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Extracurricular Activities–August 17, 2013

Categories Extracurricular Activities

Roger Olson Posits A Conversation between a Calvinist and an Arminian About God's Sovereignty

Calvinist to Arminian: “You Arminians don’t really believe in God’s sovereignty.”

Arminian: “You Calvinists don’t really believe in God’s love.”

Calvinist: “Oh, but we do. You’re so wrong! The Bible is clear about God being love.”

Arminian: “But you don’t believe God loves all people, so how can you believe, as the Bible says, that God is love?”

Calvinist: “God loves all people in some ways but only some people in all ways.”

Arminian: “Uh, you seemed to be in a trance as you said that. Are you sure you didn’t just hear that somewhere and are repeating it like a mantra—without really thinking about what you’re saying?”

Calvinist: “No, that’s what I really believe!”

Michael Bird Interacts with D.A. Carson on the Kingdom of God

One view [of the Kingdom of God] that Carson brings up and then critiques is the following:

3. With the triumph of Christ achieved on the cross and through his resurrection, the kingdom has dawned—a glorious anticipation of the spectacular glory of resurrection existence in the new heaven and new earth. That means Christ’s people are mandated to begin now to work out the dimensions of righteousness and justice that will be consummated at the end: saying “No” to raw power, caring for the poor and needy, reversing discrimination, being good stewards of the created order that anticipates the consummated created order. All of this is the mission of Jesus.

...I guess my problem is that I rather liked option # 3.

Ben Witherington Questions: What Should a Christian Think About the Personal Ethical Issue of Abortion?

Personal ethical issues like abortion are complex issues. They ought not to be decided by cliches or self-justifying dictums of various sorts, just in case the life of someone in somebody’s womb just happens to be a human being, and not merely a fetus.

Let’s talk the pie chart above for a moment. What it shows is that in America at least, very few instances of abortion are cases where the mother of the child’s life is actually in danger in any way...But what we are talking about is rare exceptions to the rule that most abortions have nothing to do with the life of the mother being endangered. You don’t make an ethic out of a rare exception. No, you have an ethic, and then when exceptions arise due to lesser of two evils circumstances, you deal with them on a case by case basis, which should be determined by a doctor and the patient involved.

Stephen Nichols on The 3 Pillars of Bonhoeffer's Seminary in Nazi Germany: Scripture, Prayer, Theological Confession

So the new seminary at Finkenwalde gave Bonhoeffer an opportunity to chart a different course for ministerial education. He would focus his school on Scripture, prayer, and theological confession, and as Herr Direktor, Bonhoeffer could uphold these three pillars as he saw fit. But not all agreed. For example, the towering Karl Barth protested, among other leaders in the Confessing Church. Many students followed suit by bucking Bonhoeffer's innovations. Too formidable to be dismissed, however, he stood his ground, eventually winning over both his students and also his critics.

Bonus Double Feature: Tom Rainer on 10 Things Pastors Like Least & Most About Job

10 Things Pastors Like Least About Their Jobs: Let me state the obvious: Pastors are humans. That means they have preferences, likes, and dislikes. So I did an unscientific Twitter poll to find out what pastors really don’t like about their jobs. #1...Conflict and complaining church members.

10 Things Pastors Like Most About Their Job: In today’s post, I look at the positive side of being a pastor. Most of these leaders love their work and the churches they serve. So I took to the Twitterverse again with my poll question asking pastors what they like most about their work. #1...Seeing lives transformed.


Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.

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