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Name: mr. c
Location:San Lorenzo, California, United States

I'm currently a Senior pursuing an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies.

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Trying to write a philosophy of ministry

Trying to come up with a philosophy of ministry is a very difficult task when you are used to thinking abstractly about theological issues.

It has taken two frustrating hours to finally settle on three major points for my framework:

Biblical ministry is...

  • Christ Centered
  • Spirit Filled
  • God Fearing

Next I have to pull together under this three point umbrela all the things I think are essential to ministry, and present it in a 5-8 page paper.

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posted by mr. c at 10:01 PM 0 comments links to this post

Waward Christian Soldiers

Wayward Christian Soldiers by Charles Marsh

I recently found this article that gives a scathing rebuke to evangelicals for their support of the war in Iraq.  It opens with this quote:

In the past several years, American evangelicals, and I am one of them, have amassed greater political power than at any time in our history. But at what cost to our witness and the integrity of our message?

Working at a Christian "Teaching & Talk" Radio Station, I am exposed to this mind set a lot more than I am comfortable with.  I am frequently bothered by how often the local Christian talk show is about politics and not about spiritual issues.  And not only politics in a generic sense as to try to bring the light of God's truth to the various political issues out there, but rather one that takes liberal Democrats to task and praises the Republican agenda.

Back during the recall election for Gov Gray Davis, I asked a girl at church who she was going to vote for and her answer shocked me.  She said, "I'm voting for Arnold Schwarzenegger because I'm a Christian."  She went on to explain that because he was a Republican he must be ok because the Republican party was essentially the Christian Party.

I've been thinking about picking up God's Politics : Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It because it seems to address this issue of American Evangelicals under the illusion that the Republican Party is God's party:

The only reason I vote Republican is because of issues like abortion & gay marriage.  In every other area I find myself more liberal in my beliefs.  For example I am for taking care of the poor, dealing with racism, preserving the environment, and so on.

But if we are really honest about this when you look at the two parties there is very little difference between the two as both seem to do little more than pay lip service to the real issues facing the country.  I think that is why the liberal activists have shifted their focus to the courts, because it seems the courts are willing to make the hard choices where most politicians won't.

I leave you with the closing quote from the initial article:

What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness.

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posted by mr. c at 10:36 AM 3 comments links to this post

A response to a non-creationist

This post is a response to a comment thread in Christopher Heard's Blog:

Mr. C, what I don't support is trying to take the biblical creation stories--whether Genesis 1, Genesis 2-3, or the implicit storyline behind psalms like Psalm 74; 89 and other passages--and trying to turn them into scientific accounts. I would distinguish between "creation faith," which I would characterize as the theological core of the biblical creation stories, and "creationism," which I define as an attempt to mine those stories for scientific data. To me, creation faith is very important, while creationism is a distortion of the texts' purpose and promise.

I believe that God exists and that everything else that exists does exist because God has willed, at least in a general sense, for it to exist, but I don't believe that the biblical creation stories give us scientific insight into the mechanics of the process by which that will was realized in fact. In brief, at my present level of understanding, I believe that modern science gives us a reliable understanding of the mechanics of the process by which God's will-that-other-things-should-exist was realized.

Interesting, thank you for clarifying that. I can appreciate your position, especially since it was one I once held. I'm unclear as to what you are refering to in the Psalm passages, but I got ya in the Genesis passages.

My experiences with God combined with the science I have studied (used to be a physics major, have switch to biblical studies) have led me to see the miraculous as not only possible, but probable. As I study the scriptures more and more I also find the sovereignty of God to be an essential piece of theology to the Christian walk. If we are to believe that God answers prayer then we must believe that he can answer prayer. The God that can answer prayer is a sovereign one. So far I believe that we would be in agreement with each other on this. However it is by acknowledging that God has the power to accomplish all things that we realize that the creation story is possible if literally interpreted.

However that it is possible does not deal with the issues raised by science. The problem is that the issues raised by science are interpretive. Meaning that the facts of science are the observed phenomena but the theories produced to explain/understand these observed phenomena are mere interpretations of the of the facts, based on certain presuppositions (in this case one would be that the earth was older than 10K years and took longer than 6+1days to make). In many cases these theories are reliable. But in many other cases these theories need to be refined or replaced completely for newly observed phenomena. This being the case, it doesn't matter how much evidence is amassed to suggest a young earth creation, the presuppositions of the scientists prohibit them from ever accepting it as a possibility. If you remove the presuppositions and approach the bible on it own merit then a creationist perspective is far less unlikely.

As far as ID goes: it is a wimpy attempt at trying to allow creationism to be taught in the public school system. It is a cop-out and should be decried by creationists for not going far enough. Still I think I would feel uncomfortable with an unbeliever trying to teach Creationism in a class setting as they would probably make a mockery of it to impressionable children, and unlitmately do more damage than if they hear the creationist perspective from a creationist.

Tags: creationism, , science

posted by mr. c at 12:02 AM 2 comments links to this post

True Philosophy: The Logos According to Justin Martyr

For My Historical Theology Class I chose to write about Justin Martyr's understanding of the Logos. It made sense to do so since I was writing about the Logos in John 1:1 for my Hermeneutics class at the same time.

Historical Theology was both a depressing and truly exciting class. It was so sad to see where the church departed from the teachings of the bible, and to see it begin so early in her history. But inspite of these departures the bible has survived unadulterated to this day.

The paper can be found here:
True Philosophy: The Logos According to Justin Martyr

References cited:
Drodge, Arthur J. “Justin Martyr and the Restoration of Philosophy.” Church History 56, no. 3 (September 1987): 303-319.

Giessler, John C. A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History. Translated by Samuel Davidson. 4th ed. Vol. 1. London: T&T Clark, 1846.

Keith, Graham. “Justin Martyr and Religious Exclusivism.” Tyndale Bulletin 43.1 (May 1992): 57-80.

Schaf, Philip. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2002.

Watts, Craig M. “The Humanity of Jesus in Justin Martyr's Soteriology.” The Evangelical Quarterly LVI, no. 1 (January 1984): 21-34.

Wright, David F. “Christian Faith in the Greek World: Justin Martyr's Testimony.” The Evangelical Quarterly LIV, no. 2 (April-June 1982): 77-87.

posted by mr. c at 4:44 PM 0 comments links to this post

Interesting sites for Bible Research

posted by mr. c at 10:21 AM 0 comments links to this post

Genesis 32:1-2 - God's Camp

I’m always amazed when I read a passage of Scripture that I’ve read several times before and I come across something that I don’t remember being there and it feels like I’m reading it for the first time.

Last month I started a 2 year bible reading program to ease the commitment to time spent reading and allow for time to chew on what I’ve read. I’ve read through the bible before, and now I want to spend time analyzing the things I’ve read. I’m using Libronix to manage my reading plan, and compare translations or look up commentaries when I encounter something interesting or difficult to understand.

This morning I was reading Genesis 31 and when I got to Genesis 32 I read the two verses below:

1 So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp.” And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

There is no further commentary on what took place at this meeting, but it paints a pretty amazing picture.

posted by mr. c at 2:49 PM 0 comments links to this post

Life & Light - John 1:4-5

John 1:4-5
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

I was musing on this and was thinking about the life that was in Christ: the abundant life. The life found within Him is the Light that shines in the darkness but not comprehended.

First this life is something that is granted through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was who empowered Christ to do His ministry and He is the life and light in our lives.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are a source of life to all who are around us. Since we are in a world of darkness the life we share is like light to them.

Imagine being put in a room with no light for your whole life like the Morloks from the movie Time Machine, and then one day you see light shining. You wouldn’t know what it was, but you could see its effects. You could see the filth and squalor of your own life and of the lives of others you know. Before you knew this light, life was much more comfortable. There was plenty of pain and heartache, but it was a place you knew, a place you felt at home at. Now with this light around you are forced to see the truth of your life as it is. In addition, being unaccustomed to light it would hurt your eyes. This would further the uncomfortableness of being in the presence of the light.

Now bring this analogy back to the verse. The darkness is the sinful state of man and the light comes to them through the ministry of born again believers. The unregenerate man has not known the goodness of God, His whole life, and when he comes in contact with the light of God through the believer’s ministry, he becomes uncomfortable because his sin is laid bare. He also is afraid because he does not understand that God is doing this for his own good. Therefore as we minister the life of Christ through bringing the light of the Holy Spirit into the lives of unregenerate men, we must pray that God would open their minds and grant to them the comprehension of the gift of life presented to them through faith in Jesus Christ.

Another way to read the term the darkness is to see it as the devil and his minions. By taking that road of interpretation, the inability of the darkness to comprehend the light is demonstrated by their being defeated by their own actions of crucifying Christ (the devil possessing Judas to betray Jesus).

posted by mr. c at 4:49 PM 2 comments links to this post

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