A faithful few links
I'm not going to be doing any writing of my own tonight, but here are a few links on faith, theology, etc., for your Sunday edification:
- Evangelical Outpost has the commencement speech Neil Postman never delivered (but you're welcome to give it, if you ever get the chance). Graduates, will you align yourselves with the Athenians or the Visigoths?
- Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, has an essay on assurance of salvation, entitled "On Faith's Crumbling Edge: Restoring The Uprooted Assurance Of The Ordinary Christian." From my years in the Southern Baptist Convention, I can affirm his observation that although the denomination professes belief in the security of the believer, it is home to many believers who are filled with doubts about their standing with God. I saw plenty of people who "got saved" again because they weren't sure they really meant it the first time. (There's a typo in the piece that made me laugh -- an errant "r" turns Lifeway, the publishing/bookselling arm of the SBC, into Lifewary, which is probably true of a lot of the tender consciences that Spencer writes about in this essay.)
- Speaking of the SBC, Southern Baptist Seminary president and powerhouse Al Mohler turns out a thoughtful, in-depth essay every single day on subjects moral, theological, and political. His May 31 column is a review of Paige Patterson's new book on the reformation within the SBC in the '80s. The denomination nearly followed every other large Protestant body in the US into relativism, but thanks to a dedicated group of laymen and pastors, the SBC is firmly committed to the gospel of Christ and the truth of Scripture. That victory required both prayer and politicking. But even if you don't care about the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, you will care about the other topics -- sanctity of life, sanctity of marriage, deliberate childlessness -- that he has written on in the last few days.
- In response to native Tulsan Philip Johnson's piece on Quick-and-Dirty Calvinism, Marsupial Mom owns up to her nascent Calvinism, and finds that real-life Calvinism is easier to take than the Internet variety. (She also mentions having been involved in the "Toronto Blessing" movement. To put that in Internet terminology, that's the Church of ROTFLMAO.)
- Jacob Hantla, also responding to "Quick-and-Dirty Calvinism", said his pastor compared him to Barney Fife during his early enthusiastic days as a Five-Pointer. "At the discovery of the most humbling message around, I became boastful, proud, and arrogant, even harsh." He talks about the mentors and the books that helped him out of what I've heard called "the cage period" -- the period when new Calvinists should be locked up so as not to harm themselves or others by beating people over the head with the new understanding they've acquired.
- Jacob also enthusiastically recommends John Piper's sermons on "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ," the topic of 2004's Desiring God Ministries national conference.
- Bowden McElroy has some thoughts on Henry Cloud's Christianity Today article "Dating is Not about Marriage". Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, what Cloud describes sounds like "Crusade Dating" to me -- conversation over lunch or dinner, no promise or expectation of long-term commitment, and no physical contact beyond a wee hug at the end of the evening -- just time to get to know another person and sharpen one's own social skills. (We called it "Crusade Dating" because that's how we were taught to date in Campus Crusade for Christ in college.)
Have a blessed Sunday. Attend church!