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Joe Fleener

Joe Fleener's Public Library

  • Let me have a crack at the revised version right away:

     

    ‘And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the Irish referendum’s huge majority for gay marriage, and the dancing: and Moses’ alarm was palpable…

     

    ‘And he took a copy of the Pink Paper and, flourishing it, said, “We have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities.

     

    ‘”I appreciate how these naked revellers feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.

     

    ‘”We need to find a new language to connect with a whole generation of young people,” the prophet concluded; then, casting off his garments, Moses said, “Hey, lead me to the coolest gay bar in the camp.”’

  • Even as a (gay) atheist, I wince to see the philosophical mess that religious conservatives are making of their case. Is there nobody of any intellectual stature left in our English church, or the Roman church, to frame the argument against Christianity’s slide into just going with the flow of social and cultural change? Time was — even in my time — when there were quiet, understated, sometimes quite severe men of the cloth, often wearing bifocal spectacles, who could show us moral relativists a decent fight in that eternal debate. Now there’s only the emotional witness of the ranting evangelicals, most of them pretty dim.
  • It is that 62 per cent in a referendum does not cause a sin in the eyes of God to cease to be a sin.

  • “Let no one despise you for your youth.” Those were Paul’s words to Timothy. But is that even an issue in today’s culture obsessed with catering to and seeking youthfulness? Youth is highly prized, while seasoned, wise leaders are tossed to the curb. So many churches have turned to attractive, cool, yet inept leaders who have more swagger than biblical knowledge. So how is this damaging the Church and what does it mean to have biblical church leadership that’s more useful than it is hip? Thankfully some churches still hire unpopular nerds like Todd & Carl who possess more Biblical know-how than chic, and we've got Aimee to validate that.

  • My grandmother wisely asked one night when I was finally going to ask “that girl from Ocean Springs” to marry me. I answered, “When I can afford it.” She laughed. “Honey, I married your grandpa in the middle of a Great Depression,” she said. “We made it work. Nobody can afford to get married. You just marry, and make it work.”
  • A “start-up” is where the marriage isn’t the capstone of the life, but the foundation. It’s where the husband and the wife start their grown-up lives together, often with nothing but each other.
  • ruth is, there’s no way we could have made that budget work. And there’s no way we could have grown up enough to be “ready” for what providence had for us. We needed each other. We needed to grow up, together, and to know that our love for each other doesn’t consist in our having it all together. It didn’t start that way, and we still had us.

  • We’re thankful for the opportunity this year to host the Stand for the Gospel conference in Christchurch. We’re pleased to have Rob Harrod, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, speak at this year’s South Island conference in a seminar titled “Jesus’s View of Scripture: Foundational for God-honouring Life and Ministry”. Rob was kind enough to answer a few questions about himself and the seminar he’ll be leading.

  • The brainchild of Baptist minister Rev Dr David Instone-Brewer, Scripture Tools for Every Person – STEP – is designed especially for teachers and preachers who might not have deep pockets or a convenient library. It's particularly useful in developing countries where the internet is patchy or unreliable, as it can be used offline after the (free) download.

  • There’s no penalty for disagreeing. It’s doesn’t mean you’re evil. It just means that you’re wrong.

  • My thesis: The NT’s application of “seed” language to both Jews and Gentiles in Christ fulfills OT hopes for the fulfillment of Abraham’s fatherhood of a multitude of nations through the messianic king and supports a progressive covenantal flavor of baptistic new covenant ecclesiology. I gave this presentation on March 26, 2015, at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary as part of their PhD Colloquium Series. I am grateful to all who were present and offered helpful feedback.

  • I’m more concerned that we see that this story is one more in what has been an endless cycle of stories of sexual abuse in “churched” contexts. We cannot assume that we can avoid this topic simply by making sure our doctrines are right, our values conservative, and our people sheltered from the world. If we are not addressing this issue, it is only because we are ignoring what is going on in our communities, and all too often in our pews. This requires that churches come with conviction to this question preemptively, before any specific situation arises, with a word from God.
  • Sexual abuse is immoral, but it is far more than just sexual. Sexual abuse is an act of violence, in which one leverages power to sexually violate the helpless. The resulting aftermath is not just a guilty conscience awaiting judgment on the part of the perpetrator, but a victim who has been assaulted. Sexual abuse is not just a sin but also a crime, not just a matter of personal unrighteousness on the part of the perpetrator but also a matter of public injustice.
  • This means that sexual abuse in the context of the church must be handled in terms of both authorities responsible—both the church and the state

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  • Of course, it’d be silly blame the smartphone for the decline of religion and the rise of the “nones,” but it’s hard not to think that our collective worship of the glowing rectangles in our pocket doesn’t play at least some representative part in these broader cultural shifts.
  • The more we use our devices, the more we find ourselves inculcated with the idea that our primary needs in life are those things that technology can meet
  • Google will always have more information, Spotify will always have better music, and Starbucks will always (arguably) have better coffee. But information, music, and coffee are not the trade of the church. Ours is truth, worship, and communion which together offer us not a product we can download and consume with diminishing return, but an inexhausible encounter with a living being, the risen Christ.

  • All children should have the chance to be exposed to classical music, even if   they'd rather play video games, Nicola Benedetti says
  • Saying the concept of letting children do exactly what they want in other areas of education is “alien”, she admitted she is “bemused” by the current approach to teaching art and culture.

  • Dear Sir:

     

    Unless the divine power has raised you up to be as “Athanasius against the world,” I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy, which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? O be not weary of well-doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

     

    Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by the circumstance, that a man who has a black skin being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a LAW in all of our Colonies that the OATH of a black man against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this!

     

    That He who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things is the prayer of, dear sir,

     

    Your affectionate servant,

     

    John Wesley

  • Is there more to the Banner than books? What makes a Banner conference unique? What is the Banner Bookfund? Watch the video below to find the answer to these questions and more. Also, please consider sharing this video with others. It is an excellent way to introduce someone to the history and ongoing work of the Banner of Truth Trust.

  • The danger of FDF is that it presents the FIC methods as the sole expression of faithfulness to scripture.
  • In his evaluation of local churches, Baucham fails to differentiate clearly between biblical non-negotiables—church discipline and baptism, expository preaching, church planting, and government by elders—and preferential matters like family integration ministry structure (p. 175).
  • In summary, FDF narrowly focuses on the problem of parental misuse of the church rather than exclusively on biblical answers. Sadly, the ultimate flaw of FDF is that its author seems to have neglected to follow his own counsel:

  • The distribution of the first one billion Bibles and New Testaments by Gideon members spanned 93 years (1908 to 2001). This second billion was attained in less than 14 years (2002 to 2015).

  • Family Driven Faith sets the ministry of the family & church in opposition to one another. 
  • It is spiritually irresponsible to label these extra-biblical preferences as biblical “truths” that must “come to the fore.”  As a Pastor, Baucham must surely realize the very real potential for divisiveness in his urgent call to ‘talk about these things with your friends.” Members should be encouraged to either defer to the ministry structure of their local church or communicate concerns to God-appointed leaders, not other church members! When individuals with strongly-held personal preferences begin voicing their dissatisfaction on any church related matter to others, unnecessary division is inevitable.
  • Ironically, what the FIC sees as separating the family—age-graded teaching formats—has actually led to another kind of division in the church by separating brothers and sisters over personal preferences. 

  • Certainly, parents MUST NOT “abdicate” their primary teaching role to anyone else!  However, it’s one thing to say that many parents neglect their spiritual responsibilities, “pawning” their children off to youth leaders and other teachers in the church.  It’s quite another thing to imply that Scripture forbids a local church from teaching truth in various contexts, on the Lord’s Day, to someone else’s children.
  • Baucham’s fervor is commendable, but too often his diagnosis and cure is a confusing blend of general biblical principles and his own personal practice within his family.

  • enjoy the study of computers and programming myself, and I hoped for some years that God would enable someone with more knowledge and experience than myself to write about this area from a God-centered and biblically informed viewpoint. I wanted an exposition of computer science that would give God the glory as the One who is the source of logic, and would take into account the central role of God’s speech as he created and now governs the world by his wisdom and might. Jonathan has accomplished this goal, and I trust that his work will encourage and enlighten all who have an interest in computers, computer science, and the growing role of information and computational technology in the modern world.

  • There is a systematic, Satanic attack on the very concept of gender, and with it, gender-based roles at home and in all society
  • Because of this, boys don’t enter the world knowing how to be godly men; they have to be trained into it. Of course, the primary training role for that formation should be the boy’s father. He is to disciple his son every day in the Word of the Lord and in the pattern of godly living.
  • Conform them to the “two patterns.”

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