Thursday Roundup (5/11/17)

Today’s video looks at whether Revelation’s 144,000 are who Jehovah’s Witnesses say they are. The podcast continues our survey of Dr. Willie Parker’s Life’s Work, taking a first look at a key question: “What is it?” And the links of the week look at patience and liturgy, mentoring and discipleship, the debate over sexual morality, Trump’s religious liberty executive order, and more!

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“The great doctrine of the second advent has in a sense fallen into disrepute because of… this tendency on the part of some to be more interested in the how and the when of the second coming rather than in the fact of the second coming.”
~ Martin Lloyd-Jones

Latest Video

Revelation twice mentions a special group of 144,000 Christ-followers. According to Jehovah’s Witnesses these are the only people who will go to Heaven to live with God forever, while the remaining believers remain on a glorified new earth. Join me as I examine these difficult passages to determine whether the JW interpretation is plausible.

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

Last week’s episode on Dr. Willie Parker’s “Life’s Work” sets up this week’s key question: What is it? We look at why this is the essential question and then start answering it by considering whether the fetus meets the definition of a living organism.

Answers for Ambassadors is available via SoundCloud or by searching in iTunes and most other podcast players. You can also direct your podcast player to the podcast RSS feed.

Best Reads of the Week

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Think about that for a moment. God wants us to wait, and he cares about how we do it. An excellent piece from Aaron Menikoff: “Let Us Not Grow Weary.”

A century ago, the church was tempted to appeal to unbelievers by downplaying hard-to-believe stories of the miraculous. Today, the church is tempted to appeal to unbelievers by downplaying hard-to-follow biblical commands about sexuality. It’s worth considering the consequences of following the conventional wisdom about miracles as the church is tempted toward a similar path today.

David Gushee wrote a piece arguing that, between those who affirm homosexuality and those who consider it a sin, “the differences are unbridgeable.” Denny Burk agrees with Gushee. I agree with both.

Very thought-provoking observations about how liturgy can help the cognitively impaired in worship.

Discipleship is important. Nailing down the optimum approach to discipleship which everyone should follow is… less so. In fact, it’s probably counterproductive. Stacy Reaoch discusses four types of discipleship which blessed her in different seasons of her life. Relatedly, Melissa Kruger lays out a helpful template for how her church put together a mentoring program.

One of our most important jobs as parents is to “educate your child’s desire.” These are frightening words: “That fifteen-year-old boy seemed quite content spending his free time just as he pleased. But eighteen years later, at age 33, he has a growing sense that life should be about more than video games and masturbation. He’s living at home with his parents, working part-time at a dead-end job. And he lashes out in anger, often anger against his own parents, for reasons he struggles to put into words, but the words should be: Why didn’t you raise me to be more than this?”

David French declares that President Trump’s recent religious liberty executive order is worse than useless. “[Trump] should tear it up, not start over, and do the actual real statutory and regulatory work that truly protects religious liberty.”

As the church seeks to love her neighbors, the opioid addiction crisis is one key battlefront. This piece describes Rust Belt towns where heroin has essentially swept away the male half of the population, leaving women to hold their families together and make a living as best they can.

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