March 29, 2010

Corporate Election and Baseball

I finally got an opportunity to listen to Dr. White and Dr. Brown's most recent debate. Very good and both of their parts. Naturally I think that Dr. Brown did much better, but I also agreed with his exegesis (as well as his style of exegesis) and I'm sure that played a big part of that. What frustrated me was the caricatures that White kept putting forth.

One of the interesting ones was the "impersonal nebulous group". He claims that if one chooses a group it is impersonal, and that group lacks real world definition.

Now I really like baseball. The crack of the bat, the sound of the parks, the smell of the grass, the feel of the ball in your hand, the drama of the pitcher and batter; it's great. Additionally, I am a Yankee fan. My father grew up in Staten Island, and I fell in love with baseball watching with my father. So I love the Yankees.

Now here's a question: is this not a corporate election? My selection of the Yankees is a corporate one, not an individual one. It is also not impersonal, because I care a great deal about Petite, Jeter, Posada, etc... Indeed, I still loved Petite when he went down to Texas, but my affection for him as a ball player is greater when he is wearing those pinstripes. And it is not like the Yankees is a nebulous group. Sure, some members come, some members go, but the group is a tangible existing thing in of itself. Finally, White criticized Dr. Brown's corporate view in Ephesians because of the use of personal pronouns. Yet most fans I know refer to their team using such terms. "We swept Chicago." "We're going to the World Series." "Well, we'll do better next year." I'm sorry, but Dr. White has simply not thought out this criticism at all.

It is like I have always said about Dr. White: he is an excellent apologist because he has a thorough understanding of his position, but he is a terrible polemicist because he never seems to comprehend what he is arguing against.

March 19, 2010

Change to comment moderation

I've always tried to keep commenting as free on here as possible because I want to encourage conversation. For that reason, I haven't moderated the first 10 days after a post, and I only moderate after that so that I can see if a person leaves a comment on my dashboard.

However, lately I've been getting viral comments with links to inappropriate sites (I don't believe I need to say more). It has happened three times now, and that is simply intolerable. For that reason, I've changed the comment moderation to always being on to protect the site from such things. I do apologize since you guys have always been quite civil in your comments here.

Thank you for understanding.

March 13, 2010

Ephesians 2:13; A Devotional

But now, in Christ Jesus, you, being once distant1, have become2 close3 by Christ's blood.
It is important to remember that Paul's primary concern in the book of Ephesians is dealing with the Gentile believers in relation to the Jews. Often we become so concerned with this verse or that verse that we forget Paul's greater discussion.

The big question when considering this verse is "what were we far away from"? The answer is in the last verse: we were far away from God and His covenant people. The language is verse 12 is not merely talking about separation from God, but also separation from Israel. To Paul, these are two sides of the same coin. To be separate from God's people is to be separate from God's promises, and thus from God Himself.

But the turning point is Christ. Through Christ, we, the Gentiles, have been made citizens of God's people. To am not talking about replacement theology here, where the Church has replaced Israel. I mean that we have become part of Israel through the blood of Jesus Christ. The redemption that was wrought through Christ's atonement has given us access to the promises of Abraham.

Remember that we do not have a right to salvation. We have not merited it, nor do we have some claim to it by birthright. Indeed, as Gentiles, we don't even have the same claims that the ancient Jews had. Do not take it for granted.

It is a gift! A great gift: undeserved and unasked for, yet here! We need to be focused in life on the gratitude we have to Jesus for what He has done for us. Think that out this week, and relish the joy of being close to God.

Translation notes
(To be completed later)




March 9, 2010

An Outline of the FACTS of Arminianism vs. The TULIP of Calvinism

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Arminian and Calvinist debate is the amount of misunderstanding that goes on about the two positions. We have found that caricatures of both sides seem to be more common than honest descriptions. SEA (The Society of Evangelical Arminians) has been devoted to bring clarity as to what defines the Arminian position and promoting the position while remaining respectful to those that disagree.

We have just set up a new primary link that gives a detailed comparison between the Arminian and Calvinist sides. You will find it under An Outline of the FACTS of Arminianism and the TULIP of Calvinism

This outline is intended to be both an introduction to the debate for those who are new to it, a correction to those who have a misunderstanding of one side or the other, and as a resource for those trying to explain it to others (there are lots of internal links for this purpose). We present the two sides using two acronym: TULIP for Calvinism, and FACTS for Arminianism (after all, we prefer facts to flowers ;-D) . Though individual opinions may differ from the outline at times, we believe that it fairly describes the general stances of either side.

For those interested, there will be a full right up for the FACTS acronym coming in the summer.