Monday, October 29, 2007

Piper on Wright

This is a link to an interview with John Piper about his new book The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright. The book is an argument against N.T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul.

Bart Ehrman vs. Richard Hays

On another blog I frequent there is a debate/discussion between Dr. Bart Ehrman and Dr. Richard Hays.

Dr. Bart Ehrman received his PhD at Princeton and is currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also the author of The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture and Lost Christianities.

Richard Hays received his PhD from Emory and is currently the George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at UNC Chapel Hill. He has authored many texts such as
The Moral Vision of the New Testament, The Art of Reading Scripture, and Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul.

It is a lively discussion. I think what is most interesting is the different starting points each scholar takes and their views on the unity/diversity of Scripture.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sola Scriptura

Interesting quote from Cyril of Alexandria for those claiming sola scriptura.

"But be well assured that the followers of every heresy gather the occasions of their error from the God-inspired Scriptures, corrupting in their evil minds the things rightly said through the Holy Spirit, and drawing upon their own heads the unquenchable flame."

From the Epistle to John of Antioch. Called today the Formula of Reunion

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Willow Creek Repents!

I lived in Chicago during the year 1991. One Sunday morning I happened to attend a large, very popular, and contemporary church called Willow Creek. Since then the size of the church and its ministry outreach has grown by leaps and bounds.

However, I was not particularly found of my experience on that warm Sunday morning in 1991. I remember there some sort of rope ladder on stage and the pastor used it to communicate a very basic message of salvation of some sort. I got nothing from the presentation. My father, who went with me, still remarks to this day about how so many were wearing shorts to church and how it felt like going to a rock concert.

Disclaimer: I do not think my dad has ever been to a rock concert. He was born in 1940 and thus in that old generation.

But I remember it was the definition of seeker sensitive and even then (pre-seminary days) knew it was not how church should be done. Well it seems maybe Willow Creek agrees with me now.

Bill Hybels stated in a recent article by Christianity Today:

We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.

It seems they recently did a qualitative study of their church and its ministries and unfortunately it did not produce positive results. However the quote above and this next one gives me some reason to have hope that Hybels and Willow Creek might turn things around.

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.

Hopefully they will not put more and more millions into the next new thing instead of thinking about the older and cheaper things the church used to do. (i.e. liturgy, spiritual direction, expository preaching) But I am not 100% sure that they will not just go down the same path with now new and improved model that will unfortunately try and change all that wrong and right in Church's today.

Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet.

Check out the videos offered on the link above also.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Joel Osteen did not go to Seminary?

Watching these videos made me laugh, cry and then get very afraid. It is so scary that he is the pastor of the nation's largest church. It is easy why so many people like him. He is so nice. But his smile might send some to hell.

Here is two about Joel Osteen

And here is one which displays the dangers of his type of theology.

Here is a guy who was street preaching outside of Lakewood.

And here is a guy who wrote a poem about feel good preachers and their messages. However I do not know what is scarier Osteen's smile or this guy. Watch the video and you will see what I mean.

And the really shocking part is that he never went to seminary. No? Really?