Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Modern 95 Theses: Listen Up Church!

Wanting to expose many of the false doctrines, lack of Scripture, and self-serving atmosphere in the evangelical church, you can imagine my delight in finding this.

Greg Gordon is the founder of sermonindex.com and has written a 95 Thesis to the Modern Evangelical Church very similar to Martin Luther's posted on the Wittenberg Church in 1517.

Gordon exposes, very directly, the shortcomings of the Church and their true focus: money, statistics, self-glorificatoin, hip and cool, happiness, success, comfort, etc.

Several have been reproduced below, but I would strongly encourage you to read the rest. They are certainly convicting and worth every minute.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rob Bell... A universalist?


Will be praying that Bell doesn't go down the road he seems to be going down. Not preaching the Gospel isn't love and it won't win.

Mark

Rob Bell: Universalist?

by Justin Taylor
Note: I’ve added an update at the end of this post.
John Piper once wisely wrote, “Bad theology dishonors God and hurts people. Churches that sever the root of truth may flourish for a season, but they will wither eventually or turn into something besides a Christian church.”
It is unspeakably sad when those called to be ministers of the Word distort the gospel and deceive the people of God with false doctrine.
But it is better for those teaching false doctrine to put their cards on the table (a la Brian McLaren) rather than remaining studiously ambiguous in terminology.

Spurgeon On a Rainy Day...

As I sit in Starbucks hiding from the driving rain I came across this and found it rather vivid imagery given the atmospheric conditions outside, although I'm sure I would have found it enlightening regardless the given weather (how much like Christ's love-timeless and true and beautiful regardless the day, age, or condition). Enjoy!

Mark


Morning, February 25      “The wrath to come.”  — Matthew 3:7

It is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself; to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight. That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon his Saviour’s head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distil from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Imperishable Beauty...

This week at APU was Beauty Week in an effort to uncover the unfathomable pressure and stress that our young women face today to be deemed attractive, pretty, and desirable. Several of the students have created an exhibit to help illustrate this fallacy of beauty through powerful pictures, testimonies, and prayers. Walking through and being immersed in the heart breaking stories was a sobering and eye-opening experience.

I cannot even imagine the pressures foisted upon young women through magazines, TV, and mass media to be beautiful.

A Review of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

My review of the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Enjoy!

M


            Movies, and especially documentaries, tend to bring the intellectual and cultural baggage of their subject matter into the theater. They, as a production, enter the foray and become the subject of defense and attack, critique and praise. It was no different when the Ben Stein-hosted and Nathan Frankowski-directed polemical, pseudoscientific documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed came out in 2008. Its chief aim was to expose supposed suppression by the academic elite of those who adhere to intelligent design origins paradigms. Over the course of the documentary Ben Stein interviews a wide variety of experts in different scientific disciplines. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed fell into some of the same pitfalls of intellectual dishonesty that it argued those in the scientific community were guilty of, although it cause some important issues to rise to the forefront of consideration in the process.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feminists and Their "Hermeneutic of Suspicion"

One of the required texts for my theology class is Lets Do Theology by Laurie Green (who is actually a guy). Now I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, but this time I did. Turns out I was wrong, it was worse than I initially judged. Here is a particular section reproduced below:

"[Feminists] have adopted a phrase from Habermas - 'a hermeneutic of suspicion' - to indicate that it is no longer acceptable simply to take the traditional interpretations of the text, nor the texts themselves, as indicative of the original event. All sorts of power-dynamics were at play in the formation of our Christian tradition, and feminists have helped to design critical tools to excavate beneath the present interpretations and unearth the original revelation. Finally from their new awareness, feminist theologians have offered the Church altogether new insights into the nature of God, God's way with us, and a commitment to a distinctive way of doing theology."

Tough Grace

From the Heidelblog

"Tough grace is not grace. It helps no one. It offers no salvation to sinners and no guidance to saints. Grace is for broken sinners of all sorts, heterosexual and homosexual sinners alike, for murderers, for thieves, and for idolaters. Where all these (and many more!) sins abounded, grace abounded more. Not so that we could or should continue to sin, not at all! No, grace, God’s unconditional, free, unmerited approval comes to those who know their need and who turn in faith to him who still loves sinners: Jesus. Those who have been received by grace will need a gracious community of redeemed sinners, that hospital for sinners that Jesus established as they learn to walk in the new life they’ve been given by Jesus the Savior of sinners. If we don’t know the difference between grace and law, however, we’ll never be of any use to sinners or saints."


M



Well Said...A letter to the Editor from the Wall Street Journal

The Old Denominations Delivered

Regarding Russell D. Moore's "Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone?" (Houses of Worship, Feb. 4): When denominations stray from their roots, rituals and purpose to counter the growth of the nondenominational churches, they lose their own identity and do their members a disservice. The church that focuses on building buildings, adding cushy services like coffee bars for members, and substituting rock band "religitainment" for the liturgy and music of the church is no more than a country club with Jesus as the logo.


What Is Present When Kneeling to Pray in Jesus’ Name

What Is Present When Kneeling to Pray in Jesus’ Name
Great post that should remind us what is really happening when we kneel to pray.

M

"Here’s what is present when we kneel to pray in Jesus’ name:


    1. God the Father on his throne sovereign over the universe, with a welcoming, countenance focused on us.
    2. God the Son in his high priestly role, standing as advocate before the throne as a Lamb that was slain with perfect righteousness and with all God’s promises purchased fully in his hand interceding for us.
    3. God the Spirit within us, having already inclined us to pray, poised to guide our prayers, put to death our sins, awaken our faith, illumine God’s word, and produce his fruit.
    4. The word of God open before us, inspired by God, alive with penetrating power for conviction of sin and indomitable hope, revealing the Father, the Son, and the Spirit to our souls, shaping and guiding our prayers after God’s will.
    5. Our sin forgiven, but humbling us to need and love our merciful saving God.
    6. God’s grace like a great rainbow of hope arcing from the throne to our soul.
    7. Our will captured by these realities, moving words (or only groans) up out of our mind (or only heart) to God with praise and thanks and confession and requests."
-John Piper 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where does "the Fossil Man" fit in?

I was recently asked to respond to the question "where does the fossil man fit in?" for my general biology class here at APU. Here were my thoughts (I was limited to a one page response). Thoughts, comments, blatant disagreements...bring 'em

M



            When considering the veracity of evolutionary theory in relation to the Bible, it is important to evaluate in what way humans might have evolved and what implications there are if indeed this is true. Essentially, how do Adam and Eve fit into the evolutionary story? It is best to first step back and take stock of evolutionary theory as a whole. I think that a consistent hermeneutic paradigm for interpreting and understanding the Bible points to the accurate and complete historicity of the Genesis account. That is, my reading of Scripture leads me to believe that while God may have created a mature earth that may appear billions of years old, He did so in six literal days. Another reason for holding to this view comes from evolutionary theory itself; I do not see it as being sufficiently unified or scientific (in that it is not testable and reproducible).

Testing testing, 1,2,3...

Hello World,
This is our first post here on rantifestos.blogspot.com. What and who are we? We are Biblically-centered Christians and students at Azusa Pacific University who are concerned with the condition and direction of the evangelical church today. There is a lack of Gospel centricity, Biblical literacy, and the presence of a desire to appease worldly pressures have all contributed to a decline in expository preaching, belief in absolute Truth, and the sovereignty of God.

Our highest aim in writing here is to, firstly, glorify God, and secondly to show love by speaking what we see as the truth. We don't claim to know all the answers and are humbly seeking to know and understand more about God, His Word, and the world He created. We hope to address issues that many young Christians are dealing with today as well as open ourselves up to questions that people might have about Christianity and the Bible...or anything else really.

grace and peace,

R&M