Archive for the ‘ Theology ’ Category

I love to see what people are meditating on when they are putting things on their facebook status but I can’t help but notice every one is always putting such positive little blurbs.  As I have been reading the scriptures this year I keep coming across passages and I think to myself  “Now there is one you will never read on facebook”  and now to amuse myself I have started a new tradition.  “Scripture you will never see on a facebook Friday’s”

Starting with my favorite of the spectrum texts:

I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.

(Isaiah 45:6-7 ESV)

This type of scripture called a spectrum text shows God’s sovereignty over all things.  Of course today God is only sovereign over good and Satan is Soverein over the evil things that happen.  But back in the days of Isaiah they didn’t see it that way.

Thoughts on Reformed Doctrine

This is a walk though my personal thought process hope you enjoy.

Over the past several years I have been moving more and more toward a belief in Calvinism and the Reformed doctrine system.  If you don’t know what that is it may not matter for the sake of this conversation but feel free to look it up here.

I have been having some great conversations about this topic and other with my friend Dale. (just like old time, eh bro) when I started down a strange thought process.  Is it possible that my attraction to Calvinism is based on a logical fallacy?  Let me walk through a little background.

I was first introduced to Calvinism through the ministry of Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church Seattle.  As I studied more of the theology really meant I believe I may have been attracted, at least in part, to the importance they really placed on the power and majesty of God as opposed to the doctrines themselves.  I had come from a background in modern evangelisms where God can at times be reduced to a background figure.  There is so much “How to improve your life” being preached that the Gospel is merely something tacked on to the end of the message for the altar call.  But the reformed preachers seemed different to me.  They truly are committed to “Know nothing but Christ and him Crucified.”  The Gospel of Christ’s sacrifice courses through every sermon and is even orchestrated through our entire service at Veritas.  So, it may have been possible that I linked these two concepts in my brain.

Is it possible that I have attributed truth to their claims based on the factors other than the claims themselves?  I admit it is possible but I don’t believe it is true.

I still find myself torn when it comes to the idea if it is up to us or God when it comes to Salvation.  There are men much smarter than me who have argued this for a long time and I can see good solid points on both sides.  So I still find myself lost in the middle but I wanted to at least get some thoughts out since work is finally slowing down and I have a few moments.

Hope you enjoy the ride that is my thought process.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
We have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Later added anonymously:

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

This is the song I sing my girls to sleep with almost every night.  Amazingly, my oldest still hasn’t asked me what a wretch is but, she has asked why we will have “no less days to sing his praise”.  That she now seems to understand.  I didn’t grow up with more traditional kids songs like “Jesus Loves Me” so, I sing hymns, which I also didn’t grow up with but I like better.  I also hope it helps to tie them to the universal and timeless church.

My favorite stanza is the second.  I have recently felt as if God has revealed his Grace to me in an entirely new way and it has opened my eyes more and more to what grace truly means.

John Newton published this song in 1779 and it has been called his biography in verse.  I think that rings true to every Christian which is why the song has been around and popular for over 200 years.

Leading your wife.

After writing another post I decided to talk a little about being the spiritual man of my house.

Now although it is fairly unpopular today I believe in a Biblical distinction between male and female roles.  This idea is called complimentarianism as it is believed that the roles compliment one another.  The belief that there is no distinction of roles called for is called egalitarianism.  Please understand that I believe both men and woman are equally image bearers of God and are both loved equally.   Gal 3:28-29 tells us that

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

When it comes to our salvation I believe we are all equal before the Lord.  However just as the Son submits himself to the Father and we are to submit our selves to our local church leadership, I believe wives are called to submit to their own husbands. Eph 5:22.

Now believe me when I say I am not always thrilled about this idea.  Sin manifests in many ways in my life and very often it is in the form of complacency and laziness.  I wish I could reject my authority and leave everything of to my wife.  Many men do and it is a constant temptation to many I have talked to.  It would make life so much easier but I don’t believe that is my calling.

I am called to lead my home spiritually but I was never quite sure what that is supposed to look like.  While my father was a great man in many ways he never filled this role so I really didn’t see it modeled in my house.  I have seen glimpses of it in the lives of some men I have admired but never really took the time to learn as I assumed it would come naturally when the time came. (That is a mistake, don’t make it)

This year Heather and I have been reading through the Bible together and it has opened the door to many opportunities to share the gospel with one another.  Leading our community group has forced us to take the time to discuss things we are learning in church, which has also been awesome.

Men if you are not already, find a way to lead your wife.  It is part of being a husband and a man.

So, do you do it?  How?

Easter Lessons

As part of being A Godly father I spend a lot of time thinking about how to teach my children about the Lord.  As a family we do our best to take advantage of the Holidays and focus on the real point of it all.  (Alora said Easter is her favorite because Jesus is alive and we get east eggs)

This year we are again making the Jesus tomb suggested by John and Noel piper.  We will build a giant mound of dough in to a tomb (using a can for the tomb itself) and we will build crosses and people out of pipe cleaners.  We put Jesus in the tomb on Good Friday and Easter morning we hide him near by so the Girls can find him.

But in order to help us tell the story Heater also found “Resurrection Eggs” They are 12 little plastic Easter eggs each with a number and inside is an item that helps you tell the story of the resurrection.  So, 1 is a little donkey for Palm Sunday when Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem.

The girls are ecstatic about them and hopefully by next year Alora will be able to tell us the story.

Don’t let Holidays become just about the secular trappings, or let the spiritual significance be pushed off to the side.

Leviticus strikes again…

Warning: this article is more for me than public consumption.  I want to come back to study this point but don’t have time at the moment.

Leviticus gets a bad wrap as far I am I concerned.  Sure, it is one of the few books full of do’s and don’ts but it also shows just the depth of depravity humans will stoop to.  It is a kind of snapshot of the troubles with all humanity.  After all there were and still are in some occasions,really people looking to do the things God forbid.

But one passage I really struggled with was the passage of the death of Nadab and Abihu.  They were the sons of Aaron who offered up unauthorized or strange fire before the Lord.   As a result of not following God’s prescription for his own worship they were struck down instantly.

This passage is a major proof text for those who believe in what is called the Regulatory Principle.  If you aren’t familiar with the Regulatory Principle of Worship it is summerized in the idea that the Bible tell us explicitly how we are to worship God and implicitly excludes everything else.  So if the Bible doesn’t say it we can’t do it.  Taken to the extreme this would mean we can sing only the psalms, and can not sing the name of Jesus.

I really don’t know much past that and while I don’t believe it is a sin to sing the name of my savior I do wonder if there is still a particular way in which God desires to be worshiped?  I always seem to be writing in a hurry and I wish I had more time to study these types of things out.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Everyone has heard of Mardi Gras but how many of us know that it is connected to Lent and the Christian Tradition?  I best most people don’t make the connection.

You know spending most of my walk with the Lord in modern Evagelical churches I was never really taught much about older traditions in the Church.  Having gone to a Lutheran church when I was first saved I have at least heard some of the titles.

Today is Ash Wednesday, it marks the beginning of Lent.  Lent is a traditional time of preparation, via repentance, prayer, alms giving and self-denial, for the Holy Week and celebration or Easter or Resurrection Sunday.  Mardi Gras literally “Fat Tuesday” was the last chance to eat the rich fatty foods before a period of fasting.  A sort of “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” kind of day.

Most people think of Lent as the 40 days before Easter but many denominations count these times differently. (See this article for more information)  No matter the duration you observe the purpose should be the same.

No matter which way you choose to observe the season it is a wonderful experience.   The years when I have taken is seriously it has been an enriching time of growth.   Take some prayerful time to consider what God would have you to do to observe Lent and prepare for the Holiest of day in the Christian year.

There are traditionally three types of Justice to be observed in the Lenten Season: Justice to God, yourself, and others.

(God)Dedicate more time to prayer by giving up: TV, Video Games, sleep or something else that takes up your time.

(Self)What can you do?  Many people give up a certain type of food: meat, red meat, caffeine, candy and sweets.

(Others)Dedicate the money you save in doing these thing to give away to others, your local church, homeless shelter or other ministry.