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Loose ends

February 6, 2008

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Hey guys.  For a while I’ve been wanting to do a post dedicated to tying up loose ends of some things we may have discussed in Sunday School someone may have mentioned and you said “What is he talking about?”

This will serve as basically cliffnotes with some references/resources attached…

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Arminianism vs. Calvinism

Consider how our salvation works:  Is it true that God has chosen ahead of time (or predestined)  who will and will not go to heaven?  If so, does that mean we have no ability (or free will) ourselves to choose or reject God?  Or if we do have that ability, does that mean that God is not sovereign (in control of everything)?

This is the debate between Arminians and Calvinist.  Very simply,  Calvinist sway to the side of God’s sovereignty, and Arminians sway to the side of our own free will.  This may seem academic or irrelevant, but this question is very fundamental to how salvation works; a pretty important topic!

  • Arminianism is further explained here.
  • Calvinism is further explained here

(make sure to read the section on similarities/differences between the two)

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Intelligent Design

You may be a little unsure as to what side you are on for the last topic, but this one is much clearer.  Most scientists claim we evolved through evolution.  Random mutations occured in history that, if benificial, stuck and over time we went from monkey to man. 

The ‘Intelligent Design’ (ID) movement simply says that “something” intelligent must have designed us and our world.  The ID movement does not go so far as to say it is the Christian God who is the ‘intelligent’ being that does the ‘designing’, however the primary proponents of ID are in fact Christians (suprise, suprise).

Todd and I went to a conference a while back on ID where we heard the foremost proponent of ID, Dr. Micheal Behe.  He is a sharp guy who is doing a lot to get ID recognized as legitimate science.

ID information can be found here and especially here. (read up
on ‘irreducible complexity’ in Behe’s article about the mousetrap – it’s very good)

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Postmodernism and the Emerging Church

We talked about this the other day.  A postmodernist believes ‘truth’ is subjective; it is not fixed, absolute, or solid.  We believe otherwise.  Our gospel hinges on that fact.  Christ says “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the father except through me“.  So the philosophy that everyone gets to heaven their own way is bogus.  However, many people buy into the postmodern philosophy.

The Emerging Church has as its aim reaching the postmodern society.  Some people say they reach the postmodern people at the expense of sacrificing sound biblical teaching.  Rob Bell from the NOOMA videos is one of the leaders in the Emerging Church movement. 

Piper (with others) has written a book about this topic ($10 at desiringgod.org): The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World. (this is up next on my ‘to read’ list – you can read it for free online here)

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 Hoped that helped clear up some things.  Have a great week!

– DH

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