1 Peter 2:11 says, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” Commenting on this verse, John Calvin writes,
He reveals our carelessness in this respect, in that while we anxiously avoid enemies from whom we fear danger to the body, we willingly allow enemies hurtful to the soul to destroy us, indeed, we as it were stretch forth our neck to them.
If we but perceived the spiritual danger as easily and obviously as we do physical danger, how differently we might live.
In a recent newsletter on the blog of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Tim Keller writes,
I find it frustrating when I read or hear columnists, pundits, or journalists dismiss Christians as inconsistent because “they pick and choose which of the rules in the Bible to obey.” What I hear most often is “Christians ignore lots of Old Testament texts—about not eating raw meat or pork or shellfish, not executing people for breaking the Sabbath, not wearing garments woven with two kinds of material and so on. Then they condemn homosexuality. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what they want to believe from the Bible?”
Keller is right to be frustrated. In my experience it is not just columnists or pundits who talk this way. I have seen professors of Christian ethics at major research universities articulate just this attitude to Christians and their use of the Bible. Keller’s response is to…
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What does it mean to be worldly? Sometimes we find biblical terms that get thrown around with little or no consistency in regards to definition. People use them how and when they want to. Worldly is one of these terms. Often worldly is associated with trends, media, and entertainment that a person disapproves of. Before we label something worldly we should ask ourselves, “What makes this worldly?” Is it worldly because I disapprove of it, or is there some biblical basis for me calling this thing worldly? We also need to consider how it is used in the bible. If we simply go off what other people say is worldly, then there is no standard. According to some, worldly is anything from a pair of jeans with holes in it, to attending a rock concert. In the past worldly has been defined as owning a deck of cards or a…
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During the last several years, we have experienced a general rise in the price of many goods (especially food) thanks to an increase in the price of oil. Oil, of course, affects the price of many other items because oil ratchets up the cost of transportation, which is built into so many things that have to come to market.
But the price of oil is a tiny, little, marginal thing compared with the influence of another force.
One might have noticed that in real terms, most consumer goods are much cheaper (adjusted for inflation) than they were many years ago. This trend is most notable when we consider how innovation has reduced the cost of manufacture and has given us gigantic value for the dollar spent on electronics, for example.
But prices have gone up radically in a couple of areas. Health care has become far more expensive during the…
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