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No Blog is an Island – 3.25.11


This one’s covering almost two weeks’ worth of material, so get yourself a beverage and find a comfortable seat…

  • Richard Beck starts us off with a great post about his exposure to the Catholic liturgical calendar.  It does a great job of encapsulating the role of ritual in deepening our faith.
  • Derek Ouellette contrasts bringing our beliefs in line with a theology vs. picking a theology that conforms to our beliefs.  How do we become indoctrinated?  Why do we belong to the denominations that we do?  What is the definition of heresy?  All valuable and fascinating questions explored in this must-read post.
  • Daniel Kirk presents a thoughtful counterargument to those who consider hymns to be more spiritual than praise music.
  • Michael Patton wonders why there’s something instead of nothing, gives the only six possible answers, and then dismantles all but the theistic one.
  • Daniel Kirk boldly outlines the theological task of our generation: demolish the false dichotomy between salvation (emphasized in conservative churches) and the world-changing element of discipleship (emphasized in liberal churches) by making the latter inherent to the former.
  • Joe Carter has fascinating statistics on how the evangelical megachurch in the US is becoming the evangelical gigachurch.
  • Bryan Allain addresses the most pressing issue in the modern evangelical church: What’s up with ‘sloppy, wet kiss’ worship song?!
  • Chaplain Mike reviews Adam McHugh’s ‘helpful and wise’ book, Introverts in the Church.
  • Daniel Kirk adds two more characteristics to the elder/younger brother model: condemnation and condescension, respectively.
  • Michael Patton rolls out P&P’s blog-book, The Discipleship Book, with a chapter on how we reconcile our sources of authority: scripture, reason, experience, emotion, and tradition.
  • Trevin Wax presents his chart of the six major counterfeit gospels from his book of the same name.
  • Chaplain Mike reposts a 2005 piece by the late Michael Spencer on whether there is mental illness in the Bible.
  • Jon Acuff, funny as usual, pokes fun of the ‘little God shout-outs’ at the end of Christian emails.

I’m also lumping together all the posts on universalism and Hell in the Rob Bell sub-category of links:

  • Marc Cortez looks at dangerous questions, compellingly equating, ‘What do you need to believe in order to be saved?‘ to ‘How far can I go while preserving my virginity?‘ 
  • Collin Hansen interviews Christopher Morgan, who outlines the nine(!) doctrinal views on exlusivism, universalism, and pluralism.
  • Albert Mohler debates Brian McLaren about Rob Bell.  That’s a lot of firepower.
  • Matthew Lee Anderson gives his insightful reactions to Love Wins.
  • Jared Wilson calls universalism unbiblical because it offers assurance without faith.
  • Tim Challies identifies three virtues ascendant amongst younger evangelicals: doubt, opaqueness, and the preference of questions over answers.
  • Michael Kelley wants to like Rob Bell, not because of his doctrine, but because of his beautiful writing: ‘Rise up, poets of orthodoxy.  Rise up, and see the beauty of the gospel and weep.  Laugh.  Feel Deeply.’
  • Michael Patton presents a survey of opinions on Hell from throughout church history.
  • Ben Witherington has a similar survey of Hell’s appearances and descriptions in scripture.

Finally, a good quote fom Albert Nolan (via Derek Ouellette):

Jesus stood there without a word, putting everyone else to the test.  The truth of the matter was that it was not Jesus who was on trial.  His betrayers and accusers were on trial before Him.  His silence puzzled, disturbed, questioned and tested them.  Their words were turned back at them and they condemned themselves out of their own mouths.

As a thanks for sticking with me through all those links, here are TWO funny images:

And, apropos of our focus on serious theological debates…

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