Tag Archive | theology

Taking Liberal Pro-LGBT Theology for a Test Drive

The writer over at Eternity Matters take pro-homosexual theology for a test drive:

People who hold to pro-gay theology* (i.e., God doesn’t consider it a sin and that he approves of “same-sex marriage”) use all sorts of fallacious arguments to make their case.  In this post I am taking the pro-gay theological reasoning out for a test drive, so to speak, to see how it applies to other passages.  After all, if their principles are sound they should work in other situations as well.

Ideas have consequences. Anyone who is concerned about truth should be concerned with being consistent. Unfortunately, it’s most often not the case. But this is one test for whether or not an idea is sound. Does it make sense in contexts where the logic carries over?

It’s a good read. You can check it out here [link].

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Annihilationism, Continuity, and The Cross

Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins.  “Pay” is a good word to use for it– even the writers of the New Testament use accounting language to describe what took place. In fact, when Jesus cried “It is finished” the word he used was “tetelestai.” That’s an accounting term that means, “paid in full.”  When ancient Greeks finished a business transaction, the account would have that word written on it. In this case, it was a divine transaction where we take on His righteousness and Christ takes on our sin.

If the penalty for our sins was annihilation instead of torment, then Christ would have to have been annihilated in order to pay for them. But he wasn’t annihilated, He was tormented. He endured a conscious awareness of his pain and separation from the Father…which is a good description He gives elsewhere of the fate those who die in their sins without his provision. [Luke 16]

Furthermore, it would be impossible to first exist, then be truly annihilated, and then return, as there would be no continuity of existence. That is, something that ceases to exist cannot return. It’s gone. The only thing that could “return” would be a copy, not the original. Otherwise the thing, or person, wouldn’t have been truly annihilated.

If I am right on this, it’s another reason to reject annihilationism.

Tim Keller on Coming To Terms With The Wrath of God

jesus-in-gethsemane1Stand to Reason mentioned a sermon by Tim Keller where he describes how he came to terms with the wrath of God:

Because if there is no wrath by God on sin, and there is no such thing as Hell, not only does that actually make what happened to Jesus inexplicable—Jesus staggering the way He is, asking God, “Is there any other way,” [and] sweating blood means that He was wimpier than hundreds of His followers, if there was nothing like [God’s wrath]—but…the main thing is, if you don’t believe in the wrath and Hell, it trivializes what He’s done…. If you get rid of a God who has wrath and Hell, you’ve got a god who loves us in general, but that’s not as loving as the God of the Bible, the God of Jesus Christ, who loves us with a costly love.

Definitely worth a read, especially if you find the idea of hell difficult to swallow. I don’t particularly enjoy the idea myself, but I find it makes sense– in addition to the fact that what I enjoy has little bearing on the way reality really is.

The Obamas Spend Easter at St. John’s, Pastor Forgets Basic Christianity 101

The Obama Family walks, under armed escort (i.e. guys with guns), to church.

The Obama Family walks, under armed escort (i.e. guys with guns), to church. (Source: AP)

On Easter the Obama family walked to the famed St. Johns Episcopal Church where, according to church history, every president since James Madison has visited.

Newsbusters pointed out a line [link] during the sermon that was conveniently omitted from the AP report [link] , but I noticed something else that is troubling.

Before I go on, it should be noted that Easter is the central moment of Christianity. Jesus is raised from the dead in order to defeat death and sin and allow a way for mankind to have access to God. This is not some obscure theological point — it’s Christianity 101.

Except the preacher, Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, didn’t seem to get the memo.

The sermon by Rev. Dr. Luis Leon was based on the Gospel of John and the Resurrection of Jesus. Leon said the message of Easter was about the “proclamation of victory, the victory of powerful love over loveless power.”

Apparently at St. John’s Easter isn’t about Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Instead it seems Jesus was making a point about people who have power on earth but don’t have love.

 

He said the “Easter vision” was the ability of the congregation to recognize the presence of Christ in their life, which would allow them to see the world in a new way without pain, loneliness, injustice, war, hate and despair [emphasis mine]. Instead, with the new vision, he intoned, they can see with love, hope and truth.
If the reporter, Stacy A. Anderson of the AP, has accurately captured the essence of the sermon, then the point of Easter at St. John’s is not about mankind being reconciled to God, but about some utopian ideal we can create here on earth ourselves.

While Jesus spoke of his followers being “salt and light,” He did not teach any sort of utopian hope for this world. On the contrary, he left his followers with a much different picture:

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” – John 15:18-20

Interesting, maybe the Rev. Dr. Leon hasn’t made it completely through the book of John yet.

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Quick Theology: Entitlement

Whatever I get in this life is better than I deserve.  Even in utter misery God may still be present.  In Hell there is full justice.

 

Greg Koukl on Prayer – Does God Learn from them?

Greg Koukl over at Stand to Reason put up an interesting video on prayer.  Specifically, how does God keep all the millions of prayers sorted out all at once?  Greg argues that it’s in light of his omniscience.  Since God is all-knowing, He has always known both the content and timing of each prayer.  So He doesn’t learn them in a linear way (like we learn things.)

I think this is probably right.