15 April 2015

Revisiting Evangelicals and Catholics Together

Commentators are revisiting the issue of ECT or Evangelicals and Catholics Together. The original document was penned in 1994 and since it has been about twenty years, it's definitely a time for reflection.

Sadly I'm not terribly impressed with the analysis.

09 April 2015

Bearing Witness in Sodom

As of late, listening to the media makes my head spin. I often find myself not agreeing with anyone or how anyone frames the debate. This is true when it comes to economics and Ukraine but especially when it comes to this escalation regarding homosexuality.

05 April 2015

The Christian Response to Bestial Regimes

How are we called to live under  tyrannical and murderous regimes, governments that claim universal conformity and have all but deified themselves? This question is often utilized to argue for Christian involvement in war, the justification of Christian participation in government and many other issues that obfuscate the teachings of Scripture regarding the Kingdom. It also all but ignores or distorts the countless examples of faithful people from the past that have stood for truth but not turned to the sword.

30 March 2015

Metaxas on Bonhoeffer: A Dangerous Misreading of History and Theology

I am pleased to note a growing number of voices questioning the Evangelical revisionism regarding Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I felt compelled to revisit this issue once again. The Metaxas work which appeared in 2010 became quickly popular as many Evangelicals conflated Obama with Hitler. The Metaxas work must be understood in this context and reads the Nazi era through this specific American Evangelical lens.

27 March 2015

Constantine Defended and Revisited

Leithart's "Defending Constantine" instantly became popular in the realm of Christian Right academia. We live in a time that historical events such as The Crusades are being revisited, run through the filter of Dominionist Revisionism and robustly defended. It hasn't happened yet with the Inquisition, but give it some time.

24 March 2015

Visions of Jesus and Charismatic Christianity

Christian media circles are awash with reports of mass conversions throughout the Middle East. Muslims are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus and converting to Christianity in droves.

What are we to make of such stories?

Is it possible that such a thing is occurring, and if not then what is happening?

21 March 2015

Monistic and Dualistic Epistemologies, Consciousness and the Fiction of Artificial Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence is all the rage at the moment as the Computer Revolution prepares to take a leap into its next phase of development. However like the race for space exploration there are serious problems that have not been resolved, that will leave the quest for Artificial Intelligence (AI) much like the dream of manned deep space exploration... the realm of science fiction.
AI is predicated on a monistic view of consciousness and thus a rejection of Epistemological or Substance Dualism, the differentiation between brain and mind as well as subject and object.

16 March 2015

Negativity and Relational Epistemology

In Epistemology we can speak of categories which help us to organize and identify both ideas and entities. These categories can be approached from several different vantage points and thinkers have differed over how to arrange them.

12 March 2015

Revelation and Nature

The folks at Reformed Forum are always interesting. I enjoy their articles and listening to their podcasts. One of them recently posted a brief piece mentioning the insistence within the Reformed tradition that revelation must not be separated from nature.




He argues revelation should not be treated in an abstractly supernatural fashion but that grace perfects nature.


He then goes on to pair the Barthian and Anabaptist views as being similar and in opposition to the Reformed view. He believes their view(s) to contain implicit dualist tendencies and represent a kind of anti-nature and anti-matter mindset. He doesn't specifically mention the Gnostics but most make the charge at this point. He then argues that the Reformed and in particular the Amillennial wing within the Reformed need to be sure not to fall into this trap.

07 March 2015

Time is of Far Greater Value Than Money

I recently saw a post on Facebook by a housewife that expressed her 'pride' in her husband that he was working the long hours that weekend. His company had a deadline to meet. She was 'proud' because his willingness to work the long hours 'enabled' her to stay home with the kids.

19 February 2015

Better Be Hypocrites Than Profane: John Cotton, Puritan New England the Christian Right

In the mid 17th century there were Baptists remaining in Massachusetts that had not ventured to the newly founded safe-haven of Rhode Island. Rejecting many aspects of Puritan theology they met in homes on Sunday morning. They refused participation in the official state-sanctioned Church.

This was abhorrent to the Puritan authorities, an unacceptable manifestation of Pluralism, and as a result some of these Baptists were arrested, fined and for those who refused to pay... whipped.

Better Be Hypocrites Than Profane (Part 2 of 2)

By using the law (the threat of violence) to force people to become Christians and act in Christian manner means that instead of making disciples or converts and baptizing them we are instead threatening them with judicial action, imprisonment and death. And that's largely the story of Christendom... a false Church which perverts the Gospel and makes godliness into gain or a means of attaining power. And this church when resisted persecutes the faithful.

This Puritan view is essentially the project of the Christian Right. From Peter Marshall to David Barton, to Francis Schaeffer and Jerry Falwell, from Pat Robertson to Albert Mohler, the basic goal is the same. They believe that by Christianizing society we can somehow bring the blessings of God on America. Somehow America will please Him... as if America were the apple of His eye, the nation which somehow bears the 'blessing' which was in truth applied to Israel because it pictured Christ's Kingdom. To expect this blessing for America is to establish another messiah... a false god with a false gospel.

18 January 2015

The State of the American Church in 2015

Though many churches elevate Scripture as God's Word and many profess to follow Scripture Alone, the reality is far different. We are surrounded by Churches that have elevated tradition and cultural norms placing them on par with God's Word or in some cases above it. Others have simply given in to the world and embraced its methods to build and sustain God's Church. While we don't doubt their motives, the result has proven disastrous and instead of strengthening the Church, they've created a counterfeit.

17 January 2015

Times of Transition and Spiritual Warfare: EW Hengstenberg (1802-69)

For those of you who haven't heard of Hengstenberg he was a German theologian and professor who in the midst of the Higher Critical movement of the 19th century stood firm in his conviction that the Biblical Text was divinely inspired and worthy of our trust. I can't agree with all of his views or actions but at his core and regarding this most essential of issues, Hengstenberg stands tall.

12 January 2015

What about Bible Translations?

The issue of Bible translations has proven to be a very confusing one. Christians are rightly concerned for the text of Scripture and there are legitimate reasons to be wary of most modern Bible translations.

10 January 2015

What about claiming Tax-exempt 501c3 status?

Taking on this status allows organizations to collect money and yet be exempt from many of the normal tax requirements. The monies are used in a non-profit capacity. They service the administrative costs of the organization and fund the social interests the organization wishes to promote. Obviously there are restrictions and guidelines as far as what types of activities fall within this spectrum. In the United States religious organizations, churches and ministries are granted this status if they apply.

08 January 2015

Dominionism in Dallas and the New Ecumenical Movement


Recently I've been listening to some podcasts put out by Dallas Theological Seminary which if you don't know it already is usually viewed as one of the primary vehicles of Dispensationalism in the United States.

Most of the big names in the Dispensational movement have at one time or another been associated with that school.


05 January 2015

Are you opposed to Church buildings?

It depends on what you mean by a 'Church' building. If you mean are we opposed to a body of believers meeting under a roof, then the answer is clearly no.

If you mean, do we believe that bodies of believers should have special set-aside even consecrated buildings with their own special architecture etc....? Then, the answer is no.

04 January 2015

The Alternative to Dispensationalism

One of the oldest and perhaps greatest of theological questions is how do the Old and New Testaments relate to one another? Is there total discontinuity, continuity or some combination of the two?

03 January 2015

Church Government, Regular and Provisional

These essays are providing quick summaries of our position. They're not exegetical papers. We're not trying to make the Scriptural case here, rather just explaining where we're coming from for those who are interested in figuring out what we're about.

02 January 2015

Does identifying as a Bible Church or Fellowship mean you are Fundamentalists?

The term fundamentalist has unfortunately been abused and largely hijacked. While we share the concerns of the early Fundamentalists in combating Modernism and Theological Liberalism, sadly the term has come to be associated with legalistic rigidity and often reactionary Conservative politics.

01 January 2015

What about Historic Creeds?

Creeds are helpful as guides both to the past and to the issues which we must wrestle with when approaching Scripture. We cannot divorce ourselves from history and those that try to do so prove not only their ignorance but their pride.

On a practical level, what's different about your meeting? What would a visitor expect to find?

Following the pattern of the Early Church when it largely met in homes our meetings our informal and yet not casual. We seek simplicity and reverence. Everything we do is centered on the Scripture and we are careful to neither add to nor take away from it.

31 December 2014

Are We Calvinists?

To answer simply we would have to say both Yes and No. Of course there is also the problem of the many definitions of this term. Not everyone is using the term the same way.

Do we believe in Predestination and Election? We believe what the Bible teaches and we believe the Bible does in fact present this doctrine. But at the same time we will freely admit that many Calvinists have distorted this doctrine and have failed to do full justice to the full picture of what Scripture teaches. The issue is actually more complicated than then simple Calvinist and Arminian understandings of this issue. We believe the Scripture teaches us its own understanding of logic and how to hold to beliefs that sometimes seem to be in contradiction. The problem isn't the Scripture but in how we understand it.

This age old question cannot be answered in a way that will please everyone but it must emphasized that as Christians our duty is to submit to God's Word even if we cannot fully reconcile in our minds the tension between God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility.

 

Why does this small town need yet another church?

Certainly a valid question, and the issues are complex but we can address them in brief.

The main issue the every Christian and congregation must wrestle with is that of Authority. On what basis do you decide and what criteria do you employ to determine Christian doctrine and life? What do we believe and how do we apply it?

25 December 2014

Questions for Christmas Keepers and Celebrants

On what basis do we approach God? On what basis do we petition and praise Him? How do we enter the Throne Room so to speak? What gives us the right to do that?

24 December 2014

Dissecting the News and Christian Anti-Intellectualism

I find it interesting that some conservatives are unable to grasp the issues behind the recent racial upheaval. I've seen some are posting stories of white teenagers being killed by black men and then criticising the media for not covering these stories.