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Archive for September, 2011

New has just broken this Monday evening that Bryant Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention will appoint a committee to study the possibility of a name change to the Southern Baptist Convention.  The idea is not a new one, but it is a very helpful one that has been previously defeated.

Read the Baptist Press story here.

Categories : News
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This morning I came across a very helpful blog post by Josh Harris via The Gospel Coalition website. In this post, Josh Harris uses excerpts from an article by Reb Bradley to summarize some blindspots homeschoolers are prone to possess.

A brief disclosure is in order, lest one think that I am anti-homeschooling.  I’m a homeschooling dad, and I’m a pastor.  But I’m very concerned by what I have been observing for some time in several homeschool circles.  I am concerned that, though arising out of a genuine desire to protect one’s children from the sinful influences of the world, more and more homeschoolers are isolating themselves (even from the church), creating their own “pure” subcultures.  If you want to see how that ends, just watch M. Night. Shyamalan’s The Village.  You may be able to take your children out of the world, but you can’t take the world out of your children.  That’s why they (and we) need the gospel.

Another concern is the apparent increasing militancy by homeschool advocates that homeschooling is THE answer to ALL the problems in the world and the church.  O.K., so maybe I’m using hyperbole, but you get the picture.  Now back to the blog post.

I’m thankful for Reb Bradley’s ministry.  My wife introduced me to it many years ago, and I found him humble and encouraging in many ways.  In this article, Bradley exposes some important blindspots all who homeschool are susceptible to.  However, whether you homeschool, are thinking about homeschooling or send your kids to private or public school, please read this article and ask the Lord to help you discern your heart because these are not merely homeschooling blindposts; they are parenting blindspots.

Exposing Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers by Reb Bradley

In the last couple of years, I have heard from multitudes of troubled homeschool parents around the country, a good many of whom were leaders. These parents have graduated their first batch of kids, only to discover that their children didn’t turn out the way they thought they would. Many of these children were model homeschoolers while growing up, but sometime after their 18th birthday they began to reveal that they didn’t hold to their parents’ values.

Some of these young people grew up and left home in defiance of their parents. Others got married against their parents’ wishes, and still others got involved with drugs, alcohol, and immorality. I have even heard of several exemplary young men who no longer even believe in God. My own adult children have gone through struggles I never guessed they would face.

Most of these parents remain stunned by their children’s choices, because they were fully confident their approach to parenting was going to prevent any such rebellion.

After several years of examining what went wrong in our own home and in the homes of so many conscientious parents, God has opened our eyes to a number of critical blind spots common to homeschoolers and other family-minded people.

1.  Having Self-Centered Dreams

2.  Raising Family as an Idol

3.  Emphasizing Outward Form

4.  Tending to Judge

5.  Depending on Formulas

6.  Over-Dependence on Authority and Control

7.  Over-Reliance Upon Sheltering

8.  Not Passing on a Pure Faith

9.  Not Cultivating a Loving Relationship With Our Children

For an explanation of each blindspot, read Josh Harris’ entire blogpost here.

Read Reb Bradley’s entire article here.

Categories : Commentary, Resources
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To Spank or Not to Spank

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The question of corporal punishment is not a new one.  Depending on your particular parenting philosophy, you will have a position.  As a Christian, we suppose that our position is rooted in the Bible.  However, with so many books written from so many perspectives, all arguing that their view is the biblical view, how are parents to make wise decisions?

Just because someone uses the Bible does not mean their understanding of Scripture is right.  New Testament scholar William Webb argues that when one reads the Bible accurately in relation to corporal punishment, one will conclude that Christians should not spank their children.

New Testament scholar Thomas Schreiner provides a helpful review at The Gospel Coalition website that exposes Webb’s handling of Scripture as less than helpful.

Categories : Commentary, Resources
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God: The Origin and Source of Love
If we begin with the world’s understanding of love, we will only dwell in the erotic.  If we are to understand love we must begin with God for God is love (1 John 4:8).  To say God is love is not merely to say that God is loving; it is to say that love is the essence of God’s being (Leon Morris, Testaments of Love, 36).  Most clearly, it is through the lens of the cross that we may understand God’s love (Romans 5:8).  When we see God’s love through the lens of the cross, we see . . .

God’s love never ceases; it is eternal.
God has always loved; this is evident in the relations within the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world (John 17:24).  This is the love that God shares with us.  We were chosen in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4; see also Romans 8:28-30).

God’s love is undeserved; it is unconditional.
This love that God shares with us is undeserved because we are sinners by nature who deserve God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3).  God does not love us because of something attractive in us (see Ezekiel 16; Hosea); God loves sinners because it is His nature to love (Morris, 142).  God love us because He chose to.

But God’s love is holy; God does not rejoice in unrighteousness.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:6, that love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  This is because love is holy, righteous just as God is holy and righteous – after all, God is light (1 John 1:5).  We have a sin problem that makes us unlovable (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); the solution is Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11).  Here we see the selfless love of God – looking outward to others.

Therefore, God’s love is most clearly seen at the cross of Christ.
The love of God is most clearly displayed at the cross because it is there that we see the eternal, selfless, holy love of God as the Father poured out His wrath on the sinless Son in order that sinners may have everlasting life (1 John 4:9-10; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Love is THE way of the Christian because it is THE way of the Triune God.
If we say we are God’s, that we belong to God, then we will walk in the same way in which He walked (1 John 2:3-6).  This is the message that has always been, even from the very beginning: love one another (1 John 3:11-15).  The basis for this love for others is Christ.  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers (1 John 3:16, ESV).

It is this love that is permanent, never-ceasing, for it is God’s love poured into our hearts.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5, ESV).

Let us, therefore, pursue love; let us love one another!

Categories : Theology
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The Christian life is hard!  That much is evident even from a cursory reading of the New Testament.  In 1 Peter, we learn that to follow Christ is to follow Him into suffering – we have been called to this (2:21)!  How then do we prepare ourselves to face righteous suffering?

Peter tells us that we must arm ourselves with the same mindset as Christ (4:1).  But what does that look like?

Listen to Righteous Suffering: The Road to Holiness (1 Peter 4:1-6) to learn how to face righteous suffering with the same mindset as Christ.

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From the Austin-American Statesman:

Catastrophic fires burn thousands of acres, force evacuations across Central Texas

Fires in Bastrop County, Spicewood, Steiner Ranch, Pflugerville, others driven by wind and dry conditions.

 Read entire story.

Please join us in praying for those families affected by the fires.  As of this morning over 300 homes were destroyed in the Bastrop area.

Categories : Austin, News
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Join us this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at High Pointe as we consider how righteous suffering in our lives serves to expose what or who we trust and leads us to God’s will.

In order to prepare, read 1 Peter 4:1-6; Psalm 1; and Ephesians 6:10-20.

We will also be participating in the Lord’s Supper so come prepared.

Categories : Austin, Church, Sermons
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