Wednesday, May 25

Round the Sphere Again

  • This week's Christian Carnival is now up at Technogypsy.

  • The boxing of God: From
    1. Putting God In A Box - Introduction
      In this article series I would like to examine some of the ways we have put God in a box and suggest ways we can free ourselves from this box. Notice that while I suggest we put God in a box, we are the ones who need to be freed. That is simply because we may put God in a box in our minds, but this in no way affects His character or His ability to act
    2. Putting God In A Box - Doctrine
      When we study the Bible we must understand that God's Word is not given to us so that it might restrain or contain God. On the contrary, the Word is given to restrain and contain us! We need to be subject to God, not as He is found in a single verse of Scripture or as He is found in our imaginations, but as He has revealed Himself through the entirety of His revelation.
    3. Putting God In A Box - Piety
      We put God in a box when we separate our piety from our every day lives. We live in a society which makes it easy to claim to be a Christian, but also makes it too easy to separate our faith from our everyday lives.
    4. Putting God In A Box - Transformationalism
      When we have been justified and are beginning to be sanctified, conforming ever more to the image of Christ, we can become smug, forgetting that it was only the grace of God that saved us and made us new.

  • More in the Lord's Supper series: From Real Clear Theology (He sure likes long titles, doesn't he?):
    1. Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the Lord's Supper Would Become "Too Common" if Celebrated More Often than Once a Month? (Part 1).
      It is a common practice in evangelical churches today to hold the Lord's Supper once per quarter, or at the very most, once per month. The rationale for this frequency (truly, infrequency according to New Testament standards) goes something like this: "If we partake of the Lord's Supper too often, then it will become too common....." As noble as this rationale at first sounds, it stands in contradiction to the mindset of the early church in its practice of the Supper.
    2. Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the Lord's Supper Would Become "Too Common" if Celebrated More Often than Once a Month? (Part 2)
      The Lord's Day is so called because it is the day that the Lord's Supper - the precursor to the Messianic Banquet - is enjoyed. Conversely, the Lord's Supper is so called because it is celebrated on the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day commemorates the resurrection of Christ, whose resurrection guarantees the promise of the eschatological resurrection. The Lord;s Supper likewise anticipates the second coming and offers a plea toward that end. The Lord's Day is the day the church comes together to petition Christ to return; the Lord;s Supper is the means to that petition.
    3. Some Theological Ramifications to Our Lord's Supper Series (Part 1)
      This eschatological element of the Lord's Supper has been wholly excluded from the practice of the supper in modern evangelical churches, who instead have nearly institutionalized solemnity as the proper mood for the Supper. This current focus has acted to minimize the church's anticipation of the messianic banquet at the second coming of the Lord. This is detrimental to both the church and the theology of the Lord's Supper.
    4. Added May 26: Some Theological Ramifications to Our Lord's Supper Series (Part 2)
      One final ramification that needs to be addressed here is just who is allowed at the Supper. Believers only? Believers and their immediate family? Anyone who wants to partake?
    5. Added May 27: Concluding Thoughts to the Lord's Supper Series
      Because this table setting is absent in most evangelical churches today, some of the intended theology of the Supper is lost as well. What is needed is not more adaptation of the Supper to accommodate our modern setting; what is needed is more of a willingness to conform our setting to accommodate the Lord’s Supper as revealed in the New Testament. Until we do, much of the theology of the Supper will remain lost to us—and with it, its benefits to the church.

  • A Theology and Biblical Studies blog has now been added to the World of Sven.
    This blog is a place for me to present my thoughts on theology and the Bible. All views, comments and questions welcome.

    Theology is of course always a work in progress and I've modified a lot of the ideas I've put forward on here and ditched others altogether, but it's all here, more or less.

  • In the comment section of Contradiction or Paradox? I linked to a discussion between a proponent of open theism and a proponent of the orthodox view of God that was printed a few years ago in Christianity Today, and I thought I'd give it a plug here, too: Does God Know Your Next Move?

  • Doug of CoffeeSwirls, who chose the reader's choice hymn last Sunday, posts the words to another of his favorite hymns: Father Let Me Dedicate. It's an old hymn, but one I am unfamiliar with. Hop on over and read the lovely words.

  • Important late addition to the links: Mission Safari posts information on the nurses strike in Kenya. (Tim is a missionary physician there.):
    1. Crisis: Nurses on Strike
      As if there weren't enough problems with health care delivery in Kenya, nurses and staff at Kenyatta National Hospital, the largest referral hospital in Kenya AND East Africa, have gone on strike. They walked out on the patients and hospital yesterday. It is a disaster already. Patients have died, left in the beds they died in because there are no workers to take them to the morgue.
    2. More on the Crisis
      Although the strike was called by the workers union, even doctors failed to show up in the wards and only medical students were checking on patients.

    May I suggest that you add this situation in Kenya to the list of things you pray about?

    Update, May 26: Tim writes that the immediate crisis is over:
    The immediate crisis that I mentioned in yesterday's post is over. The nurses and workers returned to work last evening after some threats by the Minister of Health. This return to work is good news for many patients. However, only the immediate crisis is over....

    The health care crisis will continue to fester. The health care system is in jeopardy of collapsing. I am not sure that the leadership is in a position to pursue the positive change that is so desperately needed by the Kenyan citizens. Let's hope that this nurse's strike will lead to a good evaluation of the current situation and a better approach to delivering the care that is needed.
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