Five Items of Interest (Vol. 3)

Here are five things that I think will interest you as much as they did me.

1. Will there be another Billy Graham?

Thomas S. Kidd writes at First Things:

So maybe there will be another Billy Graham, but he or she will undoubtedly speak in a different cultural mode, and use different media than Graham did. As Graham would remind us, however, God also has a long track record of using people who rely on Him, who work hard and use entrepreneurial ministry methods, and who stay faithful to the traditional teachings of the church. We need not worry about who will fill his shoes, then. If the Kingdom requires one, God will raise up another Billy Graham.

2. A Biblical Theology of Church Discipline

Bobby Jameson writes at 9Marks:

Throughout God’s long and twisting history with his often-wayward people, he has often deployed discipline in an effort to stun us out of sinful stupor. The goal every time was repentance and spiritual renovation. Similarly, when we exclude someone from church membership we are not pronouncing their final fate, but warning them of what it could be. To exclude someone from membership is not to pronounce their final condemnation but to seek to avert it. When we exclude someone, we must continue to work and pray and hope for their repentance, renewal, and restoration.

3. Pastors Deliberately Avoiding Teaching Doctrine?

Jim Eliff writes at For The Church:

For us to even attempt to build churches by minimizing doctrine is a philosophy so far removed from the original purpose of Christ and His apostles that one would wonder if we were in the same movement. How close is this to the prediction of Paul when he said that “they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).  It is too close for me.

4. The Gospel Is News, Not Advice

The gospel is news, not advice. Advice is counsel that helps you get something accomplished. News is a report that something has been accomplished for you. It’s already happened in history, and you must respond to it. – Tim Keller

Listen to his sermon from The Gospel Coalition Orange County Regional Conference here.

5. Sex Reassignment Doesn’t Work.

Ryan T. Anderson at The Daily Signal writes:

Sex “reassignment” doesn’t work. It’s impossible to “reassign” someone’s sex physically, and attempting to do so doesn’t produce good outcomes psychosocially.

As I demonstrate in my book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” the medical evidence suggests that sex reassignment does not adequately address the psychosocial difficulties faced by people who identify as transgender. Even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically, and even in cultures that are relatively “trans-friendly,” transitioners still face poor outcomes.