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From Around the Internet 3/27/15

internet-mapSome random quotes from around the Internet:

An urban church rejects the idea of charity and finds renewal: ““If we believe that God’s spirit is flowing down on all people, old and young, women and men — and on the poor… why don’t we treat people like that’s true?”Here: Death and resurrection of an urban church.

Greg Boyd: “Some scholars today argue that the stories recorded in the Gospels are actually intentional fabrication. In essence, they argue that Mark took Paul’s theology and robed the story of Jesus in a fictitious historical narrative. The other Gospels followed suit. The argument is clever and removes the difficulty of explaining how a legend of a God-man could arise so quickly among first-century Jews. But there are 7 major problems with this contention….” Here: Are the Gospels Historical Fiction?

Kimberly Winston quotes Lawrence Wright, one of the producers of a new documentary on Scientology: “When people see for themselves the testimony of people who have been through the Scientology experience, they’ll have a better idea of what they might be in for if they decide to join the church….” Here: HBO’s ‘Going Clear’ Questions the Future of Scientology,

Richard Beck comments on the theology of snake-handling churches and its relevance to all of us: “Of course, the theology of the snake handling churches seems bizarre and esoteric. But in 2012 I tried to summarize some theological insights about how the snake handling churches handle the theological problem of snakebite and how that experience might have broader relevance. The point I argued is that the theological problem of snakebite is a problem that many Christians share, even if they don’t handle snakes….” Here: They Shall Take Up Serpents: On Snakebite, Fear and Love.


bible-crossPhilosopher Randal Rauser writes about Christian evangelism: “Christian faith is trivialized when it is reduced to being the punch-line of an extended sales pitch. By contrast, when it is presented in the context of a mutual sharing of personal convictions, passions and interests, it is honored as the natural outcome of genuine relationship.” Here: Beyond so-called Friendship Evangelism.

Jonathan Merritt (Religion News Service): “The data makes clear that opposition to same-sex marriage is coming mainly from a small and aging subset of the Christian world. If you follow the headlines, it feels like an invisible finger has flicked the first domino in a long row of tiles. But don’t be fooled. Evangelicals are still mostly opposed to same-sex marriage and concerned about how gay rights might infringe on religious freedom. A lot of time remains on the game clock, and much of the field is yet to be negotiated.” Here: Predictions of evangelical concessions on LGBT rights are premature.

Justin Martyr (100-165): “Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate.” This quote can be found among a long collection of quotes on the topic of Free Will from the early Church Fathers, here: Free Will.

Carl McColman: “Sometimes I get asked “Where is contemplation in the Bible?” One obvious answer to this question is Psalm 131. Here: Psalm 131: Humility, Silence and Hope.

internet-wrldSteve Harper writes: “We need holy-experimentation in our prayer life today as much as ever.  We are too much given over to having to get something “right,” which only forces a perfectionism on discernment that is too heavy to bear.  The way of love calls for a recovery of purity of intention, which includes the honoring of desire to glorify God while acknowledging that such glorification will always be a work in progress.” Here: For the Bride: Holy Experimentation.

Daniel Steele (1824-1914): “The reader of the original of John 17:3 will note that eternal life lies not so much in the possession of a completed knowledge of Christ, gained once for all, as in a perpetually increasing apprehension of him: “and this is life eternal that they should be knowing (present tense denoting continuity) Thee, the only true God and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.” I expect to be eternally striving after a growing knowledge of the Father through the Son. My happiness will consist in love ever increasing promoted by a gainful striving which will know no end.” Here: Perfected Holiness is a Progressive State.

Thomas C. Upham (1799-1872)

Thomas C. Upham (1799-1872)

Thomas C. Upham (1799–1872): “Humanity demands a [personal] God who can thus be recognized and worshiped. The instinct of reverence and homage, which evidently pervades the human heart, so much so that it has found its place as an attribute of humanity in all lands and all ages, requires, and cannot be satisfied with anything short of a personal God.” Here: Humanity Demands a Personal God.

Philip Jenkins recall the Biblical criticism of 18th century Deism and remarks: “Here’s a thought. Maybe the most important theme to highlight in any history of Biblical criticism is that of serial amnesia.” Here: The Deist Revolution.

And, here is the fascinating story of a black man who seeks to overcome racism through conversation: The Audacity of Talking About Race With the Ku Klux Klan.



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