Friday, January 15, 2016

Around the Horn – 1/15/16

At first, Denny Burk has a helpful response to people who doubt or deny the Bible because they think the Bible supports slavery. A lot of Bible believers struggle with this issue because instinctively they know it doesn’t sound right, but they don’t know how to answer it. Sometimes they just give up and concede the point, against their better judgment, As with other issues, like the Bible’s treatment of women for instance, people who doubt the Bible based on slavery likely haven’t read the Bible very closely, if at all. Burk’s response should be helpful and clarifying.

At second is an interesting article on the often forgotten victims of sex crimes and sexual abuse. Much attention is given to the physical victims of sexual violence and abuse, and much attention is given to the perpetrators. But as this article reminds us, there is often family—spouses, children, parents, and others—who suffer. This is a sad story that should provoke some thought about how we minister to everyone connected to these crimes.

At third is an excellent article about the pastor as an iceberg. At its root, it is an encouragement to do more than study for this week. In fact, it encourages to read and study things far and wide because those things have a way of building a foundation of thought that cannot be seen, but will inform us in so many ways we have never thought of. It’s okay to read something that’s not relevant to anything on the preaching schedule in the foreseeable future. In fact, it’s not only okay. It’s preferable.

Last this week, Scott Clark provides an online “Curriculum For Those Wrestling Through Covenant Theology and Infant Baptism.” For those interested in this topic, Clark provides fourteen links to various articles. He also reveals the position’s weakness when he says, “one’s understanding of baptism is really the product of a number of other assumptions and conclusions that one has already drawn about the nature of the history of redemption and about how the Bible is to be read and interpreted.” In reality, we don’t need a number of assumptions and conclusions about these things. We can go to the Bible and study baptism and see what it entails. In every case where the particulars are mentioned, it entails believers and lots of water. There are no instances of baptism in the Bible that involve non-believers (including infants) or little bits of water. Having seen that from the Bible itself, we can then draw some conclusions from that. Should we really believe that with all this infant baptism going on that the Holy Spirit did not inspire even one apostle to make even one reference to it? That is a bridge too far for me. Although if you are of Clark’s persuasion, you don’t need a bridge to get across that baptismal font.

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