In Case You Missed It

At SBC Voices, Alan Cross interviewed out Seminary President, Dr. Danny Akin on the Great Commission, immigration, and rejecting fear.

The next When Heaven and Earth Collide podcast interview is up with Dr. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Akin and I have a wide-ranging conversation about how loving and ministering to immigrants coming to America relates to Scriptural commands involving the Great Commission and loving our neighbor. Dr. Akin calls upon Christians to engage immigrants with the gospel, with service and sacrificial love, and to put aside fear of others and trust Christ in what God is doing in the people movements around the world.

 

At the Intersect Project website, Laura Thigpen posted a helpful article discussing how as Christians, our spiritual disciplines are on display on social media. Laura writes:

As a freshman at a secular college I took on the daunting task of writing a paper arguing a counter-cultural idea: That technology, in an effort to promote communication and human interaction, would in fact complicate it.

 

At that time, Facebook was exclusive to Harvard students, Myspace was the dominant social network and the first iPhone had not been released. Ten years later, the world is more connected than ever — and, yes, communication is more complicated than ever.

 

Here’s what I mean, fellow Christians: Much of our engagement on social media is guided by our ill-informed, uninstructed and unchallenged spiritual minds. We often cave to the temptation to use social media as a platform to spread spiritually malnourished thoughts, ideas and convictions. I often recall C. S. Lewis’ words inThe Weight of Glory:

 

Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

 

There is a severe lack of the spiritual disciplines in our approach to and engagement with social media that contributes to the elimination of critical thinking and genuine human interaction on this platform.

 

Dr. Jamie Dew continues his series of posts on Anselm’s Proslogion with a post titled “The God of Inaccessible Light.”

“Truly, Lord, this is the inaccessible light in which You dwell. For truly there is nothing else which can penetrate through it so that is might discover You there.”(Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion, ch. 15)

 

Over the past few weeks I’ve highlighted a few nuggets from Anselm’s Proslogion. This first 7 chapters are probably the best known from the work, but here, before ending the series on Anselm, I want to highlight a few other parts of the work that are either helpful, interesting, or edifying for us. Throughout the remaining 19 chapters, Anselm reminds us of a few important things.

 

At The Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax interacts with 4 ways which Dr. Danny Akin feels that the world will pressure you to conform.

Many older evangelicals view the USA in ways that resemble Israel in the Old Testament: God has chosen to pour His blessing on this nation and to commission it for His purposes of extending freedom throughout the world. 

 

Many younger evangelicals view the USA in ways that resemble ancient Babylon: we live in a society that is increasingly hostile to God’s truth and God’s people.

 

Neither framing of our current situation fully captures the reality. The United States is neither Israel nor Babylon, and both frameworks face problems when applied too closely to today’s situation. Still, the metaphor of “exile” remains an apt description of Christians who are sojourners in this world (1 Peter 2:11).

 

We are exiles in every age, in every country, but perhaps we sense that reality more powerfully in places where Christians are marginalized, with privileges stripped and penalties imposed as a way of pressuring us toward cultural compromise.

 

I recently edited several Gospel Project sessions from Dr. Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary. His sessions cover the book of Daniel, which describes the time when Jews who were exiled to Babylon showed incredible courage and faithfulness.

 

Akin lays out four ways in which the Babylonian empire sought to bring the Jewish exiles in line with their pagan ways. These strategies show us how the world, in every era, can pressure Christians to conform.

 

Dr. Bruce Ashford posted an article at his personal blog sharing eight writers which have shaped him spiritually. Dr. Ashford writes:

Over the course of the past two years, I have had occasion to reflect on the various ways the Lord has discipled me and disciplined me since I came to saving faith during high school. The catalyst for those reflections was my 40th birthday and the recognition that, although God has graciously worked in my heart in many ways to conform me to his will, there is yet a lot of work to be done.

 

God has worked in my heart in many ways, using my parents, churches, friends, critics, students, bosses, and colleagues. He has taught me and challenged me through Scripture reading and memory. He has convicted me and comforted me in prayer.

 

But he has also fostered spiritual growth is through certain books I have read. Among the many authors whose books have shaped my walk with God, I have distilled the list down to eight. Now, this list of eight is not especially sophisticated. It is not a “balanced” list of “all the right authors” a person should read to help them in the course of their spiritual formation. It is not a list of people with whom I agree theologically on all of the particulars. It is not a list for snobs who find it beneath them to read the writings of authors not as highbrow as they might prefer. Instead, it is simply this list of some of the books the Lord has used most powerfully in my life over the course of the past several decades.

 

In case these books might be helpful in somebody else’s spiritual formation, I have listed them here in chronological order of when I discovered them in my own journey and provided a brief explanation of why you might want to read them also.