Yes, reading the Bible can be an exercise in legalism, but approaching it with discipline and commitment is not legalism. And why should we do this? Is it just so we can pump our heads full of knowledge? Is knowledge the end goal? No. Knowledge is the first goal, but knowledge is not the end goal.
Interesting piece Mark Oppenheimer:
Calvinism is a theological orientation, not a denomination or organization. The Puritans were Calvinist. Presbyterians descend from Scottish Calvinists. Many early Baptists were Calvinist. But in the 19th century, Protestantism moved toward the non-Calvinist belief that humans must consent to their own salvation — an optimistic, quintessentially American belief. In the United States today, one large denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, is unapologetically Calvinist.
But in the last 30 years or so, Calvinists have gained prominence in other branches of Protestantism, and at churches that used to worry little about theology.
Kindle deals for Christian readers
Here’s a recap of the deals that’ve come up during the last week (plus a few others):
- How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell—$4.79 (pre-order)
- Knowing God by J.I. Packer—$2.99
- God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom—$3.99
- Union with Christ by Todd Billings—$3.99
- Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton—$3.99
- How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart—$2.99
B&H’s New American Commentary Studies ($4.99 each):
- Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner
- Future Israel by Barry Horner
- Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce
- Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles
- Lukan Authorship of Hebrews by David Allen
- God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton Jr.
- The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik
- The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker
- The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner
- The End of the Law by Jason Meyer
- That You May Know by Christopher Bass
So, I recently was in a conversation with an old friend of mine. We’ve known one another for a long time, and I knew of his journey.
Over the years, he changed his view on alcohol, moving from an abstentionist position to a more moderationist one. But, he found that, like a consistent percentage of people who intend to drink in moderation, he could not. He would later call that “alcoholism.”
Some studies show that 30% of Americans will struggle with alcohol in some way. That does not mean they are all alcoholics, but there are real issues to be addressed. And, if more evangelicals are going to accept beverage alcohol, we are going to need to have this conversation more frequently. (Even if the views don’t change, there are still many secret alcoholics—so let’s have the conversation either way.)
So, here is an interview with an anonymous evangelical pastor who is a recovering alcoholic. I’m hoping it might help someone see a problem that they might be ignoring, in themselves or in a friend.
In the course of any given week, I will read several books. I know how much I thrive on this learning and the intellectual stimulation I get from reading. As my wife and family would be first to tell you, I can read almost anytime, anywhere, under almost any kind of conditions. I have a book with me virtually all the time, and have been known to snatch a few moments for reading at stop lights. No, I do not read while driving (though I must admit that it has been a temptation at times). I took books to high school athletic events when I played in the band. (Heap coals of scorn and nerdliness here). I remember the books; do you remember the games?