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Joe Fleener

Joe Fleener's Public Library

  • Around the world, when asked about their feelings on religion, more and more people are responding with a meh.
  • The religiously unaffiliated, called "nones," are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. In the United States, nones make up almost a quarter of the population. In the past decade, U.S. nones have overtaken Catholics, mainline protestants, and all followers of non-Christian faiths.
  • There have long been predictions that religion would fade from relevancy as the world modernizes, but all the recent surveys are finding that it’s happening startlingly fast. France will have a majority secular population soon. So will the Netherlands and New Zealand.

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  • But these will soon pass. Like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, and Hank Williams, Prince Rogers Nelson’s music will be remembered, but our lives will quickly move on. Despite the grandiose words that are now being spoken, the artist and the significance of his art will fade with startling speed from the public consciousness.

  • The task of planting churches who are faithful to share the Gospel, make disciples, and plant more church calls for an army of men who are content with no one knowing their names except the people in their community and those whom they shepherd. These men must be willing to move into communities and plant their lives there. This means they work, not just for their church to grow, but for the good of the whole community by being a good neighbor and a witness to the Gospel.
  • The man who plants this kind of church must be willing to do work that doesn’t make for interesting tweets. He must be a man who cultivates his relationship with Jesus, his wife, and children each and every day. He has to be willing to spend hours glued to his chair with his head in the Bible so he can faithfully teach it to others. This man will dedicate significant time each week to purposeful conversation with other Christians, helping them to understand how to follow Jesus.
  • I once heard Mark Dever say that men often overestimate what they can accomplish in five years and underestimate what they can do it ten

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  • This Visual Theology book is just the beginning. We have a whole collection of additional graphics and resources at www.visualtheology.church with many more graphics (and books?) to come. We are also working on a study guide to accompany this volume.

     

    Want a free infographic? You can download The Fruit of the Spirit right now.
      Bought the book? Submit your receipt and get two bonus graphics.

  • f you aren’t familiar with the term, it refers to a situation in which two or more organisms of different species work together so that each receives a benefit.
  • hey facilitate the exchange of nutrients between different trees in a forest, even trees of different species!

  • I am interested in telling stories that help prepare living characters for tearing those monsters down.

  • First, every church needs some kind of written statement of what it believes. A church without a doctrinal statement is not really a church. A church is not merely a collection of believers but a collection of believers who believe the same things on the core doctrines of the faith.
  • Second, an evangelical church’s doctrine should not be peculiar to itself. The church cannot adopt the mentality of a watch-blogger assuming they are the only ones left holding forth the truth. Even if your church has written its own doctrinal statement, the doctrines contained in it are not and cannot be unique to itself
  • “Indifference about doctrine makes no heroes of the faith”

  • Few influences affect a man’s heart for God more than his wife, for better or for worse.

  • Dear Father.

        

    Thank you for loving _____________ and bringing her into your family. 

    Thank you for the friendship that we share due to the common bond of grace. 

    Please watch over her and protect her from harm.

    Keep her safe in your love. 

    Guard her heart from temptation and strengthen her will to be faithful to you. 

    Spare her from pride, from self sufficiency, from greed, from envy, from malice, from slander, from discontent, from lust, from laziness, from apathy, from despair and from all sin that will pull her from you. 

    Help her to love and serve others with joy, to work diligently, to rest well and in all things to delight in the name of Jesus.

                  

    Amen

  • God created the world; God created man; God created the world for man and man for the world. God created the world to be seen and overseen by man. He created time and space so he could insert man into time and space. He created all things so man could exercise dominion over it all and, in that way, reflect glory to the Creator. Creation makes no sense, it is incomplete, without man, without the jewel of creation.
  • Yet what stands out to me in this illustration is what I consider a serious incompatibility between the biblical account of creation and the evolutionary account (or, for that, any account that demands an ancient universe). What I cannot reconcile with my understanding of the biblical account of creation is that man appears only at the very, very end of it all. In this twenty-four hour day, Adam or an Adam-like figure appears just one-fifth of one second before the stroke of midnight. The day has very nearly elapsed and then, at that final moment, man appears. This split second encompasses all of human history from its earliest beginnings to the lives of Moses and Jesus and you and me. This means that the majority of history is man-less; almost every bit of the world’s history is devoid of humanity. In this understanding of our origins, the history of the universe is not the history of mankind. It is the history of nothing and no one with man’s fleeting role encompassing a fraction of a moment.
  • If we admit and endorse an ancient universe, we see a vastly purposeless universe that for the great majority of time had no human beings to bring purpose and order to it. We see that humanity’s role in the universe is late and incidental rather than timely and purposeful. We see God’s creation existing for a million ages without the purpose and presence afforded by the one being created in God’s image. And, for me, that is one powerful argument for a universe that is only as old as humanity.

  • Paul does show care for household order among Christians in a culture that was very concerned with honor and hierarchy, and where the order in a household was considered a microcosm of society. So when he refers to the husbands as the head and charges wives to submit to their husbands, there’s no surprises to the reader. But then he drops the doozy. The role of headship in Christ’s kingdom is a complete reversal to what they know. “While this behavior would be shameful in the larger culture, it was considered honorable in God’s economy. This is why it is imperative to note that Paul connects the husband’s actions with Christ” (158). And this is how he is to maintain unity in marriage, which has always been the primary duty of the husband. 
  • I think one reason why we may be lacking in this kind of writing is that the men who are living it (and there are many) don’t draw attention to themselves about how sacrificial and loving they are.

  • So fast-forward to 3 minutes in, stick your headphones in, enjoy some of the most hilariously frantic commentary you have ever heard and be amazed.

  • Flip the aforementioned "they" from locusts to cicadas, and that's actually a pretty apt description of what residents in some parts of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia will experience next month when the soil warms to 64 degrees and billions of cicadas rise from the ground to mate.

  • Popular culture is the focus of some of the most determined attempts to shift attitudes on a host of issues within society at large, and such forms of representation are an important dimension of this. While popular media and the various ‘messages’ within it may often appear innocuous, they are frequently anything but. Behind them lie concerted efforts to change the public’s thinking and perception on key matters and some carefully calculated agendas. The supposed shallowness of pop culture is deceptive: It is a realm where brilliant and talented people go to try to shape minds at their most unguarded and impressionable. It is on the ground of entertainment media that the so-called culture wars have largely been lost.
  • Pop culture producers have long sought to shape society and its values, rather than just to replicate or perpetuate them or to provide escapist entertainment that leaves them untroubled. Media that were previously used to catechize the public in such things as anti-communist values are now explicitly employed to inculcate progressive ideology and explore its favored issues. Considering how explicit much popular culture has become in pursuing ideological ends and tackling prominent ideological issues, it is neither surprising nor inappropriate that people should subject its social effects and agenda to considerable scrutiny, much as Christian films and novels, which are typically deeply—and often excruciatingly—ideologically driven, demand such engagement.
  • There has been an ideological colonization of pop culture, where old works criticized for their unexamined biases and failures of representation are replaced by new works that are quite explicitly progressive in their ideology and pointedly subversive of traditional values in their ends. Disney princesses, on account of their appeal with an impressionable demographic of young girls and their supposed role in conforming them to patriarchy, have received a particularly large degree of attention from feminists and provide some good examples of the phenomena I am discussing here.

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  • The focus of most of our churches is on Christ and not the Spirit, because that’s the focus of the apostolic gospel, the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit himself! Of course, this is not to suggest that singing to the Holy Spirit or worshiping him is inappropriate. Far from it. Every person of the Trinity is equally glorious and deserving of praise. But Spirit-led worship has at its heart not an emotive experience (though emotions are good) nor a spontaneous feel (though spontaneity isn’t bad), but rather a Christ-exalting, cross-focused, word-centered event where the name of Jesus is praised in the power of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father.
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