Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Christians" Offended by the Cross?

It has been a very long time since I've done any post on the so-called "Emergent Church" matter. When I was still doing my radio program, we dealt with the subject quite often and I did quite a few blog posts calling attention to the aberrant, if not heretical, views of some within that movement—a movement compared to "nailing Jello to the wall" when you try to find out what they really believe. It varies, as the Emergent/Emergence movement (and they don't like being called a movement) is not monolithic.

Having laid that groundwork, I wanted to link you to this article by Roger Oakland, one of the contributors to Lighthouse Trails publishers. We had Roger as a guest on our radio program a few times prior to 2009, and he was always an engaging, knowledgeable guest. His column today focuses on the cross of Christ—the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord, the nature of the Gospel and the nature of the atonement. The EC types have real issues with the cross as it turns out, or better yet, they have real problems coming to grips with the reality of the substitutionary atonement of Christ—a key biblical doctrine. They seem to be more inspired by Fosdick than by Scripture itself, sadly.

And despite what postmodern-types say, Scripture is clear. Postmoderns find clarity and certainty very problematic, and there lies a key reason why their theology is so messed up. The Apostle John said that Scripture was written so that we might KNOW we have eternal life. The "mystery" postmodern Christians love to wallow in is really no longer a mystery, because as the Apostle Paul declared, the mystery has been revealed to us—Christ, God Incarnate crucified, reconciling His people to Himself.

In the end, so much of this EC stuff is exactly what was predicted in Scripture, people who want a form or veneer of spirituality but rejecting the real power and truth of God as revealed IN Scripture. It ultimately is yet another form of rebellion. In the meantime, check out Roger's article. It's a good overview of an important issue.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Looking for an Old Children's Anthology

Ever had a book that you read in your childhood over and over? You read it so much it began to fall apart? You can see the book in your mind's eye - even some of the design elements and the blue cover, but you can't remember the title of the anthology, the publisher, or anything else to identify it.

You try typing in specific stories that you remember were in it, such as Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Emperor's New Clothes, Snow White, and a host of others. In one such Google search, the book to the right came up, but it's the wrong cover and wrong color. I don't remember Tolkien being in the anthology I am seeking.

It's driving me crazy. I'm going to have to go hunting at antique stores and poring through the book section. I just might find it eventually.

After all, I found a Hull Pottery mixing bowl my Mom had in my youth - the same exact design. I was stunned, and was glad to pay the $30 cost for it. I keep Mom's original put up safe, and we use the replacement I bought. Now I have to find the yellow one!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bart Ehrman Vs. Easter?

Just what we needed, ay? Another controversy over the Bible, and more specifically, the Lord Jesus.

I have, of course, heard of Bart Ehrman. However, I have had little time in the past couple of years to pay much attention to the occasional kerfuffles that arose when he'd launch an attack on Christianity.

Thanks to our friends at World Magazine, I was made aware of this newest launch from Ehrman's missile base. It's a book called "How Jesus Became God," an effort to debunk the biblical account and what the Church has believed for 2,000 years. World's article is calling attention to another new book—this one written by five Bible scholars who rebut Ehrman's arguments from different perspectives. I'm glad that they were able to respond so quickly.

Now, let's see if the media that give Ehrman so much attention bother to be fair and balanced, and contact these Bible scholars for equal time. Somehow, I doubt that they will do so. Therefore, it's up to us to spread the word that there are answers out there to this stuff.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Michael Bloomberg At It Again!

I am normally not one who wants to engage in name-calling, even in heated political discussions. Ad hominem attacks really don't prove your conclusion in an argument. But I'm mad enough this morning to use the term "megalomaniac," and when you read the article that prompted it, you'll see why. At least I hope you do.

Check out this little piece from The Weekly Standard, which discusses former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ongoing cultish zeal for gun control of whatever kind he can push with his influence-buying. There is a separate piece on Breitbart on this same subject, (you can see the link on Drudge) but the commentary got a little profane for my tastes so I didn't link there.

Despite what Bloomberg says about "no one wants to take your gun away," he has about as much credibility as Pinocchio. Along with California Senator Diane Feinstein, he'd be thrilled to confiscate every last one of them. And the full court press is on again, despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right. The press was making much of an article by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (a liberal appointed by a Republican president), which tried to make the case that the current Court changed the historic understanding of the Second Amendment. The writings of the Founders indicate otherwise, but who cares, right? Stevens believes in a "living, breathing Constitution" that can morph like a chameleon.

Bloomberg is notorious for his interference in the affairs of other states and cities across the country on this issue. Aside from Bloomberg spending his billions to take away your rights, another statement he makes in the article both angers and saddens me. Most notably, this quote:

“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg told the Times.

Amazing, isn't it? Now, Bloomberg is associated (from what I can find out) with Reform Judaism, which my conservative Orthodox Jewish friends tell me is pretty open-ended on anything. As a Christian, I would compare it using conservative evangelicalism or fundamentalism with liberal mainline denominations such as the United Church of Christ, where core, orthodox biblical doctrine means little. Regardless, one does not "earn a place in heaven." Salvation and justification before God has always been by faith, not by works—Old and New Testaments. I'm afraid Bloomberg is headed for a tragic surprise.

Anyway, back to gun control. I'd love to hear a discussion face-to-face between Michael Bloomberg and Dr. John Lott, formerly of the University of Chicago. Too bad Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and our other Founding Fathers couldn't be there to chime in. Bloomberg would be in for some schooling.

However, Bloomberg has shown that he's not a very teachable person. He knows what he wants, and intends to get it, no matter who or what he has to run over in the process, including your constitutional rights. Let's not let him get away with it, shall we?

Addendum: Another frequent point on which Bloomberg and his fellow anti-firearm freedom zealots make is this:

The billionaire Bloomberg told NBC's "Today" show he did not view the $50 million investment as a "heavy political lift. Thirty-one thousand Americans either get murdered or commit suicide with illegal guns. That's the heavy lift."

"Illegal guns." Hint: criminals disobey laws. The word "legal" means nothing to them. Pass as many laws as you like. As with drugs and other "illegal" matters, criminals will still obtain and use them. The only thing that Bloomberg will manage to do is to make millions of otherwise law-abiding, patriotic, faithful citizens into criminals because they will not bow the knee to him and give up their rights. Underscore the word RIGHTS.
Rights are inherent, unlike privileges. Rights cannot lawfully or rightfully be taken away, at least under the Founding Fathers' principles.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Communicating Between Worldviews

A hat tip to Ed Stetzer for for this article by Dr. Toby Jennings about communicating with people who hold a different worldview. It's excellent.

One major mistake being made within today's evangelicalism is that love means mush. Never challenge, never rebuke, never "judge," behavior doesn't matter (especially among professed believers), and most of all, doctrine doesn't matter or is relegated to the back closet. Just warm fuzzies, because people will be turned off if we don't deliver them.

That's not the love of God. It's a false notion of love eagerly encouraged by enemies of the Gospel, and all too quickly embraced by well-meaning evangelicals who either want to be liked too much by the culture, or are fooled into thinking that the God-kind of love means a Gospel that never confronts and only delivers warm fuzzies.

A kind of love that leaves people in their sins is no love at all. It's the worst kind of hatred, because the consequences are eternal.