Weekend Reading: April 21, 2018

Welcome to the weekend!  Just a few stories for you.

First and foremost there is a long article in the Weekly Standard from Ethan Epstein titled ‘Homeless in Seattle’ and, while long, is hits on a question I’ve been thinking about for a while now: How is the tech economy and the bubbles of prosperity in certain cities impacting the lower income classes of people in those cities?  The reason this is percolating in my mind is that the city I live in, Columbus, OH, is on the short list for Amazon’s second headquarters location.  While I am not sure we are a top pick from even that short list, I’ve been thinking with some apprehension about the affects of a possible move here and what kind of positive and negative transformation it would bring to our city.  I’d be interested in your thoughts…

How in the world had I never seen this before now?  This. Is. Hilarious. The Hayek vs. Keynes Rap — “Fear the Boom and Bust” (h/t Brad S. – congrats Brad, you made it in the weekend reading!)

Speaking of hilarious: Did Congress Give Big Boy Mark Zuckerberg a Booster Seat for His Special Day?

Some wise words to consider from Jared Wilson in an article for Table Talk Mag: Attending Corporate Worship. Excerpt:

It’s not that you’re better than everyone else. It’s because you realize you may in fact be worse. When you back the family car out of the driveway on Sunday morning, you are telling your neighbors that you need Jesus and no amount of Sunday leisure can satisfy you like Him, that no rest is better than that which is found in Jesus, and that when the thin veneer of worldly frivolities starts to show a few cracks, you might be the kind of person they could talk to about the “alternative lifestyle” of following Jesus.

I  had not seen this story until today: Jesus, Take the Control Wheel: Southwest Pilot Saw Flying as Ministry. Really amazing stuff.

Did anyone else happen to see this????  Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles. I got kind of excited to see such a cool breakthrough, but then I thought about all the other things that have been ruined through scientific manipulations…food pops to mind.  Specifically though, what will releasing this enzyme in the world’s oceans mean for those habitats?  I think we need to very carefully think through this stuff.

Ummm…NASA Basically Missed a Huge Asteroid That Passed Unnervingly Close to Earth

I have not finished listening to this yet, but so far its really terrific: The Glory of Christ and Racial Unity.

More from DG: What is a Kind Husband?  Really good perspective here.

Interesting perspective over in the Washington Post by Marc Thiessen re: the Syrian Strikes.  It surprised me a bit because I think Marc is a pretty conservative thinker.  But its good to read different perspectives on things, and in this case it actually shocked my system a little because I hadn’t even considered things from the perspective of North Korea.

I think that sometimes Matt Walsh can be a bit harsh and uncharitable in his rhetoric, but underlying this story is an interesting hypocrisy that needs explored and brought to the light for consideration: If Your Sex Life Is None Of Our Business, Stop Demanding That We Celebrate It And Fund It

Important Headline: Millions Of Marshmallow Peeps Begin Annual Migration Back To Isle Of Disgusting Candies

Finally, a word about the recent Francis debacle.  I didn’t get to post this yet, but its a Catholic perspective on the Francis “hell” debacle from Red State: Pope Francis Continues to Confuse the Hell Out of the Faithful. Again.  I recently posted (in a somewhat sarcastic manner) on my Facebook that if the Pope questioned the existence of hell, there would be no real need for Good Friday.  I hope my sarcasm didn’t cause anyone too much angst on what is obviously a very serious topic. What I was getting at is that without the principle of a punishment for our sins, there is no need for a payment for our sins (i.e. Christ’s death on that “Good Friday”).  But what came up in the comments section of my post was that if the pope is wrong on this, or any of the other controversial things he’s been saying during his term, then it ought to cause Catholics to examine whether the man can indeed err. Is he capable of sin. Is he infallible? Biblically we know the answer is “yes”, he can err because he’s a man and therefore a sinner (Rom. 3-5). Even post-Pentecost Peter, the “first pope” was chastised by the Apostle Paul for his (dare we say…racist) sin as we read about in the Galatians. If Peter, the rock on which the church is founded, could err, so can this pope. This pope is not more holy than the great apostles whether he speaks ex-cathedra or not. If this is so, then we would need to examine whether the faithful in the Catholic church ought to be placing as much authority on the pronouncements of the church as on scripture itself (which does not err).  I would argue that church and its leaders are not infallible, and that the idea runs contrary to all of man’s experience and God’s revelation. If this is true…well…dominoes…

My heart on this is for my friends.  My question and my plea for consideration these friends who are genuinely faithful Christians who love Jesus and believe the gospel is this: Is it time to step back and once again consider a reformation from within your church?  I know many of you are frustrated by this pope, and I want you to see that it was just these kinds of things that led Luther and Calvin and thousands of others to try and reform the church 500 years ago.  Many just ended up leaving the church altogether. Indeed, the theological nucleus of the Roman Catholic church hasn’t changed much, and was indeed reaffirmed in 1993 with the updated catechism.

I would love to see Bible believing, Christ following, Gospel-driven believers inside the Catholic church lead a reformation that transforms the church and brings it back to its roots – its pre-Gregory roots. Pre-pope, pre-indulgences, pre-purgatory, pre-man-centered justification days.  The good old days where Augustine and Jerome and Clement and the Patriarchs all saw themselves as equals with their fellow believers in from Rome to Constantinople and Jerusalem to Antioch.  Is this possible?  Is it possible that this particularly poor pope could awaken in Catholic believers a need for reformation and return to a gospel-driven scripture-centric faith?  I believe God can bring good things from bad/evil situations, and man would it be cool if this were the case here!

I see these kinds of stories and it actually awakens in me a hope that they will ignite discussion and reformation, and that many will be saved as a result.  It actually gets me excited – can you imagine a world where the biggest religious organization in the world dropped the man-centered sandy foundation of their doctrine in exchange for Sola Scriptura, Sola Christus, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia and Soli Deo Gloria?  Can you imagine a world where, opposite of the drug-induced fantasy of the Lennon-themed naif song that bears said moniker, the organized church points people to a freedom unparalleled in their personal experiences?  I can only imagine what a reformation from within that church would do for humanity – not simply on a physical and community level, but for eternity.

I write those thoughts because I want my friends in the Catholic faith to know my heart for them and their church. It’s no use hurling critiques if there is no encouragement and hope and prayer to go alongside them. My prayer is for reformation in that organization and for its people to once again awaken to the importance of right gospel-centric doctrine and the primacy of Scripture.

That’s it for today!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

PJW

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: April 21, 2018

  1. “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen.”
    – Martin Luther. Source: Elesha Coffman, “What Luther Said” (), on Christianity Today at https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/august/what-luther-said.html [accessed 23 APR 2018].

    What needs to happen is for a Romanist to admit that Luther was correct, that Popes and Councils have erred and contradicted themselves repeatedly, and that therefore there is only one source of authority recognized by the one Head of the Church, i.e., His Word, the Holy Scriptures.Such a confessions spells the end of Romanism. Sola Scriptura! Ad fontes!

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