Theology

Dear Oprah, Osteen, Warren, and the Rest of the Seeker Sensitives and New Agers…

Please take note of this important truth:

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via Logos Bible Software

That’s what those of us familiar with the subject call true Christian theology.

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What’s the Most Ignored Biblical Text?

This one:

Finally, brothers, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God– and as you are conducting yourselves– you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.  This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to control himself in holiness and honor,  not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God;  not to take advantage of or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed.  For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.  Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who [also] gives his holy Spirit to you.  On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.  (1Th 4:1-9)

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Quote of the Day

“If we are people who come to the Church merely in order to get some personal help and no more, then we are the veriest babes in Christ” – Martin Lloyd-Jones

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On Universalism: An Observation

The current rise of ‘Universalism’ among Protestants is indicative of a deep distrust of God’s Providence and Election.  It is driven by severe insecurity and, at its deepest, a species of hatred of God.

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‘Apokatastasis’, ‘Restorationism’, ‘Universalism': Whatever You Call it, Its Real Name is ‘Heresy’

Ancient_BibleSince the Reformation, universalism, restorationism, and annihilation have been asserted by some sects and many individuals. But these tenets have never been adopted by those ecclesiastical denominations which hold, in their integrity, the cardinal doctrines of the Trinity and incarnation, the apostasy and redemption, although they have exerted some influence within these denominations.

None of the evangelical churches have introduced the doctrine of universalism, in any form of it, into their symbolical books. The denial of endless punishment is usually associated with the denial of those tenets which are logically and closely connected with it: such as original sin, vicarious atonement, and regeneration. Of these, vicarious atonement is the most incompatible of any with universal salvation, because the latter doctrine, as has been observed, implies that suffering for sin is remedial only, while the former implies that it is retributive.

Suffering that is merely educational does not require a vicarious atonement in order to release from it. But suffering that is judicial and punitive can be released from the transgressor only by being inflicted upon a substitute. He, therefore, who denies personal penalty must, logically, deny vicarious penalty. If the sinner himself is not obliged by justice to suffer in order to satisfy the law he has violated, then, certainly, no one needs suffer for him for this purpose.*

Proponents of universalism demonstrate their sloppy thinking by the very fact that they don’t recognize the inherent incompatibility of universalism and the doctrine of redemption.

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*Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 884).

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Church ‘Advertisement’

The best advertising any Church has, and the only legitimate ‘marketing’ it can ever do, is its members. This alone is biblical and this alone is meaningful- because Jesus told us to go and make Disciples, not Consumers or Customers. ‪#‎randomness‬

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Faith

TVZ has published this-

redeEin Buch über den Glauben, ein Glaubensbuch – in der bekenntnisfreien reformierten Kirche?   Sechs Theologen/-innen haben es gewagt.  Das Unservater kennen alle. Das Gebet aus der Bergpredigt können die meisten Menschen auch heute noch auswendig. Es hat unsere Kultur, unser Denken über Gott und den christlichen Glauben geprägt. Deutsch- und französischsprachige Theologinnen und Theologen haben sich zusammengefunden, um auf der Grundlage des Unservaters aus reformierter und ökumenischer Sicht über den gemeinsamen Glauben nachzudenken und zu diskutieren. Zeile für Zeile geht das Buch dem Gebet entlang: Zur Anrede, zu jeder Bitte, zur Schlussformel und zum Amen findet sich ein eigenes Kapitel, das die Brücke vom biblischen Kontext zur kirchlichen und gesellschaftlichen Gegenwart schlägt. Das Buch will in Fragen des Glaubens Rede und Antwort stehen, zum Glaubensgespräch Anstoss geben und befähigen. Für alle, denen der christliche Glaube Antwort und Frage ist.

Remember, TVZ titles are available in the States from ISD.

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Why ‘Begging’ Christians to Participate in Worship Is a Mistake: An Observation

  • When people become Christians and are baptized they become members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
  • When Christians absent themselves regularly from worship, they are severing themselves from the benefits of being a member of the Body of Christ.
  • ‘Begging’ the uncommitted to take seriously their obligations to the Body of Christ has no basis in Scripture or Christian theology.
  • Persons who are ‘begged’ (or badgered) into participating in worship along with the other members of the Body of Christ feel put upon and consequently they feel disengaged.  They don’t really wish to be there, and they know it.  So, filled with resentment they ‘get nothing’ out of the service of Worship.
  • When they leave worship, the tell themselves that they were right not to be regular in worship attendance because they ‘didn’t get anything out of it’ but of course they didn’t get ‘anything out of it’ – they resented being there in the first place.  As a consequence, their disdain for or disrespect of communal life (life as participant in the Body of Christ) is fed and once fed, grows.
  • At the end of the process, because they didn’t want to be there in worship in the first place, and feeling resentment for having to be there because badgered or begged, they resolve to absent themselves for the foreseeable future- thus robbing themselves of community encouragement and the community of faith their encouragement and spiritual gifts.
  • People, then, who do not wish to be at worship, should not be in worship.  Resented attendance is always counterproductive attendance.
  • However, it’s worth remembering that those who do not wish to be part of the Body of Christ are behaving in a way both contrary to Scripture and conscience and are quenching, in their lives, the Work of the Spirit.  They are, to put it simply, hurting themselves.  It makes no sense that they need to be begged not to do so.
Categories: Theology

In Which ‘Coffee With Jesus’ Misses the Boat

I’m a big fan of ‘Coffee With Jesus’. Normally, their strips are spot on.  But not this time:

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The theologically and historically aware among us will recognize the problem immediately.  To wit- none of us, not a single one, hears the Redeemer without the ears of Scripture and theological tradition (combined).

Consequently, the notion that we can set aside either Scripture or Tradition, some tradition or other of some sort or other, is simply wrong.  Further, it’s dangerous.  It was this attitude that led to the disaster at Münster thanks to the lunacy of the radicals who honestly thought that the ‘inner voice of Jesus’ was speaking to them and urging them to plural marriages, wife swapping, murder of opponents, and war with those who held differing views.

Listening to the Redeemer is essential.  But Scripture is our only sure earpiece to that voice (and the earpiece itself is constructed of tradition- a way of reading and understanding Scripture).

Categories: Theology

Only Evil Profits From War

God has His will in peace; in the opposite condition the devil has his.  — Martin Luther

Categories: Luther, Theology

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