We must not be concerned only with that which troubles us, but with all that troubles God. —John Owen
The Daily Discovery (March 12, 2015)
Parenting Well in a Digital World
Even at the best of times there is nothing simple about raising children. But throw in a million new technologies—new devices and social networks and apps—and things get far more complicated still. This is every parent’s challenge today. Yesterday I offered a few tips on living well in a digital world and today I want to offer some tips on parenting well. I will use the same format: 3 things you need to put off or reject, and 3 things you need to put on or embrace.
Seven Ways We Can Guard and Repair Relationships
If a problem must be addressed, let’s talk to, not about. Gossip destroys. Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.” The Lord didn’t say, “Go ask your brother his fault.” Let’s man up and tell him his sin. But let’s tell him to his face, rather than spread accusations around.
Supreme Court Says Obama Admin Can’t Make Notre Dame Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate
“This is a major blow to the federal government’s contraception mandate. For the past year, the Notre Dame decision has been the centerpiece of the government’s effort to force religious ministries to violate their beliefs or pay fines to the IRS.” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “As with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby, this is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the government’s narrow view of religious liberty.
My Funeral is Back On
Two reasons: One, a friend died. The family decided not to have a funeral, nothing to acknowledge him or his death. At first I took it in stride, but then it occurred to me that something was not right with that. In not acknowledging his death, they did not acknowledge his life….The other reason I changed my mind about a funeral has to do with the gospel that bears on my calling as a pastor. My righteousness is not in my apparent clean living. My hope is not in my efforts. The gospel points me to Christ, and that is exactly where I would want my funeral to point others.
Indiana Considers Drop Boxes for Abandoned Babies
Safe-haven laws require a face-to-face interaction at drop-off. Indiana’s new law would eliminate that requirement and allow a mother in crisis to place a child in a secure, 2-foot-long “newborn safety incubator” that is heated and equipped with a motion sensor. She could leave without ever interacting with a person.
Liberal Fundamentalism: Why I Am Leaving the Emerging Church Conversation
I was cited for not adhering to the ideals of the group. By this what they meant was I did not blindly follow or accept their beliefs. My writing and my questioning was not liberal enough and thus they found it offensive. They censored me in internal conversations, they told me I was not to express my opinion on certain issues; and ultimately I was told that my questions offended them.
Even in Addressing “Slippery Slope,” Gay Methodist Caucus Won’t Oppose Multiple Partners
In any case, from this outline of its vision of “Christian sexual ethics,” I guess RMN is willing to present “one way to think about this” that would support the ideal of monogamy, but also wants to make clear that RMN is totally cool with non-monogamous relationships if that floats your boat
Retiring the “Worship Leader”
If we consider that all the things we do in a worship service are to be acts of worship, it’s a little ridiculous to give the soloist the title of “worship leader.” After all, praying is an act of worship. Actively listening to proclamation through sermon is an act of worship. Reading Holy Scripture is an act of worship. Passing the peace is an act of worship. Giving our offerings is an act of worship. The Sacraments are acts of worship. Though singing our faith adds a beautiful dimension to a worship service, it’s no more an act of worship than any of these other things.
Memo to Supreme Court: State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional
Nothing in the text or original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment—in Supreme Court jurisprudence on Fundamental Rights of the Due Process Clause or the Equal Protection Clause—requires the redefinition of marriage. Nor do male–female marriage laws lack a rational basis or fail to serve a compelling state interest in a narrowly tailored way.
The State of the Freshman Soul – Church & Culture Blog
Around one in ten of the 150,000 students surveyed had frequently “felt depressed” during the past year, a significant rise over the 6.1 percent reported five years earlier. Those who “felt overwhelmed” by schoolwork and other commitments rose from 27.1 percent to 34.6 percent.
But the stunner for me was how it reflected the meteoric rise of the “nones” over its many years charting the state of the freshmen soul.
In this most recent survey, almost 28% said they had no religious preference, which coincides with other data I detailed in my book, The Rise of the Nones.
But notice how rapid the rise has been:
1984 Report: 8.8%
2005 Report: 17.5%
2014 Report: 24.6%
2015 Report: 28%
That’s not the “nones” rising.
That’s the “nones” exploding.
Suffering and Prayer in the Christian Life
Today we look at two important, yet often misunderstood doctrines in the Bible: Suffering and Prayer. No one really wants to suffer. We would all prefer a life of comfort. But the Bible warns us that suffering is an important part of the Christian life–and that when it happens we should rejoice! Tough teaching indeed. […]
CultureWatch: On Relativism
by Bill Muehlenberg
Up until recently all of Western civilisation recognised and affirmed the reality of universals and absolutes. But for various reasons much of that has been replaced more recently by relativism and subjectivism. Instead of reality consisting of unchanging and objective truths and values, we now claim that such things no longer exist.
There are various types of relativism, including:
Epistemological Relativism – the idea that there is no absolute truth.
Moral Relativism – the view that morality is subjective, based on individual preferences.
Cultural Relativism – the belief that one cannot judge other cultures; each one is right in its own way.
Shepherds’ Conference 2015
All of the video from the recent Shepherds’ Conference Inerrancy Summit is now available.
There is a Cost to Our Silence
What are the consequences when Christians back out of culture and take the path of least resistance? Many of us do not recognize America as the shining city on a hill we once were, but what can we do about it now? As the church goes – so goes America. One reason we are seeing […]
What is Ramadan?
By Matt Slick
Ramadan is a month-long period of fasting for those who hold to the Islamic faith. It occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan – which roughly equates to September. Muslims believe that Mohammed received the call to be the prophet of Allah during Ramadan, so that is why it is a special time. During that month from sunrise to sunset all Muslims are to abstain from food, eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual intercourse. However, those with medical conditions and the young are given exemptions…. (keep reading)
How in the World Can We Pray for Our World?
This guest post is by Curtis Alan. Curt is the Missions Pastor here at the Summit.
“God bless the missionaries…” Does this summarize your prayers for the mission of God? Do you struggle to find the words to ask for the nations?
Or, do you find yourself unable to pray for our world at all? Overwhelmed by graphic videos of mass executions and atrocities in the Middle East, terrorist attacks in both hemispheres, and growing tensions towards war in Eastern Europe, do tears and gasps of horror come more readily than words?
The Apostle Paul experienced this, too. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness,” he said. “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom 8:26). As Paul struggled for the words to pray, he had the same power we have: the Holy Spirit inside him. And the Spirit prays in perfect accordance with the will of God. We are never alone and he is never at a loss for words.
Read Mt. 6:1-4
Jesus opposed ostentatious piety. Tell that to your friends and also to yourself. And he was not fooled by the counterfeit. In Matthew 6, he developed these important ideas.
Antonio Lombatti’s Claims About The Shroud Of Turin
Let’s take a look at some of Lombatti’s claims. I responded to his assertions about a Shroud nail wound in another post. And you can find responses to other claims he’s made by running some searches here and here. If you run a search on the weave of the cloth at Dan Porter’s blog, for example, you come across this thread and many others. Read the comments sections of the threads as well, since some of the most significant information is found there.
Lead for the Future, Not from the Past
By Chuck Lawless
Leadership is a present-tense task, in that others are looking to us today to provide vision, encouragement, and support. Too many leaders, though, face present-tense challenges while living more in yesterday than today. Below is a list of characteristics of church leaders I’ve known who show this tendency. Using this list, consider if you might be “leading from the past tense.”
- Your faithfulness to spiritual disciplines was more intense in days gone by. If the acme of your Bible reading, prayer, etc., is a mountaintop in your past, you’re probably leading today on the basis of yesterday’s power. That’s a dangerous, self-dependent way to lead.
- Your illustrations of personal evangelism are not current. I learned this problem as a professor of evangelism many years ago. When I realized my stories of evangelism were dated, I had to face the truth: my stories were old because evangelism was something I used to do more faithfully.
- You think about a position you formerly held more than your current position. It’s easy to do, especially when the current role is a difficult one. Somehow, we block all the negatives of that previous role and remember it now as if it were almost heaven on earth. By comparison, our current role can never match up – and yesterday seems much more inviting.
- It’s been a long time since you’ve read a book. Certainly, we learn through means other than books, but books are knowledge. They challenge us, stretch us, move us, and teach us. If you haven’t read a book in a while, you’re leading on yesterday’s knowledge.
- You know no more about God today than you did years ago. Do an honest gut check here – what do you know about God you did not know last year? Two years ago? Do you know more of His Word than you did five years ago? In you’re in a spiritual rut today, you got stuck somewhere in the past.
- You have a tendency to remind others of yesterday’s victories. Sometimes we retreat to telling past-tense victories, especially when present-tense wins are few and far between. If you’re the one who keeps bringing up the past, you might be leading from there.
- You believe few people can teach you anything. I don’t know many leaders who admit this reality, but I do know some who live this way (and, lest I deceive myself, I can go here, too). If you believe no one can teach you anything today, it may be because you think you’ve already learned all you need to know. That’s leading from the past tense.
- You are unwilling to allow others to evaluate your leadership. Evaluation is risky. Honesty from others can be brutal. At the same time, though, an unwillingness to allow others to speak into your leadership limits your growth to yesterday’s lessons.
- If you are a teaching/preaching leader, you only recycle yesterday’s material. I am not arguing here against ever re-using material. Most of us, though, recognize the difference between reworking/ updating material and simply representing old material as if it were new. We know when we’re preaching today’s material on the basis of yesterday’s time with God.
- You are still haunted by yesterday’s pain. Some of us have led difficult congregations, and the wounds are deep. The scars tissue is thick. If, however, you allow yesterday’s pain to make you a tentative leader today, you’re leading from the past tense. In fact, you may not be leading at all.
What other evidences of leading from the past tense come to mind for you?
[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 027 – Erin Benzinger on Christian Women
Our Time is Short
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