Here is the monthly roundup of articles and resources from the web for July 2019.
Bible and Theology
Who Needs Chronicles in 2019? So, who needs Chronicles? I say, we do—that is, we late-modern evangelical Protestants. Chronicles pointedly exposes the governmental and liturgical weaknesses of many American Protestant churches, and offers sketches of ecclesial repentance and ecclesial health.
Could Jesus Have Sinned? How one answers the question of whether Christ could have sinned does not determine one’s salvation, but the theological realities that inform our answer — Christ’s divine personhood and genuine humanity — are critical to the gospel.
Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? The Bible commands us to be baptized, but what does the water actually do? Does it save us, like 1 Peter 3:21 appears to say?
Love is Love, Except When It is Not: “We must . . . tell others of the objective love of God in Christ, which is the only answer to the sinfulness of falling short of the objective truth of God’s light. Love is love, except when it is not. We must declare with the Scriptures that God is both light and love.”
My Prayer for the Furnace: How I Ask God to Heal. The Bible calls us to pray and plead with the Lord, asking him to bring healing. I’m going to ask, believing that Jesus Christ is going to heal me and heal the people I’m praying for, but then I’m going to open my hands, entrusting myself and others to the will of my God. That’s the example Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego give to us, and that’s how we pray in our trials
Ethics and Culture
How Christians Can Prepare for the 2020 Election Our country’s extreme political climate might tempt us to adopt its hostile rhetoric and dehumanizing tones, rendering us indistinguishable from the world. Or we might be tempted to abandon political engagement altogether, fatigued by the rancor and fed up by the partisan stalemate. . . . But neither option will suffice for those of us called to be in the world for the sake of the kingdom. We must forge a better path for a healthier, Christ-centered political engagement.
Church and Christian Living
An Elevator Pitch for Church Membership “Is church membership actually in the Bible?” How many times have you heard someone ask that? Maybe you’re asking it yourself. This blog gives an excellent argument for formal church membership.
It Doesn’t Make Sense’: When We’re Blindsided by Suicide A timely blog on suicide: “We call it ‘the problem of evil,’ trying to reconcile how evil and suffering exists in a world ruled by an almighty, all-good, all-knowing God. But calling it a ‘problem’ hardly begins to describe our experiences of it in this fallen world.”
Yes, Bring Commentaries to Bible Study Though we might at first be skeptical about the value of commentaries in Bible study, these books can be divine gifts—resources that help us better grasp God’s Word and better know God himself.”
8 Ways to Battle ‘Comfort Idolatry’ “One of Christianity’s greatest idolatries today is also one of the most subtle and insidious: the idolatry of comfort. . . . But a Christianity that’s accessed only as it suits us, only when it’s comfortable and on our terms, is not really Christianity.
5 Books You Should Read on the Prosperity Gospel Costi Hinn (nephew of famous televangelist Benny Hinn) shares five books on the prosperity gospel that were life-changing in his conversion and are must-reads for the church.
Mitch Bedzyk serves as a teacher and worship leader at Elmira Christian Center. He received his Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and works in IT for the NY Office of Mental Health. He and his wife, Sarah, have two sons, Oliver and Micah, and are foster parents. In his spare time he enjoys reading, coffee, guitar, following the Bundesliga and MLS, and playing fantasy soccer. You can follow him @mitchbedzyk