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  1. Nov 2021
    1. Use of AI has increased tremendously

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    1. Hopefully with all of the different works now on the market, the issues pertaining to marriage, divorce, and remarriage, will be- come clearer. When this happens, Chris- tians within the community will be better prepared to be supportive of those who have undergone the trauma of failure, whether they agree with the reasons for divorce and remarriage or not

      Christians will be better prepared to be supportive of those who have undergone trauma of marriage failure, whether they agree with the reasons for divorce or remarriage or not.

    2. Of vital importance in the success of these marriages is a loving, caring, supportive community of believers where true agape love (defined as “ desiring the highest good in the one loved even to the point of self- sacrifice” ) is evident. A church may, through such loving support, provide an atmosphere where success is more likely to be achieved

      A community of believers provide loving support and an atmosphere where success in marriages is more likely to be achieved.

    3. Flack (1978), Brown (1979), Adams (1980), Besson(1982) and Hocking (1983) all deal with the issues. They combine sensitivity to peoples’ needs with an awareness of human limita- tions, a knowledge of the effects of guilt, and a fear of failure which often accompany a second marriage. Their counsel is helpful and contains numerous insights into the plight, hopes and problems of those who seek happiness “the second time around.”

      It's good to read these books as well.

    4. Books for those entering into a second relationship are plentiful.

      many have wrote about remarriage.

    5. Remarriage, Hocking (1983) believes, should not take place without every effort being exercised to bring about a reconcilia- tion with the former spouse. In other words, where severe problems exist, separation is preferable to divorce and reconciliation is preferable to remarriage. There is always the chance that isolation will bring the recalcitrant, hard-hearted person to a place of repentance (Proverbs 18:2; 23:9; 26:4-11; 27:22). If this happens, then reconciliation is a possibility

      Separation is preferable to divorce, and reconciliation is preferable to remarriage.

    6. Hocking (1983) discusses the conditions under which a person may remarry. These, as might be expected, compare favorably with those of Swindoll (1980) and Stott (1978) discussed above. Even more percep- tive are his reasons for not remarrying: For example, (a) if past problems have neither been corrected nor resolved; (b) if the individual does not have a clear conscience about doing so; and (c) if one does not really have a strong desire to enter into a second marriage (pp. 29-34)

      Hocking discusses the conditions under which a person may remarry, but also gives his reasons for not remarrying.

    7. But there were many who misunderstood the fiine- tion of Law. Paul says in Romans that Law was in- tended to speak so clearly to man’s failure that “ every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (3:19-20, RSV). This function of Law was missed by those like the Pharisees who attempted to use Law for self-justification, and who perceived Law as the highest possible moral stan- dard. But this is just the point that Jesus makes in Matthew 19 and that he has also made in Matthew 5! Law is not the highest possible moral standard! Law is in fact a reduced standard! God’s ideal is for a human- ity which so bears his likeness that anger and lust are eradicated. Law sets up standards that deal with the results of those inner passions—murder and adultery. God's ideal is for a humanity in which marriage is a perfect oneness state. Law, in recognition of the impact of sin on human relationships, actually permits divorce and remarriage! God in Law showed himself willing to accommodate his ideals to the reality of our tragic human condition. And this is grace

      Many of us misunderstand the function of the law. Paul says in Romans that the Law was given so that it shows us what sin is and how it measures to God's holiness. The Pharisees saw wrongly that the law was the highest possible moral standard. Jesus in Mathew 5, and 19 makes the point that the Law is actually a reduced standard. God's ideal for humanity is to be like Him, the Law sets up standards that deal with the results of human inner passions. The Law, in recognition of the impact of sin on human relationships, actually permits divorce and remarriage! It is God's grace that in the Law He showed Himself willing to accommodate His ideals to the reality of our tragic human condition.

    8. Men would sin, but the Law made provision for a covering sacrifice for sin until the ultimate offering might be made by Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). Thus grace, and faith expressed in the bringing of the sacrifice, operated under Law as well as in our New Covenant age

      Men would sin, but the Law made provision for a covering sacrifice for sin, until the ultimate offering might be made by Christ.

    9. Under Law there was consistent failure . . . but there was also provision.

      Under the Law, there was consistent failure, but there was always God's provision as well.

    10. In Galatians Paul argues that Israel’s relationship with God was always based on grace and promise. The Abrahamic Covenant was made some 400 years before Law was given! Whatever Law did, it could not invali- date the promise, or replace promise as a foundation for God/man relationships (Gal. 3:17). Under and through it all there must be grace

      Israel's relationship with God was always based on grace and promise. The Abrahamic covenant was established 400 years before the Law was given. So whatever Law was given, it would not invalidate the promise.

    11. It is very helpful to us here to bring a grace perspec- tive into our thinking on this passage [Matthew 19:3- 12], for this passage is one of the most significant in helping us understand how grace operated in Old Tes- tament times

      This passage helps us understand how grace operates in the OT.

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    1. The minister has a complex task.. He is a preacher, teacher, counsellor, and pastor. Part of his work is to perform marriages. In doing this he is often asked to perform marriages where one or both parties are divorcees. He needs to decide then wh

      the pastor has a difficult task

  2. Oct 2021
    1. If 1 am scholarly, it is not in any sense because I try to stay on the cutting edge in the discipline of biblical and theological studies. 1 am far too limited for that. What “scholarly” would mean for me is that the greatest object of knowledge is God and that he has revealed himself authori- tatively in a book; and that [should work with all my might and all my heart and all my soul and all my mind to know and enjoy him and to make him known for the joy of others.

      This is the reason why we must be scholarly in reading the Word of God, the greatest object of knowledge is God and He has revealed Himself authoritatively in a book.

    2. Since our faith is rooted in the understanding of a book, we want people to learn how to read, and then to have the Bible in their language, and to learn how to think carefully and doc- trinally about the book.

      Our faith is rooted in the understanding of a book. That is why pastors are also called to be scholars.

    3. On and on the chain of argumentation grows. Words become statements, and statements are linked to form larger units. And these larger units are linked to build the whole book of Romans. The point here is simply this: since much of the Bible is written this way, pastors are called to trace these arguments with active, careful, rigorous reading, and explain statements and the connections and the larger units to their people, and then apply them to their lives.

      Chains of argumentation, words become statements, statements are linked to form larger units, these units are linked to build a book. Books are interlinked to one another.

    4. that many parts of the Bible (like Paul’s letters and Jesus’s sermons) are less like strings of pearls and more like chains of steel, That is, the authors don’t just give a sequence of spiritual gems; they forge a chain of logical argumentation, Their statements hang together. They are linked.

      The Bible is connected like chains of steel. it is strongly linked.

    5. he Bible is a book. Jesus came in the flesh and was called the Word of God. He taught many things, and he did many things. He died for sins, and he rose again. He founded the church and poured out the Holy Spirit. All that foundational speaking and doing is preserved in a book. My ninth point is simply this: reading a substantial book well is hard mental work,

      Reading the Word of God is hard mental work.

    6. In one sense, the Bible itself is the whole counsel of God. But that’s not what Paul meant here. This is too big. He didn’t just read the whole Bible to them. He taught them from the Bible (Acts 19:9). There must be a faithful way to sum this up in what’s called a coherent and unified whole counsel of God. And my point is, it takes mental work to find what that is and to work it out in understandable, shar- able ways

      It takes effort to make all of God's Word understandable to people. We must make that effort.

    7. So the pastor’s job is to look at the Bible and work hard to understand what’s in it, and then work hard to make it understandable and attractive and compelling to our people.

      The pastor's job is to make the Word of God understandable and attractive and compelling to people.

    8. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:11 that Jesus has given to his church pastors and teachers. And it tells us that these pastors and teachers should be “able to teach” (i Tim, 3:2). They should be good teachers. So all of us pastors should be thinking, God is giving me as a gift to my church. And he is telling me, The way you will be a gift to your church is if you are an effective teacher.

      Pastors are God's gifts to the church if they are effective teachers.

    9. Don’t try to manipulate people. Don’t try to coerce people and make them do things. It has to come from inside, from their hearts. And that means they need knowl- edge that awakens love.

      Do not manipulate people and make them do things, it has to come from their hearts. They need knowledge that awakens love.

    10. o good scholarship—good use of the mind in seeking and finding truth—stands in the service of honest, coura- geous ministry. And the goal of that ministry, whether it succeeds or not, is to put people’s souls on a solid footing. The aim is that great affections for God would be awakened by clearly seen and courageously spoken truth.

      Good scholarship is putting the mind to good use to seeking the truth and not to conceal issues but to stand honestly and courageously.

    11. e go now to Luke 12. My point here is that Jesus assumes that human beings use logic, and he holds them account- able to use their logic well.

      God holds us accountable to use logic well.

    12. he answer is that God has ordained to use means to give life. He has designed that life would be given, and truth would be imparted, through Paul’s reasoning.

      Life in God can be given and truth can be imparted. (Acts 17:2-3)

    13. herefore think over what Paul says! Don’t say, “Because God gives understanding, I don’t need to think.” And don’t say, “Because P'm thinking, God doesn’t need to give it to me; I can get it on my own.” It’s both-and, not either-or.

      You must think about something, then God can give you understanding. That's the way humans learn. If we don't think about something, God cannot give us understanding. 2 Tim 2:7

    14. So clearly, the problem is, according to verse 2, that their zeal does not accord with knowledge. So even though Christian hedonism puts a huge weight on zeal (passion) for God, now we can see how worthless that zeal is if it’s not based on true knowledge. So the use of the mind to come to true knowledge is necessary so that our satisfaction in God will be an honor to him.

      Zeal must be based on knowledge. (Romans 10:2)

    15. Thinking hard about biblical truth is the means through which the Holy Spirit opens us to the truth.

      Thinking hard about the Word of God is how the Holy Spirit opens us to the truth.

    16. So, when I say that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in bim, Lam referring to a well-grounded satisfaction. I see real things in Jesus and in God the Father; [see real reasons for being satisfied in him. And therefore my emotions are truly an honor to him because they are based on real reasons.

      Our joy in God, and indeed in anything, must be a well-grounded joy. A joy grounded in our knowledge of God and who He is.

    17. If God is going to be glorified in our being satisfied in him, then our satisfaction in him must be based on truth. And truth is what we find by the right use of the mind—by scholarly effort

      If God is going to be glorified in our joy in Him, then our joy in Him must be base on truth.

    18. o knowing right things about Jesus doesn’t automatically produce right affections. But knowing those right things about Christ is essential for having right affections for God.

      Knowing right things about Jesus doesn't automatically produce right affections. But knowing those right things about Christ is essential for having the right affections for God.

    19. o knowing truth is the proper means to admiring truth. Both thinking and feeling are indispensable. But they are not both ultimate. Thinking exists to serve admiring. Thinking is meant to serve worship and delight and satisfaction in God.

      Knowing truth is the proper means to admiring the truth. Both thinking and feeling are indispensable. But they are not both ultimate.

    20. Right thinking about God exists to serve right feelings for God. Logic exists for the sake of love. Reasoning exists for the sake of rejoicing. Doctrine exists for the sake of delight, Reflection about God exists for the sake of affection for God. The head is meant to serve the heart.

      The head is meant to serve the heart. This is interesting.

    21. Many pastors, especially those who love the glorious vision of God’s being and beauty and plan of salvation, have a scholarly bent that threatens to over-intellectualize the Christian faith, which means they turn it mainly into a system to be thought about rather than a way of life to be felt and lived. Of course, it is a system as well as a life. But the danger is that the whole thing can be made to feel academic rather than heart-wrenchingly real.

      Pastoral ministry cannot just be intellectual or thought-based but it must be about a way of life, to be felt and lived.

    22. In other words, at the heart of magnifying God’s worth is feeling God’s worth. Treasuring the Treasure. Enjoying the glory. Admiring the greatness. Savoring the feast. All this is the necessary precursor to behavior that glorifies God.

      Treasuring God who is the Treasure is what we should do.

    23. And 'm probably not the first to do that. Jonathan Edwards said, “God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in”! That is what 1 am trying to say for our day: the glory of God is magnified when we rejoice in him. C. S. Lewis says exactly the same thing even more clearly. In his book on the Psalms, he writes:

      God is glorified when we enjoy Him.

    24. But knowing all that, I could not resist any longer. The passion to preach and to see God shape and grow a church by the Word of God was overwhelming.

      He was now impacted by the passion to preach and to see God share and grow a church by the Word of God.

    25. He said, in effect, “I, the God of Romans 9, will be proclaimed and not just analyzed or explained.” By the end of that sabbatical, the battle was over, and | had resolved to leave teaching and seek a pastoral position,

      God spoke to Him that He wants to be proclaimed, and not just analysed or explained.

    26. Meanwhile, my exegesis and systematic theology classes were undoing my Arminian presuppositions with biblical facts.

      He read a lot of materials by Jonathan Edwards and had his Arminian presuppositions demolished by biblical facts.

    27. By all of this singularly blood-earnest scholarship a introduced me, through Scripture and through Jonathan Edwards, to the truth that God is most glorified in us when lam most satisfied in him. This was the seed from which has grown all the books I have written and all the sermons I have preached. The fact that God pursued his glory and my joy in the same act of worship was the most explosive teuth I have ever learned. The sources were the Bible and then Jonathan Edwards.

      Jonathan Edwards also inspired him with the fact that God pursued His glory and my joy in the same act of worship was the most explosive truth he has ever learnt.

    28. n partnership with Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book, he taught me that the task of the true scholar, whatever his vocation, was: ® to observe his subject matter accurately and thoroughly; ¢ to understand clearly what he has observed; * to evaluate fairly what he has understood by deciding what is true and valuable; * to feel intensely according to the value of what he has evaluated; * to apply wisely and helpfully in life what he understands and feels; and © to express in speech and writing and deeds what he has seen, understood, felt, and applied in such a way that its accuracy, clarity, truth, value, and helpfulness can be’. NON : LA known and enjoyed by others.

      Dan Fuller's book also had a great impact on Piper.

    29. hen came John Stott and Men Made New, a little yel- low paperback of an exposition of Romans 5—8. [ loved it. It was fuel on the flame that Ockenga had lit, and it showed me the kind of careful attention to the text that, for me, made it live.

      A book that influenced him greatly because it showed the kind of attention to the text that made it alive.

    30. These were immeasurable gifts and had the effect of synthesizing my Wheaton experience. The intellectual stimu- lation, the emotional deepening, the stirring of imagination, the passion to write—all of these came together in C. S. Lewis and made me wonder if I should teach English litera- ture as a vocation.’

      All his immesurable gifts came together in C. S. Lewis, as it has in my daughter Deborah.

    31. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern. This has freed me from the tyranny of novelty.

      C.S. Lewis also freed him from the tyranny of novelty. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern.

    32. Lewis was the main influence on Clyde Kilby, and Lewis had the same effect on me as Kilby did. He gave me an intense sense of the “realness” of things. To wake up in the morning and be aware of the firmness of the mattress, the warmth of the sun rays, the sound of the clock ticking, the sheer being of things (“quiddity” as he called it). He helped me become alive to life. He helped me see what is there in the world—things which if we didn’t have, we would pay a million dollars to have, but having them, ignore.

      Lewis gave him a sense of "realness" of things, of being aware of things that if we didn't have, we would pay a high price for them, but after having them, we ignore.

    33. Lewis embodied the fact that rigorous, precise, pen- etrating logic is not inimical to deep, soul-stirring feeling and vivid, lively—even playful—imagination. He combined what almost everybody today assumes are mutually exclu- sive: rationalism and poetry, cool logic and warm feeling, disciplined prose and free imagination. In shattering these old stereotypes for me, he freed me to think hard and to write poetry, to argue for the resurrection and compose hymns to Christ, to smash an argument and hug a friend, to demand a definition and use a metaphor.

      C.S. Lewis was also a great influence on him, he embodied the fact that rigorous, precise and penetrating logic was not inimical to deep, soul-stirring feeling and vivid imagination. Lewis combined what people say are mutually exclusive: rationalism and poetry.

    34. When you are being shown what you've always looked at all your life and never seen, it is absolutely revolutionary. Kilby was one of the greatest influences of my life, and I scarcely know what he thought about anything—politically, psy- chologically, theologically. It was the way he saw the world and spoke of the world. He was so alive to the wonder of things. This was incalculably valuable preparation of soul for the vision of God that would come just a few years later at seminary.

      It was the way he saw the world and spoke about it that made him so alive to the wonder of things.

    35. {shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day, E shall sim- ply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, a person. f shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are, but simply be glad that they are. [ shall joyfully allow chem the mys- tery of what Lewis calls, “their divine, magical, terrifying, and ecstatic existence.”®

      This was Kilby's thought about everyday life.

    36. He taught me that there is always more to see in what I see.

      He also learnt from Clyde Kilby that there is always more to see in what we see.

    37. The point of every class seemed to be: any system of thought that denies truth denies itself. In other words, he modeled the universal significance of the law of noncontra- diction: if you say there’s no truth, then you’ve just spoken something that doesn’t count. That simple insight has been life-saving and life-illuminating for over forty years. It spared me from being enamored by all the ludicrous post- modernism that was already rampant in the late 1960s. Thank you, Dr. Hackett.

      Another lecturer Dr. Hackett influenced him tremendously, the point of all his classes is: any system of thought that denies the existence of truth denies itself. This was the law of non-contradiction: if you say there's no truth, then you have spoken something that does not count. This simple insight has been life saving an life-illuminating.

    38. rthur Holmes and Stuart Hackett were both in the phi- losophy department at Wheaton in the late sixties. Holmes embodied two things I had never seen before: (1) the quest for a comprehensive worldview that helped make sense of everything—and that had Christ as the integrating center. and (2) the life of the mind as vocation. In other words, Christian scholarship as a vocation came onto my horizon as a possibility for the first time in my life.

      A lecturer in Wheaton shaped his thinking about theology. Holmes embodied two things he had never encountered before: (1) The quest for a comprehensive worldview that helped make sense of everything and that had Christ as the integrating center, (2) the life of the mind as a vocation

    39. riting became the lever of my thinking and the outlet of my feelings. If [didn’t pull the lever, the wheel of thinking did not turn. It jerked and squeaked and halted. But once a pen was in hand, or a keyboard, the fog began to clear and the wheel of thought began to spin with more clarity and insight. And when the feelings that rambled around in my heart as an introverted, insecure adolescent needed form, I turned to poetry and writing. So along with the disciplines of precise thinking and painstaking observation came a passion for conceptually clear and emotionally moving expression in writing.

      Writing became the lever of his thinking and outlet of his feelings. He wrote something everyday. So learning has to be manifested as output and not just input.

    40. hese were two huge impulses feeding into who I am in ministry: painstaking observation of texts and the demand for precise thinking—from myself and from others.

      The two impulses that feed into who piper was: painstaking observation of texts and the demand for precise thinking.

    41. So what hap- pened in Mrs. Clanton’s biology class was the awakening of a self-conscious awareness that dependable knowledge—of the world or the Bible or anything else—depends on seeing what’s really there for the mind to work with.

      So from the biology class he also learnt that dependable knowledge depends on seeing what's really there in order for the mind to work with.

    42. ll the sharp reasoning in the world will simply lead you astray if you start with observations that are inaccurate or incomplete.

      From his biology teacher he learnt that whatever sharp reasoning you picked up in the world will lead you astray if you start with observations that are inaccurate or incomplete.

    43. eometry class marked a serious awakening of my love for right thinking. From that time to this, I have had an ear and an eye for non sequiturs in what J hear and read. If a politician or preacher says, “All cows have four legs; Fido has four legs; therefore Fido is a cow,” I’m all over it. From that class on, I have had a self- conscious expectation that I will never knowingly be illogi- cal or incoherent.

      Piper from geometry also learnt right thinking, he said from then on they will never knowingly be illogical or incoherent.

    44. The process of reasoning from axioms and postulates and corollaries in order to turn theories into proofs was explosively exciting to me. I loved the ability to draw right conclusions from true premises.

      In high school he loved the ability to draw the right conclusions from true premises.

    45. But I was a believer. I loved Jesus. I hated sin. [ feared God in a good way. I took heaven and hell and salvation and the gospel very seriously. They were dominant realities in my life. And so the seeds of ministry were there. But there was no dream to be a pas- tor and no awareness that there even was such a thing as scholarship.

      When he was young, he feared public speaking and as far as scholarship is concerned he had no role model to follow.

    46. In other words, Paul repeatedly talks about his personal life and experience with God with a view to helping his listen- ers. So, yes, this approach is risky. But there are reasons for it.

      The apostle Paul himself talks about his life and his pain as he walks with Jesus, with a view of helping his listeners.

    47. esus said, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John $:44)° You can’t. You can’t believe in the crucified Messiah as your supreme treasure and hero, and then love the exact opposite of the mind-set that took him to the cross.

      How can you believe God and seek after His glorify if we enjoy receiving glory from one another?

    48. I put Philippians 2:3 before me regularly with its pierc- ing word kenodoxian (vainglory): “Do nothing from rivalry or vainglory [Rexodoxianj, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3 at). The love of human praise—human glory—is universal and deadly.

      Do nothing from vain glory. The love of human praise is universal and deadly.

    49. The Internet world we live in today is awash in narcissism and vanity, with some people taking their clothes off literally, because exposure gives them a tush, and others doing it spiritually—because the addicting power of talking about yourself, where anyone in the world can read it, is overpoweting.

      Today the internet has many crazy people sharing their loves openly to the world.

    50. There is another possibility—in fact, there are several. One is that [do not have “exceptional qualities,” and I may just be stupid to take this approach. Another possibility is that I may be egotistical and vain.

      These are also two other possibilities of why he wants to share about himself to others.

    51. f course, my assumption is, for Edwards and for myself, that in our aim to raise the affections of our hearers, we have experienced authentically raised affections ourselves. And these affections are in synch with what is true and in proportion to the nature of the truth.

      Piper says that his aim in doing theology is to raise the affections of his hearers, and that this must first be preceded by him having experienced authentically raised affections himself and that these affections are in sync with what is true.

    52. 22 The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor resenting the British of a generation ago (and perhaps much like today’s), said at the end of his autobiography: While some readers have observed that in these chapters I have said little about my domestic life, others have wondered why I have been so reticent about my religious experience. The reason is probably the same in both instances: I do not care to speak much—especially in public—about the things that mean most co me, Others do not share this inhibition, and have enriched their fel- lows by relating the inner story of the Lord’s cealings with them—-one thinks of Augustine’s Confessions and Bunyan’s Grace Abounding. But it calls for quite excep- tional qualities to be able to do this kind of thing without self-consciousness or self-deception.! So now you can see I am trapped. My first reaction when I read this was to say, “No wonder { have found his com- mentaries so dry”—helpful in significant ways, but person- ally and theologically anemic. My second reaction was to say (this was in 1980, the year I left academia and entered the pastorate), “Good grief! You say, ‘I do not care to speak much—especially in public about the things that mean most to me.’ | say, ‘The only thing I care to speak abour— especially in public—are the things that mean most to me!’” zero Empathy Both his and my statements are probably overstatements. But seriously, this is one of the differences between me and many scholars, and it is part of what pushed me out of the guild. [ am regularly bursting to say something about the Piper: The Pastor as Scholar «=23 most precious things in the universe—and not in any disin- terested, dispassionate, composed, detached, unemotional, so-called scholarly way, but rather with total interest, warm passion, discomposure, utter attachment, and fully emo- tional, and, | hope always, true. At least true is my goal.

      He is fully emotional

    53. But seriously, this is one of the differences between me and many scholars, and it is part of what pushed me out of the guild. [ am regularly bursting to say something about the

      Piper is different from most scholars because he wants to shout about what God has done in his life!

    54. at God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

      This should be the theme of our ministry

    1. Richards (1981) also emphasizes the importance of grace in healing old wounds, accepting the sufferer into the church and, where there are biblical grounds for divorce, supporting the new couple so that they will feel loved and accepted by their fellow be- lievers.

      Grace at work in divorce and remarriage.

    2. Where remarriage is concerned, some writers (Small, 1975; Plekker, 1980) have taken a bold step and grounded their counsel in the nature of God. Having dealt gra- ciously with an adulterer such as David (cf., Psalm 51), Plekker deals insightfully and persuasively with the manner in which true repentance may be distinguished from shal- low conformity and, where it is present, be- lieves remarriage is permissible.

      Remarriage may be permissible

    3. Such an expediency, while widely prac- ticed within the Roman Catholic church to- day, takes authority from the Scriptures and places it in the hands of priests. Reliance is upon canon law and those who interpret it do so in light of changing social mores.

      Wide practice of allowing remarriage based on church traditions takes authority away from Scriptures and puts it in the hands of clergy. Reliance on canon law and those who interpret it do so in the light of changing social norms.

    4. A plethora of books has recently been is- sued describing the process whereby a church may set up a tribunal to hear the case of a divorced person who desires to marry again.

      Church tribunal for remarriage

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    1. Because claims and grounds can only be distinguished by their role in an argument, they cannot be recognized simply by looking at the asser- tions themselves.

      This is not easy to understand.

    2. , in its most basic form an argu- ment presents grounds intended to support a claim.

      This is very clear. An argument presents grounds intended to support a claim.

    3. it is instructive to return to definition 5. The purpose of an argu- ment is to persuade. When located in the context of practical reasoning, an argument works by showing that if an audience believes the statements that are adduced as grounds, then they ought also to accept (or at least give serious consideration to) the claim. S

      The purpose of an argument is to persuade

    4. Note the arrow pointing from the grounds to the claim. This symbol is highly significant. It suggests that an argument must go somewhere. It is not the mere assertion of a group of statements, but an invitation to the reader or listener to move from one position (acceptance of the grounds) to another (acceptance of the claim).

      An argument must go somewhere, as in it must take the reader from one position to another.

    5. he second of the two most basic parts of an argument is the grounds that are put forward to support the claim. Grounds for arguments can vary widely; definition 4 above suggests ‘facts’ and ‘reasons’ as near synonyms; we could add still others, such as ‘data’ and ‘supporting evidence.’

      What are grounds?

    6. he position or point for which one supplies reasons in an argument is called the claim. Claims can be about anything, but they all share the form of an assertion—that is, they all must say something about something.

      What are claims?

    7. second reason for remembering the distinction between theology and religion is that these are self-involving subjects—subjects wherein the claims we make have a deep impact on our lives. This fact sometimes makes clear thinking more difficult, but it helps to bear in mind that criticism of a theological argument is not necessarily an attack on the religious beliefs of the person who made the argument.

      The claims of theology and religion are ones which have a deep impact in our lives.

    8. Despite the difficulties, I believe this is an important distinction to keep in mind for at least two reasons. First, the purpose of religion is much different from the purpose of theology. In the case of Christianity, the purpose of religion as a whole is worship and service of God; the purpose of theology is shaped by its character as an academic discipline. While most Christians hope that their beliefs, such as about God or salvation, are held rationally, this is not the first criterion one thinks of in evaluating the Christian religion. Theology, however, aims at rational reflection on the phenomena and beliefs of the religion and therefore rational criteria are of the highest importance. Among the criteria for rational reflection are the demands of good reasoning. So this book could more accurately be titled Reasoning in Theology, but that isn’t as catchy.

      The reasoning of theology. This is not the purpose of religion which is the worship and service of God

    9. This is an appropriate point at which to make another terminological distinction—between ‘theology’ and ‘religion.’ As used here, ‘religion’ will refer to a broad cultural phenomenon that generally involves worship, moral practices, and beliefs. Theology is an academic discipline that (among other things) reflects in a sustained way on the worship, morals, and be- liefs of a religious community.

      The difference between theology and religion

    10. A debate or discussion involving different points of view (definition 2) may or may not involve arguments in the sense intended here: an oral disagreement or altercation (definition 1) generally does not involve argument in this sense, since it seems to bring out the worst of people’s reasoning abilities.

      What an argument is all about

    11. An argument is a process of reasoning or a series of reasons used to support a point. The ‘point’ being supported we shall here call a claim.

      The Definition of an argument in a theological sense

    12. ment of definitions for ‘argument,’ among which are the following: 1. An oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention, altercation. 2. A discussion involving differing points of view; debate. 3. A process of reasoning; series of reasons. 4. A statement, reason, or fact for or against a point. 5. An address or composition intended to convince or persuade; per- suasive discourse

      What is an argument?

    13. ur primary concern in this book will be with arguments—how to formu- Jate sound ones and how to evaluate those tendered by others. A

      What are arguments

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    1. Toulmin's model reminds us that arguments are generally expressed with qualifiers and rebuttals rather than

      Arguments should not be asserted as absolutes.

    2. The Toulmin model is useful for analyzing an argument you are reading. That was Toulmin's original purpose--the analysis of how arguments work. O

      Toulmin model is useful for analysing arguments.

    3. n argument written in this manner unfolds to reveal both the strengths and limits of the argument. This is as it should be. No argument should pretend to be stronger than it is or apply further than it is meant to. The point here isn't to "win" or "beat" all the counter-arguments; the point is to come as close to the truth or as close to a realistic and feasible solution as we possibly can.

      What is an argument?

    4. The twentieth-century British philosopher Stephen Toulmin noticed that good, realistic arguments typically will consist of six parts. He used these terms to describe the items. Data: The facts or evidence used to prove the argument Claim: The statement being argued (a thesis) Warrants: The general, hypothetical (and often implicit) logical statements that serve as bridges between the claim and the data. Qualifiers: Statements that limit the strength of the argument or statements that propose the conditions under which the argument is true. Rebuttals: Counter-arguments or statements indicating circumstances when the general argument does not hold true. Backing: Statements that serve to support the warrants (i.e., arguments that don't necessarily prove the main point being argued, but which do prove the warrants are true.)

      This is called the Toulmin model of argument

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    1. He understood that true theology js in evitably lived theology. Given this reciprocal activity be tween reflection and life, I believe that there are cert elements which should accompany any good theologia and theology. Attempting to separate life and theology to lose the beauty and truthfulness of both,

      The Reformers called Theology Practical Science. because theology is lived. Attempting to separate theology and life is to lose the beauty and truthfulness of both.

    2. THEOLOGICAL, REFLECTION is a deeply personal venture; it does not leave room for cool scientific detach- ment. Atits best theology may be considered both an art “anda science. Here we encounter the beauty and holiness of God, and such an encounter is always emotive, whether we realize it or not, whether we want it to be or not. We do ‘not stand off in the distance as neutral observers, but rather we are engaged as those who wrestle with and rest inthe God who has made himself known.

      Tehological reflection is unlike other scientific research , we are not neutral observers but we engage and werestle with God Himself who has made Himself known.

  3. Sep 2021
    1. In the same way, the gospel declaration always comes clothed in theology. And this theology is not something additional to the gospel. It is an essential part of the good news.

      The gospel declaration always comes clothed in theology, hence theology is not something that is additional to the gospel, it is in fact the essential part of the good news.

    2. For peo- ple to believe the gospel, they must not only hear the story itself, they must also understand its meaning. Not only must people hear that Christ died and rose again—these brute facts of history do not yet bring us to the heart of the message—they must also be confronted with the why of his death and resurrection. They must understand that God acted in Christ for them.

      For people to believe in the gospel, they not only must hear that Christ died for them, but they must also be confronted with why.

    3. This encounter occurs through the hearing and believing of the gospel. But what exactly is the gospel? Many Christians would likely agree that at the heart of the good news is the biblical story of God’s saving activity on behalf of sinful humankind. God has provided the way of salvation. And Christians all realize that to “call on the name of the Lord” (Rom 10:13), people must hear this salvation story.

      The Salvation Story is central to the gospel.

    4. First, theology is practical because it is inextricably linked to the most practical aspect of Christian life—its beginning point, that marvelous transaction we call “conversion.”

      Theology is practical because it is linked to conversion.

    5. They engage in theology not merely to amass knowledge, but also to gain wisdom. Good theol- ogy, therefore, brings the theoretical, academic, intellectual aspect of Christian faith into Christian living. In so doing, theology becomes immensely practical—perhaps the most practical endeavor one ever engages in!

      Theology must be practical and help people gain wisdom.

    6. Christians who study and write about theology tend to divide their inquiry into several foundational beliefs or interrelated topics. These central theological foci include C] God (theology proper) C] humankind and the created universe (anthropology) DEFINING THEOLOGY @ 39 (J Jesus and the salvation he brought (Christology) [] the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s work in us and in the world (pneu- matology) (1 the church as the fellowship of Christ’s disciples (ecclesiology) [1 the consummation or completion of God’s program for creation (eschatology) Good theology begins by exploring these topics as they are informed by faith in Jesus, who is the revelation of God.

      These are the key foundational beliefs or elements of Christian theology.

    7. This is how theology works. As Christians become more reflective and replace erroneous beliefs with correct convictions, and as they test and hone valid but imprecise and immature beliefs, they become even more steadfast in faith and more sure of what they believe. But the grounding work of good theology does not stop here.

      Good theology helps Christians to become more reflective and replace erroneous beliefs with correct convictions as theology tests and hone valid but imprecise beliefs. With this our faith will be strengthened and we can affirm it with more certainty.

    8. To many people, the search for truth as embedded in the one true religion is passe. What is “in” is the quest for spirituality. And this quest, they claim, may lead through a variety of religious traditions, each of which offers some insight. Their advice? Just remember that no religion holds the final answer, Each religious expression is merely a way station along the path. So move with the times from one religious fad to the next!

      To many people in the world today, to find truth in one religion is passe. The quest for spirituality is THE ultimate. and this quest may lead to many religions as these help in humanity's journey in life.

    9. Good theology assists Christians because it grounds their lives in biblically informed, Christian truth.

      Good theology assists Christians as it grounds their lives in Biblically informed truths.

    10. A central goal of theology is to understand and describe what we believe as Christians, what we hold to be true given our faith in Jesus Christ. Since the first century the church has affirmed the importance of theology to its mission. And Christians have defined theology ac- cording to the role it plays in the church’s task. We engage in theo- logical reflection because theology assists us in being Christ’s disciples, and we can understand theology in accordance with the assistance it is designed to give.

      A central goal of theology is to understand and describe what we believe as Christians, theology assists us in being Christ's disciples.

    11. In this general sense, theology is not uniquely Christian. It is rather a nearly universal human endeavor, of which Christian theology is a specific embodiment. The unique thing about Christian theology is that Christians seek answers to the ultimate questions by looking to Jesus Christ because they are convinced that “Jesus is the answer.” That is, Christians believe that Jesus has revealed truth and ultimacy to us because he is the revelation of the very heart of God. Since Christian theology explores the beliefs about God and the world that are uniquely Christian by looking to Jesus, we may say that Christian theology is reflecting on and articulating the beliefs about God and the world that Christians share as followers of Jesus Christ.

      Theology is not uniquely Christian. It is a nearly universal human endeavour, of which Christianity is a specific embodiment. Christian theology is unique because it seeks answers by looking to Jesus Christ.

    12. In the broad sense theology is the attempt to reach below the surface of life and gain a deeper understanding of God. Theology seeks to understand God’s being, God’s nature and God’s relationship to the world.

      Theology is an attempt to reach below the surface of life and gain a deeper understanding of God and who He is.

    13. Viewed from this perspective, theology means “the teaching concerning God” or “the study of God.” This is surprisingly similar to the dictionary definition.

      Theology = Greek terms, Theos (God), and logos (Word, teaching, study). Viewed in this manner theology means the study of God.

    14. Theology seeks answers to general and personal questions about God, ultimate meaning, purpose and truth. But this way of defining theology is only partial, and because of its generality, it is wholly inadequate for describing the discipline (the science or formal study) of theology. Therefore, let us define it more precisely.

      Theology seeks to answer general and personal questions about God and life, purpose and truth.

  4. Jan 2021
    1. Finally, any analysis of religion in Singapore must deal with the role of the state in Singapore society. Singapore is physically, and mentally, a small society. The state is present in most areas of every- day life. It attempts to manage, through social policies, every aspect of social life, whether it is encouraging population growth, getting graduates to marry, or keeping Singapore clean. In the area of reli- gion, it institutionalized compulsory religious education in schools in the 1980s, and passed a Bill in Parliament to preserve religious har- mony in Singapore society. What have the intended and unintended consequences of state intervention in religious matters been? Despite remaining an avowedly secular country, the Singapore government has wielded significant influence on religious life in Singapore. While the need to separate religion from politics has been stressed repeat- edly, politics remains deeply intertwined with religion. How has the state affected the religious situation in Singapore?

      Singapore is indeed a small country to govern, hence the government has exerted its authority in many areas including in religions. It has shaped the social compact with the various religions but politics has thus far been almost quite separate from religion.

    2. Singapore society has undergone rapid industrialization and mod- ernization over the last thirty years. It has transformed from what ‘a third world” country, to a developed status. The rapid economic development has had significant effects on the social and cultural life in the city-state. Classical secularization theories sug- gest that there would be a decline in the social significance of reli- gion. Has this happened?

      Rapid economic progress has not caused people to leave religions in Singapore. Traditional religions, however, has lost adherents to other world religions. Perhaps because Singaporeans come into contact with people from all over the world and has adopted world religions faster

    3. By doing so, it will demonstrate how the religious profile in Singapore has changed dra- matically over the years. For example, in 1920, 72.8% of the pop- ulation in Singapore claimed to practice Chinese religions. By 1980, this had dropped to 56%. It further fell to only 51% by 2000. Concomitantly, Christianity has grown from 5% in 1920, to 10.3% in 1980, and 14.6% in 2000. How do we account for the significant religious shifts in Singapore society? Why do so many young Singa- Co-Ed situation in Singapore. I begin by detailing the religious poreans choose to give up their family religion and switch to another religion?

      I think this switch is most noticeable among Chinese Singaporeans

    4. What happens when there are so many religions ng in such close proximity?

      I think many of us grow up in this environment and it has become normal of us to respect each other's religion

    5. Singapore, a small nation state with one of the highest population densities in the world, is home to most of the world’s major reli- gions. It has a complex ethnic and religious composition; the 2000 Census states 50% of the population as being Chinese religionists, 14.8% Christians, 12% Muslims and 5% Hindus.

      Being a multi-cultural country, we have many religions sharing the space social space hence we need to be sensitive to everyone's views.

    Annotators

  5. Dec 2020
    1. The Globe and Mail reports that Element AI sold for less than $500 million USD. This would place the purchase price well below the estimated valuation that the Montréal startup was said to have after its $200 million CAD Series B round in September 2019.

      This was a downround for them in a sense that eventhough they sold for USD$500M their post-money round in Sep 2019 was CAD$200M meaning that they did not improve on their valuation after one year. Why?

    2. Despite being seen as a leader and a rising star in the Canadian AI sector, Element AI faced difficulties getting products to market.

      They had faced productisastion problems, just like many other AI startups.It looks like they have GTM problems too,

    3. Element AI had more than 500 employees, including 100 PhDs.

      500 employees is indeed large. A 100-person team of PhDs is very large as well, They could probably tackle many difficult AI Problems!

    4. n 2017, the startup raised what was then a historic $137.5 million Series A funding round from a group of notable investors including Intel, Microsoft, National Bank of Canada, Development Bank of Canada (BDC), NVIDIA, and Real Ventures.

      This was indeed a historic amonunt raised! Probably because of Yoshua Bengio one of the god fathers of AI!