I have never been so appalled in my entire life. To get the full weight of this, you need to watch the video to the end.
"American religion is likely to be even more diverse in the future than it is now," John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum, told reporters. "One can make the case that Americans will be less Protestant and less Christian a century from now, but how much is hard to gauge."Darn. And I was used to being in the majority! I thought that the "seeker sensitive" churches with their broad and appealing approach were supposed to save Christianity in America. Oh well; I suppose the next trendy approach to butchering historical Christianity should get its chance to try out the spotlight. Go ahead, Emergents; you give it a try.
Plainview: "I see the worst in people. I don't need to look past seeing them to get all I need. I want to rule and never, ever explain myself. I've built my hatreds up over the years, little by little, Henry... to have you here gives me a second breath. I can't keep doing this on my own with these... people."We watched There Will Be Blood tonight. It's an absolute shoe-in for best picture, I am certain. Even if it doesn't win best picture, I guarantee you all (this is the day before the Oscars) that Daniel Day-Lewis will win best actor.
Plainview: "You're just an afterbirth, Eli, slithered out from your mother's filth. They should have put you in glass jar on a mantlepiece."The ultimate indignity comes, however, when Daniel demands that Eli admit what Daniel has known all along - that Eli is a false prophet. Essentially, we the viewer have known it all along, as well. However, Daniel takes things a step further and demands that Eli not only confess that he is a false prophet, but that God is a superstition. After mumbling his confession, Daniel finally coaxes Eli into selling his soul for Daniel's help.
Eli: "I am a false prophet and God is a superstition! I am a false prophet and God is a superstition!"Now, of course, I don't condone what Daniel forces Eli to say, completely, since I do not believe that God is a superstition. But for Daniel, God is a superstition, and Daniel knows that the greatest indignity that can be foisted upon this false prophet is for him to have to admit the lie which he has been keeping from everyone for years upon years.
"Jesus died for somebodys sins but not mine
Meltin in a pot of thieves
Wild card up my sleeve
Thick heart of stone
My sins my own
They belong to me, me"
Patti Smith "Gloria"
Allow me to explain. The first four ecumenical councils deal primarily with the person of Christ. That is, they develop who Christ is. Is he divine or human or both? What is his relation to the father? How many wills does the person of Jesus have? These are but a few of the questions that these ecumenical councils sought to answer.
Whereas, questions about his work (what he did) were given a cursory treatment in relation to the depths these councils went with the person of Christ. They did not develop the significance of the cross, for example. What was the death of Jesus for? Why did he have to die on a cross? Why all the blood? What is justification? What is propitiation? Most of these questions were not dealt with at these councils and if they are the answers are hardly as deep as the Christian Church needs them to be.
This raises the question, why are we to be united on the person of Christ and not on his work? Or even more fundamental, how can Jesus be separated into these parts? Sure we can make the distinction between the person (who he is) of Christ and the work (what he did), but we cannot separated them—they are two sides of the same coin. Those, I would submit, who try to find unity in the ecumenical councils are in fact separating Christ’s person from his work. Since we are to have unity (which I am a huge advocate for), I suggest that we have unity around the whole Jesus, his person and his work.
Gordon Fee in his new book, Pauline Christology, discusses this very point that Jesus cannot be broken into parts.
The attempt to extract Christology from Paul’s letters apart from soteriology is like asking a devout Jew of Paul’s era to talk about God in the abstract, without mentioning his mighty deeds of creation and redemption. Although one theoretically may theologize on the character and “person” of God on the basis of the revelation to Moses on Sinai, a Jewish person of Paul’s’ era would hardly imagine doing so. What can be know and said about God is embedded in the story in such a way that God’s person can never be abstracted out of the story. Whatever else, God is always “the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.”
"God had sent his Son into the world to die for sins. He had lived in Palestine and had taught for a few years, and had been killed like a criminal, though innocent, and had risen from the dead to show that his death was a ransom for sin, and had ascended into heaven where he rules the world until the time when he will come and establish his kingdom for all those who have put their life in his hands."
Paul's apostolic stance enables him to interpret the Old Testament Scriptures with sovereign freedom and to make demands on his people that he considered to be as binding as anything in Scripture.
"The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray" (Prov. 12:26).
"A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit;
Let no one help him" (28:17).
"He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Evil pursues sinners,
But to the righteous, good shall be repaid" (13:20-21)
"Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52).
"Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking" (Prov. 24:1-2).
"He who plots to do evilIt would be hard to argue that Ford did not spend the rest of his life essentially being remembered as a schemer, and as a coward. Now, some may argue that shooting Jesse James was not a sin because Jesse James was a bad man and a murderer (he killed around 17-25 people). I would only state here that at least most Christians agree that the state certainly has the right of the sword over its own citizens, and that vigilantism is not something to be tolerated under a Biblical worldview. More could be said, but I do recommend this film, and look forward to some input from the rest of you.
Will be called a schemer" (24:8).
Since this paper came out those who are in the Federal Vision (FV) have set their guns against this document. They have leveled many charges against the paper and the Study Committee: the committee was stacked, they misrepresented our views, they did not contact us to get clarification or to see if we really held to the views they said we did.
This last charge is one I would like to discuss because to my mind it is the weakest of the charges, yet it is the one I hear most often. First, why does the Study Committee need to contact you about your views? As Steve Wilkins put it in his resent letter addressing why this Church (Auburn Ave. Presbyterian Church) left the PCA, “the PCA Study Committee, which had judged me to be out of accord with our confessional standards without asking for clarification or for a response on my part…” I do not understand why the committee needed to speak with those who are apart of the FV. They have written a book, many blogs and/or lectures on these issues. Are their writings that unclear? Are their lectures so muddy that a person cannot listen to them and understand their position on a given point? It seems, at times, as if the FVers are saying that you cannot understand a person’s views unless you speak to them. If this is the case, then we can know nothing about anyone’s views that is passed. This is simply untrue. I can, for example, read Calvin and know what he thought about a certain issue. I do not need to call him up on the phone and talk to him to clarify his views. Now, if I did not understand Calvin it would be good to seek clarity. So to, the Study Committee could, if they so desired, have spoken with those men who they were writing about, but there is no moral or intellectual necessity that they do so.
Secondly, it does seem that the FVers think, maybe subconsciously, that they are unclear. The reason I say this is two fold: first, because they want everyone to speak to them for clarity and second, to my knowledge, there is not a single FVer who states that a person on the other side understands their view. In other words, according to the FVers, they are the only ones who understand their position. To disagree with them is, in essence, to not understand them. This is most unfortunate. Writing and lectures are the best way to get your point across clearly and preciously. But the FVers seem to be unable to get their whole system out there for public view in a clear manner. The reason for this, I fear, is that their system is contradictory. That is, the Federal Vision, as a whole, has internal inconsistencies. This is most obvious by their views of a quasi baptismal regeneration and their understanding of justification by faith alone.
Regardless of the consistency of the Federal Vision, this charge that the PCA Study Committee needed to contact these men needs to be dropped. This is simply rhetoric that takes away from the main issues of the truthfulness and confessionalness of the Federal Vision.