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Showing posts from February, 2019

faith-based morality

In a recent article, " By What Standard," Tom Ascol describes a book he and his fellow elders read together.  The authors were sociologists, and Ascol notes,  "What we discovered is that the sociologists subtly turned ethicists throughout the book. That is, they went from describing what they observed to  prescribing what ought to be."  He goes on to say, " sciences can be helpful to the extent that they accurately help assess the way things are. An honest, careful sociologist can help you see things in relationships and groups that you might otherwise overlook. But no Christian should ever look to sociology or sociologists for ethical marching orders." Many today think that we Christians (specifically, evangelicals) are unscientific and narrow (more: bigoted and hateful) in our ethical standards.   Our morals are archaic and based solely upon an outmoded faith.  Apart from the religious position, there are newer moral standards, which are  pro

the pastor as theologian

If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.   (1 Timothy 4:6 ESV) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.  (Titus 1:9 ESV) "Every pastor is called to be a theologian. This may come as a surprise to some pastors who see theology as an academic discipline taken during seminary rather than as an ongoing and central part of the pastoral calling. Nevertheless, the health of the church depends on its pastors functioning as faithful theologians—teaching, preaching, defending, and applying the great doctrines of the faith. Athanasius  "In the earliest eras of the church, and through the annals of Christian history, the central theologians of the church were its pastors. "The managerial revolution has left many pastors

random benefits part two

Here are five more benefits, randomly selected, of growing older... 8)  Health is not something you take for granted anymore .  Once you did anything you wanted, and didn't even think about asking your body about it.  Now, you're not only aware of your body, you have to ask permission of the various parts to get going in the morning.  But still you're thankful to be moving about.  As they say, it's better to be seen than viewed.  9)  You realize that technology in media, while very helpful, is greatly over-rated in truly enhancing life.  Smart phones don't make you smart, they just give you access to things that could make you smart if you looked at them longer than 4 seconds.  10)  You realize you need less stuff and wonder why you kept so much of what you now have.  Except books.  You don't regret having good books.  The advantage to youth is that you have more energy to get rid of stuff quicker.   11)  You see more and more the spiritual (and c

random benefits of growing older

As a baby boomer, I'm discovering that aging brings its share of problems.  But there are some benefits to growing older.  Here are seven I came up with this week.  I'm posting them now before I forget them... 1)  Simple pleasures take on more meaning .  You think, why do extreme sports when you can take a walk with your dog?  Why jump out of a plane when you can have a freshly brewed cup of coffee?  2)  The allure of popular culture diminishes -- and this is most liberating.  You actually don't care that you don't know the names of cultural icons, and you don't care that younger people are shocked that you don't know that stuff.  You begin to care about different things.  3)  You know where the potholes are in the road of life -- and can help younger people not make the mistakes you made.  If they would listen.  And the blessing is, many of them do.   4)  You have a legitimate reason to take a nap , and going to bed is a nice conclusion to the day.  A