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Monthly Archives: March 2007

Theology from an ex-president

If you listen to any of the Christian talk radio shows or readJimmy Carter any of the blogs, you will have heard about the latest opinion about Jesus and salvation from former president Jimmy Carter. If you haven’t heard about it. His comment on the subject appeared in an article at beliefnet.com. Former president Carter was asked “Do you believe that god’s grace will save even non-Christians?” His reply was “yes” and then goes on to try and support this theology ….excuse me, opinion, using some biblical texts out of context and using pluralistic meanings.

One of the verses he uses is one so many folks use and misinterpret as I did many years ago and that is John 3:16. Former president Carter uses the first part of the verse “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” to substantiate his claim that everyone will be saved. His interpretation would be that God’s loving the world would also represent saving the world. Nothing could be further than this interpretation. Yes, God does demonstrate His love for the world by sending His only Son to die for those who would believe. Former president Carter neglects to use the following two verses and they follow:

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

If he would have included these verses he could not have argued for his kind of universalistic teaching. He would have to have aknowledge that it is only through Jesus that people are saved. We should be praying that former president Jimmy Carter would come to understand the true knowledge of scriptures so he will no longer spread this false teaching. I would also go so far as to say pray for his salvation as well.

You can read the Carter interview here. Be sure to check out some of the video as well. His body language reminds me of the body language I’ve seen of Joel Osteen when trying to articulate the gospel. It looks more like they are appealing to the interviewer and not proclaiming a truth.  Reading about these people and those like him give me opportunity to thank God and give him the glory for calling out men to proclaim the truth that matters. Men like Patrick Abendroth, Mike Abendroth, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Steven Lawson, Dr. Albert Mohler and many others. Seek out messages by men such as these or those listed in my blog roll.

Salvation comes from sola Scriptura, solus Christus, sola Gratia, sola Fide, and soli Deo Gloria. Which means all through Scripture alone, through Christ alone, in grace alone, through faith alone, all to the glory of God.

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Posted by on March 30, 2007 in news, Theology

 

Highlights of the 2007 Shepherds’ Conference

Tonight I went to the Shepherds’ Conference web site to view the pictures they had Shepherds' Conferenceposted from this year’s conference. Viewing them prompted to to remember some of my personal highlights from the conference. I will list them out as I try to remember them in order of each day.

Arriving Tuesday afternoon we all headed to the traditional OBC tour stop to eat lunch at the Fish Market Outlet in downtown LA. This is always an experience. We then headed to the Santa Monica Pier which for a few hours of shopping, walking, and Starbucks coffee, and seeing Mike Abendroth at the same spot we met him last year. I did get quite a bit of sun that afternoon. We then checked in to our hotel in Valencia (yes 24 fans, it’s still there) and went out to dinner. Wednesday morning we headed to the conference, verified our registrations, got our authentic fountain pen gifts and settled in on the Grace Community Church campus for a day of great preaching and seminars.

Highlights for Wednesday were John MacArthur preaching on premillennial theology in the morning and CJ Mahaney spoke on humility in the evening. Sitting with most of the guys at Starbucks and talking about the days events.

Highlights for Thursday were Q&A session with John MacArthur in the morning and Dr. Albert Mohler spoke on Greeting Card Theology from 1 Cor. 1 & 2. Getting our stack of free books and hanging with John Slack and eating In-N-Out burgers at lunch.

Friday was a busy highlight day. They include Mark Dever preaching on Daniel and our only hope is in God. Meeting Tim Challies from Challies dot com. Eating dinner with Hank, Bob, Steve, Dean, and Walter at the California Pizza Factory. Listening to Dr. John MacArthur speak on Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray. Listening to Dr. Mohler during the “soapbox” sessions. One of my favorite highlights was and hanging with the pastors and elders on Friday night drinking some brews and listening to Pat, Todd, and Bu talk about their days in seminary.

Saturday highlights were eating breakfast at Mimi’s, seeing Master’s College, driving down to West Coast Choppers, conversations with Chris along the way. More highlights were speaking of salvation with someone I met at the Crystal Cathedral, attending the evening service of the potentially self proclaimed “healthiest” church in America. The speaker presented an anger management seminar under the disguise of a sermon.  More on that in a later post.  

The highlights for Sunday our final day were, Dr. MacArthur and his sermon on Luke 18:35-43. This was Jesus’ last healing. The healing of blind Bartemaius. Flying home, conversations with Chris on the flight. Seeing my wife waiting for me at the airport gate. Sleeping in my bed.

 

Who has clean hands?

While thinking about a song by Third Day, which is literally the lyrics from Psalm 2clean hands4, I made a note to look up the Psalm and read it again. I found some interesting stuff in verses 4 and 5.

4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart ,who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Who has clean hands? In verse 6 the question is answered….well kind of.

6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Who are those that seek the face of God? I would have to use scripture to answer both of these questions. Romans 3 tells us that none is righteous, and no one seeks for God. So who has clean hands? No one has clean hands. Psalm 14:3 tells us as well that no one does good. Who seeks the face of the God? No one seeks the face of God. Only God can give us the desire through His grace to seek His face. Only God can declare us to have clean hands. He does this through justification. Justification that happens when God give us the faith to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ. God then declares us righteous.

Our senior pastor Patrick Abendroth has been leading us in a study of justification for the past few weeks. Ah….justification is such a sweet word that explains the believer’s position before a holy God. Pastor Pat has expressed that there is nothing he desires more to read about or study than justification. I would have to agree. It is amazing when it is foremost in your thinking how much it comes out in scripture. For when the psalmist asks in Psalm 24, who has clean hands, the believer can reflect that only through justification he has clean hands.

The recommended audio for the justification messages can be heard from the links below. Give them a listen.

Justification part 1 

Justification part 2

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2007 in Justification, Preaching, Theology

 

Back in black

back in blackI have been away from posting anything for quite some time. As the title says I’m back in black …and white actually (the printed text). I was away because I have been busier and to some degree a bit discouraged by something someone said. But I thought about it and prayed about it and decided that God has allowed me to find this medium for me to think through things, personally and theologically. So I am returning, to the glory of Christ I will be posting my thoughts again.

Quite a lot has happened since my last posting. I have been to Shepherds’ Conference in sunny, southern California. I will post some thoughts about that trip in the days to come. Right now I am finishing up a book by Mark Driscoll. He is a very controversial person who has some controversial ideas about evangelism. Driscoll suggests that Christians invest into getting to know the culture in which God has placed them in. In his situation God has placed him into a culture in Seattle, Washington where folks are pretty culturally diverse. He describes some of his members as body pierced, gothic, and fully tattooed. A culture which would most likely be foreign to us Midwesterners. There are some of Driscoll’s ideas that I think are just too radical. I think he gets a bit too extreme with the movies, and television shows he consumes in order to understand his culture. But as a whole I agree with the things he writes about. If you think about it where did Jesus go with His ministry on earth. He associated with those who needed a doctor not the ones who were healthy. He associated with the sinners such as tax collectors and prostitutes. He went to places most religious people of that time would not be caught dead in.

Christ has given me a heart to reach folks for His name so I have been reading about reaching folks in the culture. We have a place, where folks similar to what Driscoll describes, congregate. Our local church has a ministry leader who regularly goes there. I am challenging myself this spring and summer to go there with him and engage folks for Christ.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2007 in Personal, Praise