"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

28 September 2006

Chosen by God

I finished reading Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul this past week (recommended by Michele). It is a very basic introduction to Calvinism and is written in a very easy to read fashion.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I am not sure where exactly I stand on Calvinism as I haven’t found much reason to decide one way or the other. But I find the insight that Calvinism provides into the characteristics of God and man very interesting. I think I will need to read more on the subject.

One thing that has stood out clearly to me lately as I read scripture is the role of God in every part of salvation. There is so much talk in the scriptures of election, predestination, calling, choosing, etc. I understand that the Arminian and Calvinist have different approaches to these terms, but I tend to think our limited minds have trouble understanding the workings of God in this area.

On this note, I was reading a transcript from MacArthur (who is a Calvinist) last night on predestination and salvation based on this verse:

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:30

I like the way MacArthur handled this verse and showed not only the assurance of salvation through God’s stepwise plan for us, but also elaborated on how God’s plan basically works for each individual. We are predestined, then called, then justified, then glorified. What God has started, God will finish.

Anyway, MacArthur went on to talk about the elect and the non-elect and I like one thing he said because it dealt a bit with some of the common hang-ups on the non-elect idea (predestined for destruction?). He basically said the non-elect were condemned for their non-belief because that is what scripture says, despite the fact that there seems to be a dissymmetry with that idea as compared to the work in the elect (being chosen and given the ability to follow God).

How can that be? It is one of those mysteries that our puny brains can’t comprehend according to MacArthur. I think a lot of scripture is clear, definitely the Gospel message. But I think it is sometimes easy to go with an interpretation that is comfortable (like the complete free will of man) rather than accept what the scripture actually says. And I think Calvinism makes people uncomfortable.

But I diverge. Back to Sproul…I enjoyed the book and would like to read more by Sproul. I think the one idea that stuck with me from the Calvinist point of view is the idea of man choosing to turn to God. Sproul makes the argument that we do that which we desire. Our desires determine our choices. With that in mind, why would a fallen man ever choose Christ unless God first gave him the desire. That makes sense to me.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the interplay between a sovereign God and a fallen man. I’m not quite ready to fully embrace Calvinism yet, but the one thing I can really appreciate about their viewpoint is the emphasis on the sovereignty of God. I just don’t think that God’s sovereignty can ever be overemphasized.

18 September 2006

Young Assurance

My four-year-old daughter learns a new verse each month in her class at church. They usually paraphrase it, but I recognized it immediately when she told me yesterday after church:

“Nothing can separate us from the love of God”

My little girl is learning about assurance!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

16 September 2006

Great Quote on Righteousness

Ellen made a great comment in her post today, I had to share it:


Doing right does not equal being right. It’s progress; a step. But doing right, instead of making the heart change, only leads to morality, not righteousness. Following the right rules does not bring us closer to God. Coming closer to God brings us closer to following the right rules.


This difference should be understood by every believer!

10 September 2006

Christian Women Bloggers

Okay, I have my new template done.

I have also added to my website for Christian Women a list of Christian Women Bloggers (which right now is just me). My guess is that much of the traffic at my website are women not so familiar with the blog world, so this list will introduce some of the site visitors to Christian women who blog.

If you would like to join the list, send me an email and I'll send you the code to add the graphic below to your sidebar and then put you on the list.

07 September 2006

Re-Vote

Okay, I'm leaning towards layout #2, especially since I made some modifcations to the template. What do you think?

Layout 2.

06 September 2006

A Note and A Vote

A Note: I am on vacation from work this week which means I am at home trying to get some stuff done around the house. We have a few outdoor projects to finish up, but since it's been raining almost everyday, we are getting nowhere fast. There are plenty of indoor things to do, but since I am a procrastinator I give you:

A Vote: I've decided to change my blog template again. Why?

1. Because I can.
2. Because it is more fun than cleaning out the attic.
3. Because I want to be like Michele, Michele, Michele when I grow up.
4. Because I have been coveting Ellen's newer template.
5. Because I have temporary access to Photoshop.
6. Because I am hoping a flower theme will scare off Tony and his purgatory references (just kidding, Tony).

BUT, I have two different headers made up and can't decide. So please take a look at my two new layouts and tell me which you like best (leave a comment here): Layout 1 or Layout 2.

Since I am concentrating on home projects this week, posting will be light to non-existent. Do what you can to get by without me.

03 September 2006

Home-brew Substitution

Moonshadow made a comment on Michele’s blog that I must make my own beer because I use the word “home-brew” so much. Well she’s wrong. I don’t even drink anymore so except for an occasional fruit or veggie that is rotting away in my fridge, there is no alcohol being made in my home.

But she is right that I have been stuck with my description of “home-brew God” to describe the God of some people that is a creation of their own thoughts and feelings (instead of the one true God revealed through the Bible). So I will try to come up with some new descriptions for the home-brew God.

All I have so far is “homemade God” and “al a carte God”. Not terribly original.

Any ideas?

01 September 2006

Universalism

Since this “theology” is relatively new to me I thought I would share it.

From Wikipedia:

As noted above, in Christianity, Universalism, Universal reconciliation, or universal salvation, is the doctrine that all will be saved. Among theologians the doctrine is often referred to using the Greek word apocatastasis. The doctrine addresses the problem of Hell and notions of God's mercy and justice. Universalists contend that a loving God would not submit anyone, regardless of his or her sins or beliefs, to everlasting torment. Some also argue that eternal condemnation in Hell, an infinite punishment, is not proportionately just with any number of essentially finite sins.

This idea is obviously not biblical and a good example of extracting some verses out of the Bible and ignoring the rest. It separates salvation from faith in Jesus and denies that any will perish.

And yet we know:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:1-3

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matt 7:13-14

And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' Mark 9:47-48

This idea of universal salvation is not all that much different that the home-brew God I described in The Gospel According to Me. The idea has just been reinforced with some out of context bible quoting making it in my mind more grievous than the home-brew God.

Christian Women Blogging

Articles for Christian Women