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Thanks to Tim Challies and my new iPod touch, I was looking for new RSS feeds and I found some. One of them was Parchment and Pen. Well, they started a new series just as I was tuning in called Why I Am/Am Not a Charismatic. I’ve been interested in that for a while. Well, they also have a podcast that I didn’t know about before called Theology Unplugged and they are covering the series as a conversation in that too. What I like about it that is conversational like Connected Kingdom with Tim Challies and David Murray.

So far in the Podcast they have covered definitions (part 1) and background stories of Sam Storms and Michael Patton (part 2). Tim Kimberley is somewhat of a moderator. He is trying to push more for organization and having topics to be covered.

First they covered a small introduction including that all three men attended Dallas Theological Seminary, which is very cessationist, yet Storms has come to believe in the gifts as a Continuationist. They listed some guys that are Charismatic. The guys I was familiar with were Wayne Grudem, John Piper and Mark Driscoll, though I didn’t know he held Charismatic beliefs.

Then Sam Storms covered the history of the modern Charismatic movement in Evangelicalism in a response to a question of how charismatism has been changing over the Christian landscape.

Definitions
They clarified what Charismatic or Continuationist and Cessationist mean.
Charismatic or Continuationists believe that the gifts of the Spirit like prophecy or tongues or miraculous healings still exist today though they clarified it that the purpose is to edify the church or spread the gospel. They did go against those people that hold onto it that are prosperity preachers.
They also clarified the difference between Continuationists and practicing Continuationists. There are some Continuationists that don’t pursue them. I forgot the name they used for them.

Cessationists believe that the gifts of the Spirit mentioned above have been stopped and ended at the church age and part of the reason for the belief is the abuse of the “gifts” by people that don’t seem to proclaim Christ and use it for their own gain.

My personal experience with Charismatics is that early in my Christian walk I attended church with a friend that had a prophecy and tongues as a regular part of their service. After that I had little thought until I spent some time on Sam Storms personal site. I’m still open on my theology in this area. I haven’t made a decision one way or another because for me it’s a peripheral theological point. I’ve been sticking to the Gospel primarily and theology directly associated with it like the Doctrines of Grace, theology proper, Christology, etc. I understand that I should take a view because it’s commanded in the scripture to pursue the gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). So I’ve decided after going through this series, I’ll make up my mind for my own personal theology. And if they don’t cover everything I need, I’ll pursue it and find answers on my own.

In the next blog post I’ll discuss more thoroughly the background stories of Patton and Storms as Kimberley is moderating.

Series Posts on the Parchment and Pen Blog
What to Expect

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I wanted to recommend some new music that I’ve found. Matt Chandler’s church, The Village has put out some music. Chandler is involved with Acts 29 one of the ministries of Mark Driscoll’s church, Mars Hill.

The album is Village Worship. A lot of the songs originate with The Village though there are a couple of older songs that they’ve put to contemporary music.

As I went through the album again trying to figure out my favorite song, I realized the whole thing is good. I can’t say that I like one over another because each track is great.

You’ll see what I’m referring to if you just go over there and download it. You can get it here:
http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/music

Is Being Missional Enough?

Over at the Acts 29 blog is an interesting blog post. The answer to the question in the blog title is a no. The main idea of the blog post is that a purely Missional church will burn out. These are the best few lines from blog which explains the need:

Missional church is not enough. What we need is captivation with God’s glory, and with a God who is relentless in showing his glory to his people throughout history. This glory is complete. The challenge is to stand in awe, not merely of the missional task, but also of the God of mission. From this place of awe the mission of the church will advance and God’s glory will be completed.

Its a reminder by Jonathan Edwards of 1 Corinthians 10:31. Now go over to their blog and read the post. It’s not that long.
http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/why-the-missional-church-isnt-enough/

Another 2 min video by David Platt, advertising his book Radical Together. It is a good summary of the Gospel, and God’s plan to display His glory over the entire world. Watch it and share it.

When I watched this video, I was very convicted by it. Watch it.

What I didn’t explain in the last Fighter Verse post was the organization. The fighter verses have five sets with fifty-two verses each, one for each week of the year. That explains the numbers in the post title. The one stands for set 1 and the two stands for which verse in the set I am on. (Week 2: 7/18/11-7/24/11)

Verse

…Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?
Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Verse Meditation:

The organization of the verse is a what more is required of you? God is saying, israel this is all I’m asking you to do: fear me, walk in my ways, love me, serve me from the inside, and keep my commandments. Then he finishes by saying, they are for your good. All this that I’ve commanded are for your good. I’m not asking you to do something that isnt for your good. Hey Israel I’m seeking your good. Why does God have to remind them of that? By nature the heart hates commandments and God, authority. By nature Israel couldn’t accomplish what God was asking. Their hearts were in rebellion. The thing is no one can. I can’t. Everyday I fail. I don’t have to seek God’s approval because I have it in Christ. Jesus accomplished following the commandments, loving God, serving Him, and fearing Him perfectly. Do I not have to follow God’s commandments then? Well I should because God only asks what’s for my good. It doesn’t earn God’s approval for me, I already have it in Christ. But I should still do what He asks of me because they are for my good. For My Good! So I shall fear Him, follow His ways, love Him and serve Him by His grace and with His help.

FighterVerses.com Blog Posts for This Verse

For Our Good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Memory Device for Deuteronomy 10:12-13

G.O.S.P.E.L. Video

I haven’t been posting Gospel Primers because I’ve been slacking. I haven’t set aside the time to gather them and have them all set up and ready to go. Part of it is my own struggles with sin.

I found this great video on the gospel though during the last few days. They take Gospel and make an acronym out of it: God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life. (G.O.S.P.E.L.) There is a link on the vimeo page of the video to buy and download it. I just might. Enjoy and pass it on.

One goal of mine is to memorize scripture both for my sanctification and the edification of others. One of the means I acquired to do that was the Fighter Verses set (now the legacy set) put out by Desiring God. Since I first acquired it they made some changes to it and added an app. I grabbed the app because I figured it’d help more. Their new set campaign started at the beginning of 2011. But since I just got the app, I’m off by six months.
This week’s verse (7/11/11-7/17/11) for me is Deuteronomy 7:9.

Verse

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Deuteronomy 7:9

Verse Meditation

In this verse God is telling Israel that their God YHWH is the real God, He is God versus any other of the other people’s gods being God. YHWH, the God of Israel is God.He also wants them to understand something about himself, He is faithful. He keeps His word. He promised to keep His covenant and love on them as long as they love Him and keep His commandments. As I though of this verse, Jesus words kept coming to mind from John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” True Obedience follows love. That is why Love and keeping commandments are tied together. But the point of this verse is to point to the character of God. Moses is pointing to God and saying He is faithful to keep His word, which He will unless you break your side of the contract/covenant of loving Him and keeping His commandments. And that He will do, keep His Word “to a thousand generations. The point of the “thousand generations” is to say a long time. Looking at the genealogy of Jesus, “the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17). From Abraham to Christ was approximately 4000 years. That makes 42 generations in 4000 years. That’s roughly 4 generations every 100 years. At that ratio, 1000 generations would be 25,000 years. That’s a long time. That’s longer than the young earth-ers expect the length the earth has been around, 6000 years. God’s faithfulness reaches a really, really long time. And the thing is, as a Christian and knowing the point of the Old Testament Law was to show that we are incapable of keeping the law because sin, and that we needed a Savior. We have Him, Jesus, the God-man, who both lived the righteousness we needed to live and died the death we deserved for our sin, so that by faith Jesus work would be applied to us. He kept the commandments and loved God perfectly as he commands in this Verse, so now Jesus perfect righteousness that is eternal gets applied and multiplied to God’s faithfulness. It’s like multiplying 25000 to infinity. God’s faithfulness will last forever. That’s something to hold onto. Jesus righteousness being applied to me means that God’s faithfulness applied to me will last forever. It’ll never end. And I have it because of Jesus.

FighterVerses.com Blog Posts for This Verse

The Divine Power We Need in the New Covenant

The Reformed Faith

Blogging might be easier now since I have an iPod touch for the time being, though typing will be a bit slower being that I can only use my thumbs. Anyway, along with blogging, I should be able to read some books because I can have them on iBooks and kindle. One of the “books” I found was the The Reformed Faith by Loraine Boettner. I found it through Monergism.com, pointed by Tim Challies (http://www.challies.com/).

The Reformed Faith was a good quick read. I was able to read it within the day. It summarizes the views of the reformed faith and it starts with the sovereignty of God. For me, that is a great relief to find something that starts with God. God centered verses man centered. Even the five points can be used to be man centered. It starts with man as the Five Points of Calvinism with total depravity.
This booklet doesn’t actually follow the five points.
The contents are as follows with summaries for each section:

1. The Sovereignty of God
This is the first section is my favorite. It looks at God’s total and complete sovereignty even over the sinful actions of man.

2. Man’s Totally Helpless Condition
This section essentially examines total depravity and looks at the condition of man and looks at it from the view of headship and Adam as our head and the test he went through on to see of his faith in God like all the Angels did.

3. Christ’s Atonement
This section looks at the limited of Christ’s atonement from both theological views. The Arminianist view limits the power of the cross by making it available to all people leaving the last decision to be saved by the sinner. The Calvinist view limits who the atonement applies to. The arminian view leaves things up to man while the calvin view leaves things up to God giving God glory.

4. The Foreknowledge of Go
In this section he shows that with foreknowledge that Arminians actually shoot themselves in the foot because if they believe if it’s foreknowledge then it’s already all been determined anyway like fate.

5. The Universalistic Passages
This is a great section. What it does it look at the passages of the bible Arminians use to prove their side or try to refute Calvinism. He looks at them in context and concludes that they are referring to the elected believers from every tribe, tongue, and nation, not each individual person. I thoroughly enjoyed this section and think every believer should keep this notes on hand.

6. The Two Systems Contrasted
In this section the author compares the five points of Calvinism to the five points of Arminianism. He quotes David N. Steele and Curtis Thomas on this saying that they have the best summary of the two sides. The two summaries they give for each side are below.

According to Arminianism:
Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond) – man’s response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, “choose” to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be recipients of the gift of salvation.

According to Calvinism:
Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.

I highly recommend any Christian read this article, whether Calvinist, Arminian, or someone that claims to hold neither view. It could shed light and gave me personally some thoughts I’ve never thought of before. It can be downloaded here as either an ePub or mobi file: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/free-ebooks.html. It can also be bought on monergism as a physical booklet.

Shadow of the Almighty

“He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” This is the quote on the front of the book, one of Jim Elliot’s most well known sayings. It was written in one of his journals. This is what Jim Elliot accomplished in his life. He died at the age of 29, yet his life has impacted many.

One of the ways that Jim’s life helped mine was his resolve to give over everything for Christ, including wanting to get married to a specific young lady. He had great affections for this one young woman, Betty. They met in college, but it seemed that God was keeping them apart for some reason. They did eventually marry on the mission field, but the encouraging part about Jim’s life is that he continued to give her over to Christ. He struggled because he loved her. There were times that he wrote about how difficult is was and how he wanted her and that he, at times, just didn’t understand what God was doing.

What, for me, was encouraging is that I, too, have a desire to get married and a young lady has/had caught my attention. Seeing that Jim could give Betty up, shows me that by God’s grace I can give up the one who has caught mine attention. I’m not saying that God will give her to me if I give her up as God gave Jim and Elisabeth to one another. But I do know that God will sustain me, and will give me my wife in his timing, when I’m ready if He has decided to give me one.

The book consisted mostly of Jim’s own writing, his journals and letters to others. What I would have liked more is to have know more of what was going on around him. The context of the U.S. and the countries he was in for missionary work. It would have been nice to have been able to have placed him in the personal time line that I have in my head of history.