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 (or at least thought-provoking!) 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:
Marguerite Shuster, responding to "Which False Teachings are Evangelical Christians Most Tempted to Believe in?" Available online at www.christianitytoday.com. Posted April 15, 2015.
Salvation does not entail entire sanctification in this life. But surely it entails a reorienting of our hearts’ desires, so that we are at least grieved by our besetting sins. How is it that seminarians can vigorously defend profanity, obscenity, and vulgarity as proper evangelistic tools, as I have heard them do? How can “holiness” have become a term evoking scorn, derision, avoidance, except by confusing it with obnoxious, sticky, pretentious piety? Do we actually even want to be saved, in the sense of being freed from the dominion of sin?
Or is it that we have forgotten, or do not wish to believe, that we are the sorts of people who actually need to be saved? And who can by no means save ourselves, but are wholly dependent upon grace?
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.
David Platt, A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture. Tyndale House, 2015. p. 3:
Consider...the confrontation created by the reality of God in each of our lives. Because God is our Creator, we belong to him. The One who created us owns us. We are not, as the poem "Invictus" describes, the masters of our own fate or the captains of our own souls. the Author of all creation possesses authority over all creation, including you and me. And we are accountable to him as our Judge. One of the core truths of the gospel is that God will judge every person, and he will be just. This puts us in a position where we desperately need his grace.
Now we see the offense of the gospel coming to the forefront. Tell any modern person that there is a God who sustains, owns, defines, rules, and one day will judge him or her, and that person will balk in offense. Any person would - and every person has. That is our natural reaction to God.
Scot McKnight, Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. Bravos, 2014. p. 106:
Our world is marked today by isolation, fragmentation, transience, privacy, consumerism, power, complacency, alienation, suspicion, and a host of idolatries. The church, which is a kingdom fellowship under King Jesus, counters each of these stories with the story of new creation that becomes possible through the power of the Spirit and the life of Jesus. Kingdom creates a family called a church.
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.