Snippets from the interweb (18th November 2018)

The dark side of transgenderism

It is interesting that there is much support for those who wish to change their gender but little to no support for those who wish to change back. This article points out the threats and abuse faced by those who wish to detransition.

Do you ever leave a translation meaningless? (Heb 13:3)

I always enjoy Bill Mounce on translation issues. ‘I am reading a paper this week at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. It is entitled, “Do formal equivalent translations reflect a higher view of plenary, verbal inspiration?” Because of my research, I am particularly sensitive to the claims of formal and functional equivalent translations and the relationship between words and meaning. Heb 13:3 provides an interesting test case.’

Let your internet yes be your real-life yes

‘I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been contacted by someone concerned about someone they know is an acquaintance of mine who comes off like a jerk online, and I say, “They’re not really like that. If you just knew them, you’d see that’s just how they seem on Twitter,” or whatever. Tone speaks as loudly as text on social media, but perhaps even more loudly. And in any event, it’s easy for all of us to slip into soapbox mode, to battle mode, to “proverbial wisdom” mode in social streams, because the medium favors talking, not listening, and it strips away inconvenient things like looking somebody in the eye, reading facial cues, or even using our real names and faces in the first place. What takes over online is The Persona. The danger, then, is that what will take over in real life is The Persona.’

Is nationalism the only evil?

‘Nationalism is the perversion of patriotism, because it takes love of one’s own nation one step further by idolising our nation and fearing all others. It does not take much to make that step, because the human condition is sinful, arrogant and inherently proud, and if that is true at the personal level, it is magnified at the national level. Patriotism easily descends into nationalism, a danger we must always be aware of. But here is Macron’s bigger mistake, even to the point of subtly re-writing history. The First World War was not caused by nationalism, so much as imperialism.’

Continuation of the charismata

I’ve really been enjoying the conversation between Andrew Wilson and Tom Schreiner on the spiritual gifts. Linked above is Andrew’s Evangelical Theological Society paper arguing for continuation. Also worth a look is the summary of Schreiner’s book on cessationism that Wilson calls ‘the best case for cessationism.’ Andrew has also released his response to Schreiner’s case for cessationism here. I hope we will get to see Schreiner’s paper too (which I will link to as and when it is made available).

Do you live in the glorious freedom of “it is finished”?

‘Three simple, yet utterly explosive words: “It is finished.” When Jesus used his last scraps of oxygen and life to utter these words, absolutely everything changed. “It is finished,” revolutionizes the way I relate to God. It transforms the way I think about holiness and putting sin to death. It re-weaves the fabric of how I live each day. “It is finished,” truly does change everything. But there’s a problem: I don’t usually live like it’s finished.’

From the archive: How can I know I’ve been called to pastoral ministry?

‘How do you know you have been called to pastoral ministry? In short, a church has actually called you. Within that, I would expect that call to be based on the affirmation that the eldership criteria is seen in your life. I would imagine that affirmation would also be affirmed by your local church. I would imagine the acceptance of an offer of a pastorate is attended with an actual desire to do the job. But you cannot consider yourself “called” until such time as someone has actually called you. The rest is simply confirmation.’