Sunday, October 02, 2011

What was/is the purpose of Israel?

The purpose of Israel in the Old Testament:

A. to bring the Messiah into the world
B. to glorify God
C. to bring the nations to God
D. all of the above
E. None of the above

Monday, January 17, 2011

judgement in James

I am wondering if any of you readers could share your thoughts with me about two passages in James. Is the judgement spoken of in 2:12-13 and 3:1...

- the final judgement (ie Matthew 25)
- two seperate judgements
- the beleivers judgement (ie I Cor
- some other interpretation I havent thought of?

Would appreciate your thoughts!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Theological Reflections #2 - Why I Like Systematic Theology and Why I Think it is Essential

I guess there are people who still read this and I have been blessed by your feedback, both in the comments section here and on facebook.

It's been a while since I wrote on this subject so I have linked to the first post here

My last post was a little hard on Systematic theology and I gave the reasons why. I ended that post promising, "Next up: What I like about systematic theology and why I think it is essential". I wonder if everybody caught that.

While I must admit studying systematic theology is at times a struggle for me, I do think it is important, perhaps essential.

Here's what I'm thinking:

The Bible talks a lot about "Doctrine". I know doctrine is not a word we talk about much anymore, but it's right there in the Bible numerous times. Most germane to our discussion are Paul's exhortations to Timothy to :
- nourish himself on the "sound doctrine which you have been following" (1 Ti 4:6)
- protect the honor of the doctrines the apostles teach (I Tim 6:1)
- defend against those who go against the doctrines of Jesus (I Tim 6:3)
And to Titus:
- stand for sound Doctrine (1:9; 2:1)
- Good deeds and good doctrine are inseperable (2:7; 2:10)

It seems clear that just as Jesus and the apostles would not have wanted someone to take one aspect of their doctrine or teaching and isolate and fixate on it - effectively ignoring the rest of their teaching - so we should not attempt to do the same with the collective doctrines of Divine Revelation as recorded in the Bible. A systematic understanding of the various teachings of God in Scripture is an essential element of faithfully understanding and obeying those teachings. If you cannot see how the micro theme (assuming you have indeed actually discovered/interpreted the passage/verse/phrase correctly) of an isolated passage relates to and harmonizes with the Meta themes of the whole of Scripture...tread slowly and carefully. Much if not all false teaching (intentional or, more often, not) has come from this dangerous position.

I leave you with the following thought from Spurgeon:

“Systematic theology is to the Bible what science is to nature. To suppose that all the other works of God are orderly and systematic, and the greater the work the more perfect the system; and that the greatest of all His works, in which all His perfections are transcendently displayed, should have no plan or system, is altogether absurd. If faith in the Scriptures is to be positive, if consistent with itself, if operative, if abiding, it must have a fixed and well-defined creed. No one can say that the Bible is his creed, unless he can express it in words of his own.” - Spurgeon, The Forgotten Spurgeon Ian Murray

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming back home...changed

As some of you know I have been in training for the last 3 months (5 weeks in Newport, RI for Navy Officer Development School and 7+ weeks in Columbia, SC at the Navy Chaplaincy School and Center). Following graduation on Wednesday, Sarah and I will be traveling back to Los Angeles and San Diego for about 10 days before we go on to my ultimate duty station in Okinawa.
I am excited to be back home, but I also know that these last three months have been a transformative experience. Some of the ways I have been changed are obvious - I make my bed now and shave everyday. But much of the change has been on a deeper level and is harder for me to put my finger on. I expect some of this change will become more evident when I return home to LA. I know this could be a potentially hard return as I will feel disconnected somewhat from the people I have been so close with over the last ten years because they do not understand what I have been through these last months.
I have learned many important lessons through this experience and I would ask you to join me in prayer that I would be able to understand and communicate these lessons in a way that is helpful to my brothers and sisters in Los Angeles. Pray that God will give me the right message to share and the right way of sharing it as opportunities arrive upon my return.
This situation is uncharted waters for me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Introducing....The Cross and Anchor

As some of you may know, my wife and I have recently taken a step of faith in following God's call and I have become a chaplain in the United States Navy. We see this as a both an amazing opportunity to engage in a unique ministry and also great training for future mission work. To document this journey I have started another blog, The Cross and Anchor.
I will continue to post here from time to time and keep posts at The Cross and Anchor solely focused on issues related to the Chaplaincy. At least that's the plan. So stop on by and journey on this new adventure with us!

by His grace
for His glory

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Prosperity Videos

Here are two videos I came across recently speaking to the issue of the prosperity "gospel". This false gospel is something that is very prevalent especially in areas of poverty, including the neighborhood I live and work in.

The first video is John Piper explaining some of the many reasons he "abominates" this perversion of the Truth.

The second is a short documentary about how the teaching has taken deep roots in Africa.

The Prosperity Gospel from The Global Conversation on Vimeo.