Archive for the ‘Current Issues’ Category

Here’s a snippet:

” The same question arising in verse 1 surfaces here again: Does “all people” (πάντας ἀνθρώπους; v. 4) refer to every person without exception or to every person without distinction? The Reformed have traditionally defended the latter option.5 Sometimes this exegesis is dismissed as special pleading and attributed to Reformed biases. Such a response is too simplistic, for there are good contextual reasons for such a reading. A focus on all people without distinction is supported by verse 7, where Paul emphasizes his apostleship and his ministry to the Gentiles: “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” Hence, there are grounds in the context for concluding that “all people” zeros in on people groups, so that Paul is reflecting on his Gentile mission. In Acts 22:15 (NIV), when Paul speaks of being a witness “to all people” (πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους), he clearly does not mean all people without exception; “all” refers to the inclusion of the Gentiles in his mission (Acts 22:21).”

Read the rest at link below :
http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/problematictexts.html

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And in another letter to Jerome (#82), Augustine writes:

“Of all the books of the world, I believe that only the authors of Holy Scripture were totally free from error, and if I am puzzled by anything in them that seems to me to go against the truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either 1) the manuscript is faulty or 2) the translator has not caught sense of what was said or 3) I have failed to understand it for myself.”

Augustine is pretty clear here on his doctrine of Scripture. He understands Scripture as inerrant, but he also recognizes that humans err in 1) manuscript transmission, 2) in translating, or 3) in simply not understanding a passage. I think the way Augustine approaches this is a helpful example for us today. How many times do we counsel people or even find in ourselves a struggle with the difficult things of Scripture and unfortunately rely on human, fallible understanding, and Scripture then loses out. Going all the way back to Augustine’s era, this has clearly been a struggle for centuries.

Read the rest at link below

http://butintheselastdays.com/2013/11/18/inerrancy-the-early-church/

From the 9 marks blog:

But how often have you heard a seventeen-year-old say, “I’m considering this college because there is a great church nearby”? Or, “It’s a good university, but I’m not going to apply because I asked around and couldn’t discover any good churches in that town.”

A godly brother looking at various graduate programs said the latter to me a few days ago. For him it meant he was rejecting a school where some of the top scholars in his field teach.

Do you think my friend is being foolish? After all, college is only for a few years. Should the presence of a nearby healthy church really make or break what school you decide to attend?

Oh, please, yes. Follow my friend’s example. I dare say, determining whether there is a nearby healthy church may not be the most important criteria for a Christian in the college-selection process, but it should be a non-negotiable. If there is no healthy church nearby, Christian, there’s another college for you, somewhere.  

EIGHT REASONS WHY A HEALTHY CHURCH IS A NON-NEGOTIABLE

Read the rest at link below:

http://feedly.com/k/17S9baU

Unity

Posted: November 16, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Anglican Communion, Christianity, Current Issues, The Christian Life

A good article by Jason Helopoulos  over at Kevin DeYoung’s blog about Ecclesiastical disunity. This part was interesting as it describes , in my opinion, a “root”  problem with the majority of  leadership of  TEC & a majority of churches in our Diocese. The bigger problem is one of core theological views of Jesus, the Bible, Authority of Scripture, the Resurrection, etc…

 

Unity is not just something we like. It is something our Lord desires and loves. It was the central theme of His high priestly prayer in John 17, so it is no small thing when we begin talking about disunity in the church.

As I think about ecclesiastical unity, there are two different types of unity we must acknowledge. And this is often missed. The first type is institutional unity. When converts to Roman Catholicism critique their former Protestant heritage for beginning with disunity and continuing to evidence it by the spawning of new denominations–they are speaking of institutional disunity. When theological liberals argue that conservative churches choosing to leave the denomination are disrupting unity–it is institutional unity they have in mind.

And yet, institutional unity can only be maintained if there is the second and more foundational kind of unity–theological. Theological unity is the ground for all institutional unity. No Theological unity, no institutional unity.

The individuals and churches that eventually became the Protestant churches of the Reformation were not sowing disunity. Conservative churches leaving denominations which have become theologically liberal are not sowing disunity. Is there division? Yes. Has institutional unity been disrupted? Yes. But the house could not stand, because the foundation had disappeared.

conservative churches that choose to depart from a denomination that has wandered away from its confessions or historical theological tenants are not causing disunity. The hen house has been disrupted, but the hens leaving the house are not the cause. It is the foreign fox that was let in, has been entertained, and has taken up residence in a place it did not belong. Disunity is not caused by leaving. Rather, it was precipitated by those who accepted an aberrant theology within its bounds.

 

you can read the whole article here

Here’s a good definition, in six parts:

1. No single religious community enjoys primacy or a monopoly with respect to government endorsement, support, or privilege.

2. Religious actors [i.e. people acting according to religious tenets and beliefs] within a state (some or all) enjoy the freedom to carry out their most distinctive activities–worship and other rituals, education, and public expression, the building of places to worship, missionary work, artistic expression, cultural expression and distinctive dress, and the conduct of civil society activities, including running hospitals, orphanages, services for the poor, and care for elders.

3. Religious actors enjoy the autonomy to create their offices and appoint their leadership.

4. Religious actors lack any standing prerogatives over the appoint of state officials or the making of public policy.

5. Religious actors enjoy autonomy in raising, governing, and spending finances.

6. Religious actors enjoy a transnational structure that strengthens their power vis-a-vis the state.

These six points are taken from Monica Duffy Toft, Daniel Philpott, Timothy Samuel Shah, God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics . I’m only partway through the book, but it seems well-researched, persuasive, and increasingly relevant.

Moving Photo Essay on Modern Day Slavery

Posted: August 28, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Current Issues

For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery. She shares hauntingly beautiful images — miners in the Congo, brick layers in Nepal — illuminating the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide. (Filmed at TEDxMaui)

see the video here

 

HT:ThabitiAnyabwile