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Posts Tagged ‘bible and brew’

Continuing our focus on the issue of salvation, this next Tuesday we’ll be discussing the opposite of salvation. In other words, “can we be unsaved?” You know the story: Nice guy/girl from your church that used to be passionate about God is now living a life completely removed from God–he/she may even outright denounce God’s saving Grace in this world at this point as a lie. Yet at one time, he/she was very passionate about God, believed wholeheartedly that Jesus was his/her salvation and lived a life of obedience…for a time.

Or another example from my own life: someone is passionate about God most of his/her life, but then suffers a tremendously painful loss due to terminal illness (or an accident). That person is now angry with God and denounces his/her faith. Is a lifetime of obedience undone in one fell swoop?

Another question I have is, “is there a sin God won’t forgive?”

In addition to more C.S. Lewis, I’ll be spending a lot of time going back through the Gospels and the New Testament to seek answers regarding this. I also think at some point I’m going to have to tackle Revelation…as that is where the saved and unsaved are finally separated.

…and is it too much to hope Alehouse has a Stone or Rogue beer back? It’s been two weeks without either of my favorite breweries. Although I have to say, last week’s “Dark Heffeweizen” was pretty tasty–and I was glad to see Union Jack IPA back up where it belongs.

Cheers!

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As I suspected, salvation is simply too big for us to discuss in one week…and probably even in two. So we took the rather long list of subtopics apart piece by piece and took a quick stab at each to see where we stood and to see which one felt like a natural starting point.  In the end, our discussion on Baptism seemed the most promising as a lead.

I grew up in a church where baptism was largely symbolic and the act was practically unnecessary. However, in some traditions–particularly Catholicism–baptism is largely held to be necessary for salvation. We talked about our different backgrounds and experiences with baptism. It seemed like this was a great starting point for next week–everyone goes home and reads up on baptism and next week we come back and report what we found. So just as I’m opening my mouth to say, “Alright, next week is Baptism….” Nathan up and asks a great question: “Which items like these are actually a PART of salvation…and which ones are more of the stuff that comes afterwards?” (His version of the question was much more eloquent, but my 22 oz. Rogue Ale was empty at this point and my attention span was growing skittish, so I’m paraphrasing here).

Once we thought about how we would likely spend the next few weeks discussing aspects of salvation, it seems logical to start with the beginning. So that, my friends, is next week’s topic:

How exactly are we saved? What is absolutely central in order for salvation to occur? Let’s chip away all that packaged add-on stuff and get to the bare bones of the situation. Salvation 101.

Hopefully they have a Stone beer back on tap next week, I was sad to see the Imperial IPA was gone.

Cheers!

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So next week we’re gonna go for salvation. This one can be broad too; I’m interested in seeing where it goes. Issues relating to salvation can include:

  1. How is one saved?
  2. What happens when one is “saved” and then only goes on to be a complete scumbag anyway?
  3. Is baptism important and/or necessary for salvation? If not, what’s the point? Is so, why?
  4. Can one be “unsaved?”
  5. I was just telling a very conservative Christian on Monday about Bible and Brew and she seemed concerned at first, and then said suddenly, “Well, Jesus went where the sinners were, I think that’s great.” Although I appreciate the vote of confidence, I am kind of offended on behalf of everyone at my favorite pub that they’re “sinners” because they go to a bar. So why is it we assume a regular Pub-attender is unsaved?
  6. How much of salvation is something we do and how much of it is God? It’s easy to say God does it all, yet why isn’t everyone saved then? Clearly we are responsible for something at least.

Okay, I’ve run out but I’m sure there’s more. Go find your favorite salvation verses…Paul’s letters, the Gospels are a place to start…although I think I’m going to hit up Genesis and Revelation again. I’ve noticed a fun trend that in every week’s topic, I’ve found something valuable at the very beginning and the very end.

Till next Tuesday!

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I was a little nervous heading into this discussion on Tuesday; it’s complicated topic and by far the most difficult concept we undertaken. Although I think every person in a discussion of the Trinity needs to admit at some point that this is a concept beyond a perfect understanding.  My main concern while researching this week was to find value in the concept of the Trinity–why should I care whether God is three or one?

The good news, at least for me, was that we had a great discussion about how important the Trinity is. The short version is that God created us in His image. So many of our characteristics and traits come from Him. We are relational beings; we relate to each other, and we relate to God. But we do this because God Himself if relational, since he is One God and Three Persons. Relationships are a part of God’s very nature; without this relationships would not exist. Taken further, it says in the Bible that God is love. We love because God first loved us. Yet if God was only one person, he could not be love. It is because He is both One God and Three Persons that He is love…it is part of His nature, which is then reflected in us who are made in His image. We love because God literally is love.

We also spent a great deal of time talking about Jesus. Most of the verses in the New Testament that describe God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are made by Paul in response to heresies popping up in the early church. People tended to think Jesus was either only a man, or only God. They did not believe He was both. Yet Jesus has to be both. If he wasn’t fully human, he wouldn’t have been able to be a true sacrifice and would not have been able to overcome death (God doesn’t die)–but if he wasn’t wholly God he wouldn’t have been perfect and would have not been able to take on the sin of the world. So Jesus has to be simultaneously completely God and completely Human. Jesus also says he and the Father are one. If that is the case, God is clearly not simply one person, but three.

Plus Cory brought his mobius strip to demonstrate the Trinity, which was fun. In his words, “this may not help us understand particularly well, but it’s fun anyway.” I also enjoyed one of the last glasses of a Sierra Nevada/Anchor Steam collaborative Stout that was quite glorious–almost as glorious as the Stone Ruination IPA I switched to on the second round.

Cheers!

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Wednesday the 28th will be the last time we meet on Wednesday nights.The data I collected from the survey showed Tuesday was a far more favored by (more than twice the number which preferred Wednesdays).

  • We will meet this Wednesday, April 28th
  • The following meeting will be on Tuesday, May 4th, and every Tuesday thereafter.

The 7:00pm time slot, however, will remain as nearly 90% of all survey respondents preferred to keep this as the meeting time.

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