Snippets from the interweb (24th September 2017)

Tetzel on 7 years in purgatory for every sin

This is a really interesting article on the Catholic doctrine of purgatory and why it was so vital that the reformation saw rid of it.

Bad small group questions

If you lead Bible studies in a home group, it is worth taking into account these four kinds of question that might lead to deafening silence. There are some helpful tips on how we might ask more helpful questions too.

Why are Bible translations different and can I trust them? (Video)

It never ceases to amaze me that those with the least qualification to speak on the issue of Bible translations often have the most vociferous views on the matter. Bill Mounce explains why Bible translations differ and why we can still trust them nonetheless.

Wrestling with the Biblical text

This is a fascinating little study on how Millennials handle passages of scripture that make them uncomfortable and asks some searching questions about how we teach them to do this ourselves. ‘We might think we read the Bible in a straightforward way – but we really don’t.’

Standing up to bullies

I appreciated this from Dave Williams. ‘I’ve learnt from several older and wiser pastors that  in church life you focus on who you want to keep.  This means church life is prioritised around how you disciple and care for those people… This does not mean that we put together a list of the people we don’t want to keep and try to force them out. It means that we put our priorities elsewhere and make sure that an exit as well as an entrance is kept open.’

Which of the five points of Calvinism is most difficult for you?

I thought this was very interesting. I think this is probably the one I, day to day, believe the least in practice but it’s not the one I have the hardest time believing altogether. I think RC Sproul was right that, if you accept Total Depravity, all the others ultimately fall into place.

From the archive: On the inspirational, contextless quote

‘If we want to pull verses out of context, at best we will end up importing biblical ideas from elsewhere that are not the point of the particular passage we are reading. At worst, and frankly more likely, we will impose our own ideas onto the text. This means we will end up approaching and worshipping God as a projection of ourselves. It will be our own ideas, predilections and predispositions that we read into a passage only to take them straight back again and call it God’s revealed will. This bastardises God’s word and allows it to say whatever we want.’