Posts from — March 2004
When you have a rapport with someone, is that typically a relationship you have built up over an amount of time, or is it more along the lines of something that you instantly share, perhaps via a common interest?
March 29, 2004 No Comments
WalMart.com’s 88 cent music downloads lauches today.
March 24, 2004 No Comments
A new website for St. Anne’s Public House.
March 23, 2004 No Comments
I would have posted this comment on this blog entry from Matt Colvin, but apparently Upsaid isn’t offering free hosting anymore, and part of that means you can’t post comments anymore. At least, that’s what I would assume by adding up the fact that I can’t post a comment, and Sora’s blog entry.
And so I’ll go ahead and post it here, just to see if I get any response…
Does the “liminal state” really account for all the biblical data?
I’m no theological heavy weight, and certainly couldn’t go up against any of you guys, but it seems to me that the “ecclesiocentrists” (and even though that’s a pejorative term in these parts, I don’t want it to be taken that way) put more weight on the ‘baptism is incorporation’ texts than the general ‘covenant status of children’ texts.
March 23, 2004 No Comments
This cork screw is going for just $7.25 on amazon.
Yesterday some friends of ours tried out a similar cork screw for the first time, and it worked great. I got home and looked at them on amazon, just to see how much they run for, and this exact one was on sale for $19.95. I was going to add it to my wishlist just now, and saw that it was just over seven bucks.
I just read the reviews, and wonder if I should get this one, even at this super cheap price…
March 22, 2004 No Comments
March 20, 2004 No Comments
This past Sunday, during church, my two year old daughter was a little bit ancy during the sermon, so Megan gave her a ring to play with. After a few minutes of playing with the ring, my daughter was heard whispering to herself while stroking the ring… “it is mine, not their’s. it is mine. mine, not their’s.”
March 18, 2004 No Comments
Here are a few thoughts on the Auburn Avenue controversy, snipped from an intervention I made on a discussion list. The specific issue in question is Steve Wilkins’s claim that all who are baptized receive “every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
First, an exegetical point: Who is Paul addressing when he uses the phrase “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”? Is he addressing the church at Ephesus, or the elect within the church at Ephesus? It seems to me that the former is correct. If so, then we have to wrestle with that Scriptural datum, and there must be some sense in addressing the CHURCH, which includes both sheep and goats, as those who have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Trying to make sense of that kind of Scriptural language is what the Auburn Avenue debate has been about. Pastorally, the debate has been about whether or not we can, without any qualms, address the congregations where we minister as the Bible addresses the congregations of the church.
If you believe he’s addressing the elect within the church, I ask: What’s the exegetical basis for that?
Second, some theological issues that intersect with that exegetical point: I agree with Doug Wilson about the importance of paradigmatic issues in the debate. I addressed a couple of these in my paper for the Knox Seminary colloquium (the collection is now available in book form from Knox Seminary Press, edited by Cal Beisner), by highlighting the personal dimension of soteriology and sacramental theology. I sense the same thing going on in many of the discussions of Auburn Avenue: The question has been framed “Does the non-elect church member have the same packet of blessings that the elect have?” I think it’s more usefully framed as “Is the non-elect church member brought into union with Christ through the Spirit, and is the relationship the same as that of the elect church member?”
Putting it in that context immediately provides two helpful directions for consideration: First, the relationships that individuals have with Christ through the Spirit have all the variety of all personal relations, a variety and richness that cannot be reduced to a list of blessings or absence of blessings. Second, relationships take place in and over time. The question, “Do the non-elect have a personal relationship with Christ in the Spirit, and is that relationship the same as the relationship of the elect?” needs to be answered with a question in turn: “When are you talking about?”
I’m sure there are non-elect people who have, at certain periods of life, experienced the power of the Spirit far more deeply than I ever have (Saul comes to mind, and perhaps the apostates of Hebrews 6; and I’m assuming that Saul was ultimately damned, which I realize is debatable). If you sliced into Saul’s life just after the Spirit fell on him, you’d say that this guy’s experience was far BETTER than most elect people. Slice it later, when Saul travels to Endor, and things look very different.
But the issue is not a slice of time here or there, but the WHOLE story of the life. Saul’s life is a story of reception of the Spirit, becoming a “new man” with a “changed heart” (1 Sam 10:6, 9), disobedience and resistance to correction, grieving of the Spirit, departure of the Spirit, apostasy and final doom. Is THAT experience the same as the experience of an elect person, say, David: Obviously not. David’s story is a story of (among other things) enthronement, grievous sin, RECEIVING correction, repentance, renewal and restored kingdom, ultimate salvation. It’s essential in discussing these things that we keep the temporal dimension in mind. This raises other issues about the relation of systematics and biblical theology, or the shape that systematic theology should take.
This, of course, raises a question about assurance, and this is the pastoral issue that many of the opponents of Auburn Avenue have rightly focused on. But I believe a case can be made that the Auburn Avenue theology actually strengthens assurance, though it gives it a shape that is unusual in some Reformed circles. This is where, pastorally, the soteriological and sacramental come together. Assurance comes from the promise of God, rather than from any assessment of the strength of my own faith or performance. That promise comes to us in the Word preached and read, which includes a public absolution of sins, through the sacraments, in the encouragement of other believers.
How can I be assured that I am saved? The answer is simply “Trust the promises.” If the question then is, But how can I be assured that I am truly trusting, the answer has to be “Trust the promises. Trust the One who promises. God have committed Himself to saving His people, going to the extreme of giving His only Son in our place. He is trustworthy. Trust Him.” Or even, “Unbelief is sin. Repent, and trust God who has given Himself for you in Christ.” There is a place for “knowing that we know,” in the words of 1 John, but this has to be set in the context of the exhortation to trust. If the question is, How can I know that I shall trust Him to the end and so be saved, the answer is, “God will keep His own. Trust Him.”
Now what’s so difficult about that?
March 17, 2004 No Comments
Remember this story?
Well.. we had something similar. Only, we weren’t so lucky as to have it actually be chocolate.
March 17, 2004 No Comments
I just read this description from a (baptistic) regular attender of Christ Community Church (PCA).
on the bulletin, it says “ordinance of baptism” or something, but they dedicate the baby to bring him/her into the church family. scotty (the pastor) says at the beginning that “this does not bring them salvation; that they must choose salvation themselves.” since i’ve been there (since september), there have been like 5 baptisms in the river outside the church, where either a child/youth or adult has accepted Christ as Lord and Savior and the church family goes out to watch the dunking
It kind of scares me.
Actually… I just asked for clarification from this person, and it is people that were baptized as infants (although, according to this person, it is clearly identified as “dedication”, not baptism) and then rebaptized by immersion when they are older and confess faith.
This doesn’t kind of scare me… it absolutly terrifies me!
How does a congregation in the PCA get away with this?
March 16, 2004 No Comments
eat your peaches and shut up. stupid little lives. amen.
March 16, 2004 No Comments
new blog: http://www.jason1646.blogspot.com
I don’t know what the title is all about, so I’m not even going to write it. But Jason1646 is a popular enough fellow that you don’t really need to know his odd upside down something or another blog title.
March 12, 2004 No Comments