Relativism Undermines the Mission of the Church by Brett Kunkle: “[I]f religious claims turn out to be subjective, they are merely preferences of individuals, just like our preference in ice cream flavors. Does this idea have consequences? Absolutely. Think about it. How much passion do you feel for your favorite flavor of ice cream? Would you attempt to convince customers inside the local ice cream parlor they should only choose your favorite flavor? Would you stand in front of the parlor, handing out brochures listing five arguments why your favorite flavor of ice cream is the one true flavor? Of course not. We don’t take preferences that seriously. But if religion is like a preference in ice cream, wouldn’t we approach it the same way?” (Read more.)
Two Things to Remember When Discussing Creation with Other Christians by Tim Barnett: “When it comes to this issue there are two key principles that all Christians should keep in mind. The first principle is that Christians gather truth about creation from two sources: general revelation and special revelation. Nature is God’s general revelation and Scripture is God’s special revelation. God communicates through both sources of revelation, and both need to be studied and interpreted. This leads to the second principle: everyone interprets.” (Read more.)
Inoculate, Don't Isolate by Alan Shlemon: “Abortion-choice advocates. Angry college students. Graphic pictures of abortion. Not really what you want to expose your ten-year-old son to. That’s what I did, though. I took my son to the center of UCLA’s campus during an abortion protest and had him engage abortion-choice advocates that were twice his age.” (Read more.)
Crossway published a terrific little book on prayer that can have a big impact on your prayer life. Donald S. Whitney's book, Praying the Bible, is under 100 pages. It'll take no time to read, but it'll give you plenty of practical, insightful counsel on how to enrich your prayer life by praying through Bible passages. Whitney says that this is how we can learn a biblical way of praying and it provides fresh content for our prayers so that it doesn't become routine and dull. Praying the Psalms is how we learn to pray, he states. The Psalms are the Bible's prayer book so it's a particularly good place to start. Praying Scripture keeps us engaged in prayer in a more meaningful and motivating way than the routines we tend to get into.
The book (let me say again, it's under 100 pages) walks through the method so it's easy to grasp how it's done. To supplement the book, Crossway has a five-day email series of videos featuring Whitney teaching and modeling how to pray the Bible.
If you were asked to develop a pro-life argument that could be communicated in two minutes or less, could you do it? Could you make a case that a secular person would accept—a person who doesn’t want religious arguments for the pro-life view? I’m going to show you how to do that.
If you haven’t read our most recent issue of Solid Ground (that I co-wrote with Greg), I encourage you to read it now. You need to understand a challenge the Church is facing and will continue to face in the foreseeable future. It will be tough for Christians who want to remain faithful to Christ and Scripture.
With the recent SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriage, we will be increasingly living in a culture that is supportive of homosexuality. That will exert external pressure on Christians. We’ll also have internal pressure from Christians who want the Church to be gay-affirming. Given both of these forces, we’ll have our hands full. It will be tempting to want to compromise our convictions. We’ll need to stand firm and not conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2).
Even if you’re not the least bit persuaded by The Reformation Project (TRP) and their revisionist interpretation, you might need to become familiar with the material Greg and I present because a believer you might know will need your help. If you don’t read it for yourself, read it so you can help them when and if they’re beguiled by TRP’s revisionist interpretation of Scripture.
Right now I’m working on Part II of this Solid Ground series, but in the meantime I want you to consider what TRP, the Gay Christian Network, and others like them think. They believe that Judaism and Christianity have, since their inception, been permissive of loving and consensual homosexual sex acts. In other words, they believe the Bible does condemn some homosexual acts, but only abusive or exploitive ones. It’s hard to imagine Moses, the prophets, Jesus, and the disciples all affirming some forms of homosexual behavior, but that’s TRP’s incredible view.
As Greg and I clarify in part I (and will again in part II) of this Solid Ground series, the Bible's prohibition of homosexual behavior is a categorical rejection of all male-male or female-female sex acts, not just abusive or exploitive ones.
Even the Jewish historian Josephus based his condemnation of homosexual intercourse on the Mosaic Law by stating, “The law recognizes only sexual intercourse that is according to nature, that which is with a woman…But it abhors the intercourse of males with males.”[i] Notice he mentions sex that is "according to nature," which is heterosexual, in contrast to that which is against nature (homosexual). There’s nothing here to narrow the type of sinful homosexual sex acts to merely exploitive forms.
Don’t get me started! There’s so much wrong with TRP’s assessment of the Bible and homosexuality, but I’ll save it for part II of Solid Ground that comes out in September. Be sure to keep it and part I together as a handy tool to see through TRP’s case.
[i]Against Apion 2.199 as cited in Robert Gagnon, Horizons in Biblical Theology, Vol. 25 (2003), 232.