Thursday, June 24, 2010

The New Trend: Christian ADVISE

Dr Horton presents an interesting trend that moving through a lot of churches its called "Religion" and not the GOSPEL through the person of Christ. Unfortunately most churches are now giving biblical tidbits on living, to make the members of their congregations lives better. They do this by bringing the parishioners each Sunday, biblical steps to help them see mistakes in their lives and what they need to do to "get better" and "do better". What the churches are becoming are " pit stops" each Sunday that provide self-help fueling for the rest of the week. Therefore Christ really is not needed in the message on Sunday mornings because snapshots of scripture references, and biblical jargon about "doing stuff" are substituted for the person and work of Jesus Christ. The announcement of the gospel is replaced by the law of "what to do" to get favor and blessing from God and if you "do" what you are supposed to "do" then God will begin "doing" in your life. HELLO!!!! He has ALREADY done something it is called Calvary, the empty grave , and the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Oh No... Another Article on Preaching!!!

Yeah its true. Another article on preaching. This one was sent to be from a young lady in our church and I think that it's pretty interesting. Preaching all over is in pretty dire straits unfortunately, and any and all help is needed. As powerful as preaching is in reformed circles, sometimes sermons occasionally can be dry at times; and I think that this is because of, believe it or not, EXPOSITORY preaching ( I know I said it...bring out the stake and burn me- its heresy- I know I know.) Well with that said let me explain before I introduce the article. There are times when topical sermons fit the text much better than an exegetical verse by verse sermon. However one of the problems that I find in preaching and in many speeches for that matter, is the inability of most people to WRITE. Writing on a well organized thought, bringing out the main idea of what you want to say, or what the biblical text is saying, is a serious problem for most speakers. I believe that trick is following a well organized idea in essay form, developing the body and bringing it to conclusion for the hearers. I believe this is the foundation for the sermon and from this other aspects are added -even in expository sermons. The article points out some interesting tidbits that are relevant to preaching effectively to the congregation. I think how the preacher is able to convey information to an audience is vital, as well as, how the audience is able to understand and be moved by the information received by the preacher. Click HERE to read the article....enjoy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Rising of the REFORMED!

Guess what? Calvinism is back, on the rise, and getting stronger. The modern church is now embraced in capturing the teaching of Reformed Christianity. Shocked and confused? Don't be- the theology of Calvin is basically biblical Christianity recaptured during the reformation that the Catholic church just about completely abandoned during 16th century. However there is a new movement that is on the rise. According to a recent article in Time Magazine , Being starved at mega churches, young people are now hungry for deeper theology and more complex scriptural thinking and the biblically based Reformed Theology of Calvin fits the bill. The movement of the protestant reformation came about because the church in medieval times, had pretty much become a political and economic behemoth that ignored Holy Scripture and instead implemented traditions of the pope and the European culture at hand. The Reformation, with men like: Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli and the like, recaptured much of the biblical church doctrine and reformed the church and its teachings to its original purpose and position. Unfortunately most modern day Christians have very little ability to think analytically, philosophically or logically in a biblical framework, therefore people dismiss or ignore the tenets introduced by such thinkers as Augustine, Luther or Calvin. Not to mention that biblical illiteracy is at an all time high in our culture, so developing a systematic paradigm to see scriptural connections is often difficult for most in our modern times. Although reformers such as Calvin, Luther, Knox, etc. had their flaws, as well as theological points I disagree with, their exegesis and exposition of biblical text was fantastic and still helpful to the modern church of today.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Claremont School of Theology Goes Off The Deep End

It turns into Claremont School of Theology. Claremont, a Methodist affiliated seminary, is now training graduates in multiple faiths other than Christianity. In a recent Los Angeles Times Article Claremont, which is located in Claremont California, a suburb of Los Angeles, is now training clerics for Islam and Rabbis for Judaism. Which simply means they are training people to present multiple ways to God. However if you are a Christian school, or call yourself a Christian school, and your job is to train men and women in your institution to properly preach the gospel, this is a contradiction. Because the gospel presents Christ as the only way and there is no other way. If the false teachings of Islam and Judaism will one day send individuals to hell, why would you promote those as legitimate teachings in an institution that is Christian? This is what happens when a seminary is interested in becoming "academic' and known, rather than orthodox and authentic. Theological liberalism is invading seminaries like a plague and Claremont is just one example of what a school will do to be anything but biblical. When a seminary tries to be relevant chances are it will be at the expense of being Christ centered and biblical. That is why we are to be in the world but not of a world that neither friendly or accepting of us.
Even though many seminaries are bastions of questionable theology it seems that some have gone even further off the deep end. For example, what happens to a seminary when it abandons the faith handed down from scripture?