For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:38-39)
Most disputes concerning the meaning of the Scriptures are not due to a lack of trying when it comes to hermeneutics. They result from a lack of due process. By this, I do not mean the process of interpretation but the identification in the Scriptures of the processes of God.
An example would be the meaning of Christ’s words concerning the unpardonable sin, which have terrified many Christians unnecessarily. Blasphemy against the Spirit is unpardonable not because it is the worst sin. It is unpardonable because it is the last sin.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, (Transcendence)
the Son can do nothing of his own accord, (Hierarchy)
but only what he sees the Father doing. (Ethics)
For whatever the Father does, (Oath/Sanctions)
that the Son does likewise.” (Succession)
The premise that the entire text of the Bible has a common structure, one which operates at multiple levels, has many implications. Besides the fact that this is clearly a miracle, there is the question of why such a limitation would be placed upon the Words of God.
“The whole world is like a drunken peasant.
They fall off one side of the horse or the other.” – Martin Luther
An Apology to Joel McDurmon – In Both Senses of the Word
“As Christians, an exhortation to ‘remember your baptism’ is a good one, but this begins with a baptism you can actually remember.”
Joel McDurmon of American Vision just wrote a post tracing back to their Arminian doctrine the deceit and manipulative tactics use by, and even marketed by, the Elevation Church to increase their baptism quota. He writes:
If “saving souls” is the main end-game of your Christian faith, and if the free will is the last hurdle of salvation, then why would you not what the help of an army of marketers, managers, assembly lines, pre-packaged directions, techniques, tools, processes, and networks of support farms and professionals who can claim “billions served”?
It’s only from the standpoint of the doctrines of grace that it makes sense to criticize these manipulative tactics. It is encouraging that some Christians seem naturally uneasy when a church like Elevation admits what it does. But Elevation is just a mote. Free will theology is the plank.
Well, my nickname is Bully and I saw red. A discussion ensued on facebook which did not end on very good terms. Of course, this is something that rarely ever happens (not). I believe what I wrote was entirely objective, and at least as gracious as Mr McDurmon’s opinion piece, however re-reading it, it was badly worded and Joel, a writer whose work and ministry I admire, took it personally. I wrote:
Looking God in the Eye
The history of mankind is one of good gifts turned into idols. Blessings abused become curses in the hands of those who won’t look God in the eye.
For those of us who know the Bible, the idolatries become more subtle. This was the case for the Pharisees. The exile had purified Israel of old-school idolatry, so she invented a new school: an elitism bound by an Abrahamic heritage and energized by the abuse of Moses and the Law as a means of salvation: heritage instead of faith; obligation instead of salvation. The good things given as gifts once again became the gods.
or Nailed to the Mast
Rachel Held Evans is a writer who likes the challenge of “asking tough questions about Christianity in the context of the Bible Belt” while consulting the howling void of modern culture for the answers. That is indeed a challenge. She takes Christians to task for referring to the de-Christianizing of Christmas as “persecution”, offering a helpful chart.
“Things ain’t cookin’ in my kitchen
Strange affliction wash over me
Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire
Couldn’t conquer the blue sky…” 
Today, the Australian government’s carbon tax repeal bills cleared Parliament’s lower house. They will be voted upon in the Senate next year. To see this reported as an act of climate vandalism by the media isn’t a surprise. What is surprising is the consternation of many Christians.
How to Fulfill the Law
“…men are enthroned as elohim (judicial ‘gods’) but not as God intended. Those who sit in the seat of Moses often lack his meekness before God, and their rule is like that of Lamech. Their seventy times seven ‘fulfilling of the Law’ is vengeance not forgiveness.”
We continue with the Deuteronomy section of Galatians, which has seven cycles. Paul moves from an Ascension/Firstfruits motif to an Testing/Pentecost motif. Being the center of this final group of cycles, and at the center of its Ethics cycles, here we have its turning point. The first half of this cycle is about sacrificial binding. The last half is about being loosed on account of the sacrifice.
“The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse.”
The Dangerous Trajectory of Those Who Seek to Be Gods
An excerpt from Joe Rigney’s new book, Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in
Reading Lewis today, it’s easy to believe that he was a prophet (or at least the son of a prophet). His analysis of education, government, culture, society, and the church has proved to be unusually prescient. One of the chief reasons for this is that Lewis understood the deep reality of narrative, of story, of progression and trajectory.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
(Isaiah 11:8 )
“The Unknown Gifts”
Reading Matthew 7, I came across Jesus’ words concerning the goodness of God as our Father in heaven.
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:9-10)
At face value, this is simply an exhortation to expect good things from God. The problem is that Jesus uses stones and serpents as examples of bad things, and our Father in heaven has long history of doling out stones and serpents to His children. Since that is the case, how can our Father in heaven possibly be good?