Tuesday, May 29, 2012

George Mueller on Faith

Got this quote of George Mueller from http://withchrist.org/mjs/faith.htm:
"God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God's hand as a means. I say -- and say it deliberately -- trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith."
Fight the good fight!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Progressive Revelation?

If Eternal Conscious Torment is true, then why didn't God warn Adam about it? or Moses and the Israelites?

If you cry, "Progressive Revelation!" I will cry "Foul!"

Faith Comes by Hearing

So then, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

So just put forth Scripture, and see what happens. People will hear it and believe, and then exhibit the fruits of belief, and the world around them will change. You don't need Dallas Willard to tell you how to really make societal transformation happen. And yes, I split an infinitive. Some will believe, and some won't. There will be wheat and tares. Deal with it. Don't pronounce failure on a project on which God has not embarked yet.

All the Spiritual Disciplines you need are in the second half (or last third or so, depending on which one) of Paul's epistles. Throw away your enneagrams and labyrinths, stop "working on your issues", stop trying to figure out how to be good to yourself so you can properly love others. By faith, love God and love others. And if, in your attempt to love, you run into a wall, soak in the Gospel and let faith come by hearing. Be patient and wait for fruit to grow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spiritual Invariants

For those whom God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, he also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.
This 'foreknew' is not a foreknowledge of what free agents will choose, as though God takes in knowledge of events, outside of his decree, that from His perspective could have been otherwise. It is an active, personal knowing. To illustrate the distinction, Spanish (and I presume many other languages) has a distinction between two kinds of knowing: saber, which means to know about stuff; and conocer, which means to have intimate experience with people and/or stuff. (And I believe conocer is a cognate of the greek ginosko, which is part of the word translated foreknow--proginosko). Paul is talking about an active knowing of a specific people ('those whom...'), and there is no indication of any qualification on their part. That is, despite the classic Arminian interpretation, it doesn't say, "Those whom God foreknew would accept Christ." To beat this dead horse, it is not that God foreknew something about certain people; God foreknew these people.

This is one of the clear passages in Scripture regarding the security of the believer, against which all warning passages that might cast doubt on our security must be judged and interpreted.

The other question is, "What about those whom God did not foreknow?" As a believer in Universal Reconciliation, I yet believe there is a predestined Elect in this age, and the purpose for this election is succinctly and brilliantly (thank you, Holy Spirit) stated by Paul, in Ephesians 2:7:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Feast of Trumpets

The Rapture happens on a Feast of Trumpets. Looking forward to the sound of the last Shofar blast.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Red Letters

I am unabashedly Pauline. My goal is to follow Paul as he follows Christ.


I don't pray the Our Father (incorrectly known as "The Lord's Prayer"). It's not part of the instructions for me.

I don't forgive to get forgiven (Matt. 6:15). I forgive because I'm forgiven (Eph. 4:32, Col. 3:13).

I don't need to sell all, give to the poor, and literally follow Jesus (Matt. 19:21). I need to hold on loosely to what God has richly supplied me with (1 Tim 6:17), to be generous with it (1 Tim 6:18), and to give cheerfully from the heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Cor. 9:7-8).

James told Israelites that they would be justified by their works (James 2:24). Fine, but Paul told the Church that one is justified by faith, apart from the works of the law (Rom 3:28). James was not writing to me. Paul was.

I am suspicious of everything Tony Campolo and Richard Rohr say, since they explicitly deny the necessity of seeing the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the light of Pauline truth. And I distrust Scot McKnight for the same reason (though he might be a little less explicit in his denial).

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Tricky Kids

My kids like to offer me go-gurts that look full, and they say, "Here you go, Daddy!"  Then I try to have some only to find they've blown it up with air.  "Aww!" says Daddy, and they get a big kick out of it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Oh, by the way...

Since the second to last post (the one in 2009), I've come to understand that God wants to save everyone. Aionios does not mean infinitely forever, and that breaks the whole Eternal Torment thing apart.

Dispensationalism vs. Covenantalism

If only the Dispensationalists (of the Arminian type) could shed their beloved 'choice' and understand Predestination from a Compatibilist perspective...

If only the Reformed could shed their habitual returning to the Law (i.e., the Third Use) and be truly free... If only they could rightly divide scripture...