Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2017: 11-20

Numbers 11-20 of the top 50 articles for 2017

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20.

 

In 2017 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read. The top story this year had over 11,600 hits.

TAR posts about 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20.

 

  1. The Son of Man Came Drinking – Was Jesus a Social Drinker? (Part I)

Was Jesus a social drinker? Many of us approach a question like this with strong feelings, opinions, and convictions. Some of us have come from families in which we’ve witnessed loved ones lose their jobs, destroy their marriages, and ruin their health because of alcohol abuse.

  1. Tim Keller Stepping Down as Redeemer Senior Pastor

Keller, 66, announced at all eight Sunday services that he will be stepping down from the pulpit corresponding with a decades-long plan to transition the single Presbyterian Church in America congregation—which has grown to 5,000 members since it began 28 years ago—to three particular churches. 

  1. The Nashville “Megachurch” That Embraced Gay Marriage Two Years Ago Has Cratered

This is a sad but predictable result of a pastor who leads a church to apostatize from the Christian faith. Walking away from Jesus is not a catalyst for church growth. On the contrary, it is the catalyst for church death. Believers in such churches will eventually leave, and those that remain to embrace the error will be an unfaithful remnant. It may be a gathering of people, but it will not be a gathering of born-again people and will not therefore be a church of the Lord Jesus.

  1. Elevation Church – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The trouble is that these churches are so massive and wealthy that they can afford to send their pastors all over the world, exporting their dodgy theology and even dodgier ecclesiology.  I have a suspicion that much of the health and wealth teaching which is plaguing much of the church in Africa, Asia and South America is primarily an export from the US, with perhaps a little help from Europe, (all in the name of ‘spreading the gospel’).  It’s mainly a forlorn appeal but can we say to the mega churches – please stop it!

  1. A Tale of Two Churches: Abuse and Protection of the Vulnerable in the PCA

Foreword by Valerie Hobbs: After my first post about how one PCA church responded to a case of abuse, I received the following story from Lynette English. Her story about two PCA churches echoes Jessica’s in many ways: victim-blaming, serving the status quo, etc. But it is also a story of great hope and is an example of how some in the PCA are living out the very essence of the Gospel. Lynette has asked that her story be published using her real name.

  1. N.T. Wright’s Long Farewell

And thus, for Wright, Christ Himself takes no punishment as our substitute, because even though He was hanging, suffering on the cross, it was not Him who is being punished, but sin—and yet, somehow, He was still our substitute. And so—Voilà!—Wright has convinced himself (and all his acolytes, I might add) that he still believes in penal substitution! In fact, he says this is precisely how we must “rescue this substitution from its pagan captivity.”

  1. A Big Moment for the PCA

If you are a commissioner at this year’s GA I urge you to vote in favor of Overture 2. If you are a member of a PCA church I urge you to pray that it passes. In recent months we have become aware that those opposing such actions as Overture 2 are well organized, ready to “fight,” and “win every vote.” The conservatives in the PCA have no “political arm.” We have no organization comparable to the National Partnership. We tend to find such politicking unseemly. But now is not a time for naivety. That Overture 2 is facing strong opposition is an indication of the challenges before us as a denomination.

  1. Ash Wednesday: Picking and Choosing our Piety

When Presbyterians and Baptists and free church evangelicals start attending Ash Wednesday services and observing Lent, one can only conclude that they have either been poorly instructed in the theology or the history of their own traditions, or that they have no theology and history. Or maybe they are simply exhibiting the attitude of the world around: They consume the bits and pieces which catch their attention in any tradition they find appealing, while eschewing the broader structure, demands and discipline which belonging to an historically rooted confessional community requires.

  1. Why We Don’t Pray to Mary or Any Other Saint in Heaven

To exalt Mary to such a status as mediator is truly misguided and we should shun any arguments to the contrary. Was she special? Absolutely. But she was still just a servant of God in need of a Savior just as much as we are in need of a Savior. We are not to look to her, or anyone else, other than the Triune God! To do otherwise is to exalt the creation over the Creator, and to join hands with those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18ff).

  1. Is Tim Keller About to Have His Rod Dreher Moment?

“Instead of making the difference that Keller’s fans think, this impending controversy could indicate that rather than being a church for the Big Apple, Keller should have been thinking about culture more the way Rod Dreher has in his proposal for the Benedict Option.”