Showing posts from 2009

D.A. Carson on the Emergent Church -2-

W ell I've made some more progress in the Carson book, he displays some significantly worthwhile insights into the outlook of leading writer Brian McLaren especially. One of Carson's points, without giving too much away, is that the emergent church employs a 'flat' critique of modernism. But it does so without normally acknowledging the benefits of modernism. While Carson doesn't go quite this far, what I liked too coming off of that and the Carson long quotes of others is the realization that no culture is itself holy. Pre -modernism, modernism, postmodernism; all have/will be full of good aspects and not so good aspects. This balance is worth taking into account no matter where one comes down on it. At times Carson seems a bit modern, I'll admit, but at other times he seems somewhat postmodern. Especially when he recoils to the useful (although typical) missions influence on us and our healthy self-critique idea. He mentions that one a couple of times as a po

D.A. Carson on the Emergent Church

I don't have much time invested in my past honestly with reading on the 'Emergent Church.' I know of the leaders in that movement and have heard some of their messages online. I've been to churches that have elements which are really similar in substantial ways, but which still hold to truth being something we can know absolutely (yes, they were thriving even though they believed in absolute truth, they were very blessed of the Lord; I do by the way also believe in absolute truth). But I'm trying to get more familiar over the break with the whole discussion in general. D.A. Carson has a book on 'Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church.' I understand emergent churches aren't all the same, and Carson states that flatly about 20 or 30 times in the first few chapters. I feel like he overstates this fact a couple times too many. I understand why he does some repetition, people are so prone to misunderstanding one another at times that it takes re

Culture Shift

One of the more interesting shifts in baby names is away from using so called 'Christian' names. One website even offers a prediction of names in 2019. It is at this link here: They don't look like they have much Bible influence in 10 years if the guesses there are correct. This is probably fairly accurate in general, something of a trend is here. It is of course possible that our culture has just grown tired of using biblical names, but that seems too complex as a main explanation of why the trend has come about. And this ignores the fact that many names in the Bible are barely used in recent history, but could be if people were interested in the material. The simplest explanation is normally best. And the most straightforward explanation is people don't read their Bibles, even if they do go to church, and don't turn to it likewise to name their child. And most people don't even g

Miles McPherson's Do Something!: Make Your Life Count

Do Something! is an interesting read. I wanted to review it online here, sharing my own opinion. I read this book for my work, so as to be an encouraged leader of our local church. The book sports endorsements by popular level writers or personalities. I once heard a teacher say you can tell a book by its endorsements. That's not a bad thing, just a statement of fact. When you see Lee Strobel as the lead recommender, you know it's not going to be very deep. But I wasn't looking for a super deep read. I just want to give my perspective going into this. The book is very useful in my view, as an encouragement to get into the community or be at church in a serving way. That is the main thrust as you would expect. There are great application points at the end of each chapter, which vary between personal application at home, in your closet in prayer, to public community action. The book is not political as such, but more along the lines of social action for Christ. Miles uses s

Homeless Ministry

O ver the past few years our church family has come across a number of persons who are struggling with transitions. They are near homelessness or homeless often before they seek help in a normal case. Perhaps pride or lack of knowledge of options lets things dwindle and dwindle until there 'seem' to be no options left. By God's mercy, we have been able to help arrange places to stay, or see a solution for that time to make the situation rendered fixed, or refer to a place that may help. Like most evangelical churches, we seek to provide various options to meet needs between shelter/clothing/food/financial support. These are always necessary for church family members. For those who aren't part of the church family, decisions are made based on benevolence support *beyond* the previous commitment. In my opinion, some of the most challenging persons to minister to are those who struggle with drug addiction. This is difficult because everything serves the addiction, if cas

Institute for Creation Research

M y wife and I had a chance to visit the local conference put on by First Dallas and the Institute for Creation Research. It was a very informative short conference. The first and last 'lecture' were worldview matters by Henry Morris, III. And in between those were 'lectures/talks' on the complexity of life. That was apparently the last conference of its type called "Demand the Evidence" for 2009. However, for anyone curious about such issues, or willing to explore the matter of God's creation and His fingerprints on it; you can sign for the ones they will no doubt have in 2010. I would recommend brining some money for their bookstore, as there are good ICR and also Answers in Genesis authored books. I also understand they will ship them back to you if you don't want to carry them around the conference. The main message of this one seemed to be: the evidence is interpreted by God's Word, here are solid explanations of how these things cann

Intelligent Design Conference

T here is a great opportunity to learn more about the Intelligent Design movement with Institute for Creation Research associated persons coming up this weekend. First Baptist Dallas has the conference hosted there. Students get a discount. At the least, it will be an opportunity to deepen the dialogue on the important matter of creation theology....

Systematic Theology - Providence

W hen it comes to theology, after the doctrine of God, Scripture and the Trinity; there is a place to raise the question of how do we define (as Christians) the doctrine of Divine Providence? There are varied definitions in place in denominations and churches, but orthdox Christians must affirm at least: that God is actively involved with His creation. We do not serve a deistic 'god' who has left things alone; no longer interacting with the universe. We serve a personal God who has revealed in history His plan and person and work. There is also the question of does God continually create (as I understand at least now J Edwards America's famed preacher held and another figure I believe by the name Keim today in Europe's theology scene)? Or is He preserving what He has already created, preserving what was and the processes that arrange properties and forms (currently popular Baptist / Bible church theologian favorite W. Grudem, or recently popular Baptist author / th

Question for Readers on Simon the Sorcerer in Luke's Book of Acts

T his week I was studying, for another reason, the issue of Simon's response in the Book of Acts chapter 8. It struck me that Simon the Sorcerer, after seemingly following the 'Way,' then makes a crazy offer to Peter to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit; when he saw this was given by laying on of hands at that juncture. Now here's the question part: There is a theological position some hold that is called 'theonomy.' A theonomist generally holds that the Old Testament Law is applicable to Civil Law today. They don't think we are Israel or anything like that, as I understand them (and I'm open to correction on this). But they do want the examples of the penalities to have fair informative roles in decisions today. So if Simon is a sorcerer, and he seems to believe, and then offers this thing that sounds blasphemous, to buy the Holy Spirit gift; would a theonomist argue that Simon would have rightly been condemned under a death penalty of some sort equival

The Self-Attesting Christ of Scripture--Worthy of Worship

W hen it comes to the world, it is not comfortable to be a person lacking a relationship with Jesus Christ. Sure there are things that bring joy or sadness to anyone. But lasting joy and abundant life here and hereafter are in Christ Jesus alone. It is the God who has spoken to us in His Son that Scripture reveals; and that changes us. Christ Jesus changes us as we learn that He loves sinners who are willing to heed His call. Christ Jesus changes us when we know that He has deep compassion for the hurting, the downcast, the sin strapped and the guilt ridden conscience to be set free. It is my sincere hope that anyone reading this will take a challenge, read the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of John; get acquainted with the Son of God who so willingly came and laid down His life so that we might live; along with Him, as we unite our trust to Him alone.