Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Christian Skeptic

Skepticism is classically defined as:

1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object

2 a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics

3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)

So basically, Christian Skepticism adopts the first two definitions with the proposition that God's reason is greater than Man's and is the only source of truth, that Christ as revealed in Scripture is the revelation of God's character, will and truth, thus Christ is the foundation of all truth, so all truth claims must be examined and measured by this framework.

Net Effect - We are skeptical and doubt any knowledge that does not originate from and glorify God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) or detracts from Holy Scripture.


I would really like this to become a team site. I'll see if I can drum up some members.

As the Lord wills!

Grace and Peace,

-JD

Here is a cool video I found on YouTube for a starter!



...and a good blog - The Christian Mind

Refuting Christianity or Religion is the cause for the greatest suffering and death in history

The call for Apologetic SEALs - oorah!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Worship goals

III. Statement of Goals

1. Our primary vision is to strive to worship God in Spirit and Truth, in loving unity as well as to be broadly appealing to the bride of Christ (both those that are currently in the body and those God is calling to Himself) .

2. We will take the resources we have and develop them to more and more skillfully worship God - acknowledging the insufficiency of our righteousness and God's work of perfecting our worship (Hebrews 12:2).

3. We will run the race and move forward - not backwards - laying aside our personal preferences on traditional/non-traditional styles in order to focus on feeding the sheep, edifying the saints and going into all the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

4. We will, with fear and trembling, train up the children of God (Proverbs 22:6) to worship according to biblical principles with the understanding that some will reject these principles.

see this for the rationale and Scriptural support

Implementing Elders

from here


Elders

After the initial case of discipline, the church went through sixteen months of decline and struggle. After that, things really began to take off. The respect and admiration for myself from the body began to grow so much that I knew this was not healthy. I simply had almost no accountability. The deacons were only servants to the body and had no authority to oversee. The pastor was viewed as a benevolent dictator. I knew I needed help to lead and oversee the church. I was convinced that a plurality of elders was the most biblically healthy model of church leadership. I devised a plan. I would preach a series of messages on biblical elders and then ask the congregation to nominate men for the office. I would then examine the top nominees and exclude any one who was not biblically qualified. The remaining twelve would be presented to the congregation for a two-week examination period. If anyone had any concerns, they had two weeks to bring them to my attention. After two weeks, the men, with their wives at their side, were unanimously affirmed as elders in the church. Originally we called them “the Pastor’s Council” for fear the title “elder” might unsettle some. Since then, we have matured greatly in our understanding of elder ministry and in our policy for selecting and installing them. Today we require a 50-page questionnaire on theology and church polity. For over sixteen years now the love, encouragement, and accountability among the elders has been priceless to me. They have been the key, humanly speaking, to holding the church together in some very difficult times. Their leadership in doctrine and discipline issues greatly enhances my role of the preaching pastor.

Couple of good reads and a quote...

Al Mohler's response to the Wired Magazine article on "The New Atheism"

The Sacred Sandwich defends Christian satire.

Not finding Advent and Christmas explicitly named in the Bible, many of our Evangelical forebears refused to celebrate it. Some of my heroes, the Calvinistic Baptists of the 18th century, are a good example in this regard. But while we must learn from the past—a deep-seated conviction I live my life by—we don’t live in those days. It is today we must seize for Christ. And it is Scriptural to set apart days—even seasons—to reflect on God’s goodness and mercy, and to seek his face. And the Advent—blessed are all those who long for Christ’s appearing—and Christmas seasons are a marvellous time for such reflection and such seeking.

from here

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Biblical Deaconhood

New Testament Deacons serve the Lord by conducting the caring ministry of the church-doing the benevolence work, visiting the sick, being alert to the spiritual needs of the congregation-for the purposes of freeing the pastoral staff to focus on prayer and the ministry of the Word, promoting unity within the church, and facilitating the spread of the gospel.


http://www.baptiststart.com/print/role_of_deacons.html

Biblical Exegesis - John Piper

Great booklet on properly interpreting biblical texts:

http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/booklets/BTBX.pdf

From the booklet:

It is precisely at this point that I believe the Holy Spirit performs a crucial role in the exegetical process for the reliant believer. He does not whisper in our ears the meaning of a text. He cares about the text which he inspired and does not short circuit the study of it. The primary work of the Holy Spirit in exegesis is to abolish the pride and arrogance that keep us from being open to the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit makes us teachable because he makes us humble. He causes us to rely wholly on the mercy of God in Christ for our happiness so that we are not threatened if one of our views is found to be wrong. The person who knows himself finite and unworthy, and who thus rejoices in the mercy of God, has nothing to lose when his ego is threatened.

...

It was a life-changing revelation to me when I discovered that Paul, for example, did not merely make a collection of divine pronouncements, but that he argued. This meant, for me, a whole new approach to Bible reading. No longer did I just read or memorize verses. I sought also to understand and memorize arguments. This involved finding the main point of each literary unit and then seeing how each proposition fit together to unfold and support the main point.

...

Vaccination is the “Right” thing to do!