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  1. Xenia says:

    The Watershed article about New Life Church in Colorado Springs… My son is employed there as a worship leader and while that type of church is not my cup of tea, he has been telling me how they have been making good changes.

  2. brian says:

    You know the type of work I am in I have heard stories (most of them very well documented) about abuse to people with disabilities and other groups of at risk people. Especially when working at the State Center the stories were overwhelming and made me just plain doubt God. I think those days profoundly shaped my life. I found the first article very hard to read the video at the end was extremely troubling.

    I always love anything Joni does even if the movie was well like I said I always love anything Joni does.

    I like NT Write I think I would love to see a dialog between him and J I Packard.

    The mysticism link was interesting

    I have been accused of being a deist, a label I do not totally reject. It is also funny that some think Roger Olson is sort of a deist.

    The article about New Life Church was very encouraging.

    Thanks for the list of links and the effort in collecting and organizing them.

  3. Michael says:

    Brian,

    Check out the Stackhouse video..you may find it encouraging.

  4. Nonnie says:

    Pastor Mike’s article is excellent!

  5. brian says:

    On your recommendation Michael I listened to Mr. Stackhouse’s video, first Michael from my real world experience those in my ‘tribe’ would have classified him as a Jesuit infiltrator deceiving the elect to return to Rome. He spoke of reflection struggle and reaching out, options not available to the Child of God in any practical aspect. I get that we are an island and a rock etc. I found what he said very telling as most of our response to this may be framed in theological verbate it is lived out experientially which is a dichotomy in the modern apologetic. My take on it back before the fall we walked with God I E Adam and Eve (metaphorical or literal) and “we” just could not trust so we ate and fell. God had already seen this and provided a way for us to return. It is sort of like this God is an artist and is painting a tapestry of redemption not to prove His Glory in a human sense but to redeem a people to His name. I happen to think that people is well everyone but that does not diminished that we needed to be redeemed.

    It is like there is this dark veil covering the total glory of God because if God revealed Himself we just could not take it. Like human parents that protect their kids from real world truth, I cant think of a better way of saying that. It is like those I work with, they reflect God in ways I dont have words but it is more clear than the very reality I live in, even with my cynicism I cant deny what I have seen. Insights to God that are so loud even in the quiet that I am in awe I have even had a glimpse. It is like Joni, here this woman having dealt with such pain and frustration still clings on to this belief, denied by ‘science’, mocked by the world but still you cannot deny the reality. Like your son Michael, he sees past the veil and into the deeper reality every time he rides a skateboard or goes to his martial arts class. This is the reason you are striving to hold on to that class. It is the shadows and the flickering colors of the rainbow that we glimpse. We see God because if we really saw God our hair would turn white and we would fall over as dead. Of course this is how it should be because God is so great yet merciful and kind, so holy yet so willing to seek such sinners.

    I come to the Cross and the resurrection the need for redemption and hope of renewal. I have not been a good Christian but I have been a desperate Christian and I still am. I hold on to Him daily, even by the second because as stupid as it sounds I stand with Peter, Whom shall we go to that has the words of eternal life. I dont really expect eternal life, and I am well aware I do not deserve it, but I do hold that hope for those I have had the privilege to serve. Not a platitude it really is my hope and if I can join them I would like that but that is a secondary issue.

  6. brian says:

    Sorry about the double post in my evangelical experience I was struck by how many talk about their “education”. I have a double masters which I could care less about but my first Masters was in an MBA. It supported local oriented revenue streams in emerging markets. I spent 100’s of hours of research time given my topic. Basically I had to write an entire distribution of a local economic channel to a global spear which means I proved a new line of revenue to a local production. It was not earth shattering but I showed a way for local venues to support international exports that would have a local effect. My research passed mustard and I got my MBA, which has added up to total goose eggs as far as return on investment. But it has given me some insite to local economies to help people try to get out of the poverty they are in.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june14/philippines_01-21.html

    I know I worked many hours and still do to try to find ways for indigenous people to find a way to support economic sufficiency. I have gotten over, well sort of, me being called a communist, revolutionary, liar, etc. To just someone that I would like to see this people freed to do better. I wont go into what I was called, but i do hope some can see my hope.

  7. TonyP. says:

    Michael UGM

  8. Kevin H says:

    TonyP SFALWWMYH

    (Stay for a little while, we miss you here.) 🙂

  9. Sarah says:

    Tony!!!!!

  10. TonyP. says:

    I lurk therefore I am…howdy all. Know that I am watching…and praying as y’all have need.

  11. Sarah says:

    Reading Dark stories to our kids….YES!!! N.D. Wilsons’s stories for kids are awesome. We have read through them as bedtime stories and my kids loved them.

    I love this quote:

    “Childhood is the time for truth, and adulthood is the time for a deeper understanding of the same. To seed courage, we must show fear. To reveal triumph, we must build enemies. To tell the truth about what it means to be heroic, we must spin a fiction full of danger.”

    He reminds me some of Andrew Peterson (who is also a fan of N.D. Wilson, and actually…if I remember correctly, I came across Wilson’s youth fiction from Peterson.)

    Also makes me think of this quotation of G.K. Chesterton:

    “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

  12. Rob Murphy says:

    Sarah’s #11 is really good, as ever, as always.

    To the article on Why Calvinism and Not Lutheranism – it’s funny, on the music side of Christian Publishing, it’s always popular to note the ‘lowest common denominator’ and ‘low hanging fruit’ side of what gets marketed and sold.

    On the print side, asking why “anything” is not as accessible as Calvinism is like asking why most of the world’s fish insist on living in salt water.

    It’s unfortunate because much of our faith is parroted rather than personal. But colleges and universities are using text that are available to them and those become the names the students know, and those students go on to influence others and so the market demand is only for a few known names, and therefore, publishing and accessibility.

    There are great resources available through the internet, but the problem is that facebook gets more visits than the Library of Congress, and instagram far outpaces the Smithsonian.

    So, yeah, low hanging fruit. And that is not a criticism of thoughtful Calvinist, Lutheran scholars. That is a criticism of our intellectual laziness. It’s not “Demand Better Product, Get Better Product”, it is “Demand Better Product, Find Better Product, Promote Better Product”.

  13. I found the article about evangelicals going to Calvinism more than Lutheranism a bit strange … and I think that the writer is Lutheran.
    First I want to say the distinctions he makes between Calvinists and Lutherans is very helpful … and people need to know that we are very different.

    But what i found strange is that anyone would try to compare them. Lutheran is a denomination with it own set of , well, everything – while Calvinism is like an add on or an overlay to a denomination.

    Calvinism really speaks only to soteriology – you can see that when a Baptist and a Presbyterian can both say they are Calvinists – how about an independent guy like John MacArthur and some Calvary Chapel guy both claiming to be Calvinists?

    Calvinism is like the stuff you sprinkle on a steak – Lutheran is THE steak.

  14. Xenia says:

    Ah, it doesn’t work. Sorry.

  15. Like the article on God’s wrath.
    That is two good articles I have read by Derek Rishmawy today.
    Here is the other.
    http://derekzrishmawy.com/2014/01/06/the-absurdity-of-christian-obsession-with-abortion-and-single-issue-voting/

  16. Is this what you were trying for, Xenia?

  17. Dude says:

    Reformed theology is simply adaptable to most church governments.I know a reformed pastor who calls the young and the restless and SGM consumer calvinist.

  18. Dude,
    Calvinism and Reformed are different.
    All Reformed are Calvinists BUT … all Calvinists are not Reformed.

  19. JF (Jesus follower) Bob says:

    MLD

    Are all Lutherans Lutheran?

    I understand you are a staunch defender of the Missouri type of Lutheranism, but can’t the same be said of Lutheranism as you have said about Calvinism? While there aren’t as many schisms of Luther as the are Calvin can you agree the other Lutherans do not hold the same doctrines as yours does in a way similar to Calvinist.

  20. Bob,
    Have you ever gone to First Calvinist Church? I know you can go to a Lutheran church.
    All Lutherans subscribe to the Lutheran confessions found in the Book of Concord.

    Ask a Calvinist what they subscribe to and you will many varied replies.

    All I am saying from the aricle he is comparing 2 different things .. you can be SBC and add Calvinism and remain SBC. You can add Lutheran and remain SBC.

  21. Bob,
    To answer your first question, I am not sure all Lutherans are Christians, let alone Lutherans. 🙂

  22. Bob says:

    MLD

    I know not all “Christians” believe Jesus is alive and well today. They just can’t get by that resurrection by God and now is bodily alive thing. Of course they say they are “Christian” because Jesus was some sort of great teacher of peace, tranquility and love, but they just can’t say he was dead and now is really alive.

    I get your point that Calvinism is a lot broader and diverse than Lutheranism. In my town we actually have at least three churches with Lutheran (there are a couple of others but they choose modern “cool” cool names) in their name, however only one of these is Missouri and one can’t tell by simply looking at the stained glass of the building which one it is.

    Let me ask you this, why is it that Calvin’s message is a lot easier to parse and spread into different flavors than that of your Luther?

  23. Bob,
    Like I said Lutheran is the whole package – Calvinism you can take small pieces and add to what you have – or on the other hand, if there is something you don’t like, you just leave it out.

    Hey, the Word Faith movement is inter denominational also.

  24. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Of course without faith in the “Word” there would be nothing.

    “In the beginning…”

    Here’s what I like about Calvin, he struggled at a very young age with the same questions we all have, why do things happen? A brilliant man who found few answers in the church of the day, so he did what all of us should do, read the scriptures.

    I think Luther had a similar revelation.

    Sadly they both lived in a culture where many of the common man could not read the scriptures for themselves. Either they were unavailable or the just plain couldn’t read and had to rely on the “leaders” to give them the straight and narrow way.

  1. January 23, 2014

    […] HT:  Phoenix Preacher […]

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