • Keeping up on the Bill Gothard scandal? Well, then you’re ahead of me, because my precious free moments during the day cannot be spent dwelling on such things. But here’s the latest anyway.
  • Wow. What a sad picture.
  • The lead singer for Jars of Clay has come out in support of gay marriage. I’m not really sure why we’re surprised by this, but carry on anyway.
  • Amid all the Heaven Is for Real propaganda, take some time to read this blog post written by the mother of Kevin Malarkey, the child about whom The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven is supposedly written.
  • Why do I get the feeling that ABC News didn’t like John MacArthur’s comments about Heaven Is for Real?
  • Speaking of the ABC network, their Robin Roberts has a false god of her own imagination.
  • Elizabeth Prata has a few articles about being a woman in the faith. I appreciated the shout-out in Part 2!
  • This is a great letter written to Rachel Held Evans.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • It’s not fair, really. Jesus’ face is always appearing in people’s breakfast dishes and sandwiches, yet He never seems to appear in my oatmeal, pancakes, or grilled cheese. What am I doing wrong?
  • I’m hearing a lot of good things about Kevin DeYoung’s newest book.
  • A great Resurrection Day sermon. Actually, a great any day sermon!
  • The freedom of true discipleship:


The Folly of Same-Sex Theology


Note to Readers: In order to frankly address homosexual sin, I have utilized some explicit descriptions in this post which may make some folks uncomfortable.

The Christian Church has entered a period in history in which homosexual activists are becoming brazenly aggressive in promoting their sinful lifestyle. Sadly, the people of our society have had their minds so ravaged by postmodern relativism that they have come to see homosexuality as an otherwise benign lifestyle, rather than the sexual perversion it truly is.

Their responses range from a passive indifference which says “that’s not for me, but ‘live and let live’ if gays aren’t bothering anyone,” to a full on embrace of total acceptance and then insisting that every single person in our society must be forced – even if it means kicking and screaming – to love homosexuality without question.

Those who oppose homosexuality – a lifestyle, by the…

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Center Church and the true church


I have three major concerns with Tim Keller’s Center Church (CC):

  1. CC and contextualization (which I wrote about here)
  2. CC and common grace (which I wrote about here)
  3. CC and the church

Today I want to address this third issue: how Center Church presents the church, and then end with an appeal aimed at pastors who are embracing CC as a guide to their methodology.

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27 Etiquette Rules For Our Times

There’s always a tension between how much we should follow our instincts and how much we should yield to social conventions. But at times like ours, the tendency is to tilt too far toward our instincts, since the conventions are changing fast and there’s no consensus about them anyway. There’s a risk in that. You don’t know whom you might be offending or how you might be sabotaging your own success.

The original etiquette manuals of Western civilization were in fact success manuals. As author Steven Pinker notes, they taught knights and nobles how to conduct themselves in the court of the king—which is where we get the concepts of “courtly” and “courtesy.”[See this related post for more on the history of manners, including Pinker’s provocative suggestion that the rise of manners at the dinner table helped bring about a steep decline in violence on the streets.]

I asked some tasteful and civilized friends and colleagues what an updated manual for 2014 would look like. Here are 27 rules to help you, whether at an office lunch, the company gym or the birthday party of your child’s schoolmate.

You’ll notice a common denominator in all of them: Think about other people’s feelings first because it’s not all about maximizing your personal convenience.

1. Texting “Hey, I’m running 20 minutes late” is not as acceptable as making the effort to be on time.

2. If you can’t attend an event that you’re formally invited to, don’t think that not RSVPing is the same as declining. And don’t RSVP at the last minute for an event that involves real planning by the host.

3. Show some decency around the office refrigerator: If you didn’t put the food in, don’t eat it. And take your leftovers home or throw them out before they morph into some radioactive nightmare.

4. Don’t bellow on your cell phone. Just because you can’t hear the other person well doesn’t mean the other person can’t hear you well.

5. Turn off the phone at a dinner party, and be in the moment. You’re annoying at least one person who thinks you have no social skills. At bare minimum, turn off the ringer so you can text and conspire in relative stealth.

6. Remember that if you feel a need to respond immediately to every incoming text, you’ll lose more in the eyes of the person who’s in front of you than you’ll gain from the unseen people who are benefiting from your efficiency.

7. When you get to the front of the line at Starbucks SBUX +0.29%, don’t tell the barista to wait while you wrap up your phone discussion. The barista hates you, and so does everyone behind you. They are hoping the barista spits in your latte.

8. If you come late to an exercise class, don’t think you’re entitled to barge your way to your favorite spot in the front. And don’t block others from weight racks or other equipment—just step back three feet and make everyone happy.

9. Keep personal conversations and arguments off social networking sites. The dramatic airing of grievances is best done through SMS .

10. Moderate your use of cameras and video at events. Enjoy your time with colleagues, friends and family in the present and preserve only a memento for the future, rather than recording the entire thing to “relive” later in some “free” time that you’ll never actually have.

11. Remember how easily e-gossip can be forwarded along to the wrong person.

12. Just because you’re wearing headphones doesn’t mean you can tune out from social courtesies. For example, if you accidentally cross someone’s personal space, apologize graciously.

13. Don’t lend someone a book or item unless they specifically ask for it. They’re probably too busy to ever get around to it. They’ll feel guilty about that, and you’ll be annoyed that they didn’t appreciate it or even get around to returning it.

14. Don’t RSVP for an event, then not show. Now you’re not just being rude, but you’re costing the host money, and you’ve probably kept a lonely soul from being invited as a backup.

15. Don’t be the first or second person to talk on your cell phone in a public space (like a bus or train). If everyone’s doing it, you’re allowed some slack here.

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12 Numbers Which Prove That Americans Are Sick And Tired Of Politics As Usual

The American people are increasingly waking up to the fact that nothing ever seems to change in Washington D.C. no matter which political party is in power. In fact, as you will see later on in this article, an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither party “represents the American people”. Over the past several decades, we have sent a Bush, a Clinton, another Bush and an Obama to the White House, but the policies coming out of Washington have remained pretty much the same the entire time. The mainstream media would have us believe that the Republicans and the Democrats are constantly fighting like cats and dogs, but the truth is that the Republicans want to take us to the same place that the Democrats want to take us – just a little more slowly perhaps. And behind the scenes, Republicans and Democrats have a good time with one another and they are ultimately controlled by the same set of oligarchs. The Americans people are really starting to recognize what a sham our system has become, and the numbers show that they are quite fed up with it. (Read More….)

The False Gospel Of Moralism

Recently, former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg asserted he has little doubt about what awaits him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said during a recent interview with the NY Times “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” …….. Read more

2014 Trends On The State Of The Bible In America

A study of Americans’ attitudes and behaviors toward the Bible is conducted annually by the Barna Group, in partnership with the American Bible Society on the ‘State of the Bible’ which is effectively a national poll designed to track the country’s shifting perceptions of Scriptures. This year’s poll has revealed 6 key trends or themes around American’s engagements with the Bible, as recently published by barna.org.

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God’s sovereignty is not subjective

Possessing the Treasure

By Mike Ratliff

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:25-30 ESV)

God is Sovereign. That sovereignty is not partial. It is not subject to any conditions or forces outside of God. He has never nor will He ever relinquish any portion of His sovereignty. What He sets out to do, He does. What Men…

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