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Posts Tagged ‘redding’

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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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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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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Last week (2 weeks ago) we talked about situations which can/do divide people from each other. The issues discussed were so varied as to include parenting methods, politics, and at one point even communism (thanks for that, Cory). This leads us to the next natural question(s).

I think we can all agree God does not smile too happily upon people putting up walls between each other over personal differences; we should be seeking reconciliation and wholeness. However…the question is sitting out there on everyone’s mind:

Is there every a time, or is there ever an issue, which is so important–so central–that a differing opinion warrants division. In other words, when is it okay to allow divisiveness between oneself and another? Can someone else believe something which justifies you severing contact with them forever and live divided always? When does one not “agree to disagree.”

Now, I already know what the tempting answer to this is. It would seem to be natural that there is no room to argue over the fact that Jesus conquered death and sin on our behalf to save us. Surely someone who does not believe is someone who has cast our Lord aside for the world. But does this warrant division? Further, I’d like to point out Hitler, Charles Manson, David Koresch, and even Satan himself all believe in Christ–yet I would find myself wanting very little to do with any of them.

So think hard about division. Think of the people you are divided from and why? What should we do about it? Are we supposed to always seek reconcilation in all things? What if our offer of reconciliation is refused? How far should we continue to try? Or should we say “Good riddance?”

See you Tuesday (July 20th) – Alehouse Pub @7!

–Cheers!

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I mean, it was written a LONG time ago to different people. But before I dig into this, I must address something that truly upset me this last Tuesday:

In a surprising twist of events, the Ringwood Old Thumper Ale that used to be my favorite beer (I hadn’t been able to find it in the last 2 years though) was a severe disappointment. I walked in to Alehouse all pumped to see my old fav’ on draft and two sips in I was missing one of my beloved IPA’s. But that’s the fun of a place like Alehouse, I may not love everything I try, but it’s fun to keep trying new beers each week. My second beer more than made up for it, Mad River’s “Imperial Red” was mind blowing and if God is indeed good, they will still have it next Tuesday for me.

But I am off topic already. The woman/submissiveness talk was surprising as well. We had several guys and two girls present, and the strongest advocates for differentiated roles for men and women were coming from both of the ladies! All of us guys were like, “surely we are all equal before the cross,” or “how can we truly limit what God is able to accomplish just because of patriarchal heritage? But both ladies spoke of how they really felt men and women were different from each other; they are good at different things and think differently. To them, a woman is in her best spot by supporting a man as they work together as a team, supplying their different talents to the same aim, working complementary to each other.

This led to a natural question about the Bible’s applicability to our modern lives. As great as the Bible is an all, it WAS written for an an ancient Jewish culture. I think we really run into huge misunderstandings if we simply take a statement meant for them and carry it over straight to our modern lives now. I’m not saying the Bible is irrelevant, but this can be a huge problem if not given serious credence.

So next Tuesday’s (6/22) topic is: How much authority/relevance does the Bible really have for me today?

I took a class on this at Simpson called Hermeneutics, and I luckily still have the textbook. So I’ll be studying up there. For this week’s topic, I really suggest you ask everyone their opinion on this matter. Ask your pastors. Ask your friends. Ask your co-workers, even if they’re not Christians. I’m as interested in an atheist’s opinion on this as anyone else’s. This is an issue which each Protestant denomination can differ greatly on, so I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

Cheers!

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Yes, we’re going for it. It’s time to discuss this whole woman thing. The sort of cliched picture I was sort of raised on is that a Christian woman is completely submissive to men, and in no circumstances belong in any form of authority over men.

Is this true? Or is it a hyperbolized form of the truth? Or is this a complete misunderstanding of the Bible? We’ll find out next week, but I suspect this will prove to the one of the more controversial discussions we’ve had yet.

On another note, I actually cannot make it on Tuesday due to graduation at my school. So I’m trying to either skip a week or move this next one to Wednesday. If you have a strong opinion on the matter, let me know before I make an executive decision!

–Cheers!

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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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