Snippets from the interweb (5th January 2020)

How do scholars estimate when each book of the Bible was written?

RC Sproul explains. You can watch the video or read the transcript.

Life stage preaching

‘As a simple principle of parenting, there are two stages. The first, from 0-10ish, is the time to pour in Bible content. The second, from 11ish-adult, is the time to help them wrestle with two questions: Is it true? And is it personal?’

Transgender campaigner called transphobic for saying men are men

This news story also hit the mainstream media. It has interesting implications for freedom of speech and expression, but also highlights how every time it feels as though we are hitting peak nuts regarding transmania another story comes along that is even nuttier.

5 reasons Matthew begins with a genealogy

I preached from the genealogy Matthew gave us on Christmas Day. My message landed on at least three of these and implicitly covered a fourth. But it’s never good to just skip over those random names.

Three ways to safeguard regenerate church membership

‘One of the crucial marks of what it means to be Baptist is that we believe the local church, so far as we are able to discern, is made up of members who have been born again. Historically, Baptists have believed in regenerate church membership. Regenerate church membership is a precious and biblical belief worthy of being fiercely guarded by both pastors and church members. If we want to see churches that are doctrinally sound, and Christ exalting, our stance here must be non-negotiable. In too many Baptist churches it is “too easy” to get in and “too hard” to get out.’

12 steps to making better decisions in the 2020s

‘Most of the decisions we make, of course, are trivial—what clothes we will wear, what we will eat for breakfast, and so on. But we frequently need to make decisions that are substantive, and that may have a profound effect on our lives or the lives of others. Because of the significance of decision-making, we need to develop the habit of doing it well. The decision-making process is circular: the decisions we make are not only determined by our worldview but they also help to shape our worldview. Our day-to-day decisions to hear God’s Word and to obey his commands leads us to become wise, and thus able to make better decisions. As we enter a new decade, here’s a 12-step mode that can help you make godly decisions throughout the 2020s’

From the archive: Is church membership exclusive?

‘It’s a question that gets thrown up from time to time, often less in the form of a question and more as an indignant statement: membership is exclusive. The not so subtle subtext is that the church should not be exclusive. In other words, we should welcome everybody and to have a formal membership is to exclude some.’