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Archive for September 17th, 2008

Read the entire article here and I promise you it is worth the 15 minutes!!!! I have been around the blogsphere and this seems to be a pressing issue especially with young men and women who have begun to become convicted of such a theological position. As believers (rather Calvinistic, Arminian, or some mixture of the two which the majority of Evangelicals fall) we are to have charity with one another, we aren’t to deliver low blows, be unkind, ungentle, impatient, and never unloving towards those we disagree with. This was a hill I once died on until I matured a great deal in this area. I still have much to mature in, so this isn’t just for Calvinist vs. Armians but for all Christians who disagree with other Christians.

Here are a few excerpts to chew on:

1. All of us, at one time or another, were Arminian in our thinking. A professing Arminian may be just as unregenerate as a professing Calvinist, but one’s adherence to Arminian theology does not necessarily exclude them from the kingdom of God. It is disturbing to hear some Calvinists assign all Arminians to the lowest abyss while conveniently forgetting that they too, at one time, were Arminians. Although the great 18th century evangelist, George Whitefield, had his differences with the staunch Arminian John Wesley, he was able to see the hand of God in Wesley’s ministry and count him as a brother in Christ. Thus, we must be patient with our brethren and recognize that both ethical and theological maturity takes time. In fact, there are some truths that, for whatever reason, we may not yet be ready to receive – as Jesus told His own disciples, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12).

1. Scripture alone is the final standard of authority for doctrine and practice (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21), not Luther, Calvin, Owen, or any other great Reformed theologian. This is not to deny that these men – and men from other theological traditions – have made great spiritual contributions to the church, but only that they are not the final arbiters of truth. I know that many Reformed people would assent to this, but how many truly practice it? If we accept everything under the banner of “Reformed” or “Calvinistic,” without serious scriptural investigation, are we truly practicing “Sola Scriptura”? Let us not make a pope out of Calvin, Luther, or any other mere mortal (Jeremiah 17:5).

1. Consider the grace and blessings which God has lavished upon you: He could have chosen to create you into a mouse or even a cockroach but, instead, chose to make you into a member of the human race; He could have chosen to plant you in the most remote and harshest place on this planet but, instead, chose to plant you in the free and prosperous land of America; He could have left you in sin and darkness but, instead, chose to redeem you and adopt you as His child through Christ Jesus; And He could have left you in your Arminian confusion but, instead, chose to graciously reveal the Doctrines of Grace to you. Therefore, do you have any excuse for pride or arrogance toward others – particularly toward our Arminian brethren? As the apostle Paul says, “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

4. In many cases, those who are in constant friction with others over relatively minor theological issues, do so because: (1) They are spiritually immature; (2) Lack discernment in recognizing what is essential or non-essential; and (3) They engage in unimportant disputes because they’re not truly engaged in genuine spiritual warfare. It’s akin to soldiers, during peace-time, who concentrate on the relatively petty details of shining shoes or making certain that their uniforms are always starched because there’s no real war to fight. Thus, they spend much of their time concentrating on insignificant duties. Actually, the Christian who pursues “fruitless discussions” (1 Timothy 1:3-7) stands under the disciplining hand of God since, unlike the soldier who serves during peace-time, our war is not over, but continues to rage on until Christ returns (2 Corinthians 10:3-4; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-9).

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The Maturity Synchroblog

Here is something that can start a discussion for years. I really like Joe Miller’s at “More Than Cake”. Check out the synchroblog links below.

 

 Participants in this months Synchroblog ——-

  1. Lainie Petersen at Headspace with “Watching Daddy Die

  2. Kathy Escobar at The Carnival in My Head with “what’s inside the bunny?”

  3. John Smulo at JohnSmulo.com

  4. Erin Word at Decompressing Faith with “Long-Wearing Nail Polish and Other Stories

  5. Beth Patterson at The Virtual Teahouse with “the future is ours to see: crumbling like a mountain

  6. Bryan Riley at Charis Shalom

  7. Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church with “Maturity and Education

  8. KW Leslie at The Evening of Kent

  9. Bethany Stedman at Coffee Klatch with “Moving Towards True Being: The Long Process of Maturity”

  10. Adam Gonnerman at Igneous Quill with “Old Enough to Follow Christ?

  11. Joe Miller at More Than Cake with “Intentional Relationships for Maturity

  12. Jonathan Brink at JonathanBrink.com with “I Won’t Sin

  13. Susan Barnes at A Booklook with “Growing Up

  14. Tracy Simmons at The Best Parts with “Knowing Him Who is From the Beginning

  15. Joseph Speranzella at A Tic in the Mind’s Eye with “Spiritual Maturity And The Examination of Conscience

  16. Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes

  17. Liz Dyer at Grace Rules with “What I Wish The Church Knew About Spiritual Maturity

  18. Cobus van Wyngaard at My Contemplations with “post-enlightenment Christians in an unenlightened South Africa

  19. Steve Hayes at Khanya with “Adult Content

  20. Ryan Peter at Ryan Peter Blogs and Stuff with “The Foundation For Ministry and Leading

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I have stumbled across a new site dedicated to New Covenant Theology. Here is what they say about themselves:

As stated on the front page, New Covenant Journal exists to exalt Jesus Christ. It strives to do so by providing good instruction for the head and the heart. And in the spirit of full disclosure, we want you to know that our teaching flows from a theological perspective which embraces the Doctrines of Grace (aka Calvinism, Reformed Theology, TULIP, Sovereign Grace), the baptism of believers (i.e., not babies), and New Covenant Theology (in opposition to Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology). If the latter means little or nothing to you, thank the Lord for His gracious providence because this journal is designed to enlighten you.


On the homepage, you will find a sort of magazine/website hybrid. Similar to a typical web page, the layout will contain information (some static, some changing), links, recommended resources, etc. You will also find the articles of the current issue, the “magazine” portion. These compositions will be written and edited as if for a published periodical and displayed accordingly. We hope to post four issues annually.


Each issue divides into two major sections: New Covenant Thinking and New Covenant Living. The former presents lessons from the perspective of New Covenant Theology, exposing the weaknesses and errors of the other theological systems. The latter seeks to bring the Lordship of Christ and the grace of His Gospel to bear upon the diverse facets of life. Topics will include family, work, friendship, book reviews, movie reviews, logical thinking, how to vote, how to pray, how to develop holiday traditions, and lots of other things that we haven’t thought about yet.


For the foreseeable future, we will not be featuring a blog, but one of our contributors does. He writes about New Covenant Theology and much more. You can get there from here.


Along the way, we will provide links, audio, video, essays, etc., of good sound theology, even if their authors are not New Covenant Theology adherents. Though we would love for everyone to stand eye-to-eye with us, we recognize that many good and godly folks see things differently. On matters where we do agree, we happily recommend them to you. (We may lead you to matters where we disagree, too, but we’ll be sure to point that out.)


While on the topic of disagreement, we want you to know that we consider all who believe the Gospel to be our brothers and sisters, even if we strongly oppose some of their theological views. So while we may try to knock them off of their platforms, we do not consider them out of the party. We like those guys. We desire to display truth and biblical fidelity, not to create strife and division.

Enjoy!!!!

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