Snippets from the interweb (26th August 2018)

What is God’s name?

‘In God’s answer to Moses, we see a contrast to this impersonal force. He didn’t say, “It is what it is,” which seems to be the name of false gods of our day. He said, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). This name is related to God’s personal name, Yahweh. So the very first thing that God reveals about Himself in that name is that He is personal. He can see; He can hear; He can know; He can speak. He can relate to the creatures He made in His own image. He is the God who brought up His people out of the land of Egypt. He is a God with a name and a history.’

Beware theological dangers on both left and right

‘We live in a world, as we see in the political realm, where those who disagree are quickly demonized, where partisan concerns are ramped up. As Christians, we mustn’t follow the same path. We need to be vigilant for the truth and to defend the faith. At the same time, we need to be careful about drawing lines too tightly, and to beware of pulling out the heresy charge too quickly. We need to ask ourselves if the brother or sister simply disagrees with us and with our theology.’

Is it wrong for men to have long hair?

John Piper gives a biblical, helpful answer here. Essentially, it depends.

It’s worth the risk

‘If taking risks sees an unreached people group, reached for Jesus, then the risk must be worth it. As God’s people, we need to do this on a personal level, a local church level and a national strategic level. Here are a few immediate areas of change which we could see.’

When did the church stop baptising by immersion?

‘Most of the students I teach seem to assume that the practice of immersion was already long-forgotten by the time of the Reformation—but this assumption doesn’t fit the historical facts. The facts are considerably more complex, but this much is clear: baptism by immersion was far from forgotten in the Western church in the era of the Reformation.’

Where should your children be during worship?

Whilst I think there is a good case to be made for giving children lessons that are more apt for them, I do have a lot of sympathy with this view. Growing up, my church had Sunday School during the morning service but I sat through church services, without being taken out to special lessons, for my entire childhood as my parents always took us to evening services. I am convinced this made it easy for me to sit in the service when I was too old for Sunday School. I am even more convinced that I learnt far more in the regular diet of ordinary sermons than anywhere else.

From the archive: A hill to die on?

‘Ultimately, we must die where the battle takes place. As soldiers in the cause of Christ’s truth, we battle wherever it happens to be fought when we are on the front the lines. Though the battles may be different in divergent contexts, we ultimately die on the hill on which it rages. We may cower in our bunker of ‘don’t pick on me’, or surrender on the land of ‘common ground’, but if the whole army does that we quickly lose the battle and, with similar tactics each time, the entire war. Unless we are prepared to die on some hill somewhere, we might find ourselves unprepared to die on any of them. The question before us all is, why not this one?’