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No Blog is an Island – 6.10.11


Tada, links!

  • Michael Patton has, by far, my favorite item of the week.  Seeking a way to find a middle ground between being doctrinally sound while embodying unity and grace, Patton creates a rubric for separating the essentials from the non-essentials in terms of doctrines and beliefs.  What beliefs are required for a person to rightly be considered a Christian?  On what questions can two believers disagree while remaining in fellowship within the united body of Christ?  His schematic here is brilliant, and provides a sound basis for classifying our disagreements and questions and debates.
  • Christianity Today has highlighted the ‘next big debate’ in Christian circles, and that is the search for the ‘historical Adam.’  Either setting aside for the moment or taking for granted the evidence of evolution, what do we expect to see in terms of a first man.  Is Adam real, or is the story from Gen 1-3 a metaphor for a spiritual reality that does not have a direct physical/historical correlate?  What implications would a human history of gradual development from cromagnon humanoids have on a theology of God’s relationship to man.  When Paul sets Jesus up as a second Adam, redeeming the Fall of the first Adam, does his argument/analogy suffer without an actual man called Adam at the forefront of human history?  Interesting stuff, and Chaplain Mike is doing yeoman’s work on the issue (here, here, here, here, and here).  Also see Daniel Kirk (here).

  • Brian LePort has convicting words on how we in the West lack credibility when we criticize the prosperity gospel.

  • Derek Ouellette has five reasons why, despite his affinity for the Orthodox church and the investment he’s made in time and energy towards learning more about this rich and little-understood (in the US, anyway) faith tradition, he cannot ‘take the plunge’ and leave his evangelical church for the Orthodox.  This should resonate to a lot of Protestants and evangelicals who are exploring and learning to appreciate both the Orthodox and Catholic traditions.
  • Marc Cortez has five arguments that Calvinists need to stop using against Arminians: (1) they’re man-centered rather than God-centered, (2) they value philosophy more than the Bible, (3) they can’t explain divine foreknowledge, (4) they don’t see that free will = desires, and (5) that free will undermines responsibility. (This last one seems particularly egregious to me because my experience has been the opposite.)

  • Kevin DeYoung muses on the drawbacks of the phenomenon of celebrity pastors.

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