Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rick is really Roman Catholic and the Cardinal correct

Purpose Driven Pr. Rick Warren, may be Baptist in name but in spirit, he is absolutely Roman Catholic.

Here is what he said in a sermon...

You see it takes more than belief. It takes more than faith to really please God. He says it takes faith that results in loving others. Religion without love doesn't matter. It is not enough to say "I believe". What matters is how I love God and how I love other people, that is the Great Commandment.

Firstly, compare this with Heb 11

6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw
near to God(I) must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
What Rick says is denial of JBFA, this is saved by loving. This is going to damn us because we never love as we ought. There is only one who did that -- and you know his name. Though faith produces love, that love is not the basis of our justification. This is an old error - a guy by the name of Osiander believed like Warren and he was corrected by the Concordists.

We are not reckoned righteous by God based by what is inside us and not even on the basis that Jesus lives inside us. And above all, certainly not because we love (because we don't), we are reckoned righteous through faith on account of what Christ has done at Calvary.

So the RC Cardinal (see below) was correct in saying that Protestants should go back to Luther's faith. Why? because certainly Pr. Rick Warren is certainly miles away from that faith. He should not be identifying himself as a Protestant, because he is not.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Return to the faith of Luther

Rev. McCain is running a story on a comment made by a German Roman Catholic Cardinal. See the post here.

The Cardinal is Walter Kasper.

Kasper said he hoped Catholics would "get to know Luther better and not just interpret him from his polemical writings, still less from a few sentences taken out of context". The cardinal said he also hoped Protestantism would return to the faith of Martin Luther, "who would have been deeply averse to all of today's liberal tendencies".
ME: You know I agree with anyone who says what is true. He is correct and he is right - Protestants need to return to the faith of Luther!

ME again: Not only should he wish this for Protestants, but in fact he should wish that Roman Catholics should hold also to the faith of Luther!


Eu-angelion. Eu = meaning "good", angelion= meaning "message" or "news". The Greek word where we got the word "Gospel.

Firstly, it can not be news if it is already common knowledge, no?

It is news because not everybody knows about it and it is not usual. It is unusual, it is different, that is what makes the news. It won't be news if it is common information.

It is news and it is good news. If it is "good", that means it is in contrast to "bad" news. For it to be good, that means there has been "bad" news.

This is the reason why the Gospel is not something people can cook up with. By nature we are Pelagians, we are by nature "works" oriented, we are not accustomed to what is "free", we know there is no such thing as free lunch. So we look for the catch. If there is no catch, we will surely invent one.

For this reason when someone believes the Gospel - it has to be a gift. Why? It is not easy to believe something which is common, natural or usual. The Gospel is counter-natural. It takes a miracle, an action of God to cause us to believe the Gospel. Hence, because it is news, it has to be announced to you or proclaimed, broadcasted to you...from the outside, outside of you. It is from outside you, being brought forth to you. It is mediated to you.

Consequently we have to be weary of what is going on inside us. It is not reliable. Anything inside us is shaky. As one pastor said ..."anything inside you, can not be the Gospel".

Friday, September 26, 2008

In Him too.

At first blush of reading Genesis 15, it would seem to indicate that God's promise to Abraham had nothing to do with the promised Messiah. I used to read it this way - Abraham was counted righteous for believing that he would have plenty of children, and that was it, without reference to Christ.

Reading now the same passage and being enlightened of what Jesus said about Abraham, I understand now that Abraham also trusted in the promised Messiah and was reckoned righteous.

This is what Jesus said in

John 8:56 (King James Version)
56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

In other words Jesus was saying tha Abraham believed in Him too. Only by reading Scripture in the light of the Gospel does it become coherent.

I had an interesting discussion on the internet almost a year ago. I was having a small banter with a person on justification, and the person responding to me said, to this effect... "God was already treating Abraham righteous even before He came to Abraham", i.e. even before He pronounced the promise to Abraham.

Now, what do you think of that?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oneness can't be right

Oneness, the belief that there is no distinction in the God head - meaning Jesus is not the Son but the Father and the Holy Spirit too just different modes of dealing with us mankind, can not be correct if one emphasizes the work of Christ at the Cross. In effect, when we ground ourselves in the Gospel, Oneness belief is wrong.

Although we can pray to Jesus, he taught the disciples the "Lord's Prayer - the Our Father", when asked to teach them how to pray. The prayer addresses God as Father and does not address him. I was thinking about this at church.

At first blush this sounds not glorifying to Jesus but actually it does glorify Christ. Because the place where the Lord is glorified is found in his mediation between God and Man. Addressing the Father to grant our petition for the sake of the work of his Son - Christ actually glorifies Christ - and so it is true - no one comes to the Father except by Christ.

Think of it this way, if Jesus is also the Father, then the situation is absurd. The mediation becomes play acting, a farce. It does not make sense that Jesus intervenes or intercedes for Man towards whom? But himself? That is bizarre and funny...

I think the Trinity is a theological corollary from the Axiom of the Cross (making a pun on the axiom of choice in maths - set theory so forgive me). The Gospel requires the truth of the Trinity asserted.

Oneness charismatic theology thinks it is glorifying Christ but in reality it is robbing Him of the truth about his mediatorial work on behalf of sinners. It in the end deflects you away from the Cross. In fact belief in his mediatorial work is what JBFA is all about.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shaken and stirred (hope so)

As can be expected, people connected with PlanetShakers and ACC(AOG) , organizations which Pr. Mike Guglielmucci has been associated with for years are angry after he revealed he lied about his cancer story.

People are angry for being duped. I think they are embarrassed for being duped and embarrassment do make us angry. People are asking why, how could this happen? The leaders are claiming they have been victims too, they got duped as well. The excuse does not sit well with others, considering that they believe in Apostolic leadership and the Prophetic gifts, the situation is an embarrassment. Sure enough the discussion of whether or not he is even a Christian is being discussed in You Tube.

It seems the people who get it are those who are outside PlanetShakers and the AOG.

The story of Pr. Mike is not about his problems, rather it is about ideas. Ideas have consequences. Every church group has its own culture, no exemptions, that is how it works. Be it great or small, denomination or synod, each grouping emanates a group culture, and for church groups, that culture is the fruit of the group's theology. What theology they buy into brings about that culture. No, the pastor did not victimize, rather he was also the victim, he was a victim of false ideas which he got from his church culture.

If Christianity is not about Christ but about the Christian, if Christianity is about the glory of being victorious in the here and now rather than about hope later in the life after, then it is no surprise that people are angry at a person who had to resort to hoax making to deal with his perceived problems.

If the good news is about victory over sin and not about being forgiven in our sins, then it is even a wonder that some people in such a theological culture do not resort to suicide (but perhaps some have already). A theology that says that the Christian can not be saint and sinner at the same time will drive one to the mental hospital if not to the morgue. It is amazing that Pr. Mike was not suicidal and God be praised he did not resort to this.

I pray for the restoration of his mind and spirit but above all, I pray he be delivered from the culture that made him resort to hoax making. I pray he comes to a church that has the culture of applying the forgiveness Christ has won for him - delivered to him again and again in the ministry of confession and absolution.

The Gospel is for Christians too and I will say something which I hope you are not shocked...

The Gospel is for pastors too! They are no less of a sinner and saint than any of us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What God ordains

I so thoroughly enjoyed church today. Pr. Brett's antiphonal singing in the worship service was so much of a blessing, I walked away content, as if I had a good steak. My missus did the scheduled readings and she impressed me in the way she gave life to the text.

Everything was perfect. And at communion : there is something at the Lutheran Lord's Supper that never ceases to touch me which I have never experienced anywhere else. It is there that Jesus seems to be physically real to me. I get this voice in my head, why is it here when I kneel at the rails and receive the bread and wine, Christ is present and real to me - something I can not describe by words. Then I get this voice also in my head, but why not here at this moment, would you prefer another time and another occassion? Why not here and now when the bread and wine are being given to you. Where do you seek to find his presence, do wish to find him somewhere else?

Then there was also the hymn. Pr. Brett chose for us to sing Samuel Rodigasts' Whatever God Ordains is Good following the arrangement of J. S. Bach's Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan.

J.K. if you are reading this, this is dedicated to what you are going through right now....I am singing it now as I type the words...

What God ordains is always good:
his will is just and holy.
As he directs my life for me
I follow meek and lowly.
My God indeed
in every need
knows well how he will shield me;
to him, then, I will yield me.

What God ordains is always good
he never will deceive me;
he leads me in his own right way,
and never will he leave me.
I take content
what he has sent;
his hand that sends me sadness
will turn my tears to gladness.

What God ordains is always good:
his loving thought attends me;
no oison can be in the cup
that my physician sends me.
My God is truel
each morning new
I trust his grace unending,
my lufe to him commending.

What God ordains is always good:
he is my friend and father;
he will not let me come to harm
though many storms may gather.
Now I may know
both joy and woe;
some day I shall see clearly
that he has loved me dearly.

What God ordains is always good:
this truth remains unshaken.
Though sorrow, need or death be mine
I shall not be forsaken
I fear no harm
for with his arm
he shall embrace and shield me;
so to my God I yield me.

Isaiah 53:3

What does it mean that Jesus is acquainted with sorrow and grief? He understands, he is not making our experience as if they are nothing, he does not trivialize them, but enters our world and experiences it himself, so he is our rightful saviour. He is not distant but near.

Help save, comfort and defend us gracious Lord.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

High Energy - LHC

Those who do not know me might think of me that way but in actuality if you ask the misus I am simply a - semi-autistic guy suffering from attention deficit high activity disorder. I never grew out of it.

There is so much talk about High Energy Physics this week. See here for an article of the largest particle accelerator ever built., well if you are reading this - dooms day did not happen. Correct?

You might not know this but I encountered particle physicists involve in this CERN project a few years ago. These dudes are smart. Thousands of collisions can happen in a minute- they call these "events" and tons of data emanate from that a single particle collision. The thing is that thousands of theories can also be formed to explain the particles, sub-particle etc resulting from that collision.

I was fortunate to have a research paper accepted and presented in Bologna, Italy, many moons ago. I entitled it Analyzing High Energy Physics - a Multi-Agent Approach.

The thing too is that if thousands of theories can be formed then this has implications for explaining the Big Bang, so which theory accounts for the data?

Can it be more simple than Genesis 1:1?

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Over here, chopsuey is equivalent to stir fried. The chopsuey I remember back home is so yummy, it has that greasy starchy saucy element in it you can eat it all day - with rice of course. What is up with chopsuey? Well you can throw in it all meats and vegies you like and it will still taste good.

So where is this conversation going? It goes into the reduction of Christianity.

Recenly I have been encountering RC folk who are just at home with mixing world views from Taoism or Budhism. They are not bothered at all and even quite at home in importing these ideas into their catholic spirituality.

There is one theme that runs in my observation - when you reduce Christianity as also a religion of works, then Christianity is just one of those religions that incite you to work for your own salvation. It is just one amongst the rest. So if Christianity is giving you a formula for work - what is so special about that compared to Taoism or Budhism? None.

So it is not nonsense when one mixes Christian ideas with these eastern ideas. It is simply the fruit of what happens when Christianity has been reduced, levelled to the ground like the rest.

But Christianity is not another method of working out your own salvation.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It has got to be a gift

Ok so I am no longer on vacation, which means I am back on the job of solving the worlds problems. It is a hard job but someone has got to do it.

The other day I was reading the Scripture and I came to the word 'gift'. The word and concept is splattered in Scripture many many times. Take a look at

Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Believing or having faith in the Gospel surely has to be a gift. Its got to be. It must be a gift because the natural mind says that one has to work for one's standing with God. It is not natural for us to think of our relationship with God any other way and if there is any way we can get right with God we have to earn it. In fact this is where Biblical Christianity is unique because all other religions are already saying that, meaning - saying that if you want God to be kind to you, you do this and that...

So when a man/woman believes the Gospel it has to be a gift from God because all human senses say salvation or forgiveness of sins is by works. Every nerve of our being says -- there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Even Christians get Christianity wrong in portraying it as morality. Well, all other religions have that and that is not the core message of Christianity, it is not about morals though it is an aspect of it but it is not about it.

I notice people have some attitudes towards this Gift. Some think it is not a gift so they go to methods or measures - Charles Finney and his disciples are in to this. If faith in the Gospel is not a gift then one can be coerced (spiritually) to 'believe' or 'decide to believe'. This one leads to works.

Then there is another attitude, it is a gift alright some say and it comes out of the sky. It is immediate. It just happens. In other words the gift is not mediated.

I have counselled some young people struggling with this because they have the notion that a gift is not mediated, God just zaps people into believing. This one leads to dispair.

In fact both lead to uncertainty.

Here is where Concordians are different - sure faith in the Gospel is a gift but that gift is mediated - in other words, though Jesus is the author of faith, God creates faith in the Gospel via means - Word and Sacrament. The very promises of God is the very means God uses to create faith in the heart of the sinner. He does not decide, he does not get zapped out of the blue, but the promises is mediated - delivered and it is the very power to create or provide what God demands - faith. It is both demanded by God and at the same time created by God - through His Word.

So in this theology - there is no room for dispair or hopelessness, there is always a looking in one spot - in the Word - it is the same, yesterday and forever. Even this, even the fact that though faith is a gift, God nevertheless creates it using means -- this itself is -- good news. So God does not leave us alone to fend for ourselves.