Michael

Jan 272015
 

 

Calvin's Corner headerPastor Michael Newnham and Phil Naessens “Deflate Gate” and the guys answer a listeners question about “Sinners Prayers” “Altar Calls” and whether either is even Biblical and the guys agree that Systematic Theology by Charles Finney isn’t very good theology.

Jan 272015
 

timthumb.phpThe ten most influential churches of the last century…

The history of inerrancy…

The prosperity gospel is the worst…

Hell, judgment, holy war…

How to battle for hearts and minds…

At what point do we get to say parts of Christianity are not Christian…

Discussions about creationism and science…

Rethinking the Sabbath…

Scripture, tradition, and church…

What happens to the soul after death…

When someone is in a storm…

Why do we treat small churches as problems…

Talking about the historical church…

The legacy of Thomas Merton…

Walking the world like the pardon of God…

The greatest danger facing the church…

Pope tries to put the kibash on proselytsm and competition…

Jan 262015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. The popularity of the film “American Sniper” is taking much of the media and indeed, the country, by surprise. While it’s not a film I’m interested in (I’m saving up for the new “Avengers”) I do believe it’s popularity says something worth taking note of.

That being, that this country is still fundamentally conservative, based on Judeo-Christian values by osmosis and by faith. A lot of folks have voted with their wallets in regard to this movie and I believe those same folks are growing weary of being told what to think in regard to their values. It may well be the first shot in a much bigger cultural backlash…

2. Beware of the teachers who preach “grace” as if they were the ones who bought it…

3. Biblical grace is always offered with an expectation of obedience when accepted. The truth that grace covers our disobedience doesn’t negate the weight of that expectation…

4. Looking for “balance” in theology is a fools quest…there is no balance, there is “tension” and that tension is meant to be held and expected to remain unresolved…

5. Christians have their own “fads”. In my lifetime, spiritual warfare, eschatology, and even Calvinism have become part of our pop theology. Now it’s all about “grace” and I pray that we don’t do it the harm we’ve done to every other doctrinal fad…

6. Pauls vision of the church in passages such as Romans 12 and 1 Cor 12 is antithetical to the American evangelical way of doing church…when was the last time your spiritual gifting was recognized and used in the assembly?

7. Why are the signs of the times always negative? The incredible advances in technology, medicine, communication, and transportation have to have some biblical significance as well…even if it’s just to praise God for what He’s given.

8. “He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?””(Matthew 16:15 ESV) The answer to that question is what divides the orthodox from the heretic…

9. I was going to write an amusing line about “Deflategate” and under inflated balls, but I’ll just think it and chuckle to myself…

10. Miss Kitty likes to go about the house and neighborhood spraying out her territory as if she owns it. The problem is that she has the wrong equipment and no spray…reminds me of some preachers I know.

 

Jan 252015
 

thumbnail.aspxLord, I saw the sea attacking the rocks, sombre and raging.

From afar the waves gained momentum.

High and proud, they leapt, jostling one another to be the first to strike.

When the white foam drew back, leaving the rock clear, they gathered themselves to rush forward again.

The other day I saw the sea, calm and serene.

 

The waves came from afar, creeping, so as not to draw attention.

Quietly holding hands, they slipped noiselessly and stretched at full length on the sand to touch the shore with the tips of their beautiful soft fingers.

The sun gently caressed them, and they generously returned streams of light.

Lord, grant that I may avoid useless quarrels that tire and wound without getting anywhere.

Keep me from these angry outbursts that draw attention but leave one uselessly weakened.

Keep me from wanting always to outstrip others in my conceit, crushing those in my way.

Wipe from my face the look of dark, dominating anger.

Rather, Lord, grant that I may live my days calmly and fully, as the sea slowly covers the whole shore.

Make me humble like the sea, as, silently and gently, it spreads out, unnoticed.

May I wait for my brothers and sisters and match my pace to theirs, that I may move upwards with them.

Grant me the triumphant perseverance of the waters.

May each of my retreats turn into an advance.

Give my face the light of clear waters.

Give my soul the whiteness of foam.

Illumine my life that it may sing like sunbeams on the surface of the sea.

But above all, Lord, may I not keep this light for myself, and may all those who come near me return home eager to bathe in your eternal grace.

Quoist, Michel (2014-09-05). Keeping Hope – Favourite Prayers for Modern Living: Selected Inspirational Prayers from World-Renowned Theologian Michel Quoist (Kindle Locations 1238-1243). Gill & Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

 

Jan 222015
 

imagesIn a gift to prophecy wonks, the “Doomsday Clock” has been set ahead two minutes.

This will undoubtedly elate Rapture enthusiasts, even though they tend to disbelieve the reasons why these scientists feel we’re getting closer to the end.

 

Expect to see a lot of clock faces on Facebook for the next few days…

Last week I put a link up in the weekly “Linkathon” that was a little historical snapshot about John Wesley that painted a less holy picture of the man than we normally read in Wesleyan hagiography. In the very same article was a link defending Arminianism, written by (shudder) a Calvinist. I thought it was a good balance. As a result, I’ve been “unfriended”, called a drunk, a heathen, and some other things I can’t print. Had the article been critical of Calvin or Luther, the same folks would still be applauding…so my counsel to them is “don’t let the door hit you where the dog bit you”…

In a rare trifecta, Miss Kitty managed to dump a cup of coffee on my keyboard, phone and iPad in one move. So far, all have survived except my shift key…try typing without one.

My favorite observation from N.T. Wright is actually quite classically Reformed in character…and quite radical when you really think about it.

The born again believer is “in Christ”…and thus, what is true about Him is true about them.

This is where all the debates about justification and sanctification should both begin and end…in my opinion of course.

“In Romans 6.11, the result of being baptized “into Christ”… is that one is now “in Christ,” so that what is true of him is true of the one baptized–here, death and resurrection. This occurs within the overall context of the Adam-Christ argument of chapter 5, with its two family solidarities; the Christian has now left the old solidarity (Romans 6.6) and entered the new one. 6.23 may be read by analogy with 6.11; whose who are “in Christ” receive the gift of the life of the new age, which is already Christ’s in virtue of his resurrection–that is, which belongs to Israel’s representative, the Messiah in virtue of his having drawn Israel’s climactic destiny on to himself. Similarly, in Romans 8.1, 2 the point of the expression “in Christ” is that what is true of Christ is true of his people: Christ has come through the judgment of death and out into the new life which death can no longer touch (8.3-4; 8.10-11), and that is now predicated of those who are “in him.” In Galatians 3.26 the ex-pagan Christians are told that they are all sons of God (a regular term for Israel…) in Christ, through faith. It is because of who the Messiah is–the true seed of Abraham, and so on–that Christians are this too, since they are “in” him. Thus in v. 27, explaining this point, Paul speaks of being baptized “into” Christ and so “putting on Christ,” with the result that (3.28) [translating Wright’s reproduction of Paul’s Greek here:] you are all one in Christ Jesus. It is this firm conclusion, with all its overtones of membership in the true people of God, the real people of Abraham, that is then expressed concisely in 3.29 with the genitive [again translating]: and if you are of Christ… When we consider Galatians 3 as a whole, with its essentially historical argument from Abraham through Moses to the fulfillment of God’s promises in the coming of Christ, a strong presupposition is surely created in favor both of reading Xpistos as “Messiah,” Israel’s representative, and of understanding the incorporative phrases at the end of the chapter as gaining their meaning from this sense. Because Jesus is the Messiah, he sums up his people in himself, so that what is true of him is true of them.”

N.T. Wright: Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993]

Jan 212015
 

tony-jonesEmergent leader Tony Jones had a problem.

He had a girlfriend…but he also had a wife.

What is a holy man to do with such a conundrum?

His solution was genius….and wicked as hell.

 

While he was in the process of divorcing his wife he would get “sacramentally” or spiritually married to his girlfriend.

Tony Jones divorced his wife in 2009.

His wife discovered the affair in 2008

He claimed to be “spiritually” married to the new woman.

Problem solved!

He even wrote a short book on the subject cloaking his theory as a way for churches to deal with same sex marriage.

“There Are Two Marriages: A Manifesto On Marriage” defines a “sacramental marriage” as different from a “legal marriage”.

It’s genius indeed…and not the first time I’ve heard a religious adulterer say something similar when they abandon their wives and children.

The script usually goes something like this…

First, complain bitterly to all in your inner circle that your wife is not “spiritual” enough for a man of God like yourself.

Second, assert that because she’s not “spiritual” enough, she can’t possibly be “supportive” of you and of the wonderful ministry God gave you.

Third, start telling people that she’s mentally and emotionally unstable…”crazy” if you will.

It’s very important to put the emphasis on “crazy”…

Certainly, no one expects a man of God to bear up under such strain and certainly no one will blame him for finding a proper “help mate”.

The wife is slimed, smeared, and abandoned, while the “man of God” enjoys his new toy.

I’ve seen this scenario repeat itself a couple dozen times if I’ve seen it once.

Let’s call it what it really is…a lie, and common, garden variety, adultery.

It’s abuse.

When there are children involved the sin is even greater and more wicked.

Hypothetically, if a wife is suffering from mental illness, it increases a mans responsibility to his wife and children.

It does not provide a “get out of marriage free” card.

Whether it’s in the “emergent” church or Calvary Chapel it’s adultery, a disqualifying sin, and a stench in the nostrils of God.

Those who affirm such actions, share in the sin.

Period.

Update: There were factual errors in the original story that have been corrected.

My apologies for the errors.

The Wartburg Watch has an excellent review of the situation.

Jan 212015
 

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aNaghmeh Abedini will be meeting with President Obama today.

“I was overjoyed when I heard that president Obama wanted to meet with the kids and I during his short visit here in Boise. I have tried over the last 2 years to meet with the president or even get a phone call from him without success. It is truly an answer to prayer that he is coming to Boise and it is a miracle that he is meeting with us. I see God’s Hand in arranging this crucial meeting.”

Keep this in your prayers…

 

Jan 202015
 

timthumb.php10 things Protestants need to know about Mary…

Naghmeh wants to meet with Obama…

Luke 19 and the segregation of the church…

Hope for dirtbags…

God’s super apostles…

Cultural capitulation is not courageous…

Brilliant Trueman piece on how biblical views on morality are becoming unutterable…

The malarkey runs deep in the “Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” mess…

The politics of poverty and race…

Caner resigns…

Very early fragment of Mark affirmed…

Confusing equality with sameness…the Junia Project.

Oversharing online…

Tim Keller on idols of the heart…

Reconciling faith and science…

Religion of peace burns more churches, homes…

What God hates…

What does it mean to love your neighbor?

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