1. House of Eratosthenes: Stocks

The eighth amendment, which outlaws cruel and unusual punishment, is worded in such a way that its application is entirely subjective. Whether that is deliberate or not, it has been interpreted as a blank-check the courts can use to apply our “evolving mores of decency” and because of this, the traditional punishment of being locked in stocks in the public square, where your fellow villagers can pelt you with rotten vegetables — has been entirely abandoned.

This is a mistake; a deadly-serious, no-good, heap big mistake. The stocks were used to re-awaken, where re-awakening was necessary, a sense of personal shame. Now that we’ve gotten rid of the stocks, we have gotten rid of shame. (read the rest)

2. Thomas Sowell on Glenn Beck’s Show: “Our Government is Fascist Now”

HT: The Freedom Post

3. John Piper: Why and How I Am Tweeting

I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can. (read the rest)

You can follow him on Twitter here. HT: Justin Taylor

4. Tony Reinke: The Transformative Power of Imputation

Quoting Paul F.M. Zahl in Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life

…Faith in New Testament terms is transparency about the true state of affairs concerning sin and need. God covers over this sin and need. He does not destroy it but calls it by a different name. He calls the damned blessed; the weak, strong; the impotent, fruitful; the pathetic, confident; the ugly, beautiful. In the one-way love that anchors this theology of everyday life, the imputation of God is the heavy lifting. It is the big effect that no one but God is able to pull off. It is creative naming, which has the power of changing.

Imputation is the heavy lifting of grace that occurs in daily life. It does not occur often enough, unfortunately, but when it does occur, it changes everything. It probably happened to you once. (read the rest)

5. C.J. Mahaney: The Gospel and Personal Criticism

Many years ago I came across a quote from Martin Luther about personal criticism from unfriendly critics. Luther’s point was that no matter how bad the personal criticisms—no matter how accurate, or inaccurate, the accusations—there is more sin in each of our hearts than a critic could ever discover.

Luther’s humbling reminder has been useful when I have been criticized and accused of things that were simply not accurate (although to avoid any misunderstanding, there have been plenty of critics that were right in their observations, too). (read the rest)

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