This and That – 02-04-17

Subtle Ways to Abandon the Authority of Scripture in Our Lives – That the formal principle by itself is inadequate is obvious as soon as we recall that groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons happily and unreservedly affirm the Bible’s truthfulness, reliability, and authority, but their understanding of what the Bible says (the material principle) is so aberrant that (we insist) they do not in reality let the Bible’s authoritative message transform their thinking. On the other hand, today it is not uncommon to find Christians saying that they refuse to talk about biblical authority or biblical inerrancy or the like, but simply get on with preaching what the Bible says. History shows that such groups tend rather quickly to drift away from what the Bible says.  In other words, to be bound by only one of these two principles tends toward a drifting away from hearty submission to the Bible’s authority. If one begins with adherence to the formal principle, thus nominally espousing the biblical authority of the formal principle, and adds penetrating understanding of and submission to what the Bible actually says, the result is much stronger, much more stable. Conversely, if one begins with an honest effort to grasp and teach what the Bible says, thus nominally espousing the material principle, and adds resolute adherence to the formal principle, one is much more likely to keep doing the honest exegesis that will enrich, revitalize, and correct what one thinks the Bible is saying. – D.A. Carson

Foster Children Need the Church – The church really can do something to help. While not all may be called to open a home to foster children, there are numerous ways to get involved and be part of the solution. I’ve been incredibly blessed by a meal from a friend on a busy week of social worker visits, or by friends who took the time to get fingerprinted so they could be approved babysitters. Larger group homes may be in financial need to care for the children, or they may have a child in need of a tutor or a counselor. The needs are many and ongoing at every level of the foster care system. Who better to meet those needs than the church? – Brittany Lind

Foster Care as the Way of Christ – There are many ways to get involved. You could provide meals for a family as a child enters the home without warning. Perhaps you could help find babysitters, offer to babysit, or become certified to take a foster child for 48 hours as a respite to the family. It could mean something as simple as coming over to watch the kids so mom or dad can catch up on things at home. You could also commit yourself to practice affirmation and encourage worn-out foster parents with Scripture promises. Foster care is much too difficult for isolated families, but no better context exists than families deeply embedded, and supported, in the community of the church. – Darren Carlson

10 Christian Reality Shows That Need to beMade – What Not To Wear (Pastoral Edition) – Every week, a hopelessly fashion challenged pastor is accosted and given a wardrobe makeover. Plaid and khaki are out and skinny jeans are IN! Based on their church budgets, pastors receive a substantial sum of money (usually around $50) to spend on clothes recommended by a certified church stylists. There will be laughs, tears, and many deep lessons learned. Your heart will be warmed. – Stephen Altrogge

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