Smorgasbord

A variety of articles I found that get us thinking and hopefully talking.

My favorite is this one:

8 Reasons the Worship Industry Is Killing Worship

Here’s the eight reasons, which Jonathan Aigner expounds in his article:

1. It’s sole purpose is to make us feel something.

2. The industry hijacks worship.

3. It says that music IS worship.

4. It’s a derivative of mainstream commercial music.

5. It perpetuates an awkward contemporary Christian media subculture.

6. It spreads bad theology.

7. It creates worship superstars.

8. It’s made music into a substitute Eucharist.

Indeed, the “worship machine” is messed up on so many levels. I could talk about it all day. But I won’t. Go ahead and read the article.

Why Are Women Leaving the Church?

But in the absence of church, we became “church” for one another. At least, that’s what we told ourselves.

Cue the various Millennial tropes:

I’m spiritual but not religious.

I encounter God in nature.

My friends are my church.

I love Jesus but not the church.

The hubris of youth and a well-educated, entrepreneurial, “you can do anything” upbringing convinced us we could manage our own spiritual growth. And our formative years in evangelical church culture had taught us that our personal relationship with Jesus was the thing that mattered most. The church was, in our minds, intended to buoy that personal faith. If we weren’t “being fed” at a church, we were free, if not duty-bound, to look elsewhere.

Since our small group spiritually nourished us, we thought little about what we might be missing each Sunday: sacraments, intergenerational community, authority. Besides, we could always download a sermon podcast if we wanted one.

I’m more familiar with men (not millennials, either) lacking commitment to the local church, so this was new to me.

Read the rest.

Passive Sanctification

Passive sanctification is an error that has stalked and hurt the Christian church and many Christian lives through the years. The basic idea is that personal holiness is achieved without any personal activity, without any physical effort. Rather, holiness is received the more we are enabled to yield, to give up, or to believe.

The older form of this error has been summed up in the phrase, “Let go and let God.” We are passive and God is active. The more passive we become the more active God becomes. The less we try to succeed the more God will succeed in us.

The newest form of this error can be summed up in the phrase “Believe in your justification and you will be sanctified.”

A very common error, wearing some new clothes. Many believe it, and many more reveal they believe it by how they live the Christian life, even if they can’t explain the belief. It’s important to understand it and why it is wrong.

Read Five Attractions of Passive Sanctification

David Murray then follows up with Ten Dangers of Passive Sactification

Preach Like it’s Your Last

If it were revealed to you that you were about to preach the last sermon you would ever give, how would you preach and what would you do different?

Read the rest.

The Church is Not a Drive-Through Restaurant

Daniel Hyde:

We come to get something and to leave. If it is not there, we go somewhere else. Others of us treat the church like any ordinary social club, a PTAmeeting, a family reunion, or a gathering of friends. We come expecting to talk about work, football, and the latest gossip. We do all of this because we are sinners to be sure, but also because we are products of the world around us.

This hits us all, I think.

Read the rest, and if you can’t say “amen”, say “ouch.”

Thailand Web Control

Scary stuff, which is becoming easier to believe:

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the military is planning to form a new unit to counter online dissent. . .

Thailand’s monarchy is protected by one of the world’s strictest lese majeste laws with most new cases brought over perceived insults online.

In a record-breaking August conviction a man was sentenced to 30-years over the content of six Facebook posts.

Read the rest.

Hermeneutics taught by J. V. Fesko

One of my favorite authors and expositors. Lectures 1 and 2 are an extremely helpful introduction to studying the Bible.

Free to download.

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