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From Around the Internet 12-27-11

Roman Catholic New Testament scholar Michael Barber reminds us that a strong case can be made for the apostle John’s authorship of the Gospel of John:
Did John Write the Fourth Gospel? He says: "...I want to say that, at first blush, it would seem that the ‘academically responsible’ approach would be to remain noncommittal about Johannine authorship. However, I'm coming to the conclusion that the opposite is true. Hedging on Johannine authorship seems to betray an unwillingness to acknowledge the coherence of the early testimony with the internal evidence."

Psychologist Richard Beck has been doing some thinking about the importance of repentance as the response to the Gospel in the New Testament accounts: Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven Has Come Near. This line of thought was suggested to him by his reading of Scot McKnight’s recent book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited. He says: "Why has the role of repentance been deemphasized in many sectors of Christianity? One answer, I think, has to do with what Scot McKnight has pointed out: We've reduced the gospel to salvation. Thus, the crux of Christian life becomes cognitive assent (i.e., faith) rather than readjusting our lives in the face of the gospel — that Jesus is Lord and the rule/kingdom of God has broken upon us. As I described above, it's so much easier to believe that Jesus is King than to obey him as King. The point being, for great swaths of Christianity the message and ministry of John the Baptist has no place. We don't tell people that, to accept the gospel, they need to prepare themselves. All you need to do is believe in Jesus and say the Sinner's Prayer."

I agree that this issue of tremendously important. And, I would urge all of those who in any way gain inspiration and direction from the teachings of John Wesley to
look again at the importance of repentance in the evangelism of the Wesley’s and their followers.

Mason Slater writes about what happens When the Church Becomes a Business. He says: "And to be honest, I can’t fault churches too much for being pulled towards this model. After all, what compelling alternative have they been given to the endless deluge of books and conferences promising that if a church only does X they will be successful?"

A new series entitled Are Science and Theology Complementary? has begun at the Jesus Creed blog. RJS will be discussing John Polkinghorne’s book Theology in the Context of Science. This is a more academic-oriented book than some of Polkinghorne’s other books. I recently read it myself, and can recommend it highly. It will be interesting to see what people say about it.

Allan R. Bevere says Articulate Preaching Ain't No Option and I somewhat agree. He says: "There is no substitute for substantive content in preaching, and there is also no alternative to good articulation while preaching. The most profound ideas will be lost in the midst of bad grammar and poorly expressed words, phrases and awkward repetition. Moreover, the good preacher will have mastered the art of voice inflection, tempo and rhythm in pronunciation, and a sensitivity to know when to pause in silence."

Which is to say: a course in public speaking, or a refresher course of some sort is bound to help.
But, only if the preacher already has something worthwhile to say!

And Kurt Willems posts his:
10 Reasons I’m a Christian. He wonders: “What would your ‘top ten’ list look like?”

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