Friday, October 21, 2011

The Epilogue

After prayer and consideration I have decided, at least for the present, to discontinue posting at this blog due to lack of traffic. It is my intent to re-post and continue to post the ideas presented here on my other blog Mike Erich the Mad Theologian in an attempt to present them to a larger audience. I intend to leave this blog intact and would ask anyone interested in learning more about what is presented here to visit my other blog.

Now the point of this blog was to explore the possibility of connecting Calvinism and Charisma. Based on that I would like to summarize what I have tried to say here.

We need to realize that God is in control and we can trust Him with the problems in our lives. see, see, see

Growth in Christ is a process and not the result of following a particular formula. see, see, see

God does do miracles today, but He does them according to His will. see, see, see

There is demonic influence in the world today, but it must be put in perspective. see, see, see

The miraculous spiritual gifts still exist today, but they are given according to God's will. see, see, see

I would conclude that, while the supernatural still happens today, it is dependent on God's will and is not, in the final analysis, something we can control.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blame It on Satan

There is a tendency in some circles to blame every sin and every disease on demonic activity. There is also the opposite extreme that denies or minimizes demonic involvement in anything. Now there is a Scriptural basis for believing demonic powers are involved in leading us into sin (1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Timothy 3:7). But we are also informed that the primary source of our sin is our own sin nature (James 1:14,15; Romans 7:18; 8:8). Also, there are diseases in Scripture attributed to demons (Matthew 12:22; Luke 13:16; 2 Corinthians 12:7). But the fact that casting out demons is one item on the lists of things Jesus did that also include healing of various diseases suggests that all diseases are not explained this way (Matthew 4:24; Mark 1:32-34; 6:13). Now I do believe there is a place today for dealing with demonic forces (nor do I find any basis in Scripture for teaching otherwise). But I am convinced it is not the sole approach to dealing with every problem, and when used that way it can become a gimmick that leads us away from dealing with the issues on a more appropriate basis, giving full consideration to other factors.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Biblical Musings - Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8 (NIV)

What is the philosophy described here? How can we avoid it?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Biblical Musings - Isaiah 41:10

"'Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I  will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'" Isaiah 41:10 (NASV)

What does this statement mean for our lives? Why should we live differently because of it?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When We Are Not in Vogue

We live in a culture in which Christianity is no longer respected. How should we respond to this? We could respond in anger, demanding the respect we think we deserve. Or we could react in desperation, trying frantically to return to a place of respectability. Or we could trust God. God never promised that society would always be on our side; in fact He predicted the opposite (John 15:18-21; 16:1-4; Matthew 10:16-39). But God also tells us that He will accomplish His purpose in the world in spite of this opposition (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 3:6,7). God also promises us that we can trust Him to face what we need to face in our lives (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalms 127:1,2; Romans 8:28). But God never promised that we would always be admired by the world around us. That was never His intent.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Biblical Musings - John 3:18

"He who believes is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18 (NASV)

What does this imply? How should it affect the way a believer lives?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Biblical Musings - 1 Corinthians 3:18

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 1 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

What does this statement mean for us? How do we avoid the danger spoken of ? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Goal

What is God trying to do in our lives? And why does He bring trials into our lives to accomplish it? Part of our problem is we see God as trying to make us nice moral people. And we tend to see ourselves as perhaps not quite there, but close. Therefore, we can start to wonder why we face real difficulties in our lives. We can ask if this is really necessary. Why use the chisel when a little sandpaper will do? But God's goal is to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10). Given this, we still have a long way to go (see Matthew 5-7). Now God does work in us through His power to produce this change (Colossians 1:29; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:3). But He also uses external circumstances to bring this about (James 1:2-4; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 1 Peter 1:6,7). Considering how far we have to go, is it surprising He sometimes uses the chisel?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Biblical Musings - John 15:5

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NIV)

What are the implications of Jesus' statement here? How do we remain in Him?