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Archive for September, 2010

I received an email this week suggesting I check out the concept of “open theism” as one viable way to view destiny and free will.  I’ve hunted a bit online and found some interesting reading for those who wish to research a bit further before next Tuesday:

Some sites which explain open theology:

http://www.opentheism.info/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_theism

http://www.fairblog.org/2010/01/20/lcm_open_theism/

http://www.gregboyd.org/blog/an-ancient-philosophical-mistake-in-the-debate-about-open-theism/

http://spectrummagazine.typepad.com/the_spectrum_blog/2007/11/richard-rice-di.html

Some sites which argue against it:

http://www.allaboutgod.com/open-theism.htm

http://www.ondoctrine.com/20openth.htm

http://seandoherty.blogs.com/welcome_to_seans_blog/2005/06/open_theism.html

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Next Meeting-October 5th

Yes, that’s right–I need to postpone the next meeting until NEXT Tuesday, October 5th; I am out of town this Tuesday.

Last week, we had a challenging discussion of apathy and passion. Brad, who is about to leave for Afghanistan for 13 months, said now that he is only here with his family for 5 more weeks, he really feels a sense of urgency to get things done, but more than that he is concerned with how his own wife and kids (and family and others) perceive him as a man of God. This sense of urgency, he asked–why doesn’t he always feel that sense of urgency to live for God in the now?  We all echoed his sentiment, and I particularly feel challenged to live more “in the now” and to take the future less for granted.

We also decided to change the format up just slightly…at least for now. Tuesdays can be anything we want to make it, after all. So next Tuesday, October 5th, we’ll do our last (for now) topical day…as in, we pick a topic and discuss it. We’ll probably come back to it. But in recent weeks, it seems every time we do a topic, we come up with a great and logical understanding, only to have a verse in Hebrews smash it all down and question everything we think. So starting October 12th, we’ll actually be going through the book of Hebrews chapter-by-chapter seeking some understanding there. From there? Who knows?

For October 5th, our last (for now) topic is destiny. This ties in with free will vs. predestination a bit, although here we are less concerned with discussing the salvation aspect of destiny so much as how much of what we do every day has already been decided? Am I rich or poor because of destiny? Or do my decisions factor in?

I can’t wait to see everyone NEXT Tuesday, October 5th!

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It’s funny, we spent some time last Tuesday really talking about Mosaic law and how although they were invalidated with the new covenant with Christ, we also can’t invalidate them entirely and they still retain value to us today. However, I experienced a troubling and challenging challenge from God last Sunday and although last Tuesday was fun, I was too distracted to get fully into it. Here’s what I’m struggling with right now:

My pastor on Sunday read from Revelation 3:14-22. This is a letter written as a message from God to the church of Laodicea; a church which one can draw many parallels to the U.S. church–namely, the church was in a very rich and prosperous nation. The people of Laodicea had much more than much of the world around them, and its inhabitants were, for the most part, much more wealthy than many other places in the world. Yet in this letter, God says the people in the church there were “neither hot or cold” and that he would “spit” them out (some translations of this word would say God literally gags or vomits when he looks at them).

I find it interesting God, who has endless mercy and grace for all sinners, is so disgusted by Christians who are unmoved by their faith and have turned indifferent. This may have been directed at an ancient church, but it certainly parallels our church in the U.S. today. And what is worse, I know I am often guilty of being a passionless Christian–and I know I’m not the only one; this is an epidemic.

On Tuesday, I want to hear how people have experienced this indifference. What has caused it? What can we do to be “hot” instead of “lukewarm?” I feel completely challenged to not be without passion for the Gospel; the greatest news in the history of the Earth. I think I need to rekindle a fire, and I think others do as well. Let us come Tuesday ready to shed indifference and trade it in for some real fire!

Oh, and I had a delicious 6 beer flight for only $9 last week, and the bartender let me pick the six, so every one was amazing. I’d say I’d get it again next week but I know they have Stone Smoked Porter–the best Porter on the planet–so that will be something to look forward to.

Cheers!

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Some Old Testament laws we follow (like the Ten Commandments), and other ones we tend to ignore (my wife doesn’t wear a head covering, for example). How do we know which ones to follow? I certainly am not comfortable saying “you just know,” because if that’s the case that makes truth a little to subjective for me. Enlighten me!

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No one likes talking about giving money to the church. That includes me.

But does tithing matter? The commandment to Abraham in Genesis 14 and also in Leviticus 27 would seem to fall squarely in the realm of Mosaic Law–something most New Testament following Christians don’t follow terribly closely. Of course, the extend with which we follow Mosaic Law might even make a good topic some time, and may be a follow-up to this week depending on how the conversation goes.

Before coming Tuesday, I encourage everyone to take a peek at 2 Corinthians 8-9 and spend some time thinking about how we should address this issue in our own lives.

  • Do we need to tithe? If so, why?
  • Does giving/tithing only include money? What other ways can/do we give?

See you all Tuesday at 7!

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PS: I’ve signed up to put together a team for Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, October 30th. Yes, that’s “Halloween Eve!” If you’re interested, call or text or email or something; I need about 10 people, and so far I have me and my wife!

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