Sunday, July 13, 2008

Treasuring Christ

Treasure... what does it make you think of?

maybe pirates with maps and shovels on a quest for wealth... or maybe the image of a sunken chest with a lock... maybe gold....silver.....jewels..

We use the word quite often, but we hardly ever think about what the word actually implies. defines it quite simply: wealth, rich materials, valuable things
and the verb (to treasure) : to regard or treat as precious.

Nothing out of the ordinary right? Lets look at the word in its biblical verse that sums up Christian parable that is the answer to how we reach our ultimate joy and bring Glory to God at the same time. Mathew 13: 44

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Over the next week or so, I want to discuss the importance of treasuring Christ. This is what the Christian is called to do. can't begin to describe his worth.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Oh self, why?

The past two weeks have been enlightening for me. As a counselor at a two week music camp--one week for junior high, one week for senior high--I was thrown into a group of people far different from the largely Christian group I am blessed to be with most of the time. My fellow counselors were mainly college upperclassmen or older, and although not exclusively, most were interested in music and music education. All were amiable, easy to work with, and generally pleasant people. However, they also were committed to secularism, held contrasting views to mine, and the standard jokes were sexual and crude in nature. Christianity was definitely not a priority, even among those who claimed nominal Catholicism/Protestantism.

I do not intend to make this a confession, or to detail all my faults. However, I was bothered profoundly throughout the week by aspects of my behavior throughout the week, and I want to highlight those tendencies many people may relate to, as shown by my recent salient experiences. Even as I write this, the gospel uplifts me, and I know that Jesus' work on my behalf covers my failures, and through him, I'll continue on my halting way toward sanctification.

Foremost of what I noticed is how little Christianity pervades my conversations with nonbelievers. I'm not talking about beating nonbelievers over the head with my Christianity, but I was dismayed at how little my conversations were influenced by what I claim as the center of my existence. The influence of the gospel in my life ought to be striking and notable. How can I talk about my past without mentioning God's provision for me? How can I talk about my future without mentioning my trust in God? How can I respond to any sort of deep questioning without that response being permeated by that which is deepest in me? Is it possible to wrench from every answer the substance that makes me who I am?

As demonstrated by these last two weeks, it certainly seems possible. This raises the niggling question: do I believe whole-heartedly what I confess at church? Or, stripped of an encouraging environment, is my faith proved to be tepid and ineffective? I guess, primarily, the question is how strongly I actually believe what I say I do. For example, I say that without Christ a soul is doomed forever, but when given opportunities to speak with these needy souls, I readily shelve Christianity as a second-tier topic. Because I'm afraid of controversy, I take steps to avoid discussions of the meaning of life, of virtue, of meaningful things--instead favoring the weather, music, and various other delightfully pointless topics.

About these things my conscience bothers me. As options for my future arise, I have pondered both seminary and missions. In these areas, the gospel is central to all one does, and the focus of all one's activities, and the last two weeks showed me how easy it is to lose sight of goal. I trust that this experience was appropriately timed and will accomplish God's purposes, bringing about a preparation for the tasks God eventually will give me. In the meantime, through pondering my sadly empty conversations, a wonderful song entitled "Help my unbelief" has attained a new poignancy for me. I pray that He will help mine. May I believe strongly and deeply what I confess so that its influence extends to all I do, coloring my conversations, prompting my actions.

Let us remember that, as Christians, we are not to fit into the culture around us. We are a counter-culture, the Kingdom of God, and the love of Christ ought to transform our attitudes so that we stand out. We have the truth, and should let reality be known. Being different, being known as a Christian, and standing for the gospel are necessary parts of the Christian life.

Onward Christian soldiers go.

PS-The church is a vital part of a vibrant faith.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Note: to fully understand this, it is essential, not merely optional, to read the Scriptues linked throughout the post below.


A friend set me an impossible task in a message he sent me this morning. He asked me to define the glory of God. (I'm honored that he would think me worth asking, but, bluntly, I'm not up to the task. Nonetheless, I shall give it a go, and in so doing hopefully demonstrate, through my own inability to convey the truth of the concept, its fantastical greatness.)

The phrase, "glory of God," tossed about as commonly as it is in our Christian circles, certainly bears more reflection than we often give it. Given the number of times variations on the phrase occur throughout Scripture, we ought to be giving it considerable attention simply on its own merit, and when one expands to consider variations on the phrase - "God of glory," "the Glory of Israel," and so on (try just searching for glory and glorious if you really want to see how important the term is in scripture) - the sheer quantity of references is astounding. This demands closer attention.

One of those phrases - God of glory - is particularly interesting, though it occurs only twice in the body of Scripture (at least so far as I can find): in Psalm 29:3, and in Acts 7:2. These two passages seem to speak rather uniquely to the notion of God's glory, and in manner rather different one from another. From these two passages, as well as what I have gained from my study over nearly a year, I hope to paint something of a picture of what Scripture means by the glory of God.

The 29th Psalm is one of praise and adulation. It opens with an exhortation to the heavenly host to worship God. The particular exhortation in this case is to ascribe to Him all that He is due: glory and strength, the glory due His name. The word glory appears once in each of the three verses, which is significant given that there are only eleven verses in the Psalm. I want to particularly draw your attention to verse 3, the first appearance in Scripture of the phrase "God of glory."

In a Psalm reflecting on the attributes of God - in particular, elucidating His supreme power and worthiness of praise - it is suggestive that David chose to use the phrase "of glory" to describe the God who is "over the waters" (v. 3). The contrast to other gods is, in my opinion, strongly implied in the passage. Every thing that other gods of other tribes would have been doing - natural events like earthquakes, fertility, and so on - is explicitly declared to be under the control of David's - and our - God. But unlike all the other gods, He is not merely the god of the water or the god of fertility or the god of the earth: He is God of glory.

In Acts 7, we have the conclusion of the story of the first known martyr of the Christian believers: Stephen. In verse 2 he begins his monologue declaring the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, lumping them in with the consistent pattern of unbelief that had characterized the Jews over their long history, and thus quietly proclaiming that in rejecting Christ, they were rejecting God. That he opens this speech with reference to the God of glory as the one who revealed Himself to Abraham indicates that it is this attribute Stephen has in mind and wants the Pharisees to have in mind as he recounts their history. That He is the God of glory is central to an understanding of this passage.

These passages in particular, and many others related to them, raise two significant questions. First, what is the glory of God, and second, what does it mean to be the God of glory?

Let us begin by addressing the former question and then from that see if we can understand somewhat the latter question. Glory is a difficult word to define, because it is a word we still have in our language but which concept has slowly faded from our minds. It has become a small, a light thing, when it is used at all.

The American Heritage dictionary's relevant definitions are:
1. Great honor, praise, or distinction accorded by common consent; renown.
3. A highly praiseworthy asset: Your wit is your crowning glory.
4. Adoration, praise, and thanksgiving offered in worship.
5. Majestic beauty and splendor, resplendence: The sun set in a blaze of glory.
6. The splendor and bliss of heaven; perfect happiness.

All of these, with some modification, are part and parcel of the glory which we ascribe to God. On the first count, the honor, praise, or distinction is deserved regardless of whether it is accorded (and to not accord it is thus a wrong done); and the deserving is by dint of the very nature of who God is, not by any assent to His worth by others: He is, by His very nature, utterly deserving of honor, praise, and distinction. The sixth is of course relevant because glory in this sense is then our partaking of perfect fellowship with God.

Of all of these, the third and fifth definitions are most significant for our discussion. The fifth definition gives us both an image of the glory of God revealed in nature - consider the comparisons given in Psalm 19, for example - and a notion of what glory is: majesty, resplendence, and beauty! So in this sense, we may say that God's glory can be defined as His utter and consummate majesty and beauty: greater by an infinite amount than anything of majesty or beauty in this world. And we may also say, in the sense of the third definition, that all His attributes are His glory, for none among them is chief, but all are part and parcel together. His majesty and beauty derive from the sum total of everything about Him: from His perfect love to HIs righteous judgment in wrath, which are but two parts of the same thing: His glory.

And this drives us further, to a deeper and hopefully truer definition. If we look at the word "glory" in the sense in which it is used in Hebrew, it carries two further meanings with it that are somewhat lost in English. The first is the great sense of weight associated with the glory of God: it is a great and terrible and heavy thing: and not only metaphorically. In one of my favorite passages about His glory, at the dedication of the first temple, God's glory falls on the temple, and the priests cannot even enter the temple, because it was full of the glory of God. There are a couple of interesting points to note from this: the first is the sheer present-ness (if you'll allow me the word) of the glory of God. It was Immanent in a way that we typically do not associate with God at all, much less a supposedly abstract concept like His glory. And furthermore, the implication of the passage is that this was the very presence of God, in which case to say that His glory fell is to say that He, in some way beyond us, made Himself present in that location in a way He was not ordinarily physically present.

An extremely important aside here is to note a few things about this presence and immanence. When it left the temple, it broke the prophet's heart - and when it was prophesied to return, it gave him great joy. (The whole book of Ezekiel is essentially focused on God's glory and the temple in the context of man's sinfulness.) The presence of the glory of God is not a small thing. So it is that when the very radiance of the glory of God appears in the person of Christ, this is a most incredible and remarkable event! It is beyond compare! He, the very image of the invisible God (stop and think about that!), appeared to make His glory known to us, and to invite us to once again be perfect reflections of that glory. Ah! I do not have the words to communicate the depth, the urgency, the profundity and meaning in this: that we are given the opportunity to be the ambassadors of Christ in this world, and thus of the glory of God in this world! This is beyond anything in all the world for incredibility.

Returning from that aside to continue our defining, we examine a second point raised by the Hebrew meaning, and related to our expansion of the third definition above. Glory in the Scriptures also means the fullness or totality of something, a complete and total whole. The glory of God, then, is the totality of all He is, a grand whole that is greater than the infinity of each of its parts or even their infinite sum. His glory is the true reality, the grand totality of who He is: His every attribute in perfect harmony and fullness! It is this that is radiant, beautiful, and majestic: and those very attributes are themselves only a part of His glory, parts that make up that transcendent whole.

It is difficult to convey glory in mere words. Think of the most radiant sunset you have ever seen, and all that made it beautiful: impossible to describe, yet knowable nonetheless. Ponder on the most beautiful music you've ever heard, and try for a moment to grasp what made it so compelling: impossible to verbalize, but capable of being experienced. So it is with the glory of God: only infinitely more so, for His nature and character are infinite, and His glory is infinitely infinite. You see? My words fail. Yet I know, in some small part, the glory of God our Father: because I know Him, more deeply and truly every day.

This brings us to our final question: What does it mean that our God is the God of glory? I think that we first must be cautioned that we can never fully describe God Almighty: if even the concept of His glory is beyond our ability to verbalize, how much more so He himself, the God of glory? Then, second, we may grapple with this notion. When other gods are gods of fertility, of water, of sun and moon and stars, even of higher things like righteous anger or love, and ours is the God of glory, this speaks to the reality of who He is. He is not a God created by human hands, nor a construction of feeble human minds. We might be able to conceive of a God whose primary attribute is love - but a God whose love is but a part of a more perfect whole, whose love is a part of glory? This is a God beyond any of us to conceive of, a God whose very nature is beyond understand, but whose glory is reflected just as much in His revealing Himself to us and calling us to comprehend as it is in being so utterly beyond our comprehension.

And because He is the God of glory, with all that this entails, there can be no higher calling in this life, no greater pleasure or joy in this life, than to surrender utterly and completely to His glory as our chief and supreme end, to which all other goals must be subservient or put completely aside. His glory is the only thing worth living for, the only real purpose in this world: for all this is for Him and by Him, and all this is to the glory of Christ. How great an honor we are given to be His image-bearers, to carry in us a small part of the glory of God reflected so that the world may know Him! And how great the promise of Heaven, where we shall each of us perfectly reflect the aspect of His glory we were designed for, and all of us together shall be a shining mirror of the great and terrible glory that He is.

May the glory of the God of glory consume us all!

- Chris

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Supremacy of Christ in the Midst of Sorrow

Wednesday night at 5:30, Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year old daughter died tragically in an accident on their driveway. It took no time for the tragic news to spread; Christians all over the world have been grieving with and praying for the family of one of their favorite musicians. Maria Sue Chapman was adopted from China along with two other of his six children.

Many of you may not know this, but Steven’s family is probably the reason that I have two adopted sisters of my own. The Chapman’s love of adoption and vision for other Christians in adoption is used by God everyday. Maria was loved as much as any daughter could be, and having an adopted 5 year old sister, I couldn’t begin to imagine that magnitude of pain felt by Steven, Mary Beth, and the other children. It is a truly horrible tragedy and everyone should keep their family in their prayers.

Even in the midst of such overwhelming sorrow, something must be stood up for, something that I know the Chapmans and their wonderful church in Nashville hold to. The undeniable truth, even through the pain of such an event, is that God is completely sovereign. God is entirely in control and is not the least bit surprised or confused by this.

It seems hard to grasp, and it is. To think that a good God could have his hand in such a catastrophic thing seems impossible to justify. How could a loving God who is in control let such a terrible thing happen? It would seem that either God’s omnipotence or goodness were in question.

Here is the answer, and I stand by it till death. God is completely, entirely in control. Hard as it is to grasp, this is God’s purpose for the Chapman family, and for His glory. It is ultimately good, in ways that we will never understand. Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things for good, and he is. I know that the Chapmans believe this, and I pray that even in the midst of unbearable pain, we would give God the glory and honor that he is due! The Chapmans, in the midst of the greatest pain any of them have ever felt, have a chance to REALLY MAKE GOD LOOK GLORIOUS!

It is completely understandable to struggle with this. Even Jonathan Edwards said that the supreme sovereignty of God seemed at once to be a “Horrible Doctrine”, but once he saw both in God’s word and in his own experiences that God’s sovereignty gives us a God who is in control of the situation, and working it towards a greater good, rather than a God who is at the mercy of fate, it changed both his ministry and his life.

Do you see the comfort associated with God’s sovereignty? Rather than letting Theodicy lead you to a God who is not in control, and doesn’t even know what will happen, let God’s Sovereignty answer the problem of evil! Are we to be more satisfied if we keep God good in our minds by letting him be distant and uninvolved in our problems, or constantly with us and the author of our lives and faith who will work all things for his Glory and our joy?

Nothing could be more comforting than a God who is in control, and conversely, I couldn’t imagine anything more terrifying than a God who is at the mercy of men and fate.

Samuel Rodigast spoke of both the difficulty in accepting, and comfort of knowing these truths in his hymn “Whate’er My God Ordains is Right”

"Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart
And pain and sorrow shall depart."

Though it seems bitter at the time, knowing that God is sovereign and has his hand in the situation, we need to realize that our finite minds can only see the moment and that God sees the whole picture and is working everything out for his glory and our joy.

It is a horrible thing to see all this. To listen to “Cinderella” is close to impossible, but in the midst of this unspeakable pain, the Chapmans know, and I know, that God is just as in control now as he ever was. Our Sovereign Father was in the same place Wednesday night, that he was when he watched his own son hang on the cross. He was there, involved, completely in control. What could be more comforting?

All Glory in heaven and on earth be to our God
He is enough
He is good
He will take care of us


Monday, May 19, 2008


I'm cross posting this from my own blog, because it fits, and I've not posted here in too long.


The little book of Zephaniah is, sadly, probably overlooked a great deal in modern Christian circles. (Indeed, we could say much the same for most of the Old Testament, but that is another post for another evening.)

For the last 16 months I have been slowly working my way through the Old Testament in chronological order. I've read all these books before. And I've taken side trips along the way - the foundations of a word-study on glory (before I realized that I would continue to gain in that as I continued to study through the Old Testament, and that the latter would more thoroughly inform the former than a simple word study), diversions through a few brief book studies in the New Testament. I keep coming back to this slow progression through history, though.

Why? Because it is incredible. The character of God is revealed in unique ways in the historical narrative - sometimes surprising ways. His broken heart for the dying world is so evident. His sorrow at the sins and rebellion of men is beyond mere words to describe. His mercy and love are on display in ways that are surpassed only by the incarnation, cross, and resurrection.

As I read Zephaniah one evening last week, two verses struck me forcefully, both from the final chapter. The book, like the other minor prophets, is a broken-hearted tirade against the foolish sins of Israel, with the hope and promise of God's eventually redeeming her to Himself - by wiping out those sins, not only forgiving them but making Israel truly righteous: a promise which began to see its fulfillment in the nations and will someday be completed when Israel herself returns to Christ.

In Zephaniah 3:5 we read:
The Lord in her midst is righteous;
He does no injustice.
Every morning he shows forth his justice;
Each dawn he does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.

This is an incredible verse. We see highlighted and sharply contrasted - as in many of the surrounding verses - God and the sinner. God's injustice is on clear display: He is in the midst of Jerusalem and Judah (the context referenced here). The unjust ones to whom the book is directed in call for repentance, however, knows no shame. Even with the perfect example of what he is not, still he blithely walks on his way, content in his sinfulness.

How easy it is to smirk at the folly of it all. But how frequently is it you or me that, despite the clear evidences of the character of God that we ought to be reflecting, walk unconcernedly along in stubborn pride and rebellion? And this after we have been reborn, redeemed, given a heart of flesh instead of stone! How great should be our sorrow when we see our own sinfulness and the depravity from which are gradually but oh-so-certainly being redeemed!

The other text which stood out to me was the oft-quoted Zephaniah 3:17:
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a Mighty One who will save.
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you with his love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.

I have heard the passage referenced frequently. Yet I have not stopped to truly consider all its implications until that evening last week. So much is buried in this single verse: so much of who God Himself is, so much of His nature and character, so much of the way He interacts with us - and will in the glory of Heaven.

First, He will be in our midst. Right in the middle of us, with us wherever we are. Incredible!

Second, He is not merely the Lord God, He is the Lord our God. That's worth pondering. He is not merely some abstract deity: He is not merely the God of all creation (though to lead that latter phrase with "merely" is a misnomer all its own) - He is personally each of our God as individuals and He is our God as a community of redeemed ones. How remarkable!

Third, He is a Mighty One who will save. Two things worth noting here - first, He is Mighty, which means He is able to save: the promise is not made vainly; second, He is absolutely going to save: the verb is will, not may.

And then we come to the oft-quoted (but perhaps not oft-pondered) part. He will rejoice over us with gladness. Wait: the God of all will rejoice of us with gladness? And it's such a great rejoicing - in which gladness is automatically implied - that it must be reinforced by saying "with gladness"? What kind of rejoicing is this? Indeed, it is the kind of rejoicing that only God, with His infinite capacity for joy can do.

He will quiet us with His love. The image is of a child falling silent in their parent's loving arms: secure, completely at peace, because the trust is so complete. And why is the trust so complete? Because there is utter assurance of the parent's love. And so it is here with God: we will be quieted by His love, as we trust Him perfectly. Interestingly, while this is a future promise, I think this part of the verse has perhaps the most immediate application for our daily lives now: when our hearts, troubled by the circumstances in which we find ourselves, are loud and complaining, we may see them quieted when we turn back to Christ and recognize His love.

And last but not least - as if to reinforce the image of rejoicing and then step again farther - He will exult over us with singing. To exult: to revel, to be so completely filled with joy that it exceeds words' capability to convey. And out of this is born singing. But not just any singing: loud singing, like the shout that bursts from your chest when your wildest aspirations are birthed before your eyes. God will do that over us.

And again, as I did the other night, I find myself with tears in my eyes as I ponder this. It is beyond belief: and yet we believe it because He Himself promises that it is true. We who are so unworthy will, in our glorification (which will so perfectly glorify God Himself as all finally see just how great His goodness, mercy, lovingkindness, justice, righteousness, and holiness are), He will rejoice over us.

I do not understand.

I am humbled, broken before this.

And I find in myself awe and reverence.

As it should be: for we are to bring to God an acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

He is a consuming fire, as Israel learned well in her disobedience - as you and I have learned well in our idolatries. Yet He is, now that we are His redeemed ones, a fire that consumes all the dross and destroys the chaff that is not of Him.

Glory to God in the highest! Glory!

- Chris

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Truth and the Supremacy of Christ

Early this semester I watched a few videos put out by Focus on the Family called “The Truth Project.” It was a very biblical, logical, and interesting approach to discover the truth of the Gospel and who God is. The very first week, the speaker made a very good point that I would bet most of you don’t know, so before you read on, see if you can dig through the scripture in your brain and find the answer.

Why did Christ come into the world?
There is only one time that Jesus said “This is why I have come into the world…” When was it? What was his answer? It seems like a pretty important question right? Well lets look at the scripture.

Jesus is before Pilate who asks him “So are you King?” to which Jesus gives a remarkable response (well of course he does, he’s Jesus!) “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37)

Wow! I bet that isn’t what some of you expected. Do you see that truth as it relates to Christ is obviously fundamental to the Christian faith? There’s no going around it, Christ came into the world to testify to the truth.

The point I am trying to make is that a biblical definition of truth, and what it meant to Jesus is paramount in understanding and even believing in the Supremacy of Christ.


Here’s the dictionary definition:
Any of a number of trends or movements in the arts and literature developing in the 1970s in reaction to or rejection of the dogma, principles, or practices of established modernism.

Postmodernism is a blatant rejection of the logical principles of truth and an embrace of a relativistic philosophy centered around the acceptance of uncertainty. It is the current secular humanistic view of life, and says that truth is relative and is different from person to person.

Now if you are anything like me that last sentence just confuses you to death! I mean at least pick a different word; truth could be defined as what exists outside of our minds and what doesn’t change from person to person. Naturally, truth and relativism are near antonyms. I mean, this doesn’t seem like rocket science to me (not that there is anything wrong with rocket science Eric ). Aristotle figured it out! He was not a child of God, but he through what I think is quite simple logic came to a very basic and elementary conclusion.

“'to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true

This almost needs a “duh” at the end. With the understanding that the lost will never be able to fully understand what we know is true, lets move on to the real, frankly disturbing issue at hand.

Post Modernism and the Church

Ouch. I hope it hurts you to read that as much as it made me cringe to type it. Nevertheless, it is true. The heresy of postmodernism has infiltrated church walls and is being accepted and taught by many of today’s rising figures in Christianity, including a man that is called by many “the next Billy Graham.” Yikes!

It seems contradictory from the start. How could a religion based completely on the fundamentals of what “is,” be accepted and followed by people who’s cultural worldview says “Truth is relative and can’t be known for sure?” Here’s how the Emergent (postmodern) church justifies this.

In Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, he uses the metaphor of a trampoline. He says that the Christian life is like jumping on a trampoline, and the doctrines of the faith are like springs. Bells says that all we should focus on is jumping on the trampoline, that we spend too much time checking the springs. And what if one of these strings pops? Are we OK? Of course! The trampoline keeps propelling us upward towards God. This appealing example says that Doctrine is flexible, indefinite and not entirely important.

Now let me make something VERY clear before I explain the danger and heresy that is brought about by this picture. These springs are not “Calvinism” or “Armenianism” or “views on baptism” or “when to take communion” or ”dispensationalism.”
The book uses things such as the virgin birth, or divinity of Christ to define these springs. I’m not at all saying we should spend all day bickering over the picky things of complex doctrine that both sides of the issues have questions and concerns. That is not his analogy. On the contrary, the Emergent Church seems bent on marginalizing the essential unarguable doctrines of Christianity.

Postmodernism in the church says that like a brick wall, Christianity is solid and unmovable, but also like a brick wall, you can remove on theological brick and have the wall perfectly unmoved. This disturbs and puzzles me.

Take Barry Bonds for example. He set the all time homerun record right? 672 homeruns... I think it is safe to say that he is a fantastic baseball player, very possibly the best. He has meaning, reason, standard in the world of baseball and in the culture of America. But wait, I’m forgetting something huh... the steroids.
Barry Bonds cheated. Broke the law and the rules of baseball, and lied in court about it. I know he’s still a great baseball player, but to me, that record means nothing. I don’t care if he his 600 more, he cheated, he was fake.

Now in the exact same way, how could you EVER tell me that we can still trust and cherish the Bible as the Inspired, Inerrant, Infallible, and Authoritative Word, if it isn’t what it itself claims to be. Perfect. Again, I’m not talking little controversial issues that aren’t addressed completely in scripture; I am talking about the fundamental essential doctrines of our faith. If the Bible has lied, how can we accept it? If it has lied, we as Christians could be logically torn to bits; the bible would immediately contradict itself in so many places.
We must stand up against this uprising of heresy. Christ came to testify to the truth, and in response, we much be entirely apposed to this cowardly cave-in of Christian meaning and understanding.

How Postmodernism seeks to destroy the Supremacy of Christ

Here are 3 simple reasons why what these new theological thinkers bring to the table is completely contradictory to what we know about who God is and what he has given us and done for us.

1. It seeks to belittle and marginalize the authority and inerrancy of scripture.

To expound on what I discussed earlier, lets look at a section of Bell’s Velvet Elvis that I pulled from a pro-Emergent Church Blog.

“What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?
What if that spring were seriously questioned? Could a person keep on jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live? Or does the whole thing fall apart?”

If you have a biblical truth-seeking understanding of scripture this should absolutely infuriate you. What a mockery of Truth! Essentially, what is being asked here is “what if the Bible was proven completely and irreversibly false? Then do we have a legitimate faith?” To which the answer is a resounding NO! Not only is this a complete butchering of the divinity of Christ (which sounds awful Gnostic to me) but it’s just downright disgusting. It reeks of disrespect for Gods holy word. Read the passage again keeping in mind the fact that God through the writers of the Gospels has told us about the complete divinity and humanity of Christ through the glory of the virgin birth. I hate it.

2. It seeks to destroy Biblical doctrine and discourage the studying of God’s word.

The Emergent Church, rather than encouraging believers to study to know who God is, encourages a hatred of theology and an embrace of the uncertain, making very clear its postmodern roots.

These leaders often promote what sounds good and happy about God above the glorious picture which the Bible paints. If God’s sovereignty means that he was in control over my friends death, let’s redefine sovereignty so we can like God more. If God’s just nature means people will go to hell, we do as Brian McLaren has and call hell “false advertising” from God, belittling his justice and making light of the rich stores of grace on the other end of the spectrum. Oh, and did you catch that? according to Emergent theology, not only is God not an author of absolute truth, but he has tricked us with falsehood.

The lack of focus on our sin, and the absence of emphasis on the Biblical nature of God fling us into a jungle of confusion and uncertainty. It’s really no wonder these leaders say that you can’t know truth; it’s impossible to match the false standards, based out of how they want God to be, to the truth of who the Glorious God of the Bible is.

Lastly and most tragically
3. It seeks to destroy the power and importance of the Gospel

This doesn’t take much explaining. I will let Brian McLaren do it for me.

“In this light, although I don't hope all Buddhists will become (cultural) Christians, I do hope all who feel so called will become Buddhist followers of Jesus; I believe they should be given that opportunity and invitation. I don't hope all Jews or Hindus will become members of the Christian religion. But I do hope all who feel so called will become Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus...
"Ultimately, I hope that Jesus will save Buddhism, Islam, and every other religion, including the Christian religion, which often seems to need saving about as much as any other religion does. (In this context, I do wish all Christians would become followers of Jesus, but perhaps that is too much to ask. After all, I'm not doing such a hot job of it myself."

What a horrible distortion of the gospel. We all know John 14:6

‘Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ’

What is the truth? That Jesus is the only way to heaven, and that through repentance in faith we are saved through grace by the Glorious work of Jesus, who took our sins upon himself and paid our debt. This is the truth! We can stop guessing or saying that we can’t find it. There is no other name by which men are saved!

How can we not know truth? God gave us truth! He invented truth, and gave us the capacity to know it. We can rest assured in the promises of scripture and know that God is God, and he is a God of truth.

Praise God that he has created a way for us and revealed it to us!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Passing Reflection on Glory

God's glory is greater than we can possibly imagine - greater than our wildest dreams. The fullness of who He is, the fundamental truth, deeper than anything in the universe, more real than all else that is or has been or will be. His greatness, His kindness, His mercy, His justice, His vengeance, His righteousness, His love, His everything.

His glory.

Great is the Lord of all!

- Chris