Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What They're Saying 08.10.11

Christian Hope and Evangelism Is Renewed In the Face of UK Riots

'How are Christians responding? There is a strong call to prayer. But as Oliver Cromwell used to say to his troops, we must trust in God and keep our gunpowder dry. Many have been reaching out to offer help with clear-up operations. This is also a time to reach out with compassion to neighbors who may be very worried at this time. It is also an opportunity to reach out to local officials and for communities to rally together. Our nation has sought to marginalize the church. In these troubled days, doors are opening up for the gospel in word and deed, and there is a renewed openness for the voice of the church to be heard.'

From the Vaults of Christianity Today, Mark Hatfield Calls for Theological and Ethical Thought on Biotechnology

'It finally happened. Researchers at George Washington University successfully cloned human embryos last October. The experiment, the first of its kind to be reported, was intended to enhance current in-vitro fertilization methods. The result, however, has reinforced our greatest fears about biomedical research: It can—and will—do anything, regardless of moral or ethical questions. It is time to insist that a deliberate and careful process be established to guide biomedical technology.'

Does Your View of God's Sovereignty Include These Verses?

'Can your theology account for the consistency of all three of these verses from Luke 24—divine veiling, human culpability, and divine revealing? v. 16 But their eyes were keptfrom recognizing him. v. 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” v. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.'

Christian Belief and Practice Drops Way Down In Every Ethnic Group

While around 80% of North Americans identify as Christians, the beliefs and practices that should come with that are dropping rapidly. Yesterday we saw how church attendance, Bible reading, and belief in the Bible is in freefall even among Evangelicals; today the bad news comes in by racial groups. Hispanic faith and practice tends to drop in each area by about 20 percent or more, while whites are dropping out a little less rapidly, with faith and practice among blacks dropping the least (but still dropping). The real story is that there are no gains. Christianity in North America, even among self-described Christians, is in dramatic decline. Because of this we should pray for, and increase our missionary efforts in, the 'reached' world of the United States and Canada.

Of Humble, Simple Exclusivism, and the Charge of Self-Righteousness

'How can I be arrogant when Christ my Lord humbled himself to become a human and die a brutal death on a cross because of my wickedness? The Christian gospel destroys arrogance and self-righteousness. All other religions and philosophies actually promote arrogance and self-righteousness. Every system promises eternal life to those who do really good. Whether it is to follow the eightfold path, to keep yourself free from bad karma, to observe the five pillars, to eat all the right organic foods, or to perpetuate your clan by surviving as the fittest; all other religions teach that you get spiritual, you get righteous, you get the good life through trying harder. So, if you have attained some level in these systems, you have only yourself to congratulate.'

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