Rss

  • youtube

Archives for : Theology

Regular Reformed Guys Podcast: Episode 16

The Regular Reformed Guys had me on as a guest for Episode 16. What else did we talk about ? Race, Ethnicity, Unity and the Gospel of course.

Episode 16: Every Tongue, Tribe, People, and Nation

Great guys. Allan remembered me from an IRC channel (#prosapologian as a matter of fact) a buncha years ago.  Good discussion between us.  A bit of hilarity in-between as well.

Enjoy the broadcast.

Still Around. A Few Quick Thoughts on the 2012 election….

Beginning of the school year….as usual.  A few quick thoughts:

1. As I trust God more, I worry less about the culture of the US going to hell in the next election. Paul wrote in pagan Rome, where young boys were expected to be molested, there were brothels on every corner, temple prostitution was the norm (prostitution as part of a religion) and the penalty for being a runaway slave was sure death.  BIBLICAL Christianity thrived under these conditions.

2. As I watch politics more and more, I realize that both sides are simply playing the pro-wrestling game. It’s all scripted and controlled by someone(s) over both parties who will still benefit no matter which candidate gets in office.

3. As I watch the intersection of politics and theology, I realize that even well-meaning believers can be suckered in by hucksters whose only concern is to rope them into voting for them with ‘God-talk’.

4. As I said 4 years ago…no matter who wins, it will be the person that God wants in office. The same God who gave Bush, Clinton and Regan 8 years has given Obama at least 4 (and probably another 4).  Let us be faithful to worry about changing hearts and minds with the gospel message first rather than with political power and legislation.  Pray for the peace of the city, vote your conscience, preach the gospel regardless.

Meditation on the Sovereignty of God: Never Abstract and Theoretical.

I can’t share all that’s been going on with me over the past 72 hours. My wife and I drove the 11 hours to Nashville and our family requires much prayer at the moment.

I may be beating the same drum again, but it needs to be said. The sound theology that so many people turn their nose up to during the days of sunshine is designed by God for the benefit of the believer when the storms come.

Sound theology doesn’t take the pain away. That’s not its’ purpose.

What it does is ground you in reality.

Romans 8:28-39, the doctrine of election, the perseverance of the saints and the rest of the doctrines of grace aren’t simply theoretical ideas that have no basis or real impact on the life of the everyday believer.  They are comfort when hard times come.

You see, every true believer defaults back to a position similar or identical to reformed theology when trials hit.

They know God is wiser than our desires (thanks for the reminder RaRa). And so when they have done all that they can do to fix the situation, they default back to trusting God in His infinite wisdom to do what seems right to Him. They may pray for deliverance and relief from the situation, but know full well that if their prayers are not answered in the affirmative, God is still good….and God is still God.

At times when most people would lose all hope, true Christians have hope. They rely and trust upon God. They acknowledge simple things about God: His goodness, His omniscience, His power and ability to rescue…and deep underneath it all, they know.

Romans 8:28-30 again. God is for me.  As a believer, I may endure all sorts of trials – even down to persecution and death at the hands of my persecutors (vv. 33-36). Think of the implications of that closely.  And the promise I have that God is for me is seen in the fact that He gave up the most valuable possession in the universe to Him – He gave Himself.

God the Father, who loves His son, gave His Son. His Son who did no wrong, took the penalty for my wrongdoing.

If God is capable of doing this, then Him choosing me, calling me to salvation, paying the penalty for my sin on the cross, preserving me, sanctifying me and eventually glorifying me is not an impossibly big deal.

And I take this promise and feed on it for comfort during times like these. I realize that God has not only called, saved, sanctified me, but also others.  And when those others are enduring their own pain, I point them to these promises as a source of comfort and hope.

No, the pain doesn’t ‘not happen’. Every day is not a Friday. Every day can’t be a Friday. Joel Osteen’s book is full of lies and is nothing more than paganism and selfishness wrapped in fake Christianese with a few misquoted scriptures tossed in. If your ‘BEST life’ is now, then your next life will be in hell.  God never designed the Christian life to be free of pain or struggle. But He did design it to be full of hope and joy even in the midst of tribulation and trial.

So I rest in the Sovereignty of God  and trust Him. The Judge of all the earth will always do what is right (Gen. 18:26), even when my finite, limited-understanding, easily moved and changed mind and emotions don’t understand why things have to happen the way they do when they do.

Pain, then, becomes a beacon pointing us back to the true and living God for comfort, and not simply our friends & family. It also points us away from things like alcohol, drugs and other destructive things that provide a false sense of temporary comfort. Suffering becomes an opportunity for trust, not dismay.  Nothing less than a God who is both Sovereign and in control of all human events (including, but not limited to earthquakes, death, famine, marriages, joy, celebrations, and accidents) is able to promise Romans 8:28-30.  He can be trusted. Nothing less than a God who is carries out election, calling to salvation, justification, sanctification and glorification is able to promise and carry out Romans 8:38-39. We don’t serve a God who simply wishes well for us or thinks well for us like a cheerleader on the sidelines watching the game.

Never theoretical. Never abstract. Always real. Because God is real, life is real and pain is real.

What are you resting on ?

Trust God.

Twenty Observations and a Few Additional Thoughts….

The Weekend to Remember Conference gave me some needed rest and mental refueling. Crawford Loritts is really a GREAT example of a pastor and leader. I tell you the truth – this man made me want to dress up in armor and fight the invading hordes of whateverstan with nothing but a spear, sword and shield.

I got a quick chance to talk with him (originally confusing him for his son, Bryan Loritts, who made the Elephant Room comments that I disagreed heavily with) about said comments in parenthesis.  Dr. Loritts was very gracious and mentioned that the point his son was trying to make was that sometimes, when ‘our people’ (African-Americans) get introduced to new theology, there is a tendency toward ‘hero worship’ and attempting to parrot just to fit in (my words, not his).  I can agree with that to a point.  I do think that Bryan could have phrased his statements better…. but I see where he gets his ‘strong stances’ from.

Anyway, Dr. Loritts really REALLY did a spectacular job speaking at the Weekend to Remember Conference. I just wanted to push that point home.  I wish WTR would record and make his sessions available online. A lot of people could benefit from them, especially in African-American communities where the fatherlessness rate is almost double the country’s national average.

That moves me on to my FB page….and it generated a bit o’ good conversation. Here’s twenty observations I posted:

TWENTY observations:

1. If you claim to be a Christian, but don’t you’re not a member of a church family under the authority of a pastor, you ARE in disobedience to scripture and to the Lord who gave scripture, no matter how ‘good’ you think God is with your idea.

2. The number one cause of divorce is not finances. It’s selfishness. Husbands being too selfish and self-centered to communicate and wives being too selfish and self-centered to forgive…or encourage.

3. Ephesians 5:22-33 is not rocket science. Stop trying to explain it away, stop being disobedient and do it.

4. Saw this today: a wife at the WTR conference publicly apologized to her husband. He’s 6’2″. She’s 5’0″. She realized that her words cut him down way too much and too often.

5. Point #4 will go ignored by several women (single and some married) because feminism has poisoned their brains (they will call it liberation) so that they are only capable of supporting their husbands if they ‘do right’.

6. Related to point #5, 50%-50% in a marriage sounds good, but it’s a fallacy. It’s based on performance….and no one ever lives up to their own standards for ‘meet me halfway’. The Biblical model is 100% on both sides of the table.

7. Most men would love to step up and lead, but are (literally) frightened away by loud and obnoxious women who want to be their equal.

8. Most men would love to lead, but they haven’t had strong male role models to draw from….and the culture isn’t exactly man-friendly these days.

9. Speaking of the culture, there is a direct war on men and masculinity – entertainment industry only promotes hyper-male immature young boys (see most of current hip hop as an example) as role models, television has almost NO decent husbands who love their wives and raise their kids right (i.e. another Bill Cosby) and 7 of 10 commercials that have a man and woman in a humorous situation usually have the men as the butt of the joke.

10. There’s a war on women too – being LED by women. It’s more of a war on any type of woman that isn’t a career-focused, overassertive, male-with-ovaries. Hilary Rosen’s comments are only the only ones that got major press coverage. It’s not a coincidence that most ‘feminists’ (self-identified ones) seem hostile to women who are pro-life. It’s also not a coincidence that most of unborn being aborted are women.

11. Fatherlessness is THE major cause of most of the social ills in our country – from entitlement to poverty to crime. Notice – I didn’t say simply producing a child or putting in a child support payment on time. I said FATHERlessness.

12. Most of the women I mentioned in point #10 will disagree with point #11 and claim that they are the father AND mother to their kids. Sorry – you can’t teach a boy to be a man. Boys are wired differently and have different needs just like women and girls have different needs.

13. Most of the women in point #10 who are contemplating a mental response to #12 will realize their own hypocrisy at this point because they will find themselves agreeing with the statement that women have different needs (or certain needs), yet want to say they can be a ‘father’ to their kids. At this point, they’ll call me names in their heads (or in the comments below) instead of dealing with themselves.

14. Proverbs 26:4-5 dictates that sometimes true wisdom is found in walking away. Ten foolish and ignorant people patting each other on the back about how smart they are….are still foolish and ignorant. Better to nail a message to a brick wall than argue with one.

15. The longer you sit in the bathroom, the less likely you are to smell your own crap. Humility goes a long way.

16. Some people are searching for truth. Others are searching for an excuse to disbelieve (or justify what they already believe). Wisdom, time and patience shows which is which.

17. We’re all sinners. We all need a Savior. There’s only one. Unless you think you’re perfect and you are ‘good enough’ to merit salvation on your own strength and prowess. When you’re done being arrogant, the gospel will still be here.

18. I don’t have to be a woman to have a strong opinion against abortion anymore than I need to be a child to disagree with child molestation or have a vagina to disagree with rape.

19. Some people can and will find ‘racism’ in a snowstorm…simply because all the flakes are white. These same people will be hypocritical and say they agree with Dr. King’s dream (King’s dream was not to run around yelling racism constantly – but to work toward a post-racial society where people are people, regardless of skin color).

20. Some people will ignore racism unintentionally because they are genuinely trying to look objectively at a situation. They may also refuse to recognize that racism exists because they are under the illusion that just because there are no ‘white only’ signs up anymore (except that one swimming pool in Ohio), everything else is entitlement and oversensitivity.

BONUS:

1. Classism is the new racism. It’s almost identical to the old racism. White flight and black flight have produced de facto segregation in many public schools.

2. Black folk cared more about our communities, education and our image when we were ‘colored’ (when we were segregated by law).

3. The people ruining public education: non-parenting parents (only really 30% of the population of school parents) who raise and shelter their kids so they never face consequences (nothing like a 504 plan or a ‘diagnosis’ to shield a kid from reality), drive-by education specialists with doctorate degrees who haven’t spent time in the school system beyond 2-5 years, school board officials who’ve never been in the classroom as teachers, but think they know our jobs better than we do and idiotic politicians who make legislation that makes our jobs harder than they need to be….then complains when the situation THEY helped to create can’t be cleaned up.

4. Most black folk only voted for Obama because he’s black. A lot of them have since awakened to see that Bush 3.0 is just another politician that gives good speeches. At least Tom Joyner is honest enough to say that ‘we’ should vote for Barack out of loyalty to black people.

5. You may or may not agree with me on every point. That’s cool. You have a right to disagree with me. I can appreciate people with whom I have an honest disagreement with. For example, Peter Singer is an evolutionist, bioethicist, philosopher and ethicist. He’s pro-choice, pro-euthanasia and extremely utilitarian. He tells the truth when it comes to the issue – he believes that biologically, human life begins at conception and that the unborn is a separate biological entity from its’ mother. But he also believes that human beings (because he’s an evolutionist) have the right to terminate their unborn out of convenience (survival of the fittest/natural selection). I can at least have an honest disagreement with him.

I can have an honest disagreement with John Norman. He’s a synergist, panentheist and is Eastern Orthodox. But he won’t pretend that he and I (I’m a monergist, reformed presbyterian) agree and our disagreements are just semantics. I respect that. We can have REAL conversations, even when we walk away not agreeing.

Truthfulness in conversation is a lost art in post-post-modern conversation.

 

Comment below as you desire.

A few 1/1/12 reflections as I get ready for church (a few weeks late)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been jokingly telling friends (and even my wife) – I’m ‘fat, happy and content’.  There’s probably 90% truth to that statement. I do need to lose weight (takes discipline).  I am very happy right now (even with the general stresses of life and work, all things are going well).  Most of all, I am content (wife and I just purchased a house, so we’re finally apartment-free and we’re in a good area with low crime….and lots of deer….although we spent most of the month of December moving….while still working, doing concerts, etc…).  I generally have everything I need at the moment.

Food, clothing, shelter, income, possessions, companionship, fellowship at a good church, sound teaching….

1 Timothy 6:6-8 is a good place to find yourself.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Could some things be ‘better’ ? Sure. I’d love to have a more active social life with my friends, but the problem (part of it) is that I live too far away from most of them and FB is a poor substitute (indeed NO substitute) for keeping up in person.  Could my students act better and be more focused ? Absolutely. But it’s the nature of teaching middle school. The challenge every year is to reproduce and exceed the excellence from the year before. I think I’m well on my way to that point at the moment.

All of these things come with new challenges and levels of difficulty that I may not necessarily be equipped to properly handle at the moment. And that’s why I’m reflecting back to this passage again and again and considering my life as it stands at the moment.  I really do have it good. More importantly, God in His providence, has seen fit to place me in the point in life where I am right now because in His all-wise counsel, this is the absolute best for me right now (Romans 8:28).

That last point right there helps me to view life through the wisdom of God in how He deems to execute the life-plans He has for each of His elect, specifically at the moment, for me and my wife.  That, my friends, helps me to learn to trust Him more (especially when He gives me ‘glimpses’ of what I could’ve gotten myself into if I’d married someone else, taken another job, etc….).

New Series on Reformed Theology…..

Posting up a new series on reformed theology on the main site.

http://theologicallycorrect.com/?p=229

Two Years of Marriage: Reflections

I’ve been incredibly blessed to have been married for two years to a wonderful, understanding, cute :D, loving, godly woman. Although both of us have a boatload of things to get done over the next few weeks, the most either of us is doing today are things that do not require labor….and in another hour and some change, we’ll be doing nothing other than relaxing.

Over on LDM, one person asked me about what things my wife and I got out of our two years of attending the Weekend to Remember conferences put on by Family Life Today.  One of the best things has been to serve my wife by being patient, quick to forgive and understanding.  All of these things involve a fundamental biblical truth – putting others before ourselves.  In marriage, this is probably the #1 way to keep a marriage together. If you’re thinking about your mate first, you won’t be pressed about what “I” want to do all the time…..from how to spend money to where to spend vacation to even what to wear.

Men, we have a heavier burden according to scripture. Scripture primarily meets us at the area we have the most problems with – listening and understanding.  1 Peter’s command for husbands to dwell with their wives ‘according to knowledge’ or ‘with understanding’ or ‘in an understanding way’ cuts at our tendency to want to ‘fix’ everything and reduce everything down to a simple formula.  Some women like routine – some don’t. Takes work to get to know her individually and adjust yourself accordingly.  Remember – we are servant-leaders.

There is no command in scripture for wives to dwell with their husbands according to knowledge. 🙂 Women can figure out most of our basic desires pretty quick. Those of you married – haven’t you noticed how your wife is able to pre-think some things that you might forget, have that stuff ready and all set up for you just when YOU are starting to realize “Oh no! I forgot to take care of item X or item Y” ?

Ladies, have you noticed that when you do stuff like that, your husband’s eyes light up and he just begins to gush on how awesomely terrific you are ?  There is a command for women to respect their husbands. When you do stuff like this, husbands think “wow. she respects me and appreciates me enough to make up for the areas I fall behind in.  I’d stop a bus for this woman.”

There’s a bunch of scientific data out on how women are wired for this level of attention to detail already , but science is simply finding out what the Bible has already taught on the issue.

So….

Another great thing I took away from these sessions is the need for consistent, regular time in the scriptures together. I admit freely – I’ve been lousy at this as of late. But I’m going to get ‘us’ back into it soon.  Remember Ephesians 5 – the husband who loves his wife washes her and cleanses her with the Word.  Men reading this – your leading of your wife in and through scripture is part of the means of her sanctification (as well as yours).  And you’ll also both find yourselves growing together more as you spend time in the Word together.

Be ready to forgive and not make every offense a big deal. Be ready to apologize. Ephesians 4:32 is big here.  Remember patience – the same patience you want folks to use when dealing with you and your shortcomings, failings, etc…. extend that to your mate.  The doctrine of total depravity reminds us that all humans are fallen beings, all corrupted by sin and even when we come to Christ in faith, we are still dealing with the lingering effects of the flesh for the remainder of our lives. The same grace and mercy that Christ showed us, let us be quick to show it to our mate.

All this in two years. 🙂  May the Lord give my wife and I 80-90 more (of course, we’ll be old as dirt by then…if not dirt).

I’m out for now. Off to spend the rest of the day with my wife. 🙂

May 22nd Message. For those deceived by Harold Camping….

Part 1.  Part 2 is linked at the end of this video.

Abandoning Militant Atheism

I had no  idea Christopher Hitchens’ had a younger brother and his brother is a Christian.

Haven’t delved that far into his brother’s faith yet, but ran across (courtesy of a friend’s Facebook status):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/7535715/Can-faith-bring-back-the-Prodigal-Brother.html

So Peter Hitchens travels through militant atheist land and ends up as a believer.

My favorite statement from the reviewer lies here:

Peter Hitchens’s case is that militant atheists dimly sense this truth, and this is what makes them so angry. If God does not exist, after all, why the rage against him? God’s really unforgivable characteristic is that he is alive and well and quite impervious to the assaults even of people as brilliant as Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

Of course they dimly sense this truth. Romans 1:18-23. They realize that God exists – and you’re not Him. So instead of going about the routine of ‘making a god they like’, they simply make themselves their own individual god.  The louder they yell and rage (like this young lady), the quieter that ‘obvious’ knowledge of God’s existence gets to them.  It never goes away….underneath it all…they know.  They know, and they hate Him (Romans 3:10-18).

In the meantime, be mindful not to only pray for Christopher Hitchens’ conversion and salvation, but also for his throat cancer. Maybe the brush with mortality will serve to soften his heart a bit as well.

CarBlogging Episode 2: What’s PREACHING ? What’s EXPOSITORY preaching ?

Here’s the current episode of CarBlogging:
Episode 2: What’s PREACHING ? What’s Expository Preaching ?

If you missed part 1 (What’s Good Preaching ?), click this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E1AMXCHv9E