Tuesday, 01 May 2012
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By Sharon at SheWorships
At the end of last week I noticed a tweet that had been posted by Ed Stetzer as he labored over a blog post for the following day:
“Working on a difficult blogpost for tmrw. Trying to speak truth & grace at the same time is not easy. I’m not sure I have it right yet.”
I love God’s timing, because that tweet articulated exactly what I was feeling that day.
As some of you may have seen, last week I wrote a post for Her.meneutics on cross-gender friendships and marriage. It was a post I had felt led to write for some time, but I had dragged my feet for months. Although the post mentions no one by name, it criticizes particular people and particular perspectives, and as a Christian I never engage in public critique casually. It is something I approach soberly and cautiously, not only because the internet is such a difficult place to communicate clearly, but because we are likely to hurt one another unnecessarily. More Here...
Part of being a Christian is being grateful for all our God gives to us and does for us. We should be operating every day with an attitude of loving thanks to our God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us clearly and without question that this is how we should be living. "In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (Notice it says 'in' everything, not necessarily 'for' everything. That tells me that this is talking about giving thanks in every situation, not that we should be thanking God for everything that comes our way. A lot of bad things are going to come our way, and while God does work all things for our good, I don't think it's wise to blindly thank God for things we have to suffer through.)
One important aspect of grace is that it cannot be earned. Romans 11:6 says "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace." The grace of God extended to you is not done so on the basis of your work. Grace is not payment for services rendered; if you are doing good, and if, as far as you can tell, you're doing everything right, and God blesses you, you might think that you deserved that blessing, that you earned it. But you didn't. You can't. And if you think you earned or deserved however God chose to bless you, then you probably are not properly grateful for that blessing. More Here...
Monday, 30 April 2012
This is an argument that I have always found to be lacking in evidence.
Numerous times I have been told by fellow Christians (often teetotalers) that the wine that Jesus used couldn't have been or wouldn't have been alcoholic. I have heard explanations that "new wine" refers to unfermented grape juice, or that Jews of Jesus's day used some kind of mixture made from dried-and-powdered grapes and water (so... grape Kool-Aid?), or that Jesus was a Nazarite and couldn't drink alcohol (but if that was the case, he couldn't have grape juice either). My favorite was a simple subjective "Well, he wouldn't have wanted people to get drunk, so when he turned water to wine of COURSE it meant grape juice!"
Better writers than I have written on the tendency to squeeze Jesus into fitting our categories. I wonder if that's equally applicable here. I have nothing against teetotalers, and support many in their abstinence, especially if they're in recovery--however, I do not think we can make this case that biblical wine was grape juice. More Here...
By Will Green
Something that always perplexed me about the Book of Job is that it seems God doesn't consider Himself accountable to His creatures.
God's speech also emphasizes his sovereignty in creating and maintaining the world. The thrust is not merely that God has experiences that Job does not, but that God is king over the world and is not necessarily subject to questions from his creatures, including men. The point of these speeches is to proclaim the absolute freedom of God over His creation. God is not in need of the approval of his creation. It is only the reader of the book who learns of God's conversations with Satan; Job himself remains unaware of the reason or source of his sufferings. The traditional interpretation is that, humbled by God's chastising, Job turns speechless, giving up and repenting his previous requests of justice. However, another interpretation is that Job's silence is defiant, and that what he gives up is not his belief that justice be done, but his confidence that God will behave justly.
I don't mean that God has no good reason to allow suffering. God may have a fantastic reason. My concern was I didn't understand why we can't hold God to account. More Here...