"Seek out the society of your boon companions, drink, play, talk bawdy, and amuse yourself. One must sometimes commit a sin out of hate and contempt for the Devil, so as not to give him the chance to make one scrupulous over mere nothings…" –Luther

Repentance

Shea, never heard of him, or it. Let us know what you think, though. Sooner or later I’ll get through my book pile and be able to buy some more.

A Twitterer who shall not be named linked a post this morning with an Orthodox perspective on the recent Gospel Coalition brouhaha over sanctification.

Looking at the Gospel Coalition debate from an Orthodox perspective, what’s missing is not whether a life of obedience is required once we are baptized or converted, but rather what that obedience looks like. And for Orthodox Christians, that life of obedience is a life of true repentance. One where even the holiest saints end their lives with sorrow: the apostle Paul as the “chief” of sinners, and St. Sisoes the Great who desired yet another day to repent.

These two men were not lacking in true sanctification, but were in truth exhibiting sanctification in its purest form: an awareness of sin.

Whaddaya think? I’m not so sure that it’s fair to characterize Paul as ending his life with sorrow – he at least balances it out with joy quite a bit – but a focus on repentance combined with a realization of grace seems like a quite practical path for believers.

Reading this book by Steven Paulson. I like it. Anybody in here familiar with him?

I agree that some of the “aha” moments seem kind of weak. I even found myself reasoning through some potential explanations that didn’t fall back on some kind of inerrancy argument. Still, the series is good if for no other reason than to show others that one doesn’t need to hold to some kind of Fundamentalist thinking or dogmatic adherence to the Chicago Statement in order to maintain a strong faith in God/Christ in the face of problems caused by certain methods of interpretation.

As an aside, I’m finding it more and more useful to think of Fundamentalism as a level of emotional and intellectual maturity that fears openness to thinking outside one’s understanding, as opposed to the legalisatic Christianity that still lives in the US. It also makes it easier to see how that kind of thinking finds its way into both conservative and liberal theologies, as well as other religions.

I’ve never been a fan of the word “inerrant”. It just never seemed like the right descriptor for the bible, even if one doesn’t think it contains errors. Inerrant poetry?

I’ve started to read Enn’s series. It’s good, and I agree that a traditional, literalistic approach to the whole bible isn’t quite right.

But some of the “aha” moments seem a bit weak, like Jesus story about David in the showbread in Mark.

Aha

Jason, yeah, I’ve been following Enns’ series. With my background (and somewhat my present) in churches that pretty much worship the Bible, having stories from folks who don’t is really helpful.

That sort of historical literary study really helps reinforce for me that the Bible is an inspired means by which God has made Himself known to us, but that it doesn’t belong in that fundie trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Bible.

I think that bibliolatric literalism is pretty much an attempt to control the Good Lion by those who fear the fact that He isn’t tame.

I don’t see anything wrong with telling every parent between the Rio Grande and Antarctica that if you are wildly irresponsible enough to send your child hundreds or even thousands of miles away unattended to a foreign country without any plan of survival, don’t worry, the American taxpayer will take care of it. Your bewildering neglect of your children is only exceed by our taxpayers’ duty to take care of them. (The ones that are actual children. An awful lot of them are teenagers.)

That could not possibly create perverse incentives or backfire in any way.

When You Read the Bible and…

Have any of you been reading Peter Enns’ “aha” moments series? He’s posting the personal stories of moments of discovery from scholars and pastors who confronted those moments when they realized something in the Bible didn’t add up the way they were taught.

Some might look at it as a poke in the eye of inerrancy, but I read it as a way for people to save their faith when they discover the holes in certain ways of reading and understanding the Bible. Here’s what he has so far:

Part 0 (introduces what he’s about to do)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

That gets you up to today.

I bet Michael would have been a fine candidate for this…

It’s not just you. The world is bat-s**t crazy.

After this long, do we really need a title for a new post?

Well, we’re going on three weeks here, folks. How’s the summer going for everybody?

Our kids are about to wrap up our semi-ecumenical cycle of VBSs – they’ve done two local Bible churches, our EFree, the local Assembly of God, but missed the local LCMS this year; that was just one too many.

Interesting to see how the various curricula reflect the various denominations. The AoG is loud, broad themes with lots of music. The Lutherans are charmingly old-fashioned in their music and puppetry but are very focused on just teaching the kids truths about God. The evangelical curriculum this year has a spy theme and the tagline “Discover, Decide, Defend”. It’s all about evidence, after all, so we can be good little culture warriors and go convince others to believe…

Oh, and what’s up with the thousands of refugee kids in Texas? The pastor of FBC Dallas announced on Fox News the other day that the “most compassionate” thing we could do is to build a border fence to keep ‘em out. He likened it to fencing out a swimming pool – it’s a great place to be but not safe to just let kids in willy-nilly, I guess.

Then Glenn Beck is wanting to take the kids sandwiches and soccer balls and actually be caring for them. But then on FB tonight a friend posted an article suggesting that these refugee kids are “child soldiers” being used as an “insurgency”, and that Beck is allowing himself to be used for propaganda. Is the whole world on crazy pills, or is it just me?

The biggest issue I saw with hashtag activism isn’t that people got to be involved in a half-arsed way. We’ve had ribbons and talk radio and bumper stickers for decades. Rather, it seemed like too many people didn’t want the post down, they wanted scalps — which seems to be the case far too often.


BTW – who’s ready for Joel Osteen 24/7 on your radio?