19 02 2009

It’s only February and already this year and I already know of 3 Christian couples that are separated and in the process of getting divorced. The latest one came via an email announcement this morning. Each time the news has stopped me dead in my tracks, and forced me to do some soul searching. What do you say to  someone who tells you that they’re getting divorced? In New Zealand the divorce rate is about 1 in every 3 marriages (according to Statistics NZ).
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Time to face the music

7 08 2008

Lisa: “We’re the MTV generation. We feel neither highs nor lows”
Homer: “Wow! Whats that like?”
Lisa: “Meh”

Today I had coffee with my brother in law. I have a tough time deciding whether he’s an extrovert or introvert. He’s definately quieter than me, but is still very friendly and outgoing. Sometimes its not important to place people into a box. I had a good time and enjoyed the conversation. He works at a stadium, the kind that hosts large rock concerts. So rightly we got onto the topic of music. Those who know me know that I am a passionate musician. However we both realised that allure big bands have is somewhat less than it used to be. 

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Life without God

29 07 2008

A few months ago I asked a question, “Does the way I view the world change the way i live?” In other words, are my actions dependent on or a result of my worldview. Some articles and books I read recently gave me a more concrete answer. Without a doubt I answer in the affirmative.

Yesterday I read an article entitled “The absurdity of life without God” on William Lane Craigs website. It was a great article. It posits that people who claim to be atheists, live life with great contradiction and inconsistency. Without God, life is just a cosmic accident, a result of matter + time + chance. Humanity becomes the great cosmic orphan. Absolutely alone in the universe. To paraphrase Bertrand Russell “We must build our lives on the firm foundation of unyielding despair”. The despair of being alone, purposeless, and meaningless in the universe. But people do not live that way. Its absurd. They live as if their lives have meaning, and purpose. Again we see this in the area of objective moral values. If we deny the existence of God, we deny an referent from which we can determine actions to be right and wrong. Morality becomes the product of personal taste and/or social-biological conditioning. In other words, truly subjective.

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Reformed Theology – Perseverance of the Saints (Part 6 of 6)

2 07 2008

Spurgeon said it best when he said “There is no gospel if we do not preach what is now commonly known as Calvinism”. I wholeheartedly agree with that. If we got it wrong then we’re all without hope. Through my study of these doctrines I’ve seen that they are the clearest explanation of the gospel message to date. I don’t believe them to be setting forward any new doctrines, but rather what shines forth so clearly from scripture.

I’d just like to give a few quotes about this doctrine which should help define it a little better.

The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.
Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology ( pg. 788 ) Read the rest of this entry »

A system is what a system does

27 06 2008

For me a lot of stuff changed in 2007. I was sitting in a Church service with my then girlfriend (and now wife) and listening to a guest speaker. This wasn’t my usual church I was just visiting.
The speaker was David Peters. His wife was a quadriplegic, and they toured the country together sharing their experiences and how it had impacted their faith. It was a powerful testimony to everyone who attended. The power I believe came in the fact that they were so open and honest with the struggles they had. They asked the same questions everyone else asked, yet somehow they did not waiver in their faith in God. I was amazed. But there was another element that I had overlooked. David Peters claimed to have a prophetic gift.

In the middle of his sermon he stopped and pointed directly at me (it was a small service of around 100 people) and said something I will never forget. “You will become radicalised for God and it will start with His word” – I was a bit shocked. I had never really been singled out in a service like that.
I’d had prophecies over my life before but nothing like this. The words may seem simple but they have echoed in my mind everytime I pick up the Bible or a theology book.

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20 06 2008

Last night my wife and I went to Wildfire Churascaria. It was for a friends 21st. We had a great time and as the night wore on we started a good ol Christian discussion. Lucky for us this was not the kind of debate where someone gets so dogmatic about their position that they end up attacking the opposing sides character in a last ditch effort to beef up their position. It was a lot more civilised. If anything I could say the only thing I was really dissappointed in was that I didn’t listen enough and spent too much time talking rather than trying to understand their position.

Such is the case for many people, and this was certainly true of how I had come to learn theology. But a few things became crystal clear for me last night. One is that we need each other even if we hold opposing views. The reason is that inspite of how well you might know your position you cannot possibly know everything. Hearing arguements from someone on the otherside of your position will always challenge you to go deeper and explore more. We need each othe because doing theology in community is the only way we truly learn. Let me give you an illustratrion I came accross in my theology course (thanks Michael Patton). The bank has a particular way of trying to find forged notes. In training their employees to find them they spend countless hours studying the original and never look at any forgeries. That way when the forgery comes along they can spot it a mile away. Whats the problem with that? Well first off banks certainly don’t do that and very regularly look at the latest forgeries and forgery techniques. Secondly it implies that someone can know something perfectly.

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Reformed Theology – Irresistible Grace (Part 5 of 6)

16 06 2008

I have a friend at my church who told me about a recent trip he took to America. The most interesting thing of the trip for him was not the places and attractions but the people. He told me of one experience of which I will never forget. He met a man who was car fanatic. He drove a big old gas guzler, the kind with Whaleskin Hubcabs and Seal skin steering wheel, and when he was asked about the fiel consumption he responded “This car gets 4 miles to the gallon but thats the price of freedom, God bless America.”

We have a strange concept of what real freedom is in this world. But one thing is for sure is that we all love the idea of being free, and being the ones in control of our own destiny. We don’t like people telling us what to do, think or how to act. For that very reason I think we detest the idea that God’s grace can be irresistable. It is foolishness to most people, and some consider it an offense to reason.
But in reality if we hold to the doctrine of Total Inability then this doctrine is not an offense but one of the most wonderful doctrines of the Bible.

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