September 22, 2004

Christian Carnival XXXVI

is up at Neophyte Pundit. I opted out this week, but there's still a lot of pretty good stuff anyway that's worthy of your attention. Here are my highlights:

Eeeeyow! If I had a Crusty Award, substitute blogger "HogOnIce" at Aaron's Rantblog wins it hands down with this vituperative commentary on Madonna's "spirituality." Keep a fire extinguisher handy, because it starts hot and doesn't let up:

She’s in Israel right now, with a group of Kabbalah cultists who are doing for Judaism what Steven Seagal did for Buddhism. Yes, the Venereal Girl is applying her genius, helping the poor ignorant rabbis get the straight poop on life, the universe, and everything. Who better to guide them to enlightenment than the world’s most famous slut and skank?

They’re only the world’s greatest body of religious scholars. Brilliant men who have devoted their lives to studying the Torah and the Talmud. But Madonna knows more than they do. Because, hey, she took a course.

[Read Madonna the New Jewish Pope?]

David at Jollyblogger posts about how he thought he once understood the Gospel but was really missing the mark:

He explained to me that salvation was all of grace but so was sanctification. In thinking that the gospel justifies, but obedience sanctifies I had gone down an inevitable road of legalism that was destined to ruin my relationships, sap my joy in following Christ and wear me out. In this little story I have only focused on the relational troubles my legalism produced, but the fact was that I wasn't all that joyful and burnout was always around the corner.

[Read Still Trying to Get the Gospel]

(But don't miss today's followup article in response to one of his commenters, in which he interacts with Charles Stanley and Michael Horton on the question of eternal rewards. It's even better.)

Douglas at Belief Seeking Understanding riffs off a recent claim by Pat Robertson that God told him Bush would win the upcoming election in a landslide. He goes to the Scriptures and shows by example that whenever God revealed his hand in national politics, his prophets didn't go around blabbing about it:

For example, Samuel was able to keep a lid on it when God told him that he had rejected Saul as king of Israel. He was able to keep a lid on it when he anointed young David as king. The unknown son of the prophet who anointed Jehu as king of Israel many years later was able to keep a lid on it. And it wasn't just Israel. God told Elijah to anoint Hazael as king over Syria. I can only surmise that Elijah told his protege Elisha about it, because Elisha told Hazael that he would be king over Syria. But there's no record of any public declaration of this information.

[Read This "God Told Me" Thing Again...]

In an age where genuine repentance is rejected not only by the pagans but also by large numbers of professing Christians, the Parableman deals out some good words:

Once that's clear, I think it's easy to see how repenting and believing are really the same thing. Since the same word is used not just for believing and having faith but also for being faithful to the covenant, belief here is not just trusting in God in an intellectual or emotional way, though that's part of it. It's not belief in the biblical sense unless it involves being faithful to the covenant, which was clearly the old covenant in the prophetic tradition and is clearly the new covenant in the apostolic tradition. Jesus stands here at the crossroads, calling those in the old covenant to be faithful to the covenant God graciously made with them.

[Read Repent and Believe]

KB at Pure Text writes a review of a book which I agree ought to be required reading for anyone with ministerial ambitions:

I just finished reading a book for my Theology class by David Wells, a professor at Gordon-Conwell. The book is called No Place for Truth, Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? and I there’s a good chance that it ought to be required reading for every True Christian embarking on a path for ministry today.

[Read No Place for Truth]