Satan Is Comin' to Town | Praxis | Big Think
Oklahoma City, the “buckle of the Bible Belt,” may soon have a monument to Satan on its statehouse steps.
"Another thing: by flaunting religion in the public sphere, Oklahoma’s legislators are sullying what they wish to sanctify…"
While I agree that Oklahoma’s legislature is walking down a path that is full of all sorts of problems, it seems that Madison is talking about the incorporation of the religious establishment into public policy.
"Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks…"
This is not to say that religious establishments and their “flocks” cannot be part of the political landscape and process, only that the civil authorities cannot establish or support one particular religion or religious sect over any other.
Interesting article to say the least, but he ends the article by implying that Religious establishment always ends in such horrible things as bigotry, but he fails to finish quoting Madison. It only ends in such when it is established and controlled by the government. This is the primary purpose for the Pilgrims (Quakers and Puritans) to come to the west; that their churches would not be bound and gagged by the political institution.
9:19 am • 10 December 2013
With the current Bearded Gospel Men contest that just started (http://woobox.com/fttdmo), it could be argued that they all “sing”, but…
6:55 pm • 27 October 2013 • 49 notes
Next Chapel. Acoustic Set and a solid rotation of songs!
3:36 pm • 4 October 2013
Hijacking Bonhoeffer | The Christian Century
Given the tendency of evangelicals and liberals to focus on different parts of Bonhoeffer’s theology and witness, the challenge is to transcend polarization. But for Metaxas, polarization is a structural motif: his mission is to reclaim the true Bonhoeffer from “liberals” who have “hijacked” him.
The problem with reviews like this is they often read Discipleship and Life Together and consider that exhaustive reading for Bonhoeffer. They don’t read his lectures, and his more academic works. He is certainly not American, but in the European sense of conservative protestantism, he fits. He is probably more conservative than Barth in most cases while holding on to Barth’s view of scripture.
Does Bonhoeffer affirm inerrancy? Probably not, but neither does anyone else in Europe. Yet, he and Barth both treat the Bible as though it is the fountain of life.
I would encourage anyone to read Metaxas’ biography on Bonhoeffer, and to read Bonhoeffer’s letters and writings.
The reason books like this get argued about is that people don’t like Piper and Keller and the “New Reformed” movement in the United States. They are overly critical about things that do not involve orthodoxy.
What do you think?
10:02 am • 30 September 2013
Hey Worship Leader, Are You a Theological Lightweight?
I sighed a breath of relief as I made my way off the stage after finishing a worship set at a pastors conference some years ago. I had kept it stripped down, because one, I’ve always been a fairly vocal proponent of keeping things minimal and two…I couldn’t find anybody else to play with me. [&]
Solid article about the shallowness of modern worship and what we need to do to give it depth.
10:15 am • 26 September 2013 • 1 note
Called to Call Others. Called to Suffer.
In Acts 9, God commands Ananias to go to a blinded Paul in order to pray over him and heal him, but Ananias objects. God’s response is riveting.
"But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.’"
Paul was chosen to bear God’s name before all people, even though He had publicly persecuted the Christian converts and openly opposed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul had to have a major PR campaign shift. Can you imagine Barack Obama suddenly fighting for small government? Or George W Bush fighting for the Pro-Choice movement? It would undo much of what they accomplished. This is why political movements and speeches are so calculated; they must build upon what is established in order to achieve power.
Paul is not so far removed from the pursuit of political gain, and the importance of building upon his past.
He was the disciple of Gamiliel, one of the most respected Rabbis in Jerusalem. He approved of Stephen’s stoning, though he didn’t dirty his own hands. He began to capture Christians so that they could be sentenced and killed by the Sanhedrin.
Then he was called to be a representative for the opposing side.
Jane Roe, of Roe v Wade, helped found a large deal of the modern pro-choice movement. She has since “switched sides” and become a pro-life activist. This meant forsaking her past and forging a completely new identity (at least perceived public identity). Can you imagine the ridicule and the loss of long friendships? Can you imagine the bewildered looks on people’s faces when she tries to explain?
Paul had to do the same, because he understood that the Christ was the representation of the God whom he claimed to be representing as an agent of the Pharisees, Zealots, and the Sanhedrin. Yet, when he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus everything changed. Paul was left helpless, because his past had been destroyed. It was wrong.
For God to tell Ananias that this was to be his chosen ambassador to all nations, and to suffer as a result, Ananias understood that this was not for Paul’s earthly benefit. No power, no glory would come to Paul as a result of this on earth. This was not a political move, but one that would move forward the purposes of God.
Often I wonder what would happen if the western church suffered actual persecution. Would the scores of people who believe that God is for their health, wealth and prosperity continue and cling to the word of God? Would they continue to call people to the wedding feast of the Lamb?
Or, would they abandon their comfortable lives for the sake of the nations? Would they be willing to set aside their personal goals and pursuits for God’s name’s sake?
I am fully convinced that the people who call themselves Christians in these United States often misrepresent the Lord who they claim. They misrepresent him in their finances, in their ethics, in their businesses, in the way they raise their children, in their lavish lives. They tell the homeless to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” while they have never gone a day without food. They tell their children that respect must be earned through grades and success, but they claim that their salvation was given as a gift with no strings attached.
At best, the western church is inconsistent. It is time for us to return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to see the glorious truths of this Gospel bear fruit in our lives, our finances, our relationships, and every other aspect of our lives. Just as Paul said to the Corinthian church:
"And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
What are you calling people to with your words and your life?
To your superiority?
To wealth and success?
Or are you calling people to the one who never fails. Jesus.
5:58 pm • 22 September 2013