Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Great Quote

"Many a scientist has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world, many a philosopher can survey vast systems of thought, many a theologian can unpack the profundities of religion, and many a journalist can seemingly speak on any topic raised. But all that is theory and, without a sense of personal purpose, vanity."
-Os Guinness
from The Call

Os Guinness interviewed regarding his book The Call

Great Quote

"You can get all A's and still flunk life."
-Walker Percy

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thoughts on Applied Theology

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how to find a balance between right belief and right action in the Christian life. Here is an article I stumbled across on the topic by R. Paul Stevens a Professor of Applied Theology at Regent College.

This article uses three different words to help navigate this topic.
Orthodoxy - Right belief
Orthopraxy - Right practice
Orthopathy - Right heart

"Orthodoxy. Orthopraxy. Orthopathy. All three point to the marriage of theology and everyday life: theology and life linked in praise (orthodoxy), practice (orthopraxy) and passion (orthopathy)."

Six Perspectives on Assurance by Schreiner

In Perseverance and Assurance: A Survey and a Proposal, Schreiner presents five perspectives on assurance as follows:

1. Loss of Salvation View
2. Loss of Rewards View
3. Tests of Genuiness View
4. Hypothetical View
5. Irresolvable Tension View

He Critiques each of these perspectives then presents a final view which he considers his own and calls The Means of Salvation View.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Horatius Bonar on Christ alone

Great section on trusting in Christ alone.
With a weak faith and a fearful heart many a sinner stands before the altar. But it is not the strength of his faith, but the perfection of the sacrifice, that saves; and no feebleness of faith, no dimness of eye, no trembling of hand, can change the efficacy of our burnt-offering. The vigor of our faith can add nothing to it, nor can the poverty of it take anything from it. Faith, in all its degrees, still reads the inscription, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin"; and if at times the eye is so dim that it cannot read these words, through blinding tears or bewildering mist, faith rests itself on the certain knowledge of the fact that the inscription is still there, or at least that the blood itself (of which these words remind us) remains, in all its power and suitableness, upon the altar unchanged and uneffaced. God says that the believing man is justified; who are we, then, that we should say, "We believe, but we do not know whether we are justified"? What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

The question as to the right way of believing is that which puzzles many, and engrosses all their anxiety, to the exclusion of the far greater questions as to the person and work of Him who is the object of their believing. Thus their thoughts run in a self-righteous direction, and are occupied, not with what Christ has done, but with what they have yet to do, to get themselves connected with His work.

What should we have said to the Israelite, who, on bringing his lamb to the tabernacle, should puzzle himself with questions as to the right mode of laying his hands on the head of the victim, and who should refuse to take any comfort from the sacrifice, because he was not sure whether he had laid them aright;-on the proper place, in the right direction, with adequate pressure, or in the best attitude? Should we not have told him that his own actings concerning the lamb were not the lamb, and yet that he was speaking as if they were? Should we not have told him that the lamb was everything, his touch nothing, as to virtue or merit or recommendation? Should we not have told him to be of good cheer; not because he had laid his hands on the victim in the most approved fashion, but because they had touched that victim, however lightly and imperfectly, and thereby said, Let this lamb stand for me, answer for me, die for me? The touching had no virtue in itself, and therefore the excellency of the act was no question to come up at all: it simply intimated the man's desire that this sacrifice should be taken instead of himself, as God's appointed way of pardon; it was simply the indication of his consent to God's way of saving him, by the substitution of another. The point for him to settle was not, Was my touch right or wrong, light or heavy? but, Was it the touch of the right lamb,-the lamb appointed by God for the taking away of sin?

The quality or quantity of faith is not the main question for the sinner. That which he needs to know is that Jesus died and was buried, and rose again, according to the Scriptures. This knowledge is life everlasting.

Thursday, October 19, 2006