I’m behind in my blog reading this busy week, but here are some noteworthy reads I found:
No, We’re Not All God’s Children, HT to Knowable Word. “We ARE all God’s children in the obvious sense that God created every single one of us. We all exist because God made us. So in that sense, sure, everyone is a child of God. But Scripture also uses this notion of being a child of God in a different sense – a different spiritual and theological sense. That is, only those who are in a right relationship with God are seen to be children of God.” Bill Muehlenberg discusses the context of the main passage that is misunderstood.
Focusing on the Heart of the Matter. “Those who believe the Bible should not be surprised that our problems are primarily an inside job because Scripture says, Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). Jesus said, ‘Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them’ (Mark 7:15). And yet all too often our focus is on circumstances or people.”
Spiritual Swashbuckling: Dealing with Demons, HT to Challies. “C. S. Lewis warned in his Screwtape Letters, ‘“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils: one is to disbelieve in there existence. The other is to believe and feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.’ The face of evil may look less like a tormented cat than you think; it may be the clean-cut cult leader or the esteemed seminary professor who is propagating godless arguments that fortify the strongholds of demonic influence in society and the church. This threat should not be ignored. It is as devastating to impressionable minds as demon possession is to a body.”
The Monday After, HT to Challies. “The Bible describes praise as a sacrifice, in a culture where sacrifice meant the slaughter of an animal. Sometimes giving our praise requires a death as well – a death to self-will, wrenched out of our very soul in surrender to the power of a love that gave itself to rescue us from hurtling headlong into the prideful abyss.”
7 Tips for Celebrating Christmas as a Family. “I’d like you to consider approaching this Christmas a little more like your family is going to see everything for the first time. They are probably familiar with it, and your neighbors probably are too, but I want you to consider that most of us, like it or not, are so used to the consumerist Santa-centric celebrations that a distinctly Christian celebration—a truly Christ-centered holiday season—could be a real shift from what they expect. And it would be greater in all the best ways!”
Project Gutenberg. On the 50th anniversary of the project, Dan Barlow tells how it came to be and muses: “I find it interesting e-books are characterized by many literature and publishing purists as something less than a real book when the format was founded by literature-loving people with no financial interest, rather a driving passion to make classic works available to all, no matter where they live and regardless of their ability to pay.”
And though I like to say “no” kindly, sometimes you need to insist: