This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Here’s this week’s list of interesting articles from around the web:

1. “The Unrighteous Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God” by Sam Storms

Dr. Storms reflects on the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. He seeks here to emphasize that those who will not inherit the kingdom of God are those who “relish their sin,” who refuse to repent. He applies this directly to the issue of same-sex attraction mentioned in the passage. He clarifies helpfully:

So let me be perfectly clear about this. Men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction are not excluded from the kingdom of God. Rather, Paul and the author of Hebrews have in mind men and women who persistently and unrepentantly indulge in same-sex activity.

This is an important qualifier and one that the men and women of our churches need to hear and understand.

2. “Seven Essential Lessons from an Evangelical Scholar in the Secular Academy” by Michael Kruger

Kruger reflects on the biographical account of Thomas Oden, who started out his career as a liberal scholar but was converted later in life. Through Oden’s example and story Kruger offers us seven important lessons both as a warning to young scholars moving into secular academia, and as an encouragement to those evangelicals already there. The information shared here, however, can be helpful even to those of us who aren’t in the specific target audience.

3. “3 Reasons Women Need Good Theology” by Alyssa Poblete

A beautiful an encouraging word guiding us through a most frustrating development in gender roles in the church. Women need to study theology, and Poblete gives us some great reasons for this conclusion. I am thrilled to see this article at TGC!

4. “Five Organizational Reasons Many Churches Hit Attendance Plateaus” by Thom Rainer

In an attempt to help churches be good stewards of their resources Rainer has listed five organizational reasons that church attendance might stop growing. I greatly appreciate the emphasis on small groups that all the folks at Lifeway have and this list includes, as number two, that same emphasis.

5. “Silence of the Lambs” by Tyler St. Clair

This is an important word from a faithful pastor right here in Detroit. In it he points out that the questionable practices of police towards black and Latino men is nothing new. “The only difference is we live in the days of the cell phone camera.  Thank you Jesus!” He speaks as a black man, with personal experience. But he writes here as a Christian brother urging the church of Jesus Christ to stand up for the rights of black and Latino men. He writes:

I am urging my non-black, Evangelical brothers and sisters to speak just as vehemently and passionately about the injustices of Black and Latino men, as I hear about pro-life issues, religious rights, and the definition of marriage in America.

This is an important read of some honest writing.

6. “Introduction to New Studies in Dogmatics” by Michael Allen and Scott Swain

I am super excited about the announcement of this new series of books forthcoming from Zondervan academic. The collection of volumes, following in the tradition of G.C. Berkouwer’s similarly named series, aims to fill the gap between introductory systematics and advanced monographs. The single volume approach to these doctrines will be so appreciated, and the diverse authors will be welcomed diversity of voices to the studies. I cannot wait for these books to release!

7. “Quit Worrying that Everything is Going to Kill You” by Dick Talens

This is a fantastic article that blows apart the “life maximization” approach. Instead of adopting every change that the media promotes as important and health-changing we should keep looking at the big picture and wait for more conclusive research to be done. Talens writes: Rather, you’re better off not thinking that everything is going to kill you, because you can focus on a few big decisions, rather than waste your mental resources on a million little ones.

8. “Flannery O’Connor and the Violence of Grace” by Rachel Watson

This is a great piece reflecting on the fictional writing of O’Connor and the ways in which she understood and communicated the grace of God in her works. In particular she wanted to bring people to the moment right before grace: the recognition of their need for grace. Watson helps us to see the value of O’Connor’s strange and dark fiction.

9. “Taking the Roof Off: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer” by Evan Lenow

This is a good introduction to the way that Schaeffer thought about Christian apologetics and the desire to help people see their own worldview inconsistencies.

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