Monday, December 22, 2008

Around the Blog in 80 Seconds

Abraham and Barnabas post one of the best tributes I've read to parents on their anniversary. John does a little reminiscing and thanksgiving here. Happy 40th anniversary John and Noel Piper!

Apparently, Mark Dever is leaving CHBC to work full-time as a model with Hanna Barbera. Details here.

This video has been making the rounds (HT: Pyromaniacs). I appreciated it for these questions: "How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?"

How many churches do you suppose have by-laws that explicitly state that it will not recognize the resignation of people attempting to leave the membership of the church while under discipline? DJP has a survey running.

CT asks, "What does Obama's election mean for the segregated church?" An interview with Michael O. Emerson, one of the authors of Divided by Faith. (HT: Reconciliation Blog)

The careful interpreters at Reformation Theology give the biblical case for God's love for cats and disdain for dogs.

Derek Thomas (okay... just spelling his first name the way he does makes him an honorary brutha and among the coolest--don't tell Piper--PCA cats around; keepin' company with Lig' doesn't hurt either)... yeah, Derek Thomas on his appreciation for John Calvin:

What is it about Calvin that so inspires me? This: his disciplined style, his determination never to speculate, his utter submission to Bible words as God's words, his submission to Christ's Lordship, his sense of the holy, his concern to be as practical as possible; the fact that godly living was his aim and not theology for the sake of it. In a forest of theologians, Calvin stands like a Californian Redwood, towering over everyone else.

I know that the word 'Calvinist' is a theological swear-word in some circles. I am convinced that folk who use the word that way have never read Calvin at all! They may have read about him; but they have not read the careful, reverential way in which he wrote. It is, of course, what Calvin said about predestination that goads certain people. But Calvin was extremely careful not to speculate here. He talked about predestination--in the same way that Paul does in Romans 8 and 9. Rather than introduce election at the very beginning of his treatment on theology (the logical place to put it), he placed it after spelling out what the gospel is and does. Calvin talked about the free offer of the gospel first: that the gospel is for 'whosoever-will'. Only after he has established this does he introduce predestination, and then in the context of re-assuring believers of their eventual glorification (in exactly the same way as Paul does at the end of Romans 8).
What a joy it will be to read the Institutes with my wife in 2009, and then blog with the Ref21 gang: Ian D. Campbell, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Sean Lucas, Steve Nichols, Rick Phillips, Phil Ryken, Justin Taylor, Derek Thomas, and Carl Trueman. Needless to say, I plan on doing a lot more learning than teaching with this group of brothers! Join us at Blogging the Institutes.

Finally, some ways religion impacted the news in 2008. Not reported: all those who were being added to the number of the faithful each day. The biggest news is how the Good News makes old things new.

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