These are the items I found on the internet this year which stood out in my mind more than anything else:
In The Theology of Gift-An Other Directed Blessing, Dr. Ben Witherington of Asbury Theological Seminary illustrates God's grace with the giving of gifts without any thought of reciprocity. This short post appeared in June, yet it is a perfect devotional thought during the Christmas season.
Do you think the mudslinging in the 2012 election was the worst you have ever seen. What was thrown at Jesus and Paul was far worse, as Frank Viola demonstrates in Jesus and Paul Under Fire and the 2012 USA Presidential Election.
Counting In Ministry: What You Measure Matters by Matt Friedeman, one of my former professors at Wesley Biblical Seminary. What the Church does outside its walls is the true measure of its effectiveness as a witness for Jesus Christ. Dr Friedeman demonstrates this by highlighting the Church he pastors, Dayspring Community Church. In doing so, he shows how the evangelical Church will transform the culture. This article appeared in Asbury Seedbed.
"Hell will be filled with people who were avidly committed to Christian values. Christian values cannot save anyone and never will. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a Christian value, and a comfortability with Christian values can blind sinners to their need for the gospel...Parents who raise their children with nothing more than Christian values should not be surprised when their children abandon those values. If the child or young person does not have a firm commitment to Christ and to the truth of the Christian faith, values will have no binding authority, and we should not expect that they would." So says Al Mohler in his article, Christian Values Cannot Save Anyone.
"The problem with the advanced West is not that it’s broke but that it’s old and barren. Which explains why it’s broke." This is a quote from Mark Steyn's Elizebeth and Our Barreness. Steyn memorably explains why lower birth rates signal a decline in civilization. Actually, this is from 2011, but it appeared after I posted the Best of the Web, 2011.
Calvinists Who Love Wesley by Fred Sanders. No explanation needed.
Here is a case of a non-Wesleyan honestly assessing Wesleyan theology. In this case, Thomas Cudworth calls out those theistic evolutionists who claim Wesleyan theology as a legitimate vehicle for their mingling of Christianity and evolution. See here, here, here,here, and here, this last being a review of Cudworth's articles from a United Methodist. Some of these articles are long. From Uncommon Descent. (I could not find a link to Cudworth.)
Are You Lovable? In other words, despite our fallen condition, is there anything in us that God could love? After all, we are still in God's image. This is the question John Stackhouse asks.
Extroversion. This is a trait that has ruined many ministers and laypersons of my acquaintance. Here is a good short article on extroversion from Jesus Creed, a blog I find interesting but theologically questionable.
I also am finding Out of Ur increasingly theologically questionable. But some of its posts are good. Such as this one, When Worship is Wrong. Here is a quote: "A University of Washington study has found that megachurch worship experiences actually trigger an “oxytocin cocktail” in the brain that can become chemically addictive. The same has been found at large sporting events and concerts, but attenders to these gatherings don’t usually attribute the “high” to God."
"I no longer believe the lie that American Christians are “too political” and if we only spoke less about abortion we’d be more respected (the mainline denominations have taken that path for two generations, and they continue tolose members and cultural influence). From David French's An Open Letter To Young, "Post-Partisan" Evangelicals. The best reply to the evangelical left I have seen.
Why a female Christian removed her purity ring: I Don't Wait Anymore. From the Grace For The Road blog.
Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? (Humor) from Kevin Jackson's Wesleyan Arminian blog. (With some minor contributions of my own in the comment section.)
Thursday, December 27, 2012
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