Tag Archives: Calvinism
Do you guys remember the song by REM called “It’s the end of the world as we know it”? I have written a little ditty that has a similar tune…
Brian McLaren, Rob Bell
Universalism, no Hell
replace the Bible, PDL
appearance fees, sell sell
no hymns, praise band
nobody takes a stand
it’s the Emergent Church as we know it and it feels fine…
Mark Driscoll, soul patch
cussin’ preachers, there’s a catch
Calvinism?, no match
Neo-reformed?, down the hatch
Doug Pagitt, what a shame
Everyone’s afterlife turns out the same?
It’s the Emergent Church as we know it and it feels fine…
Rick Warren, on the mound
Jonas Brothers, provide the sound
felt needs, no Bible found
what happened to dinners on the ground?
curve balls, to the flock
Angel Stadium, God is mocked
it’s the Emergent Church as we know it and it feels fine…
This ought to be interesting. I figure I am about to lose most of my regular readers but it is time to call it like it is. Something that I will call the “Rabid Reformed” movement dominates the blog world. They are right to hold firmly to Calvinist understanding of grace and sovereignty and so forth but they cross the line with their convictions concerning Covenant Theology and Amillinnealism. The part that makes some of the Reformed camp “rabid” in my opinion is the “unless you believe as I do YOU are a heretic” vitriol they spout.
Please note that I am not talking about all Reformed people. Some disagree agreeably and leave it at that but many on the web today do not. Anyhoo, I believe it is time to stand for good sense in Bible interpretation and let the chips fall wherever chips fall…Reformed Theology is fraught with problems and errors.
The Reformed people say the same thing about the Dispensational perspective so I feel comfortable using it in reverse. Am I seeking to pick a fight? No, I just want open discussion without a bunch of huffing and puffing.
One rule will be firmly enforced here: no one will be called a heretic unless the shoe seems to fit after careful examination. So without further ado…
Dispensational Thought for the Day #1
God, at times, changed the way He operates.
If you went to church on Sunday instead of Saturday, guess what? You are at least partially of a dispensational mindset! Read it and weep.
Follow me. There is a popular youtube and blog preacher who is firmly in the Reformed camp. I heard him do a message where he “refuted” dispensationalism. The funny thing is however, he began his discussion by saying, “Now I will admit that dispensations do exist in the Bible”! Game Over! He defeated himself before he began.
Look guys, it cannot be denied that God worked at different times in different ways. Hebrews 1:1-4 says,
“God, who in various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
which, my friends, proves that the Bible recognizes my afore-mentioned point. God once spoke only to the nation of Israel through his prophet and now speaks to the world through Jesus. These are “last days” as compared to the earlier dispensation. One thing that surely changed after the resurrection is that the Body of Christ met on the first day of the week.
OK, enough for today. Come down off the ceiling and join me tomorrow for more good-spirited righting of wrongs done in the internet blogosphere.
Last time I stated that the giving of the gospel is not an academic exercise but a spiritual one. Paul and Barnabas were opposed outwardly by the magician Bar-Jesus but they were also being opposed inwardly as well. The magician apparently sought to not only distance Sergius Paulus from Paul and Barnabas but to convince him not to believe them as well. We will also see later how a growing disagreement between Paul and Barnabas would lead to the separating of this ministry team that God had sent out with a definite mission. The opposition to God’s work was indeed fierce.
Paul addresses Bar-Jesus directly giving him an ear-full of revelation about the false messenger’s lack of character. Paul also pronounced a time of blindness to be upon him which did indeed occur. The proconsul believed the message of Paul and Barnabas according to verse 12. He also witnessed the power of God in seeing the judgement upon his deceitful sidekick.
So, did the proconsul carefully weigh the information and “decide” to accept Jesus based upon his intellect alone? There is no example of such a thing anywhere in scripture. To the contrary, we are told over and over again how God rescues the perishing by His grace by producing faith in those who believe. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. The sovereign hand of God plucks out a people to be His own. We never see someone give out info about Jesus and wait while people carefully consider the information as if they were deciding whether to buy a used car. We never see the apostles give out the gospel and then try to manipulate the audience to get “decisions” in a pragmatic way.
What we do see however is God’s message being proclaimed and people responding. Those who are the elect will believe is the general idea. Those who are not have no capacity to do righteousness or it would be works that demand a credit to their accounts. In Phillipians 2, Paul tells believers that it is God who works in believers both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Jesus stated very plainly that those whom the Father gives Him would come to Him, would be kept by Him, and nothing could take them from His hand in John 6. Again in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 we see God’s sovereign election of His own unto salvation and eternal life. Many more examples of the same idea exist throughout scripture.
So what do we take away from this knowledge? We MUST evangelize the world! God has chosen to use the spreading of his word to call out His elect. In Jesus’ great commission to His followers, He told them to take the message to the world. He didn’t say to conquer the world politically nor militarily. He didn’t say to build mega-churches nor to repackage His message into gobblygook that doesn’t resemble the original idea in order to bring into a social group those who would not respond to the gospel.
In our day as well in any day, we must not lose track of the central truth that God is doing His work using us as His tools. His will will be accomplished with or without us. God is sovereign, we are not. God has the roadmap. God is the pilot. He drives the bus…you get the message.
We see an excellent example of His sovereignty in Acts 13. Sergius Paulus responded in belief despite cultural, political, physical, economical, social, and religious differences. May God be praised for His sovereign grace.
Notice in verse 19 how believers had scattered to far away places as a result of the persecution that arose concerning Stephen’s ministry. Notice particularly that despite Stephen being killed by the Jewish religious leaders, the spreading of the good news of Jesus continued and increased! The scattering of some resulted in the Gospel being taught in new and different places. The work of God had not been halted, it had increased!
Notice also in verse 20 how it was the Lord Jesus that was being preached to the locals. It was not felt-needs, pop psychology, how to improve your sex life, prosperity now, or any other such madness. They were preaching the Lord Jesus. The result was that the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believed and turned to the Lord (verse 21).
This is not the first time we have seen this formula (if we can call it that). The disciples of Jesus took His message to people and the Lord’s hand blessed this activity resulting in many believing and being saved. Wow, so simple yet so profound…why is this so hard to understand? Why do so many today put on entertainment extravaganzas each week to entertain men producing little if any lasting changes in their lives and call it ministry?
The book of Acts makes it amazingly simple and easy to understand. Faithful men preach the Lord Jesus to unbelievers. God blesses this activity. Many believe and are changed. Any questions?
Hello, old friends and new. When I began this blog less than a year ago, I had no idea it would catch on the way it has. At first, I would get a hit from a friend every so often and they knew me so an explanation of the moniker “Truthinator” was not needed. Today, I get visits, replies, and emails from heavy-hitters in the faith and royalty among the Christian bloggers (all quite to my surprize).
Truthinator is to be taken totally tounge-in-cheek. I do not fancy myself as being any more in command or understanding of the truth than anyone else. God has shed His grace upon me and I can take no credit for anything. If I sometimes hit upon a truth or concept that helps communicate God’s truth, I take no credit. To Him alone is glory due…
I see myself as more of a Barney Fife type of character than an Arnold Schwartzenegger one. My zeal and desire to be in the truth is carefully guided and controlled by the Master, else I would only be banging a cymbal…or shooting myself in the foot with my one bullet.
A dose of humility from the Truthinator…
After Peter returned to Jerusalem, he was confronted by the other apostles and brothers in Christ. They were probably partially in shock that the Holy Spirit had fallen upon gentiles and that Peter had gone in and stayed with gentiles for fellowship. Traditions and customs run deep. Some of the jewish believers may have understood how a gentile could be saved but equal in Christ with jews…? No way!
The Bible says all men come from Adam. We are all related when to you go back far enough. Still, mankind is ‘determined to segregate based upon myriads of reasons. Peter carefully explained how God had shown him not to call unclean what God had cleansed. Notice verse 18. Once Peter explained what had happened in total, the others said, “Well, OK then” (my paraphrase). Actually scripture says that they glorified God and said He had also granted repentance unto life to the gentiles.
I’m sure they were amazed but notice that they dropped their traditions and prejudice. Peter told them what had happened and they adjusted their course accordingly.
We should be ready to do the same. We carry a toolkit full of traditions and prejudices every day. Reading the Bible will disarm these in our lives. When we read what the Bible says, we should drop our traditions and fall in line with scripture. All men come from Adam. God has considered all men cleansed as far the opportunity to be saved in Christ Jesus. Those whom God will save is not known to us. We must reach out to ALL with the Gospel.
When we (Americans) see TV images of people in Haiti, Africa, American poverty areas, third-world countries, and etc, how do we react? Hopefully with compassion. What did we do to deserve God’s blessing of prosperity? Nothing. God bestowed it. Let’s use what God has given us for His glory. How much do we really need that fancy dinner and movie this weekend? Could we donate the money we would have spent to a worthy cause? You answer this question…
Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 10:24-48
Last time, we saw the messengers of Cornelius arrive in Joppa to find Peter. Cornelius had seen a vision where an angel told him to send for Peter and where to find him. Much is happening here. A Roman Centurion and a gentile is being saved. This is huge! God is saving a man who is functioning inside a corrupt political/military government and a pagan gentile culture. And not only that, God is teaching Jewish Christians an unbelievable truth about God’s plan: Gentiles will be saved and will be equal to Jews in God’s kingdom! Unheard of and unbelievable!
I am using John MacArthur’s commentary on Acts for guidance in this study. MacArthur notes that a milestone in the Church’s history is reached when the two worlds collide. Peter and six of his fellow Jewish believers are going to see the unseeable, learn the unknowable and experience the unbelievable.
Cornelius had not been sitting around buffing his nails while his servants were gone to fetch Peter. He had prepared a gathering of friends and relatives. Why? To hear what Peter would tell them.
Cornelius obviously valued what Peter would tell him and his relatives upon arrival. After all, Peter was the leader of the Church. He was the top guy in God’s blossoming group of believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself had announced to Peter his responsibility for leadership of the group. And this guy was coming to see Cornelius!
This was not a political power display however. Cornelius was not trying to impress his friends. He had called everyone together because he expected Peter to tell them something important from God. Afterall, an angel had told him to send for Peter. Cornelius wanted his family and friends to benefit from knowing God. Anyone who knows God should have the desire for others to know as well. Cornelius was in the process of moving from death to life. His concern for others is a proof of this occurence.
God was doing the work of transformation in Cornelius. This conversion would likely cost Cornelius his life as the Romans were not charitable toward the Jews and certainly not toward the Christians. Roman soldiers were killed if they ever got out of line with the rules and regs of military operation. Cornelius would either have to leave the Roman territory or die. However, this is apparently not a concern for him. It is not even mentioned in the text! The important thing to keep in mind is that God is saving his soul! This is far more important than preserving his temporary condition.
This truth must have entered his mind prior to inviting his friends and relatives over to hear Peter speak. He was caught in a paradox that many would experience and still face today. He chose to expose the others to eternal salvation even though it could cost them their lives. Cornelius had everything in proper perspective.
In Mark 8, Jesus addresses this very issue. He compares to outcomes of preserving one’s life now versus giving one’s life away for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Cornelius made the correct choice. What choice will you make?