Thursday, March 29, 2007

Atheist Holiday

[With Easter coming up in just over a week, I just had to share this joke!]

An atheist was quite incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact the local ACLU about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holidays for them to celebrate.

The ACLU jumped on the opportunity to once again pick up the cause of the downtrodden and assigned their sharpest attorney to the case.

The case was brought up before a learned judge who, after listening to the passionate presentation by the ACLU representative, promptly banged his gavel and said, "Case dismissed!"

The ACLU lawyer stood up and objected to the ruling and said, "Your honor, how can you dismiss this case? Surely the Christians have Christmas, Easter, and many other observances. And the Jews--why, in addition to Passover, they have Yom Kippur and Hanukkah ... and yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"

The judge leaned back in his chair and simply said, "Obviously your client is too confused to know about or for that matter even celebrate the atheists' holiday!"

The ACLU lawyer pompously said, "We are aware of no such holiday for atheists--just when might that be?"

The judge said "Well, it comes every year at the same time--April 1st!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Does Genetic Engineering Have God's Endorsement?

Greg Ciola of NewsWithViews wrote an article called, "DOES GENETIC ENGINEERING HAVE GOD'S ENDORSEMENT?"

He starts his article with these two paragraphs:
"Stories about genetic engineering have been making headline news recently. For instance, rice grown with human genes has been given the green light for commercial production by the USDA. Meat from cloned animals is now okay for human consumption thanks to the FDA. The University of Nevada-Reno has created sheep that are 15 percent human at the cellular level in hopes of using these animals as human organ producing factories in the future. In scientific terms it’s referred to as xenotransplantation. On farms across North America farmers intend to plant record acreage of GM crops in 2007.

"Since genetic engineering and biotechnology are now impacting our lives in so many ways, isn’t it time that it were examined from a biblical perspective? There is ample evidence from both the Bible and extra-biblical books that shows strong disapproval of genetic engineering."
What do you think about whether God endorses genetic engineering or not?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Decision Making and the Will of God - Part 4

Read Part 3 here.

On the last page of Part 2 (Chs 3-7) of Friesen's book, he states the major point for Part 2 of the book:

"God does not have an ideal, detailed life-plan uniquely designed for each believer that must be discovered in order to make correct decisions."[1]

I will be looking at the last 3 chapters of Part 2 of the book: chs 5-7. These three chapters are in effect a continuation of Friesen's critique of the Traditional View of guidance.

In essence, chapter five deals with a critique of the Traditional View's answer to how we can find God's will for our lives.

Friesen highlights the fact that almost nobody holding to the Traditional View can ever claim that they are 100% sure of finding God's individual will for their lives. The fact is that among these believers, only the so-called success stories are told of how people found God's will. Yet, this approach to finding God's will has failed many believers, yet they do not speak up about those failures. This is caused by the pressure of not wanting to come across as unspiritual!

Of course, with the Traditional View, there is the inconsistency of not holding to this view when the everyday issues are considered. Which clothes should be worn? Which road should be taken to work? The fact is that if we have to wait on the Lord everyday for all these types of decisions, life would become quite impractical. So, in the Traditional View, certain types of important decisions will be made using this type of guidance; yet, ordinary decisions will be relegated to simply good judgement. This shows inconsistency with regards to the Traditional View!

Friesen continues to point out some problems with this view, such as the problem when equally valid options are considered, its inability when dealing with immature Christians, its ability to waste time in making important decisions and the use of fleeces among some of its proponents.

Chapter 6 is reserved for one subject essentially, and that is the subject of subjectivity. According to Friesen, the "traditional view does not claim that God's individual will may be learned from either of these sources [His Word and direct revelation]."[2] He further says that when the Traditional View says, "'I have discovered God's will about which school I should attend,' he is not claiming to have received supernatural revelation, nor did he find such leading from a direct statement of Scripture."[3] In an endnote to this chapter Friesen says that this is generally true of evangelicals, whereas some charismatics claim direct revelation, which would under scrutiny reveal to be only impressions of the Spirit.

It is at this point that I disagree with Friesen. It is not simply some charismatics, and it does not end up being simply impressions of the Spirit. From my experience of over 20 years being a charismatic, I have to conclude that it is most charismatics. Further, it is not mere "impressions of the Spirit" that charismatics claim as their guidance. Charismatics frequently claim that God has spoken to them audibly, in visions, in dreams and some even claim angels have visited them! This is not just simply fringe charismatic groups, but is mainstream charismatic! Perhaps the Traditional View speaks of "impressions of the Spirit," but what goes on among charismatics is way more than this view. In many circumstances, miraculous revelation is claimed, much like Marian apparitions are claimed by Roman Catholics!

Friesen missed the boat a bit in this chapter, and indeed in Part 2 of the book with labouring the point of inner impressions. This is for obvious reasons as I have pointed out in the paragraph above.

However, there are many who do not go as far as claiming miraculous special revelation who would use something like the phrase, "impressions of the Spirit." For this type of guidance he poses the question of what the source for such impressions are. He makes a whole list of sources for these types of impressions. This leads to a subjective swamp of doubt and insecurity. Friesen makes it clear that these impressions may be real, but they are not authoritative due to the fact that Scripture gives no guidelines on how to distinguish between the voice of self and the voice of the Spirit. In my opinion, even to claim with certainty that it is the Spirit of God, would still be predisposed to subjectivity.

Friesen raises the question of the interpretation of Scripture via "impressions of the Spirit." This is a good question, and here I agree with Friesen. Why would these impressions be deemed invalid for Biblical interpretation according to the Traditional View while holding on to it for guidance? If it does not work for Biblical interpretation, why does it suddenly work for guidance? I have heard many people who supposedly spoke prophetically on Biblical passages, but in doing so said the biggest bunch of nonsense I have ever heard! These people believe that they could by-pass accepted norms of Biblical interpretation, but when they speak "prophetically" on passages of Scripture, they speak error at best and heresy at worst!

Friesen asks the question why believers in the Traditional View need additional signs to help in their guidance if their inner impressions are so accurate. It simply proves the point that Friesen has been making. If God speaks in any form, would He not speak clearly and understandably? It amazes me so much that those who believe God still speaks today, would also believe that God is unable to speak right through any so-called barrier that these people could think up! What kind of God do they believe in? Definitely not the Sovereign God of all creation! Of course, as is pointed out in the book, all of these additional signs apart from the Bible are uncertain, and "[i]f the elements that make up the whole are uncertain, the whole will also be uncertain."[4]

A point that Friesen raises is that the Traditional View does not work when many people are involved in decision making, such as on church boards. Almost always, some will differ from others when decisions are to be made. This causes real tension since by definition some would have missed God's leading. Or, as I would think, was God unable to speak His own word clearly in the situation?

The last chapter of Part 2 of the book is chapter 7, on the leading of the Holy Spirit. In this chapter Friesen handles several passages that are in general use among believers of the Traditional View to prove that the Holy Spirit still leads us directly. These are:
1. Romans 8:14
2. Romans 8:15-16
3. Galatians 5:18
4. John 16:12-14
5. Nehemiah 2:12

Friesen handles these passages with clarity and conviction, and I concur with him on these passages, that not one deals with the subject of individual guidance by the Holy Spirit. After looking at these passages from within their own contexts, it is very clear that the Traditional View stretches these passages to cover more subject ground than what the original authors meant to say!

Friesen also deals with the concept of the "peace" of Christ or God to be used as guidance. However, as before, Friesen looks at what these passages (Col 3:15; Phil 4:7) mean within their contexts, and again show that although the peace of God in the believer is important, "its presence or absence is not to be construed as a sign of God's leading in biblically permitted decisions. Peace cannot function as such, nor was it so designed."[5]

Even though Friesen gave a critique of the Traditional View in Part 2 of the book, he does not deny inner impressions altogether. He simply shows that the Traditional View requires too much of these impressions.

Next, we will start looking at what Friesen calls the Way of Wisdom. This would be how Friesen believes we should find guidance for our lives.

[1] Friesen, p110.
[2] Ibid., p91.
[3] Ibid., p91-92.
[4] Ibid., p96.
[5] Ibid., p109.

Friday, March 23, 2007

God still speaks today!

Did you know God still speaks today?

John Piper experienced God speaking to him!

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Toilet 'god'

Ever heard of the Toilet 'god?' Well, it recently surfaced in Minnesota as a race car at the Christ's Family Church of Hastings, Minnesota.

Todd Friel, of the Christian Worldview Network sums it up very nicely in his article called The Potty Driven Life.

I have always said that what we attract people with, will be the very thing people are saved to! In this case, it seems to me that people are saved to the Toilet 'god!' Many people "lose" their way because what attracted them to the church either no longer has any sparkle or it is no longer available!

Why are your friends your friends? Are they your friends because of who you are? Or, are they your friends because you are rich? The fact is, take away whatever attracted your friends the first time, and you will soon find out who your real friends are! It works the same in the church. Attract them with the Toilet 'god' and then get rid of the Toilet 'god' and you will soon find out who joined your church for the real reasons and who not! I have written about this type of scenario before in my posts, The Gospel: Diluted and non-Saving and Reformation Needed Today.

Antics, like those of the
Christ's Family Church of Hastings, Minnesota, simply prove that they have no concept of the sovereignty of God, neither do they have any faith in the Word of God. Further, they do not believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ can save. For them it is the gospel+ (gospel-plus)! Since they do not believe that the gospel can save (that the death of Christ could actually save someone), they have to add to the gospel. Yet, is this not what Paul condemned when he wrote to the Galatians in Gal 1:8-9? At best churches like this preach and live a faulty gospel and at worst it is an addition to the gospel which makes it heresy!

The gospel does not need our help. It is our duty to preach the gospel in its complete clarity, yet with no additions in word or action. It is after all the gospel that saves and not our antics!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Female professor sues seminary

Christians suing Christians!?

That can only happen when the commands and principles of Scripture are not followed nor understood!

Sheri Klouda, formerly a professor from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has decided to file a lawsuit against this institution.


Because Southwestern wants to return to what the Bible teaches concerning women teaching men and being in authority over men! Read my post on this issue here.

The fact is that P
aul is very clear on the subject of taking each other to courts of law.

[1] When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? [2] Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? [3] Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! [4] So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? [5] I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, [6] but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? [7] To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
1 Corinthians 6:1-7)

Being a seminary professor, certainly Klouda must have known about this passage?! If she indeed knew this passage, which I am sure she would have, then what is she doing dragging Christians to court?

Being a Christian, she herself should know that on certain issues Christians will differ. Yet, she has the gall to take her difference to court! It seems to me that all she is, is a closet feminist! As Christians we continue to endeavour to follow the commands and principles set forth in the Scriptures.

What is amazing about Klouda, is that she is denying Southwestern the right to return to what they believe is the proper stance on the women-teaching-men issue, and further she has chosen to ignore this passage in 1 Corinthians 6! What does that tell us about her level of walking with God?

It seems to me that she will follow the Scriptures as long as they do not intrude in her life and as long as they do not contradict her feminist ideas! Is she a feminist? That I cannot comment on conclusively. But, and that is a big but, she is demonstrating some sort of feminist leanings by her actions!

As Paul said, she has brought defeat into the Christian ranks by running to the world to sort out her problems.

Just because some arbitrary law stipulates that there should be equality between men and women does NOT mean that the church must acquiesce before such a law! If the Scriptures disagree with the law, we have to follow the Scriptures! Klouda must know that too! The fact is that we are all equal! Yet, God has proportioned different roles to men and women. And the teaching of theology to men is one of those roles!

I personally think that this woman should repent before the Lord for taking fellow believers to court, and to forgive them for whatever she believes they have done her wrong! That is exactly what Paul is telling her to do! "Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?"

Further, she needs to align herself with the Scriptures and live the way that she professes to believe, especially in line with the fact that she is a theology professor.

Or is "theology" just another job for her!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good sermon

The question on many people's minds is if the sermon on Sunday was a good one or not.

Was there enough shouting? Enough examples? Appropriate examples? Did it help me practically today? Was I bored? Did it get me excited? There are many more questions people would ask about the sermons they hear.

However, I would like to point out two very important aspects of a good sermon and our response to it.

First of all passion. A sermon without passion is like kissing a watermelon. Cold and sticky! It is simply impossible to be passionate about kissing a fruit! When there is no passion in preaching, it would seem that the preacher has no faith in the message either. Yet, what a South African or an American sees as passionate might seem completely over the top in England. So, passion could be relative. However, that should not excuse the preacher to be passionate about the message he preaches.

Now believe me, I do not believe that passion alone is good enough for the sustenance of the flock. Yet if there is no passion, it would be like stuffing your face with the driest of foods and yet not being able to swallow since there would not be anything to wash the dry stuff down with. Have you ever had food so dry in your mouth that your mouth could not generate enough saliva for you to safely swallow your food? It is then that you grab your drink to help the food do
wn. Now that is a sermon without passion.

However, on the other hand it doesn't matter if you have all the passion in the world but the content of the sermon has falsehoods, errors or heresy in it. It is here that we have to look at the truth factor.

It is no use providing food to the flock with enough to drink (passion), but the food is laced with poison! The fact is that too many sermons out there are very passionate, yet they contain all manners of errors and heresies. There are preachers out there that are very passionate, but they are preaching a whole lot of heresies that the people in the pews do not even recognize! These are people like T.D. Jakes, Tommy Tenny, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, T.B. Joshua and a host of people like them!

The problem with today's Christian is that he has been influenced by the world and how it operates. The fact that the church is trying to operate like the world does not help either! Communication, and even the validation of truth, is tied up in sound bytes and who wins the argument at the end of the day. And how is the argument won? Basically, the one who can throw around the wittiest sound bytes, whether they are true or not, and who can interrupt the others the most and can get the most "airtime!"

This has been transferred into the church. Those in the pew no longer want the
Scriptures to be explained to them through proper exegetical expositional preaching. No, they simply want to be told what to do with a couple of funny examples and then sent home!

In the end, these people want to be entertained. What they want is what I call preachetainment. They don't want the truth, because they "can't handle the truth."

Members of churches are no longer taught to search for the truth and to be like the Bereans who did not simply accept what Paul told them. The biggest problem here is that churches no longer equip their people to study the Bible correctly. This leads to haphazard Bible study that many times lead to error itself.

So, where truth is concerned, preachers can end up saying almost anything and the pew will simply say "amen!"

In the end a good sermon must have truth and passion. Truth to provide the spiritual nutrients and passion to make sure that the nutrients are edible.

The best way to package this truth is to put it in its proper theological setting. Many people are not good at systematizing information and therefore cannot see how different parts of Scripture fit together. It is for this very reason that exegetical expositional preaching would be best. The preacher can then show how the current passage fits in with the rest of Scripture and how we get to the theology we believe. It is here where the foundation for good theological preaching can be laid. If a pastor cannot do this, or he thinks that it is not necessary, he has no business being in the pulpit or the ministry! (Tit 1:9; 1 Tim 3:2).

Ok, I digressed a bit, but the point is, a good sermon will be the truth contained in the Scriptures and it will be preached with a holy passion for the things of God!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Decision Making and the Will of God - Part 3

We are now in chapter 4 of Garry Friesen's book, Decision Making and the Will of God. See the previous installment here.

Friesen takes the time in this chapter to look at many of the passages used by the Traditional View proponents to prove their Traditional View.

Friesen deals with the following passages:
Ps 32:8; Prov 3:5-6; 16:9; Is 30:20-21;
Jn 5:19; Jn 10:3-4, 16, 27; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:10; 5:15-17; Col 1:9; 4:12.

Friesen deals with each of these passages very well. It doesn't take too long to see how the proponents of the Traditional View employed very weak hermeneutics to get to their interpretation of these passages.

He looks at each passage, asking whether that passage could be speaking of the individual will of God or the moral will of God.

All of these passages can be shown to be speaking of the moral will of God and not the individual will of God, except for one that could go either way without any solid proof.

That one is Eph 2:10. According to Friesen this verse can have 3 possible interpretations:

The Traditional View proponents would say that God has prepared good works for each of us and that we should seek to find out what these are so that we could walk in them. Further, the first non-individual-will interpretation says that these good works are only described in general terms. "Since good works are one of the purposes for which Christians are created, the idea could be that God prepared those works 'beforehand' by providing what was needed for their accomplishment."[1] God created new creatures through the new creation capable of performing these good works. Lastly, the second non-individual-will interpretation looks at these works that were prepared beforehand "from the perspective of God's sovereignty."[2] Friesen prefers the last interpretation, but does feel that all three interpretations "come closer to being equal" than any of the other verses he has discussed up until this point. Friesen concludes the study of this verse by saying that "either side could use this verse in support of their position, but neither side could use Ephesians 2:10 to prove their position."[3]

What Friesen essentially shows in this chapter is that under careful scrutiny, proper exegesis demonstrates that the relevant passages do not "support the basic premise of the traditional view."[4]

Having looked at the way Friesen handles the relevant passages, I must say that I agree with his interpretation and that it is actually quite easy to see why he interprets them the way he does. In fact, with every passage that he introduced, I came to the same conclusions that he did, before I read his material.

Continue with Part 4 here.

[1] Friesen, p68.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Friesen, p69.
[4] Friesen, p75.

Visual DNA?

Just a bit of fun!

HT: Carla

Friday, March 09, 2007

Decision Making and the Will of God - Part 2

Chapter 3 in Friesen's book marks the beginning of Part 2 of the book. Part 2, which contains chapters 3-7, is a critique of the Traditional View. Read my first installment of blogging through this book here.

I can remember, about 10-11 years ago when I started debating Calvinists online through email discussion groups.

As a Bible college trained Arminian I thought I had all the answers. I was willing to tackle the Calvinists. Little did I know that what I was taught about Calvinists at my Arminian Bible college were mere caricatures of Calvinism and not the real thing itself. I was willing to be open to their arguments. However, after what was probably more than a year of argumentation and debate I asked one of the Calvinists which book he'd recommend for me to read. He suggested The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner. This book is also available as a PDF document. This book was the turning point for me. After spending months reading it, I finally emerged the other side as a Calvinist. However, it was a dif
ficult period in my life, since I had to unlearn everything I was taught and replace it with proper Biblical exegesis. I realized that what I thought was true in reality was not true at all.

It is really tough on a person in a situation like that. At the beginning of chapter 3, Friesen warns that a critique of the Traditional View "can be unsettling for someone used to applying the traditional view to decision making."[1]

What Friesen is doing is to let out a warning that the reader could get upset about what he reads, especially if he is used the Traditional View.

One of the problems that Friesen highlights with the Traditional View is that if it is indeed the correct view, it has to be assumed that God cannot give defective guidance, and the person seeking guidance must therefore be defective! Of course, this can be hard to accept by the seeker. We are creatures of pride, after all.

In the Traditional View there are 3 facets of God's will. There is God's sovereign will, God's moral will and finally God's individual will. God's individual will can be defined as "God's ideal, detailed life-plan uniquely designed for each person."[2]

In the Traditional View it is assumed that since God is our Father, Shepherd and King that He should also have a specially designed individual plan for each individual; however, does a father plan every detail of his children's lives, or does a shepherd do the same for his sheep? The same question may be asked of the relationship between king and people.

In this chapter Friesen deals with some arguments from the Traditional View camp in favour of the Traditional View. Friesen handles their arguments from reason, experience and Biblical example. He dismisses the first two arguments with hardly a sweat.

Concerning the Biblical examples, Friesen points out some weaknesses.

The number of recorded cases are simply not sufficient to build a normative case for Christians to follow. Further, the examples that are found, especially in the New Testament, are just not comprehensive enough in the Biblical narrative. These examples do not show how God gives guidance for the decisions of every day life. Next, those that did receive specific guidance in the Biblical account were not the ordinary, run off the mill type Christians! These men occupied unique offices within the church. Even those who did not occupy unique offices in the church, but still received direct guidance, were strategic partners in the spread of the gospel in the early church. Finally, the means of communication for these instances of guidance were all supernatural events, and not the quiet type, still small voice for guidance, as promulgated by those who hold to the Traditional View.

The fact is that the type of language used to explain the Traditional View simply cannot be found in the Scriptures.

In closing, from Friesen himself:
"To sum up, a survey of the Biblical examples of specific guidance shows that they do not prove an individual will of God for every believer. They show only that God has broken into history at infrequent times to give specific guidance through supernatural revelation to selected people, usually for the purpose of evangelism. The exceptional proves only the exceptional. Such guidance is not normative according to any viewpoint. Nor is it necessary for normal decision making in the Christian life."[3]

This chapter seems to be a summary of what is to come. It gives an idea of where Friesen stands on this issue, and I appreciate that.

I think that at this point of the book, if a person is completely sold on the Traditional View, and is not open to being convinced otherwise, that person would probably be fuming by now.

Read Part 3.

[1] Friesen, p39.
[2] Ibid., p41.
[3] Ibid., p51.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A thought for John Piper

John Piper's father, William S. H. Piper (1919-2007), passed away on March 6, 2007 at 00:01.

It is never easy to lose a loved one, however, when that loved one was loved of the Lord, we know that in God's timing we will see him again in the Lord's presence.

And so it is with John Piper's "Daddy!"

"John, as the body of Christ we stand with you during this time of mourning and celebration of a man who loved God, and whom you loved dearly."

John Piper wrote about the death of his beloved father at the Desiring God blog. This blog entry is indeed a blessing!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Decision Making and the Will of God - Part 1

In the first chapter of Decision Making and the Will of God, Friesen presents us with a fictitious account of a student just months away from graduation. In this account the student met a girl that he loves dearly and is not sure whether she is the one for him or not, since she feels called to minister in Africa, and that was the last place he was thinking of.

The student, Ted, just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had one perfect will for him and the young lady, Annette. Was it God's will for them to spend the rest of their lives together? What if they missed it and she was supposed to be in Africa, and instead she was married to him?

I must say, this is a very common scenario within Christianity. How many of us haven't approached marriage like this or even finding a job?

The second chapter presents us with an outline of what is called the Traditional View. This is the view that God has a Perfect Will for each of us, and when we do not hear Him correctly, we may miss that will and land up either in His Permissive Will or completely out of His will. Friesen felt that the Traditional View is so well known that it wasn't necessary to reproduce the lengthy "seminar" account that was initially in the first edition of his book.

In this outline Friesen shows how the Traditional View believes in an individual will for each of us, and if we do not discern and follow that will in our lives we will not have the peace of God, but rather experience anxiety and end up being frustrated in our lives. So, it is incumbent upon us to discover that will for our lives or end up being discouraged.

Friesen mentions 7 road signs in the Traditional View through which the believer can know the individual will of God:[1]
1. The Word of God.
2. Circumstances
3. Inner witness of the Spirit.
4. Mature counsel.
5. Personal desires.
6. Common sense.
7. Supernatural guidance.

Finally, Friesen gives a summary of the Traditional View's principles of decision making:

"A. Premise: or each of our decisions God has a perfect plan or will.

"B. Purpose: Our goal is to discover God's individual will and make decisions in accordance with it.

"C. Process: We interpret the inner impressions and outward signs through which the Holy Spirit communicates His leading.

"D. Proof: the confirmation that we have correctly discerned the individual will of God comes from an inner sense of peace and outward (successful) results of the decision."[2]

I have to admit, this is exactly what I have been taught at church over the years. This is what I was taught at Bible school.

However, I have started drifting away from this stance, since several of the Biblical passages used by the Traditional View to bolster their case, have started looking weak. Just recently I tackled a sermon that was preached at our church based on John 10. It was a typical Traditional View of this passage. Yet, the passage has nothing to do with finding God's perfect will for our lives!

Well, this is the end of part one of the book which is basically a presentation of the Traditional View of knowing God's will for our lives.

See you next time! Read my introduction if you like.

[1] Friesen, Garry, Decision Making and the Will of God, Revised and updated edition, Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, Oregon, 2004, pp32-33.
[2] Ibid., p35.

Decision Making and the Will of God

I love reading. However, in the last year I have been so incredibly busy with my involvement with the political party that I am involved with and also when I get home at night I help with my kids' homework. As a result. my reading has suffered!

First, due to the place in which South Africa finds itself right now, just more than a year ago I decided to join the ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) and got actively involved.
I was elected onto the local BEC (Branch Executive Committee), the REC (Regional Executive Committee) of Pretoria, the PEC (Provincial Executive Committee) in the province of Gauteng and also the PC (Provincial Council) for Gauteng. (see this clickable map of Gauteng) I also started a more politically oriented blog called Βιβλιόπολιτ.

Second, both of my kids are now in the senior primary phase at school (grades 4 & 6), so now the time that we need to spend helping them with homework has escalated dramatically. They both write tests every Tuesday and Thursday, which means that apart from normal homework, they also need help studying. So, several nights a week the kids go to bed between 9-10pm (21:00-22:00).

Third, in South Africa the law states that every city/town must be further subdivided into wards. Pretoria, for instance, has 76 wards. Johannesburg has 104. When local government elections are held, like in March 2006, councillors are elected to serve on the city/town council. Each ward is won by a councillor who will then need a team of 10 people from the local community to help run the ward. These people from the community are elected onto these ward committees (WC) by the people of that specific ward. I made myself available for election onto the WC, and was elected to serve.

So, as you can see, I am a tad busy. Where does that leave my reading? Well, it is going very slowly, as you can imagine!

It is for this very reason that I have decided to blog on the contents of a book. This will force me to read more regularly.

The book I have chosen to blog on is Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen. You can read a review of the book at 9 Marks Ministries.

Note that I am not promising to have a piece out on this everyday. I do not want to bore readers of this blog that are not interested in this subject. So, I will write about other topics in between.

I have not yet decided how I will tackle it; whether I will go chapter by chapter or part by part. What I do not want to do is to re
hash what Friesen has written. That would just be plagiarism! Rather, I want to look at it from the vantage point of how it impacts my thoughts on the subject and perhaps offer a difference of opinion where possible.

So, if you are interested, come back soon to see if this series has started fully.

The whole idea of "finding" the will of God is a hot topic in evangelicalism, and I fear it has become more of a gazing into the crystal ball thing than actually following the will of the Lord. Of course, many Biblical passages are aborted from their natural contexts in the Bible and given meanings that are not there, especially when speaking of THIS subject.

Some will even go so far as waiting for the writing on the wall!

Read Part 1 of my blog posting on Friesen's book here.

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