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Theological Fragments – 01.29.16

Christian Living

Thank you to reader Serena K. for posting this on Facebook. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. . . Paul Maxwell wrote an article for Desiring God that every Christian should read. It addresses those who have a sexual history and are either preparing to share it with your significant other, or have already shared it. In it, Maxwell identifies two twin emotions, embarrassment and impatience, and discusses how to overcome both. I found Maxwell to be compassionate and yet uncompromising in speaking the truth about our actions and their consequences. Read, Your Are Not Damaged Goods

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Greg Dutcher and Nathan Bell interviewed Elyse Fitzpatrick about her re-release of Idols of the Heart. I am starting to read it now and am very impressed with the theme and Fitzpatrick’s keen biblical I sight. You’re going to enjoy this interview. It is very very good. Listen to American Idolatry- Idols of the Heart

Current Events

Surely the whole Christian world is rejoicing at the news of pastor Saeed’s release from Iranian prison. However there is a very dark side to this story as well. It is looking more and more like Pastors Saeed lacks the fruit of repentance and bears the fruit of pride. This is unfortunate. I rejoice along with others that he was released, but mourn with Naghmeh at his apparent lack of repentance over his abuse of her. Had he died in the Iranian prison I fear the fruit of his life has not produced assurance of salvation; and as such I would have hesitated to number him among the martyrs. Read, Naghmeh Abedini Reveals Why She Filed Domestic Relations Case Against Pastor Saeed

Cultural Trends

Caitlin Dewey wrote a fascinating article yesterday for the Washington Post in which she rightfully points out the difficult and awkward situation Facebook has found itself in by trying to remain morally neutral. Facebook’s official position is one of moral neutrality. However, their decision to allow users to report offensive posts and dedication of an entire unit to review the reported posts makes it difficult if not impossible to remain neutral. This becomes even more difficult when considering the global reach Facebook has. Dewey writes, “. . . the network has found itself in a tenuous and culturally awkward position: how to determine a single standard of what is and is not acceptable — and apply it uniformly, from Maui to Morocco.”

This is going to be an interesting social experiment of sorts to keep an eye on. For years, progressives have been claiming that there is no absolute standard of morality. As Facebook tries to play this out in the real world, it is going to be interesting to see how they navigate the murky waters of amorality while not isolating their users. Meanwhile, Facebook is discovering what Christians have been saying for thousands of years: there is no such things as moral neutrality. However, left unguided by a lack of universal objective standards, the likely outcome will be a social network that openly admits that it is attempting to redefine morality in its own terms. Look for an updated version of the ten commandments sometime soon in this decade. Read, The Big Myth Facebook Needs Everyone to Believe

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*Disclaimer – Although I do not endorse the people who John Piper has recently endorsed, I often find his writing insightful. Such is the case with his recent post on abortion. Here, Piper rightfully points out that we all know that abortion is the taking of a human life. Just in case some wish to play ignorant, he gives examples of abortionists admitting that to be that case, and examples of reasonable arguments demonstrating the case in point. Read, We Know They Are Killing Children — All of Us Know.

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I’m not familiar with this website yet but the blog post on Tuesday of this week was really good. In it, the Author (Wendy Alsup) recounted how she once bought into Rachel Held Evans’ view of complementarianism as put forth in her book  (A Year of Biblical Womanhood). That is, until Alsup began looking up the scriptures Evans used in her book and discovered a misleading web of deception. It’s important to always check the source and this is a good reminder of that. Alsup demonstrates admirable humility in coming out and admitting where she was too hasty to believe what she read. What makes this post even more fascinating is her documented Twitter conversation with Evans in which we catch a glimpse of the faulty hermeneutics used by Evans and others in the same camp. I appreciate this post. I think you will too. Read A Post Mortem on A Year of Biblical Womanhood

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6 thoughts on “Theological Fragments – 01.29.16

  1. Eric Goffrier

    Wow. My family sat down and listened to the interview by Elyse. It’s not what I expected. I thought she was affiliate with the antinomian crowd but she was pretty clear on sin. I’ll need to read her books for myself now that I heard this interview.

    • Eric wasn’t that good? I enjoyed it as well.

  2. Jon

    Pastor Saeed was persecuted for his faith. His wife wasn’t. She isn’t getting the attention she wanted for herself and so she fabricated this abuse story to get popular opinion back on her side. The truth of this is so plain because he was improsoned for his faith she wasn’t. He is proven his faith by his persecution she hasn’t and ergo she is the one not telling the truth in the story. It is shameful and horrible to make these things up about a righteous man.

    • Interesting thoughts Jon. The truth is, there were domestic abuse charges filed years ago and this isn’t a new problem for him. His continued persistence in trying to cover it up and silence his wife (a victim) demonstrates that his time spent in prison only hardened his heart toward God. If that were not the case he would have asked for forgiveness from his wife and would be working toward protecting the marriage rather than his reputation. Until we see the fruit of repentance and sorrow over his sin there is no reason to believe that his imprisonment was worthy of Christ.

    • In any other context, the claim to both know it is a human life being terminated combined with a line of reasoning about reproductive freedom would not be tolerated.

  3. Marie Pizzi

    I really likes the bit on abortion. Can you believe the gall of that man saying he knows they are killing babies but the trade off of women’s reproductive freedom is more important? I was shocked! Is this how far we’ve come?

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