Resistance Thinking Faith
It is through the Jesus lense the Resistance Thinking seeks to explore truth about the world in which we live. In this faith section you will find articles, news and reivews that will help you explore the complexities of the Christian faith.
We will cover a broad range of topics, including: theology, church, leadership, devotions, classic Christian literature, prayer, everyday faith, apologetics, church history, Christian living, Old Testamnet, New Testament, creation, fresh expressions, epistomology...the list could go on and on!
If there is any topic you would like the Resistance Thinking team to go to work on please shoot us an email. If you have any work that could help us all to be more effective 'Resistance Thinkers' please send it in for our team to review.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." CS Lewis
Please browse through the articles below
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 21:56
A short article by Kevin DeYoung provides an introduction into Tom Oden's book Requiem (which can be purchased from Amazon).
In this discussion Kevin turns to Oden's criteria to get the Church to change its stance:
How Denominations Come to Tolerate, Accept, and then Endorse Homosexuality
Kevin DeYoung, 12th February 2013
"Tom Oden, writing in his book Requiem way back in 1995, explains how it happens.
The first step is always a study committee.
In response to claims for moral legitimization of behaviors widely thought displeasing to God, each of the mainline denominations has dutifully appointed elaborate study commissions to report back to the general legislative body on how the church might respond to this form of sexual orientation, practice, and advocacy. (152)
If the first study committee comes back with a traditional reading of the text, or if the legislative body dismisses the committee’s by Coupon Companion Plugin">progressive interpretation, you can always assign another study committee amidst outcries that the recalcitrant conservatives suffer from “homophobia and reactionary stupidity” (153).
And if the traditional view cannot be overturned right away, try dismissing the whole controversy by telling people (with no small amount of chronological snobbery) that saner Christians understand this is nothing worth fighting over.
Read more... [How Denominations Come to Tolerate, Accept, and then Endorse Homosexuality]
Thursday, 24 January 2013 15:22
If you are a Christian who isn't going to Church regularly here are ten reasons why you should reconsider.
10 Reasons to Be Involved in a Church
David Roach, January 21st 2013
"According to a recent newspaper report, only 8% of British men attend church regularly, though 53% identify themselves as Christians. And the situation is similar in other Western nations, with more than 40% of U.S. evangelicals not attending church weekly and more than 60% of American mainline Christiansnot attending weekly. In short, millions who consider themselves Christians limit their church attendance largely to holidays, weddings, and funerals.
If you’re among these millions, please give church another chance. By getting involved, you’ll discover that what you once viewed as a chore is actually a blessing. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Gathering with a church encourages believers to love others and do good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
2. A church is the main venue for using your spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). God has given you abilities and talents intended to help other Christians. If you’re not involved in a church, others are being deprived of what you have to offer.
3. A church helps keep you from abandoning the faith. According to the author of Hebrews, the antidote to developing an “unbelieving heart” that leads you “to fall away from the living God” is to “exhort one another” (Hebrews 3:12-13)—an activity that occurs most prominently in the church.
4. A church helps you defend Christianity against those who attack it. When Jude told the early Christians to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3), he directed his instruction toward a group of believers, not a scattering of lone-ranger Christians. Answering challenges from coworkers, friends, and family members is always easier when you can ask fellow church members for help and wisdom.
5. A church is a great venue for pooling resources to support missions and benevolent works (2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 3 John 5-8). Your money combined with that of fellow church members can do a lot for Christ.
6. A church helps its members maintain correct doctrine (1 Timothy 3:15). You might begin to adopt unbiblical ideas without realizing it yourself. But you probably won’t adopt unbiblical ideas without someone at your church realizing it, and they can help you get back to the truth.
7. After your family, a church is the best group of people to meet your physical needs in an emergency (1 John 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 5:3-16).
8. A church supports you when you face persecution (Acts 4:23-31; 12:12-17). You may not be imprisoned for your Christian beliefs like the apostles were, but a church family is still a great source of comfort when you face stinging words or unfair treatment.
9. A church is where you can be baptized and take part in the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Ephesians 4:4-6). These two ordinances are a vital part of any believer’s walk with Jesus.
10. A church provides the setting for corporate worship (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Though it’s a blessing to praise God alone, there is a unique joy that accompanies singing God’s praises with an entire congregation of Christ followers.
The list could go on, but you get the idea. It’s worth it to start attending church."
Click here to go to the article's website.
Friday, 11 January 2013 14:11
Jonathan Parnell, over at John Piper's Desiring God website, had this to say to married and single men:
10 Things to Pray for Your Wife
Jonathan Parnell, January 3rd 2013
"Our hunger for God will not be confined to our closets. As we know him and delight in all that he is for us in Jesus, our joy in him reaches beyond personal experience on a quest to be reproduced in others. One of the simplest ways we realize this is by taking serious how we pray — by wanting and asking for others the same things we want and ask for ourselves.
It is a beautiful thing — a miracle — when we become as invested in the sanctification of others as we are in our own. And, of course, the best place to start is with our spouses.
So men, here are ten things to want from God (and ask from him) for your wife:
- God, be her God — her all-satisfying treasure and all. Make her jealous for your exclusive supremacy over all her affections (Psalm 73:24–25).
- Increase her faith — give her a rock-solid confidence that your incomparable power is only always wielded for her absolute good in Christ (Romans 8:28–30).
- Intensify her joy — a joy in you that abandons all to the riches of your grace in Jesus and that says firmly, clearly, gladly: "I'll go anywhere and do anything if you are there" (Exodus 33:14–15).
- Soften her heart — rescue her from cynicism and make her tender to your presence in the most complicated details of dirty diapers and a multitude of other needs you've called her to meet (Hebrews 1:3).
- Make her cherish your church — build relationships into her life that challenge and encourage her to walk in step with the truth of the gospel, and cause her to love corporate gatherings, the Lord's Table, and the everyday life of the body (Mark 3:35).
- Give her wisdom — make her see dimensions of reality that I would overlook and accompany her vision with a gentle, quiet spirit that feels safe and celebrated (1 Peter 3:4).
- Sustain her health — continue to speak your gift of health and keep us from presumption; it is by blood-bought grace (Psalm 139:14).
- Multiply her influence — encourage and deepen the impact she has on our children. Give her sweet glimpses of it. Pour her out in love for our neighbors and spark creative ways to engage them for Jesus's sake (John 12:24).
- Make her hear your voice — to read the Bible and accept it as it really is, your word... your very word to her where she lives, full of grace and power and everything she needs pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
- Overcome her with Jesus — that she is united to him, that she is a new creature in him, that she is your daughter in him. . . No longer in Adam and dead to sin; now in Christ and alive to you, forever (Romans 6:11).
And then a thousand other things. Amen."
Click here to go to the Desiring God website.
Friday, 11 January 2013 13:46
Article by Cameron Spink
There has been recent suggestions from the diet industry that dieting is something that must be ongoing in a lifetime rather than completed in a six-month program. Gary Wittert, chair of Weight Management Council had this to say:
‘‘There’s good evidence that the program works. Fundamentally though, the way the body works and the physiology of weight regulation, nothing is a one off ... Success is dependent on ongoing engagement in the program – whatever you do has to be lifelong.’’
There obviously has to be some concern that such a message is self-interested when spoken by dieting companies. However, the call for a lifelong diet cannot be so flippantly dismissed. After all the health benefits for continuously dieting (in the proper sense) are significant.
Yet dieting is not just about what you eat. It's about what you don't eat. It's about moderating how much sugar and fats (of the bad variety) you eat. Oh, and physical exercise is also highly recommended to go hand in hand with eating properly.
Of course the way I have described dieting above is very simplistic. And that is for a specific purpose. You see healthy dieting has strong parallels with healthy spirituality. As Christians there is much we must work on cleansing from our system. Paul challenges us such:
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Colossians 3:5-10 (ESV)
Sounds like a type of dieting, no? We must remove sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk and lies from our lives. Yet, like lapsed dieters we turn back to these sins of the flesh. Perhaps we are unaware of the danger we are placing ourselves in:
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV)
Yet dieting is a positive thing. We must consider the “healthy foods” we should be eating:
“Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:11-12 (ESV)
Do you hear that? We must pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness. To pursue means to “strive to attain”. This is not a passive action. Our spiritual diet is not progressing if we are merely avoiding the unhealthy foods (sexual immorality, anger, wrath ect...). We must work on our character (righteousness & godliness) our virtues (faith & love) and our hope (steadfastness & gentleness).
It is in the context of the next verse that we realise the importance of striving to attain such things. We must be ready to “fight the good fight”. Herein lies the central point of a spiritual diet. While we benefit greatly from undertaking the removal of sin from our lives and the attainment of righteousness and Christ-like virtue it is not just for us that we commence such a difficult transition. We are training with a purpose. We have a marathon to run, a battle to fight. If we turn up unfit for service we are a hindrance to the Gospel. If we call ourselves Christian but are apathetic about righteousness, continue to sin and place ourselves at the top of our priorities we are harming the mission. Non-Christians can spot a hypocrite from a mile away.
In this context we must participate in lifelong spiritual dieting. That's right, we do not have the luxury of dieting on and off. We have been renewed for a purpose. This involves our sanctification yet we cannot be self-focused dieters. We want others to join the cause. If our diet lacks healthy spiritual food or includes unhealthy sinful conduct our witness is affected.
Dieting is now marketed as a necessity in our culture. Obesity is a “moral issue”. We are paying for all the junk we have digested. But as significant a problem as obesity is, it pales in comparison to the problems with our spiritual healthiness. We are rotten and have turned to “fatty foods” to satisfy our hunger. We need a detox and we need it now. Our culture is poisoning us with lies of self-fulfillment.
We need to find our “everyday strength” in a program that delivers. Our reliance is either upon God or it is on a distortion. We cannot partially diet. We cannot eat both good and bad spiritual foods. The bad always inhibits the potential strength of the good. We must “strive to attain” the good and turn away from the bad. Thankfully, it is not by our strength that we undertake such a fearsome transition.
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 16:13
Here's a really good article for the new year.
Hopefully you are encouraged, challenged and this leads to profitable Scripture reading.
How Not to Read Your Bible in 2013
Article by Matt Smethurst, The Gospel Coalition
"When it comes to daily (or not-so-daily) Bible reading, January 1 can be a welcome arrival. A new year signals a new start. You're motivated to freshly commit to what you know is of indispensable importance: the Word of God.
Yet this isn't the first time you've felt this way. You were entertaining pretty similar thoughts 365 days ago. And 365 days before that. And 365 days . . . you know how it goes.
So what's going to make 2013 different? What, under God, will keep you plodding along in April this year when staying power has generally vanished in Aprils of yore? From one stumbling pilgrim to another, here are five suggestions for what not to do in 2013.
1. Don't Overextend
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars!"
This hackneyed high school yearbook quote is bad advice for most things, Bible reading plans not excepted. If you shoot for and miss the "moon" of six chapters a day, you won't quietly land among the "stars" of three. You'll just be lost in space.
It's better to read one chapter a day, every day, than four a day, every now and then. Moreover, the value of meditation cannot be overstressed. Meditation isn't spiritualized daydreaming; it's riveted reflection on revelation. Read less, if you must, to meditate more. It's easy to encounter a torrent of God's truth, but without absorption---and application---you will be little better for the experience.
As Thomas White once said, "It is better to hear one sermon only and meditate on that, than to hear two sermons and meditate on neither." I think that's pretty sage advice for Scripture reading, too.
2. Don't Do It Alone
When it comes to Bible reading consistency, a solo sport mentality can be lethal. Surely that's why many run out of gas; they feel like they're running alone. To forestall the dangers of isolation, then, invite one or two others to join you in 2013. Set goals, make a commitment, and hold one another accountable. Turn your personal Scripture reading into a team effort, a community project.
A daily devotional, too, can function as a helpful companion and guide. D. A. Carson's For the Love of God (Volume 1; Volume 2) and Nancy Guthrie's Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament are two excellent options.
3. Don't Just Do It Whenever
Every morning we awaken to a fresh deluge of information. We've now reached the point where, I've heard it said, an average weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than Jonathan Edwards encountered in his entire lifetime. I don't know if that's true, but it sure makes me think.
It is imperative, then, to set a specific time each day when you will get alone with God. Even if it's a modest window, guard it with your life. Explain your goal to those closest to you, and invite their help. Otherwise, the tyranny of the urgent will continue to rear its unappeasable head. What is urgent will fast displace what is important, and what is good will supplant what is best.
If your basic game plan is to read your Bible whenever, chances are you'll read it never. And if you don't control your schedule, your schedule will control you. It's happened to me more times than I care to admit.
4. Don't Live as if Paul Lied
Did you know Leviticus and Chronicles and Obadiah were written to encourage you? That's what Paul believed, anyway: "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4; cf. 1 Cor. 9:10; 10:6, 11; 2 Tim. 3:16).
What a sweeping word! Paul is going so far as to claim the entirety of the Old Testament is for you---to instruct you, to encourage you, to help you endure, and to give you hope.
Few of you will conclude Paul is simply mistaken here. Good evangelicals, after all, are happy to take inspired apostles at their word. But does our approach to our Bibles tell a different story? Do we act as if Numbers or Kings or Nahum has the power to infuse our lives with help and hope?
Whenever you open your Bible, labor to believe that God has something here to say to me. Whatever I encounter in his Word was written with me, his cherished child, in view. So pursue God's graces on the pages of Scripture this year. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow everywhere await.
5. Don't Turn a Means of Grace into a Means of Merit
Your Father's love for you doesn't rise and fall with your quiet times. If you are united to Jesus by faith, the verdict is out, and the court is dismissed. You're as accepted and embraced as the Son himself. Period.
To be sure, you'll desire to hear and follow his voice if you're truly one of his sheep (John 10:1-30; cf. 8:47; 18:37). Not always and not perfectly, of course, but sincerely and increasingly.
So as another year dawns, commit yourself anew to becoming a man or woman of the Word. But don't overextend, do it alone, just do it whenever, live as if Paul lied, or treat means of grace like means of merit.
Your Bible is one of God's chief gifts to you in 2013. Open, read, ruminate, and obey. May you be ever transformed into the image of our incarnate King, and may he alone receive the acclaim."
Click here to go to The Gospel Coalition website.
Saturday, 01 December 2012 10:56
Article by Cameron Spink
There is a key part of our spiritual lives that we will often neglect. Even amongst Church-going Christians the amount we pray is somewhere between infrequent and non-at-all. This is very concerning because the future of the Church is dependent upon the prayer life of the members within it. The Church will not flourish without prayer. Proper evangelism will not occur without prayer. Individual sanctification is impossible unless a person devote themselves to constant praying. Paul tells us as much:
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12:12 (ESV)
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
Most Christians think they understand the importance of prayer. They nod their heads when they read the above and say “I totally agree”. And yet somehow this does not translate into a constant prayer life. I hope that my article today can challenge you and open your eyes to the wonders of prayer. We cannot continue to be sporadic in prayer, for our own sake, for the sake of the Church and for the sake of the message of the Gospel.
The biggest concern about a lack of prayer in your life is that your relationship with God will suffer. And we are designed to have a relationship with God:
“Prayer is not instituted, then, as a means of helping God out. Just the opposite: it is for our sake, and for ours alone. In fact, God commands us to pray! And he does so, not out of some supposed benefit he derives from our praying, but because he longs for us to learn the discipline and joy of dependence upon him for everything we lack, all of which he possesses in infinite measure!”
For the Fame of God's Name (Bruce A. Ware), pg 136
Prayer is a gift to us that give us access to God. Because of this it brings great joy to participate in it and to spend time in God's presence. And so we must not approach prayer like it is a chore. It is a glorious method of meditation that brings us into contact with our creator and Saviour. As you grow in Christian maturity you will start to feel the call to interact with God in prayer. You must nurture this desire and not allow it to be trampled by a lack of time or a range of other commitments.
“One great and glorious reason God devised prayer was to use it as a mechanism to draw us to himself, to help us see how much we need him, to set before us constantly the realization that he is everything we are not, and he possesses everything that we lack.”
For the Fame of God's Name (Bruce A. Ware), pg 135
You must be prepared to pray both when you are in a state of joy and when life is awful. God doesn't abandon you when your life turns pear-shaped. In fact, it is because He didn't abandon us when we had all turned from Him that we are able to have any semblance of a relationship with Him. It is not chance that saw the two verses above combine constant prayer with “giving thanks in all circumstances” and being “patient in tribulation”. We should not think that God has abandoned us and so we should not abandon Him.
Not only is prayer a gift to us to have a relationship with God but it allows us to have a knowledge of God. Paul emphasises this fact:
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints”
Ephesians 1:16-18 (ESV)
Prayer allows us to be given “revelation in the knowledge of Him”. It opens our eyes to His nature, to His plans. Moreso it opens our eyes to the hope to which He has called us. Prayer allows us to finally understand the depravity of man and our dependence upon the saving work of Jesus Christ. Prayer brings hope in the darkness. It is something that can never be stripped away from us. Even in the bleakest of circumstances.
We must be awakened from our prayer-less slumbers. We must become prayer warriors. Our relationship and our understanding of God depends on it. So how can we make this happen? Well, you could form a group with some friends and encourage each member to continue to work towards having a healthy prayer life. This could be in the Church or in your share house. Regardless of any physical separation you can now create a Facebook group and encourage each other while not being in the same room as them. It is also important to find like-minded people. Christians who see the value of prayer in today's world. This is a rare kind of creature so when you do find them you cling to their friendship with both hands.
Of course, recognising the significance of prayer is only the first step. We must also learn how to pray. But that seems like an article for another time. My prayers are with you as you continue to find solace in the Lord on high.
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