Powerful message with impactful graphic support.
HT: Abraham Piper
Powerful message with impactful graphic support.
HT: Abraham Piper
Two of my good friends (whose identity I will protect) affixed this bumper sticker to my car following a Bible Study we all attended this past Monday. As I stayed behind to visit with some of the other men, their secret mission was accomplished. It was another hour or so before it was discovered by Leigh, my wife. She knew immediately and instinctively who at least one of the perpetrators was. The fun irony for me is that while I make no apologies for my adherence to Reformed Theology (often referred to as Calvinism, or sometimes Monergism), I think that both of these men, who love the Lord and His word, are closet Calvinists who operate in utter denial of their embrace of the Doctrines of Grace.
The reasons why I am unapologetic about my Reformed Theology is first of all, it is supported by scripture. But it also casts a more humble, reverent and, I believe accurate, vision of the perfection and transcendence of God the Father, contrasted with the wickedness of my heart and my utter inability to ever choose God, apart from some supernatural intervention on His part. (I put this in the first person, but believe that this “wickedness” and “inability” characterize ALL mankind.) Reformed soteriology maximizes God and His agency and minimizes man, with respect to the working of salvation. Any of the processes proposed by other theological streams elevate man’s role in the act of his own salvation. An unavoidable consequence of this is the appearance of pride. And I would contend that pride is at the very essence of that wickedness and inability I mentioned above.
When I talk to people who claim to have been even an agent, or much worse, the agent in “making a decision for Christ,” I can’t help but see a spiritual smugness and self-satisfaction that accompanies that announcement. Now, in fairness, let me add that these folks do not deny that before they “made their decision for Christ” they were all hell-bound sinners, but at least for me, they have a seriously insufficient, inadequate, and incorrect view of their true nature and how that nature alone would not have allowed them to make any such decision for absolute righteousness. Their view, of man as an agent in his own salvation, holds the unregenerate in much higher esteem than I ever could, can, or do.
Kevin DeYoung, a pastor in East Lansing, Michigan, was asked to submit a piece for the Christian Research Journal in response to Time Magazine’s recent article that included as one off the hot new trends, something they called “New Calvinism.” His thought are clear, concise and spot-on and can be read by clicking HERE. It is a wonderful explanation of “Why I Am a Calvinist (And a Lot of Other Christians Are, Too)” Take a couple of minutes and read it.
Watch and learn. Hang in there through the whole thing.
For anyone interested in the preservation of the so-called “American experiment”, this is must-see stuff.
Fox News Channel, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and a few others, note that the media in general seems to be biased in favor of Barack Obama.
Well, I guess this video proves otherwise. Or, does it take a step in the direction of proving their point?
One of the most talked about events in last month’s presidential trip to the G-20 economic summit was President Obama’s strange declaration, while in France, that the United States has been an arrogant country. While in the same speech, he also chided the Europeans for their lack of grace and appreciation for the things the U.S has done, he seemed to imply that under his watch, this country will be more humble.
With respect to that trip Dale McFeatters, of Scripps Howard News Service, reports that the president took the following with him to Europe.
A staff of 500, including 200 Secret Service agents
A team of six doctors
The White House chef and kitchen staff with the president’s own food and water
Four speech writers
Air Force One (of course), but also Marine One (the presidential helicopter), as well as a fleet of identical decoys
The Beast, otherwise known as the limo, reinforced with ceramic and titanium armor, that carries tear gas cannon, night vision devices, its own oxygen and is resistant to chemical and radiation attack
I’ll concede that the president of the United States requires a level of security that many other leaders probably do not. And I have no way of knowing whether the force that accompanied him to Europe was just right, or way over the top. Or, for that matter if this was typical of the security detail that would have, or did accompany George Bush and/or Bill Clinton.
But, with that said, a staff of 300 NON-Secret Service personnel? And the White House chef and kitchen staff? SIX doctors? FOUR speech writers? Does any of this feel a bit excessive? Hard to imagine how this “show of force” for a hand full of meetings and a few grand-standing public appearances demonstrates the pledge of a more humble America.
Oh, and don’t you worry about the cost. The current economic crunch only affects private citizens like you and me. And, besides, the president has asked his cabinet to trim $100 million from their budgets. I wonder if in keeping with his pledge of national humility, if THIS trip is reflective of that spirit as well as one of austerity?
HT: My Dad
Here are a few thoughts from the man who is influencing the post-modern mind though his pulpit ministry and his books. Rob Bell speaks:
“I practice miltant mysticism”
“I am really absolutely sure of some things that I don’t quite know.”
“My Dad is a U.S. Federal District Judge and gets lots of death threats. On Father’s Day a couple of years ago, there were bodyguards in our driveway at our house. And I am okay with that.”
“We are in this very unusual convergence of power and church and religion and Jesus, where a Christian pastor is saying a prayer at the [President’s] inauguration. I mean, what?”
Oh boy. And this man apparently has credibility in some quarters. As I was reading the CT interview, I wondered what is militant mysticism? If it is anything like miltant Islamists, militant feminists, militant right-wing extremists, militant homosexuals or essentially any other noun I can think of, modified by the term “militant,” I’m relatively certain I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I am not even sure that the term “militant Christian” would be all that flattering. In fact, I’ll correct that, it is NOT flattering.
The second quote sounds like it might have come from Alice in Wonderland or perhaps some confessional mantra from an eastern religion of enlightenment. As for the third, the context for this quote is his lamentation over the violence in our culture. So, am I to take it that he is okay with his father getting death threats, so long as there are bodyguards?
With respect to that forth quote, well, I think it speaks for itself. Here is a man who is pastor of a sort-of Christian church, yet he evidently is bewildered or perhaps even offended by a Christian praying at the inauguration of the President.
But if you think those were strange, here is Rob Bell’s summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“I would say that history is headed somewhere. The thousands of little ways in which you are tempted to believe that hope might actually be a legitimate response to the insanity of the world actually can be trusted. And the Christian story is that a tomb is empty, and a movement has actually begun that has been present in a sense all along in creation. And all those times when your cynicism was at odds with an impulse within you that said that this little thing might be about something bigger—those tiny little slivers may in fact be connected to something really, really big.”
A summary of the gospel. Thus sayeth the “heir to Billy Graham.”
Welcome to the new and improved Christ-less Christianity,…Rob Bell Style. No perfect Creator, no disobedience by man, no judgment, no substitutionary atonement, no redemption, no regeneration, no eternity. No worries! Just tiny little slivers!
And my response…Come, Lord Jesus!