HT: Breaking Free
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A few months ago I subscribed to Michael Hyatt's blog. Hyatt is President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I subscribed to his blog and enjoy his insightful and productive posts. What I love most is the way he gets his readers involved.
A couple of months ago, Hyatt announced the release of The Faith of Barak Obama by Stephen Mansfield and invited bloggers to review the book. So I did. I love to read and they were sending me a free book so what the hey?
Since then, I also reviewed Through the Storm by Lynne Spears. Today, Hyatt announced a new program inviting bloggers to review their books. His goal is aggressive: 10,000 blog maniacs.
Check it out here.
A question has been posed. An articulate female reader of the MondokBlog has asked me if I would consider launching a "for males only" blog discussing the topic that has been frequently posted about here: porn.
I definitely see this reader's point. Many of you read this blog because you want news about Allie. Some of you read this blog because now and then, I review a book you may be interested in. The rest of you, well, I don't know why you keep coming back.
But I don't know if I have the energy for another blog. But then a blog about this one male issue could be good. And if you gals want to lurk to see how sick the male mind is (as if you didn't already have doubts) then you'll learn something. Maybe grace.
Driscoll rolls out a bunch of Markisms in this chapter. Each one is worth talking about.
**The act of lusting after the unclothed body of a woman is not a sin. The issue is which woman’s unclothed body you are lusting after.>>> Sorry my single bro's. But this is obviously talking about married men and their wives. I've found that is wise and wonderful to cultivate an appetite for the unclothed body of the woman God gave you. You'll have a heart of thankfulness toward Him and appreciation for her.
**I do not necessarily include as pornographic such things as nude works of art or a romantic scene in a movie but acknowledge that a major-league pervert can get turned on by anything, as evidenced by the weirdo I knew who got off on the mating scenes of a nature channel.>>> I don't got much to say to this one. I just thought it was noteworthy.
**...sexual sins are not “out there” in the media, strip club, or gal with low-rise jeans and hi-rise thong. Truly, the problem is “in you.” It is from the sinfulness of your heart that lust and sin proceed like sewage from a culvert. This is the painful, unvarnished truth.>>> This is the truth. I need my brains washed.
**...you must be honest about the lusts in your heart and reduce those triggers that stimulate you.>>> What are your triggers? Mine are depression and disappointment. I feel like I need a "pick me up". I've had to commit to honesty and openness with friends and spouse when I feel weak. My wife has been a huge help (and so is a buddy of mine who isn't afraid to ask tough questions). But it's up to me to communicate...
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She did amazing during the exam. She was cooperative when the nurse dilated her pupils which I thought was a formula for one of Allie's infamous meltdowns.
When the doctor did his thing, Allie sat on my lap quietly curious about what he was doing.
Last year I blogged about her appointment with this doctor. He declared her legally blind. Her optic nerves were irreversibly damaged. That in addition to cortical visual impairment (CVI) presents significant challenges.
Here's what happened today. The doctor was using his little gadgets and said in a very off-handed way, "Her optic nerves are pink and healthy."
I said, "What?"
"Yeah, they look good."
"You know, you said her nerves were pale and atrophied last year," I reminded him. "You sent us a copy of the letter you sent to child services."
He checked his records and said, "Well, I retract that diagnosis."
And that was it.
But we believe in prayer and miracles. Too many of you have been touched by Allie's story and have been motivated to pray for her. And the Lord has heard you. Thanks for being a part of our day of good news.
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I train for a marathon for about six months. Every year when I do this, I try to find something productive to listen to on my portable MP3 Player. This year, I took a college course on God's World Mission. It was free at Covenant Theological Seminary.
Here are some other courses that are available free online.
Ancient & Medieval Church History
Apologetics and Outreach
Christ-Centered Preaching: Preparation and Delivery of Sermons
Francis A. Schaeffer: The Early Years
Francis A. Schaeffer: The Later Years
God and His Word
Hebrews to Revelation
Humanity, Christ and Redemption
Life and Letters of Paul
Life and Teachings of Jesus
New Testament History and Theology
Old Testament History
Psalms & Wisdom Books
Reformation and Modern Church History
Spirit, Church, & Last Things
Now. Go learn something.
Book title: The Future of Justification; A Response to N.T. Wright
Author: John Piper
Wheaton, Crossway; 2007
Number of pages: 188
N.T. Wright is an incredibly popular and engaging writer. He’s saying things in a new way and that has everybody (especially those enthralled to Reformation Theology) a little jumpy. Wright is an incredibly engaging and talented communicator both in written and spoken word. He has helped and emerging generation of church leaders look at church, the Bible, and the gospel in a fresh way.
Don’t mistake my use of the word “emerging” to mean Emerging Church (although Wright has made headway with those folks). Wright has become a premier Bible scholar and Bible interpreter in this generation. His work will be influential for years to come.
Thus, you have Piper’s need to write the book. Congregants hand him one of Wright’s books and ask him, “what about this guy?”
Piper takes issue with Wright’s take on the doctrine of Justification. In a nut shell, Wright tells what it does to a believer’s standing with God on the Last Day. Piper is convinced that Paul teaches the necessity to know what it IS, not just what it DOES. If one doesn’t know what it IS, then one’s understanding of what Christ accomplished on the cross will be misunderstood. In fact, what the church believes about Justification may be distorted for years to come due to Wright’s ever expanding influence.
The author’s thesis is that the righteousness of Christ and His perfect obedience is imputed to the believer once faith is placed in Christ. Piper makes the point that Wright believes God declares us righteous based on the work of Christ and includes us in His family. That Jesus defeated evil and sin and took our place on the cross. God vindicated Jesus by raising Him from the dead and in our identification with that (the resurrection) we, too, are vindicated. This is what Justification does. This is not good enough for Piper.
Piper makes a compelling argument, but I think it's weak. I’ve familiarized myself with the work of both these men and find my preference to lean more in Wright’s direction and method of biblical exposition than Piper’s. Piper, in my opinion, is more beholden to Reformed Theology and all his exposition is obviously and unashamedly run through that filter.
Piper takes a chapter to set up what Wright says about a subject and then in the next chapter, dismantles Wright’s thesis.
I think the book could have been half the size, maybe a quarter. I got Piper’s point early in the book. He’s given credit from many scholars as giving Wright a fair shake, but I don’t feel he has really made the effort to understand what Wright is saying.
Piper, book reminds me of the character Jim Carrey used to play in a bit on In Living Color. Carrey’s plays the over zealous life guard of a hot tub. Carrey’s schtick is he gets on a bull horn and enforces rules that would be posted at a public pool. “Time for laps!” Carrey announces with a bull horn in a hot tub users ear.
Piper is doing laps across a hot tub.
If you like theology or Piper or Wright, you might enjoy this book. If you are not familiar with Wright but read most of what Piper writes, you’ll come away from this book thinking a) what’s the fuss all about, or b) Wright’s a heretic. It depends where you stand with Reformed Theology or your status in the John Piper fan club.
I think my membership’s been revoked.
Here are some links to get things straight from Wright if you plan on reading the book or you just want to see what the big deal is:
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I was glad to see that our little advertisement hit Brigada Today's Blog.
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Here's a paragraph from a recent Piper interview. The topic? Sermon preparation. Here's what he has to say about the resilience of pornographic images on the human psyche:
We were talking about this pornography thing over lunch the other day, and we who are 60 years old were reflecting on how difficult it was to get pornography when we were teenagers. The implication of that is that in my brain I have two pornographic images from my teen years. I found a Playboy in a Laundromat, and they were passing a really weird book around in the locker room one day. I remember both images like I saw them yesterday. Most of you have a thousand images in your brain. That really makes sermon preparation hard, but not impossible. He died to purify our conscience, although you make your job a lot harder if you keep going to that cesspool.
HT: Phoenix Preacher
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