Here's a sampling of some of the things I've been reading and reviewing this week. The hope is that these bite-sized sections of books, articles, blog posts, etc will stand on their own and be beneficial in-and-of-themselves. But I also hope that some of you will like these excerpts enough that they pull you into the larger work from which they've been taken.
Let's start sampling:
Drew Dyck in "Millennials Need a Bigger God, Not a Hipper Pastor," blog post at The Aspen Group (posted July 3, 2014). Accessed on July 7, 2014:
"Millennials [referring broadly to Americans born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s] have a dim view of church. They are highly skeptical of religion. Yet they are still thirsty for transcendence. But when we portray God as a cosmic buddy, we lose them (they have enough friends). When we tell them that God will give them a better marriage and family, it’s white noise (they’re delaying marriage and kids or forgoing them altogether). When we tell them they’re special, we’re merely echoing what educators, coaches, and parents have told them their whole lives. But when we present a ravishing vision of a loving and holy God, it just might get their attention and capture their hearts as well" (bold emphasis added).
Click here to see the full post from which this excerpt was taken. Please note the usual disclaimer, that my recommendation of this post is not necessarily an endorsement of everything else on the site where this was posted.
Martin Luther in Jeremy Treat's Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 2014), p. 202:
"When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: 'I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.'"
Roger E. Olsen in "Water Works: Why Baptism is Essential to the Life of Faith," Christianity Today (July/August 2014), p. 65:
"Most Christians throughout church history have agreed that baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus Christ, who commanded that his followers be baptized and baptize each other. Jesus inexticably connects discipleship and baptism in the Great Commission: 'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). And at the conclusion of his Pentecost sermon, the apostle Peter told listeners, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you' (Acts 2:38).
"...the very word Christian means 'Christ follower,' and rejecting or willfully neglecting baptism is disobeying Christ. Few Christians say baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation. But the vast majority of Christians throughout history, including credobaptists, have believed baptism is an essential part of becoming Christ's body, the church, and of being a disciple in the fullest sense."
Click here to be taken to Christianity Today's website where you can search for the full article from which this excerpt was taken, or find other articles broadly relevant to evangelical Christianity that may be of interest to you.
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