“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good,” (Psalm 14:1, ESV).
Here is this week’s addition of random miscellany that I at least find interesting. Hopefully you like my list. If you don’t well then start your own blog
1. The day the Twinkie died. Hostess declared it is going out of business.
I haven’t had one of these for 11-12 years, but it was still fun watching the meme progress yesterday.
2. Who is the most popular contenders to be Antichrist?
I’ve thought this before, but the thought that people spend way, way too much time thinking about end-times stuff was reinforced yesterday after reading this. I didn’t realize we had a ranking system.
3. How then should we advocate?
4. The next novel I’m reading. The Last Man by Vince Flynn.
5. Sex Is cheap, but we’re not.
From Collin Hansen
We knew Redeemer Community Church meets in a tough neighborhood. In fact, that’s why we’re here. So the sting itself didn’t catch our attention. But you could hear the gasps in the congregation when Joel told us the going rate for a prostitute in our neighborhood. Sex is cheap in Birmingham. You can get pretty much whatever you want for between $5 and $15. Our neighbors are selling their bodies for less than they could earn a couple blocks away working at McDonalds. Lord have mercy.
6. What Marriage Is.
A good summary by Ryan Anderson as to why we should not change the legal definition of marriage.
Our marriage law should reflect the truth about what marriage is: a pre-political institution springing from human nature itself. Government should not redefine or recreate marriage, nor should it obscure the truth about what marriage is. Recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages would weaken marriage as a social institution. It would redefine marriage as essentially an emotional bond, thus rendering marital norms arbitrary and less intelligible. It would further delink childbearing from marriage and deny, as a matter of law, the importance of a mother or a father in a child’s life. The outcomes associated with such absence are far from promising.
HT: Stand to Reason
7. Textual Criticism in a nutshell
Michael Patton discusses answers questions his readers have had about textual criticism. An excerpt:
Textual criticism is the art and science of reconstructing the original text of the Scripture. A “text critic” is one who examines the available evidence and makes important decisions as to how the Bible we hold two thousand years later should read. There are not many text critics who are trained and skilled enough to make these type of decisions. It is both time consuming and expensive to devote yourself to this field. One has to be highly trained in the language in which he or she is working, they have to devote much time to tedious examination of ancient texts, and they have to travel—a lot! This all gets expensive.
8. Common Core State Standards explained.
I work with American Principles Project and one of the issues we tackle is the Common Core State Standards. One of my colleagues, Jane Robbins, did a five part series on the subject. I’ve embedded the first one here, but you can watch the rest here. It’s been an issue I’ve been passionate about, and Jane does a great job explaining why I’m against it.
9. Are people reading your email?
Yes, the CIA, FBI, NSA and other three letter acronym agencies monitor online activity, including reading email. Here is a good explanation of how they do it.
10. How your church can grow in evangelism.
Oh yes I know you’ve been looking forward to this all week my ten items of miscellaneous goodness from the interwebs and life… so here we go!
1. Al Mohler, Alister Begg and Ray Ortland, Jr. discuss preaching.
2. John Piper on the “duty” of prayer…
And meanwhile the devil is whispering all over this room: “The pastor is getting legalistic now. He’s starting to use guilt now. He’s getting out the law now.” To which I say, “To hell with the devil and all of his destructive lies. Be free!” Is it true that intentional, regular, disciplined, earnest, Christ-dependent, God-glorifying, joyful prayer is a duty? Do I go to pray with many of you on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., and Wednesday at 5:45 p.m., and Friday at 6:30 a.m., and Saturday at 4:45 p.m., and Sunday at 8:15 a.m. out of duty? Is it a discipline?
You can call it that. It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater. It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers. It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns. It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food. It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water. It’s a duty the way a deaf man puts in his hearing aid. It’s a duty the way a diabetic takes his insulin. It’s a duty the way Pooh Bear looks for honey. It’s a duty the way pirates look for gold.
3. I’m on Tumblr… where it’s like “Ten Items of Interest” every day. My Tumblr blog is called VanderBlurbs.
4. The latest addition to our family – Sugar. She’s a 6-year-old Lab we picked up today from a breeder and dog trainer. She’s super sweet and well-behaved (thus far).
All religious traditions are not equal. Some beliefs foster freedom, growth and a deepening of compassion. Others are rigid and exclusive, warning of eternal punishment for those who don’t believe in the one true path to salvation, as they see it, or for those who love someone of the same sex. For the personal support the church of my childhood gave me, I remain thankful. I’m sure many conservative evangelicals today feel similar gratitude for their community. But for the damage that conservative Christianity does to people and for its perpetuation of prejudice and hate, I must reject this tradition. I believe those who teach it and preach it are doing great harm, and I in no way wish to be an ally.
Yes how “tolerant.” HT: BreakPoint
6. The Northern Lights in Finland. Yes I’m on Pinterest…. don’t judge.
7. Hey Vets…
Thank you for your service!
8. Five Dos and Don’ts for Pitching Bloggers – Being the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts I receive requests to post on at least a weekly basis if not more. What drives me nuts is when what they pitch has absolutely nothing to do with the genre of my blog. What is Caffeinated Thoughts makes you think I’d be interested in occupational therapy or breastfeeding? We’re pretty ecletic, but come on! Also don’t pitch me if you’re going to throw an advertising link in there somewhere like degreesonline.com – that will get you rejected faster than anything else.
End rant. If you would like to guest blog at CT and you have an idea that fits “Christian & conservative news and commentary” on culture, current events, faith and politics, then email me at email@example.com.
9. The State of Iowa just launched a website for those who are launching or already own small businesses. It’s called IA Source Link. the tagline is “linking small businesses in Iowa to the right resource at the right time.” Since I’m the owner of a small business that caught my eye. Perhaps it’ll be a good resource for you if you live in Iowa. If not, hopefully your state has something like this.
10. Marine Sniper-Scouts are… awesome.
That’s it. Share your stuff in the comments.
The “Ten Items of Interest” (originally 20 items) is a feature I did at Caffeinated Thoughts. I thought due to the eclectic nature of my “items of interests posts” it would be better to have them here sans politics – I have other outlets for that. I’m going to attempt to make this a weekly thing.
1. Proof that cats are indeed evil (other than the picture above). The Urbandale (Iowa) police are looking for a black cat who bit two kids on beggars night. Getting bit by a black cat the night before Halloween. If I were a superstitious person I’d think that a bit odd.
3. The Ubi… HT: TechCrunch
4. What is the right thing in parenting children? Via Doug Wilson
The fundamental right thing is to see the relationships rightly, to understand what is going on. What is your relationship to God, and how can you mimic that in your relationship with your children? Therefore be imitators of God, Paul says, as dearly loved children (Eph. 5:1). We are to be children to God, and this will help us understand how our children are to be children to us. We are to learn the nature of all our authoritative relationships by imitation.
5. Can we judge someone’s salvation? C. Michael Patton responds to the statement, “you can’t judge a person’s salvation.”
I am not the judge of whether someone is a Christian or not. I am not the judge of whether someone has true faith or not. But why does this mean that I can’t make informed judgments about a person’s status?
Rarely would someone call foul if I believed someone was not a Christian when they themselves confessed that they weren’t a Christian. After all, if someone claims to be an atheist, since there is an element of embarrassment to this confession, then it is very easy to take them at their word. However, my belief that they are not a Christian does not judge them to be so, it just makes a judgment that their confession is probably true.
6. This reflects my ability to teach math.
HT: Erik Raymond
7. What is one of the greatest doctrinal threats facing the church? Michael Horton says religious pluralism.
Religious pluralism has not only made us more aware of other beliefs, which is good, so that we’re explicit about what we believe and why, it has made us more vulnerable to the belief that religion is really about morality. It’s about being nice. It’s about being good. It’s about loving each other. It’s not really about the intervention of God in human history, assuming our flesh, dying on the cross, and being raised the third day for our justification, His return in judgment, and a real Heaven and a real Hell. To the extent that we’ve already turned religion into morality—something we do rather than something that God has done for us—to that extent, religious pluralism will mean, not only that there are lots of people of different religions we must respect and to whom we have to witness, but rather that there are all of these wonderful people who have their sources of morality just as we do, and we need to realize that there are different paths to God. Increasingly that’s where we’re going with a lot of pastors, telling believers that Jesus is the best way of pursuing community and self-sacrifice, but not the One who was sacrificed for our sins and raised for our justification.
9. Theologian trading cards. Hey I’ll trade you Martin Luther for Augustine of Hippo!
10. How you can respond to your pro-choice friends. Thoughts from Scott Klusendorf.
That’s it, I’m out.