From Around the Internet
Joel B. Green briefly reviews Don Thorsens’s book Calvin vs. Wesley: Bringing Belief in Line with Practice (Nashville: Abingdon, 2013) here. He says:
Calvin vs. Wesley is a timely book that deserves a wide readership. It brings its readers into conversation with Calvin’s and Wesley’s writings (rather than the writings of today’s Calvinists, Calvinians, and Wesleyans). It provides Wesleyans with solid instruction in their own evangelical faith. And it does both in a conversational tone that’s easy to read. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make the book even more useful for teachers and students.
And, Scot McKnight has been posting on Thorsen’s book (these are not listed in order):
- Calvinist in Thinking, Wesleyan in Living
- Where Calvin Went Wrong
- Spirituality: Calvin vs. Wesley
- The Big One in Calvin vs. Wesley
- Calvin vs. Wesley on the Church
- The Bible: What Kind of Book?
We’ll get to words like inspiration and revelation and God-breathed later (which I’m a believer in-but I’m getting ahead of myself), but for now it’s important to begin by stating the obvious: The Bible is first, before anything else, a library of books written by humans.I say this because there is a stilted literalism that many have encountered in regards to the Bible that makes great claims about it’s divinity and inspiration and perfection but then doesn’t know what to do with it’s humanity.Why do the four resurrection accounts in the gospels differ on basic details?Why aren’t there any clear denunciations of polygamy? Or slavery? Why does Paul say in the New Testament that it’s him speaking, not the Lord…?When people charge in with great insistence that this is God’s word all the while neglecting the very real humanity of these books, they can inadvertently rob these writings of their sacred power. All because of starting in the wrong place.You start with the human. You ask those questions, you enter there, you direct your energies to understanding why these people wrote these books.
Kimberly Winston writes about how atheists are using the popular YouVersion app to spread the message of unbelief here: Atheists Use Popular Bible App to Evangelize About Unbelief. I think this may be particularly effective in a day when Christian people know so little about the Bible, and are often encouraged not to think too deeply about it. The Bible can be a shock to Christians raised on life-application preaching who have never heard or learned much about it. And, its very humanity (the feature that Bell emphasizes above) can come as a shock. The article quotes an atheist who says: “I know of a lot of atheists who have come to their non-belief by actually reading the Bible rather than just the fluffy stories they choose to tell you about in church…. Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’ At least it did for me.”
And, Morgan Guyton writes about how his approach to Scripture differs from the approach of John McArthur: How I read the Bible differently than John MacArthur. (Really, we all knew he did.) The post uses a recent Q & A on Tim Challes’ blog in response to the Strange Fire anti-charismatic / Pentecostal conference as its starting point. Morgan writes:
The more truth is in a work of literature, the more impossible it should be to capture its interpretation conclusively (which would indicate there was no reason to read it ever again). If the Bible really is the truth that we believe that it is, it should produce endless conversation that doesn’t seek to cut itself off with conclusions or resolutions so much as to dive into greater depths of epiphany.
Lisa Colón DeLay recently posted about misconceptions Christians have about non-Christians here:
- 10 Misconceptions Christians have about non believers (Part 1)
- 10 Misconceptions Christians have about non believers (Part 2)
In learning more about the people outside the Christian belief “bubble,” I’ve noticed that plenty of my assumptions about non Christians were flawed, false, or incomplete. Other times, I’ve noticed that while some of these perceptions may ring true at first blush, they more often reflect a universal truth about what it means to be human, (and do not effectively describe the group that doesn’t ascribe to the Christian belief system.)
I haven’t been drawing attention to the Steele’s Answers blog, but maybe I should. Sometimes Dr. Steele’s views are so far from my own that I don’t especially wish to mention it. Other times I wish I could circulate his views even further. But, let me draw attention to some interesting recent posts:
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