Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Thoughts on revival

Interesting post title coming from one of those boring Presbyterian seminarian types, isn't it?

Anyway, I've been doing some transcription work for a professor at Saint Louis University for The Encyclopedia of Reigious Revival In America, which will come out sometime in the next 6-12 months, I would imagine.

My assignment is basically to type from some primary sources which will be quoted, and are from various traditions within the American Church.

One common thread struck me, as I was reading and typing the materials, ranging from the 1770's to the 1970's and that was the awe and wonderment of the writer on the sheer power of God. It made me long to see something like that in my lifetime, but with trepidation, I guess, as well, because those who wrote these accounts saw lives change unexpectedly, and were humbled at the sight of God doing the work.

Another intersting thing I noticed was this; all of the people gave God the glory. I believe that is important because we must understand that God's power and mercy do not come from the greatness of the speaker, but the power of the Spirit, and we should be keeping that in mind, if we dare pray for a great work of salvation.

Book of the day, The Salvation of Souls: Nine Previously Unpublished Sermons on the Call of the Ministry and the Gospel by Jonathan Edwards.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Ah, the little things

Yesterday in church, I noticed a child, probably between 6-8 years old, who was chomping at the bit, begging his dad for some money so he could put it in the offering. I looked over at my wife and related how when we're kids we're willing to put our entire weekly allowance in the offering and give it to the church, but when we get older we fight about 5 or 10 percent.

Amazing how things change, isn't it?

Book of the day, Pleasing God by R..C Sproul

Monday, March 21, 2005

Give me some time

I've been extremely busy with mid-terms and other obligations.

Blogging will resume sometime this week.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

There is no division

Faith and life. We often hear how they are separate, even today. It's the old addage, your religious views don't creep into your politics, science, work habits and so on.
Not only is that untrue, it is unBiblical if you claim to be a Christian. You see, the Christian should never be the one who thinks one way and lives another. By that I do not mean attending church, then living a hypocritical life. I really mean someone who is a Christian, yet does not believe that Christianity really has anything to say about politics, science, art, work, etc except for a few rules.
That is not what we get in the Bible. In the Bible, we see that one's life and worldview flow from their faith. If you are a Christian, then your faith should lead to logical actions, opinions, etc. The Christian worldview does not mean voting Republican and picketing abortion clinics, it means that the Christian worldview compares idealologies and actions on a consistant basis, based upon principals found in the Word.

I wrote a paper on this subject based upon some impressions I recieved from the book Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy. The assignment was one page, 350 words minimum, so please enjoy.

In reflecting upon the benefits of Total Truth, I believe I have a more secure grasp of areas in my life and thought which need to be changed as a result of direct confrontation with Biblical truth. The most important area in my life which has been impacted is that of developing an overarching Christian worldview, and then being able to impart it to others through my life and teaching.
Often times it seems I have viewed my worldview as an application of Christian principals to everyday life. I really only think that is the beginning. While it is right and proper to take Christian principals and apply them in how I treat employees I manage on a nightly basis at UPS, the truth is that Christian principals must reach further than the externalities of everyday life. While that sounds odd at first, if I were to think about how my Christian principals stack up against a philosophy such as social Darwinism, I would be remiss to reasonably explain why my ideas, or principals, are Truth and the social Darwinism is false. Yes, I could point to failed examples as to why Darwinian ideas have failed when applied in the “real world”, but there are instances in which ideas labeled “Christian” have failed as well.
As I ponder this, it makes me yearn for something deeper. It makes me understand that I must not take God’s truth in bits and pieces in order to patch out a list of proofs against various philosophical arguments, but rather utilize the whole of God’s truth as a complete, unified truth. By that, I can take a Christian worldview and instead of hiding in my subculture, I use this unified way of thinking and apply, or contrast it to a myriad of topics from the latest postmodern philosophy to the melancholy musings of Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. By taking the whole truth of God’s word and incorporating it into all aspects of thought, I will be able to see how other systems are deficient, but more importantly, I will be able to see how I am deficient when I am not living according to the worldview I proclaim.
Taking a unified approach to God’s truth means there is no head life and a heart life, but rather a unified life which falls under the compass of the Christian worldview. If I profess to hold to a Christian worldview, then my life flows from the implications of that worldview, so that I am not a person who separates faith from life, but rather realizes that the two are intrinsically intertwined, and therefore wedded in how I live my life before others. This has implications in how I interact with others in social settings, work settings, and church settings. They are not different arenas in which a different set of rules apply, but rather parts of the whole over which my consistent Christian worldview has something to say about living in each of those settings. This unified approach will be quite helpful in current and future ministry as I teach people that inward faith is not divorced from outward live. There is no private and public dichotomy, but rather Christian faith shapes how I interact in my private life, and outside in my public life. This will be especially helpful to incorporate in the future when teaching younger and middle aged people who are faced with the “isms” of the day, as well as my current ministry to senior citizens who were raised in a setting where faith is private and does not relegate one’s public persona.

Book of the day, Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy.

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