Archive for August 2009

Confrontation and Forgiveness

Tolerance is perhaps the most highly praised virtue in our society today.  People are not praised for standing for truth or what they believe in.  Rather they are lauded for their ability to accept everyone as they are and to never suggest that they need to change.  For most of our society, confronting someone about the reality of their sin is not even  an option.  So the question before us is "when do we confront others, and when do we quietly forgive?"  The Bible gives us clear principles for determining when to forgive and when to confront.  Read more ...

Published on August 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm |

Do You Mortify?

"Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you."  (John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation)

It is with these famous words that the Puritan John Owen challenged every Christian to make killing sin a daily priority.  Ridding our lives of sin is not something foreign to us.  There are many different ways to do it.  In fact, I would venture to guess that most of us know how to kill sin. We know what we should do and what we should not do. Our problem is not a lack of knowledge; it's a lack of faithfulness. It is a lack of grit and determination to spend the years and years necessary to weaken sin's grip on us. The challenge is to realize that the fight against sin will be just that-a fight. It will be difficult and long, lasting all day, every day until we see Jesus. But the rewards gained by killing sin far surpass the effort expended in the struggle.  Read more ...

Published on August 22, 2009 at 3:05 am |

Historical Theology: Church Councils - Intro

We're going to follow a multi-part study of the ancient church councils. There are seven councils (commonly known as the General Councils, Ecumenical Councils, or Catholic Councils) that we will consider ranging in date from 325 A.D. to 787 A.D. There were certainly other councils during that time period, before that period, and since that period, but these seven are generally regarded as the most significant and are accepted by Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox alike. While we certainly do not agree with every single aspect of each of these councils, we can affirm, to a large degree, the major conclusions of all of the seven General Councils.

"Why should I care?" you may ask. In general, we believe that there are many valid reasons that you should care about church history, but these councils are specifically important because of the condemnation of heresy and affirmation of and clarification of specific terminology about biblical teachings (doctrine) that occurred at each of them. As we studies the councils each in more depth, we will see some modern examples of the heresies condemned where they still exist, and we will see the strengths and benefits of the teachings affirmed.

Read more ...

Published on August 20, 2009 at 1:19 am |

Some Very Positive Negatives

There are many similarities between Greek and English.  But there are also many striking differences.  In the English language for example, it is considered a grammatical faux pas to use a double negative in a sentence (example: I'll never, never eat asparagus).  But the Greek language has no such rule.  In fact it is a point of style to add multiple negatives to increase emphasis (our sentence would read "I absolutely will never eat asparagus").  Let's compare two examples:Read more ...

Published on August 14, 2009 at 4:03 pm |

The LORD Is A Warrior

I recently received a request for help understanding the actions of King David and the Israelites in 2 Samuel 12:29-31. The person who asked for help was confused that though Jesus is kind, merciful, and loving (and we are supposed to be the same-Ephesians 4:32), God's people in the Old Testament were often commanded to destroy their enemies brutally.Read more ...

Published on August 9, 2009 at 2:20 am |

The Christian and Birth Control

This is admittedly a difficult subject, and one that has been widely debated.  Those in favor of using artificial means of birth control [1] maintain that they are exercising wise stewardship in the size and timing of their families.  Those opposed to birth control contend that birth control exhibits a lack of trust in God's wisdom and ability to provide.   This article will attempt to provide a biblical approach to birth control.

It is important for us to realize that the Bible does not make an explicit statement about birth control either positively or negatively. [2]  But God's Word does say a lot about human life and human sexuality, and these passages can give us a framework in which to examine the many challenges of this study. Read more ...

Published on August 7, 2009 at 3:09 am |

Against Existentialism-On the God-Given Purpose of Man

Are Christianity and existentiliasm mutually exclusive? It is important first to know something about existentialism to help one make that detirmination. Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Albert Camus are some of the names associated with existentialism. "Sartre's slogan-'existence precedes essence'-may serve to introduce what is most distinctive of existentialism, namely, the idea that no general, non-formal account of what it means to be human can be given, since that meaning is decided in and through existing itself. Existence is 'self-making-in-a-situation.'  In contrast to other entities, whose essential properties are fixed by the kind of entities they are, what is essential to a human being-what makes her who she is-is not fixed by her type but by what she makes of herself, who she becomes."[1]Read more ...

Published on August 2, 2009 at 4:07 am |

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