2008-10-06 The Brief

Culture
Missiology
  • Early last month Dr. David Sills, of SBTS, posted a fantastic article, entitled “The Brain Drain,” in which he looks at contemporary evangelicalism and how our desire to prepare missionaries has taught missions well but failed to model it and is in some sense counterproductive. From the article:
  • It is amazing to me that the most eloquent Bible expositors and scholars who exegete so beautifully the missionary journeys of Paul have often never been on one themselves. . . . They model a ministry that talks about the nations but does not walk among the nations.

    The brightest and best aspire to follow and emulate these godly teachers, preachers, Bible scholars, and theologians who unfortunately do not model missions as a worthy life investment. As much as young people want it to, missions does not seem to fit into any responsible, biblical expression of ministry because none of the leaders or inner circle members is missions focused in anything but talk. After a time of confused struggling, young people pack away their passion for missions as misguided zeal.

    I would love for you to read this article and then share your thoughts.

Theology

2008-09-08 The Brief

News

·         The Death of Paper – Are printed magazines, newspapers, and books nearing their demise?  Check out this article and make the call.

Politics

·         The List: McCain’s 10 Worst IdeasForeign Policy is doing a two part series on the ten worst policy proposals for the two presidential hopefuls.

·         The List: Obama’s 10 Worst IdeasForeign Policy is doing a two part series on the ten worst policy proposals for the two presidential hopefuls.

·         On Faith – The panelists at The Washington Post and Newsweek’s forum, On Faith, have recently been asked: “Women are not allowed to become clergy in many conservative religious groups. Is it hypocritical to think that a woman can lead a nation and not a congregation?”  As you can imagine this question has generated a varied number of responses and heated debate in the forums.  You can read the responses from all the panelists here; however, I would recommend the following panelists’ responses, and not necessarily because I agree with them:

Albert Mohler Jr. – President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Brian D. McLaren – Leader in the Emergent Church movement and author of A Generous Orthodoxy

Richard Mouw – President, Fuller Theological Seminary

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite – Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary

Deepak Chopra – Founder and president of the Alliance for a New Humanity

Theology

·         Lost/Found in Translation?Ed Stetzer has posted a helpful article concerning the language a church chooses to use and how this shapes missional thinking.

·         Insufficient Responses- A Thought on Nehemiah 1.4 – You need to read this post.

·         Is Divine Election Unfair?John MacArthur gives a brief explanation of why this doctrine of grace is truly gracious.

·         Six Study EssentialsMark Driscoll gives six simple yet very helpful essentials to Bible study.

The SBC

·         Pry the Baton Out of Their (C)old, Dead Hands- An Opinion on Age Trends in the SBCTodd Burus has posted on age trends in the SBC there has  not been a lot of discussion on this post and I know Todd, as well as myself, would love to hear your thoughts.

·         Convocation marks start of “year of living dangerously,” Mohler tells studentsDr. Albert Mohler’s fall convocation address at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary challenges students to live dangerously (click here for MP3).  From the address:

“I want us to be an institution that scares people,” he said. “We are gathered here at this place, with so many of us — it appears — who are committed to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; this is a dangerous place. The forces of evil and darkness and the enemies of the Gospel have more than met their match. Not because of who we are, but because of who Christ is. Not because we have any tactical skill, but because we follow a Lord who is going to vindicate His Gospel.”

2008-08-12 The Brief

Blogroll

Todd Burus has been blogging since late 2007 but I want to bring his blog, “For the time that is past suffices…”, to your attention.  Todd has one of the keenest minds that I know from mathematics to politics to theology Todd is profoundly intelligent and his blog comes highly recommended.

Justin Sok recently left the blogsphere and shut down his blog Marvelous Light.  This was a devastating blow from the man who inspired me to blog.  Luckily none of us will have to do without his thoughts for much longer as this weekend he rejoined us with the aptly titled In Medias Res.  Like Todd Justin has a keen mind and provides solid insight on just about any subject.  Other than Al Mohler Justin is the widest read individual I know and I love engaging him in discussion.  I am excited to see where Justin takes this new blog and I hope you are as well.  For those of you who were as sad to see ML go as much as I am let me know and I will e-mail you a .feed-ms file that contains all of Justin’s posts.

Books

Re:Lit, of Crossway, has several new books out and coming out in the near future that you would do well to check out.  See the links below.

·         Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (click here for Amazon)

·         Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives

·         Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods

Tim Challies offers a brief review of Serve God Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action by J. Matthew Sleeth, MD in his cleverly titled post “Serve God, Save the Planet.”

World News

How Putin Wins” by Foreign Policy is a brief yet insightful post on the war in Georgia.

The Olympics

Michael Phelps is making Olympic history.  There are countless articles on the web about this so I will just refer you to this article over at CNN.  But seriously if you have not been watching the Olympics you are missing out, both in terms of history and hilarity.

John Mark Reynolds, Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Biola University, looks at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics and reflects on the worldview imagery displayed there.  I appreciate his post, “The Religious Olympics Opening,” as it reminds us to focus on being philosophically and culturally discerning.  At the same time I think he has either underestimated China’s cultural pride or overestimated the historical pride and intelligence of most American’s.  Why did China’s opening ceremony make “much of what contemporary Americans do in our public ceremonies look decadent and without cultural confidence?”  Simple, most Americans are ahistorical slobs to whom decadence sells.  For me a particular irony is this: throughout the news coverage of this Olympics China’s human rights record has been a constant topic of discussion and yet despite this record China’s citizens have displayed a tremendous amount of nationalistic pride.  On the other hand if the US were to end poverty, bring peace to the world, and ensure democratic process to all large numbers of American’s would still hate their country and find no sense of pride in anything remotely American.  So why would the US never produce an opening ceremony as pervaded with imagery from US history as the ceremony in Beijing?  Because not only are most Americans ahistorical but a lot of them are aAmerican as well.

Theology

In Ed Stetzer’s post “Saturday if for (Baptist) Friends” he looks at the ever aging SBC and notes both how the convention will not survive if this young generation of pastors/missionaries/etcetera is lost and then asks how this generation can be reengaged.

Timmy Brister has a great post up about word-driven church planting movements entitled “Word-Driven Movemental Christianity.”  Give this a read and then give Tim some feedback, I think you will really enjoy his post.

2008-08-09 The Brief

Blog Updates

For those of you who are on Facebook be sure to join the Missio Dei Blog Network.

Whatever

Maybe after this someone will sue Joel for shipwrecked faith.

World News

If you want to take a break from watching the Olympics the CNN special God’s Warriors looks to be very intriguing.  I have watched most of the videos on the website and they have been interesting.  I am going to try and record it and then post my thoughts; I would love to hear yours as well.

2008-07-31 The Brief

Blog Updates

Check out the Resources page as I have recently added some new papers.  There are more updates on the way and I hope to have the new Links page up and running sometime this month.

Culture

CNN asks “Black and single: Is marriage really for white people? This article is incredibly interesting and demonstrates how events in culture, such as being black and single, which appear to be normative eventually become accepted as being right.  Truth however is not determined by the whims of the polis.  Why do you think this is the cultural norm and how does one address such an issue?

In “The Feminization of the American Male From Top to ToeDr. Randy L. Stinson reflects on Tony Glenville’s Top to Toe: A Comprehensive Guide to the Grooming of the Modern Male.  Such a book would seem trivial at best; however, Dr. Stinson does a fantastic job connecting the philosophy of this book to deadly patterns that have emerged in the church.

From the article:

Men reading Glenville’s book will only be encouraged in their sinful tendency to look out for themselves.  If men are focused on such trivial things as dry skin and pampering themselves with long baths, it will be all the more difficult to expect them to lead, provide, and protect. . . . What we need is a church culture that will require boys and men to do hard things, to cultivate toughness, resilience, and courage, top to toe.

Economics

Exxon posts new profit record:” Nothing new here; it seems that every quarter they are posting record earnings.  I don’t typically buy into conspiracy theories but I do remember a time when gas prices rising over $0.90 was outrageous.  If you have not begun already then I suggest that you start saving your cash for an electric/hydrogen car.

Theology

John MacArthur has taken a brief look at Martin Luther in a short, but fantastic post, entitled “No Compromise.”

Joe R. Miller has interviewed Eric Bryant about his recent book Peppermint Filled Piñatas: Breaking Through Tolerance and Embracing Love.  Check out the interview here.

The Olympics

Foreign Policy has an article up about the real meaning behind the summer Olympic Games.  Toss your altruism aside because the Olympics are all about one thing: profit.  Take a look at “Prime Numbers: Rings of Gold” for all the dirty details.