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Archive for December, 2008

I wonder if we take the plain writing of scripture seriously? In both Galatians and Hebrews. Lets look at the two warnings:

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Now the argument usually goes like this. “Well that falling from grace in Galatians 5, means a lost of rewards” or “this is hypothetical and doesn’t mean that” or most common “they were never saved at first”. Why? Because our theological presuppositions tell us that one who comes to faith can’t fall away. Usually Romans 8 and John 5:24 are quoted.

The argument for Hebrews is usually verse 9 again this is a hypothetical statement and doesn’t mean what it says. But Paul says in Hebrews 6 that these individuals have been “enlightened”, have “tasted the heavenly gift” and “shared (partaken) ” of the Holy Spirit”. These aren’t experiences of the nonbeliever this seems to be the language of one who has trusted in the Gospel and has been born again.

Here is what I am not saying. I am not saying that sin seperates us from God and I think this is what John 5 and Romans 8 convey. I am saying that a man can willfully follow Christ trust in Him and as Matthew says in his Gospel the 13th Chapter one can get so concerned with this world, count the cost of the Christian life and walk away. I believe this is what Paul is conveying in Hebrews 6.

If we follow the letter to the Hebrews. The theme is one huge warning. “To turn back to Judaism due to persecution is to reject the true High Priest, the true land, the true sabbath rest, the true Son of God, the true temple and to turn back to Sinai which has been replaced by Zion”. That is why the writer tells the Hebrews to “go outside of the camp”. Because this is where the scapegoat goes, to take the guilt of Israel away. We see Jesus as that scapegoat, who takes our sins away and bears our guilt and shame, however, this is predicated on a continual faith.

Now there are two camps who agree with OSAS. The first are those who reject the Doctrines of Grace and for some reason these are the people I have the greatest quarrel with. They reject the Doctrine of Election by saying “Jesus would never force anyone to come to Him”. Which is fine. However, in the same breath they say “Jesus would never let someone go who doesn’t want Him anymore”. This is a blaring inconsistency here. To say Jesus won’t force you to believe but He will force you to continue believing once you have believed is a bit weird to me. The big reason this train of thought follows is to protect and uphold the erroneous doctrine of the “Carnal Christian”. Which, biblically speaking, is false.

The other camp is the Calvinistic camp. I don’t agree there anymore; however, they are the most consistent. They say “God elected you, Christ died for you, so God will sustain your faith, less He proves to not be totally sovereign over your salvtion”. I applaud the consistency though I disagree with the conclusion.

Here is why. Paul gives a stern warning in Galatians. We all know the issue. They are looking at turning back to the Jewish law for justification (Chapter 5). Paul says once you attempt to be justified by a Covenant God has rejected and replaced with the New Covenant (the Gospel), you have in turn rejected the subject of that Covenant, who is Jesus. So in essence to attach anything to Christ’s work is to reject Christ wholeheartedly. As Paul says in Chapter 2 “Christ died needlessly”. Paul goes on to say “I would have labored in vain”. This doesn’t seem like the language of the hypothetical and Paul seems to be convinced that they were born of the Spirit but now want to be justified in the flesh.

In Hebrews Paul is saying “if you turn back to a dead, obsolete, worthless, Covenant, then there is no way for you to gain favor or repentance from God”. Paul was not saying that they could never trust in Christ again. He was saying that you can’t reject the New Covenant and gain repentance from God, thus to turn back to the Old Covenant is to reject God and that Old Covenant can’t save you thus you have no hope!

I close with this. We can’t allow our theological presuppositions to drive our hermeneutic. If we do, we can’t reject the way others read and interpret the bible, because we do the same we just dress it up in theological jargon. Let me know what you think! 8)

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As I move to a different blog website (www.gospelin3d.com) I want to let you know what I have been wrestling with. Here it is in list format.

1. I don’t know if I believe in the sovereign and unconditional election of humans unto an eternity in hell or heaven. I believe the Gospel calling to be a genuine opportunity for mankind to repent and trust Jesus or reject Him and thus reject the God of the universe.

2. I don’t believe God predestines things like the collapse of a bridge as normative. I believe that God knows these things will occur; however, His foreknowledge has nothing to do with the cause/effect.

3. I do believe that God may cause such things to happen, but that is God interrupting history for His plan. Thus God is not limited by creation but allows it to run its course and the trouble and lost and pain we experience today is a result of the fall.

4. I  believe in the total free will of humanity other than when that free will would effect the plans of God. For example, Jesus could not die before the cross because the cross was the plan of God for the redemption of humanity and subsequently the world. However, God’s foreknowledge of Judas was due to Judas’ evil heart and God was not the cause/effect of Judas’ betrayal nor His subsequent hanging. In other words when a child is brutally molested, it isn’t because of the “sovereignty” of God but the free will of humanity. God did not cause this; however, God is also not oblivious to it.

5. I believe God’s mind can be changed. Just as in Genesis, Exodus and Numbers when God made a decision based off of human choice. In other words, God’s original plan was not the fall, not the flood and not the death of His Son. They were responses to humanity’s free will. Adam had total free will, God really was going to smash the Israelites but changed His mind due to the plea of Moses, and David was never to have his kingdom destroyed as it was and Israel sent into captivity. David’s sin caused the revolt of his son, Solomon’s pluralism the beginning of the end for the human monarchy and Israel’s disobedience got them sent into captivity. The consequences of their sin was genuine and God’s foreknowledge of such events have no bearing on the decisions and outcome.

6. I believe all the bible to be true and inspired; however, I believe that many of things we take as normative may not be, or things we should take as normative we don’t. I guess that really doesn’t answer anything, but I guess I am saying that there may be more flexibility in what we practice today than we allow.

7. I am struggling with reconciling the salvation of babies and mentally disabled with those who have never heard the Gospel. If I give one a pass I think both deserve a pass for me to be consistent. So I think I am little more open to those who don’t hear thus can’t make a decision (like those who were in modern America when the Gospel went forward). I think there is something to Paul’s statement in Acts 17, but I ain’t sure yet. However, I think my wife may be right on this. The bible never really doesn’t talk about those who have not heard other than Romans 10 but again I think there may be a bit more grace in that area than many Reformers give (Read Hodges Systematic Theology those who have will understand what I mean).

This is a start for me, but as you read the future blog I will wrestle with such topics.

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Dallas Homeless Outreach

Okay I know I said I would stop posting (again) and I will. However, I wanted to post some photos from our Dallas Outreach. I got to meet a good sister and theoblogger Javetta . I also got to reconnect with a lovely brother I met back at a homechurch in Denton named Ced. Finally I got to connect with another Organic Church Planter/Brother and the Church that meets in his home! Man it was fun, lovely, and heartwarming to see the need and to do this not as a program but out of the love for Christ was amazing. Our pastors didn’t tell us to do this, the media wasn’t there, and the fellowship and fun was amazing. I hated I had to leave early but I think the relationships established will last forever!

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My good brother CJ at Christ My Rightouesness is doing a series called “Race Relations and Unity. So far there are three posts up.

The Cross and Racial Reconciliation : Jews and Gentiles in Christ  by Kehpa

Kingdom of Men or Kingdom of God: How Your View of Diversity Defines Your Kingdom by Lionel Woods (AKA Hot Chocolate)

Love is Beyond Diversity by Bradley Cochran

There are a few more coming, but if you have a heart for racial reconcilation and diversity within the Body of Christ, I think these would be good reads. Coming from the Reformed persuasion I belive this to be a critical issue, as the Reformed faith is highly Eurocentric and has a superiority complex!

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Please change or update your blogs to www.gospelin3d.com this is where  I will be writing going forward. Thanks a bunch. Thanks Alan for all of your help in developing what I envisioned!

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Well I meant to do this a couple of months back. I actually posted about pausing. So this time it is official. Hey even Michael Jordan returned twice! LOL!!! Thanks for your support and please continue to write. Writing has done so much for my thinking and has allowed me to approach the scriptures with a fresh perspective. I have also got to talk with and even meet a few good people through this venue. Actually I have made some really good friends: Tyris, G-Dub, BLD, Alan, Dave Black, Celiciun Joseph, Mike Hutch and now a family who also lives close by though I haven’t met them yet (Javetta). Please leave your blog links in the comment section so that I can ensure that those who read here got some good stuff to read. Especially Steve-O, Javetta and Steven in New York.

Thanks again for allowing me to bounce thoughts off of you all, it has been a pleasure. Hey at least this is one place Jon Paden can’t post (that’s for you Hutch). Some of my favorite blogs are found in my feed list. Please check those guys out! Also if you are joining me this weekend please call me at 972-816-7024. God bless

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Why is my marriage always better on Sunday?

Why are my kids the greatest on Sunday?

Why do I like everybody in my church on Sunday?

Why am I so excited about Jesus on Sunday?

How come I always find my bible on Sunday?

Why do I like the worship music on Sunday?

Why don’t I have a problem with the preaching on Sunday?

Why do I love “church” on Sunday?

Why is the job going fine on Sunday?

Why do I care about the poor on Sunday?

Why do I like giving on Sunday?

Why are missions so important on Sunday?

Why can I remember so many verses on Sunday?

Why isn’t race a problem on Sunday?

Why do I hug so many people on Sunday?

Why don’t I have a problem with her dress on Sunday?

Why come that tattoo isn’t a big deal on Sunday?

Why don’t I gossip on Sunday?

Why does my anger problems cease on Sunday?

Why don’t I struggle with sin on Sunday?

Why am I so nice on Sunday?

Why is the bible so important on Sunday?

Why is everybody a brother and sister on Sunday?

Why do I wave at my neighbor on Sunday?

Why do I love my wife soooo much on Sunday?

Why isn’t that joke funny on Sunday?

Why do I smile so much on Sunday?

Why come I am never scared on Sunday?

Why is serving people so easy on Sunday?

I tell you for some reason Sunday is always the best day of the week! How about you?

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