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Jul
27

You Might be Emergent if…

(Preface: This is all in fun.) You might be involved with the Emergent Church if… You finally understand the Trinity now that you have read “The Shack”. You think “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller is a book on Systematic Theology. You have life-size posters of Rob Bell on your wall. You read every blog entry on Emergent Village (and comment!). You consider Brian McLaren to be your spiritual granddad. You shaved your head to look like Tony Campolo. You think Mark Driscoll is a Fundamentalist. You learned to dance by reading “Soul Salsa” by Leonard Sweet. You sent money to Steve Taylor to help him release his new film. You don’t know what the term “Postmodern” means, but you think it is cool. You buy all your clothes from Abercrombie and Fitch. You chose your current church because they have WiFi and Starbucks! You keep a copy of “The Ragamuffin Gospel” in your car. You read “The Message” bible. You tried an NLT, but it had too many big words. You are in MN to see Doug Pagitt, NOT John Piper. You have a “Tony Jones is my homeboy,” bumper sticker on your eco-friendly hybrid. You love the word, “Conversation,” but cringe at the word,...
Jul
16

Uncover and Confess Sin -by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

      He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13) Here is the way of mercy for a guilty and repenting sinner. He must cease from the habit of covering sin. This is attempted by falsehood, which denies sin; by hypocrisy, which conceals it; by boasting, which justifies it; and by loud profession, which tries to make amends for it. The sinner’s business is to confess and forsake. The two must go together. Confession must be honestly made to the Lord Himself, and it must include within itself acknowledgment of the wrong, sense of its evil, and abhorrence of it. We must not throw the fault upon others, nor blame circumstances, nor plead natural weakness. We must make a clean breast of it and plead guilty to the indictment. There can be no mercy till this is done. Furthermore, we must forsake the evil; having owned our fault, we must disown all present and future intent to abide in it. We cannot remain in rebellion and yet dwell with the King’s majesty. The habit of evil must be quitted, together with all places, companions, pursuits, and books which might lead us astray. Not for confession, nor for reformation, but in connection with them we find pardon by faith in the blood of Jesus. (From Charles Spurgeon’s “Faith’s...
Jul
14

God and Math?

God and Math? Math? How can math be presented biblically? What does God have to do with math? Most of us view math as a neutral subject. Neutral means indifferent or “not engaged on either side; not aligned with a political or ideological grouping.”[1] We regard math as a subject “not engaged” and “not aligned” with either biblical or worldly thinking. Believing that math is independent from God, we approach math as a “safe” subject—a subject we can all see the same way, regardless of our religious beliefs. After all, the equation one plus one equals two (“1 + 1 = 2”) works the same way for a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist. Math is a subject of numbers and facts, and most of us think facts are neutral. But is math really indifferent and neutral? Is such a thing even possible? The Bible warns us that we are in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18). It urges us to guard our heart and to test the spirit behind what we are taught (1 John 4:1; Proverbs 4:23). The Bible does not mention any neutral ground. According to the Bible, nothing can really be neutral. Everything will be presented in either a biblical or a worldly fashion. So how can math be presented biblically? What does God have to do with math? Join me now in looking at an equation we are all familiar with: “1 + 1 = 2.” We will examine where this equation came from and why it works. As we examine this equation’s origins and ability to work, we will discover some startling truths applicable to every area of math. Mathematicians throughout history have developed various theories to explain the origin and consistency of addition. Some have speculated that addition exists by sheer chance. Others have claimed man created addition and addition works because man designed it to work. Most modern textbooks do not even attempt to offer an explanation for addition’s existence. Throughout my schooling, not one of my textbooks ever explained where addition originated or why it works. I eventually came to the conclusion that addition, along with all other math facts, is an eternal, self-existent truth. The Bible gives us a radically different explanation for addition. While the Bible does not specifically say, “This is where addition came from and why it works,” the Bible offers us principles that apply to addition, as well as to every other aspect of math. Look at what just two...
Jul
12

The Irreducibly Complex Church

The Irreducibly Complex Church What are the irreducibly complex components of a church? I have been trying to figure out what are the basic, fundamental elements (Irreducibly Complex) that must all be in place, working together at the same time, for a church to be considered a true, Biblical church. William Dembski gives this definition of Irreducible Complexity: “A system performing a given basic function is irreducibly complex if it includes a set of well-matched, mutually interacting, nonarbitrarily individuated parts such that each part in the set is indispensable to maintaining the system’s basic, and therefore original, function. The set of these indispensable parts is known as the irreducible core of the system.” Here is my short list so far: 1. It must be confessional. The whole counsel of God must be faithfully proclaimed by Biblically qualified and recognized leaders. 2. It must be missional. It must endeavor to reach the lost and to serve others. 3. It must be communal. It must facilitate real relationships and community that exist outside of the formal church meetings. 4. It must worship. This includes much more than singing and administration of the sacraments. It includes viewing all of life as an act of worship and obedience to God. This means that the people are taught by the instruction and example of the leadership to live holy and separate lives. If a church is not doing all of these things it is not a true church. Some people have suggested that church discipline should be included in this list. While I agree that a Biblical church must be willing to exercise church discipline when it is necessary, it seems to me that many churches may go for long stretches without church discipline being a need, so I haven’t included it in my list of essentials, even though it must be used when needed. Food for thought: If something is not really a true church, should you feel bad about leaving it? Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker. He is the Director of Family...

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© Israel Wayne.