Sunday, February 7, 2016

Prata's Potpourri: Taiwan quake, LifeWay jumps the shark (again), Jesus marveled at their unbelief; more

Here are a few items for you consideration.

On February 5, 2016 a deadly earthquake struck Taiwan. The 6.4 magnitude toppled many buildings and trapped hundreds of people, and killed at least 26, but that number is expected to rise as officials examine the rubble. Vast parts of the southern part of the country are without electricity and water. Al Jazeera has more.

My friend Pastor James Bell wrote,
As we pray for those who are suffering... it would be well for us to realize that in just a moment... life as we know it can suddenly change! Moreover, this would be a good time to meditate upon Luke 13:1-5. suppose that those in this city are greater sinners than we? Except we repent, we shall all likewise perish!

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

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In reading Mark 6:6, I was struck by the fact that Jesus marveled at unbelief. After salvation everything seems so clear to us, and it's a marvel that people can't or won't or don't turn to Jesus who is the obvious solution for filling our spiritually deserted souls. Here is the introduction to JC Ryle's essay on unbelief being a marvel to Jesus.

Unbelief a Marvel by J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)
 First published by Drummond's Tract Depot, Stirling, Scotland

"He marveled because of their unbelief."--Mark 6:6

The text which heads this page is a very remarkable one. Of all the expressions in the four Gospels which show that the Lord Jesus Christ was very Man, none perhaps is more startling than this. That He who was born of the Virgin Mary, and had a body like our own, should hunger and thirst, and weep and rejoice, and be weary and suffer pain,—all this we can, in some degree, understand. But that He who was very God as well as very Man, He "in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," He in whom were, "hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," He who "knew what was in man,"—that He should "marvel" at anything here below, may well fill us with astonishment. But what saith the Scripture? There it is written in plain words, which no critical ingenuity can explain away,— "He marvelled because of their unbelief."


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LifeWay has jumped another shark.

B&H Publishing is an imprint publishing house from LifeWay Christian Resources. Authors Rollin G. Grams and S. Donald Fortson III have published a book through B&H titled Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition, in which they look at the consistent historical Christian stance regarding homosexuality.

The authors wrote a synopsis of their book on the B&H blog, called B&H Academic, "a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, which is dedicated to providing resources for undergraduate and graduate theological education."

The authors stated that in researching texts to determine that Christianity has always condemned homosexuality, these texts included 
the Fathers, Reformers, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox churches
They came to the conclusion that,
Homosexual practice has been affirmed nowhere in the history of Christianity. An overview of texts [examined in the book] reveals unequivocally that the Fathers, Reformers, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox churches are unanimous in their condemnation of homoerotic behavior among those who profess Christ as Lord. 
How unfortunate that LifeWay supports authors who include Catholic and Orthodox as part of Christianity, when they are not. How much more unfortunate that this book is aimed at an audience of learners who will then become teachers of the faith.

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Does your pastor seek to be popular? Or faithful?

Faithfulness Versus Popularity
Today concludes our series highlighting five compelling motivations to preach the Word. Previous posts in this series can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Motivation 5: Preach the Word
Because of the Deceptiveness of the Sensual (2 Timothy 4:3–4)Having reminded Timothy of the ultimate accountability, Paul continued by warning him that faithful preaching will not necessarily be popular preaching. As the apostle explained, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (4:3–4).

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John MacArthur is going through a series at Grace To You blog examining Christian Cliches. In this one, he looks at what it really means to "Love the sinner, hate the sin". The essay helped me see things in a new light.

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin
To preach love apart from God’s holiness is to teach something other than God’s love. No awakening or revival of the church has ever occurred apart from strong preaching of God’s holiness and the corresponding call for believers to forsake sin and return to the Lord’s standards of purity and righteousness. No church that tolerates known sin in its membership will have spiritual growth or effective evangelism. In spite of that truth, however, such tolerance is standard in the church today-at all levels.


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I made these yesterday. They are sooo good! Try 'em!

Baked Cheddar Broccoli Cups



2 comments :

  1. Hello, I had a question regarding the phrase "love the sinner, hate the sin". It was referred to in comments on an article regarding homosexual parenting. Someone stated that phrase actually came from Ghandi? (And not the Bible or Jesus) I just thought it was something Believers stated to show that a sinner is loved yet there sin is not. Have you come across this?

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    Replies
    1. Yes I have come across this. John MacArthur explains the phrase here. it is a Christian cliche. http://www.gty.org/blog/B160205

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