Archive for February, 2011

Survey says…

28 February 2011

Obviously surveys like this are hit and miss, but some interesting observations in this one titled ‘Happiness is…living and eating with your parents’.

A few quotes:

Not living with both natural parents has a greater negative impact on a young person’s life satisfaction than their material situation.

Children are happier with their family situation if their parents are happier with their relationship with each other.



Rob Bell gets the gospel right…

28 February 2011

…unfortunately, it is what he is arguing against, not for.

Musing on the thought that someone said Ghandi was in hell, Bell says, “Will only a few select people make it to heaven?…How do you become one of the few? Is it what you believe, or what you say, or what you do, or who you know?…or something that happens in your heart…converted, born again? How does one become one of these few?”

Not bad really. I’d give an affirmative to most all of that statement (Matt 7.21-23 and John 3.3 among others).

Then discussing the traditional explanation of the gospel he suggests that believing this message distorts who God is “What is God like?…God is going to send you to hell unless you believe in Jesus…Jesus rescues you from God.” His point, who would want to believe in a God like that?

It’s interesting, if I remember correctly one of the studies that put Rob Bell on the map was his series/tour on Leviticus. I think that one of the most frequent words in that book is ‘holy’. Maybe that tells us something about what God is like and why Jesus does need to rescue us from God’s holy wrath.

His book is called Love Wins. I wonder how Bell defines love. Suppose someone has had a spouse murdered. The widow is in the room with the killer. How do I show love towards the widow? Do I treat the killer that same as the widow? Is that truly loving?

Love wins, but justice is exterminated. If there is anything people want in the world today, it is justice. And rightly so, because we are made in God’s image. If Bell’s video preview accurately reflects the message of his book, then there is no such thing as justice, and Jesus is not returning to judge the quick and the dead, and there is no need to repent, and, oddly enough, in his attempt to be generous and get everyone in, Bell will most likely offer some system of works righteousness and requirements instead of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.

You can read more about this HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Two posts worth reading

11 February 2011

Here are two interesting posts. First, one notes the admission of academic bias. The second is a penetrating question showing the inconsistency of pro-abortion view holders.

A Nativity Hymn

9 February 2011

We are finishing up Luke 2 this Sunday and I ran across this wonderful hymn about the birth of Christ, which closes, rightly so, looking towards easter. I’m not a big fan of using the words ‘christmas’ and ‘easter’ in a hymn, but overall it is a fantastic hymn.

On a day when men were counted, God became the Son of Man,
That His Name in every census should be entered was His plan.
God, the Lord of all creation, humbly takes a creature’s place;
He Whose form no man has witnessed has today a human face.

On a night, while silent shepherds watched their flocks upon the plain,
Came a message with its summons brought by song of angel train:
Lo, in Bethlehem’s little village has arrived the shepherd King,
And each shepherd to his Master must his sheep as offering bring.

When there shone the star of David in the spangled eastern sky,
Kings arrived to pay their homage to the Christ, the Lord most high.
Yet not all, for lo, there soundeth through the streets a fearful cry;
For a king who will not worship has decreed that Christ must die.

Yet it’s Christmas, and we greet Him, coming even now to save;
For the Lord of our salvation was not captive to the grave.
Out of Egypt came the Savior, man’s Immanuel to be—
Christmas shines with Easter glory, glory of eternity.

~Daniel T. Niles from Sri Lanka

iPhone confession

8 February 2011

I’m not making this up. Get an iPhone app for your confession. Yet another reason to get an iPhone I suppose (not sure about iPad, or the App store – might be worth seeing if it is there as well).

Zondervan’s New Emergent Book Line

4 February 2011

I picked this up for Anna only to realise it was intended for emergent folks. I probably won’t let Anna read it until she gets some dark rimmed glasses. I know Zondervan do (did?) have a line of books aimed at emergent readers, but I didn’t realise they started them so young.

This evening in preparing to read to Anna I looked at the back of the book and there they listed who the different books were for.

This is part of the ‘My First’ series, and the description reads:

Well, I never thought it would be my children that pushed me over the fence, but there you have it.

DA Carson on the church

3 February 2011

The Yorkshire Evangelical Ministry Assembly took place on Tuesday. DA Carson was the speaker and his topic was the church. The recordings are now available at the Yorkshire Gospel Partnership website and are free (as are the messages from past years/events). As always, Carson was insightful, helpful, faithful, and challenging. Enjoy.

Particular and Free

2 February 2011

It is always interesting to see scripture writers, and indeed Jesus himself, speak of the particular electing love of God and the free offer and invitation of the gospel. Perhaps one of the clearest places where these two are seen together is Matthew 11.20-30.

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:20-30 ESV)

Jesus speaks of God hiding and revealing, of his will that some be saved and others not, and then he invites everyone within earshot to come to him for salvation. Particular and Free.