A Hermeneutics Quiz

This quiz by Scot McKnight is meant to evaluate how you interpret the Bible. For those who may not know, hermeneutics is the subject that deals with the principles we use to interpret Scripture. Our church has historically subscribed to what is called a literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic, which means we take the Bible literally when it should be seen as statements of reality and figuratively when figures of speech are used. We use normal rules of grammar, treating the Bible as we would other written literature. We also read it with reference to its historical context–for example, we don’t expect references to things that are not a part of the context of the readers and writers.

The quiz is by Scot McKnight, a professor at North Park University, and someone considered a spokesperson for a part of the Emergent movement, so don’t think I’m endorsing his stands, but I was intrigued by this quiz. I scored a 40, by the way, meaning I am a “Conservative.” Surprise!

The article describing this process was in Leadership Journal, and can be found online here.

Published in: on February 26, 2008 at 4:32 pm  Comments (2)  

Thanks for a good start…

A number of you have taken advantage of our prayer times this week to pray for those around us who do not yet know Christ’s salvation.  Thank you.  It encourages me to see and hear us praying together for those who need the Lord.  If you haven’t come yet, join us for one or more of these times of intercession for our friends, neighbors, and family.  Check with the office or your church bulletin for times of prayer.

Published in: on February 26, 2008 at 1:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

For Your Instant Edification…

Many of you know how much I appreciate John Piper.  I get his “Desiring God” blog update, and it always encourages me.  Here is a sampling–a “wide angle” perspective on 1 John and its message to believers, from John Piper’s sermon this week. (Go to this link for a host of great resources.

In his letter, John gives eleven evidences of those who are born of God:
1. They keep God’s commandments (2:3-4; 3:24).
2. They walk as Christ walked (2:56).
3. They don’t hate others but love them (2:9; 3:14; 4:7-8, 20).
4. They don’t love the world (2:15).
5. They confess the Son and receive (have) him (2:23; 4:15; 5:12).
6. They practice righteousness (2:29).
7. They don’t make a practice of sinning (3:6, 9-10; 5:18).
8. They possess the Spirit of God (3:24; 4:13).
9. They listen submissively to the apostolic Word (4:6).
10. They believe that Jesus is the Christ (5:1).
11. They overcome the world (5:4).

These tests of the new birth are rigorous, but John does not mean for us to infer either that the born-again are perfect or that the born-again can loose their salvation. He affirms that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1:8) that those who go out from us “were not of us” (2:19).
Those who are born again enjoy the dual comfort that they need not be perfect and that they will never ultimately fall away.

That list is worth noting in your Bible!

Published in: on February 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm  Comments (1)  

A clip from Radiate

Just to show you , or remind you, of the fun that is being a part of a great youth group…go to this link, or if it works, watch below!

Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Great Spurgeon Quote!

he bishops of God’s church, the professed leaders of the Lord’s hosts, the pretended followers of the Redeemer, have done more damage to the church than all the church’s enemies. If the church were not a divine thing, protected by God, she must have ceased to exist, merely through the failure and iniquity of her own professed friends. I do not wonder that the church of God survived martyrdom and death; but I do marvel that she has survived the unfaithfulness of her own children, and the cruel backsliding of her own members. (Found on the Pyromaniacs) blog

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 11:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Week of Prayer

In my “State of the Church” sermon, I shared that one of the priorities I hoped to promote in 2008 is finding new venues and ways for us to experience corporate prayer.  Current programs and practices are not wrong or deficient–but they are not currently mobilizing many of our members. 

One step we will take is to set aside specific times for specific prayer, seeking to follow biblical models found in both Old and New Testaments.  A first opportunity will be during the last week of February, when we will set aside times throughout the week to allow us to pray specifically for one big thing:  the salvation of people around us.

In Acts 12, the church gathered for one subject prayer meetings.  In that case, it was Peter’s deliverance from prison.  Short version of the outcome–it worked.  In Acts 4, they had already seen this, when they prayed for boldness in the face of opposition.  It had worked then, too.

There is certainly reason for us to gather to pray for lots of matters and concerns, and we are used to that.  Perhaps, though, we need to get used to persistence about one thing.  In trying to decide where to start, I thought about another of my concerns for us–that we need to see conversions in our midst.  Our baptisms most often reflect conversions that took place much earlier, and adult conversions especially have been rare of late.

Then, something happened.  We saw someone come to our offices a few weeks back and ask how to follow Christ.  Then we had a high school student profess faith in Christ.  And then another one.  Then the child of a newcomer to our church (who has yet to profess Christ) trusted the Lord in Awana.  That is four professions of faith in less than a month. 

We need to thank God for this, but I think He is also reminding us that He has more around us to save.  As he told Paul when they still were not saved, he may be telling us, “…I have many people in this city who are my people.”  All of us know unsaved people.  And all of us know that we can do more to encourage them toward Christ.  One of those actions is prayer on their behalf.  That is what we are going to do during the final week of February.

We will be posting a schedule of times throughout the week where someone will be available at the church to lead a 45 minute time of prayer.  We will gather, a list will be shared (and added to if need be), and we will pray.  No singing, no offerings, no message–just concerted prayer together for people, by name, who need the Lord.  We will pray for those we know and those we don’t.  We will pray for our church’s specific outreaches to some of these people.  We will pray for us to be aware of opportunities to speak to them and show the love of Christ to them.

Then, we will work, wait, and watch to see how God responds to the prayers we have prayed. 

Details will follow, but prepare your hearts now!

Published in: on February 14, 2008 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment