The Capranica

Comments on theology and life

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Location: Hemet, California, United States

Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of San Jacinto, California

Friday, March 31, 2006

Christianity Today and Pentecostalism

CT has been posting a number of articles chronicling Pentecostalism as they reach the century mark in America.

Each of these articles reveal much not only about Pentecostalism but Christianity Today and the plight of the Gospel in many corners of the evangelical world.

Africa's Azuza Street

Full Gospel's Fractured Thinking Grading the Movement Our Anit-Intellectual Heritage Pentecostals: The Sequel Pentecostal Connections

Marriage and Spiritual Warfare

Warfare? Many would agree. Spiritual Warfare? Read Kostenberger's great reminder (I did not see permalinks for his articles so look for the one entitled, "Marriage and Spiritual Warfare").

An Interview on Temptation

Faith & Practice: A Fight to the Death (An Interview with Author Joshua Mack) Good interview and no doubt a great book.

Key Emergent Articles Posted

Denny Burk: McLaren and Driscoll's Articles Online I'll be reading these soon. I'm grateful they put them online. BTW, is that REALLY Denny Burk flying high with a skateboard? Can a New Testament professor be a skater and a scholar?

Mathematical Piety

Mark Dever has a great article here about the foundation and fuel of the constant numbers mantra that often plagues especially, but not merely, my own denomination. It is a good exhortation reminding us to maintain a genuine Christcenteredness in every detail of ministry.

A Good Reminder

TMS Alumni: 2 Timothy 2:24-26 Good reminder. I need to read this biblical text and this article a few times each week.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Conclusion of a Pentecostal Emphasis

A Wind that Swirls Everywhere - Christianity Today Magazine Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong says we should surely be engaging with other religions so that we can discern what the Holy Spirit is doing in each and learn from them - perhaps even integrate.

"Christians should be open to learning from and being enriched by the Spirit's work in world religions. Dialogue must take place alongside evangelism, he argues, so that all the religions—including Christianity—can learn from each other what the Spirit is doing."
Evangelism is redefined:
"Dialogue and proclamation are not mutually exclusive but intrinsically connected," he writes. "A pneumatological approach to the non-Christian faiths … opens up the Christian to whatever is true, good, beautiful, and holy in the other traditions, even while nurturing an environment in which the non-Christian can come to appreciate the same in Christian faith. What else is this besides grassroots 'evangelism'?"
Pluralism lurks beneath the shaddow of his Bibleless Christianity:
In his theology, the world religions are instruments of God, play a role in God's providence, and have much to contribute to Christianity. "[C]hristians should be open to learning from other religious traditions because of the unfinished character of Christian identity," he writes. "While we are being formed into the eschatological image of Jesus, we continue to look through the glass dimly. If others have something to say about God, should we not at least listen both sympathetically and critically?"
Bibleless, you say? - Yep:
He is determined simply to follow the Spirit wherever the Spirit leads and let the theological chips fall where they may. And one place where Yong sees the Spirit as especially active is along the perimeters of world pentecostalism, where younger churches absorb elements of their cultures and traditional religions into their theologies and practices. He cites as an example an African movement that combines Islam and Christianity. His conclusion is typically ambiguous (and perhaps ambivalent): "My point is not to embrace … these developments but to be spurred on to discernment and theological reflection by what is happening in the Christian-Muslim encounter."
Where is the Bible's authority in this:
This raises a second question: What criteria should we use for discerning the Spirit's work in non-Christian movements? Yong hesitates to elevate Jesus Christ to exclusive status for such discernment. For him, "signs of the kingdom," such as personal and social transformation in love, might serve as such tools. The Spirit might be active, then, wherever the kingdom of God is being advanced, whether or not Jesus Christ is central to the religious messages and practices.
What is Christianity Today's take on this budding new theologian:
In the meantime, Yong is proving to be a cutting-edge Pentecostal scholar, whose non-Western perspective is offering fresh ways of looking at old theological problems.
Here's another reason why we need to actively apply Jude 3. In my opinion, Yong is a good example of the logical conclusion to the Pentecostal penchant for emphasizing the Holy Spirit's voice to the exclusion of the Bible. And note, he is not one of the so-called fringe crazies on TBN that some accuse opponents of Pentecostalism of always emphasizing. No, here is a bona fide theological intellectual carrying his Pentecostal theology to its necessary conclusion: a Bibleless, pluralistic, syncretistic brand of religion with a Christian twist.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Good Interview with a Very Good Preacher

Expository Thoughts: Interview with Jerry Wragg Jerry Wrag was the Senior Associate Pastor of Grace Community Church and personal assistant to John MacArthur when I began seminary. He is a tremendous preacher and a very effective pastor and leader. Beyond that, the dude can sing! I mean SING! As a matter of fact, the first time I saw Jerry Wragg was at my first Shepherds' Conference in 1991. At that time, they had a baptism service on the opening evening. Just before the service, Jerry sang, "Oh I Want to Know You More." It has been a favorite of mine ever since. He was also leading music with Carey Hardy in Lance Quinn's new Fellowship Group, Grace Life. Part 2 was released on 3/31/06 - more good stuff.

Jonathan Edwards Center

Jonathan Edwards Center One to put in the feedreader! HT: Jonathan Moorhead

More on the Upcoming Debate

Founders Ministries Blog: The Debate

And We're the Intolerant Ones?

Between Two Worlds: Beckwith Denied Tenure Ah, yes, the openness and lack of 'hard-nosed' intolerance from a seminary whose founding was to showcase such gems.

Does Anyone Want to Be an Adult Anymore?

Does Anyone Want to Be an Adult Anymore? Amen. Perhaps the response of the maturity rebellion crowd is to post some more articles defending their right and need to play more video games. Yes, please, that is so very encouraging. Attitude, discipline, work eithic, basic approach to life, relationships, etc., are the lasting effects of this maturity rebellion. And if this is the culture of today's young adults, what will the next generation's slide into immaturity look like? Will they rebel so much against their parent's immaturity that they embrace the opposite. Wishful thinking. That certainly has not been the trend. What's even more fun to think about is the way this lack of maturity is impacting the church. I hate to think of any further slide into youthish pop cultured antics in our worship and approach to Christian living. I don't think anyone thought about this maturity thing when they put their WWJD bracelets on.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

In More Presidential History News Today

Cap Weinberger, a significant player in Reagan's administration (Defense Secretary - and also served under Nixon and Ford), died today.

Bolten to Replace Card As Chief of Staff - Yahoo! News

This is probably bigger news than many realize. Andy Card is the second longest presidential Chief of Staff in American history. Harry Truman's Chief, James Steelman, remained in his position for six years, Card for almost five and a half years. This is the guy who has the ear of the president virtually all day everyday. He determines what the president sees and hears for the most part. His office is the gatekeeper to the Oval Office. No small position. Josh Bolton has just received what could be a responsibility with more influence than any other government official. Here's some interesting notes on the White House Chief of Staff position.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Here We Go!

Baptists and Calvinism: A Debate at the New Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia - Pros Apologian Oh, that they will make the audio internet available.

Me Church! How's This For Seeker Saturated!!

..:: Welcome to ::.. I just received some great ministry ideas! HT: Joshua Mack

Dan Wallace Interview

Evangelical Textual Criticism: Interview with Dan Wallace Dan Wallace is the author of the Greek grammar I used extensively in Seminary. We read and talked through the entire grammar in a semester and then used it extensively the second semester in actual exegesis. I still use Wallace every week in my study, especially now that it is in electronic format. Here's an interesting interview with Wallace about Textual Criticism. Stacy, I know this is dear to your heart right now and will be beneficial reading for your current plight. HT: Justin Taylor

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What To Do When You're No Longer a Hostage

Freed Iraq hostage Kember back at local church - Yahoo! News Go to church and worship. This is not the typical emphasis we often hear. There will be too many professing believers who will shirk church today for the sake of convenience, forgetting that we too have been freed from bondage to sin. I think I'll head to church.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

When Men Become Cultured

THIS is not the song I learned when I was a kid. HT: Pecadillo

To My Seminary Cohort Brethren

I've been practicing! HT: Pecadillo

Parenting Class!

Confessions of a Pastor: What Kind of a Sick Parent Is This? I had Dr. York as a professor in my first DMin. class. After seeing this video, you will comphrehend the correct pronunciation of DMin (i.e., "deemun"). Are you supposed to laught at this?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Feminism in SBC Seminaries

paleoevangelical: Feminism in SBC Seminaries Interesting read.

W. A. Criswell Sermons

W.A. Criswell :: The W. A. Criswell Sermon Library HT: Pastor Steve Weaver's Blog

Sermons of S. Lewis Johnson

Believers Chapel - Online Teaching More for the IPod. HT: Expository Thougts


Between Two Worlds: Kostenblogger I enjoyed Kostenberger's joint effort with Tom Schreiner, Women in the Church. I will look forward to checking in on his new weekly blog.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Between Two Worlds: Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

Between Two Worlds: Being Filled with the Holy Spirit Here's a link I will be adding to my IPod Shuffle and taking with me to the gym.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thoughts From the Study

Here's a few excerpts from my personal reading as of late: "[The cross] was a stumbling block to the self-righteous Jews, and foolishness to the philosphical Greeks; but to those who received it to the salvation of their sould, it was Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. it was not Christ transfigured on Mount Tabor; not Christ stilling the tempest, and raising the dead; not Christ rising triumphantly from the grave, and ascending gloriously, amdist shouts of attendant angels, to his throne in the highest heavens: but Christ on the cross, expiring in darkness and woe, that the first preachers of the Gospel delighted to exhibit to the faith of their hearers. This was their Gospel; its centre, and its glory. it was faith in this Gospel that controlled the hearts of their converts, and made them ready to die for him who had, by his death, procured for them eternal life. In this faith they exclaimed, 'God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.' To this they referred when they said, "I am crucifiec with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." - John L. Dagg - Manual of Theology, 213. "No higher motive to holiness can be needed, than that which proceeds from the cross." Dagg, 218. "So God sustains the caracter of a righteous Judge; and soone than disregard the claims of law, and overthrow his moral government, he is willing to plunge the sword of justice into the heart of his beloved Son. And such is the reverence of the Son, for the law of his Father and the claims of justice, tha he patiently consents to be led as a lamb to the slaughter, that his death may justify God in forgiving and saving the guilty." Dagg, 219. "If Christians object to secular humanism as an established non-Christian worldview in the schools, thenit makes no sense to fight to establish another non-Christian worldview - worship of the God of the Lowest Common Denominator. If this problem is corrected by instituting Christian prayer, then we are back to our earlier unjust arrangmement. Because our society is so diverse, thee is no way to establish school prayer unless there is compromise on the content of prayer. In our society, individuals from a multitude of different religions, denominations, and worldviews are enrolled in the public schools. This means that any prayer acceptable to the majority of all these groups wold have all the doctrinal igor of oatmeal. Students would learn to pray to a mush god; the god of the civil religion. The various theologies of Mormons, Catholics, evangelicals, etc., woudl be run through a blender and the resulting concoction assembled into a prayer. Such prayers would be a theological monstrosity. If the seculariests were included in the compromise (and to be fair, they must be), then the result will be, not a prayer, but a moment of silence in which the students are allowed to pray, lust, blaspheme, or whatever else suits them." Douglas Wilson, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, 41. I've also been read through Norm Geisler's Chosen But Free and James White's The Potter's Freedom. Too many quotables from these two. I had some respect for Geisler until I read CBF. It's a poorly written book that demonstrates little genuine interaction with Calvinism. He threw White a real softball on this one. Preaching the Parales by Craig L. Blomberg is another text I am just now finishing up for a DMin class. While my heart does not resonate with much of the way Blomberg preaches, he has challenged me with thinking more deliberately and carefully about better and varied ways to communicate the intended point (or as he suggests with parables, points) of a parable (or any text). From Augustine's Confessions: 'Whoso seeks from God any other reward but God, and for it would serve God, esteems what he wishes to receive, more than Him from whom he would receive it. What then? hath God no reward? None, save Himself. The reward of God is God Himself." p 26. ". . . wretched is every soul bound by the friendship of perishable things; he is torn asunder when he loses them, and thenhe feels the wretchedness which he had ere yet he lost them. . . . Thus was I wretched, and that wretched life I held dearer than my friend." 31.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Brokeback Backlash?

Brokeback Backlash? Annie Proulx Speaks Her (Very Angry) Mind Al Mohler posts some facinating quotations from Annie Proulx and her despair that the homosexual agenda did not get the ratings she was hoping for (demanding?). Read these quotes regarding the Homosexual community's outraget that "their" movie did not garner the Best Picture Academy Award. How unique- she's upset with Hollywood because they did not support her agenda. Her take is that L.A. is too conservative. CONSERVATIVE?? Has she ever lived here? If L.A. and the movie industry she is criticizing is too conservative, I would hate to see a culture dominated by what she feels is moderate or worse liberal. BTW, Newsweek had an interesting blurb about how poorly Brokeback did at the box office. Maybe the Academy isn't too conservative, they just made a distinction between the Homosexual agenda and the actual merits of the movie.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Market Forced Into Liberalism

Wal-Mart bows to pressure, to stock abortion-causing drug - (BP) No longer can a retail store determine for itself the products it will offer. No longer is it merely the market that will drive retailers to choose the products it will sell. No longer can a company publicly hold or advocate politically incorrect positions through the products they choose to sell or not sell. At least not in Illinois and Massachusettes. These states have already required Wal-Mart to carry an emergency contraceptive pill popularly pushed by pro-abortionists. Wal-Mart was one major retail company that did not initially give in to the pressure to sell the pill. Now Wal-Mart has reversed their previously held priority. It could be that there were so many women wanting to have abortions, that Wal-Mart caved to the financial benefits they were sacrificing by not carrying the stylish pill. Instead, they decided to get into the monetary boon and begin carrying the pill, and pass the blame on to state legislatures that were waiting in the wings to force them to do it anyway. Perhaps, but doubtful. With South Dakota's decision to challenge Roe v. Wade, and Wal-Mart's decision to make abortion more convenient, the culture war over this issue may soon reach a new intensity. But Wal-Mart's decision is even more troublesome. Now the state is legislating what must be sold in the market. This cannot be a good sign for American Democracy and free trade.