Friday, February 27, 2009

Little snail girl

Here is a little girl that is absolutely heart broken because she cannot keep a little snail as her pet.

The video is in Afrikaans (one of the languages spoken in South Africa). I transcribed the conversation between mother and daughter with the best English equivalents. Sometimes I had to use slight changes in the English to get the correct mood in voice intonation, etc.

If this doesn’t tug on your heart strings, perhaps nothing will.

Mommy, I want a little snail

Mom: What do you have in that little bowl?

Girl: A little snail

Mom: Little snails must stay outside in the garden

Girl: I don't want him in the garden

Mom: My darling, he won't stay in there, he is going to crawl out of there

Girl: I don't want him to

Mom: Oh my darling, little snails aren't made to be pets

Mom: You can't keep snails as pets

Girl: Mommy, will you me something tomorrow? A little white mouse... to be my pet

Mom: Like what do you want... like a little fish?

Girl: No, I want a little mouse, a little mouse

Mom: A little mouse?

Girl: Yes!

Mom: But a little white mouse is actually a dirty thing and you will actually be scared to hold him

Girl: Oh!

Girl: I actually want a kitty

Mom: My darling, a kitty won't work because kitties don't stay in the house

Girl: Oh!

Girl: But then... I actually want a bunny

Mom; Oh my darling, I don't think we can buy any other animals

Girl: You will buy me a ... bunny?

Mom: Can't we buy a you little fish?

Girl: Ok! (international 'Yes' LOL) Ok, mommy.

Girl: I want a little baby snail

Mom: Ah, shame. I think you should go put him outside so that he could go sleepies

Girl: Ok mommy, can I put him outside just like this?

Mom: Yes you can and maybe he will still be there tomorrow

Girl: Yes, he can't get through here

Mom: Yes, but he could possible climb over the top

Girl: I don't want him to

Mom: Maybe he will still be there tomorrow my darling

Mom: Ah, it's ok

Mom: Do you want some nice Milo

Mom: Do you want Milo and a cookie (biscuit)

Girl: Yes...

Mom: Ok...

Girl: Can I choose a biscuit (cookie)?

Mom: Yes...


NCT Friday: Branches of New Covenant Theology

Like most systems of theology, you would find that there are variations within those systems. You will find this within Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology.

New Covenant Theology is no different. There are variations, but within these variations, the men that hold to these variations still work together and some even write for the same websites.

To find out what these variations are, read The Various Branches of New Covenant Theology written by Steve Fuchs.

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: Summarizing New covenant Theology.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Calfskin ESV-Study Bible for free!

David Porter, at A Boomer in the Pew, is holding a free giveaway of a calfskin ESV-Study Bible. To enter the giveaway, you need to go to the competition page.

The ESV-Study Bible is arguably the most complete study Bible on the market right now.

So, hurry and get over there!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Decision Making and the Will of God – Part 9

I am in the process of reviewing Friesen’s book, “Decision Making and the Will of God.” In the previous instalment I finished Part 3 of the book in which the Way of Wisdom, the method promoted by Friesen, is explained.

This post, the last, starts Part 4, Deciding the Big Ones: The Wisdom View Applied. Part 4 is also the last part of the book moving from chapter 19 to the last chapter, 26. Friesen uses this part of the book to look practically at how to implement the Wisdom View.

A thought that Friesen repeats a lot in this part in order to make the mind remember it, and also to make sure that the Wisdom View is not misunderstood is that any decision that is to be made “is regulated by the moral will of God, but not determined by it.” (p293-294) In other words, if you are looking for a new job, the moral will of God regulates how you make your decision, but it does not determine where you work.

This part of the book deals with singleness and marriage (ch19), marriage as a subject (ch20), the ministry (ch21), missions (ch22), vocation and education (ch23), giving (ch24), when Christians differ (ch25) and finally weaker brothers and pharisees (ch26).

As Friesen tackles each of these subjects, he looks at some of the important Biblical passages related to each of them and shows how they relate to the wisdom view. In each of these chapters, Friesen shows that guidance through some inner impressions or some “word” from God is not necessary, but an application of the wisdom view will guide you well. In order to prove his point he looks at several passages from the Bible that at first glance seem to back up the traditional view rather than the wisdom view.

Through proper exegesis, Friesen shows that many of these passages simply cannot carry the weight of demanded evidence needed by the traditional view.

Friesen also points to the fact that the wisdom view is very much based on wisdom gleaned from the Bible, and that it is imperative that Christians actually get to know their Bibles through Bible study.

For instance, in the chapter on giving (ch24)(p372) he shows the following:


  1. Old testament tithing has been superceded by New Testament grace giving.
  2. The “faith promise” method of giving is unbiblical though it correctly encourages prayer and generous giving.
  3. Grace giving is purposeful, proportionate giving as God has prospered you.
  4. Giving priorities are immediate family first, then relatives, local church, gospel outreach. relief of believers, relief of unbelievers.

I know that this will probably ruffle many feathers, but the exegesis is done properly and this part of Friesen’s book simply must be read. It blows a whole lot of holy cows out the water!

This part of the book, dealing with practical issues that Christians around the world battle with on a daily basis, is very important, since it really puts the mind at ease. It shows how we do not need special words from God to accomplish our life’s work.

In concluding the book, Friesen once again, in summary form gives us the four principles of decision making in the wisdom view (p421):


  1. Where God commands, we must obey (chapter 8).
  2. Where there is no command, God gives us freedom (and responsibility) to choose (chapter 9).
  3. Where there is no command, God gives us wisdom to choose (chapters 10 and 11).
  4. When we have chosen what is moral and wise, we must trust the sovereign God to work all the details together for good (chapters 12 and 13).

Finally, the book closes off with three appendices. Appendix one is a review of books on finding God’s will. These reviews include books from both the traditional and the wisdom views. Appendix 2 gives pointers on painless Scripture memory and Appendix 3 gives guidelines on Bible marathons. A Bible marathon is where up to about 15 people get together to read through large portions of the Bible together.

Having read the book and now reviewed it, I am convinced that this book is a book of liberty. For too long we have been conned into thinking that if we did not have clear personal guidance from the Lord that we could not move forward, and was probably living in sin and that was why we did not hear God. Further, that idea put pressure on people to perform spiritually somehow to get these “words.”

The wisdom view frees us from all that, and the kicker is this, it is the Biblical view. I am sure many can give testimonies of how God led them in the past, but that is at best anecdotal. The Bible is our only rule of life and faith, and the wisdom view encapsulates that.

It is my opinion, that if you have never considered this view of guidance, that you should buy Garry Friesen’s “Decision Making and the Will of God” today, and see whether it changes your life or not!

If you discovered this review for the first time in this post, go to the first post to start reading this review.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Decision Making and the Will of God - Part 8

When last I wrote in this series on the review of Friesen’s book, Decision Making and the Will of God, I truly thought that I was going to finish this series soon! How I was mistaken! Somehow I got distracted from this series and now it is more than one and a half years later! And, I have realised that a lot of the book must still be reviewed. I had finished reading it back then, but now I will have to do a bit of a refresher to continue this review.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for this delay!

Just a quick heads up on this book, I think that it is the best book on the issue of finding the will of God. It does not include pop-theology on the subject and is thoroughly exegeted to find what the Bible itself has to say on the subject.

Chapter 14, Guidance: A Biblical Model, starts with the following paragraph:
“So far we have seen that Scripture uses ‘God’s will’ in two ways: God’s sovereign will is His secret plan that works all things together for good. His moral will refers to all the commands in the Bible. On the other hand, we have set aside as scripturally invalid a third, commonly accepted concept—the individual will of God. As a result, we have discarded the idea that where the Bible does not command we must find another ‘will of God.’ Instead, we have shown that where there is no command, God provides freedom and wisdom to decide.” (p220)
This whole idea, the way of wisdom, that came before this chapter is very liberating in the sense that we no longer have to feel guilty when we haven’t heard the latest and greatest guidance from God. The pressure is off!

Biblical guidance is defined early in this chapter. Apart from describing Biblical guidance, Friesen demonstrates it in the life of the apostle Paul. Friesen sees four ways through which God guides His people. In Moral Guidance, God guides us through scriptural commands. Wisdom Guidance gives us freedom and wisdom where there are no scriptural commands. Sovereign Guidance are the secret works of God whereby He works all things together for the good of those that love Him. Finally, Special Guidance is rare, wherein God supernaturally reveals His ways to a specific person via His voice, angels, dreams and more.

Friesen uses Rom 1:8-13 to show how Paul planned his life. 1. Plans are appropriate (13), 2. Paul prayed about his plans for their accomplishment (8-10), 3. Paul submitted himself and his plans to God’s will (10), 4. Paul’s plans were based on spiritual goals, 5. Paul prioritised his spiritual goals.

Chapter 15 leads us into Special Guidance and Decision Making. Once again Friesen stresses the point that Special Guidance is rare. From here Friesen gives examples of Special Guidance through the Bible, such as the pillar of cloud, prophets, angelic voices and visions.

It is important to note that Friesen does not deny that God does speak to us in special ways at times. However, these times are very rare, and it comes sovereignly from God.

Friesen also answers the question surrounding so-called prophets today and so-called sensing the Lord speaking. He writes:
“Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.” (p239)
I am also of the opinion that if God spoke you would know that He spoke. Friesen makes it clear that if we are left uncertain as to whether we really heard from God or not, it will simply be a guessing game.

Next, in Chapter 16, Making a Good Thing Better, Friesen deals with interpretive and application difficulties. He shows how the traditional view, that of seeking for a third will of God leads to great inconsistencies. Either you follow God’s leading through this method in all decisions of life, little ones included, or you are walking inconsistently with “God’s will.” Bad decisions can always be blamed on God and delays can be costly due to a person’s “waiting” on God.

The way of wisdom does not let someone hide his motives behind “God’s leading!” Further, the wisdom view teaches a person to grow up and to become decisive. While in the traditional view there can hardly ever be any certainty, within the wisdom view there is no such problem.

Chapter 17, A New Way of Seeing, shows how the same sources of information are before us whether we use the traditional view for guidance or whether we use the way of wisdom. Friesen explains that while the information for guidance remains the same, the two views approach the data quite differently. The traditional view looks for road signs pointing to God’s individual will, while the way of wisdom pursues a wise decision within God’s moral will.

Finally, we reach the last chapter, chapter 18, Practicing the Presence, of Part 3 of the book. Friesen writes:
“My contention is that equating our inner impressions with the voice of God is a misinterpretation of our experience. And the idea that the way of wisdom excludes God from our decision making is a caricature of what the Scriptures plainly teach.” (p270)
Friesen makes some suggestions about how a person that has become convinced of the way of wisdom can move from the traditional view to the way of wisdom.

Next Friesen suggests that because God is invisible, and He is God, our relationship with Him will be different from that of humans. However, we need to build a personal relationship with God.

Friesen explains how we build relationship with God as Trinity.

While the traditional method is always based on the premise that we need “to know what God wants us to do; God wants us to know Him.” (p285) God’s concern in our relationship with Him is less about what we do than with who we are.

So, we have come to the end of Part 3 with chapter 18. Next we will move into Part 4, Deciding the Big Ones: The Wisdom View Applied.

So, until next time, you could perhaps go back to the beginning of this series of the review of Friesen’s book.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hop, skip and… rather not!

Peter Mead says Bible study is not a hop! Bible study does not start with us, it starts with them!

Willow Creek pastor resigns over “sexual impurity”

“Willow Creek Community Church’s Senior Pastor Bill Hybels has announced the resignation of the head of the church’s Chicago campus because of ‘sexual impurity.’

The Rev. Steve Wu has left as campus pastor of the Chicago branch of the South Barrington megachurch. He’s ‘taken full responsibility for his sin,’ according to a church statement.”

Read more

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Tombstone

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated!


As you can see, I am still blogging!

Moses Wrote About Me

Michael Adams, of In-Depth Studies and Love Broke Thru, is busy getting his new website, Moses Wrote About Me, ready for launch.

Moses Wrote About Me will be specifically geared towards teaching New Covenant Theology.

Of course, Mike has been threatening with this new website for a while now. I, for one, am getting a bit antsy to see this website in action.

Mike is a marvelous teacher and I have enjoyed his writings very much before. So, let’s hope for a speedy release!

To find out more about Moses Wrote About Me, read his blog post concerning the upcoming release of his new website.

Well, Mike, we can’t wait to have your new website online and out of development mode!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jonathan Edwards on TULIP

Jonathan Edwards is one of America’s all time greatest theologians. Like most would know is that he was a faithful Calvinist, and here are links to short quotes by Edwards on each letter of the acronym, TULIP:

TTotal Depravity/Inability

UUnconditional Election

LLimited/particular atonement

IIrresistible grace

PPerseverance/preservation of the saints

HT: Adrian Warnock

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

John MacArthur: 40 years in ministry

John MacArthur has been in ministry for 40 years! Amazing!

Rick Holland did an interview with John and you can either download to the MP3 or read the transcript.

HT: Andy Naselli

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gospel Coalition Journal is out!

Themelios is an international evangelical theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith. Its primary audience is theological students and pastors, though scholars read it as well. It was formerly a print journal operated by RTSF/UCCF in the UK, and it became a digital journal operated by The Gospel Coalition in 2008.

The December 2008 edition is available.

NCT Friday: Debating New Covenant Theology

The day we believe that everybody with half a brain will agree with us on our interpretation of the Bible, is the day we should be locked up in an insane asylum. That is just not how the real world works. The sin factor simply does not allow for such a perfect world to exist this side of heaven!

The fact is that many respected men of God who have been studying theology longer and deeper than you have, will from time to time disagree with you. New Covenant Theology is no different. Many respected men disagree with us on this issue.

However, name dropping does not decide the truth of the matter. It is for this reason that there are a couple of debates (in writing) on the issue out on the web. Many of these are actually not in classic debate form, but rather in rebuttal form.

Have a look at this:
God's Kingdom Unrighteously Defended

Israel: An Unbelieving People and the response from Covenant Theology (CT).

The Problem with Radical Discontinuity from CT and the response from NCT.

In Defense of the New Covenant - A comprehensive response to Richard Barcellos’ book entitled, “In Defense of the Decalogue.”

A comprehensive review of Richard Barcellos’ “In Defense of the Decalogue” by John Reisinger:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 - 4 cont.
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

Just in the last week, NCT has been called into question. You can find them here and here.

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: Branches of New Covenant Theology.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

“The Shack”: What shall we say about it?

Whenever people tell me they read a lot, I always try to find out what they read. What a person reads tells me a lot about them. Obviously, why a person reads what they read is also a dead give away. However, when there is a discernable pattern in the types of books read, then you can discover a lot about people. Further, a person's favourite authors also reveal a lot about that person.

Books are seldom just books. Most books, even novels, have a point to make. So, a book is hardly ever just for entertainment. Even these types of books, under further analysis, present us with some type of worldview or point of view about life.

Your point of view of The Shack will also tell me about you. In fact, my point of view of this book will tell you a lot about me too.
So, The Shack! Another review, huh! Yip! Another review! You might want to know why I am doing this review, since there are so many reviews on this book already.

Well, this is my blog and I can write what I want to, right? Actually, both the statement and the question can be answered in the affirmative. But, that is not why I write. In my small way, I think I can add some value to some soul out there. And, I hope I can do the same with this review, even if it says the same as another review.

Title: The Shack
Author: William P. Young
ISBN: 0-9647292-3-7
Publishers: Windblown Media, Newbury Park, CA.
Year of publication: 2007
Book URL:

The story of The Shack is really a simple one, and it is easy to follow. Mack's (Mackenzie) daughter, Missy, was kidnapped and murdered while on vacation in the mountains. Missy's body was never found. This event has left Mack with what he calls, The Great Sadness. And indeed, the whole story revolves around Mack's sadness and how he deals with it.

Then one day, while clearing his driveway of snow he finds a note in his mailbox with the following words:

It's been a while. I've missed you.

I'll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together.
What is so disconcerting to Mack is that no one uses that term but his wife. And, it is her term of endearment for God. Without telling his wife what he is planning, he decides to go up to the shack to meet Papa. Of course, at first he thinks that it may be the killer that is messing around with his mind, and he then takes a gun with him.

The story then unfolds as he meets "god" at the shack in his "trinitarian" form. Through interaction with god over this weekend he comes to deal with his Great Sadness.

The book is a fairly good attempt at dealing with the question, "If there is a God, and He is supposedly good, then why is there so much evil in the world?"

The book flows well as a novel. I can't say that there was a time that I was really bored.

However, and this is the crux of the book, in its theology, the book seriously lacks in presenting a true Biblical picture of God.

One of the first things the book does is to doubt the current interpretation of Biblical doctrine. After receiving the note from Papa, he wonders about the note. According to Mack's own theological training at seminary, God simply did not send notes. God stopped speaking to mankind and we have to live off the pages of a book, "sacred Scripture, properly interpreted… God's voice had been reduced to paper" and only the "intelligentsia" knew the proper interpretation. (p65-66). This passage, and the belief that flows from it lays the foundation for the "revelation" of god later in the book. According to The Shack, and the deep sarcasm in this part of the book, there isn't just one interpretation of the Bible. No "properly interpreted" Scripture is necessary, for god reveals himself in other ways that may or may not coincide with our current beliefs about god. The whole book shows that Mack's seminary training, and its proper interpretation of Scripture could very much have a different meaning after all.

Finally, when god is revealed in the book, you can see why doubt had to be thrown on the "proper interpretation" of the Scriptures. Father God, called Papa, is a large black woman; Jesus, with the same name is a Jew, and the Holy Spirit, called Sarayu, is an Asian woman.

So, what is wrong with that? Well, simply put and to the point: God did NOT reveal Himself like that. What is revealed here is NOT the Trinitarian God of the Bible! God is never revealed in the Bible as a woman. God is revealed in male terms right through the Bible, and to say otherwise is to say what the Bible did NOT say!

Papa, the mother goddess in this book, is a hip-swinging, non-christian-music listening goddess. She actively listens to non-christian music. God certainly hears everything going on on this planet, but does He actively search out non-christian music to listen to on his iPod or MP3 player? Of course, thinking of God as male (as He has revealed Himself to us in the Bible), is "religious conditioning" (p93) according to Papa.

The book also drives the humanity of Jesus too far, portraying Him as a klutz. At one point in the book, they are all in the kitchen, and for some odd reason Jesus drops a large bowl with batter of some kind on the floor. (p104) Jesus is no longer in the normal state of humanity as He was on earth, with the limitations of a human body. Jesus was taken up into heaven with a glorified body, no longer having normal human limitations. To propose that He still drops things like a normal human being is simply nonsense. Jesus is God, and for Him to drop a bowl, would be to diminish His deity, therefore getting rid of His deity. In this same encounter Papa calls Jesus "greasy fingers" as if this would be a normal occurrence.

The Shack portrays all mankind as children of God, and that there is not one person that God is not especially fond of. Mankind only made a mess of things in this book, they didn't really rebel against the Most High God and as a result deserve eternal death and damnation. I suppose Papa did not know of verses like Ps 5:5 that speaks of God's hate for the wicked. According to Papa, mankind's anger at God "is an expression of love all the same. I love the ones I am angry with just as much as those I'm not." (p119). Well, does Papa come across as the Biblical God who judges and destroys those who hate Him? (Ex 20:5, Dt 5:9, Dt 7:10, Dt 32:41, Ps 21:8, Ps 68:1)

The treatment of sin in The Shack is very flimsy. In it, god doesn't "need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment…" (p120) Papa needs to tell that to Adam and Eve. "Sin is its own punishment?" When Adam and Eve sinned, God actively judged them and punished them for that sin (Rom 5:16; Rom 2:2-5; Rom 6:3). God is the judge, and He will judge sinners in the end and they will go to hell. "Sin is [NOT] its own punishment!" A great and terrible punishment awaits sinners who have not been reconciled to God through Christ!

So, when it comes to the representation of God, and that which God has clearly spoken on in the Bible, the only verdict that I can come to is that this book contains undiluted heresy.

Young is portraying a complete perversion of God in his book. Once we touch who God is, and His very clear and precise revelation of Himself in the Bible, we distance ourselves from the God of the Bible and substitute in His place, a god made in our own image. Young's portrayal of God is in no way a reflection of the Biblical God. The god of The Shack is a figment of Young's imagination, a god that does not exist, certainly not the Trinity of true Christianity revealed in the Scriptures.

One of the most disconcerting issues of this book is how well known Christian personalities gush over this book. Michael W. Smith said: "THE SHACK will leave you craving for the presence of God." Which god would that be? The god made in man's image? In other words an idol!
"(3) You shall have no other gods before me. (4) You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God," (Exo 20:3-5 ESV)

The author of The Message paraphrase, note that it is NOT a translation, wants us to believe that this "book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's that good!" There is absolutely no comparison between Bunyan's clear Biblical portrayal of a Christian's walk until he leaves this world, and The Shack's heretical portrayal of God!

I think I will stop here. It is possible to write a book about the false and heretical teachings in The Shack. I simply do not have the time or energy to do that. However, I hope that everyone can see how serious the error is in this book.

For more commentary on this book, please read the following:
Revisiting The Shack and Universal Reconciliation
Series on The Shack at Herescope
Book Review by Dr. Scott Kaufman: The Shack

Friday, February 06, 2009

Caesar the corn snake

When my son first told us that he wanted a snake for Christmas, we weren’t too sure what to think about the request.

Well, to cut the story short, we got him his snake, and really enjoys the snake.

Here is a video playlist of the snake’s first meal at home. There are two videos in this play list. They are Part 1 & 2 of his feeding.

BTW, the snake’s name is Caesar!

NCT Friday: New Covenant Theology websites

For several Fridays now (except last Friday), we have been looking at some of the key doctrinal areas of New Covenant Theology.

Well, today I am giving you links to some NCT websites:
Sound of Grace
Solo Christo
In-Depth Studies
Biblical Studies
Moe Bergeron
New Covenant Theology
Jesus Said Follow Me
A Tale of Two Kingdoms
New Covenant Journal
Moses Wrote About Me now redirects to The Gospel in Real Life.
Sovereign Grace Fellowship
New Covenant Baptist Fellowship
Clearcreek Chapel

The following is a list of feeds by New Covenant Theology blogs and websites:

If you have any other NCT websites that I haven’t listed here, please let me know!

First NCT Friday.
Next, NCT Friday: Debating New Covenant Theology.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Paul's struggle for our minds

It is becoming more and more the norm that one group of people want another group of people to experience what they experienced. And, that is commendable! Once we have experienced that rush, we want others to have the same rush.

When it comes to Christianity, the same thing occurs. Everyone has an experience of some or other thing or event, and we want everyone else to experience the same thing. In a sense we want to normalize our own experiences in order to legitimize them! If I can just get enough people to have my experiences, then I can claim that they are normative, hence they would be legitimized.

However, the more we chase after experiences, the more we negate the historicity of Christ and the events surrounding the cross and what it accomplished for the elect. Certainly, we must not deny any and all experiences. The point is, we should not make our experiences the norm at the expense of the historicity of the gospel. When we equate the gospel with our experiences and the mysticism that the church is so fond of, we forget that the Christian faith is ultimately not just an experience of salvation, but a fact of a historical event that bought salvation for the elect.

And this is where the mind comes in. The Christian faith is a propositional faith. If it were not, then heresy in the doctrinal sense would be a complete misnomer.

This is where Paul comes in...
"(1) For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, (2) that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (4) I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments."
Col 2:1-4 ESV
Paul declares to the Colossians that he struggles for them so that they may be encouraged to reach all the riches of:
(1) full assurance of understanding, and
(2) the knowledge of God's mystery, Christ.

This struggle of Paul's is so that no one may delude the Colossians with "plausible arguments." Here, Paul is speaking of delusion by false reasoning (παραλογιζομαι). Plausible arguments here come from persuasive speech (πιθανολογια). Please notice that Paul's concern, time and time again, is not with airy-fairy, feelings and experiences, primarily. We can hardly say of Paul that he was very concerned with some metaphysical, mystical experiences.

No, Paul is almost always concerned with the area of knowledge among Christians. Paul is very concerned with what they know and believe. Paul wants the Colossians to have full assurance of understanding (v2) and the knowledge of Christ. Both "understanding" and "knowledge" are words that concern the mind.

Why does Paul want the Colossians to have knowledge and understanding of Christ? In order that they could not be deluded by plausible arguments! Again, it has to do with the mind! Paul wants Christians to have an intimate knowledge and understanding of Christ, in order that when people come with their sneaky, plausible arguments, we would know the lie and hold on to the truth.

The Christian faith is a faith of substance, not empty ahistorical claims. It is first and foremost a faith that is deeply rooted in history and reality. It points back to something real and objective that happened 2000 years ago. Christianity is not based on the subjective experiences of individuals. That is why, when we believe in Christ, we believe because He is real, and He walked this earth, not because we had a mystical experience.

Experiences come and go, but history, and the Lord of history remain!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Study Bibles for everyone!

There has been a flurry of new Study Bibles in the past 2 years or so with the best waiting for last, the ESV Study Bible (ESVSB).

However, there are many more Study Bibles in the works.

You can read about them here:

A Few Study Bibles Coming Out Later This Year
“New” Study Bibles

You will probably find a Study Bible that fits your own predisposition in there somewhere!

Schuller empire crumbling?

It seems dad Schuller and son Schuller could not sit together next to the camp fire. It also seems like the Schuller ministry is in a bit of financial trouble. IMHO, it would be better if this ministry closes. It has taught an enormous amount of false teaching and even heresy, that if it folds, it would probably be a good thing.

Read about the problems in the ministry here.
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