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(Yesterday on the blog: Five Great Benefits from Preaching)
This is some top-notch work from Kevin DeYoung. “The Bible has a category for corporate responsibility. Culpability for sins committed can extend to a large group if virtually everyone in the group was active in the sin (it is telling, however, that the Apostles don’t seem to think they killed Jesus, even though they were in Jerusalem at that time). We can also be held responsible for sins committed long ago if we bear the same spiritual resemblance to the perpetrators of the past. And yet, the category of corporate responsibility can be stretched too far.”
Samuel D. James writes, “My point is not that a pinch of hypocrisy proves anything. It doesn’t. Nor is my point that the Patterson and Hybels situations are totally equivalent. They aren’t. My point is rather that the straight line that many seem to want to draw from Patterson’s Southern Baptist convictions on gender to his apparent low regard for vulnerable women is a far more complicated matter than they assume. If our national #MeToo moment has proved anything, it’s that no one ideological camp has a monopoly on destructiveness.”
“In a few brisk strokes, these ideologies have reduced the whole of Western history, from the Nicene Creed to the U.S. Constitution to the transphobic society of five years ago, to one unbroken saga of oppression. Only the present and the future exist. The past, even the recent past, is a hell beyond imagining and anyone who disagrees is defending privilege, not patrimony. It used to take generations to vilify our ancestors; now it can be done in a few short years.”
The Houston Chronicle has prepared a really interesting three-part series on Joel Osteen’s rise and popularity. “This is how Osteen has become the nation’s most ubiquitous pastor and one of its wealthiest. He has earned the allegiance of the hopeless, the doubtful and the downtrodden with a credo of beguiling simplicity: Don’t dwell on the past. Think positive. Be a victor, not a victim. … In an era of bitter cultural and political divisions, he has redefined what it means to be evangelical by dispensing with the bad news and focusing solely on the good. His vanilla creed has proven irresistible, especially to those down on their luck.”
“Just last week, Pew Research Center published a new study on how teenagers are using technology. It is a gold mine. How teenagers use technology has massive effects on how adults will be using technology in the near future.”
“This is the first in a series of three blogs on the sexual abuse of women in marriage.” Darby Strickland says, “I hear many stories (too many stories) of women being abused, violated or even raped by their husbands. It is a frightening reality for these women—one that they usually endure in isolation. The Lord is not silent on such horrors, nor should we be. My goal, therefore, is to identify what sexual abuse in marriage looks like so it can be recognized more readily and these women can get the help they need.”
There has been lots of tough news coming out of the SBC recently, but it’s good to also consider all the ways the Lord has blessed his people through it. Allen Nelson writes, “In today’s post, I don’t want to talk about the controversies. There is a time for that, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to talk about presidents, seminaries, or trustee boards. I don’t even want to talk about anyone’s name you’d recognize. I’d like to talk a little about the 7,000 in the Southern Baptist Convention. Let the reader understand that I use the number 7,000 figuratively.”
The gospel removes shame, it removes fear, and it removes guilt, it restores honor, it restores power, it restores innocence. The gospel speaks to every person in every culture and addresses their every need.
Believe me, you cannot stand still in your souls. Habits of good or evil are daily strengthening in your hearts. Every day you are either getting nearer to God, or further off.—J.C. Ryle