Random Blog Posts and Stuff

Grateful to the Dead has a post looking at words in the KJV that don’t mean what we think they mean. My favourite:

Conversation (1) way of life, prostate 2 Cor 1:12; Gal 1:13; Eph 2:3; 4:22; Phil 1:27; 1 Tim 4:12; Heb 13:5, 7; Jas 3:13; 1 Pet 1:8; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16; 2 Pet 2:7; 3:11. (2) life, 1 Pet 1:15. (3) in the way, Ps 37:14; 50:23. (4) citizenship, Phil 3:20. This is another 17th-century word whose modern meaning has taken, in the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, a significant “left turn at Albuquerque.”

****************

News from the Whedonverse: Two Buffy writers, Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, have sold NBC on a new pilot: Grimm, based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Since it isn’t Fox, I’m assuming that this one will not be bounced around in different time-slots so no one can find it, canceled, and then go on to be a DVD phenomenon.

****************

Luke Johnson, has a great post up about today’s technology and Star Trek:

So, in a few communicative ways, we’ve caught up to the Star Trek universe. But one key ingredient remains: warp-drive! According to Star Trek lore, it’s the warp-drive signature left in space by the first warp-drive engine that attracts the attention of the Vulcans and prompts them to make first contact with the people of Earth, ushering our little planet into a bright future of intergalactic proportions. Much like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, I must confess that “I love technology,” and the innovations of people like Apple have raised my hopes that one day we’ll find people with pointy ears and bumpy foreheads, and Soong-made androids, and neutral zones, and delta quadrants.

***************

There has been an interesting discussion with several blog posts over at TGC based off an article that was at Christianity Today this past week about Anti-nomianism. Dane Ortlund responded, and now the author of the original article has posted a response back to Dane.

The Last 6 Years: A Theological Journey

I pointed yesterday to a series of posts by various bloggers reflecting on their theological journeys. I’ve been thinking about my own theological journey and thought I would share some of my reflections here. I have chosen the last 6 years because it was 6 years ago that I graduated from Bible college and since that time I have been involved in various ministries, health worked in the secular field, capsule attended several theological conferences and taken seminary classes. It is interesting to see how my theology has shifted since Bible college. And sometimes my theology hasn’t shifted so much as been sharpened, search refined and more deeply understood.

I should make mention of one small fact: Bible college was my introduction to theology and biblical studies. I had only just become a Christian at the age of 16, so when I chose to go to Bible college at 19, I wasn’t really discipled yet in one particular theological tradition. Where some students in intro theology had their worldviews rocked, I tended to see all the different theological opinions as evidence of a great tapestry of the Christian faith. I was, for all intents and purposes, a blank slate theologically when I started college. I am grateful that I had the chance to learn at an inter-denominational school, and it gave me freedom to question, wrestle and even change my mind. That being said, that which I thought I knew by the time I graduated from college was not necessarily what I learned in the 6 years following.

Anyway, here is what I have observed in reflecting on my theological growth over the last 6 years:

Eschatology:
Amillenial –> Amillenial. I remember seeing people in the church enamored with the Left Behind series and John Hagee’s wall of time and I just didn’t get all the fuss. So, I started by being an a-mill to be different from them, and now I am an a-mill because I have thought it through and (for the moment) find it to be the best theological understanding.

Election:
Cal-minian –> Arminian (sympathetic to Open Theism) –> Arminian (Wesleyan-Methodist) –> Arminian with a fascination for Barth’s understanding of election and soteriology.

Inerrancy:
What the heck do we mean by inerrancy? Still not sure what all the hoopla is all about. But yes, I do sign the ETS statement every year because it says that “the Bible is inerrant in its autographs” and doesn’t demand we uphold the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy. I figure the short statement is general enough and doesn’t specifically define “inerrant”, or “autographs” so I have no problems affirming it.

Women in Ministry:
Comp-Egal –> Egalitarian –> I have no idea. You would think being a woman who has served in pastoral leadership I would know where I stand on this. But I don’t. I struggle with the innuendos and out-right declarations that by “usurping a man’s authority” I am not only being unbiblical but could possibly have my salvation called into question. I don’t want to crusade to make all churches egalitarian. But, if I’m asked to preach, teach or lead, I won’t turn that down either. Does that make me unbiblical? Does that make my husband unbiblical and not a good head of our house because he supports and affirms my giftings, desires and likes to sit under my sermons? It’s possible. Still working it through.

Communion:
*Remembrance only –> Christ is present in the act of communion (but not necessarily in the elements).
*An act of looking back –> an act of looking backwards, to the work of Christ on the cross, as well as an act of looking forward to the great banquet feast (as well as in the present somehow joining with all the saints in feasting and celebrating with Christ).
*Monthly or quarterly communion –> Weekly communion

Tongues & Gifts of the Spirit:
Tongues are evidence of Baptism of H.S. (because I became a Christian through a Pentecostal church) –> not evidence of Baptism of H.S. but definitely still a gift available today (i.e. not a cessationist).

Ecclesiology:
Congregational model –> hybrid congregational/presbyter model.

Liturgy:
Always been a fan of liturgy. Struggled in low-church settings. But I am also wary of liturgy that is done just for the sake of being liturgy. This hasn’t really changed over the last 6 years.

Barth Overload

One more full day left of my class on the Theology of Karl Barth. If you ever want to completely up-end your theology, there read Barth. Oh. My. Goodness. And up-ending theology isn’t a bad thing, discount in fact I think we need to up-end our theology a bit more often then we actually do.

Today we discussed Barth’s doctrine of Election. I’m not quite sure what to do with it yet, it may take some time to think and reflect, as well as a lot more reading. But the jist of it is that Barth grounds election in Jesus, not in the community, not in the individual, not in a problem, but in Jesus.

So, because election is grounded in Christ, we cannot reject it. Jesus has already borne the rejection. Our rejection of Him is canceled, rendered null and void by the work of Christ on the cross.*

Barth writes,

“The man who is isolated over against God is as such rejected by God. But to be this man can only be by the godless man’s own choice. The witness of the community of God to every individual man consists in this: that this choice of the godless man is void; that he belongs eternally to Jesus Christ and therefore is not rejected, but elected by God in Jesus Christ; that the rejection which he deserves on account of his perverse choice is borne and cancelled by Jesus Christ; and that he is appointed to eternal life with God on the basis of the righteous, divine decision. The promise of his election determines that as a member of the community he himself shall be the bearer of its witness to the whole world. And the revelation of his rejection can only determine [Bestimmen – to purpose, destine] him to believe in Jesus Christ as the One by whom it has been borne and cancelled.” {Doctrine of Election, section 35, pg 306}

To diagram this by way of a dialogue.

Christian: God loves you and Jesus came into the world to reconcile you to Him.
Angry, rebellious, doesn’t-want-anything-to-do-with-Jesus person: I reject God. I reject Jesus.
Christian: Too bad. God loves you and Jesus came into the world to reconcile you to Him.
A.R.D.P: But I reject God. I reject Jesus.
Christian: Too bad. Too late. Jesus cancels out your rejection. He came to reconcile the world.
A.R.D.P.: Grrrrr.
Christian: And what’s even better, even though you reject God, your rejection testifies to the work Jesus has wrought.

And that final sentence in the dialogue is what I find so fascinating: Even rejection of God indirectly testifies and witnesses to the work and person of Christ. How mind-blowing is that? Like I said, I don’t know what to do with his doctrine of election as a whole, but the Barth’s idea that even rejection testifies to Jesus is an amazing idea.

Okay, time to give my poor brain a break, and hope that it will recover enough to get through another 8 hours of Barth tomorrow.

* Just because we cannot reject God’s election of Christ does not mean that Barth is advocating universalism. Election does not necessarily mean salvation. To advocate universalism means we are limiting God’s free grace by telling Him that he must (based our our principle or paradigm) save everyone. If God is a universalist, then he is not free, He would be bound to the restrictions of universalism.

Another Adventure with Anglicanism

Today I got to witness a Baptism service at St. Aidan Anglican Church. My family has been trying out St. Aidan for the past 6 weeks or so, treatment as we continue to pray for God’s guidance as to where we are to worship.

The Baptism service was for two school-aged children (ages 8-10). Each baptismal candidate had sponsors (like God-parents), pills those Christians who agreed to stand up with and present them for baptism.

After the sponsors presented the candidates, the candidates were led through a series of questions: Do you renounce Satan, evil, all sinful desires? Do you turn to Jesus. do you trust in His grace, do you promise to obey?

Then, together the congregation prays over the candidates, and in a saying and response, the Pastor leads the congregation in a the “Thanksgiving over the Water.”

Together, the congregation recites “The Baptismal Covenant”, with the new candidates committing themselves to Jesus, and the congregation, renewing their baptismal covenant. This Baptismal Covenant is based off of the Apostles’ Creed, followed by a series of questions posed by the Pastor, followed by the repeated response from the congregation, “I will, with God’s help.”

In this particular church, the method of baptism was pouring, three times to signify Father, Son and Holy Spirit. After which, the newly baptized Christian is given a candle signifying that they have received the light of Christ and passed from a life of darkness, to a life of light.

My Reflections:

* I really appreciated the corporate nature of this baptismal ceremony. Very often, in evangelical services, the baptism is a very individualistic affair. The candidate gives a testimony as to why they want to be baptized, and proclaiming what Christ has done in their lives. And then the congregation watches as the candidate is baptized. Here in the Anglican service, the entire congregation participated. Together we affirmed the candidates, promised to walk along side them, and renewed our commitment to Jesus.

* I really appreciated the liturgy: the questions posed to the candidates, and the renewal of the baptismal covenant formed off the Apostles’ Creed.

* There was something about the communal nature of the baptismal service that made communion (which followed the baptism) even more poignant.

* I was struck, especially since this was “All Saints’ Sunday,” by the amazing fact that the church is bigger than this current generation. When we enter into the Body of Christ we are joining 2,000 years of Christians who have yielded to the grace and mercy of Christ’s amazing work, and 2,000 years worth of Christians have laboured, struggled, and rejoiced in serving God.

Random Blog Posts and Stuff

Mark Driscoll is causing controversy again (surprise, viagra surprise), find this time over whether or not a man can stay home with the kids while the wife works. John Stackhouse and Ben Witherington both take Driscoll’s exegesis to task. Brian LePort ponders the relevance of Driscoll having been a graduate of Western Seminary. Marc Cortez summarizes the issue here.

My question: if a trusted mentor of Mark Driscoll points out his exegetical error, discount would Mark apologize for his remarks? (I say a trusted mentor since I doubt he would listen to much, if any, of the blog chatter on this issue, even it does come from several highly respected academics).

******************
Ever wonder why Christianity is always Catholic on television? TV Tropes has the answer!

…maybe it’s because the costumes of Roman Catholic clerics are so quaint and distinctive, perhaps it’s the fascination of the mystery and ritual, perhaps it’s that our sex-obsessed society is bewildered by the thought of men taking a vow of chastity, or that ornate Catholic churches make the best sets, or the usefulness of the sacrament of confession as a narrative device. Or maybe it’s just hard to associate Southern Baptists with Ominous Latin Chanting. Another possibility is that Catholicism is simply a more visible form of Christianity in the bicoastal urban milieu in which most writers work. Not to mention that a not-inconsiderable number of writers are Catholics or ex-Catholics themselves, and may just find it easier to write what they know.

******************
If you’re in southern Saskatchewan, or want to come to southern Saskatchewan for a week, Dr. Guretzki is teaching a week-long modular on the Theology of Karl Barth, the first week of January. It’s going to be a great class! Check out the syllabus over at Guretzki’s blog.

******************
For your Friday viewing pleasure, check out this cute cat hunting its prey.

Blogging Through Bloesch

thumb 204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg” class=”aligncenter” width=”300″ height=”300″ />

Bloesch argues in several different places that God does not need us. God is complete in the Trinity. If God needed us then Christianity would be Process Theology. If God didn’t care about us, then Christianity would be Deism.

Likewise, God doesn’t love us to get glory, He already has all the glory. We can’t add to His glory because we can’t add to His perfection. Nor is God deficient in glory. (pg. 127)

But just because God is complete in Himself and does not need us, does not mean that God is impassible or immutable. The difference between the God of Greek philosophy and the God of Christianity is this:
The God of Greek philosophy is a God who cannot change.
The God of Christianity is a God who does not change.

He writes,
I believe that we must continue to affirm the immutability of God not in the sense that God is static and unbending but in the sense that God remains true to Himself and to His purposes…The notion of impassibility can be retained so long as it does not mean that God is impassive and unfeeling. (pg. 94).