Snippets from the interweb (17th December 2017)

The worst gift you can give your children

This isn’t a spiritualised metaphor; it highlights the worst physical present you can give your children this Christmas. Despite acknowledging some of the arguments to the contrary, I’ve got to be honest and say I agree.

Random thoughts on preaching

Paul Levy offers three apparently random thoughts on preaching. For what it’s worth, I think they’re about right.

The “real” meaning of Christmas

‘As usual at this time of year, there has been a lot said about the need to get back to the real meaning of Christmas and I have a bit of a problem with that. Who gets to define what the real meaning is?’

Doing church away from church isn’t church

‘It’s becoming increasingly popular to fashion new ways to “do church.” But how do we discern what does and does not constitute going to church? God’s word has plenty of wisdom on the issue. In short, my hike or a Bible open in my living room with the kids is not church.’

Sola scriptura and the onus operandi

‘As an apologetic strategy, asking Protestants to prove sola Scriptura from Scripture may be effective. But it’s nevertheless devious, because it violates one of the most basic principles of logic, which is that positive affirmations, not denials, require proof.’

Next time: A tribute to RC Sproul

I was absolutely gutted to hear RC Sproul has died – the church has lost a brilliant servant. But RC was clear that he wanted no tears to be shed; he knew then that he would be far better of now. There are many eulogies being posted, but I was quite moved by this one from Tim Challies.

From the archive: Is God’s greatest pleasure to make us happy?

‘If our happiness is our chief end, propped up by a God-just-wants-me-to-be-happy mentality, we can justify anything we please, no matter how sinful it may be. I obey God because it makes me happy quickly becomes I won’t obey God on this issue because it won’t make me happy, and that’s all he wants for me, right?!’