Twitter Theology that Makes me Sigh

sigh

That’s a complete misunderstanding of the Torah.  It assumes that Law itself is not based on and in love.  That’s a false assumption.  The Law exists precisely because of love and to serve love.

The false separation of Law and Love (sometimes masquerading as the false dichotomy of Law and Gospel) is a theological misstep of the first magnitude.  The Gospel and the Law are expressions of God’s love and they make possible real love.

The truth is, we should speak of Law AND Love or Law AND Gospel.  It’s not either/ or, it’s both/ and.

The Alister Strikes Back

Channeling Emil Brunner in this piece in the Church Times.

What sort of ministers does RME believe the Church needs? Like the Green report, RME is pragmatic in its outlook, favouring a corporate, management-driven institutional approach to ministerial training. It makes a respectful nod towards the words of Jesus in Matthew 9.37, in its single reference to scripture.

Yet, on the whole, it avoids advocating any explicitly theological engagement with ministry, apparently seeing this as peripheral (something the Church doesn’t need), a luxury (something the Church can’t afford), or – crucially – divisive (causing needless controversy within the Church).

TO BE asked to minister without an informing vision of God (which is what theology is really all about), however, is like being told to make bricks without straw. What keeps people going in ministry, and what, in my experience, congregations are longing for, is an exciting and empowering vision of God, articulated in a theology that is integrated with worship, prayer, and social action.

Ministry has both vertical and horizontal dimensions, standing at the intersection of God and the world. Both those dimensions need to be sustained. RME‘s exclusively pragmatic approach to ministerial training risks the loss of its core motivation and inspiration for Christian ministry.

#BOOM.  Etc.  The Church needs to rid itself of administrators and businessmen and collect theologians instead.  The precise problem with the Church today is that it lacks theologians.

Richard Baxter’s Advice to the Prideful #HumbleBrag

‘Be sure you mistake not the Spirit of God and its motions, nor receive, instead of them, the motions of satan, or of your passions, pride, or fleshly wisdom.’—It is easy to think you are obeying the Spirit, when you are obeying satan and your own corruptions against the Spirit.

By these fruits the Spirit of God is known:

  • 1. The Spirit of God is for heavenly Wisdom, and neither for foolishness nor treacherous craftiness.
  • 2. The Spirit of God is a spirit of Love, delighting to do good; its doctrine and motions are for love, and tend to good; abhorring both selfishness and hurtfulness to others.
  • 3. He is a Spirit of Concord, and is ever for the unity of all believers; abhorring both divisions among the saints, and carnal compliances and confederacies with the wicked,
  • 4. He is a Spirit of Humility and self-denial, making us, and our knowledge, and gifts, and worth, to be very little in our own eyes; abhorring pride, ambition, self-exalting, boasting, as also the actual debasing of ourselves by earthliness or other sin.
  • 5. He is a Spirit of Meekness, and patience, and forbearance; abhorring stupidity, and inordinate passion, boisterousness, tumult, envy, contention, reviling, and revenge.

Another Quote of the Day- But Quotier

“It is not the glorious battlements, the painted windows, the crouching gargoyles that support a building, but the stones that lie unseen in or upon the earth. It is often those who are despised and trampled on that bear up the weight of a whole nation.” — JOHN OWEN

It’s Surprising How Often People Who Talk About God Ignore Scripture

Take the widely known John Piper-

silly

Sounds nice and appealing doesn’t it.  It’s a shame, for Piper anyway, that the Bible doesn’t say it.  Indeed, the Bible says something quite other than that.  Take a look at John 12:32 – κἀγὼ ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς, πάντας ἑλκύσω πρὸς ἐμαυτόν.

Christ is known precisely in his moment of death.  Christ is known when Christ is exalted.  There’s not a word in Scripture about Christ being known in culture when the local Rotarian Church give out glasses to the homeless.  Piper’s humanism is admirable, I suppose, to a group of people unfamiliar with Christian theology and Christian scripture.  But just to them.

Twitter Theology That Makes Me Sigh: Politicking Parsons

Dear Parson,

It isn’t your job to tell people for whom they should vote.  You are not a part of the government, you are, by the very definition of your office, an opponent of politics and a declarer of the Word of God.   The moment, the very second that you take sides in any election you forfeit your office.  You aren’t a politician’s cheerleader.  If you are, you aren’t a Pastor.  If you ‘preach the Constitution’ you invalidate your calling as a spokesperson for God.  You weren’t called to get Mr. or Mrs. Whoever elected.  Or not elected.

Reporters and editorialists and the like can tell you who they think they should vote for all day and night.  You, however, are not permitted.

sigh

Game, Worship, Second Half

First, Chelsea.  Then, Worship.  Finally, the second half of the Manchester Derby (because they start at 11 and not even the Derby is better than worship).  It’s a game day sandwich filled with a perfect center.

Conversion: An Observation

People aren’t converted not because they don’t understand it and not because they don’t realize the significance of their decision against it: they aren’t converted because they don’t want to be different people.  They like their lives and they don’t wish God to interfere with them, or their decisions, choices, wishes, and wants.

They are, furthermore, terrified that, like Zachaeus, they will be required to give back what they’ve gotten immorally.  That they will have to give up their murderous ways like Saul on the road to Damascus.  That they will be forced to give what they have to the poor and follow Jesus and so, like the Young Ruler, they walk away.

They understand very well, even the least informed of them, that conversion means exactly what it sounds like- different.  They don’t mind if God converts to them but they have no use for a God who demands that they turn from self to Him.

That’s why things like AD on NBC and other such pseudo-scholarly programs and specials, the Emergent movement, Pentebabbleism, and Joel Osteen and Paula White and Rick Warren and all other aberrations are so very popular.  They allow people their distorted views and never attempt to challenge them.  Misinformation is the key to their success because ‘people would rather believe a lie than the truth’ which is why ‘they collect teachers who will teach them what their itching ears want to hear’.

Make no mistake: people don’t reject conversion because they dislike the pastor or the church or the pews or the institutional church or any of the other excuses they love to proffer.  They reject conversion because they love themselves too much, and far too little.

Law and Gospel

sm-kunst-gemaelde; Gemaelde, MasterLucas Cranach

 

It’s A Good Question, Isn’t It…

Do you not blush to think that worldlings are more busy and laborious about the low things, the rattles and trifles of this life, than you are about the high affairs of God and your soul, the noble and serious concernments of eternity? — GEORGE SWINNOCK

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