Showing posts with label Orthodoxy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orthodoxy. Show all posts

Sunday, July 07, 2024

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (31)

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

Have you ever played Telephone Tag? (Maybe where you grew up people called it Broken Telephone or Chinese Whispers.) It’s a game played sitting in a circle. It begins when someone outside the circle whispers a sentence to a person selected at random, who then whispers it to the person on his right. The message continues around the circle until it reaches the person sitting to the left of the original starting point, who then declares aloud what he thinks he heard.

If the circle is large enough, you’ll frequently find the product of the exercise bears little resemblance to the original message.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Was C.S. Lewis Saved?

“In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”

— From Surprised By Joy,
C.S. Lewis, 1955

I loathe theological debates.

To clarify, I do not dislike discoursing about God, and I have no objection to good faith arguments over what the scripture actually teaches to the extent they cleave as closely as possible to the language of scripture itself. The moment they drift off into coined, often pretentious theological terminology, however, we are in a marsh of our own making, and on our way under.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Anonymous Asks (251)

“What does ‘test yourselves’ mean in 2 Corinthians 13:5?”

Self-assessments are notoriously hard to get right, even for Christians. As Jeremiah put it, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” If our security in Christ depends on our ability to correctly analyze the state of our own belief, then we are bound to be perpetually short of the spiritual confidence necessary to live victoriously.

I think the key to properly understanding that passage is recognizing Paul intended “test yourselves” neither individually nor subjectively. Evidence to follow …

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Mr. MacArthur, Please Find a Different Verse

“Are you a Christian?”

That’s not me asking. That’s renowned Bible teacher John MacArthur. He’s suggesting we all need to do a little self-examination to see if we are “in the faith”. And he thinks scripture supports the practice.

Hmm. I’m wondering if that might not make for a large number of miserable, panicky Christians questioning their salvation for no good reason.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Can a Mormon be Saved?

In a recent post, Amy Hall at Stand to Reason entertains the possibility that some Mormons may be saved. It’s a thoughtful piece, and Hall describes several conversations she’s had with LDS members that are enlightening as to the differences between Mormons and Christians in terms of our hopes, goals and understanding of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us. In the end, she concludes a saved Mormon is theoretically possible but doubtful.

I found myself more or less agreeing with Hall: LDS theology is pretty far removed from the Christian faith in many respects. It would be difficult to imagine attending an LDS gathering for any great length of time without cluing in to that fact.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Winning By Losing

“For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.”

This is not the easiest sentence to unpack.

The apostle Paul is contemplating a test of orthodoxy. On one side, the Corinthian church, misled by false apostles and questioning the spiritual authority and current relevance of Paul and his co-workers, through whom they had originally received the gospel. On the other side, we have Paul and his fellow servants of Christ, still preaching the same old things the Corinthians learned way back when.

That might not be as cool as the cutting-edge ramblings of the new kids on the block, but it had the virtue of being the same message Paul and his fellow workers preached everywhere they went.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Fourth Option

People talk about God, and about what God wants from us. What they say may come from several places.

Sure, what we say can (1) originate with God. We hope it does. Peter says, “Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God”. Amen, so be it.

But we know this is not always the case.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Mr. MacArthur, Please Find a Different Verse

The most recent version of this post is available here.