Top 10 Posts of the Week (7/12/14 – 7/18/14)

This is the beginning of a new series, where we list and summarize the top 10 posts (in no particular order) we’ve found across the blogosphere for the week. If you find a blog post that you consider to be especially noteworthy, send it to us and we may include it on our list!

  1. Carl Trueman, “A Church for Exiles,” First Things. Dr. Trueman discusses how the Christian church in America today has been stripped of its cultural relevance and sent into “exile.” But this is not cause for despair. Rather, says Trueman, the church will survive and thrive, and it will do so by the weekly proclamation of the Word reminding us of our identity in Christ.
  2. Jon Payne, “Sanctification and the Heidelberg Catechism, Part One” (Part Two here), Reformation 21. Payne addresses the rise of “soft antinomianism” within the Reformed world today. Contra those who would claim that sanctification is merely “getting used to our justification,” Payne highlights the multiplicity of motivations for Christian obedience, the importance of the third use of the law, and the role of effort in sanctification.
  3. Adelaide Mena, “Sexual Assault: What Does the Hook-Up Culture Have to Do with It (Part One)?” Public Discourse. Could there be a causal connection between our culture’s increasingly laissez-faire attitude toward sexual activity and the rise in college campus sexual assaults? Mena thinks so, and explains why the concept of “consent” is so quickly dismissed by young people today.
  4. Derek Rishmawy, “Dating Advice You Actually Need,” The Gospel Coalition. For those of you involved in youth and/or college ministry, you will often be approached with this question: “How can I have a healthy Christian relationship with my boyfriend/girlfriend?” Derek suggests that one key indicator of a dating couple’s spiritual/emotional health is their commitment to each other’s involvement in the local church.
  5. Mark Tooley, “Total Depravity Is Key to Social Justice!” Juicy Ecumenism. In this short post, Tooley observes how, ironically, it is those most committed to ideals of social perfection who usually cause the most damage to society. By contrast, when we are mindful of the sinfulness of human nature, we are better capable of achieving meaningful and lasting social progress.
  6. Félix Cabrera, “Romans 13 and the Immigration Crisis,” The Gospel Coalition. Since last fall, over 50,000 children have fled from Central America and taken up illegal residence within our own borders. But in this post, Cabrera reflects on the meaning of Romans 13 (the textus classicus on submission to civil authorities), and questions whether we should see this crisis as a legal issue or as a humanitarian issue.
  7. Michael J. Kruger, “A Word of Encouragement to Those in Ministry: God Does Not View Your Labors as ‘Filthy Rags,'” Canon Fodder (HT: The Aquila Report). It is true that our good works can contribute nothing whatsoever to our justification. Even our best deeds are corrupted by weaknesses and imperfections. But too often Calvinists turn the doctrine of Total Depravity into self-loathing. Kruger reminds us that God delights in the works of his children, and accepts them as though they were perfect, because we are united to his Son Jesus. This is a refreshing word to those who are experiencing doubt or fatigue in their ministries.
  8. Michael Bird, “Writing a Romans Commentary: An Interim Report,” Euangelion. Keep your eyes on this commentary! I suspect that it is going to become one of the definitive works on Romans. Bird does a better job than nearly anyone I know of integrating the strengths of both old and new perspectives on Paul.
  9. Anthony Bradley, “Church Planting Is Insufficient for Social Change,” What Is Your Salvation For?  In this post, Bradley encourages readers to move beyond an ecclesiocentric view of social change and appreciate the importance of other institutions like businesses, schools, hospitals, and so forth. Our vision of the church’s mission has become too myopic, and we need to step outside the walls of our churches if we hope to recapture the breadth of God’s work of redemption.
  10. Douglas Sweeney, “Was Luther a Calvinist?” The Gospel Coalition. It would be anachronistic to try to place Lutherans somewhere along the Calvinist-Arminian spectrum. They are a different theological tradition in their own right. But there are significant points of contact with and divergence from the Calvinist tradition, and Sweeney does a good job of cataloging primary sources and seeing how Lutheranism matches up to the five points of TULIP.

About Kyle Dillon

A teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), assistant pastor of theological instruction at Riveroaks Reformed Presbyterian Church, and theology/languages teacher at Westminster Academy in Memphis, Tennessee.

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