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Headlines (December 6)

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‘Defending the Faith’ Conference – Answers in Genesis (AIG) is sponsoring the “Defending the Faith” winter conference at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference will be held from January 31 to February 2. Some of the speakers include Dr. D. James Kennedy, Joseph Pipa, R.C. Sproul Jr, and Ken Ham. Though something of a lost or dying discipline, apologetics is as important today as at any time in the history of the church, especially as the world and other religious traditions push their way into Christianity. Apologetics is frowned on by many since it is inherently divisive, yet it is often all that stands between a pure and a defiled faith.

Porn is Worse Than Crack? – “Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, leading to addiction, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction, according to clinicians and researchers testifying before a Senate committee Thursday.” Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Science, Technology and Space Subcommittee, experts called pornography “most concerning thing to psychological health that I know of existing today…The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and have role models for these behaviors,” Layden said. “To have drug pumped into your house 24/7, free, and children know how to use it better than grown-ups know how to use it — it’s a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind.”

“Pornography addicts have a more difficult time recovering from their addiction than cocaine addicts, since coke users can get the drug out of their system, but pornographic images stay in the brain forever, Layden said.” Once something that was difficult and embarrassing to obtain, pornography is now freely available in nearly unlimited quantities to anyone who cares to find it (and more often than not, to those who have no interest but are sent it in their email or just stumble across it). I fear for my son having to grow up in an age where so many children will be hopelessly addicted to pornography long before they are even teenagers. Wired has more information as does Focus on the Family.

CTAOTD – Today’s Christianity Today Article of the Day is The Soul Mate Solution by Neil Clark Warren. He discusses the “soul mate fallacy” that for each person in the world there is one soul mate and being married to anyone other than that one person will just lead to a second-rate life. “I believe soul mates are made, not born. You start with the ingredients for a highly compatible, successful relationship, and then you work to develop closeness and intimacy. Does this mean you lower your standards when it comes to finding a partner? Absolutely not! It simply means you ‘expand your field of vision.’” I agree with this author. While I know that my wife is my soul mate, I also know that I likely could have married another woman and gone on to have a long and happy marriage. My wife is my soul mate because we invested the time to make each other so, not because God had made us sould mates before we had even met.

Reinventing Calvinism – The Gospel According to Brian McLaren – Steve Camp posted an article this morning that is sure to draw some flack from the hosts of Brian McLaren devotees. He discusses McLaren’s reinvention of the five points of Calvinism, and frankly, I don’t think he is awfully impressed. “…(His brand of Christianity seem to be a blend of Open Theism mixed with a cup of The New Perspective of Paul, folding in a generous dose of Inclusivism, with just a pinch of biblical truth and…there you have it.) Make no mistake about it, this man is dangerous… he is not to be taken lightly–his words are smooth and well crafted; but under no circumstance is he to be taken seriously–his words are vacant of genuine biblical Christianity.” Camp defines McLaren’s generous orthodoxy as “he makes up faith as he goes. There are no rules, no models, no denominational walls; no truth constraints; no theological grids; no ecclesiastical structures; no polity; no historic faith; no seemingly observance of hermenuetics for properly interpreting Scripture; no common meta-narratives; and not even any agreed definitions to common biblical terms and truth. It’s just him learning, growing, evolving, experiencing, left unfinished kind of Christianity.”

After writing about each of McLaren’s reinvented points of Calvinism (which of course bear no resemblence to the originals and lose all of their theological punch) he concludes “We must remain hopeful and positive through the malaise and quagmire of these aborations representing themselves as biblical Christianity. Truth will always prevail ladies and gentlemen–it always has and always will. Be not afraid. But we must guard the truth, contend for the faith and defend His gospel against all attacks from within or without the church. And may we do it with boldness, love, compassion, grace, and truth.” You can check out the article here.

Happy Birthday, Mom! – It’s my mom’s birthday today. I don’t even know how old she is, though I wouldn’t say even if I did. I hope you have a great day and wish we lived just a little closer to we could see you today.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…