For you reading pleasure:
Thomas Kidd asks where did the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” come from? Very interesting
He writes, “It turns out that Anglo-American Puritans and evangelicals in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used the phrase “receive Christ into your heart,” or something like it, with some regularity. . . . Then there was a major uptick in the use of the actual phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” in the 1970s, perhaps as children’s ministry became more formalized and leaders looked for very simple ways to explain to children what a decision for Christ would entail. (And it may be in children’s ministries and vacation Bible schools that one most commonly sees suspect “decisions” for Christ.)
We’re in the middle of Lent so it is interesting to see a point/counterpoint on whether Christians should observe Lent. See Todd A. Peperkorn’s post on Why Lent Should Matter to Everyone. Todd is a Lutheran pastor. For the counterpoint side see Brian Lee’s post Repent of Lent: How Spiritual Disciplines Can Be Bad for Your Soul. Brian is a reformed pastor.
Roger Olson has one of the best discussions of the “emerging churches” emphasis on “Belong, Believe, Behave” as opposed to “Believe, Behave, Belong.” In part he says,
“While I sympathize with the impulse behind “belong, believe, behave,” which is, I assume, inclusion over exclusion, I also have some qualms about the policy. I fear it can and often does lead to one of two problems. First, the church may drop belief altogether and permit doctrinal pluralism so that everyone believes differently and there is no real cognitive content to the church’s Christianity. In that case, the church would seem to be little more than a cozy club of people who like each other or, at the most, together look fondly upon a cross without any agreement about what it stands for. Second, insofar as the church holds onto some semblance of orthodox doctrine (however defined), it may relegate full belonging to a small coterie of leaders who must believe and behave first and then belong.”
“Before we get embroiled in a throw down about whether Jesus would love to take coffee breaks with World Vision employees, before we allow the issue to be reframed as ‘Jesus was nice; the Pharisees were mean; you are mean and not nice; so you are a Pharisee and not like Jesus,’ before we accept that calling someone a bigot is the same as making an argument, before we write off every opponent of this policy as a Calvinist fundie inhabiting a hermetically sealed little house on a Christian prairie somewhere in flyover country, let us establish if the following is true . . .”
And, just like that World Vision changes their decision! See here.
The field of physics is reeling from observations by a telescope at the South Pole (BICEP2) which detected “faint echoes of the so-called ‘Big Bang.’” According to an article by Steve Bradt this “provides the first strong evidence of ‘cosmic inflation’ at the birth of the universe.” See his interview with Alan Guth here. Guth says the “significance of these new findings is enormous.” William Lane Craig chimes in here with his thoughts.
Craig opens with these words: “The recent news from the BICEP collaboration is reminiscent of the news last year concerning the discovery of the Higgs boson: the evidence confirmed what almost everyone already believed. The story is once again a wonderful illustration of the experimentalists’ discovering what the theorists had hypothesized. So there’s nothing revolutionary about this discovery (which is not to diminish in any way its significance!).”