The evangelical vernacular has adopted and old word “Reformation.” For many our thoughts immediately go to The Protestant Reformation. We think of Martin Luther and the 95 Theses being nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church in what would become the nation of Germany. This history is not only church history, but world history. The world changed through The Reformation. It did so because biblical theology came to bear on the practical world of institutions.
Today the term is used in conjunction with the historical meaning, but we are no longer talking about a protest, but a return to an integrated truth. The Church has been crying out for revival, asking the Lord to heal our nation. But we have not been applying the Continue reading What is Reformation?
HOW we say something can be as important as WHAT we say. It is not enough that what we say is true. We can say it in a way that is brash or in a way that is kind. Sharing the truth in love does not mean that we share the truth because we love, but that we share truth in the way that love shares truth. Love always hopes. When we share what is true we are not rattling off the negative facts like a pessimist. We share the truth with hope.
When we speak of a problem it is not the end of the world (or the nation), it is an opportunity for a solution. Before you call me an optimist, neither optimism nor pessimism is Christian. To hope is Christian. Without biblical hope, all we are left with is the world’s philosophies of optimism or pessimism based on our personal preference. Truth carries a substance that is otherworldly. It is the reality of heaven infused in our very words. It is the power to release hope where there was fear. It is the power to give life where there was death. It is the power to give freedom where there was bondage.
Love does not dishonor others. Just because something is true does not mean we can speak it in a manner that brings dishonor. Love always protects. It does not just protect family and friends, but the stranger we have never met that we are talking about on social media. It does not just protect the one whose name we know, but the whole group we may be discussing. It protects celebrities and governing leaders too. I Corinthians 13 is not only how we are to treat those in our inner circle it is how we conduct ourselves in the way of love. A mature believer is one who speaks truth in love (Eph 4). Love is the way truth is shared not merely the reason truth is communicated.
Love is not easily angered nor easily offended. It speaks in such a way as to set people free, not to keep them bound by their wayward ways. It does not point fingers, it shields the one under attack. Not because the one has merited the love, but because Jesus did the same while we were yet sinners. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Truth is not communicated in offense. Offense is communicated, and the truth becomes secondary.
Politics is not an excuse for negativity, dishonor, anger, offense, or ridicule. While truth can be partisan, love is not. This means that we still have the responsibility to communicate truth in love no matter what the position of the other may be. They are not idiots. They are not imbeciles. It is possible “they” are the ones who see something we need to see. It is possible “they” have never seen what we see and therefore cannot know what we know and think like we think. Most likely “they” are not doing anything to us on purpose. It is important not to assign motives to people. It only serves to maintain the culture of “us” versus “them” when we do that.
Governing how we communicate truth will require that we slow down and listen to ourselves and how we may sound to others. It also necessitates that we listen to how others hear what we are saying. I have found that communicating my ideas to people who do not believe them help me to learn how I sound to them. It matters. If I fail to understand how I sound to others, I cannot do better at letting truth be heard in a way that honors the one listening.
To be continued . . .
The worldview of the Bible is the worldview of Jesus. They are not in conflict. The Bible is the truth because Jesus is the Truth. The Bible is the written revelation and Jesus is the person of Truth Himself to which the Bible points. (Post) Modern Christian authors are confused into thinking God is in conflict with His words where no such conflict exists. The conflict that exists is the university training these Christians have conflated with truth and applied to the Bible to judge it and rewrite it.
The Bible isn’t subjected to human culture – it is that revealed truth which transforms human culture. In a world of myth, it came forth as history. In a world of gods, only the Scriptures spoke of the one true holy God not made by human hands. He alone is the God who is not silent. These very same Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation have given us the modern world. Its truth has developed the previous undeveloped world. Continue reading The Authority of Scripture
Jesus said that the world will know that we are His by the way that we vote. Jesus said He would one day separate the elephants from the donkeys. Anyone with any Bible knowledge at all will recognize the blatant misquotes above, but now I have your attention.
The Bible gives us theology for nations, government, law, justice, etc. However, the Kingdom is neither synonymous with a particular nation nor a repudiation of all nations into one big globe.
The Bible provides the theology for nations. The Kingdom provides the supernatural power to reform nations to the reality of heaven. It brings the transformative power of truth to the natural undiscipled infrastructure of a nation. The Kingdom of God does not just heal a sick person, but also a sick institution or nation. Continue reading Biblical Theology of Nations
We cannot have truth without revelation. Without revelation all claims to truth are equally valid or invalid human inventions. No one can claim one idea as superior to another because all are equally human and who is to say one human’s thoughts about the world are any better than the next person’s?
However, God did not leave us in confusion. He provided us with revelation which is found in one book, the Bible. The Bible is real truth. It is “true truth” to borrow from Francis Schaeffer. Its author is God and its writers are people who wrote down what the Lord inspired them to write. It is true history. It is true science. It is true testimony. God really said what it says He said. He really did what it says He did. He really will do what it says He will do.
We have history and science today because the Bible gives us the foundation for these disciplines to grow in stable ground. The idea that we can measure, catalog, and classify the natural world is a creation of the Bible’s impact on our thinking. If we do not know our history we will make the grave mistake in thinking that we have always thought this way. When we think our thinking common sense, we will not work to preserve this special knowledge in our culture. Continue reading The Bible in the PostModern World
Every year I set out to read 52 books. I usually make it to between 32-38 books in a year. This year I read only 24 which is an exceptionally slow reading year for me. Unexpected turns came in 2016 and 2017 that slowed my pace in both writing and reading. I hope to get my groove back in 2018. I am off to a good start having finished reading my first book of the year on January 2.
Below are some of the highlights of my 2017 reading: Continue reading Book Review of Books Read in 2017
I have loved American history since I was a child. Preserving the stability of my nation is a deep passion of mine. America is my homeland. In so doing, I wish to address a topic that we face today in modern theology. There are always ditches on either side of truth.
One ditch is to equate all things Christian with all things American. When we do this, we make America the center of God’s plan and its strength or weakness the barometer of our end time theology. Doing so creates fear at elections, and at the moral climate of our nation for we think it directly tied to God’s count-down to the end of the world as we know it. We tend to spiritualize everything to the extent where we are uncertain where politics end and Christianity begins. The two get so intertwined and lost in each other that we equate our Christianity with a political party making the “other party” not Christian in comparison. We are then judged, not by our works, but by our votes.
Now here is the rub. There is a ditch on the other side. Continue reading America, Christianity, and Avoiding the Ditches
Truth does not change, but our worldview should. If our worldview is not changing, we are not maturing in our knowledge of the truth.
Repentance is changing the way you think to line up with or turn around to truth. Practicing repentance changes our worldview. Thus, our worldview ought to be changing as we mature. If we still think the exact same way we did a few years ago, we are not practicing repentance.
When we learn something new it does not necessarily fit in to our worldview like a missing puzzle piece. We may have the wrong piece already wedged into that slot. We already thought something about the subject and either intentionally or unintentionally placed a bad piece into our puzzle. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 3
It is impossible to arrive at a worldview that is not largely influenced by at least one of the world religions. Contrary to popular belief, there is no neutral worldview.
Worldviews are like the superheroes we like to watch at the movies. They all have an origin story. Each of them originate in a particular religious foundation. You may want to protest that secularism is devoid of religion because isn’t that the point of being secular? To quote Vishal Mangalwadi, “secularism is a Christian heresy.” Its foundational underpinnings come from the Bible despite having been severely diluted. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 2
I did some exploring today. I visited Christian Worldview blogs. I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but I discovered something. It may be more accurate to say that I remembered something I once knew to be true. Most of what falls under the category “Christian Worldview” and packaged as THE Christian Worldview is merely a Christian Worldview. Moreover, it is merely addressing social issues FROM a Christian Worldview rather than getting into the meat of how to have a Christian Worldview. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 1