Snippets from the interweb (9th July 2017)

Should I feel God’s presence in my life?

RC Sproul offers a really helpful, and brief, take on whether we really need to feel God’s presence in our lives.

I felt an enormous weight to try to have the most meaningful Communion service I could possibly lead. I agonized in prayer, saying, “God, please let me have a special anointing as I come before these people in their need.” I don’t think I ever mounted the pulpit in my entire ministry with a greater desire to know the presence of God than I did that Sunday morning.

Religious freedom is for non-Christians too

If Jesus is right about his gospel, we don’t need the power of bureaucrats to carry out the spiritual mission of gospel advance. Roger Williams stood up for the right of an unpopular minority in early New England—the Baptists—not to christen their babies. But he explicitly said such freedom ought to extend to “the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish” consciences as well, since we are not to extend God’s kingdom by the sword of steel but by the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

How should Christians respond to the transgender issue?

Dr Peter Saunders offers his take on this difficult and sensitive issue.

If there is a disconnection between the body and mind, then do you shape the body to fit the mind or do you shape the mind to fit the body? Do you try to help them to become reconciled with their body through counselling and psychotherapy? Or do you give them hormones and surgery so that their body conforms to their chosen gender identity?

Preaching under pressure

On the other side of leadership challenges over the years, I believe that you have not really learned to preach until you preach through a storm. Unending sunshine creates shallow pulpits. Preaching through a storm anchors the pulpit to the tried and proven word of God.

Slogging blogging

Tim Challies makes a helpful case for pressing on with the discipline of regular blogging.

Whether or not you are a writer, I can pretty much guarantee there are areas of your life that are difficult or even grueling. There are areas of your life where doing the same thing in the same way seems senseless, where you are tempted to despair or tempted to give up. I say slog on!

The revealing conservatism of JK Rowling

What is more interesting about Harry Potter and Hogwarts than the surface level progressivism of its creator is the conservativism that forms an essential part of its appeal.

From the archive: How should Christians respond to Socialism? A response to John Piper

It is no coincidence that the Socialism of the British Labour movement was started by a Scottish lay preacher and built on the back of Welsh Methodism. Free market capitalism can hardly be said to have been borne out of any adherence to biblical principles.