Justin Taylor’s post on the five distinguishing marks of evangelicalism, drawn from Garth Rosell’s book The Surprising Work of God:

At the center is the cross…

Around the cross, and flowing out from the historical teachings associated with it, are four additional convictions that more any others have characterized the evangelical movement throughout its history:

(1) a shared authority (the Bible);
(2) a shared experience (conversion);
(3) a shared mission (worldwide evangelization); and
(4) a shared vision (the spiritual renewal of church and society).

The thing about forever is that we only think of it in its cutest terms, like how you would love to spend eternity with the one person that makes your heart do backflips every time you see her. That, in itself, is a wonderful, kilig-inducing idea. Except for a few snags, like these:

1) Eternity is a long time. If we go there now without transformation, we will bring with us all our sin baggage. Just do the math. You carry your own imperfections; the other person will carry her own flaws. Put that together and add “forever” to the mix, you get imperfect union that doesn’t ever end. It’s actually just marriage without the option of dying.

Just some random thoughts about common grace and the wild success of AlDub and Adele.

In the local scene, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza did it again, only this time it was much bigger than before. I am sure that I don’t need to belabor the fact that their event at the Philippine Arena was unprecedented. What I am more fascinated about is the reason why we are all going crazy over this two. What were Mendoza and Richards doing in Bulacan anyway? The short answer, I suppose, is that they were falling in love. Or at least they were acting like they were falling in love. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the remarkable proof they give us that love is probably the most compelling force in the world.

There are many more real-life situations to draw from in the Old Testament than in the New— many more historical narratives that reveal to us men and women who are realistically portrayed, ‘warts and all’, in their encounters with God. But the difficulties we met in the historical narratives of the Gospels and Acts are increased when we come to the Old Testament narratives. We cannot simply transfer the experiences of the past wholesale to today. There are two dangers to avoid in regard to historical narrative:

The persecution of the true church, of Christian believers who trace their spiritual descent from Abraham, is not always by the world, who are strangers unrelated to us, but by our half-brothers, religious people, the nominal church. It has always been so. The Lord Jesus was bitterly opposed, rejected, mocked and condemned by His own nation. The fiercest opponents of the apostle Paul, who dogged his footsteps and stirred up strife against him, were the official church, the Jews. The monolithic structure of the medieval papacy persecuted all Protestant minorities with ruthless, unremitting ferocity. And the greatest enemies of the evangelical faith today are not unbelievers, who when they hear the gospel often embrace it, but the church, the establishment, the hierarchy. Isaac is always mocked and persecuted by Ishmael.