Sunday, October 25, 2009

Up coming article - Walking On Water Is Not Swimming

OK so I have been working on an article off line. Unfortunately I've had extra ministry work to do over these last couple of weeks and I'm actually feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I'll be connecting Peter's experience in walking on water with Eternal Salvation. I hope this will be done in the next few days.. but ya it's not the first time I've said that here. :)

Oh, right now my wife and I are getting ready to attend our new church and we're listening to Christmas music. Yes I am "that guy." :) Actually it's hard to find better praise music than Christian Christmas music.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Change Of Course

I've learned some things this week.

Something like a month ago one poster, Luke (I believe) who goes by the handle "Look Up" rebuked me for engaging in pointless discussions and debates. He said I should be "preaching the Word" only. I saw some value in what he said, even if I did think his view was greatly limited.

Well here's a change of course for this blog. I'm done "debating" people who have opposing theology from mine. If we are on the same course, then "iron sharpens iron" and we can discuss and even debate the finer issues. However, I will no longer seek to win over those in heresy through the means of debate and discussion. Because it is "iron" that sharpens iron. It is plainly abusive of me to be sharpening myself against those who are outside of fellowship.

Those who are preaching fallacy will be marked as such. They can read whatever work I present and accept it or not. If they disagree they can surely say so. However, I will not engage in point for point discussions with them.

As I explain in the chapter entitled "Ground Rules" of Fail-Safe For Fallacy true teaching on the issues of fallacy (False Prophets, False Teachers, False Conversion Experiences, False Doctrine....) is only helpful if it helps people come to truth. Pointing out the evils of another man is plainly silly if it is only directed at pointing out his evils... So I won't be focusing on how bad this or that person is... unless it is to help someone specific. I will be focusing on my on-going journey toward He who is the Truth.

A word of warning now for all who visit and intend to post. Posts that I BELIEVE (even if it is not absolutely so) are criminal in nature SHALL be reported to the VARIOUS proper authorities without exception. You who read and post are free to play "hard ball" but you are not free to commit liable or other criminal offences. I have seen enough of this in the past week.

I pray often for the people who visit, read and post at this blog. Those who agree with me and those who do not all the same. You are precious to the Lord God Almighty, and through His love you are precious to me. However, you are not all lambs and sheep whom the Lord has given me care for. Many of you are simply passers by. It is not my position to have oversight over you. Therefore if you are harming those who I do have care for, you will be banned.

I have to say that almost always everyone who posts here has shown great care for the character of those they disagree with. When this has not been the case I have never once seen the person step so far over the line as to go into the realm of criminal activity. I hope that will never be the case here. I'm posting this now based on things I've seen at other areas I frequent on the net recently. Such behavior will not be allowed to spread to my blog.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

James 2 Without The Tension

Update: To see how I've applied what I learned in Back To Faith please read James 2 From The Text.

I've just finished reading an exegetical work on the second chapter of James that resolves the tension that most everyone finds in that chapter between James and Paul. In my book, Fail-Safe For Fallacy, I bring up the fact that the problems people have with understanding this chapter of the Bible are due to our presuppositions that the words "justification" and "save" only have one meaning or usage. However, Fail-Safe does not exist to teach doctrine but to teach Christians how to learn so explaining James 2 was beyond the scope of the book.

Truly, my grasp on James 2 has been tenuous, which is true of almost everyone I've ever discussed the chapter with, and who's work I've read.

Yesterday I started reading Dr. Fred R Lybrand's book Back To Faith. Right from the start, by reading his dedication to both John MacArthur and Zane Hodges I realized this book was going to be different from anything I've read before. His examination of the very familiar cliché "Salvation is by faith alone, but the faith that saves is not alone" is done from every angle I could imagine and more. Dr. Lybrand details the history of the various views of Faith & Works, and spends much effort to expose the history of the cliché itself. The next two chapters discuss how the cliché is both logically, and theologically invalid. I found reading these chapters to be very challenging, they exposed presupposition in my own study!! Not only that but I found myself truly thinking the Doctor had bitten off more than he could chew time and time again. Yet each time he closes another loop-hole in understanding and returns the reader safely again to the Text. These two chapters are a thrill ride for the student of the Word who TRULY wants to get beyond all the ideas of man to what the Text actually says.

I was up very late with this book last night, and awake very early with it this morning. In fact, I went into work and put in a vacation day because I could not bring myself to wait to read the very next chapter.

Dr Lybrand's fourth chapter is entitled "The Cliché is Exegetically invalid" and I knew what he would have to tackle in this chapter. James 2. (cue dramatic music) James 2 (with all assumptions included) is the Magna Carta for both the Reformed, and the Roman Catholic view on Faith & Works.

I have just now finished reading this chapter. It does not disappoint. I would dearly love to type the whole chapter out here for all to read. I can't though.. though I am tempted to risk the legal implications for the good of your personal walk with the Lord. Because I've been shown that if one effectively refutes the assumptions, and divorces them from the Text, then James can be the Magna Carta of pure unadulterated free Grace!

Brethren, if you are at all like me you will be amazed at how easy it is to let presupposition define what the Text says before we read it. Even if we claim it does not. I have been approaching this chapter with the Reformed & Catholic views in my mind. I've allowed that to color my view and so miss what the Text says.

What if we put the responsibility on James to explain what he's saying instead of on the Theologian? What if we obey the rules of logic and language? What if we let these things inform our theology instead of having our theology (or the theology we "want" to refute) inform them?

I was shocked. I am edified. I am excited. I'm longing for you to have the very same experience!!! I'm telling you I'm at 109 pages into this book and I can whole heartedly recommend it to you.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Three Books On The Way To My House

Well it seems like almost everyone's got a book out this Fall! Here's some books that I've ordered and that Amazon tells me are finally being shipped.

Tom Stegall's "The Gospel Of The Christ" Fred Lybrand's "Back To Faith" and Kevin Lane's (who?) "Fail-Safe For Fallacy."

Obviously the last one there has my full endorsement, but I'm going to be giving my thoughts on the others in the coming weeks. I'm really excited about Tom's book, and I'm expecting to be challenged by Fred's.

Lou's been doing a series of introduction articles on The Gospel Of The Christ.