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Archive | Theology

Whatcha Presupposin’?

I have been reading a lot on biblical counseling lately as I prepare for a class at the beginning of August. What has impressed me over and over as I drudge through the 2700 pages of pre-class reading is that Biblical Counseling is nothing more than presuppositional counseling. We take the Word of God as it stands, presupposing that the Scriptures are sufficient for faith and life. Then they are applied to each situation that arises in a counseling setting. Seems logical to me.

A generation ago this was unheard of. The Church is making strides in believing and applying the Scriptures.

Two Weeks of Listening. Some Snapshot Thoughts

Apologetics 315 Interview with David Wood

Excellent interview exploring the subject of Islam.  Instead of looking at the historical evidence, which is rarely what Muslims care to explore, David Wood very helpfully shows how one can and should use the Koran itself as a foil to the Muslim’s most common objections against Christianity.  Good stuff.

http://apologetics315.blogspot.com/2011/07/apologist-interview-david-wood.html

Epistemology – Andrew Fellows

In one of the most helpful and concise sketches of the history of epistemology I’ve run across, Andrew Fellows of L’Abri ministries shows how nearly everything after Plato and Aristotle, in the history of philosophy, is but footnotes.  Well worth the 90 minutes.

The Warnings of Scripture. A Reflection

Recent circumstances have reminded me again of the importance of the biblical warnings.  Here I have in mind those passages of Scripture that warn saints that they must continue in the faith or else be damned.  Colossians 1:21-23 is one such example.

Typically, when these passages are considered, the tendency is to immediately jump on the Arminianism vs. Calvinism ship and debate the matter long into the night, focusing largely on the question, “Can a Christian lose their salvation?”  The issue, of course, is tremendously important, but what is often forgotten is the more immediate point of the passage itself.  After answering the larger theological question, arriving no doubt at a Reformed conclusion (wink, wink), we often fail to return to the text and ask ourselves the more pastoral or practical question, namely, “How or when should the warnings be used?”

For here’s the thing.  If Paul was an Arminian, he wasn’t afraid to tell Christians that they must continue or else.  And conversely, if Paul was a Calvinist, he wasn’t afraid to tell Christians that they must continue or else.  Either way, the warnings are employed, and they’re employed fairly often.

Business for the Glory of God (Clarus Conference) – Wayne Grudem

How might you answer these questions?

Is God pleased with our owning things?
Is God pleased when we take materials from the earth and produce things?
Is God pleased when men employ others for work?
Is God pleased with commercial transaction?
Is God pleased with men making a profit?
Is God pleased with the idea of money?
Is God pleased with inequality of possessions?
Is God pleased with competition?
Is God pleased with borrowing and lending?

Gospel Coalition Workshops: A Tasty Assortment

The workshops at this year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference have been good.  And a few have been outstanding.  Of the some 35 or so sessions, I’ve listened to about a third.  So maybe there’s a few more gems just waiting to be unearthed.  I’m hoping, anyway.  Regardless, here are a few stand outs.  None of them are “Must Listens,” but neither are they low to moderate.

Training the Next Generation of Pastors and Other Christian Leaders – Panel Discussion: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Mark Driscoll, David Helm, Don Carson and Ligon Duncan

A fascinating round table discussion involving a few of evangelicalism’s bigger movers and shakers.  If you listen to nothing else, check out Dr. Mohler’s understanding of the relationship between the seminary and the church.  Start at 11:19.

John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine

I am not a Rick Warren aficionado.  I don’t have the foggiest idea what he does on Thursday afternoon, nor do I listen to his sermons (I’ve heard one).  I’ve never read any of his books.  And I don’t follow his tweets.

This means that what I’m about to say concerning John Piper’s interview is strictly limited to what I heard in this interview.  I’m judging it solely on the basis of the content found therein.

So let’s start with the big question.  Is Rick Warren, based on what he said in this interview (3rd time’s a charm), a heretic?  No.  Not at all.  He’s a conservative, monergistic Evangelical.  And for that, I’m extremely thankful.

The Spirit-Filled Missional Ministry of Jesus – Mark Driscoll

Are you Reformed?  I mean like black coffee Presbyterian, John Calvin fan club member, “yes, I own Francis Turretin’s three volumes of Elenctic Theology” Reformed?  If so, do you want to feel uncomfortable?

Oh, I trust you do.  Don’t Presbyterians love a good challenge?

Well, I’ve been digging around in the goldmine of workshops from this year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference, and while I will be recommending other excellent presentations in the weeks to come, Mark Driscoll’s takes the prize (so far).  Powerful message!  Very powerful!  But also controversial… if you’re a cessationist.

Mistakes in Church Planting – Darrin Patrick

At this year’s Sovereign Grace church planting conference (Plant and Build), I expected to most enjoy Mark Dever’s or C. J. Mahaney’s talks.  In all honesty, that’s what initially drew me to the conference.  But while their messages were solid, I must say that I was especially appreciative of Darrin Patrick’s.

I’ve never heard Pastor Darrin speak before.  Actually, I hadn’t even heard of him.  But I’m happy to report that it was a great delight to listen to him.  It wasn’t his oratory skills that struck me, which, don’t me wrong, are perfectly fine, rather it was the content of his message that most impressed me.

Unbelievable (Or is it UnBellievable?) – Rob Bell Defends “Love Wins”

Forget Bell’s drift towards universalism for a moment. 

If there’s anything apparent in this debate/interview, it’s that Pastor Bell is intent on playing a game.  Over and over again he’ll sidestep direct questions about his view, joke around, and play cat and mouse with Justin and Adrian.  Don’t get me wrong, the guy is winsome, jovial, quick on his feet and likable.  But he’s also slick.  And it’s the slick part that really frustrated me during this discussion.  He’s very good at disarming and dodging. 

Several times during the interview, I wanted Justin Brierley to stop him, open his bible and read 2 Corinthians 4:2, which says,

Getting Out – Tim Keller

Ok, I have a confession.  Portal 2 came out this week.  If you don’t know, it’s a PC game.  But not just any old PC game.  It’s one of the coolest games ever, and I’ve been looking forward to it for some time now.  So yeah, needless to say, my boys and I have been hanging out in front of the computer these past few evenings, teleporting and what not.  

What does this mean?  It means that I’m going to keep this review short and simple.  Really short and simple… the game isn’t finished yet