Reformed Theology Practical advice on witnessing to a friend?  Calvinism

Practical advice on witnessing to a friend?

Reformed Theology Practical advice on witnessing to a friend?  Calvinism
Practical advice on witnessing to a friend?

I usually don't like making general "advice" posts but I thought this was important because there are eternal consequences at stake. So if you're willing, I would be interested to hear practical things to do in this situation.

I made a post a few weeks ago about a close friend of mine suddenly asking me about religion and Christianity. We've spoken very briefly about it a few times since then, but I want to "keep pressing it" for lack of better phrasing. This is someone who I have "deep" conversations with on a regular basis, so I don't think it would be weird, but I don't want to approach this in the wrong way. Obviously it's not me who's really accomplishing anything, but I want to be as useful an instrument as I can be.

So aside from fervent and persistent prayer, I'm wondering if anyone has advice for this sort of thing. Do I keep letting things coming up naturally? Do I set up a specific time ("Hey I want to talk to you about God over lunch on Thursday?") Do I intentionally steer every conversation that way? I don't want to be overbearing, but I'm just having a hard time balancing the urgency of the situation with the utility I have in the friendship as it stands. Thanks

I usually don’t like making general “advice” posts but I thought this was important because there are eternal consequences at stake. So if you’re willing, I would be interested to hear practical things to do in this situation.I made a post a few weeks ago about a close friend of mine suddenly asking me about religion and Christianity. We’ve spoken very briefly about it a few times since then, but I want to “keep pressing it” for lack of better phrasing. This is someone who I have “deep” conversations with on a regular basis, so I don’t think it would be weird, but I don’t want to approach this in the wrong way. Obviously it’s not me who’s really accomplishing anything, but I want to be as useful an instrument as I can be.So aside from fervent and persistent prayer, I’m wondering if anyone has advice for this sort of thing. Do I keep letting things coming up naturally? Do I set up a specific time (“Hey I want to talk to you about God over lunch on Thursday?”) Do I intentionally steer every conversation that way? I don’t want to be overbearing, but I’m just having a hard time balancing the urgency of the situation with the utility I have in the friendship as it stands. Thanks
Link: Practical advice on witnessing to a friend?
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Reformed Theology What are some particularly re-readable books you all recommend?  Calvinism

What are some particularly re-readable books you all recommend?

Reformed Theology What are some particularly re-readable books you all recommend?  Calvinism
What are some particularly re-readable books you all recommend?

My birthday is coming up and I want to ask for a few books! What are some ones that would be worth purchasing to have on my shelf for years to come? I'm trying to get the most use out of gifts if my friends and family are offering to get them for me.

I'm asking here because I'm particularly interested in Reformed/theology/Christian living, etc. but I'm happy to hear whatever. What books have you read multiple times?

My birthday is coming up and I want to ask for a few books! What are some ones that would be worth purchasing to have on my shelf for years to come? I’m trying to get the most use out of gifts if my friends and family are offering to get them for me.I’m asking here because I’m particularly interested in Reformed/theology/Christian living, etc. but I’m happy to hear whatever. What books have you read multiple times?
Link: What are some particularly re-readable books you all recommend?
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Reformed Theology I witnessed to someone today.  Calvinism

I witnessed to someone today.

Reformed Theology I witnessed to someone today.  Calvinism
I witnessed to someone today.

In a normal conversation with a good friend of mine, the topic of religion came up. After mentioning that spirituality had been on his mind lately, I brought up my faith and talked about it. Without going into too much detail, we had a good 30 minute conversation and he asked me questions about my faith and I explained to him what makes me different from Catholics, JW's, etc. Where my beliefs come from, and what it means to me to be a Christian. I left with a recommendation that he read Matthew or Mark (since he mentioned wanting to learn more), and that I'm always willing to talk about the Bible and Christianity.

I have a strong desire to pray now. For him, for myself. That we could have more conversations like this in the future. That I wouldn't try to "convince" him, but that I would just be a witness. That I would act more like a Christian not just around him, but around everybody.

This was my first time really doing anything like this before, so sorry that I'm talking about this like it's some new idea. I should have been doing this much sooner, but I'm glad this opportunity just presented itself to me. It's given me so much to think about I'm a bit stressed.

In a normal conversation with a good friend of mine, the topic of religion came up. After mentioning that spirituality had been on his mind lately, I brought up my faith and talked about it. Without going into too much detail, we had a good 30 minute conversation and he asked me questions about my faith and I explained to him what makes me different from Catholics, JW’s, etc. Where my beliefs come from, and what it means to me to be a Christian. I left with a recommendation that he read Matthew or Mark (since he mentioned wanting to learn more), and that I’m always willing to talk about the Bible and Christianity.I have a strong desire to pray now. For him, for myself. That we could have more conversations like this in the future. That I wouldn’t try to “convince” him, but that I would just be a witness. That I would act more like a Christian not just around him, but around everybody.This was my first time really doing anything like this before, so sorry that I’m talking about this like it’s some new idea. I should have been doing this much sooner, but I’m glad this opportunity just presented itself to me. It’s given me so much to think about I’m a bit stressed.
Link: I witnessed to someone today.
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Reformed Theology Favorite book you read in 2017?  Calvinism

Favorite book you read in 2017?

Reformed Theology Favorite book you read in 2017?  Calvinism
Favorite book you read in 2017?

I've been reading more lately and I'd love to hear some recommendations. They don't even have to be specific to reformed theology or religious in nature, although those are of course welcome. I like reading of all kinds!

I have been thinking about going through a systematic theology book though, so if anyone wants to suggest one…

I’ve been reading more lately and I’d love to hear some recommendations. They don’t even have to be specific to reformed theology or religious in nature, although those are of course welcome. I like reading of all kinds!I have been thinking about going through a systematic theology book though, so if anyone wants to suggest one…
Link: Favorite book you read in 2017?
Submitted by throwaway_1517

Reformed Theology What exactly is "taking the Lord's name in vain?"  Calvinism

What exactly is “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”

Reformed Theology What exactly is "taking the Lord's name in vain?"  Calvinism
What exactly is “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”

I've never really gotten a clear answer on this. I (and I imagine many of you) just grew up understanding that uttering the words "oh my God" was punishable with the strictest discipline available. So I didn't do it, and that was that.

Does it have to do with unlawful oaths? Mentioning God's name in a non-religious context? I'd love some guidance on this; it occurred to me today that I would not be able to explain the 10 commandments to an unbeliever as I myself don't quite understand this.

I’ve never really gotten a clear answer on this. I (and I imagine many of you) just grew up understanding that uttering the words “oh my God” was punishable with the strictest discipline available. So I didn’t do it, and that was that.Does it have to do with unlawful oaths? Mentioning God’s name in a non-religious context? I’d love some guidance on this; it occurred to me today that I would not be able to explain the 10 commandments to an unbeliever as I myself don’t quite understand this.
Link: What exactly is “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”
Submitted by throwaway_1517

Reformed Theology What exactly is "taking the Lord's name in vain?"  Calvinism

What exactly is “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”

Reformed Theology What exactly is "taking the Lord's name in vain?"  Calvinism
What exactly is “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”

I've never really gotten a clear answer on this. I (and I imagine many of you) just grew up understanding that uttering the words "oh my God" was punishable with the strictest discipline available. So I didn't do it, and that was that.

Does it have to do with unlawful oaths? Mentioning God's name in a non-religious context? I'd love some guidance on this; it occurred to me today that I would not be able to explain the 10 commandments to an unbeliever as I myself don't quite understand this.

I’ve never really gotten a clear answer on this. I (and I imagine many of you) just grew up understanding that uttering the words “oh my God” was punishable with the strictest discipline available. So I didn’t do it, and that was that.Does it have to do with unlawful oaths? Mentioning God’s name in a non-religious context? I’d love some guidance on this; it occurred to me today that I would not be able to explain the 10 commandments to an unbeliever as I myself don’t quite understand this.
Link: What exactly is “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”
Submitted by throwaway_1517

Reformed Theology What do you like to do for fun?  Calvinism

What do you like to do for fun?

Reformed Theology What do you like to do for fun?  Calvinism
What do you like to do for fun?

I apologize for insinuating that Reformed people can have fun! So when you're not at work, church, or with your family, what do you all like to do? If you had a Saturday all to yourself, how would you spend it? I know we all love to talk about theology, but I'm sure you all do other things too.

I apologize for insinuating that Reformed people can have fun! So when you’re not at work, church, or with your family, what do you all like to do? If you had a Saturday all to yourself, how would you spend it? I know we all love to talk about theology, but I’m sure you all do other things too.
Link: What do you like to do for fun?
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Reformed Theology Sermon Recommendations  Calvinism

Sermon Recommendations

Reformed Theology Sermon Recommendations  Calvinism
Sermon Recommendations

Anyone feel like recommending a sermon? I'm in the mood to listen to some new preachers and don't want to do the work of actually wading through and finding some gems.

Anyone feel like recommending a sermon? I’m in the mood to listen to some new preachers and don’t want to do the work of actually wading through and finding some gems.
Link: Sermon Recommendations
Submitted by throwaway_1517

Reformed Theology What do you do when you recognize idols in your life?  Calvinism

What do you do when you recognize idols in your life?

Reformed Theology What do you do when you recognize idols in your life?  Calvinism
What do you do when you recognize idols in your life?

My understanding of an idol is anything you value more than your relationship with God. I've noticed my thoughts tend to wander to the same things in my free time. Things that aren't inherently bad. How do you achieve a "healthy" relationship with things like career, money, social standing, etc? Concern for this stuff on some level is obviously necessary, but how do ya'll keep it in check?

My understanding of an idol is anything you value more than your relationship with God. I’ve noticed my thoughts tend to wander to the same things in my free time. Things that aren’t inherently bad. How do you achieve a “healthy” relationship with things like career, money, social standing, etc? Concern for this stuff on some level is obviously necessary, but how do ya’ll keep it in check?
Link: What do you do when you recognize idols in your life?
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Reformed Theology How often do you talk to your pastor?  Calvinism

How often do you talk to your pastor?

Reformed Theology How often do you talk to your pastor?  Calvinism
How often do you talk to your pastor?

I was curious to hear other people's experiences. Obviously the size of the church is going to be a important factor with this. My church is moderately sized and I talk 1 on 1 with my pastor occasionally. Less often than I would like. I've never had an interaction with him specifically to talk about my spiritual health, but admittedly I've never asked.

For the Presbyterians out there, how often do you talk to your elders? Do they ever visit you? How many are there in relation to the size of your church?

I was curious to hear other people’s experiences. Obviously the size of the church is going to be a important factor with this. My church is moderately sized and I talk 1 on 1 with my pastor occasionally. Less often than I would like. I’ve never had an interaction with him specifically to talk about my spiritual health, but admittedly I’ve never asked.For the Presbyterians out there, how often do you talk to your elders? Do they ever visit you? How many are there in relation to the size of your church?
Link: How often do you talk to your pastor?
Submitted by throwaway_1517

Reformed Theology Why do people get so mad about depictions of Jesus?  Calvinism

Why do people get so mad about depictions of Jesus?

Reformed Theology Why do people get so mad about depictions of Jesus?  Calvinism
Why do people get so mad about depictions of Jesus?

I didn't intentionally make the title click-baity. To be honest, that is the exact question that popped into my head a few minutes ago browsing this sub. So if you're willing, indulge me for a minute in this over-posted question so I can get a sense of this.

So I'm going to try to be brief, particularly because I don't have a intelligent opinion on this (I'm not seminary-trained like most frequent posters on /r/reformed seem to be). I really just want someone to explain it to me. It seems like most people absolutely loathe seeing depictions of Jesus, particularly in children's books. I'm going to use the children's book example as a jumping-off point since it's the one I'm most familiar with.

I get that if you view it as a violation of the third second! commandment, you absolutely should take it seriously. Ultimately, I suppose what I'm asking is if it is a violation. It seems to me that the main point of the commandment is that we shouldn't worship these images. Is it just a "slippery slope" argument, that it's not worth even making them to avoid the temptation altogether?

My confusion about this comes from the worshiping bit. Can't images of Jesus just be seen as simple representations of his very real and historical humanity? People in his day had the amazing privilege of seeing God in the flesh and that wasn't an issue, so why would speculations of what he looked like be an issue on our part? Isn't avoiding depictions and making his bodily form into something super mystical taking away from the fact that he was, indeed, human?

I apologize again for my super basic understanding of this. I am in 100% agreement that images of God the father or the Holy Spirit would be a bit much, but I'm not understanding why images of the portion of the Godhead that did have (has?) a physical form push that boundary. Again, I want someone to break down my argument. I didn't mean this post to be hostile in any way! Thanks.

I didn’t intentionally make the title click-baity. To be honest, that is the exact question that popped into my head a few minutes ago browsing this sub. So if you’re willing, indulge me for a minute in this over-posted question so I can get a sense of this.So I’m going to try to be brief, particularly because I don’t have a intelligent opinion on this (I’m not seminary-trained like most frequent posters on /r/reformed seem to be). I really just want someone to explain it to me. It seems like most people absolutely loathe seeing depictions of Jesus, particularly in children’s books. I’m going to use the children’s book example as a jumping-off point since it’s the one I’m most familiar with.I get that if you view it as a violation of the third second! commandment, you absolutely should take it seriously. Ultimately, I suppose what I’m asking is if it is a violation. It seems to me that the main point of the commandment is that we shouldn’t worship these images. Is it just a “slippery slope” argument, that it’s not worth even making them to avoid the temptation altogether?My confusion about this comes from the worshiping bit. Can’t images of Jesus just be seen as simple representations of his very real and historical humanity? People in his day had the amazing privilege of seeing God in the flesh and that wasn’t an issue, so why would speculations of what he looked like be an issue on our part? Isn’t avoiding depictions and making his bodily form into something super mystical taking away from the fact that he was, indeed, human?I apologize again for my super basic understanding of this. I am in 100% agreement that images of God the father or the Holy Spirit would be a bit much, but I’m not understanding why images of the portion of the Godhead that did have (has?) a physical form push that boundary. Again, I want someone to break down my argument. I didn’t mean this post to be hostile in any way! Thanks.
Link: Why do people get so mad about depictions of Jesus?
Submitted by throwaway_1517

Reformed Theology Things you wish you knew in college?  Calvinism

Things you wish you knew in college?

Reformed Theology Things you wish you knew in college?  Calvinism
Things you wish you knew in college?

Hi /r/reformed! Feels weird to finally post here; I've been lurking a long time. I recently started attending a large public university (freshman) and I have to say I'm enjoying it, but it's challenging. I used to kinda stick my nose up at people who would fall away from the faith, in some capacity, seemingly an instant after they left the house. Now I think I have a pretty good footing, but I totally get it. I'm not planning on doing it, but I'm starting to see it!

Suddenly things like "I'm too busy for God," "I can be a Christian without going to church," and other common claims seem slightly more understandable. Not in a "I agree" way, but sort of a "I see how one could think that" kinda way. Intentionally or not, I feel like college is trying to violently drag me away from everything I've been building over the years.

Any comments or insights on this would be appreciated, but again, this isn't a cry for help! I'm in a good place spiritually, but I'd be interested in a take on this from someone who's lived through it.

Hi /r/reformed! Feels weird to finally post here; I’ve been lurking a long time. I recently started attending a large public university (freshman) and I have to say I’m enjoying it, but it’s challenging. I used to kinda stick my nose up at people who would fall away from the faith, in some capacity, seemingly an instant after they left the house. Now I think I have a pretty good footing, but I totally get it. I’m not planning on doing it, but I’m starting to see it!Suddenly things like “I’m too busy for God,” “I can be a Christian without going to church,” and other common claims seem slightly more understandable. Not in a “I agree” way, but sort of a “I see how one could think that” kinda way. Intentionally or not, I feel like college is trying to violently drag me away from everything I’ve been building over the years.Any comments or insights on this would be appreciated, but again, this isn’t a cry for help! I’m in a good place spiritually, but I’d be interested in a take on this from someone who’s lived through it.
Link: Things you wish you knew in college?
Submitted by throwaway_1517