Previously, I discussed my reading of Romans 8.29-30, which I read as separating God's foreknowledge from his sovereign choice (predestination) to preserve those who will respond to him in faith. As I read it, this rules out double predestination, which is the idea that God chooses, predestines, renders certain BOTH the individuals who are the … Continue reading Why I Am Not a Calvinist, pt 2: Double Predestination and God’s Love
There was some discussion on Facebook regarding the original post in this series. Daniel Bartholomew offered several perceptive comments about how the Spirit acts. Biblically speaking, God's power is often manifested in deeply, deeply flawed individuals. Think David. Lot, called "righteous". Noah. Even Saul displayed the work of the Spirit. There does seem, Biblically speaking, … Continue reading The Holy Spirit pt 3; Daniel’s Observations
More on the topic of how we read the Bible: I have long contended that we don't simply "read the Bible and do what it says"; it's always more complicated than that, and honesty requires us to admit this. There are always other voices, in addition to the words of scripture, that guide us. Richard … Continue reading The Role of Experience in Theology
The first three theories I surveyed (ransom, Christus Victor, satisfaction) are the most ancient systematic attempts to explain the point of Jesus' death. As I said, the satisfaction theory arose in Europe in the 1100's, and the other two predate that. Of the three, the one that seems to me to hold the most pastoral … Continue reading Atonement, pt 3; A Pastoral Pause
I'm going to "geek out" on theology for the next few days. Consider this a cheap and amateurish introduction to systematic theology. I've been meaning for some time to publish the following material, which I originally presented at Stijena Spasenja ("Rock of Salvation"), an Evangelical Pentecostal congregation here in Zagreb. Why did Jesus die? What … Continue reading Atonement pt 1: Why Did Jesus Die?
My thinking re. the problems faced by evangelicals in Europe is shaped by the conflict I see between Christianity and Christendom. My thinking on this conflict is itself shaped by Soren Kierkegaard (hereafter SK) (Attack on Christendom) and Malcolm Muggeridge (The End of Christendom). In this post I will summarize SK's contribution. SK was a … Continue reading Evangelical Engagement 8: Christendom vs. Christianity
(Not a great title; sorry.) Greatness from Pete Enns Regarding a conversation with an angry former student, Enns writes: “My own teaching style and theology were not oriented toward training polemicists. I was more interested in exploring the Bible with my students and encouraging them to let the Lord surprise them through a careful and … Continue reading Polemicists or Pastors?
Some greatness from Scot McKnight, responding to a post about "Red Letter" vs "Black Letter" Christians (i.e., those who focus on the words of Jesus in the gospels as the highest teaching in the Bible vs those who focus on the whole of the Bible), and how this distinction is over-simplistic. Main point: everyone has … Continue reading “Red Letter Christians” (McKnight)
Yesterday I examined two models for evangelical engagement with non-practicing adherents of the state churches in Europe. I suggested that evangelicals should engage in a way modeled after the way the church in the Book of Acts interacted with the Jewish communities that surrounded it. The earliest Christ-followers were Jews themselves, in a country where … Continue reading Evangelical Engagement pt 2: The Acts Model