Extracurricular Activities — November 8, 2013
Don Carson on 6 Reasons Why Not To Abandon Expository Preaching
Some use the category "expository preaching" for all preaching that is faithful to Scripture. I distinguish expository preaching from topical preaching, textual preaching, and others, for the expository sermon must be controlled by a Scripture text or texts. Expository preaching emerges directly and demonstrably from a passage or passages of Scripture.
There are a number of reasons why expository preaching deserves to be our primary method of proclamation.
Larry Hurtado on Social Description of Early Christians/Christianity
Just occasionally, there have been blog comments reflecting the old assumption that early Christianity was a movement made up simply of “illiterate proletariat”. That was a view often touted (even among scholars) until several decades ago. But, as the work of scholars seems to take a loooong time to filter out to “popular/general” circles, the sort of comments that I mention still arise.
John Stackhouse Wrestles With The Concept of Freedom
Like, I expect, most of my contemporaries, I wrestle with the concept of freedom. I have resisted the claim of certain philosophers and theologians who say that I am truly free simply if I am able to make a choice without any external constraint (no “gun to my head” and the like). They are saying that I am, so to speak, left to my own devices . . . but I, instead, want to be free to make choices among those devices. I like to think I am selecting among live, interesting options in my mind, not merely being free to opt (without external constraint) for what my mind automatically, reflexively, predictably selects as a function of its collection of values, drives, appetites, etc. I’m not a machine, nor a plant, nor even merely an instinctual animal. I’m a human being, and that, for me (as for most of us) means I can make choices among options that variously appeal to me: chocolate sometimes, vanilla others. I choose!
Michael Bird Reflects on Kevin DeYoung's Reflection on Whether John Piper Is Reformed
Kevin De Young has a piece over at TGC on Is John Piper Really Reformed?
I think De Young’s argument is basically correct and he gives helpful nuance to the diversity of Calvinistic and Reformed churches in North America.
But there are two issues here:
First, the definition of “Reformed” is slippery... Second, “Reformed” is taken as a prestige label and some feel that its currency is lowered if “others” (like Baptists) are allowed to use the label to describe themselves.
Agreeing To Disagree On Women Ordination: Bridging The Battle Lines of The Female Clergy Debate (Tish Harrison Warren, CT Magazine)
When I was deciding if I should seek ordination, a friend and fellow pastor said to me, "I'm not sure where I stand on women's ordination. But I think you should get ordained." I laughed, unsure of how he holds those conflicting ideas together, but recognizing that for all of us, myself included, seeking God's will on this issue is rarely cut-and-dried. It is a process of study, prayer, listening, repentance, and discernment.
As someone who was uncomfortable with the ordination of women for years, but is now an Anglican clergyperson who will (God willing) be a priest soon, I often end up in conversations where I find myself in the ironic position of wanting to defend those who disagree with my ordination.
As I talk about women's ordination and read great discussions about the role of feminism in the church, this is what I want to remind those on "my side" of this issue on behalf of my brothers and sisters against women's ordination.
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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