Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why We Sing.



Tonight we had our quaterly singing night at church.  It was a small crowd of 10, but the worship was so sweet.  After church I came home and read this interesting post from Desiring God and I just had to share it.



The Three R's: Why Christians Sing



Christians sing together during corporate worship gatherings. Colossians 3:16-17 helps us understand why. Paul tells us that worshiping God together in song is meant to deepen the relationships we enjoy through the gospel. This happens in three ways (or three R’s):

1. Singing helps us remember God’s Word.

Paul says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly…singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” The “word of Christ” mostly likely means the word about Christ, or the gospel. Songs whose lyrics expound on the person, work, and glory of Christ tend to stay with us long after we’ve forgotten the main points of the sermon.

2. Singing helps us respond to God’s grace.

While no one is exactly sure what “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” refers to, we can at least infer some kind of variety in our singing. No singular musical style captures either the manifold glories of God or the appropriate responses from his people.
We’re also told to sing with “thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Singing is meant to be a whole-hearted activity. Emotionless singing is an oxymoron. God gave us singing to combine objective truth with thankfulness, doctrine with devotion, and intellect with emotion.

3. Singing helps us reflect God’s glory.

Doing “everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,” implies bringing God glory. Worshiping God together in song glorifies God for at least three reasons. First, it expresses the unity Christ died to bring us. Second, because all three persons of the Trinity sing (Zeph. 3:17; Heb. 2:12; Eph. 5:18-19). Finally, it anticipates the song of heaven when we’ll have unlimited time to sing, clearer minds to perceive God’s perfections, and glorified bodies that don’t grow weary.
Worshiping God in song isn’t simply a nice idea or only for musically gifted people. The question is not, “Has God given me a voice?” but “Has God given me a song?”
If you trust in the finished work of Christ, the answer is clear: Yes!
So remember His Word, respond to His grace, and reflect on His glory.

Bob Kauflin is a pastor, songwriter, worship leader, and author of Worship Matters. Bob serves as the Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries and blogs at www.worshipmatters.com. He and his wife, Julie, have 6 children and an ever growing number of grandchildren.

Theology Thursday


AMYRALDISM


[am''-er-awl''-diz-um or am''-er-ul-diz''-um] Also, amyraldianism.
Named after Moses Amyraut, a theologian of the 17th century, Amyraldism is a form of Calvinism that distinguishes itself by a belief in universal atonement. Its variation from the traditional Calvinistic understanding of limited atonement comes in its formulation of divine decrees. Whereas traditional Calvinism places God’s decree to elect before his decree to atone for the sins of the elect (thereby making the atonement limited to the elect), Amyraldism places God’s decree to atone for the sins of all mankind before his decree to elect some (thereby making the atonement universal in its application). While this view is sometimes referred to as “four-point Calvinism,” most traditional Calvinists more often label it as “inconsistent Calvinism” or “hypothetical universalism.” Amyraldism holds to the traditional Calvinistic view of unconditional election, perseverance of the saints, irresistible grace, and total depravity.

SACERDOTALISM


[sass''-er-dote''-uh-liz''-um] (Latin sacerdos, “priest”)
Sacerdotalism is the belief in an established hierarchy that separates man from God. In such a system the priesthood stands as an essential mediator between God and man. This priesthood, according to sacerdotalists, is a necessary component in worship, receiving communion, confessing sin, baptism, and other acts of administering grace. This “caste” system is generally rejected by Protestants who traditionally hold to the doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Pet. 2:5). Protestants believe that the only mediator between God and man is Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). Advocates of sacerdotalism reference the priesthood established in the Old Testament which was sacerdotal. Opponents will emphasize the difference between the New Testament church and the Old Testament theocracy, believing that the Old Testament sacerdotal system is completely fulfilled in Christ and, therefore, no longer necessary (Heb. 10:19-20).

TEXTUS RECEPTUS


(Latin, “received text”)
The Textus Receptus (TR), or “received text,” refers to the first published Greek New Testament edited by Desiderius Erasmus in 1516 and later, with some changes, by Stephanus, Beza and Elzivir. This text was initially compiled using only seven late Greek manuscripts (11th-13th centuries). The TR became the underlying text for many important translations including the King James Version. While most scholars would not consider the TR as the best representation of the Greek text, it, nevertheless, is an extremely important text in the history of the Bible.

PRESUPPOSITIONALISM


A method of Christian apologetics normally employed by Reformed theologians that seeks to give a defense of the Christian faith by offering an offensive method of engagement. Presuppositionalists believe that one must presuppose the Christian worldview and the Scriptures in order to dispel the worldview of the unbeliever. Presuppositionalist criticize “evidentialists” for seeking to give credence to the unbelievers worldview by meeting them on neutral ground. The presuppositionalist believes that there is no such thing as neutral ground. As well, while the evidentialist will attempt to give arguments to increase the probability of their beliefs, presuppositionalist believe that one must have absolute certainty, not merely probability. Presuppositionalism is often accused of circular reasoning, e.g., “You should believe the Bible is God”s word because it authoritatively says it is God”s word.”

ARGUMENTUM-AD-POPULUM


(Latin, “appeal to the people”)
This type of argument is an oft-used fallacious argument where one will appeal to the popularity of a position as evidence of its truthfulness. For example, one may say that aliens must exist since so many people believe in them. This does not mean that one should not take into account the opinion of informed people and weigh their opinions into a decision, it simply means that it would be a logical fallacy to say that since so many people believe something, this makes it true. The argumentum ad populum is also an appeal to the emotions by creating enthusiasm and comfort in a belief while neglecting objective data.

AD HOMINEM


(Latin ad, “to” + Latin hominem, “the man”)
In rhetorical argumentation, an ad hominem is a method of argumentation in which a person attacks the character of the opponent(s) instead of dealing with the evidence or the substance of the argument. If someone were to attack the credibility of Reformation appealing to the character of Martin Luther as neurotic and incapable of making valid judgments, this would be an attack on his character in order to discredit his argument and, therefore, an example of an ad hominem.

OMNIPRESENCE


[awm''-nih-prez''-intz] (Latin omni, “all” + Latin praesent, “present”)
The belief among theists (Christians, Muslims, Jews) that God, being transcendent above time and space is present everywhere. This is not to be confused with pantheism which believes that God is “in” everything since the theistic God is completely separate from all of creation. Some have described this as the belief not so much that God is everywhere, but that everything is necessarily in God’s immediate presence. This understanding seems to be the most consistent with Christian theology and philosophy and avoids the common mis-identification with pantheism. (See Psalm 139:7-10.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Man Up!

From Mary Kassian:


Think about these questions, write some answers in your journal, and/or discuss them with a friend.
  1. How does the creation account in Genesis 2 affect your understanding of a man’s responsibility to protect and lead? 
  2. What is it about male/female roles and interactions that is so important? (Hint: We talked about it in the Smart Talk episode, ”The Great Display!
  3. What do you think is the cause  for the cultural trend of “adult-lescence?”
  4. Have you ever found yourself in a situation like Mary did on the airplane? How can you support God’s design for men to “man up” in your daily interactions?

    Click below to listen to Mary's message.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pole Dancing For Jesus!

"This is the natural progression of the, "If it feels good, God must be in it" approach to worship in many churches today. Listen carefully to her statements. She is regurgitating folk theology prominent in many churches, complete with the, "I don't care what other [Christians] think"/Don't judge me mentality. And this is in the Bible Belt (actually in my back yard)!"  Voddie Baucham

This is VERY disturbing...and sad. 



For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Rom 8:29

Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.  For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. 1Pe 3:3-6  

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 1Pe 1:14-16



Theology Thursday


RAPTURE, THE DOCTRINE OF

(Latin raptus, “to take” or “to seize”)
The doctrine of the rapture describes the belief among many Christians that Christ will return for the Church prior to a time of judgment called the tribulation. Upon Christ’s return, Christ will take all those who are his to heaven while he judges those who remain on the earth for seven years. The primary passage to which adherents refer is 1 Thess. 4:17, “We who are alive and remain shall be caught up [Lat. raptus] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Those who subscribe to this doctrine can be divided into three groups: Pre-tribulationalist, Mid-tribulationalist, and Pre-wrath. Many Christians do not ascribe to this doctrine believing that all references to Christ’s return are to his second coming which immediately precedes judgment. They would also argue that the doctrine of the Rapture is too novel to be orthodox since it was virtually unknown until the nineteenth century.

HOMILETICS

[hawm''-uh-let''-iks] (Greek homilos, “to assemble together”)
The study of the proper method of delivery of a religious message. In Christianity, homiletics is focused on the delivery of a sermon. Involved in homiletics is exegesis of the text of Scripture, finding the abiding theological principles, narrowing the subject into a deliverable form, rhetoric and style, and application of the sermon to a contemporary audience. Normally, a seminarian will take courses on homiletics in order to train them as communicators of the Gospel.

HENOTHEISM

[hehn''-uh-thee-iz''-um] (Greek heis, “one” + Greek theos, “god”)
Coined by Max Müller, henotheism is the belief in one primary god while also believing in the existence or possible existence of other gods. Normally the henotheist will have primary devotion for the ultimate deity, while leaving room for secondary allegiance to the lesser gods. It would seem that the Israelites, during the post-Davidic kingdom years, were henotheists in belief and practice as they had Yahweh as their primary God, but also followed after lesser deities. Also: inclusive monotheism and monarchical polytheism.

THEODICY

[thee-awd'-ih-see] (Greek theos, “god” + díke, “justice”)
A term coined in 1710 by German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz in a book entitled Theodicic Essays on the Benevolence of God, the Free will of man, and the Origin of Evil, theodicy refers to the justification of God. Most specifically, theodicy is an explanation of why evil can exist in a world where a good God rules. Therefore, theodicies are put forward by Christian theists to vindicate the justice of God.

THEOLOGY

[thee-awl''-uh-gee] (Greek theos, “God” + Greek -logia, “speaking”)
A reasoned study of God. Theology is a set of intellectual and emotional commitments with regard to God and man which dictate one’s beliefs and actions. Theology is intellectual in that it provides for a reasoned study and defense of one’s beliefs about God. Theology is emotional in that we approach the subject as humans with deep subjective commitments to our personal experiences and feelings about God.

ABSOLUTION

[ab-suh-loo-shun] (Latin ab-, “from” + Latin solvere, in “free”)
A practice that varies in many Christian traditions, but is primarily emphasized in the Roman Catholic church. Absolution involves the act of a priest pronouncing the remission of sin upon the confessor. This remission normally comes after repentance and penance have been fulfilled. For Roman Catholics, absolution is an important part of the sacrament of penance. According to Catholics, the observing duty was given to the Church by Christ in John 20:23 “If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” Most Protestants do not believe in or practice absolution believing that there is no mediating human agency for forgiveness (1 Tim. 2:5). Roman Catholic prayer of absolution: “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

DIATESSARON

‘Gk. dia, “through” + tessaron “four”
An early compilation of the four New Testament Gospels into a single narrative by Tatian, a Christian apologist, created about A.D. 150. In this harmony, Tatian attempted to resolve all apparent conflicts as well as remove repeated narrative material. It contained most of the Gospels’ material except for, according to Theodoret, the two different genealogies of Jesus (one in the Gospel of Matthew and one in the Gospel of Luke). As well, it lacked the pericope adulterae (John 7:53 – 8:11). It was the standard Gospel text in the Syrian Middle East until about ad 400, when it was replaced by the four separated Gospels.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Soul of Modesty


Yesterday I listened to a most excellent message on modesty by C.J. Mahaney.  Pastor Mahaney brought out points in ways that I had never thought of before.  It  was such a blessing.  Modesty may not be an issue for you.  Maybe you could use this message to minister to others, perhaps a daughter, friend, sister, neighbor, etc.  I highly recommend it to all.  Here are some highlights from the message.


  • Any biblical discussion of modesty begins by addressing the heart, not the hemline. We must start with the attitude of the modest woman.
  • Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality. 
  • Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear. 
  • There’s an inseparable link between your heart and your clothes. Your clothes say something about your attitude. If they don’t express a heart that is humble, that desires to please God, that longs to serve others, that’s modest, that exercises self-control, then change must begin in the heart.
  • For modesty is humility expressed in dress. 
  • Godly men find modesty attractive. They appreciate women who dress with self-control and restraint. They’re grateful for women who serve them by helping them fight the temptation to lust. 
  • Ultimately, fathers, your job to raise a modest daughter culminates and concludes on her wedding day.
  • Notice in 1 Timothy 2 that Paul goes beyond addressing a woman’s apparel. He says he desires “that women should adorn themselves … with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (2:9–10).
  • Adorning yourself with good works means less time shopping and more time serving.  So, which are you more preoccupied with — shopping or good works?
  • Modesty is important because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why Paul is concerned about it. He isn’t simply a “cultural conservative.” This isn’t Paul’s version of The Book of Virtues. For him, the issue of modesty is about the gospel.
  • The woman who loves the Savior avoids immodesty because she doesn’t want to distract from or reflect poorly upon the gospel.
  • Make this your aim: that there be no contradiction between your gospel message and the clothes you wear. May your modest dress be a humble witness to the One who gave himself as a ransom for all.



A modesty checklist from the message, http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=A1170-06-51