This post is part of a weekly series in which we list the top ten posts from across the blogosphere. If you come across a post that you think should make our list, please let us know!
Dave Bohon, “Iraq: ISIS Terrorists Still Killing Christians, Beheading Children,” The New American. The genocide of Iraqi Christians has officially begun, and the reports are as bad as they can be. ISIS terrorists are crucifying their victims, and even beheading children. They have also apparently overrun Qaraqosh, the largest Christian community in Iraq. Meanwhile, the US has authorized airstrikes against these terrorists.
Ruth Moon, “Acts 29 Removes Mars Hill, Asks Mark Driscoll to Step Down and Seek Help,” Christianity Today. This has not been a good year for Pastor Driscoll. In the latest news, Acts 29 leaders, including Matt Chandler and Darrin Patrick, have issued a letter in which they have asked Driscoll and his Seattle-based church to leave the church-planting organization that Driscoll himself founded.
Derek Rishmawy, “Stealth Calvinist Ninjas (Or, Throw Me a Bone Here),” Reformedish. Dr. Roger Olson, perhaps America’s foremost Arminian theologian, has been quite vocal about his disdain for the Calvinist conception of God. But now it appears that he is bordering on conspiracy theories when it comes to Calvinists’ alleged tactics. Derek has a thought-provoking response here.
Rick Phillips, “Union with Christ and Sanctification,” Reformation 21. Phillips continues his series on the affirmations of the Gospel Reformation Network. In this post, he addresses the fourth affirmation: “We affirm that both justification and sanctification are distinct, necessary, inseparable and simultaneous graces of union with Christ through faith.” This is Calvin’s famous duplex gratia (double grace), according to which sanctification is neither an optional add-on to justification nor a mere consequence of justification. Rather, both justification and sanctification are rooted in our union with Christ.
Fred Sanders, “Well, Your Last Theologian Was an Idiot,” The Scriptorium Daily. Sanders draws a connection between the strategies of home repairmen and those of theologians: they have this repeated tendency to trash-talk the last guy. Sanders encourages us to step outside our own skin and see what effect this tendency has on the perspective of outsiders. Rather than elevating the superiority of our own tradition, we just make all traditions look unreliable. A more constructive approach is needed.
Dylan Pahman, “Defining Social Justice,” Juicy Ecumenism. The term “social justice” has become a somewhat polarizing issue recently. But according to Pahman, much of the division may be due to misunderstandings over what social justice actually means. His definition is “each societal member, group, and sphere rendering to each other member, group, and sphere what is due.”
Joe Carter, “9 Things You Should Know about Hamas,” The Gospel Coalition. Hamas is an Arabic acronym, which stands for Harikat al-Muqawama al-iSlamiya (“Islamic Resistance Movement”). It’s a democratically elected Palestinian terrorist organization, and it refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. In my opinion, they are one of the chief stumbling blocks to a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
James K.A. Smith, “Cracks in the Secular,” Cardus. “The secularist’s doubt is faith; what counts as “temptation” for the nonbeliever is belief. If the believer is haunted by an echoing emptiness, the unbeliever can be equally haunted by a hounding transcendence.” What we are witnessing in public life today may not be the final stage of secularism’s slow triumph over religion, but rather secularism’s final death cries, as that historical detour which began in the Enlightenment approaches its end.
Charles Chaput, “Law and Morality in Public Discourse: How Christians Should Rebuild Our Culture,” Public Discourse. In this post, Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput reflects on Christian engagement with culture. I think he’s right about the priority of culture over politics, and the need to engage in society’s subsidiary structures (schools, families, etc.). But I’m not quite sold on the idea of natural law as the basis for public policy. Still very worth reading.