Archive for the ‘internet monk’ Tag

GREATEST HITS FROM BLOGWORLD ’09

I am rubbish at reading Christian books. Or any books really of late. It’s a great failing. It really doesn’t fit with my bookish self-image! Outside of holidays, it’s really just the five minutes before falling asleep in bed when I even try to catch up. I seem unable to fit old-fashioned reading into my routine since I stopped getting the train to work. Thankfully we live in times suited to the busy life and the poor attention span. The blogosphere is here, and is designed to give us bite-size chunks of information and opinion, often as written by those authoring the very Christian books I don’t get around to read. I have become quite a fan…

 

And now it’s time to share. So here we go with a greatest hits compilation of 2009 thus far. It’s by no means comprehensive, as I haven’t been planning for such an eventuality. However, courtesy of the starring system on Google Reader, it does at least represent articles that particularly struck me as I read. So, give it a lunch-break, click on the links and read on…  

 

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

This is SUCH a good post by Jam Carey – a true call to arms for godly living…

 

TRANSFORMING GRACE

Wow. A cancer scare dealt with in honest and godly terms. This is blogging at its most real and compelling by Neil Robbie.

 

TIM CHESTER 1

Two Tim Chesters as I don’t want to miss out either one. This one is a great aid to leader accountability…

 

TIM CHESTER 2

And this one is just unbelievable. It’s a godly guide to washing up. It’s not done as an amusing example – nor as metaphor. It’s just that – a detailed, serious guide to godly washing-up. A reminder that we all have some way to go!

 

THE RESURGENCE

This guy is awesome – not Driscoll this time, although this is his blog, but US soldier Al Lobaina – living godliness in the midst of a brutal war. Macho Christianity!

 

UGLEY VICAR

Just a fascinating concept – that the whole Creation story is about the Sabbath… I am long overdue an examination of what the Sabbath means today. I truly have no idea…

 

SOLA PANEL 

Driscoll went to Australia and told them everything they were doing wrong. Fair dinkum to these Aussie blokes for reacting to it without the understandable kneejerk…

 

SOLA PANEL 2 Another one from the Aussies – their own voice not really represented by the first after all. This is a great help in planning group studies. 

 

PLAY THE MAN Fantastic encouragement for anyone feeling the apparent hopelessness entailed in praying for the conversion of intellectual atheists.

 

FOOD4THOUGHT

Pertinent to the post… Perks’ thoughts on those like me who are failing to read the real stuff!

 

DESIRING GOD

One of the most powerful moments of the year so far, I think, was seeing this. Like some kind of Old Testament judge, Piper delivers a thundering message to the incoming President.

 

INTERNET MONK

This really got me thinking. Are Bible-believers letting the Bible limit their outlook? Internet Monk does controversy as ever!

 

THE GUARDIAN – COMMENT IS FREE

Not a Christian post. A really fascinating insight into the other side of atheism. A God-shaped gap indeed…

 

AND FINALLY… And this is your reward. A rare secular link – for the movie geeks among you!

 

 

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IT’S ABOUT THE CROSS, STUPID!

gettingreadyforthecross2 posts for the price of one today – and both with the same tagline.

 

REGARDING THE INTERNET MONK

 

I very much enjoy reading the blog of Michael Spencer, aka The Internet Monk. He is often a reminder that I have a long way to go in terms of both wisdom and blogging expertise (compare for example his reasoned and practical response on abortion compared to mine!). However, I should technically be affronted by his standpoint. He is, after all, ‘blogging from the post-evangelical wilderness’ and has left ‘our’ branch of the church.

 

But is that really the case? Let us see what he really opposes. It is certainly not the cross of Christ! By way of quick summary, I would say his evangelical baiting (generally framed within an American context) is aimed at the likes of; the health/wealth ministry, an obsession with prophetically-enlightened end-days theology, rigid Old Testament literalism (eg 7-day creation), a ministry of hate and rage towards the lost (particularly regarding abortion), the aggressive corporate approach of ‘mega-churches’, the hypocrisy of some Christians’ conduct and, to round off, their generally anti-intellectual/academic approach. Looking back over this list, would we really disagree with him??

 

It is important, therefore, to remember that, particularly in the global forum of the internet, if we venture apologetics under the label of ‘evangelicals’, it is often the politically loud American brand of that movement with which we will be assumed associated (I’m British, in case anyone wondered!). The result will be that the battle will be pitched along the lines covered above, at least if we allow others to set the agenda. Some of these issues are very significant, yes, and our voices should be heard when appropriate. However, none of them should represent our primary focus. Because, after all, no-one will ultimately be saved by guessing right when it comes to the Rapture; no-one will be saved by putting their faith in a young Earth; no-one will be saved by opposing abortion.

 

It is the cross that saves. The gospel is Christ crucified; God incarnate, a perfect man dying in our place so we are spared the wrath of judgement. This is most important, and this is what we should be known for as Bible-believing Christians. Our message, along with our righteous conduct as we deliver it, will make us a true light to the world. At the end of the day… It’s about the Cross, stupid!

 

GOD OR JESUS?

 

A quicker one now. Looking back over my recent apologetics efforts, I have realised the problem with engaging the Dawkins crowd. The issue is always, in their eyes, ‘Atheism vs Theism’. It’s all very well, but it means we’re forever arguing whether or not there is a God – issues of morality, creation, order, uniqueness of humanity etc. This is the current water-cooler debate, particularly as the ‘atheist buses’ roll around our streets. There’s a problem here, however. Even if we win this battle, for the same reasons listed in the paragraphs below, we have still fallen short of giving the gospel. It is a long old route to get from proof of God to His purposes, His coming in human form, and His sacrifice on the Cross. Most of the time, we’ll never make it there. If we argue exclusively to prove God’s existence it’s a pyrrhic victory we seek as ‘even the demons believe – and tremble’ (James 2:19). Eventually we have to challenge them towards faith in Christ.

 

I’m wondering therefore… the common wisdom is that, without a foundational belief in a creator God, getting them to believe in Jesus as His son is hopeless. But perhaps there is another way? Perhaps a conviction of Jesus’ role in history, his affect on humanity, the worth of his teaching, the authenticity of the gospels and the wonder of his works really can lead others to new belief in the God revealed in Christ? At least with this approach we will have shared the gospel. It’s also worth remembering that, whatever way we go, nothing’s going to happen without the Spirit’s help. However, lest we ever get too caught up in endlessly discussing the Big Bang, it’s worth remembering… It’s about the Cross, stupid!