Respectful Conversation

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Every so often, I post links to favourite blogs or websites that I frequent. Of course, if you scroll down and check out the right sidebar on my blog, you’ll see various blogs (under Blogroll) and websites (under links) that I visit on some kind of regular basis.

Today, I want to make you aware of a newer site/blog that begun just over two months ago. It’s entitled Respectful Conversation.

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Mere Churchianity

mere_churchianity1-1There was a famous Christian not too long ago who went by the name Clive Staples Lewis. He was better known as C.S. Lewis. His most well-known, non-fiction work was entitled Mere Christianity – a look at some of the reasonable and practical evidence concerning the truth of Christ and the Christian faith.

A few years back, a not-as-well-known pastor-teacher, Michael Spencer, released his first and only book, Mere Churchianity. You can see the play off of Lewis’s title. Michael was the beloved Internet Monk where he had been blogging for quite a few years. Spencer was probably more known for his posts, The Coming Evangelical Collapse, than anything else. Hey, it made the Drudge Report back in March of 2009!

The unfortunate thing is that, right before Mere Churchianity was released in June 2010, Spencer passed away due to cancer. He never was able to hold a copy in his own hand.

But his legacy continues, both through his book and his blog. Continue reading

Modernism & Scripture

I love Scripture. Dearly love it. I love to read it, love to study it, love to reflect on it, love to teach it, love to hear God speak in and through it. I was drawn to this book just over 15 years ago, on that radical day of transformation when I entered into new creation in Christ. And from the beginning I have been a part of God’s people who also hold Scripture with the highest regard. In one sense, I would be somewhat baffled if one says they love Jesus and did not love Scripture.

As a side caveat, and as I have mentioned before, I am no philosopher (nor historian or scientist). I function mainly in a shepherding-teaching role within the local church context. I touch somewhat deeply into theology. But my goal is to, in some way or fashion, help God’s people build a biblical framework to help them engage in their world today. Not the word of the first century or the 16th century or the 20th century. The world of today.

Having said that, I think the best way to engage our world today with biblical teaching is to read it with a first century understanding (as best we can!) and then appropriate such teaching within a 21st century framework. No, this is not about letting culture dictate to us. Rather, it’s simply about letting God’s dynamic and organic revelation become real today.

Moving forward in my just over 15 years of Christian life, while my love for Scripture has remained very strong, my general theological and philosophical perspective of how to engage with Scripture has gone through a paradigm shift. I’ve become less and less committed to the more modernistic, Cartesian, empirical approach to knowing truth and have begun to slowly embrace a more postmodern, practical realist approach to knowing truth.

A modern approach centres everything in objectivity. Subjective truth is not a firm foundation. Objective, verifiable, evidence-based truth is firm.

Sounds good, right?

I mean, God is absolute truth and Scripture is his word. Thus, Scripture must be absolute, or objective, truth.

Well, I’m not so sure it works out that way. Continue reading

The Divide in Today’s Evangelicalism

I don’t know if many of you are aware of the divide that is taking place more and more within evangelicalism, or at least American evangelicalism or the wider evangelical church of the west. The polarization between two main groups of people. This has been going on for the better part of a couple of decades, but it has especially gathered some speed over the past few years.

What is this divide? Continue reading

The King Jesus Gospel

As I recently made known, we started up a series on the kingdom of God at Cornerstone this past Sunday (the audio and notes can be found at this link). And, though I had originally planned to purchase and read Scot McKnight’s newest release, The King Jesus Gospel, I had thought I would do it at some point down the road. Yet I decided to go ahead and get the book this week, believing it would be able to give some more insight into the gospel of the kingdom as I prepared my messages.

Hence, this week I purchased the book and have read about a third of it so far. The reason I held back at first is that, from what I can tell by reading other’s blogs about some of the book’s central points, I believe I was already on a similar page to McKnight. And I reckoned a lot of what he says has already been addressed by such New Testament studies pillars as N.T. Wright and George Ladd.

But, again, noting my recent preaching series that has begun, and also knowing I really like McKnight’s approaches to biblical studies and theology, I decided to purchase the book sooner rather than later. It has proved a good and stirring read thus far. Continue reading