Don't Allow Facebook Groups to Replace Personal Discipleship

I have joined many parenting- and homeschool-related Facebook groups over the last few years, as well as groups for mom bloggers. Most of the groups I belong to were started by Christian women seeking to help others.

I think it’s fun to log on, see what people are asking about, give a short answer, and move on to the next item in my news feed, because I enjoy the apparent efficiency of digital communication. It’s on my time, and my terms. I answer what I want, when I want. I can think about what I want to say, write and edit and rewrite until I’m satsified. It feels good to think I might have helped someone work out a problem. So that’s a good thing—right?

Not when you realize the extent to which we can choose what we want to reveal and conceal, and the lack of consequences if we don’t exercise wisdom and discernment. I believe these are reasons Facebook groups offer an enticing alternative to personal discipleship. Read more about Don't Allow Facebook Groups to Replace Personal Discipleship

Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #2 - Escape

Read the series so far.

The humble, submissive, thankful attitudes of worship are what make any response to bitterness genuinely Christian. Honoring God with our attitudes is at the heart of why it’s worth the trouble to avoid prolonged bitterness.

But believers struggling with bitterness should also take advantage of practical wisdom. We need to be tactical as well as strategic. With that in mind, my aim here is to commend one practical response to bitterness, along with some caveats and cautions.

Simple though it is, this strategy has made a huge difference in my own life. Read more about Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #2 - Escape

Why I Cannot Change My Mind on the Premillennial Return of Christ

Reposted courtesy of Proclaim & Defend.

In a Gospel Coalition article, Sam Storms has a piece entitled “Why I Changed My Mind on the Millennium.” He says that it is now impossible for him to hold to premillennialism, having now switched to an amillennial position.

As a response, I would like to share why I cannot change my mind on a premillennial position.

Storms finds it impossible to believe in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth for 1,000 years for a number of reasons and concludes that “premillennialists must believe what the NT explicitly denies.” Major points that he insists that are a clear contradiction to NT teaching is that premillennialists must “believe that physical death will continue to exist beyond the time of Christ’s second coming.” He also insists that the “the New Heavens and the New Earth are introduced immediately following the parousia.” Read more about Why I Cannot Change My Mind on the Premillennial Return of Christ

Theology Thursday - The Council of Trent on Original Sin

The Council of Trent

Following the deep division in the church which had resulted from the Protestant Reformation, there was a widespread desire, which grew stronger and was expressed in a variety of ways, for an ecumenical council. Its aim would be to reject errors against faith, add strength to the official teaching, restore the unity of the church, and reform the standards of the Roman curia and of church discipline.1

FIFTH SESSION, held June 17, 1546.

Decree Concerning Original Sin2

That our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God, may, errors being purged away, continue in its own perfect and spotless integrity, and that the Christian people may not be carried about with every wind of doctrine; whereas that old serpent, the perpetual enemy of mankind, amongst the very many evils with which the Church of God is in these our times troubled, has also stirred up not only new, but even old, dissensions touching original sin, and the remedy thereof; the sacred and holy, œcumenical and general Synod of Trent,—lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the three same legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein,—wishing now to come to the reclaiming of the erring, and the confirming of the wavering,—following the testimonies of the sacred Scriptures, of the holy Fathers, of the most approved councils, and the judgment and consent of the Church itself, ordains, confesses, and declares these things touching the said original sin: Read more about Theology Thursday - The Council of Trent on Original Sin

The Tragedy of Biblical Illiteracy, Part 2

Read Part 1.

National Study of Youth & Religion

The bad news does not end with LifeWay’s latest survey. Considered the most comprehensive study on the religious views of teenagers ever conducted, a four year effort led by Christian Smith called the National Study of Youth and Religion in 2005 determined that the majority of American teens believe in God and worship in conventional congregations, but their religious knowledge is remarkably shallow, and they have a tough time expressing the difference that faith makes in their lives.

Though the phone survey depicted broad affinity with religion, the face-to-face interviews found that many teens’ religious knowledge was “meager, nebulous and often fallacious” and engagement with the substance of their traditions remarkably shallow. Most seemed hard put to express coherently their beliefs and what difference they make.

Many were so detached from the traditions of their faith, says the report, that they’re virtually following a different creed in which an undemanding God exists mostly to solve problems and make people feel good. Truth in any absolute, theological sense, takes a back seat.

“God is something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist” who’s on call as needed.1

Read more about The Tragedy of Biblical Illiteracy, Part 2

The Tragedy of Biblical Illiteracy, Part 1

From Think on These Things, Feb. 2017; used with permission.

Both statistical research and anecdotal observation come to the same conclusion—America, a nation once steeped in Scripture if not always living in obedience to God, has joined the ranks of the biblically illiterate from around the globe. Both theologians and sociologists speak of our “post-Christian” culture, which, while still being fueled to some extent by the capital of Christianity, is now all but coasting on empty.

Albert Mohler, in a short article entitled “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem,” quotes pollsters George Gallup and Jim Castelli as saying, “Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.”1 As a result, Mohler documents that fewer than half of all adults can name the four Gospels, identify more than 3 disciples or name even five of the Ten Commandments. Eighty-two percent of Americans believe that “God helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible. Read more about The Tragedy of Biblical Illiteracy, Part 1

A True Confession (1596)

The True Confession (1596) was the work of an English-Separatist congregation of Baptists in exile in Amsterdam. This excerpt is from William L. Lumpkins, Baptist Confessions of Faith, revised ed. (Valley Forge, PA: Judson, 1969). The spelling was updated where necessary.

A TRUE CONFESSION OF THE FAITH, AND HUMBLE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE ALLEGIANCE, which we her Majesty’s Subjects, falsely called Brownists, do hold towards God, and yield to her Majesty and all other that are over us in the Lord. Set down in Articles or Positions, for the better and more easy understanding of those that shall read it. And published for the clearing of ourselves from those unchristian slanders of heresy, schism, pride, obstinate, disloyalty, sedition, etc. which by our adversaries are in all places given out against us.

Article 2

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The Fundamentals -- Volume XI Foreward

(This volume was probably originally published around 1914. About this series)

FOREWORD

There has been much unavoidable delay in connection with the issue of this volume of “THE FUNDAMENTALS,” Volume XI. This was occasioned by the very serious illness of the former Executive Secretary of “THE FUNDAMENTALS” Committee. This illness lasted for many months, only terminating in his death. He bore up very bravely and it was not thought wise to put the work in other hands lest he should be discouraged, feeling that there was no hope. Further delay was occasioned by the necessity of going over his manuscripts and papers and selecting such as had already been passed upon by the Committee for Volume XI and in passing upon other manuscripts in his possession. Read more about The Fundamentals -- Volume XI Foreward