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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Bell’

1.  Greg Boyd, senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN and professor of theology at Bethel University posted a review of Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth.  Tolle has recently partnered with Oprah to do a online religion class that is based on this book and has been controversial.  He does a great job dissecting the book and pointing out where it is inconsistent with a biblical worldview.

2.  This commercial parody would probably more accurately reflect Planned Parenthood’s worldview.

3.  Florida’s Senate Passes Evolution Academic Freedom Act.

The Florida Senate voted 21-17 Wednesday, following a strong majority vote in the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, to submit the Evolution Academic Freedom Act for vote in the House.

If passed, the new bill will give full protections and freedoms for teachers and students in Florida schools to share views in the classroom that challenge some or all parts of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The new bill was largely prompted by legislators after the Florida Board of Education decided to begin requiring the instruction of evolution in schools earlier this year.

Many teachers and students reportedly felt marginalized, discriminated, or ostracized if they shared personal views that ran counter to Darwinism.

Read the rest – Source: Christian Post

4.  This is completely nasty.

5.  Hillary Clinton… a prayer warrior?  Ummmm.  I highly doubt it.

Chuck Colson Greg Boyd

Shane Claiborne

6.  Evangelical Politics – Three Generations: Shane Claiborne, Chuck  Colson, and Greg Boyd are part of panel discussion at the National Pastors’ Conference moderated by “Speaking of Faith” radio host, Krista Tippett.  You can download the audio here (right click and select “save as”).  You can watch the video here.

7.  Joe Carter posts on “10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design” read part 1, part 2, and part 3.  Great series… check it out!

8. From the Friendly Atheist – “20 Things that Christians Do In Church That Annoy Me

9.  Great advice from Abraham Piper in a guest post on Between Two Worlds.  Made me rethink how I do my syndication feed.  I’ll start syndicating the entire post.

HT: Abraham Piper – 22 Words

10.  Steve Brown interviews Tony Jones on “What is the Emergent Church?”

Reformer John Calvin 11.  Calvinism 101?  Try these articles on T.U.I.L.P. – Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints.

12. More on Calvinism, Thomas McDill, assistant professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, wrote a guest post at Justin Taylor’s blog on the good he sees in the resurgence of Calvinism among young evangelicals.  The catch here is that he is an Arminian (so he offered some cautions as well).  HT: Ben Witherington

 

13.  John Piper encourages us to make much of Christ with this economic stimulus package that is coming in the mail.

14.  The Church of the Nazarene  has their own rap song.  Ummmmm…. interesting.

I think the EFCA needs a rap song too.

HT: Withallyourmind.net

15.  Keith Buhler shares five bad reasons not to see Expelled.  The movie is great, and you should ignore the pro-evolution brouhaha over it.  Just go see it and make up your own mind.

16.  By the way, men and women are different.  C. Michael Patton discusses on his blog the theology of men and women and their roles, and so he compares and contrasts the two major positions on this matter: complementarianism and egalitarianism.  Great post for a hot to handle topic.

17.  While I don’t agree with all of Rob Bell’s theological positions I do like some of the NOOMA videos, below is one of my favorites – “Rich”.

Part I

Part 2

18.  We should be so thankful everything that we take for granted here in the United States.  As I’m writing this I’m sucking down a Caribou Coffee Chocolate Northern Lite Cooler – $4.40 (before tax).  Reading this article about Myanmar refugees living in Thailand, I am reminded that many people exist on way less a day that what this drink cost me.

Trying to figure out who is working with refugees there I found that Strategic World Impact, a Christian relief organization headquartered in Bartlettsville, OK, is doing some good work there.  Also Baptist World Alliance is bringing attention to the crisis there.  Though they don’t have a website (at least not what I could find), Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School and College is working alongside these refugees as well.

HT: Ellen Stevens

19.  Being a reformed evangelical when discussing Calvinism with some Arminian brothers and sisters I’m often asked, “Why evangelize if God has predestined those who are saved?”  Bob Hayton has a great blog post on this topic sharing how Calvinism informs evangelism

Despite what many have said or heard, Calvinism does not negate or downplay evangelism. Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, William Carey, and Adoniram Judson were not exceptions to the rule. Rather, they are simply some noteworthy examples of evangelists and preachers who were both Calvinistic in theology and evangelistic in practice.

Of course, Spurgeon said it best. When asked why his doctrine of election did not move him to preach only to the elect, Spurgeon replied: “If you’ll go around and pull up their shirttails so I can see if they have an E stamped on their back, I will.”

20.  Larry James has been blogging on Race in America – here’s the first post of that series at Everyday Citizen.

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1.  John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School, lectures on “Genesis and Cosmology” (click his picture to get to his lecture and power point presentation).

It expanded my view of Genesis 1 and its context.  He contends that Genesis 1 doesn’t address the time span for matter or structures being made (Dr. Walton affirms that God does create matter and structures), but rather Genesis 1 addresses God bringing order out of disorder, creating functionality out of non-functionality.  We look at Genesis 1 and see God creating structures, when an ancient Israelite would have looked at Genesis 1 they would look at functions – we have a difference of worldviews.  He says that Genesis 1 doesn’t address creation ex nihilo.  In the Q & A time afterwards he says that Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 does.  Very interesting lecture.  I still have questions.  The one that moved me originally from having an old earth position to a young earth position was this – “how could there be disease and death before the fall of man and God’s creation being corrupted by sin?”  He didn’t address that.

HT: Tim Olson

2.  Chuck Colson on the Demise of Marriage in Great Britain:

According to a new report by Britain’s Office for National Statistics, the proportion of Britons getting married “has collapsed to a record low,” and that is a quote. One critic of the current government called it “a disaster for children, families, and society.” But, unlike natural disasters, this disaster is completely man-made.

In 2006, there were approximately 237,000 weddings in Britain—the fewest since 1895, when Victoria was still queen and Britain’s population was about half of what it is today. In fact, “the proportion of men and women getting married is below any level found since figures were first kept nearly 150 years ago.”

The marriage rate for British men is 22.8 per 1,000 and for women 20.5 per 1,000.

Related to this is a Break Point commentary that talks about the economic costs of family fragmentation – the rise of divorce and unwed mothers.

As I said earlier, the costs of this family fragmentation are not limited to the children. As one expert wrote, “Divorce and unwed childbearing create substantial public costs, paid by taxpayers.”

How much? A minimum of $112 billion a year. That is more than a $1 trillion a decade in “increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice . . . education programs,” and lost tax revenues.

What is more, the “human and social capital” lost from family fragmentation has an economic impact that goes far beyond government expenditures.

3.  Former Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee launches his new political action committee – Huck PAC.  You can also get to it at his previous domain name – http://www.mikehuckabee.com.  Check out his blog post on the Fair Tax posted on 4/15/08 (for those readers outside of the U.S. that is our tax day).

4.  Mark Driscoll on why he hates religion.  Great video!

Amen and Amen!

HT: Steve Randall

5.  Why Rob Bell makes me angry: a pastoral response to Velvet Elvis.

While I wanted to throw Velvet Elvis across the room at times while reading it, I’m not so sure I’d go quite as far as Pat Abendroth, the senior pastor of Omaha Bible Church, (where Erik Raymond the author of Irish Calvinist is on staff).  He does make some good points though as to why Bell makes him mad.

  • Because he preaches an anti-gospel.
  • Because he writes off the virgin birth of Jesus as non-essential.
  • Because he downplays the vital role of conversion.
  • Because he does violence to the clear words of Jesus.
  • Because he is the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church

You’ll have to read the post to read why he makes the points he does.  I was also troubled by how Bell handled the virgin birth, and how he does downplay conversion.  I’m not so sure that I would completely agree with Bell doing violence with the clear words of Jesus.  Sometimes they are not as clear as one would think if you do not look at them from the original historical context.  That is true with all scripture, not just Jesus’ words.  On the other hand, Scripture is also timeless and speaks today as well.

What do you think?

6.  Puritan Prayer for Preachers – adapted from The Valley of Vision

My Master God,
I am expected to preach today,
but go weak and needy to my task;

Yet I long that people will be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony will be given for you.

Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,
with heart uplifted for grace and passion.

Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,
will fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a deep emotion to accompany the words I speak,
and grace to apply them to people’s consciences.

Keep me conscious all the while of my defects,
and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.

Help me to offer a testimony for yourself,
and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting your mercy.

Give me freedom to open up the sorrows of your people,
and to set before them comforting consolations.

Give your power to the truth preached,
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May your people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me to use the strongest arguments
drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,
that people might be made holy.

I myself need your support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of your grace,
and be able to do something for you.

Give me then refreshment among your people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer,
or be harsh in treating Christ’s death, its design and end,
from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with you as I do this work.

I need to pray this often.

HT: Justin Taylor

7.  Looking ways to get your kids excited about missions?  Tia over at Desiring God’s blog suggests 10 ways.

8. Here’s something to augment your quiet time – a meditation on grace in Psalm 119.

9.  Al Mohler regarding the real issue with Sen. Obama’s comments:

Take a look again at the words most often cited from Sen. Obama’s comments:

“It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I will let the political pundits have their day with this. My interest is theological, for Sen. Obama has given us a near-perfect expression of a functional view of religious belief. In other words, Sen. Obama said that “religion” is a coping mechanism for hard times — lumping religion with other issues his audience members were presumably to find strange and alien.

A functional view of belief assumes or “brackets” the question of whether the beliefs are true. One who holds to a purely functionalist view of religious conviction is not concerned with the truthfulness of these beliefs, but only with the effects the beliefs have on the believer, both privately and in social contexts.

HT: Barry Carey

10.  C. Michael Patton on blogging to the glory shame of God:

I believe that we are to defend the faith. I believe that we are to contend for the faith. One of my great loves in theology is the discipline of apologetics. But sometimes our zealousness for our faith can have the opposite effect and actually undermine our witness. We can shame God.

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this.  You can read a second post he did on this topic.

11.  The Iowa General Assembly wants to mandate a core curriculum for public and private K-12 schools.  The model core curriculum draws heavily from Dr. Willard Daggett, a controversial education consultant based in New York.  You can watch a video that highlights a number of factual inaccuracies and distortions in his speeches, and an article about the controversy.  It has already passed the Iowa House.  If you live in Iowa, contact your state senator ask them to kill this bill.

HT: From Their Own Mouths

12.  Charles Krauthammer says that the U.S. needs to develop a holocaust declaration to deter Iran is using nuclear weapons that it is well on it’s way to developing.  Could we be facing a second Cold War made further complicated by Islamic Extremism?

HT: Kim Moreland at The Point

13.  Want to know how to sin with money?

14.  Oprah’s favorability rating takes a dive from 74% to 55%.  I think people are getting tired of celebrities thinking we take our cues from them when it comes to who we support.

HT: Anthony Randazzo at World

15.  Roger Overton at The A-Team Blog interviews David Wells, author of The Courage to Be Protestant.

16.  Mormon Coffee highlights faith-promoting perceptions of the LDS church as it tries to distance itself from the polygamy scandal/shakedown  happening at the YFZ Ranch in Texas operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

17.  I missed this earlier.  John McCain on Letterman.  I enjoyed this only because it was great to see David Letterman get made fun of.

HT: Paul Edwards

18.  The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer asks are American Christians persecuted?  I would agree with him that we are not compared to many other places, and the persecution that we do face isn’t “for righteousness sake,” (Matthew 5:10).  However in the beatitudes Jesus does broaden what persecution means.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you,” (Matthew 5:11-12, ESV, emphasis mine).

Of course the caveat is being persecuted “for righteousness sake” and being persecuted on Jesus account.  Thoughts?

19.  Joe Carter offers a Christian view on capital punishment.  I agree with his assessment of Christians applying Mosaic law to the debate.  What do you think?

20.  According to Ephesians 2, our children don’t need leading… so why the sign?

I wonder how effective this is in getting people to attend their parenting classes?

HT: Crummy Church Signs

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1.  Chaille Brindley recently traveled to Morocco and shared some random observations about the country, as well as  a significant problem they have with their youth.  Take time to pray for Morocco today.  Chaille requests:

Please take a few minutes to pray for all the young women in Morocco that face the difficult scenario described above (see post). Pray that young people will understand the risks and be smart. Pray that the Moroccan government will allow humanitarian and aide organizations to get the permits and support to help with this often ignored problem. Please lift up the families involved that they will see their responsibility to love and support their “wayward” teens and young women. Pray that Moroccan guys will realize that they have an obligation to woman if they sleep with them. Most importantly, please pray that thousands of Moroccan youth will come to know Jesus.

2.  Warner Todd Huston discusses the serious ramifications to not handling the illegal immigration problem now.

3.  Info on Iowa Marriage Amendment – http://www.letusvoteiowa.com

HT: Matt Riesetter

4.  With Rob Bell’s NOOMA videos being extremely popular it would be wise to read some reviews by Greg Gilbert that demonstrate humility and discernment.

HT: Justin Taylor

5.  In an earlier post I linked to James MacDonald’s (the senior pastor of Harvest Bible Church outside of Chicago) post on why he isn’t emerging – part 1.  He follows up with part 2 and then final thoughts on the emerging church.

6.  Break Point Commentary by Chuck Colson on Sex Trafficking:

Tonya was only 12 when she was approached by a man as she walked down a city street. Over the next few months, his gifts and compliments impressed her—and soon, she thought she was in love.

The minute he gained Tonya’s trust, the man—who was actually a pimp—took her to another city and forced her into a nightmare world of sexual slavery. She was forced to sell her body to countless men. To keep her in line, the pimp beat her violently. He kept all the money she made—which came to a great deal because, as Tonya put it, “I looked like a baby.”

Tonya lost her childhood to this pimp. He controlled her for five years, until he was finally arrested.

Why am I talking about Tonya on Valentine’s Day? Because her trouble all started with false love and false promises that exploited a little girl’s dreams of romance.

Tonya is not the only child who becomes a victim because she is desperate for affection. Shared Hope International, which rescues girls and women from prostitution worldwide, believes there are as many as 300,000 girls just like Tonya in the United States alone. (Read the rest)

7.  What makes the humble happy?  John Piper answers here.

8.  Listen to C. Michael Patton discuss the basic principles of interpretation here (HT: Reclaiming the Mind Ministries).

9.  Over at Nuke’s News and Views – the Senator Gravitas Spendometer… if you are wondering how much an Obama administration will cost taxpayers check it out.  Pretty scary… taxpayers beware!

10.  A couple of cartoons, complements of Jungle Hut.  Thanks!

11.  Pistol Pete posts on Inspiring Pastors in TV and Movies

There is an abundance of popular entertainment that portrays clergy as, at best, buffoons and, at worse, predators.  Now and then, however, a character emerges who captures the struggles of being human while also grappling with a divine calling.  I thought it might be fun to list a few of these that have made an impact on me.

I agree with that sentiment.  Seventh Heaven when it started looked like it was going to be promising went south in a hurry.  I remember watching it on occasion how his “ministry” seemed to be more about self-help than the Gospel.  The show was just ridiculous.  I don’t know of a single pastor whose ministry or family life was like that… at least none who stayed in ministry.

You can read his list of favorites here.

12.  A warning for parents who leave their children unattended in stores.

This made me laugh out loud.

HT: Jemila Kwon

13.  David Hayward posts on “What Holds Us Together

It can only be love, mutual love, that holds a relationship or a community together. What I am trying to say is that we have to get to the place where we realize that we just can’t expect people to remain committed to each other because it is expected, or promises were made, or there is uniformity in whatever area, or that there is a common goal we’ve set for them. People, especially younger people, aren’t interested in uniformity, conformity, or forms of any kind. There must be genuine acceptance, honesty, authenticity, freedom, and love for community to work. This requires intense energy from each person, and nothing outside of themselves can be called upon to ensure the relationship will work… no authority, document, ruler, goal, vision, practice, or tradition.

14.  Of course it is vitally important to know how to become caffeinated properly.  Check out this user’s guide to getting optimally wired.  HT: Jeff at SmartPastor.com.

15.  Greg Stier shared an awesome story about a chance he had to share the love of Christ on Valentine’s Day to a young couple in a restaurant.

16.  For my fellow youth ministry colleagues who wonder how to have an effective ministry to the parents of the teenagers they serve.  At least I hope they desire that!  Tim Schmoyer presents a plan for helping parents reach their teenagers.  Worth a read.

17.  Would you support a ministry to strippers in your church?  How would you feel if your pastor presented that ministry as one of the church’s major outreach initiatives?

18.  Andrew Jackson asks Why do Pastors Preach “Relevant Messages”?

Pastors do not need to spend significant time in studying and meditating on God’s Word. Those who have specialized in “relevant” messages for numerous years, can write them with little time spent in the Bible.

Pastors often borrow (steal) a message from a fellow pastor or an internet pastor, including its title, all they have to do is polish it a little.

Pastors can talk and talk (many have the gift of gab, and hopefully get a few laughs), in the name of being relational, and say very little. Maybe quote a few Bible passages here and there. Often out of context. But what they say, once analyzed, contains little Biblical meat. Many congregations should all stand up in unison on a Sunday morning and yell, “where is the beef?”

Pastors can pick and choose topics that make many people feel good about themselves, and in so doing, simple dismiss significant portions of the Bible that might not be so positive in a Christian consumer crowd. In other words, many “relevant” messages are simply cut and paste jobs.

Pastors can simply take a popular book that is out on the Christian market (one by Bill Hybells or Rick Warren would do), and use it to provide them their title and 3 or 4 points they need for their message. Not to mention the use of the book’s stories and illustrations.

What do you think?

19.  John Samson at Reformation Theology on the Blessed Man of Psalm One.

1) He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly – he receives wiser counsel.

2) He does not stand in the path of sinners. His company is more select – he does not fellowship with evil (2 Cor. 6:14).

3) He does not sit in the seat of the scornful – he does not listen to the scoffing and mockery of others
Positively, his delight is in the law of the Lord. This is what he thinks about. His mind is focused on scripture, day and night.

Be sure to read the whole post!

20.  Car update – I’m now the proud (?) owner of a 1999 Ford Contour.  We’ll see if this turns out to be a praise report of a prayer request.  But having this car certianly beats the snot out of having no car.

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