Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Strong Men

From Steve Lawson in Foundations of Grace:
Strong men always proclaim a strong message. They do not read the polls and check the surveys before they give their opinions. In fact, they do not even have opinions—they have convictions. They bleed convictions. They are strong men anchored in the strong Word of God, and, as such, they bring a message with gravitas and punch. When they stand to speak, they actually have something to say—and they say it, whether anyone listens or not. When they sit to write, they do not skirt the issues—they tackle them. When they address the times in which they live, they do not tickle ears—they box them. They do not have one message for one group and a different message for a different group. Wherever they go and whomever they address, they have only one message—God’s message. This is what makes them strong men. They speak God’s Word, or they do not speak at all

Monday, October 18, 2010

Twelve Personal Theological Affirmations for the Student of Scripture

I do not remember where I got this, but I put it in notes for a hermeneutics class I taught. I ran across it today and thought it worth sharing:
Twelve Personal Theological Affirmations for the Student of Scripture

1. I must do more than quote a Scripture and then depart from it; in depth study and understanding of the text is absolutely necessary.

2. The best way to teach Biblical knowledge is to interpret correctly and apply personally what I have learned.

3. Both kerygma (preaching) and didache (teaching) are essential in gospel proclamation; Scripture (especially the New Testament) does not maintain a clear distinction between the two.

4. Preaching and teaching God’s Word is the primary responsibility of the pastor, but it is the responsibility also of every believer.

5. When Biblical instruction is neglected, the people's morals become unclear and/or readily decline.

6. Throughout history God has used the dual elements of preaching and teaching to reform the church.

7. The content of Scripture must not be sacrificed for eloquence in delivery, though one can and should complement the other.

8. Since Bible study is waning, the laity must be trained how to study the Bible on their own as they imitate expository methods used by their preachers and teachers.

9. Faithful teaching equips and inspires people to work and witness.

10. Faithful teaching demands a high view of Scripture (verbal, plenary in it inspiration).

11. Faithful teaching encourages people to bring their Bibles to church; it encourages them to read passages to be taught beforehand and to study them afterwards as well.

12. Through faithful and comprehensive teaching, important problems will be handled in a systematic fashion; sharp and uncomfortable truths are more readily accepted when addressed from the Bible in the natural course of study.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Staying Christian in College

How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski is a must read for every Christian young person planning to attend college, secular or otherwise. Being the product of a Christian college and knowing many young people who have attended similar institutions, I recommend this as required reading for them as well. It is not always a given that one finds a consistent and articulated Christian worldview on a Christian college campus.

Budziszewski speaks from experience. He is professor of philosophy and government at University of Texas in Austin, and was an atheist as a young person, He knows well the atmosphere and lifestyle challenges that young people face on the college campus.

The book is designed as a resource guide. In the chapters, Dr. Budziszewski attempts to explode some of the myths that students face at the university. Whether the issue is postmodernism, politics, pluralism, or sexual freedom, there is great help to found in these pages. The book can be read from beginning to end or the chapters can be consulted for help with the individual topics.

I think this book should be given to Christian high school seniors. Many of the issues that college students face are present in seed form in high school. It would help to identify pitfalls before it is too late.

I do not think that a Christian college is necessarily right for every young person. Certainly, the message of the gospel needs to be shared on the university campus. But not every Christian young person is equipped to face the challenges of university life. Budziszewski’s work will do much to help address that need.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Looking Around

From Tullian Tchividjian:
In my book Unfashionable, I wrote that the Bible makes clear that Christians must be people of double listening—listening both to the questions of the world and to the answers of the Word. We’re to be good interpreters not only of Scripture but also of culture. God wants us to be like the men of Issachar, “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). Faithfulness to Christ means we can’t afford to leave our culture unexamined. We’re to think long and hard, deep and wide about our times and all the issues surrounding the church’s mission—its proper relationship to this world and its proper place in it.

Christians have not always been known as "good interpreters of culture." Usually, we are knee-jerk reactionaries. There is a place for reaction (or perhaps, action), but let us first know the real issues.