The streets must have been strange. The environment odd, as religious leaders walked with noses pointed into the air down the street as if to remind the people that radicals come and go, but they were there to stay. These arrogant hypocrites that knew the Scriptures better than most still had no idea what they’d done and what was coming. Judas knew. He realized quickly that he made a mistake. His sin was so heavy on his shoulders that he could only commit suicide. But the Pharisees were too proud, too arrogant, far too narcissistic for that. I can see them smiling smugly, proud of their accomplishment. All the while not knowing that while it was Friday…Sunday was coming.
In a country like the United States, where easy believe-ism has produced false converts and cultural Christianity that seems to identify more with the American flag and White House than with the Scriptures and church house, this view is understandable. It’s almost a necessary evil.
I’m convinced that some simply want to believe the worst and have no interest in a friendly dialogue about the truth claims of Reformed theology. But with so much common ground between Reformed theology and Arminianism, it should be our goal to build one another up, not tear down.
Claiming that a lack of inclusion into the church robs transgender people of their identity is to miss the biblically stated purpose for the church. The church exists, not to affirm our individual identities but to unite us under the shadow of the cross as the body of Jesus Christ. The church, by commission from Jesus and historical creed, doesn’t care about any individuals feelings or identity. The mission of the church has been clearly communicated and it stands outside the identity of any one person.
I confess that I don’t understand the impulse to “let kids figure it out” for themselves. Not only does this go against the biblical imperative to teach and train our kids, it goes against our instinct as parents.
The simple answer is yes! He had to show us that He was Lord over all heaven and earth. He couldn’t just come and die for us without first showing us Who He really was. He knew we wouldn’t believe that He was God’s Son without some evidence, some proof that He more than just a man. He knew our hearts would doubt, even if we watched Him die. So He came as a baby, lived as a man, and bent time and space to His will with just the words of His mouth.
He needed to walk on the water so we knew that the powerful ocean was under His command. He needed to calm the storm so we knew that the untamable wind obeyed His voice. The mighty earth with vast oceans and dizzying mountains belong to Him and He wanted to make sure we knew they would bow to Him when commanded to do so.
The view concerning man’s will is one of debate among Arminians and Reformed theologians. Arminians believe that man has the ability, the free will, to choose Christ. Reformed theologians believe that due to the bondage of the will to sin, man does not have the ability to choose Christ without the regenerating work and effectual calling of the Holy Spirit. This distinction has been the source of much debate between these two theological groups.
Before moving forward, it is important to understand that it is a universally agreed upon fact that man has a will and can make choices based upon that will. However, what is not true is that man has the ability to freely choose Christ based solely upon his own free will. Let me explain the difference.
I appreciate an article by Michael Horton in which he helps to clear up some of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology. Horton is a well-respected theology professor and theologian that regularly blogs and discusses theological topics at his podcast, The White Horse Inn. Horton carefully discusses each of these myths and others in great detail in his work For Calvinism.
The above referenced article addresses five of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology in a quick, overview type format. The five myths that Horton addresses are:
For years church leaders tried to convince us that being a hip, trendy, and relevant church was the key to doing church right. It was about professional bands, cool video graphics, and more ministry choices than you can fit on one bulletin page. But after many years and many failures even the well-respected church growth guru’s are admitting that it’s really about the preaching.
But not just any preaching. The trendy “talks” that cite one Bible verse then shares stories, jokes, and illustrations for 40 minutes are also failing. What people are really looking for is teaching from the Bible that expounds the Scriptures and connects them with daily life. In other words, expository preaching. What exactly is expository preaching?