Reuben

Sep 122013
 

1236118_652112688141151_1378803033_nAs some may be aware, Colorado is in a pretty serious situation right now. Massive portions of the state have been cut off from areas due to flash floods that the National Weather Service began referring to as “rain and floods of biblical proportions”. This is unique to Colorado. I have lived here most of my life, and I have never seen anything like this. Aurora saw an annual rainfall average hit in 12 hours flat. Longmont has been cut in half by two rivers. Boulder, the city where I work, is trashed. Jamestown and Lyons are cut off from the rest of the state, and efforts to get National Guard into those areas have been almost fruitless. Rescue helicopters are incapable of flying due to the weather. Colorado Springs is bracing for epic issues of mud slides and flash floods right now. The images and video flooding into news agencies are shocking.

The picture I posted is of a friend’s neighborhood in Boulder. The tree you see was uprooted and moved a ways.

This is happening, and it is getting worse.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm
Sep 112013
 

Twin Towers NY 23I was at home. I had gotten up and decided I had better call the senior pastor to discuss an issue. I don’t even remember what it was now. He said, “What are you talking about? Are you watching the news?” I turned on CNN about 10 seconds later to see video of a plane hitting the side of a building with such ferocity that fire balls poured out everywhere. Not minutes later, cameras turned to see the first tower collapsing. There was dust and smoke, people running, panic in the news reporters voices. I was still on the phone when the pastor said, “My brother works in tower one. I have to get ahold of people, but the phones are all tied up.”

I was glued to the TV for days, probably like most.

There are levels of grief, they seem to be different for everyone. My reaction was rage. As soon as it became evident that this was an attack, I wanted blood. My only objective at that point was to see nukes flying across the American sky, headed to seas of sand, raining death on tens of millions. I wanted Armageddon. I am ashamed to admit that.

It has been a long time. Much has changed. Now I fear war. I don’t want to see anyone die. In light of current events, I find it almost impossible to justify more killing. Everything has changed. The only thing that remains the same in 12 years is my wife, and my savior. Theology, vocation, parenthood, even the cars we drive.

I look back at that day now as a turning point. It was, and will be for millions of people. My son never saw the images, he was not even alive, but he will suffer the effects for the rest of his life.

 Posted by at 9:41 am
Aug 072013
 

bucketAs I prepare this morning for two of the craziest jobs in my short career as an HVAC tech, I can sure think of some things I would like to get done.

Spend a season or two in Ireland, preferably close to a bar that sells nothing but Guinness and whiskey.

Go to China for a lengthy tour of the whole country.

Build the biggest remote control enthusiast hobby store in the world, and retire from it, preferably close to that same bar in Ireland.

Yours?

 Posted by at 4:02 am
Jul 172013
 

bike_fallGot it Saturday. Was riding my new BMX bike in a downpour with the neighborhood kids when I lost control of my bike and road-rashed my right wrist and elbow bad. Caught most of my right arm too. The perpetual pain is horrific. I busted my collar bone when I was a kid. It also rotated and compacted my top two vertebrae below the skull causing migraines that last to this day, but I have long since forgotten about the pain of that injury. This road rash is horrible!!!

 Posted by at 12:08 pm
Jul 112013
 

jacobus_arminius_young_brownishThat God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.

Switching gears for a while, the five points of Arminianism. Defend, defeat, but be nice.

Arminius believed the following summary, aka the five points:

Article 1

That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also. [2]

Article 2

That agreeably thereunto, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in the First Epistle of 1 John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [3]

Article 3

That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me ye can do nothing.”[4]

Article 4

That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can nei­ther think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. but respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible; inas­much as it is written con­cerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost. Acts 7, and else­where in many places. [5]

Article 5

That those who are in­corporated into Christ by true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well un­derstood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginning of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was deliv­ered them, of losing a good conscience, of be­coming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, be­fore we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our mind. [6]

Dort considered this heresy, a term that was not loosely thrown around. I personally consider two of these five points to be way over the line of scriptural reason, but I don’t know that I would call it heresy, because I always consider myself to be very capable of wrong. These five points are things I held to firmly for a great many years. I almost entirely disagree these days.

I hope this can be as fruitful as the last session of topics. Have fun!

 

 Posted by at 4:08 am
Jul 102013
 

kraft mac cheese blue boxI have to admit, even with the thought of delicately pan fried elk filets, sautéed in deep red wine, with 25 year scotch to wash it down, my favorite supper is simply mac and cheese with mixed in ground beef. The cheesier, the better. I could eat that till I die. Of course, washed down with Old Number 7. Heaven on earth.

Yours?

 Posted by at 3:54 am
Jul 042013
 

anglicanWhen I started the series, I figured that we would find quite a bit of common ground through the articles. The obvious conclusion was the opposite.

In the time we have been doing them, I have been through the formal Anglican Catechism, and elected as Vestry to our little church. I have learned to embrace these articles as a historical foundation to a church that has outlived most, and these articles are still read and discussed today after almost 450 years of scrutiny.

I thank everyone for participating in these discussions, as they helped me to see things I did not see before. I learned quite a bit about other traditions. I hope they helped people solidify their own tradition.

Once more for a review, The Thirty-Nine Articles Of Religion

 Posted by at 6:33 am
Jun 272013
 

anglicanAS we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, so we judge that Christian religion doth not prohibit but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the Prophet’s teaching in justice, judgement, and truth. 

The current cultural context has shifted the meaning of this article quite a bit. What do you think they meant when they wrote this?

 Posted by at 3:02 am
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