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 Newsletter - January 7, 2014

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  1. Truthfulness in Communication (Matthew 5:33-37) 

    Simple truthfulness is preferred over superficial vows which attempt to shore up man’s unreliable promises. [32 minutes]

    Greg Summers

  2. Matthew 12 

    Chapter 12 includes several fascinating episodes in Jesus' earthly ministry which emphasize His identity and authority. Among these are the “unpardonable sin” and His Self-contrasts with great characters of the OT. [37 minutes]

    Paul Henebury

  3. History in Advance (John 13:18-19) 

    At the Last Supper, Jesus demonstrates His divine foreknowledge by identifying His betrayer in advance. [1 hour 1 minute]

    Andy Woods

  4. Book Recommendation: Her Hand in Marriage - Biblical Courtship in the Modern World (by Douglas Wilson) 

    The author is the minister of Christ Church in Moscow and a Senior Fellow of theology at New St. Andrews College. His contention is that the modern system of dating is not only broken, but unbiblical. The book examines biblical teachings from both the Old and New Testaments concerning the role of families in preparing their children for marriage. A central theme throughout the book is the role played by fathers in preparing, protecting, and aiding their daughters as they come of age to be given in marriage to form a new household. Wilson shows how modern dating practices, which assume the independence of the daughter from oversight by the father, lead into trouble and leave the daughter unprotected, both physically and emotionally. He contrasts modern practice with the biblical model where a daughter always remains under the protective authority of male headship—initially that of her father, but then transferring to that of her eventual husband. While one might not agree with everything the author has to say, there is much here of value to consider.

    Another key insight from the book is the importance of establishing and modeling biblical teachings within family roles as early as possible so as to develop an interest by young men and women to walk in the path of biblical courtship rather than uncritical acceptance of the dating patterns of the culture. While a topic such as this could easily be handled in an overbearing and legalistic way, in my view the author manages to avoid such pitfalls. He flavors the presentation with humor, where appropriate, and manages to steer a course which avoids prudish extremes (e.g., in relation to jewelry, cosmetics, and dress).

    It may be a measure of how far our culture and much of the church has departed from its biblical mooring that the premise of this book may seem radical to some believers.

    Tony Garland

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