Archive for the ‘Random Stuff’ Category

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The 10 Warning Signs of an Inwardly Obsessed Church

In Perspective,Random Stuff on May 2, 2012 by The Spillover

I thought it would be wise for us to consider these warning signs from Thom Rainer, President and CEO of Lifeway (perhaps we should also consider what the opposite of each point would be?):

In my research of churches and consultation with churches, I have kept a checklist of potential signs that a church might be moving toward inward obsession. No church is perfect; indeed most churches will demonstrate one or two of these signs for a season. But the real danger takes place when a church begins to manifest three or more of these warning signs for an extended period of months and even years.

  1. Worship wars. One or more factions in the church want the music just the way they like it. Any deviation is met with anger and demands for change. The order of service must remain constant. Certain instrumentation is required while others are prohibited.
  2. Prolonged minutia meetings. The church spends an inordinate amount of time in different meetings. Most of the meetings deal with the most inconsequential items, while the Great Commission and Great Commandment are rarely the topics of discussion.
  3. Facility focus. The church facilities develop iconic status. One of the highest priorities in the church is the protection and preservation of rooms, furniture, and other visible parts of the church’s buildings and grounds.
  4. Program driven. Every church has programs even if they don’t admit it. When we start doing a ministry a certain way, it takes on programmatic status. The problem is not with programs. The problem develops when the program becomes an end instead of a means to greater ministry.
  5. Inwardly focused budget. A disproportionate share of the budget is used to meet the needs and comforts of the members instead of reaching beyond the walls of the church.
  6. Inordinate demands for pastoral care. All church members deserve care and concern, especially in times of need and crisis. Problems develop, however, when church members have unreasonable expectations for even minor matters. Some members expect the pastoral staff to visit them regularly merely because they have membership status.
  7. Attitudes of entitlement. This issue could be a catch-all for many of the points named here. The overarching attitude is one of demanding and having a sense of deserving special treatment.
  8. Greater concern about change than the gospel. Almost any noticeable changes in the church evoke the ire of many; but those same passions are not evident about participating in the work of the gospel to change lives.
  9. Anger and hostility. Members are consistently angry. They regularly express hostility toward the church staff and other members.
  10. Evangelistic apathy. Very few members share their faith on a regular basis. More are concerned about their own needs rather than the greatest eternal needs of the world and community in which they live.

Articles

Books of the Bible

In Random Stuff on February 21, 2012 by The Spillover

Another great post from his Visual Theology series, here are the books of the Bible arranged in a clever way, courtesy of Tim Challies:

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Wallpapers

In Links,Random Stuff on February 9, 2012 by The Spillover

Here are some pretty awesome wallpapers for your various electronic devices.

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Translation Spectrum

In Random Stuff on November 16, 2011 by The Spillover

This infographic is a neat way to compare the different Bible translations available to us.

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Christ’s Humanity and Omnipresence

In Random Stuff on August 26, 2011 by The Spillover

This is an interesting topic for discussions being tackled by Phil Johnson at the Pyromaniacs Blog. Let’s huddle and consider: did Jesus give up his omnipresence in order to become a man?

Philippians 2:7 says Jesus “emptied Himself” (NASB)—or if you’re using the ESV, He “made himself nothing.” Those are both legitimate translations of the Greek verb κενόω, (kenóō) but they must be interpreted carefully in a way that does not contradict the rest of Scripture.

Specifically, because we know that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8), Philippians 2:7cannot mean that Jesus emptied himself of His deity or laid aside any of His divine attributes when He took on humanity. That is the view of “Kenotic” theology, which is seriously heterodox.

So what about Jesus’ omnipresence? Did He not have to divest Himself of that attribute in order to be incarnated in a real human body? Didn’t he need to cease being everywhere present so that He could enter this world as a Man? Wasn’t His omnipresence necessarily suspended when He was placed in a manger?

Strictly speaking, no.

The Spirit of Christ was no more physically confined to His human body during the incarnation than He is now. Remember that at His ascension He rose bodily and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. From thence He shall come—bodily—to judge the quick and the dead. In other words, He has not abandoned His humanity, even now that He is glorified. And yet He is present wherever two or three are gathered together in His Name (Matthew 18:20). He is “with [us] always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). And He has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

So Scripture expressly affirms that Christ is omnipresent. When He assumed a human nature He did not have to give up that (or any other) aspect of His divine nature. The incarnation was a miracle of addition, not subtraction. Jesus took on humanity; He did not divest himself of deity.

In the words of Peter Lewis:

We must be very careful here not to imagine, as some have done, that at the incarnation our Lord “left behind” something of his Godhead or its attributes. God exists in the perfection of his attributes. Take away any of his perfections and you no longer have God. You cannot have reduced Godhead. There is God and there is not-God: but there is nothing in-between! . . . In respect of his divine nature our Lord continued even during his incarnate life to fill the heavens and the earth with his power and presence. [The Glory of Christ, 233.]

John Calvin said something similar. He wrote this:

[Although] the Word in his immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do not imagine that he was confined therein. Here is something marvelous: the Son of God descended from heaven in such a way that, without leaving heaven, he willed to be home in the virgin’s womb, to go about the earth, and to hang upon the cross; yet he continuously filled the world even as he had done from the beginning! [Institutes, 2:13:4.]

Hope that helps.

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Romans 5:8 Wallpapers

In Links,Random Stuff on August 14, 2011 by The Spillover

Click here for cool wallpapers based on Romans 5:8 for your desktop, Droid, iPhone, or iPad. Thanks, Resurgence, you relevant rascals, you.

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Cool iPhone Wallpaper

In Random Stuff on August 3, 2011 by The Spillover

How cool is this? Had to share. (HT: Challies)