“When compact disks are stacked on the shelves of a record store or a living room, there is nothing so static as CD’s. In that form they can be shipped and stored, preserved inert https://www.iqbroker-sg.com/iq-option-for-pc-windows literally for centuries, handed down from parents to children and grandchildren without ever being played or heard. . . . Yet it is their very “inertness” and static quality, their continuity, that enables them, at a moment’s notice, to become suddenly dynamic in the sound of a Beethoven quartet or Mozart’s Magic Flute¾or, for that matter, the Symbolum Nicaenum of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Historically, that is precisely what creeds and confessions of faith have repeatedly done through the centuries.” Jaroslav Pelikan

I know of a church where, although doctrine was de-emphasized, the church had subscribed to a solid, fully-orbed, evangelical confession of faith. New members were made aware of this. In this church a staff member charged with training Bible teachers for small groups expressed his view that a person could be a true convert to Jesus Christ and subsequently lapse permanently into unbelief and ultimately face eternity in hell, a notion in direct contradiction of the formally adopted confession of faith. A new member who had read the neglected document raised issue with the teaching of the staff member. The episode iq option for windows led to a minor revival of focus on both doctrine and the Bible within the staff of that congregation.


Categories : Theology
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Imitatio Dei

By Dr. Mark Devine · Comments (2)

“Then the LORD said to me, ‘go again; show love to a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, just as the LORD loves the Israelites though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”

Hosea 3:1


How much of what God expects and requires of us mirrors what He has already done and does on iq option pc our behalf? Much I suspect.

Categories : Theology
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Does not this excerpt from Mere Christianity provide a bit of needed wisdom for our time? ( and perhaps for any time?):

The Christian rule of chastity must not be confused with the social rule of “modesty” (in one sense of that word); i.e., propriety, or decency. The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed and what subjects can be referred to, and in what words according to the customs of a given social circle. Thus, while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety changes. A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might be equally “modest,” proper, or decent, according to the standards of their own societies: and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or equally unchaste). Some of the language which chaste women used in Shakespeare’s time would have been used in the nineteenth century only by a woman completely abandoned. When people break the rule of propriety current in their own time and place, if they do so in order to excite lust in themselves or others, then they are offending against chastity. But if they break it through ignorance or carelessness they are guilty only of bad manners. When, as often happens, they break it defiantly in order to shock or embarrass others, they are not necessarily being unchaste, but they are being uncharitable: for it is uncharitable to take pleasure in making other people uncomfortable. I do not think that a very strict or fussy standard of propriety is any proof of chastity or any help to it, and I therefore regard the great relaxation and simplifying of the rule which has taken place in my own lifetime as a good thing. At its present stage, however, it has this inconvenience, that people of different ages and different types do not all acknowledge the same standard, and we hardly know where we are. While this confusion lasts I think that old, or old-fashioned, people should be very careful not to assume that young or “emancipated” people are corrupt whenever they are (by the old standard) improper; and in return, that young people should not call their elders prudes or puritans because they do not easily adopt the new standard. A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems.

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Time Magazine’s recognition of the so-called New Calvinism provides an opportunity for gratitude and reflection for those of us who have welcomed the recovery of the doctrines of grace we have witnessed in some quarters over the last 30 years or so. I recall my first reading of Calvin’s Institutes as an engineering student at Clemson University in 1980. I was not yet 20 years of age. During those days, a young scholar not yet 30 years of age visited the Baptist Student Union on a recruiting stint from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. This young scholar became the first “authority” figure to encourage rather than discourage my reading of the great Genevan Reformer. His name was Timothy George. Even then he was hidden behind a beard though it was not yet gray.

I doubt many of us then could have envisioned the extent to which exposure to the doctrines of grace and indeed, recognition that the doctrines of grace are grounded in the teaching of Holy Scripture would advance over the intervening decades. It is a real wonder to me that today such a diversity of voices affirm such a robust understanding of God’s sovereignty over this universe and over our own lives and that the salvation of sinners is by grace alone, indeed by sovereign grace alone!

If the doctrines of grace enjoy a measure of acceptance, understanding, and influence; if proclaimers of the gospel of pure grace enjoy a more prominent platform than existed just a few decades ago, then a special, happy but also solemn responsibility and stewardship also rest on the shoulders of any of us who celebrate this undeserved turn of events. Let us pray for Holy Spirit-enabled power to conduct ourselves in ways that do not undermine the precious gospel of grace we so treasure.

I thank God for the many souls who have contributed to the reclaiming of the doctrines of grace in our time; J.I. Packer, John R.W. Stott; Ernie Reisinger, Tom Ascol; Tom Nettles; Timothy George; Al Mohler; Mark Dever, Don Whitney, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Curtis Vaughn, Bruce Ware, and today, we must also include, Mark Driscoll. And of course there are many others, countless and nameless others who have prayed and labored and preached and written so that the sovereignty of God and the gratuity of salvation might be recognized to the Glory of God.

God grant that we might not squander the gains that have been made. Lord grant that we who cling to the doctrines of grace because we cling to your Word and to your Son might, as we hold firmly to the precious truth of the gospel, live in such a way that this glorious gospel might shine from our lives, that our love for you and for one another might reflect your grace and your love.

Categories : Calvinism
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 Can anyone help me with this question? Has anyone seen any impressive and possibly reliable numbers?

Of course, how one defines the scope of the movement matters when considering this question. I identify two streams within the movement, a doctrine-friendly stream and a doctrine-wary/averse stream. This means that I call some communities of faith “emerging” who would not embrace that characterization for themselves.


I include all of these folks as part of the emerging church movement whether they like it or not: Brian McLaren, Mark Driscoll, Erwin McManus, Tim Keller, Rob Bell , Matt Chandler, Darrin Patrick, and Tim Keel. My rationale for inclusion of such diverse figures and communities of faith under the umbrella term “emerging” is explored in my chapter for the upcoming volume from Lifeway Evangelicals Engaging Emergent set for publication in May 2009.


But never mind. I am writing a book-length analysis of the movement and I would love to gain a better idea of the size of the this phenomenon.


Seen any numbers?

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My dear Wormwood,

You mentioned casually in your last letter that the patient has continued to attend one church, and one only, since he was converted, and that he is not wholly pleased with it. May I ask what you are about? Why have I no report on the causes of his fidelity to the parish church? Do you realize that unless it is due to indifference it is a very bad thing? Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.

             . . . the search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil. What He wants of the layman in church is an attitude which may, indeed, be critical in the sense of rejecting what is false or unhelpful, but which is wholly uncritical in the sense that it does not appraise¾does not waste time in thinking about what it rejects, but lays itself open in uncommenting, humble receptivity to any nourishment that is going.  . . . This attitude, especially during sermons, creates the condition (most hostile to our whole policy) in which platitudes can become really audible to a human soul. There is hardly any sermon, or any book, which may not be dangerous to us if it is received in this temper. So pray bestir yourself and send this fool the round of the neighboring churches as soon as  possible . . . .


Your affectionate uncle





Categories : C.S. Lewis
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 If you have read my chapter for the upcoming book  Evangelicals Engaging Emergent, William D. Henard and Adam W. Greenway eds. Forward by Thom S. Rainer (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2009), you know that I divide the emerging movement into two major streams, a doctrine-friendly stream, and a second stream that ranges from doctrine-averse to merely doctrine-wary. What do I mean by this? How do I justify such designation? Here is part of the answer:


Jacob’s Well in Kansas City where Tim Keel serves as the lead pastor provides a helpful window into my justification for the three designations: 1. doctrine-friendly; 2. doctrine-wary and 3. doctrine-averse. When Jacob’s Well first started, they self-consciously held to no doctrines. Not the Apostles’ Creed, not the Nicene Creed, nothing. Later on they formally (the elders at least, for they had no formal membership) adopted the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.


In my taxonomy, this change marked a move from a doctrine-averse or doctrine-devoid status to a merely doctrine-wary status. The leadership (Keel) remained and remains wary of doctrine, alert to the scholasticizing, reductionistic, spiritually stultifying dangers of doctrine for the community of faith. Many of the websites of such communities of faith make very clear that even if they post doctrines, however minimal by historical standards, you must visit them and live among them in order to really know what they are about. Just reading the doctrine doesn’t cut it and might even be misleading. (I speak of communities of faith, not churches, because many of these groups know they are not churches, do not want to be thought of as churches or do not care if they earn the “church” tattoo before the bar of history, tradition or any other measure of such tings).


So the self-conscious wariness and sometimes aversion to doctrine is there. This is how many of these groups describe themselves. But, all of these communities of faith that flourish in any way, all of them that display signs of real vitality and life do actually have doctrines as I have argued in a previous post. What would be helpful for “the conversation” is for leaders of these communities to recognize, state, formally accept and defend those convictions and values that already function as doctrines among them as doctrines. Otherwise we find ourselves talking past one another when one group wants to be viewed as being above the fray as it were where doctrine is concerned.


A similar talking-past-one-another occurred during the late unhappiness within the Southern Baptist Convention during which moderates and liberals dubbed themselves the freedom party and dubbed the conservatives as indoctrinating fundamentalists. In fact, as liberal Baptist Nancy Ammerman “confessed” (an apt word in this context) and demonstrated in her book Baptist Battles, the moderates and liberals were just as identifiable according to a set of non-negotiable convictions (doctrines!) as were the conservatives.


Doctrine-friendly emerging types such as, for example, congregations associated with the ACTS 29 church-planting network, or Mosaic in LA (Rafael McManus) have old-fashioned full blown confessions of faith. The leaders of such churches usually share many of the same concerns about the dangers of doctrine that Emergents fear, but it strikes me that they have a more mature realization that doctrine, despite its susceptibility to misuse and abuse, remains essential to sustainable church life. Why? Because, to a significant degree, the depth of our fellowship with others is proportional to our shared convictions, especially where the things of God are concerned.

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In the very short model prayer given to the church by Our Lord Jesus Christ we are instructed to petition Our Father thus¾“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Matthew goes on to add in 6:14, 15 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”


Among the fruit of the spirit produced within the Body of Christ we find patience, kindness, and longsuffering. Love, we understand “does not seek its own . . .bears all things, . . . endures all things.” Note also Romans 14:1-15:7 in which the Apostle Paul admonishes the carnivores and herbivores and those who count certain days more holy than others and those who treat all days alike to “pursue the things that make for peace and the building up of one another” (Rom 14:19). In Ephesians Paul implores the church “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”


Of course Paul could get his back up and go fundamentalist as well, couldn’t he? Just check out the Epistle to the Galatians! Want to impose circumcision? Well just go ahead and castrate yourself then. Prefer a different (eteroV) gospel from the one Paul preaches? Well then, anathama to you. That is what Paul says. The very heart of the gospel was at stake. But what about matters of disagreement where the gospel is not at stake. Then what?


What might the strong New Testament emphasis upon Christian unity, patience within the Body of Christ, forgiveness, bearing with one another have to say about God’s preference for denominational affiliation versus a non-affiliated way of being church or being a Christian?

What are your thoughts?

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Wednesday a young pastor entered my office to discuss a variety of issues related to ministry and church planting. He had been ordained within a large protestant denomination but had left that denomination in favor of an unaffiliated status. I asked him how he liked being disconnected from a denomination. He responded, “The worst part about it is that now I feel so disconnected.”

During the post-sermon mingle time at a non-denominational church where I preached this past Sunday, one of the members said he would love for me to come back again and preach, then went on, his face beaming, to state, with gusto and pride¾“Notice that we don’t have any kind of denominational stuff on the sign out front. We are just Christians!”

Denominational loyalty is at a very low ebb. There seems to be no reason to expect a trend in the direction of denominational revival anytime soon. Why is this so?

Have you considered bolting your own denomination? Why?

Have you already left a denomination? For another one? Or are you now worshiping and serving within a denominationally unaffiliated congregation? How’s it going?

Categories : Theology
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Click here to read or download my overview chapter, “The Emerging Church: One Movement¾Two Streams” in the forthcoming book Evangelicals Engaging Emergent, William D. Henard and Adam W. Greenway eds. Forward by Thom S. Rainer (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2009). Other authors include Ed Stetzer, Darrell Bock, Norman Geisler, Russ Moore, Danny Akin, Chuck Lawless et. al.



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