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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

I came across this blog post today by Tim Keller and I thought it was very thought provoking.  In summary, he suggests five things which the church needs to take seriously in order to engage the world in which we live:

1) The local church has to support culture-making.

2) The local church needs a renewal of apologetics.

3) There need to be greater variety of church models.

4) The church must develop a better theology of suffering.

5) We need a critical mass of churches in the biggest cities of the world.

A couple of these will require greater reflection on my part… but, all in all, I think he has a point.  Read the post for yourself (found here http://theresurgence.com/handle_the_big_issues.)

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Kevin DeYoung has posted a couple of posts recently on reaching the younger generation with the gospel.  He has some excellent (and biblical) suggestions for how to do this.  Here is an excerpt from his first post…

“Reaching the next generation—whether they are outside the church or sitting there bored in your church—is easier and harder than you think.  It’s easier because you don’t have to get a degree in postmodern literary theory or go to a bunch of stupid movies.  You don’t have to say “sweet” or “bling” ” or know what LOL or IMHO means.  You don’t have to listen to…well, whatever people listen to these days.  You don’t have to be on twitter, watch The Office, or imbibe fancy coffees.  You just have to be like Jesus.  That’s it.  So the easy part is you don’t have to be with it.  The hard part is you have to be with Him.  If you walk with God and walk with people, you’ll reach the next generation…”

You can read the whole post here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/10/19/reaching-the-next-generation-is-harder-and-easier-than-you-think-grab-them-with-passion/

In a second post, he advocates the following biblical strategy:

“The evangelical church needs to stop preaching the false gospel of cultural identification.  Don’t spend all your time trying to figure out how to be just like the next generation.  Be yourself.  Tell them about Jesus.  And love them unashamedly.  I think a lot of older Christians are desperate to figure out what young people are into because they are too embarrassed to be themselves and too unsure of themselves to simply love the people they are trying to reach.  Jesus said it best: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).  Jesus did not say “They will know you are my disciples by how attune you are to new trends in youth culture.”  Or “They will know you are my disciples by the hip atmosphere you create.”   Give up on relevance, and try love.  If they see love in you, love for each other, love for the world, and love for them, they will listen.  No matter who the “they” are…”

You can read the rest of this second post here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2009/10/20/reaching-the-next-generation-win-them-with-love/

This seems to be an ongoing series, so check back at his blog for further posts (found here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/.)

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Dr. Russell Moore has some interesting (convicting?) thoughts on unrestricted and unmonitored cellphone usage among our children.  Like virtually everything he writes, it is worth the time to read.  Here is an excerpt…

“The formation and discipline of children, after all, is built on the pattern of God’s fatherly discipline of his people (Heb 12:3-11), seen in his discipline of Israel (Deut 8:1-20) and, ultimately, in his discipleship of the incarnate Christ (Luke 2:20, John 5:19-20; Heb 2:10). Our discipline of our families is rooted, then, in the Fatherhood “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph 3:14).

I wonder, then, when it comes to cell phones, how many parents do precisely what our Father never does, and never will do. James tell us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:14). The Apostle Paul tells us that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).

That’s why our God, through the Law of Moses, treats his people as a tightly-governed child “under guardians and managers until the date set by his father” (Gal 4:2). He carefully works us toward maturity, seeing that we’re faithful in small things before putting us over many things. That’s what a good and loving Father does.

A pre-teen or a teenager with unrestricted cell-phone usage (or Internet or television consumption) is being placed in a very, very difficult place of temptation. The company of that young man or woman is now away from the scrutiny of parents, and is now left only to his or her discretion or conscience.  Are there some young Christians who can handle such? Of course. Should you assume your child is one of them? Your Father is more careful of you than that.”

Read the whole thing.  You can find it here http://www.russellmoore.com/index.php/2009/02/09/does-your-childs-cell-phone-preach-another-gospel/

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Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven?

Jesus does (see Jn 14:6…)

But according to a recent study by the Barna Research Group, more and more American evangelicals are rejecting this crucial doctrine.

Dr. Al Mohler weighs in on this issue in a recent post which is worth reading.  You can find it here http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=3106 .

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Dr. Carl Trueman never ceases to amaze me.  He is insightful, witty and incredibly smart.  I will admit that sometimes I find his sarcasm a bit much for my taste (maybe that is because I know that I could never get away with it???)  And I must admit that… sometimes… he speaks over my head.  But he makes me think.  I would add that he makes me think biblically… and for that I am thankful.

With this said, I found his most recent editorial at the Reformation 21 website entitled “Why are there never any parking spaces at the prostate clinic?” to be very thought-provoking.  It is long and heady, but worth the effort to read.  You can find it here http://www.reformation21.org/counterpoints/why-are-there-never-enough-parking-spaces-at-the-prostate-clinic.php .

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In an excerpt from his book, “In Christ Alone”, Sinclair Ferguson warns Christians against the cultural tendency to confuse Jesus with Santa Claus and he urges us to be shaken to the core of our being as remember the awesome nature of the incarnation of the Son of the God.  Here is an excerpt…

“There is, therefore, an element in the Gospel narratives that stresses that the coming of Jesus is a disturbing event of the deepest proportions. It had to be thus, for He did not come merely to add something extra to life, but to deal with our spiritual insolvency and the debt of our sin. He was not conceived in the womb of Mary for those who have done their best, but for those who know that their best is “like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6)–far from good enough–and that in their flesh there dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18). He was not sent to be the source of good experiences, but to suffer the pangs of hell in order to be our Savior.”

You can read the whole thing here http://www.ligonier.org/blog/2008/12/santa-christ.html

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Tim Challies has an insightful (and convicting) post about how dangerous it is to be enslaved to technology.  Here is a snippet of his thoughts…

Technology is a great servant but an evil master. Technology is proof of the greatness and grace of God and something we ought to be thankful for. But why, then, have so many of us allowed it to rule and govern our lives? Why do we allow it to play such an important, transcendent role in our lives and in our families?

Read the whole thing here http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/a-great-servant-an-evil-master.php .

 

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