Top 10 Posts of the Week (7/19/14 – 7/25/14)

Top 10

This is the second post in our series, “Top 10 Posts of the Week,” where we pick ten posts (in no particular order) from across the blogosphere for special recognition. If you come across a post that you think should make our list, let us know!

  1. Joe Carter, “The FAQs: Persecution of Christians in Iraq,” The Gospel Coalition. Probably the biggest story in international Christian news this week is the mass expulsion of Christians from the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul. This was in response to an ultimatum issued by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists last Saturday: convert, pay the tax on non-Muslims, or die.
  2. A statement by Bethlehem Bible College regarding the current crisis in Gaza,” Bethlehem Bible College. More bad news in the Middle East this week. Violent attacks and reprisals have been exchanged between Israel and Hamas, and there has been no shortage of civilian casualties in the crossfire. This statement by Bethlehem Bible College calls for an immediate ceasefire in order to reach a solution that addresses the root of the problem rather than just the symptoms.
  3. Matt Smethurst, “Israel, Gaza, ‘Divine Right,’ and John Piper,” The Gospel Coalition. For Christians who are confused about the theology/eschatology underlying the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this is a helpful post. Smethurst reflects on a sermon delivered by John Piper ten years ago, in which he argued that Jews who reject the Messiah (i.e., the modern state of Israel) cannot claim a divine right to the land promised to Abraham. Rather, it is the spiritual children of Abraham—both believing Jews and Gentiles—who will receive the promises in full at the Second Coming of Christ.
  4. Bill Evans, “Dr. Doug Green Affirmed by New Life Presbyterian Church Session,” The Ecclesial Calvinist. In contradiction to the board of trustees at Westminster Theological Seminary, where Dr. Doug Green has been forced into early retirement, the session of New Life Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Glenside, Pennsylvania, where Dr. Green serves as a teaching elder, has unanimously affirmed his orthodoxy with respect to the Westminster Standards. Dr. Green is at the center of a debate over Christian interpretation of the Old Testament, which I have briefly explained here.
  5. Doug Sikkema, “Sages and Saints,” Cardus. What is the goal of education? Many seem to have the impression that education is about giving you the skills you need to get a well-paying job after you graduate. But in this brief defense of liberal education, Sikkema says that job-creation is aiming too low. Closer to the mark would be to say that education is about making good citizens. But even nations have been known to collapse. Ultimately, Sikkema invites us to see the goal of education as promoting wisdom and holiness.
  6. Simon Gathercole, “Paul and the Faithfulness of God: A Review,” Reformation 21. New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole reviews N.T. Wright’s massive new opus, Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Fortress, 2013), the fourth installment in his series, Christian Origins and the Question of God. Gathercole’s overall assessment of Wright is positive, but he has plenty of room for critiques. I also have a couple of my own minor critiques of Gathercole here.
  7. Anthony Bradley, “(Real) Big God Theology: His People and His Creation,” What Is Your Salvation For? In this post, Dr. Bradley gives a holistic picture of God’s plan of redemption. This plan extends well beyond the salvation of individual souls, and includes the entire cosmos.
  8. Kyle Keating, “Athanasius and the Scope of the Story,” Spiritual Friendship. Kyle unpacks St. Athanasius’s argument that the overall shape of the biblical storyline should guide our ethics. Kyle then argues how liberal views of same-sex sexual relationships compromise the basic story of creation in Genesis 1-3. Even further, he draws an analogy to the marriage of Christ and the church to show that same-sex marriage amounts to a collapse of the Creator-creature distinction.
  9. Matthew Lee Anderson, “Mere Fidelity: On Divine Accommodation,” Mere Orthodoxy. In this audio feed, the team at Mere-O discuss the doctrine of divine accommodation. Since God is infinite and qualitatively distinct from his creation, any effort at communication/communion with his creatures will involve some kind of accommodation on his part. But what exactly does this entail?
  10. Jordan Monson, “Do Christians Have Poor Cultural Taste?” Christ and Pop Culture. These days, Christians are quick to reject a piece of non-Christian art, literature, or film simply because it doesn’t conform to their own preconceived tastes, values, or beliefs. But this fact reflects the attitude of what C.S. Lewis has called a “bad reader.” By contrast, a good reader does not use art, but rather receives it and allows it to challenge her and add to her life.

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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