Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What They're Saying 08.17.11

A Discerning Man, Not a Drunken Frat Boy - 'Biblical manliness is about authentic character. It’s not about bravado, and it’s not about boyishness. Going out into the woods with a bunch of other men, putting on war paint, making animal noises, telling scary stories around a campfire, and then working up a good cry might be good, visceral fun and all, but that has nothing to do with the biblical idea of manliness. Real manliness (“mature manhood”— Ephesians 4:13) is defined by Christlike character... When the apostle Paul writes about the characteristics of true Christian manhood in Ephesians 4, he focuses on one vital mark of spiritual maturity: “That we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (v. 14). You want to be a man as opposed to a little boy? Grow up in your grasp of the truth.'

First Rule of Good Apologetics? Fight Fair. - When you don't argue fairly as a Christian, you'll never be able to convince anyone of the Gospel. Case in point: using the Qu'ran's 'Kill them whenever you meet them' (2:192) verse out of context to prove that Muslim scriptures promote violence; those who have studied the Qu'ran know that, in context, this verse applies to reclaiming stolen lands. It's maybe an important verse to bring up the next time someone starts talking smack about the Crusades, but not so much for proving that Islam is a religion of hate. -SEAN

Girl Lost Faith Listening to Christian Music - 'Staying relevant in late consumer capitalism requires highly sophisticated resources and the willingness to tailor your values to whatever your audience wants. In trying to compete in this market, the church has forfeited the one advantage it had in the game to attract disillusioned youth: authenticity. When it comes to intransigent values, the profit-driven world has zilch to offer. If Christian leaders weren’t so ashamed of those unvarnished values, they might have something more attractive than anything on today’s bleak moral market.'

A More Constructive Slant on Happiness - 'We understand life and liberty as foundational, but happiness? The problem with happiness as it is defined today lies in the little word hap, chance. Happiness is circumstantial. It depends on what happens to give us pleasure or fulfillment. But the founders understood happiness in the classical sense of what the Greeks calledeudaimonia, that is, the result of a life well lived, a life based on truth and virtue... Real happiness flows from character and comes to those, as Jesus said, who are poor in spirit, merciful and meek, and who hunger and thirst for righteousness and peace.'

What Hath Evangelicals to Do With Councils? - 'Since we’ve concluded that the creeds and councils don’t have ultimate authority, which is ascribed only to Scripture, do they have any authority at all?... So evangelicals who stand on the full authority of the Bible and hold to God’s providence and faithful presence with his church should take seriously the creeds and councils. Our impulse should be to assume their truthfulness as we continue to test their biblical fidelity. If this generation takes seriously its value of community, then we won’t neglect this great community of saints spanning 2,000 years.'

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