This and That

What’s wrong with the KJV only teaching? (in 500 words or less) – KJV only proponents are usually unfamiliar with the science of lower criticism (how to determine which manuscripts and which readings are preferable), and understandably so: it was by far the most difficult class in seminary. In other words, KJV only people don’t understand how the Bible is translated and why manuscripts are accepted or rejected by translation committees. – Clint Archer

What Must We Do about Foster Care? – If churches take seriously Jesus’ command to care for our neighbors in trouble (Luke 10:37), churches should bear any burden necessary to show the love of Christ to children in need of a home. Over the past ten years, a renaissance has happened, at least among one wing of Evangelical churches, toward doing just that — with many congregations now recognized by their states and localities as the model for mobilizing people for foster care. – Russell Moore

Ten Commandments of a Disability-Friendly Church – The church should be a welcoming place for people of all abilities. This is something that is possible for everyone from the largest megachurch to the smallest rural parish. Taking these steps will go a long way toward creating a space where families with disabilities will feel at home. – Stephen J. Bedard

The Bible is More Than Stories of Morality – The simple fact is the Bible is not just a collection of stories with morals for life application; the Bible is the story of God’s grace in redemption through Jesus Christ. There is a soul-endangering consequence in virtue-based Bible study material, centered on life principles or character qualities, and ripped away from the central focus of the Bible—Jesus Christ. – Ed Stetzer

A Brief History of the Altar Call – There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing an altar call, to be sure. In your church, it may make sense as a way to focus nonbelievers on their need to receive God’s offer of forgiveness through Christ. And publicly professing your faith in Christ, which I see as fulfilled ultimately in baptism, has clear scriptural support in passages such as Matthew 10:32-33. Others such as Jonathan Leeman have written compellingly about how you can modify the practice of altar calls in order to avoid their traditional pitfalls. – Thomas Kidd

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This and That

The Legitimate Concerns of the Next Generation of Christians in My Denomination – KJV-Onlyism is a direct challenge to the Bible-centered nature of fundamentalism, because it makes void the Word of God by our tradition—by forcing people to read that Word in a language they don’t and can’t fully understand. It also treats the KJV as perfect and inspired, as an act of divine revelation. This is very serious. – Mark Ward

Is temptation sinful? – Temptation is not sinful when it comes at us from the outside. In the wilderness temptation, the enticement to sin came from Satan, not from Jesus. And that is why Jesus was able to be tempted and yet be without sin (Heb. 4:15). But when the enticement to sin emerges from our own sinful nature, that is an entirely different matter. In that case, the temptation itself is sinful. That is an experience that is unique to sinners and that Jesus himself never experienced. – Denny Burk

Can Your Soul Survive Facebook and Twitter? – The church requires a balance between individuality and community. When individuality becomes disconnected from community, one refuses to submit to one another or to serve one another. But the opposite is also true. If I find my identity in the community, or in the community’s perception of me, I am no longer free to serve the community. – Russell Moore

This and That

Man, it has been awhile since I updated this blog!  I used to feature this list of links I found interesting as a weekly post, but for some weird reason I just stopped.  So, here I am picking it up once again…

3 Ways to Have a Good Argument – In his book, A Rulebook for Arguments, Anthony Weston put it this way: “If you can’t imagine how anyone could hold the view you are attacking, you probably just don’t understand it yet.” – Zach Woodyard

What the Church Can and Should Bring to the #MeToo Movement – In our age of moral outrage, it’s important to remember that that no one is more outraged over this evil than God. The church displays the heart of our defender God by assuming this bias toward broken women. We don’t show partiality as we mete out justice, but we do recognize the power structures in place that perpetuate injustice. In response, we choose to move toward the oppressed and vulnerable, creating safe spaces in which they can share their story and be heard, loved, and cared for. – Whitney Woollard

No, ‘Saul the Persecutor’ Did Not Become ‘Paul the Apostle’ – As God’s people we should endeavor to read God’s Word closely and be as faithful to it as possible, in every area. Application that appears to draw on Scripture but isn’t actually scriptural—even if it’s “useful” or “cool”—can easily undermine someone’s faith once they realize they’ve been misled all along. – Greg Lanier

Billy Graham, flawed social justice warrior, RIP – I will take on young Graham over a hundred would-be experts on Bahnsen who geek out over doctrinal minutiae while sitting on their hands. – Joel McDurmon

This and That

My Pastor Just Bombed A Sermon – Watch your expectations. Were you expecting your local pastor to be as talented a speaker and preacher as the “big names?” If you were, you might have been setting your expectations a little too high. You should expect your pastor to do well and to have done his studying and preparations. But when you expect greatness you are disappointed by anything less. Rather expect your pastor to be who you know him to be. Expect him to faithfully deliver the Word and to do it as he is built to do it. And as you expect your pastor to be himself, support him in that. – Adam Kareus

Don’t Be A Fundamentalist (Calvinist Or Otherwise) – When you elevate your doctrinal system too highly, you become a fundamentalist in a second sense: you start to believe that all of God’s graces, or at least the best of them, are found only within your narrow little camp. Again, I am no doctrinal relativist, but it seems that God has chosen to give greater insight into certain areas of Christian life and teaching to people I disagree with on secondary issues than he has to me and the people in my camp. Fundamentalism doesn’t recognize that–in many ways, can’t recognize that. Fundamentalism believes that if you’re not in our camp, and you’re not on the approved list, there is very little you have to say. The best of God’s grace is only with me and mine.  – J.D. Greear

Jesus Doesn’t Give A Standing Ovation to Sexual Assault – Sexual assault utterly appalls him. A confession of sexual assault is not something to be applauded. Yes, we can be grateful that the event has come to light, but we shouldn’t be applauding a man for a half-hearted confession that should have happened twenty years ago. There is nothing admirable or praiseworthy in admitting you raped someone only after that person goes public with their story. – Stephen Altrogge

This and That – 06-17-17

How Not to Argue About Which Bible Translation Is Best – It’s fine for you to think that a particular English translation is optimal overall for English speakers worldwide. But at the same time, you should respect the other major translation philosophies and benefit immensely from other translations. One test of your attitude is this: Can you genuinely thank God for good Bible translators and translations—even translations you don’t think are optimal overall? – 

We could Have Been Friends – I could have been teammates with Philando Castile. I could have been neighbors. I could have been friends. But we would never have been equals even though we were equal. I am white in America. He was black, just like my South High Tiger teammates. – Barnabas Piper

How to Honor Your Parent Who Wasn’t There – It should go without saying, but Christians ought to shun hateful terms for absent parents. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph 4:1). Such language not only continues the cycle of abuse but also suggests inward contempt for God’s providential appointment. – Michael Spotts

A Sad and Terrible Verdict in Massachusetts – To argue that Carter committed manslaughter is to diminish Roy’s moral agency. It denies his free will. It’s wrong to deny compassion to someone so troubled that they’d attempt suicide, but we can’t move so far in the other direction that we race to find who’s “really” to blame when a person voluntarily takes their own life. It’s still an act of self-murder, and while Carter undoubtedly played a persuasive role, I can’t imagine where we will draw the line. Will we prosecute mean people for manslaughter when troubled teens kill themselves? – David French

This and That 01-07-16

I’m Offended! By Easily-Offended Christians – Here’s something we never hear, but should. “Hey, those Christians never seem to get upset, no matter what we throw at them, but they’re really angry about how many kids in our city are going to bed hungry tonight. Maybe we should listen and help them change things.” – Karl Vaters

Quit Looking For Your Soulmate, Because He/She Isn’t Out There – The good news, however, is that in marriage God gives us someone far better than a soulmate. He gives us the person who is exactly right for us. He gives us the husband or wife who will help us become more like Jesus Christ. Sometimes that’s a painful process for both spouses. It doesn’t feel “soulmate-ish”. When Jen is confronted with my selfishness, it hurts her. When she corrects me, it stings. But in the midst of that process, God helps Jen grow in being patient and helps me grow in being unselfish. – Stephen Altrogge