In the last post we examined the idea of using the early church theologians as guides to help us make sure that we are rightly interpreting Scripture and evaluating doctrine. In this post we will explore how the principles presented in that post might work when the “bowling ball is thrown down the alley”. Or using the more common expression when the “rubber meets the road”.
Before we go much further let’s make sure we understand what this post sets out to do and what it does not set out to do. Each of the case studies presented in this post are not meant to be a full treatment on the subject.There are other aspects that can be brought into the discussion to provide a more robust examination. Obviously, it is not my goal to settle each of these doctrinal debates in this post.The main point of this post is to highlight how the early church writings can be used as part of a theological argument. Continue reading →
When ever we approach a passage in Scripture or a particular doctrinal claim we want to understand what the correct meaning is or whether that claim is correct. There are a variety of factors that are involved in working through that process.
Imagine that the process is like tossing a bowling ball down the narrow alley.
We want to get a strike (the correct interpretation or assessment of a doctrine). If we can’t do that we would like to get as close as possible.
For us bad bowlers, we are happy to knock down some pins and often end up throwing gutter balls. In a game that might be fine, but from a theological perspective that would mean we are pretty far off the mark.
In a post last year, I proposed an Agile Manifesto for theology and doctrine. The goal was to offer up some principles to help us approach our theology and doctrine in the best way possible.
One of the proposed principles was: favor tradition and the historic Rule of Faith over novel theological views. Continue reading →
Been teaching on discernment and decision making so thought I would repost this, originally written in March 9, 2010. This post was modified from the original.
In the first post, we examined the discipline of “centering prayer”, which for many is an essential practice for hearing from God. If we want to hear from God then, according to Richard Foster, we must pursue silence.
This silence of all outward and earthly affection and of human thoughts within us is essential if we are to hear his voice.
In order to hear God’s voice one must practice emptying their mind.
What does it mean to hear from God? Do we need to empty our mind? In this post we look at several different theological areas and how they are connected to the idea that we should seek the voice of God.
Our view of Scripture as the inspired and inerrant Word of God is important. In this collection of books we have the promises, commands, and revelations of God written and preserved for us as objective truth. The Scriptures are given to us so that:
- we can be made wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim 3:16)
- we are equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:17)
- we have examples to instruct us (Romans 15:4; 1 Cor 10:6)
- we can have our hearts and motives exposed (Heb 4:12)
- we know what God has promised and commanded
This is a non-exhaustive list, I encourage you to add more in the comment section.
In thinking through centering prayer we must wrestle with how we view Scripture. Is Scripture sufficient for living out the Christian life or do we need more guidance?
Continue reading →