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Joe Fleener

Joe Fleener's Public Library

  • "Plenty of kids across the world are self-sufficient," said Dixon. "But the thing that I suspect Westerners are intrigued by [in Japan] is the sense of trust and cooperation that occurs, often unspoken or unsolicited."

  • This is I do not understand. Nor do I understand the kind of church culture in which an elder of the church sets up a young woman who is anxious to get married with a convicted pedophile. And nothing Pastor Wilson wrote here makes it any more understandable.

  • John never went on for PhD work, but honestly, I think it’s just as well he didn’t. Most of it would have been redundant to what John had already learned and done. In my book, he did the equivalent of PhD work several times over. In fact, I’ve often said that what James Strong was to the KJV, John Kohlenberger was to the NIV; although he was able to accomplish more than the great James Strong because of the tools that were available to John.

  • "You lose the opportunity for intergenerational support in a community, and you remove people that are around in a community on a day to day basis," she says. "Maybe a young mum might say, 'Can you look after my toddler while I go and do something?' You are taking away that opportunity for intergenerational discovery, so the neighbours miss the opportunity to support the older people and the older people miss the opportunity to support their younger neighbours."

  • My dear Americanized children, you aren’t above the rules and you aren’t that great …  I am not sorry if you felt less than your peers because I forgot to turn in the form for you to be highlighted in a program.
  • There’s no where to go but down if we as a society continue to treat  mediocrity as mighty. If you are never uncomfortable, weary, left out and un-praised how will you recognize the desolate? And if you are never desolate how will you recognize how much you need a Savior?
  • but I pray I never make you feel you are more than those around you

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  • But the only reason that ministry to Oxford students matters is the same reason that ministry to anyone matters: they are lost souls that Jesus came to seek and save.

  • All of this gets to me in part because of my well-known history of dealing with the sexual abuse of children and minors within the Roman Catholic Church. Very little makes me angrier than seeing church authorities (and congregations) mistreat victims and then try to blame others for their failures. This one is particularly troubling to me, personally, because despite Doug Wilson’s (and Toby Sumpter’s) reputation for “grenade-throwing,” their Moscow, Idaho, community was on my short list of places I was considering profiling as a Reformed example of the Benedict Option. The way that community handled the sexual abuse of minors within it, and the way Doug Wilson, who knowingly married a young woman to a convicted pedophile, is proudly trashing his critics, and refusing to admit error in any respect, is deeply discouraging, to put it in the mildest possible terms.

    • absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith;
    • convictions, while not core beliefs, may have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church;
    • opinions are less-clear issues that generally are not worth dividing over; and
    • questions are currently unsettled issues.
    • biblical clarity;
    • relevance to the character of God;
    • relevance to the essence of the gospel;
    • biblical frequency and significance (how often in Scripture it is taught, and what weight Scripture places upon it);
    • effect on other doctrines;
    • consensus among Christians (past and present); and
    • effect on personal and church life.
    • first-order doctrines: a denial of which represents the eventual denial of Christianity itself
    • second-order doctrines: upon which Bible-believing Christians may disagree, but they create significant boundaries between believers, whether as distinct congregations or denominations
    • third-order doctrines: upon which Christians may disagree, but yet remain in close fellowship, even within local congregations

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  • Surely the vital thing is to cultivate the Berean spirit (Acts 17:11), a readiness to give a patient hearing to the teachers of the past, but to scrutinise all that they said in the light of God’s word. In other words, we apply to the teachers of the past the same test that we would use for the teachers we admire today. Only Scripture is infallible.

  • Maintain regular reading projects
  • Work through major sections of Scripture
  • Read all the titles written by some authors

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  • For a pastor to preach the whole counsel of God, the study of Systematic Theology is essential. When each portion of the word of God is presented in such a way that the rest of scripture informs the understanding of the passage, the pastor is preaching, in one sense of the word, “systematically”. The people of God are protected. Neither the pastor himself or false teachers will be able to lead the people of God astray by taking verses out of context making them say what they do not say.

  • It was then - and only then - that we decided to live together. As husband and wife. We'd shared an entire life together, suddenly finding a whole raft of 'firsts' made married life a terrific adventure.

  • Pastors, teachers, and small-group leaders would be wise to spend more energy showing how the Bible is the source of the great church doctrines—which are so often about God and his saving work. It’s time for our main pedagogical question to be not, “What difference does this make?” but, “What does this tell us about our good God?”
  • To emphasize theology will entail a battle, as any pastor will sense. It will be a battle against those who have fed too long on the milk of therapeutic Christianity, and who will demand immediate application. It will be a battle against false teachers, who will react defensively. It will be a battle against our own sloth, as this type of teaching requires more intellectual labor than “10 ways to improve your marriage.”

  • Bernstein was a prodigiously talented conductor, and he was also a gifted pianist, composer, and music lecturer. And to top it all off, he was skilled at teaching children about music. He makes complex musical topics easy to understand—simple enough for children to understand. And it’s not just for kids: I learned something new in every single episode.

  • The reason I began asking that question is that I have come to realize at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary that many students not only do not have an understanding of what “Baptist” means, but also, many of them are negative to ambivalent about being labeled “Baptist.”
  • In particular, these Baptists would strongly hold to Believer’s Baptism, the Believers’ Church, Congregationalism, and other doctrines related to the church. These reasons for being Baptist are theological at the core and, as such, are as much a defining element in Baptist identity as any other factor.
  • Though we can say that many Baptists are often identified by their various connections with one another, we must affirm that there is something more to being Baptist than these connections alone.

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  • If you are more inclined towards American football, here are five reasons you should start paying attention over the next six weeks of the Rugby World Cup.
  • The ball is “live” in a rugby match for 40 minutes and sometimes longer than that. In American football, by contrast, the actual playing time amounts to no more than a handful of minutes. Most of the time nothing is happening.
  • n New Zealand and other heartlands such as Wales or southwest France, every town, no matter how small, has its rugby team. Rugby is how these places define themselves, how they make their mark on their small corner of the world. The vast majority of rugby people play for nothing more than their love of the game and the pride of their club.

  • Since Baptist churches were committed to a regenerate church membership, only baptized believers showing evidence of being born again were allowed to be members of their churches. Since these churches weren’t composed together of all adults and their children living in geographical proximity to the church, they were united together by a common confession of faith (what we believe) and covenant (how we agree to live together).
  • Eventually, even the rural churches were influenced by their urban counterparts and the practice of church discipline faded as churches became more concerned about being viewed as successful by our culture than being faithful to Christ. It is hoped that now, as our churches are increasingly not cultural acceptable that we will return to the Scriptures to find our true measure of success in our submission to Christ’s authority over His church. Perhaps this will be the means that God uses to bring the long-desired revival to our churches.

  • One of the greatest needs of our dark times is for the Christian church to regain her true identity and character
  • The first answer is given by the setting of the believers at Pentecost.  They came to church because they had been changed by the gospel of Jesus as the Holy Spirit pierced their hearts.
  • A second answer is that the believers came to church in order to be taught the truths of God's Word:

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  • What if there was something so beautiful it could break the spell of all that eye-candy? What if there was something so satisfying it would empower us to hear the siren song for what it is—an invitation to ruin and misery with the smoke of your destruction going up forever and ever?


    Would God be so good to us that he would give us a book that could describe the lost intimacy of Eden? Not only describing it: holding it out as a possibility, offering it to us, inviting us to partake, inspiring us to imitate.

  • There is no problem with Trueman and Byrd questioning whether Piper has correctly applied the principle of headship outside the sphere of church and home. The problem is that they seem to question that such an effort should be made at all
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