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Virtues, Vices, and the New Technologies

September 15, 2017

Christians have always needed an interconnected set of virtues in order to pray well. Virtues refer to character traits, but character traits can be good or bad; we refer to these, respectively, as virtues and vices. . . . [O]ur new technologies tend to promote certain vices that hinder our ability to worship properly. What we need to do, therefore, is strive against these influences of contemporary culture by cultivating the virtues that promote godly prayer.

VanDrunen, David. God’s Glory Alone—The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life: What the Reformers Taught…and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series) (pp. 122-123). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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Paul Helm on the Benedict Option

September 12, 2017

Helm critiques Dreher’s Benedict Option here. Worth a read.

 

The presence of two kingdoms is a fundamental teaching of Jesus, not a political re-positioning for tactical advantage. The Benedict Option does not recognize it as mandatory. In Christianity there is always the kingdom of God and of his Christ, and the kingdom of this world. In not recognizing this the BO was making a serious error.

Technology and the Regulative Principle

September 12, 2017

The new technologies’ emphases upon speed, efficiency, multitasking, multimedia presentation, and the like tend to make many characteristic features of Reformed worship—for example, pastoral prayers, the singing of psalms and hymns, sermons, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and gathering to do these things in simple, unadorned rooms—seem quaint and boring in comparison. The church has always struggled with the temptation to add things to worship beyond what God has ordained in Scripture, and the seductions are stronger than ever in an Internet age.

VanDrunen, David. God’s Glory Alone—The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life: What the Reformers Taught…and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series) (p. 115). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Barrick on God’s Self-Existence

September 11, 2017

God’s self-existence is fundamental to His being, and therefore to the gospel. Read Barrick’s discussion of divine self-existence here.

God’s self-existence makes Him the sole determiner of absolute truth — truth we can depend upon. God is someone we can trust completely. He is always there. Therefore, He will not leave us or forsake us the way others do. Since He alone is completely holy and righteous, He sets the standard for truth, for holiness, and for righteousness or justice. God is the only one who doesn’t fail, default on a promise, run out when trouble comes, lie, or die. He provides us with everything we look for in the character of someone we can rely on. And, that even extends to our great need to be completely forgiven.

Only in Minnesota

September 11, 2017

Frost flowers

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Dreher on the Medieval World

September 9, 2017

Medievals experienced the divine as far more present in their daily lives. As it has been for most people, Christian and otherwise, throughout history, religion was everywhere, and— this is crucial— as a matter not merely of belief but of experience. In the mind of medieval Christendom, the spirit world and the material world penetrated each other. The division between them was thin and porous. Another way to put this is that the medievals experienced everything in the world sacramentally.

Dreher, Rod. The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (p. 24). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The Recovery of Musical Conservatism

September 8, 2017

Robert Reilly recounts a bit of recent musical history, including the contributions of Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener.