Seven thoughts on a Thursday

Seven Quick thoughts this Morning:

I got this e-mail from a friend and it was a great encouragement to me:

“Well John. I responded with my thoughts to a stupid saying (“Sinning is obeying the devil, Keeping yourself from sin is obeying God.”), and rooted out a false teacher with some seriously f*&#@ up theology (heresy is more like it). I ended the “conversation” gracefully and without malice, then tonight all my comments were deleted. 😦

No one appreciates sound argument or the art of good criticism. I probably wouldn’t have said anything about it in the past, but I was inspired by DPS to share the truth and not allow foolishness and lies to propagate. Thanks!”

That’s a big part of what DPS is all about, sharpening your discernment skills and, theologically speaking, separating meat from bones. So, I say, good on you Daniel for speaking the truth, watch your potty mouth because we want to be careful in discussions, especially with unbelievers,  not to say anything that would undermine our own convictions, and just be prepared to be hated for speaking the truth, because you are also certainly right when you say that no one appreciates sound argument, especially when it infringes on their “Jesus.”

Thought #2

In a couple of months I will be teaching a Sunday School class at our church…I will be basing it largely off of Phil Johnson’s excellent lectures on Historical Heresy’s in Church History. Our Education Director, though, wants me to make it more “positive,” longer than 5 weeks-more like 13 weeks, and focus more on what we do believe instead of what we don’t, but still work in the heresy’s part. I’m excited for the opportunity, but I’m not sure exactly where to start to put it all together…I, of course, want to start from the Bible, but from there where? Creeds and Confessions? Augustine? The Reformation? The 5 Solas? Do I show how the creeds and confessions were all brought on by the heresy? It all makes my head hurt a little, so if you want to offer suggestions I’m open to them.

Thought #3

Please be in prayer for my friends Pastor Aaron Jozwiak and Lentz Upshaw. They serve at a church plant in Madison, Wisconsin called Red Village Church; it’s only a few blocks away from the UW campus. This is going to be a busy month for those guys as they really want to reach both incoming and returning students at UW with the gospel. I don’t have to tell you church planting is hard, but church planting in a college town is especially hard. (Regardless of what Perry Noble says) Prayers for them would be appreciated.

Thought #4

Another friend passed this along to me, and so I pass it along to you. Since ER2 (and before really) Mark Driscoll has completely jumped the shark and could benefit from sharpening his discernment skills by reading this blog, so someone please pass it along to him, but wait, there is no such thing as a Godly critic in his world so on second thought don’t waste your time.

Thought #5

Speaking of Rick Warren can someone please tell me why this guy:

Is following me on Twitter, when his boss expressly warned his staff not to follow me. Is he spying on me? Did he not get the memo?

Thought #6

After listening to some of the vapid and shallow songs on “Christian” radio, I want to ask you a question: Could a Muslim sing songs like “How great is our God” and it mean the same thing for them? What about a Mormon? Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the music, and when I say “some” I mean a very small amount, but if your song doesn’t explicitly point to Christ should we label it a “Christian” song?  Should we bother singing it in church? I’m not talking just about those “Jesus is my bearded girlfriend” songs…I could REALLY do with out those, I mean the ones that call themselves worship songs.

Thought #7

Speaking of music, what about worshiping to music from a group that has originated out of a heretical church? Yes, I’m speaking of Hillsong United and also of Jesus Culture. I know their churches are heretical, one is prosperity-driven, quasi-Universalists’ and the other is part of the NAR. Can I still worship Jesus to their songs? Some of their songs are good, they lift up Jesus…but knowing what I know about their “Jesus” can I worship with them? I say; “I don’t think so.” What say you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above topics so please feel free to comment in the comments section below, or if you want to discuss anything here with me we can do that as well. I look forward to your thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “Seven thoughts on a Thursday

  1. Regarding thought #2
    You’ll certainly want to explain each heresy, as well as some of the history behind them. As far as the “positive” side, consider what each heresy is denying, and then focus on how scripture affirms what the heresy is denying.

    For instance, Arianism denies that Jesus is God. So, go to the Bible passages where Jesus says he is God (such as the “I AM” passages). If you need resources to help you with this, remember that the Arianism heresy is held by the Jehovah Witnesses. There are many sources available that address the claims of modern versions of heresies. James White’s book, The Forgotten Trinity is just one of them (you can also find other resources from James White at aomin.org).

    So, to refute Arianism, address why we believe that Jesus is God. To refute Pelagianism, explain the Biblical basis for original sin and our inability to be sinless. In response to the Gnostics, explain (among other things) that Jesus was both fully human and fully God.

    If you want the original audio files for Phil Johnson’s lectures, you can find them here: http://www.thegracelifepulpit.com/Sermons.aspx?code=PJ-CDA04

    Also, Phil did a single session on the heresies, focusing mostly on the Socinians. I’m having trouble finding the link for the audio file, but here you can download a pdf of the handout that he used.

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