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pastoral thoughts about conscience, culture and Christ
This blog has been moved here. Come visit my new home.
Thanks to Barry Carpenter for passing this along to me. It's hilarious whether you are a Rob Bell friend or foe.
Steve Shank interviewed CJ Mahaney at The Pursuit conference (a regional conference from Sovereign Grace Ministries) about biblical masculinity in 2007. The entire interview is helpful but I found Mahaney's advice to parents about teaching their young men about what it means to be a godly man especially helpful.
I think what I would say to a young man, is that there are categories he needs to familiarize himself with from Scripture. Two would be categories revealed particularly in Proverbs – the wise and the foolish. And I would want any young man (and this has broader application for all of us, but particularly for a young man) to familiarize himself with those two categories.
Those are the only two categories that exist. There are no other categories from God’s perspective. One either identifies with the wise or the foolish. Proverbs is a wealth of wisdom given by God as a gift from God to that age group in particular — to protect them from walking with fools, from being a fool, and from experiencing the consequences of being a fool.
Those who say that wisdom is the fruit of experience haven’t read Proverbs. There is wisdom there that will protect us from the experience of being a fool or emulating the example of a fool. So I would want to impress those categories and familiarize themselves with the numerous and detailed descriptions of the wise son, the wise man, the foolish son, the foolish man.
And I would want those categories to inform that young man and to protect him from sin and to provoke that young man to want to identify with the wise. I would want that young man to be protected from being numbered among the fools.
Proverbs describes a fool as someone who doesn’t acknowledge the relationship between character, conduct, and consequences. God says of that individual – you are a fool.
Often in Proverbs the father is informing the son, “in the end,” a little phrase that appears throughout Proverbs. He is trying to draw his son’s attention to the consequences of sin. Sin in its initial stages appears attractive and can even be pleasurable to some degree. The wise father is drawing the attention of the son to what takes place as a fruit of sin and in the end trying to help establish that relationship between character, conduct and consequence. And then protect the son so the son instead pursues wisdom.
I would also say to that young man, when Proverbs says “the companion of fools will suffer harm,” you will not prove to be an exception to that (Proverbs 13:20). A wise son, a wise man, hangs out with wise men and therefore becomes wise. Proverbs warns us (as an expression of God’s kindness), “the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Now that harm is not always immediately obvious to a fool because often that harm begins in the form of a conscience that goes from sensitive to seared. So that harm isn’t always evident in consequences that are obvious to all. But be assured, the companion of fools will suffer harm.
And I would say to all of us fathers that we must understand that this category of “companion” is broader than just the individuals our children hang out with. Television is a companion. The Internet is a companion. The iPod is a companion. These are all means of transferring foolishness to one’s heart and therefore we need to help equip our sons and daughters with these two categories to protect them from being numbered among the fools and experiencing the consequences of fools and to, instead, be numbered among those who are wise and to taste the sweet fruit of wisdom.
1. North Korea
Mark Dever offers five helpful tips for giving constructive, godly criticism. These are especially challenging for those, like me, who evaluate and critique everything and everyone.
This morning my daughters had Fruit Loops and oatmeal for breakfast. This afternoon we will eat lunch together as a family as a part of our weekly Wednesday routine. This evening after bible study we will probably go out to dinner with our friends Barry and Lauren. At the end of the day we will enjoy three satisfying meals, and in some cases, we won't even finish what is on our plates because we are "full".
When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.
Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too," she said.
Rick Love, International Director of Frontiers who lent his signature to the document A Common Word Between You and I has responds to Piper. It is worth reading.
I believe that Muslims worship the true God. But I also believe that their view of God falls short of His perfections and beauty as described in the Bible. Thus, I try to model my approach to Muslims after the apostle Paul who said to the Athenians: “What you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:23).
About a year ago I heard this audio and laughed hysterically for days. My sister-in-law found the video footage and I couldn't resist posting it. Disclaimer: the video is of a "blooper" from a bible study. It's not inappropriate (in my estimation), but some more conservative folk might not laugh as hard or loud as I did. Consider yourself warned.
In a recent interview with Christianity Today Barak Obama makes some comments relevant to how evangelicals should understand his faith and influence on some criticual issues to evangelical Christians. When reading his comments about abortion you would do well to also read Denny Burk's response to what Obama has said.
"I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful."
On October 13, 2007, 138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent an open letter to leaders of Christian churches, everywhere. The letter highlights what Muslim clerics say they beleive Christians and Muslims have in common: a Scriptural mandate to love God and love people. In response to this gesture of peace from the Muslim world, 300 Christian leaders signed their name to a letter drafted by scholars at Yale Divinity SChool's Center for Faith and Culture in support of a Christian response to A Common Word Between Us and You. Some of the leaders who signed their name to this letter are Joseph Cumming (Yale Divinity School), Leith Anderson (President, National Association of Evangelicals), Bill Hybels (Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, Chicago, Illinois), Tony Jones (National Coordinator, Emergent Village), Brian McLaren, Richard Muow (President, Fuller Theological Seminary), Robert Schuller (Founder, Crystal Cathedral), John Stott (All Souls Church, London), and Rick Warren (Pastor, Saddleback Church, California).
"If we can achieve religious(emphasis mine) peace between these two religious communities, peace in the world will clearly be easier to maintain."