Monday, July 25, 2011

The scandal of the cross vs. mass murderers

Jared C. Wilson has written a provocative little piece called "That Irritating Feeling, That Twinge? That's the Scandal of the Cross". Here's the hook:
If this vicious murderer in Norway repents of his sins and trusts in Jesus' saving work on his behalf, when he goes to his grave he will be welcomed into the arms of the Father like a beloved child.

If this bothers me, it is because I have forgotten most of the Psalms and most of the New Testament were written by murderers.

And it is because I consider myself a better judge than God.

And it is because I have forgotten that I deserve the same fate as this horrid beast. Or I think I do not face this fate because of some comparative goodness of my own.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A love/hate relationship with hell?

Kevin DeYoung asks an interesting question: "Is it Okay for Christians to Believe in the Doctrine of Hell But Not Like It?" He offers a biblically balanced approach as he walks us through this difficult issue (one I would suggest reading in whole), but this is where he ends up:
God is good and his ways are always right. It is a measure of our maturity that we not only affirm the truth of God’s word but rest in the goodness and rightness of it. Christians should have anguish in heart at the thought of eternal suffering, but we should also see the glory of God in the Bible’s teaching on eternal punishment.

Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing is one way to put it (2 Cor. 6:10), even with the doctrine of hell.

Archaeology continues to support biblical accounts

I am always interested to hear how archaeology continues to support the biblical accounts. This article from the New American details a dig going on right now in Goliath's home town of Gath.
Most notably, what has been unearthed so far upholds the biblical account of Goliath. The Blaze explains: "The findings at the site support the idea that the Goliath story faithfully reflects something of the geopolitical reality of the period, Maeir said — the often violent interaction of the powerful Philistines of Gath with the kings of Jerusalem in the frontier zone between them."
You can read the rest of the article here: Archeologists: Philistine Relics From Goliath's Hometown of Gath?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Giveaway by Christians In Context

OK, friends, this is the first giveaway from the new Christians In Context! And yes, we have an ulterior motive: we've also got a new Facebook page and we want as many of you to "like" us as possible. But in return, you get another entry in the giveaway. So without further ado, the booty:

A copy of Generous Justice by Tim Keller (hardback).

You can enter the giveaway using the PunchTab widget below. (RSS Readers, you’ll need to click through to the post to see widget.)

As one of your entries, answer this question in the comment section below: What's the latest or best thing you've read by Keller, or will this be the first (if you win)?



Contest ends Monday, July 11th, at midnight. The winner will be contacted via email. Thanks for entering!

Silent Truth Is Public Error

From long-time friend of the blog Andrew Faris over at Someone Tell Me The Story:
Although Micah veils his autobiographical information, his messages of judgment rest on the lofty ethical standards given to Israel on Sinai (Mic. 6:1-8), his message of hope on God’s unchanging faithfulness to Abraham. Rebuffed by his audience (2:6; 6:6-11), this flashing preacher lifted his almost solitary voice from the highest peaks of ethical standards above the clamorous masses. Even his prophecies of doom must be valued as I AM‘s gift to his people (cf. Num. 23:23; Deut. 18:14). Silence is a worse form of judgment (cf. Ezek. 7:26; Amos 8:2; Ps. 74.9). But even worse are preachers who preach only that God is love and will not judge sinners (cf. Mic. 2:11; 3:11).

- Bruce Waltke, A Commentary on Micah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007), 2.

If we believe what is true but are unwilling to confront sin and error then we are just as bad or worse than those who deny truth outright.

Run past the obvious Rob Bell implications and on to what is likely more relevant to most of us: too many in our churches are content to ignore difficult biblical truths so we can keep the peace. And while this is the case whether you are in the pew or in the pulpit, let us pastors and leaders also never lose sight of the truth that God’s judgments are always strongest for those who lead the people astray (cf. Mic. 3).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jesus isn't Tinkerbell

From Jared C. Wilson's blog The Gospel-Driven Church:
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
-- Hebrews 1:3

Wow! If this is true:

It means we ought to ditch the dualism rampant in Christianity where we think Jesus is battling Satan, relying on our prayers and good works to win. Jesus isn't Tinkerbell, needing our applause to survive. He won. He wins. He owns Satan.

It means no more worry about the end of the world. Is global warming happening? Who knows. But if it is, it isn't the end of the world!

It means we ought to repent of the arrogance in our thinking that this world is what we make it. We don't sustain the universe; Jesus does.

What I think this line of thinking leads to in hearts that love Jesus is faith, not fatalism. Knowing this information, we are now free to obey, love others, work towards the good, etc. knowing that despite our sins and imperfections, God is in control.

If Hebrews 1:3 is true, we need to rethink everything: our assumptions, our philosophies, our agendas.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Giveaways!

As I mentioned, there will be more giveaways coming in the near future.

In the meantime, Aaron Armstrong is giving away three Crossway books over at BloggingTheologically.com.

They are:

  1. The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis, a 10-week Bible study by Nancy Guthrie
  2. Welcome to the Story: Reading, Loving, and Living God’s Word by Stephen Nichols
  3. King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex, and Power by Phil Ryken

Keller, Horton, and Chandler discuss how Christians should disagree

Chandler, Horton, Keller on How to Disagree from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Friday, July 1, 2011

...all things new...

There's a lot of change going on here at Christians In Context and we're excited about all of it.

For starters, if you are reading this through any sort of Reader or feed downloader, we invite you to come over to the ChristiansInContext.com website and check out our new digs! And that's only the beginning.

I (Jared) will be writing more content in the near future for my church (RedeemerOmaha.org). They will be mostly brief apologetic answers to questions we're getting from week to week. There's also another ministry that has approached me about writing and I will be posting that content here as well if that all comes through.

However, we do need your help:

Would you like to join the CiC team? We are making an informal search for any independent writers or bloggers who might be interested in partnering with Christians In Context. We are accepting and considering submissions for original content and other blog-like things. If you (or anyone you know) would be interested, send me an email (jared@christiansincontext.com) expressing you interest and your blog address (if applicable).

Oh yeah, and one more thing: more giveaways!