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Archive for the ‘First Impressions’ Category

The Storm

Matthew 14:22-33

“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,  24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.  25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.  26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.  27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”  28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.  30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”  31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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God is Jesus . . .

There is a revolution in theology going on right now, and the sweeping currents are represented by statements like this:

“The truth is not found in such conceptions as ‘humanity’ and ‘deity’, which are then applied to particular things; rather it is found in concrete actual events. We should not first consider what it is to be divine and then think about incarnation; we should consider the particular history of Jesus Christ, and discover any ideas about ‘divinity’ we may want to hold from there.”

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Prayer

How truly difficult a subject is prayer.  I didn’t quite understand how complicated prayer was until I had to prepare a seminar on it.  God help me to understand prayer.

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“While I appreciate Tim Keller’s sermons, I think they’re too Christocentric.  I mean, does he have to relate everything to Christ from every Bible passage?”

If there is any one critique I hope to be guilty of in preaching, it is this one.  I want to be “too Christocentric.”  While every Bible passage may not properly be used to point to Christ, every Bible passage worth preaching will. 

The great misunderstanding underlying most “too Christocentric” critiques is the notion that the goal of preaching is to deliver a certain life principle.  No.  The point of preaching is to deliver a Person, not a principle. (more…)

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Recent arguments for and against recognizing homosexual ordination have become a double-edged sword in the realm of science that end up undercutting both sides of the theological debate.  One side supports the allowance for homosexual ordination on the basis of genetics.  As George Hunsinger has argued, if the Apostle Paul had known about modern medical findings that homosexuality is not a voluntary choice but essentially a genetic predisposition, the apostle would most likely not have considered homosexuality to be a sin.  (more…)

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Final thoughts on the conference that just ended at Princeton Seminary: 

* Suzanne McDonald, a new professor at Calvin College, gave a presentation on Election and Eschatology following Bruce McCormack’s lecture that has made me change my mind on the intellectual rigor of evangelical theologians.  Her critique of Barth’s understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to election was incisive.  And her modesty and teachability made her points all the more appreciated.  

* That universalism as a live option went unopposed and was even embraced by evangelicals like McDonald at this conference signaled a momentous shift in evangelical theology.  I foresee it potentially negatively affecting missions (a characteristic strength of evangelicals), and subsequently, spurring greater interest in and scrutiny of Barth’s rationale for missions.

* One major impression I got was that evangelicals have much to learn from Barthians, but Barthians have nothing to learn from evangelicals (i.e., no evangelical critiques of Barth are valid or credible).  Though the emergent buzz word “conversation” was widely used throughout the conference, in the end, it was a lecture: by Barthians, to evangelicals.

* Barthians want the evangelical church’s growing numbers; evangelicals want the Barthian’s theological scholarship.  (more…)

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Roy L. Pearson Jr.

Update: Here’s a recent comment worth putting in the main entry:

* * * As you are undoubtedly aware, a $54 million lawsuit was recently brought in DC District Court against a small neighborhood drycleaners over a pair of alleged lost trousers.  While the Court found resoundingly in favor of the business owners, Jin and Soo Chung, their ordeal is not yet over—they have drained their saving accounts contesting this frivolous lawsuit, and they have racked up over $100,000 in legal expenses.

In order to help the Chungs defray their legal bills, ILR and the American Tort Reform Association are co-hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the US Chamber Building in Washington, DC.  Unfortunately, businesses large and small across America must deal every day with similar extortionist tactics from some plaintiffs’ lawyers. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity.  Additional details, sponsorship opportunities and easy online registration are available at www.chungfundraiser.com  * * *

What a terrible human being. It sounds funny at first. “Judge sues dry cleaners for $67 million for lost pants.” But then you see the picture of the family that owns the dry cleaners. Then you realize just what Roy Pearson has done. He’s ruined the livelihood of a family out of sheer vanity and petty vindictiveness. God, please let justice be done. 

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