Snippets from the interweb (4th March 2018)

A future Billy Graham?

‘While admiring Billy Graham and being very grateful for his life and ministry, I firmly believe that we don’t need someone like him to step into his shoes. This isn’t a criticism of Graham, he was a child of his time and acted in a way that was appropriate for his setting, but times have moved on and so must we. I’d like to suggest that there are three ways in which a ministry like Billy Graham’s would be inappropriate for today.’

Is church discipline really necessary? (podcast)

I think you know it is. Here is a helpful discussion about it between Kent Hughes, Philip Ryken and Thabiti Anyabwile.

The EU’s solution to the Irish border issue

Melanie Phillips points to a report commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, written by Lars Karlsson, President of KGH Border Services, former Director of the World Customs Organisation and Deputy Director-General of Swedish Customs. He offers a proposal for the solution of the Irish border issue that has frequently been used to shut down the suggestion that Brexit may, in fact, be entirely workable.

Can a devout Roman Catholic be genuinely born again?

You can read, or listen to, John Piper’s answer. I like the way he helpfully distinguishes between doctrinal precision and saving faith without compromising the very serious issues with Catholic doctrine. ‘It is possible for a person’s heart and his essential grasp of Christ to be far better than the structures of his doctrinal framework. We may all be very, very thankful for this.’

Should we kiss Solomon’s dating advice goodbye?

Iain Duguid in excellent form here. ‘Many fine commentators see Solomon as the hero of the Song of Songs. In my commentary, however, I disagree, seeing Solomon as part of the problem, not the solution. After all, in 1 Kings 11, the Bible does not depict Solomon as the sort of person to advise you on love and marriage.’

My Protestant Oscar Predictions

‘The red carpet will provide us with a parade of beautiful people. That’s one way of looking at it. Here’s another: It will provide us with an endless stream of people who have cheated on spouses, betrayed friends, broken marriage vows, wrecked homes, had abortions. Those who have been exposed as sexual abusers may be less in evidence this year. But other than that, the usual carnival of corruption will be on full display. And it will be attractive, because it is physically beautiful.’

From the archive: The problem with our weekly ‘do what you feel’ gathering

‘Christ builds his church by bringing us into fellowship with people who aren’t like us, whose preferences differ from ours and who view things in ways we don’t. If we all insist on things as we feel they ought to be, how do we hold together a church in which everybody feels differently? The answer cannot be to go by whatever feels right because between us we feel a range of mutually exclusive things. The answer is to orientate our feelings in line with what we know from scripture. We determine what we do by God’s Word, and God’s Word alone.’