This edition of Thus & Such is rather long, as I haven't posted to this category in a while. Enjoy.
1. We begin with what might be the most poignant and convicting article that I've read so far this year, by the great Tim Challies. In it, Tim ponders out loud the reality that he affirms God's sovereignty in difficult situations, and notes that most of the time these difficult situations are happening to other people and and not to him. He wonders if he would be so quick to affirm his love for God's sovereignty if the tables were turned. This article was a punch in the gut for me, but a good punch in the gut that I need on a regular basis. Thanks for penning it, Tim.
2. "As the religious character of our society changes, so do our assumptions about religious freedom." Ain't that the truth. As we begin to think differently about the influence of religion, we will naturally think differently about how we are free to exercise our religion. This is a long but good and important read.
3. A common - and very uninformed - objection to the authority of the Bible by non-beleivers is that the Bible was copied over and over again to give us the text we have today. People will assert that, because the copyists were flawed human beings, they no doubt made errors in their copying. I say that this view is uninformed because some smart Christian people have realized this problem, and have done some thinking in order to address it, and it's actually quite an easily reconciled problem. Take a look.
4. Here's an article that unintentionally (I think) exposes several facets of the homosexual conversation. But the point of the article is to coach Christians on how engage homosexual arguments in the market place of ideas with the gospel. It's a good and informative read. Check it out.
5. "After realizing all of what I would have to give up, I said to God, 'I cannot let these things or people go on my own. I love them too much. But I know you are good and strong enough to help me.'" Check out this love letter to a lesbian.
6. "The simple act of going to church...is in and of itself a declaration of war." Read about why this is true here.
7. One of my favorite quotes is by a guy named Nicolaus Zinzendorf. It reads thusly: "Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten." I googled that quote and came across this blogpost. It's a good one. The author says, "When I die, don't read my obituary to see the meager things I did. Instead, read the Bible and see what the God of the universe has done." Amen to that. Also, I think I found what I want for my epitaph (scroll down to the end). Take a look.
8. This article brings up an important question that our society needs to have: how do we define what discrimination really is? There are many Christians, including myself, who believe that the table of discrimination has turned toward Christians, and that we are now being unfairly judged and unfairly characterized. How do we know when this turns into discrimination? It's a good question that we need to think about.