04 January 2012

Daily Morsels-January 4, 2012

Easy-believism is near beer--Jared Wilson writes about easy versus hard-believism. American churches, certainly since the last century, have sold a form of easy-believism whereby people proclaim faith, yet show none of the markings of being a Christ follower. Admittedly, this is a difficult distinction; it is hard to read an essay like this and not fall into the trap of legalism or, on the flip side, to cast the pursuit of holiness aside while proclaiming freedom in Christ. "In the end, the essential trust here is not that our 'life change' justifies us, but that those whom God justifies, he sanctifies. We trust that God is pleased to credit Christ's perfect righteousness to our account, but that he is also pleased to actually make us righteous, to faithfully complete the work he began in us, to Spiritually plant and grow righteousness in our lives. The Bible calls this fruit, and it is by this fruit that we are known as Christians. This is not a denial of grace, but an affirmation of real grace, of the only grace there is, which is the grace that comes in the gospel that is power."

Does Ephesians 5:12 affect you?--I suspect this essay from Carl Trueman, though not directly stated as such, is in some way a response to Mark and Grace Driscoll's new book, Real Marriage. Thankfully, however, Trueman casts his net wider than just the current target.  Ephesians 5:12 reads, "For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret."  Trueman writes, "I have often in the past stood with those who laughed at what we regarded as the ignorant, unsophisticated taboos of the older generation.  But now I worry about the ease with which the rising generation talks explicitly of 'the fruitless deeds of darkness' in the name of cultural engagement, fear of being thought passé or simply a desire to slough off the legalisms of their fathers in the faith. You can, after all, get to heaven without ever having seen an R-Rated art house movie or having enjoyed a spectacular love life." 

Learn from the older men first--Paul Martin has a provocative essay on learning from older men.  He writes, "When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, began his reign, the Scriptures tell of how he consulted first with the old men, then with 'the young men who had grown up with him' on how he ought to rule. This was a matter of wisdom – the application of truth to a certain situation. There were specific principles for the kings of Israel to follow, but Rehoboam’s question was more in the line of ethos or style. What would his reign feel and look like. 1 Kings 12 goes to rather extensive pains to show that Rehoboam’s folly was in listening to the young men, rather than the old men. And this notion holds true in general." 

Two essays on naturalistic ethics--The first is a follow up to yesterday's post and the other a critique of prescriptive Darwinism

Don't be a fool--Brian Auten offers 10 pitfalls of the foolish apologist. 
  1. The foolish apologist speaks before listening.
  2. The foolish apologist overstates his argument
  3. The foolish apologist wants to win every point
  4. The foolish apologist chases red herrings
  5. The foolish apologist is proud of himself
  6. The foolish apologist seeks popularity.
  7. The foolish apologist neglects spiritual disciplines. 
  8. The foolish apologist has not love.
  9. The foolish apologist isolates himself from others. 
  10. The foolish apologist doesn't do apologetics.    

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