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Evolving Theology?

May 26, 2013 1 comment

I have become quite the fan of the Religion page of The Huffington Post. The articles represent such a wide variety of religious views and worldviews.

Take for instance an article I read today, The Theology of Unitarian Universalists. As the article says, we may have a misunderstanding of what the Unitarian Universalists believe. However, after reading the article, it appears that a member of this church can believe whatever they chose to believe. One of their core beliefs is that a person’s theology is always evolving. (For my views on that, read my previous post). That alone rings of postmodernism.

How much confidence can one have in a faith that is always evolving? How much assurance can one have if their theology is based on their own personal view? If the sand is always shifting, can you build on a solid foundation? Just food for thought.

Categories: faith, theology, worldviews

The Gospel and Western Culture

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I have begun reading a book for one of my seminary courses, Foolishness to the Greeks, The Gospel and Western Culture by Lesslie Newbigin.  I have just begun to read the book, but it has already raised a good deal of questions in my mind.

The western world has come so far in science and reasoning that we find ourselves living in a society where facts rule the public arena and we relegate values to our private lives.  We no longer need to seek new knowledge for ourselves; we just listen to the experts and trust them to tell us what is true and what is not.  Furthermore, because of our advanced understanding, each individual has the right to determine what is right or wrong, to determine his or her values and worldview.  We can believe whatever we want, just as long as we keep it to ourselves and not try to impose our values and beliefs on others.

But try to take our beliefs into the public square and now we are preaching heresy in a world dictated by facts.  How dare I try to impose my values on others?  Have I not read the latest issue of so-and-so magazine that says religion is only for those who are weak minded and cannot think for oneself?  Oh, how ignorant of me to think that we should live in a society of common norms and values.  That would be imposing my religion on everyone’s right to live his or her own life.  Society cannot tolerate such thoughts.

Is it any wonder that Christianity is losing ground in the western culture?

Categories: community, discipleship, faith

The “Rest” of the Story

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Heb 4:11-13 (New International Version)

As with many books of the Bible, Hebrews is one I have read many times, yet each time I read it I glean more knowledge and insight. This morning is no exception.

My daily reading led me to chapter 4. I have been reading from different translations over the past few days, and this morning I read from the NIV Study Bible. The wording and study notes helped me understand what it means to enter into the rest of God, and how our faith determines our ability to do so. As I often do, I pulled out another translation to compare.

This morning I reached for the ESV Study Bible and read the same verses and accompanying study notes. The ESV study notes are a bit more cumbersome to read and understand, but well worth the time and effort to work through. This morning, however, it was not so much the study notes that sparked the “ah-huh” moment for me as it was the grammatical structure of the text.

In the NIV (and several other translations), the paragraph on God’s rest ends with verse 11, and a new paragraph begins with verse 12. In the ESV (and the NASB), the paragraph ends with verse 10, and a new paragraph begins with verse 11. You may be asking, “So, what’s the big deal?” Well, the fact that the paragraph in the ESV begins with verse 11 ties that particular verse in with 12 & 13; and in so doing helped me to understand the context of verses 12 & 13 in relation to verse 11.

In other words, there is more to entering the rest of God than simply taking a day of rest; we must also be faithfully obedient. Moreover, we cannot fool God if we try to deceive ourselves by our actions. “The word of God is living and active…discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Hebrews 4:12 (ESV). God knows if we are living our lives in faith or not; we cannot fool him. In order to enter the rest of God, we must strive to live our lives in faith and obedience to God. We must understand and accept what Jesus Christ did for us, and place our trust in Him. Only then are we truly able to enter into the rest of God.

Holy Bible. (2008). The ESV study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Holy Bible. (2002). Zondervan NIV study Bible (Fully Revised). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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