Month: August 2013

Read Your Bible More and More – Desiring God

Read Your Bible More and More – Desiring God.

I love the first two reasons Piper gives as to why reading the Bible everyday (whether one feels like it or not) is not legalism.

  1. You are confessing your lack of desire as sin, and pleading as a helpless child for the desire you long to have. Legalists don’t cry like that. They strut.
  2. You are reading out of desperation for the effects of this heavenly medicine. Bible-reading is not a cure for a bad conscience; it’s chemo for your cancer. Legalists feel better because the box is checked. Saints feel better when their blindness lifts, and they see Jesus in the word. Let’s get real. We are desperately sick with worldliness, and only the Holy Spirit, by the word of God, can cure this terminal disease.

I actually founds this as I searched DG for “daily Bible reading” to see what Piper or some other might have to say to “stir me up” and rekindle my fire for reading the Word before breakfast each day. Why do I go to DG? Because a true friend tells you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear, and I can often count on the folks at DG for that, and Piper is simply the most motivating advocate of daily reading of the Word in personal and/or corporate devotions, but especially the former.

Let us continue the race of faith, slowly and steadily, always quick to listen and slow to speak, humbly and boldly.

via Read Your Bible More and More – Desiring God.

Brain Scans, Free Will and So on

I cannot believe I am still interested in this topic as much as I am.

I’m going to give you some quotes I liked  most from a recent “news” piece, or some quotes that I think summarize what the point and interest of this is.

There’s a growing recognition of the importance of the subconscious in our decision-making. We may not even be aware of the influence that a surrounding smell or noise is having on our choices. And some neuroscientists have even claimed that by examining patterns in the brain, they can predict decisions that we will take six or seven seconds before we ourselves consciously choose to take them.

All this raises a question for the philosopher – what are the implications of advances in knowledge about human decision-making for our conception of free will? Will scientific progress undermine our sense that we have free will? Will it eventually lead us to conclude that free will is an illusion?

The emergence of the concept of free will can be dated to about the 4th Century AD, and was an ingenious solution of Christian theologians to the so-called Problem of Evil. If God is all powerful, and God is all good, how come there is evil in the world? The answer, said Saint Augustine, is that man has free will.

According to this article, I am a compatibilist, believing that both free will and providence (of God) need not be split in order to solve the problem of evil.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” -(Gen. 50:20)

God didn’t merely fix Joseph’s brothers’ blunder: he ordered it for a purpose larger than anyone saw coming.

via BBC News – What can a brain scan tell us about free will?.

Tim Keller – Christ Is Your King

“Democracy is medicine, not food.” -C.S. Lewis

We all worship something or someone, admittedly it or not, so choose the real king: Jesus Christ.

Tim Keller – Christ Is Your King

As Keller gives instruction on how to treat Jesus like a king, namely, to accept whatever he gives (including orders), in prayer, Keller recalls a stanza of John Newton’s hymn, which I like:

“Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring;

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much;

None can ever ask too much.”  

via Tim Keller – Christ Is Your King 

As Much as I Love Books and Literature: Marginalia

As much as I love books and literature, the books in my library are not eternal. Every physical book I own is in the process of returning to dust—“For you are paper pulp and to paper pulp you shall return.” I keep this in mind when I uncap a pen and begin scrawling my notes into the pages of a book. My books are not fragile museum pieces to archive behind a glass display; my books are well-worn hand tools—hammers, tin snips, measuring tapes, and vice grips—to help me remodel my brain.

-Tony Reinke in Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books

A Copy of St. Andrews Seven

John Piper said St. Andrews Seven is one of the best books he has read on missions, so a lot of people (including me) flocked to Amazon to buy said book, months ago.

This book is no longer in print.

That afternoon, the prices increased from $30 to $50 to $75 and then…almost $300? (We’re talking about a tiny, used book). I didn’t buy it originally because I thought $30 was too steep for a used book…

I was creating an Evernote about the experience today as I sat down to read the copy I checked out at HST (from the phenomenal library on campus), when I decided to check to see if there are any copies on Amazon  still for $300 a pop), just for the sake of accurate note-creating, today, and there were some.

The price was still jacked up except for on one copy! Caught and bought after being sought for months–you rascal!

St Andrews Seven

St Andrews Seven

I think I’ll wait for that copy in the mail, so I can make notes in it (with pencil).

This evolved from an Evernote note, to a Facebook Status, to a blog post before I could save or submit the former–

My, how things can escalate quickly.

Christians Put Hands on Bibles for the First Time

I found this (linked) blog post earlier and didn’t know how to feel. My first reaction to this kind of video, honestly, is to disbelieve that any of it is true. After all, I have been to China for a year myself, and I saw plenty of extra Bibles, still in the plastic wrapper.
That’s forgetting something, though: China is a very large country.
So that doesn’t mean that the Bible is known or understood there by all, though, and far from that is the truth: the Word has spread rapidly there, praise God, for doors are opening–but there are still millions who haven’t heard it preached or taught right. (And by “right,” I do not mean my particular interpretation of the Word, but rather, they haven’t heard the word taught as the truth).

The Good News

Do you love the Word of God this much? We who have many Bibles are so blessed. We ought to do something to get the Word into the hands of those who desire it like these Chinese Christians.

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How to Think Like an Editor — CanonWired

So, I watched the following video earlier today–all 40 minutes of it. What can I say other than I was sucked into it. What was meant to be a quick glance at an editor (who looks  a tad like Einstein) turned into almost an hour venture.

Usually I post faith-related updates flavored like a Bible study. That was my plan, anyway. However, the English major in me (which was my undergraduate work) loves stuff like this.

John Wilson, editor of “Books & Culture: A Christian Review” describes his experience in being a editor in order to help aspiring writers to think on both sides of the equation instead of just one.

Near the end, Mr. John Wilson has some great advice, and I’ll paraphrase what I can remember (with apologies to Mr. Wilson): don’t feel like you have to have read all of the classics, or whatever the latest gab is about. Read what you enjoy, and enjoy what you read. That is not to say that we shouldn’t read anything difficult, or that we shouldn’t read the classics. They’re classics for a reason.

So, have “…not a belligerent rejection but an independent spirit…”

“There is a sort of false idea that there is some set of books that if you want to be really educated, or you want to be really hip, or whatever the category is–you have to do this, you have to do this–and it’s false…

I might start to read Books and Culture sometime. Thank you for telling the truth, Mr. John Wilson.

How to Think Like an Editor — CanonWired.