Linkathon 4/21, part 3

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  1. brian says:

    I really dont get the entire Ergun Caner issue myself, I know it was often necessary to hype your street cred to have an acceptable “testimony”. If you were not a sex driven drug dealing thug that pulled the wings of flies you were not a good enough sinner to be really saved.

  2. centorian says:

    Donald Miller again…

    “Have you ever noticed Calvinists think in black and white? And I’m not just talking about their theology, I mean they think in black and white about everything?”

    uh, no Donald.

    “And have you noticed that people who obsess about the second coming also like science fiction books? ”

    uh no again, Donald. While Miller admits that these are general statements, have ever noticed that Donald Miller comes off very humble in the way he asserts that he knows almost everything?

  3. Michael says:

    Donald Miller…is the lamest of the current bunch of Christian authors known mostly for their ability to whine about anything.

  4. Michael says:

    Part 2 of the IM review of Armstrongs book mirrors exactly where my head is these days…

  5. Michael says:

    “The N.T. speaks of the “Church” that exists in multiple forms throughout a city or region. In any particular place, there may be many “churches” of various denominations and types, but they are all part of God’s “Church” in that area. Any individual congregation may view itself as one part of a larger whole rather than as the sole local expression of the church, autonomous, self-existing, and self-sustaining. This change is perception alone could be beneficial in achieving a deeper sense of unity among us.”

    Yep..

  6. Michael says:

    DeWalt sounds almost dispensational…which I know he’s not.

    Maybe he should be… 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    This is soooooo good…

    The Gospel for Christians by Tim Keller

    It is very common in Christian circles to assume that “the gospel” is something just for non-Christians. We presume that the gospel is a set of basic “A-B-C” doctrines that Christians do not need to hear or study once they are converted. Rather, they should move beyond the gospel to more “advanced” doctrines. But the great declaration of the gospel of grace in Galatians was written to believers who did not see the implications of the gospel for life-issues confronting them. Paul solves the disunity and racial exclusivity not with a simple exhortation to “be better Christians.” but by calling them to live out the implications of the gospel. So Christians need the gospel as much as non-Christians do. Their problems come because they tend to lose and forget the gospel. They make progress only as they continually grasp and apply the gospel in deeper ways.

    The gospel shows us that our spiritual problem lies not only in failing to obey God, but also in relying on our obedience to make us fully acceptable to God, ourselves and others. Every kind of character flaw comes from this natural impulse to be our own savior through our performance and achievement. On the one hand, proud and disdainful personalities come from basing your identity on your performance and thinking you are succeeding. But on the other hand, discouraged and self-loathing personalities also come from basing your identity on your performance and thinking you are failing.

    Belief in the gospel is not just the way to enter the kingdom of God; it is the way to address every obstacle and grow in every aspect. The gospel is not just the “ABCs” but the “A-to-Z” of the Christian life. The gospel is the way that anything is renewed and transformed by Christ — whether a heart, a relationship, a church, or a community. All our problems come from a lack of orientation to the gospel. Put positively, the gospel transforms our hearts, our thinking and our approach to absolutely everything. The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin.

    This also creates a radical new dynamic for discipline and obedience. First, the knowledge of our acceptance in Christ makes it easier to admit we are flawed because we know we won’t be cast off if we confess the true depths of our sinfulness. Second, it makes the law of God a thing of beauty instead of a burden. We can use it to delight and imitate the one who has saved us rather than to get his attention or procure his favor. We now run the race “for the joy that is set before us” rather than “for the fear that comes behind us.”

    –Tim Keller, The Galatians study

  8. Tim says:

    Amen to that Tim Keller quote!

  9. Michael says:

    Tim,

    That was too good not to put on the blog!

  10. brian says:

    “t is very common in Christian circles to assume that “the gospel” is something just for non-Christians.”

    I have often found that the “True Christian” does not, no can not need the Gospel. It was not for non Christians or Christians, because it denoted need, which is something the true follower should ever express. I always found that strange, but it is very clear in many churches and faith communities.

  11. Augustine says:

    RE: Donald Miller

    Fairly inaccurate, at least in my experience

    1. Have you ever noticed Calvinists think in black and white?

    Actually I’ve found Calvinists to think logically and be among the first, if not the first, to point out false dichotomies. Perhaps Miller is referring to the tendency towards logic that prevents us from seeing more than two options when only two exist?

    2. Then there is the scholarly type, who tends to understand everything from different angles, but has trouble landing or stating they believe in much of anything

    Like Jonathan Edwards? Like R.C. Sproul? Like…

    3. I’ve noticed those who are perfectionists are drawn to rules oriented faith structures

    Actually I tend towards perfectionism and was drawn to grace.

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